Moldovan President Igor Dodon banned Moldovan servicemen from participating in the Rapid Trident multinational military exercises which will be held from September 7 to 23 in Ukraine.
“The participation of Moldovan servicemen in military exercises outside the country is not acceptable,” Dodon wrote on his Facebook page.
He published a letter from Acting Defense Minister George Galbura, in which the Minister asked for permission to participate in the military exercises, along with the answer to this letter from presidential adviser on security issues, Secretary of the Supreme Security Council Artur Gumenyuk.
In his letter, Galbura stated that the Defense Ministry intended to send 57 Moldovan servicemen to participate in the military exercises at the Yavoriv training ground in the Lviv region of Ukraine.
“The exercises are aimed at developing cooperation, strengthening defense capability and promoting the image of the national army in the international arena,” said the acting Minister of Defense of Moldova.
He mentioned that Moldovan servicemen have participated in these exercises, together with other members of the Partnership for Peace, since 1996.
“Participation of national army servicemen in these exercises will contribute to the training of servicemen for subsequent participation in peacekeeping operations (the KFOR mission in Kosovo). Moldovan servicemen will travel to the exercises by land and will use only personal equipment (without weapons, ammunition and military equipment). Protection of servicemen and equipment will be provided by Ukraine. All expenses will be covered by the organizers of the exercises,” the letter stated.
In his response, Gumenyuk noted that, according to available information, including that from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense and the Ukrainian media, these exercises are “multinational military exercises.”
“Thus, according to the Law on National Defense, the permission of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief is necessary to participate in such exercises. Consequently, in harmony with his powers of the presidency, we are informing you that the President of the Republic of Moldova does not approve the participation of the servicemen of the national army in these exercises. In this regard, we ask you to take measures to cancel the preparations for sending the military contingent to the exercises and inform the organizers that the Republic of Moldova will not participate in these exercises,” stated Gumenyuk’s reply.
The Moldovan President already banned the participation of a group of Moldovan servicemen in military exercises that took place from February 20 to March 1 in the Smardan training center in Romania.