The pro-Russian president of Moldova, Igor Dodon, has signed a decree suspending the government's decision, published in the Official Monitor, to send a military contingent of the National Army to the Rapid Trident-2017 exercises in Ukraine.
At the same time, he promised to lower the ranks of servicemen who left for the exercises, Presidential spokesman Ion Ceban wrote on his Facebook page.
"The government's decision to send Moldovan soldiers to the exercises in Ukraine was suspended by presidential decree. The President also ordered checks in the military units of the National Army to find out who is absent and present among the military so as to make a decision subsequently, in accordance with the law, up to the lowering of the responsible persons in their ranks," wrote Ceban.
Servicemen from 22 peacekeeping battalions and the First Land Brigade of the National Army of Moldova (57 in total) are taking part in the international military exercises Rapid Trident-2017, which are taking place at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv from September 7 to September 23.
The decision to participate in the 2017 exercises was taken by the government of Moldova the day prior, despite the president's ban.
In response, Dodon stated that he was suspending the government's decision, in accordance with the powers conferred on him by the Constitution as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country.
Experts in the field of constitutional law, in turn, have emphasized that the president's decision to suspend the government's decree has no legal force, since disputes between the government and the president can be resolved solely by the decision of the Constitutional Court.