VI. THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA AND PERMANENT NEUTRALITY
On July 29, 1994, through article 11 of the Constitution, the Republic of Moldova declared its permanent neutrality. Lacking traditions of statehood and, therefore, lacking traditions of neutrality, the main goal of this declaration was to consolidate the sovereignty. This declaration appeared as an indispensable ne- cessity in the process of assurance of an internal stability of the country through the withdrawal of the foreign troops from its territory, neutralization of political forces opposing this orientation and conciliation of the public opinion in con- ditions of solution of the internal conflict and assurance of a relative equilibrium.
Consequences. Declaring its neutrality in peacetime and defining it as perma- nent, the Republic of Moldova committed itself to comply with the requirements of countries with such a status, to be capable to fulfill its specific duties to be able to claim the observance of its rights.
In this context, we cannot forget the fact that permanent neutrality is a more extended notion than the classic notion of neutrality, the latter being tightly related to the war situation, and the specific duties of a country with a status of permanent neutrality are additional to the ones of the status of classic neutrality.
Considering the provisions of the international public law, through the voluntary proclamation of its permanent neutrality, the Republic of Moldova committed to the following duties:
Not to participate in political or military alliances or undertake duties that have as a goal the preparation of a war or that involve the unconditional obli- gation to assist one of the parties in conflict;
Not to allow the use of its territory for the preparation and unfolding of aggressive actions against other countries and the positioning of foreign military bases, with the exceptions of the cases stipulated in the international agree- ments signed by Moldova regarding the placement of peacekeeping forces be- longing to the UN or OSCE;
Neither to possess, produce or experiment mass destruction weapons nor to dislocate, store and transit these types of weapons belonging to third-party countries through its territory;
To have a policy of peaceful collaboration and to maintain friendly relations with all the countries of the world.
Considering its specific duties, the Republic of Moldova is free to take any measure considered necessary for the protection of its territory as well as for the accomplishment of its foreign policy. However, its peacetime commitments as a country with a status of permanent neutrality cannot allow an ambiguous treat- ment of the third countries in wartime. At the same time, promoting an appro- priate foreign and domestic policy, strategic options and avoiding the possible ambiguities in the policy for consolidation of neutrality, the country can avoid the problem of its guarantee in case of war by proving the capability to protect its status with armed forces.
Observance of the status. The examples from the contemporary history prove that in most of the cases a simple unilateral declaration of the status of perma- nent neutrality has proven to be insufficient for its observance, a fact that implies the necessity of complex actions for the recognition of this status, assurance of its credibility and viability, as well as for its consolidation.
Recognition. Related to the issue of observance of neutrality, an important role belongs to its recognition/guaranteeing by the international community or by some third countries. This act, not being compulsory, in Moldovas case seems to be quite important and necessary due to its specific geopolitical position and the risks of pressures and destabilization within the region. Despite several dec- larations (rather timid and inconsistent in reality) of the national authorities re- garding the option to maintain and consolidate the status of permanent neutral- ity, this has not been officially recognized by the international community. This fact reflects rather eloquently the complexity of the issue and the ambiguous appreciation of our efforts in this sense.
Another reason is the relation between external guarantees of a permanent neutrality status and the domestic effort dedicated to the creation and consoli- dation of the defense system. It is obvious that the economic situation of the Republic does not allow allocating the extremely important means for this goal, a fact that conditions the special importance of external guarantees.
At the same time, the act of external recognition will be problematic as long as:
The problems related to the basic agreements between Moldova, Ukraine and Romania and the delimitation of borders remain unsolved;
A military force of a foreign country (regardless of the reasons or declara- tions of concern about the security) will be stationed on the territory of the Republic;
There will be an ambiguity or, moreover, a tension in the internal relations with the districts from the eastern bank of Dniester River.
Credibility. In general, the credibility of the permanent neutrality status is obtained through:
Recognition and strict fulfillment of the requirements stipulated in the documents of international law regarding the status of neutrality;
Accomplishment of efforts adequately appreciated domestically and exter- nally in all the fields related to the consolidation of this status (foreign policy, domestic policy, defense, economy, etc.);
Assurance of a credibility in defense that implies abilities to maintain the status (by own forces) in case of an armed conflict in the region or in case of war, to reject any aggression and to stop any attempt of its violation.
Viability. The democratic process within the Republic and within the states from the region, their consolidation as rule of law states represent the main guarantees for the viability of the permanent neutrality status of. The viability will be also determined by the comparison of the advantages and possible losses resulting from the violation of the status by the third countries or its abrogation by the Republic of Moldova. In addition, an extremely important influence on the viability will have:
The security policy of the neighbor countries (Romania and Ukraine), the state of the bilateral relations between these states, as well as the situation of the relationships between these two states and the Republic of Moldova;
The situation of bilateral relations with Russia and its attitude regarding the problem of observance of the status;
Creation of a civic spirit attached to the values of neutrality in the society.
Consolidation of the status. Considering the diversity of opinions and definitions regarding the neutrality issue, the contradictory internal and external tendencies, the lack of a determined civic spirit and the ambiguities of the present status, as well as for its consolidation, the development of a political concept regarding the neutrality of the Republic of Moldova is appropriate. The concept of neutrality would define:
The position of the state towards the principle of neutrality in general and of permanent neutrality in particular;
The priority principles and objectives of its foreign policy regarding the consolidation, affirmation and, eventually, the recognition of the permanent neu- trality of the Republic of Moldova at the international level;
The main missions of each component of the defense system, its adjust- ment to the necessities of consolidation of this status;
The principles of promotion of the security policy, the objectives of military policy and the structure of the Armed Forces, the relations of military collabora- tion, etc.
Of course, the issue of the status of permanent neutrality of the Republic of Moldova will not be solved with the adoption of such a concept, however, the ambiguity and the confusion related to it, within the country as well as outside, can no longer be neglected.
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The specialized state institutions for military policy, which later represented the basis for the creation of the national defense system, were created according to the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova on 27 August 1991 and the presidential decrees Regarding the creation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova from 3 September 1991 and Concerning the reforms from the State Department on Military Issues of the Republic of Moldova within the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova from 5 February 1992.
Compared to other former republics of the Soviet Union, which possessed combat-ready military formations on their territories that subsequently transfor- med into national armed forces, Moldova acquired under its jurisdiction mainly military units whose officers and NC0s for the most part refused to take an oath of allegiance to the new state. These circumstances led to a situation where military units transferred to the jurisdiction of Moldova were incapable from the point of view of combat capacities, destination, capacity, structure and place of deployment.
The National Army of Moldova started to be structured on a fundamentally new basis, using exclusively the technical-military foundations inherited from for- mer military units.
During this time, the process of creation of military forces and national defense system took place without being based on the concepts and programs of national security and military structure of the state, which are systematized and coordinated with the fundamental interests of the state. The decisions concern- ing the problems of military structure were made by the Ministry of Defense, taking into consideration its own visions and concepts, without the direct participation of the management and administrative bodies.
The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova was adopted on July 29, 1994, which proclaimed for the country the status of permanent neutrality. The National Security Concept and the Military Doctrine of the Republic of Moldova were