As Ukraine's neighbor, the Republic of Moldova is an easy gateway for Putin. In order to be able to counter possible Russian attacks, British Foreign Minister Truss is calling for the country to be equipped with NATO-standard weapons.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called on NATO to arm Moldova, neighboring Ukraine. "I would like Moldova to be equipped according to NATO standards," Truss told the Telegraph newspaper. "It's a debate we're having with our allies." Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to create a Greater Russia, Truss said. "Just because his attempts to take Kyiv were unsuccessful does not mean that he has abandoned his plans."
Truss stressed that Ukraine must be permanently able to defend itself. "This also applies to other vulnerable countries like Moldova," she said. "Since the threat again comes from Russia, we must also ensure that (these states) are equipped according to NATO standards."
An aide to the minister told the Telegraph that what was meant was that NATO members were supplying modern weapons to replace the old Soviet-era stocks and facilitating training. "We are currently working on a joint commission with Ukraine and Poland to upgrade Ukraine's defenses to NATO standards," Truss said. "So we're going to find out what the status is, what the Ukrainians need. The question then is how do you maintain that over time?"
Moldova's pro-Western leadership applied for EU membership shortly after Russia's war against Ukraine began. In the Transnistria conflict region, which borders on Ukraine and has been in conflict for decades, there has recently been repeated violence. About 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed in the area.
The former Soviet Republic of Moldova is considered the poorest country in Europe. Almost 100,000 refugees from Ukraine are currently staying in the country with 2.6 million inhabitants. According to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Republic of Moldova hosts the largest proportion of refugees from Ukraine of all host countries, at four percent in proportion to its own population.