• Top NATO Commander Concerned About 'Little Green Men' in Moldova

    From David Alexander, Reuters:  NATO's top military commander said on Monday that Russia appeared to be following some of the same "hybrid warfare" script in dealing with the former Soviet republic of Moldova that it used before annexing Crimea and intervening in eastern Ukraine.
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  • NATO has to Prepare to Contain the Chaos at Europe’s Edge

    [N]ow the ungoverned space is on the edge of Europe and the insurgents are being supported by a country with some of the world's most sophisticated military equipment and most effective intelligence services.
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  • Building Momentum in Moldova

    On May 20, the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted a conversation with His Excellency Vlad Filat, President of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova and former Prime Minister, as part of the Council's Completing Europe Series.
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  • Russian Invasion of Ukraine Could Succeed in 3 to 5 Days: NATO General

    Russia has massed all the forces it needs on Ukraine's border if it were to decide to carry out an "incursion" into the country and it could achieve its objective in three to five days, NATO's top military commander said on Wednesday.
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  • Details of NATO Plans for Increased Military Cooperation with Countries Near Russia

    Nato has drawn up plans to strengthen military co-operation with the former Soviet states on Russia's southern flank after the Kremlin's seizure of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
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  • NATO Commander Warns of Russian Threat to Separatist Moldova Region

    U.S. and Ukrainian officials warned Sunday that Russia may be poised to expand its territorial conquest into eastern Ukraine and beyond, with a senior NATO official saying that Moscow might even order its troops to cross Ukraine to reach Moldova.
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  • Moldova's Prime Minister: We Still Must Build Domestic Consensus for Our European Future

    As Moldova prepares (along with Georgia) to sign trade and cooperation agreements with the European Union by September, both countries face military and economic pressure from Russia to reverse course and instead join the Russian-led Customs Union that Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks to establish among states of the former Soviet Union.  In an interview March 3 at the Atlantic Council, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca described how he plans to handle relations with Russia as his government pursues the policy that Moscow so vehemently opposes.

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  • Moldovan Prime Minister: Ukraine Crisis Deepens Our Need to Join Europe

    The three-month-old crisis in Ukraine, escalated last weekend by Russia’s invasion of Crimea, has steeled Ukraine’s small neighbor, Moldova, to step up its efforts to reform its economy and political system so it can integrate as quickly and well as possible with Europe, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca told diplomats, US officials, and other policymakers at the Atlantic Council. Speaking after meeting at the White House with President Obama and Vice President Biden, Leanca said US officials have shown “an unprecedented level of interest” in his country’s four-year-old effort to move from Russia’s orbit to integrate with the European Union.

    Leanca expressed hope that the Russian military strike into Crimea will persuade both Washington and European governments to provide strong, more consistent support for the neighbors of Russia trying to join Europe. Russia, having succeeded for years in exerting pressure on Moldova and Georgia by occupying parts of their territory, has now extended the tactic to Ukraine, he said. Because Russia’s military occupation of Moldova’s Transnistria region has survived for 23 years as a successful policy of coercion for Moscow, “these frozen conflicts, these separatist movements” backed by Russian troops have become “very contagious,” he said.

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  • Prime Minister of Moldova Speaks at the Atlantic Council as Europe Grapples with Response to Russian Aggression

    WASHINGTON – During a public address at the Atlantic Council during his visit to Washington today, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca  reaffirmed his country’s commitment to Europe and denounced Russian intimidation in Europe’​s east. 

    Atlantic Council Chairman Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. introduced the prime minister, urging action and the strategic importance of what is at stake in the region today.

    “Today, we are here for Moldova—to discuss the extraordinary progress that Moldova has achieved, and to consider the challenges that lie ahead for Moldova against the backdrop of Russia’s aggression in the wider region,” said Governor Huntsman. “The events happening as we speak should serve to remind us that there is a need, now more than ever, for an engaged transatlantic community.”

    Leanca warned the international community of the dangers that “frozen” conflicts in Crimea and Transnistria can perpetuate throughout an entire region.

    “The Transnistria conflict is an unresolved conflict that is especially important in the context of what’s happening in Ukraine,“ said Leanca. “These separatist movements are very contagious. In Crimea, we’re seeing an effort to build another Transnistrian conflict. I’m trying to be optimistic and find a solution with the help of the international community.”

    His remarks came at the Atlantic Council following meetings with White House and Congressional leadership.

    Other panelists at the event included Swedish Ambassador to the United States Björn Lyrvall; Bertelsmann Foundation Executive Director Annette Heuser; and Freedom House President David Kramer. When prompted by Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson to outline what the West can do in the next forty-eight hours, they replied: 

    • Lyrvall: Definitely put in place a ban on visas for Russian officials behind the Crimea invasion  and sign the EU associationagreements as quickly as possible with  Moldova and Georgia.
    •  Heuser: Freeze financial assets and put in place a visa ban, while sending quick aid to Ukraine. NATO leaders should have an urgent meeting and show a physical presence of the transatlantic alliance on the ground in Kyiv.
    •  Kramer: Get the EU to quickly sign association agreements with Moldova and Georgia because Russia will put these countries through torture in the meantime.
    •  Leanca: The United States and European Union must remain consistent and coherent on policies towards Russia and Moldova.

    For full event video, please click here.

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  • Transatlantic Focus is Key to Helping Moldova Join Europe

    As a Small Nation Faces Russian Pressure, Europe’s Future is on the Line

    Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leancă’s meetings at the White House today are a crucial sign of US support for his leadership and for Moldova’s Euro-Atlantic future, especially alongside Russia’s invasion of Moldova’s neighbor, Ukraine. In November, Moldova, alongside Georgia, signed a European Union (EU) Association Agreement, a step toward what Moldovans hope will be their country’s eventual membership in the EU. Russia’s occupation of Crimea is a blunt reminder of the high price – territorial dismemberment – that President Vladimir Putin is extracting for these countries’ desire to be part of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. Leancă is taking a real political risk by adhering to his people’s wishes despite Russia’s coercion.

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