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FAKE NEWS: NATO is providing weapons to Ukraine via the Republic of Moldova, which represents a breach of the country’s neutrality status

Soldiers of the unrecognised state of Transnistria take part in a military parade during the Independence Day celebration in Tiraspol city, 78 km East from Chisinau, Moldova, 02 September 2013.
©EPA/STRINGER  |   Soldiers of the unrecognised state of Transnistria take part in a military parade during the Independence Day celebration in Tiraspol city, 78 km East from Chisinau, Moldova, 02 September 2013.

The Republic of Moldova has violated its neutrality status since it allows NATO to deliver weapons to Ukraine, currently at war with Russia, which invaded this country on February 24. This false narrative is promoted by politnavigator.net, which references a commentary of a Russian expert.

NEWS: “NATO member states could deliver additional weapon supplies to the regime in Kyiv by means of the airport in Mărculești, the Republic of Moldova, Kaliningrad-based political theorist Aleksander Nosovych wrote on his Telegram account. According to the Russian expert, an accord regarding the use of the airport had been agreed upon during talks between the president of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

[…]

Since the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova closed down its airspace, although flight radars picked up a number of flights coming in from Romania. Rumors started being circulated, according to which these are actually NATO aircraft transporting weapons to Ukraine. The Government of Moldova has dismissed this information.”

NARRATIVES: 1. NATO is delivering weapons to Ukraine in secret. 2. The pro-European government in Chișinău is violating the country’s neutrality status, by putting its infrastructure at NATO’s disposal in order to deliver weapons to Ukraine. 3. The Republic of Moldova has allied itself with Russia’s enemies.

BACKGROUND: The Republic of Moldova is a neutral state under its Constitution, and the current government has repeatedly pointed out that the country’s NATO accession is not up for debate. Chișinău announced it will not get involved in the war caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moldova has its own security risks, a separatist region and a frozen conflict in Transnistria and a pro-Russian autonomous region (Găgăuzia – ATUG). Besides, Russia – who intervened on the side of the separatists in the Transnistrian war of 1992 – still has troops deployed on the territory of the Republic of Moldova and has granted Russian citizenship to the majority of the population in the separatist region, so that Chișinău has plenty of reasons not to provoke Moscow.

Still, in the last few months in particular, Russian propaganda, fueled by the declarations of certain pro-Russian politicians in Chișinău, has been increasingly focusing on what it has called hidden agreements, or the Moldovan government’s plans to join NATO. Disinformation themes also rely on the fact that only a small number of Moldovan citizens (20-25%) would vote for their country’s accession to the NATO military bloc, seeking to inflame passions, especially among national minority groups, galvanizing them against the authorities.

However, Russian propaganda didn’t factor in the fact that the Republic of Moldova, considered one of Europe’s poorest country (if not the poorest), has a very low defense budget, is facing a separatist conflict in the east, has a military force deployed on its territory, which makes it less attractive as a candidate for NATO accession, even if the authorities were to kick off this process.

PURPOSE: To reinforce the idea that the Moldovan administration is violating the country’s neutrality status, contrary to people’s will, and to present it as a possible threat to the Russian Federation, thus justifying a possible intervention, similar to the one in Ukraine. To advocate the idea that NATO is secretly delivering weapons to Ukraine. To confirm Vladimir Putin’s statements that Russia is the victim of a Western/NATO conspiracy. The article was also published on a forum, where it gathered dozens of commentaries, mostly chauvinistic, offensive and threatening, targeting the Republic of Moldova as a well as other states that pledged to help Ukraine. The article also cites the Russia’s president.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: NATO announced it cannot intervene in the war between Russia and Ukraine since its statute prevents it from getting involved in a conflict as long as no member of the Alliance is attacked.

Nevertheless, several NATO member states officially announced they will be sending weapons to Ukraine to support its war against Russia, a country they described as the aggressor. In this context, the Alliance has no reason whatsoever to disguise its support, hiding it on an obscure former military airport, with outdated infrastructure, virtually left unguarded and located approximately 80 km from the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria, which is home to sizable Russian military forces and equipment.

Besides, Ukraine borders four NATO member states – Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, the total length of its common borders exceeding 800 km. Therefore, using the Mărculești airport to store weapons from NATO wouldn’t make any sense.

Maia Sandu indeed had a telephone conversation with the American Secretary of State in the context of the war in Ukraine, just as she talked to other international officials. The Republic of Moldova is one of the main destinations of Ukrainian refugees, at least in terms of transit. By February 27, authorities in Chișinău reported over 70,000 refugees crossed the border, which means this country needs support to manage such a high flow of people, accounting for over 2% of its total population.

OFFICIAL REACTIONS: The authorities in Chișinău have denied the information about NATO or other aircraft landing on the airport in Mărculești in recent days on a special Telegram account created for this purpose. “Regarding the disinformation being circulated in the public space about NATO aircraft that have allegedly landed on the airport in Mărculești, we announce this is a fake piece of news. The airspace of the Republic of Moldova is shut down. No aircraft has landed in Mărculești during the last 3 days”, the message reads. At the end of the article, Politnavigator writes that the government in Chișinău has denied the information, but chose not to delete the article from its website.

Tags: Republica Moldova , Ukraine , Russia , Maia Sandu , Transnistria , NATO , Ukraine crisis , War in Ukraine
Propaganda de Razboi
  • Publication / Media:
    politnavigator.net
  • Date of publication:
    27/02/2022
  • Target audience:
    Eurosceptics and national minorities in the Republic of Moldova, Russian citizens
  • Amplification:
    yaplakal.com, smi.today
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    NATO is providing weapons to Ukraine via the Republic of Moldova, which represents a breach of the country’s neutrality status
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  • The Republic of Moldova has violated its neutrality status since it allows NATO to deliver weapons to Ukraine, currently at war with Russia, which invaded this country on February 24. This false narrative is promoted by politnavigator.net, which references a commentary of a Russian expert.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. NATO is delivering weapons to Ukraine in secret. 2. The pro-European government in Chișinău is violating the country’s neutrality status, by putting its infrastructure at NATO’s disposal in order to deliver weapons to Ukraine. 3. The Republic of Moldova has allied itself with Russia’s enemies.
  • PURPOSE: To reinforce the idea that the Moldovan administration is violating the country’s neutrality status, contrary to people’s will, and to present it as a possible threat to the Russian Federation, thus justifying a possible intervention, similar to the one in Ukraine. To advocate the idea that NATO is secretly delivering weapons to Ukraine. To confirm Vladimir Putin’s statements that Russia is the victim of a Western/NATO conspiracy. The article was also published on a forum, where it gathered dozens of commentaries, mostly chauvinistic, offensive and threatening, targeting the Republic of Moldova as a well as other states that pledged to help Ukraine. The article also cites the Russia’s president.
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