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FAKE NEWS: The US and Romania turn the Republic of Moldova into a victim of the nuclear confrontation with Russia and China

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NEWS: “In the last two decades, Moldova has sort of “flirted ” with NATO, conducting joint humanitarian missions, as well as allowing the North Atlantic Alliance to open its liason office in Chisinau. [...]

NATO is enhancing its presence on the borders of post-Soviet states, starting with the borders with Ukraine and Moldova. In the case of [the Republic of Moldova] we are talking about the deployment of an American missile defense system at the Romanian base in Deveselu [...]

Konstantin Sivkov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences told Sputnik that the territories of Moldova and Ukraine are interesting to NATO only as a springboard for action against Russia.

"Will Moldova's cooperation with NATO be useful? The answer should be based on the aims that the country is pursuing in this process. NATO will not ensure Moldova's security. The fifth paragraph of the NATO charter reads that the alliance will not defend a country that is not part of NATO in the event of a real military confrontation”, Siskov says."

NARRATIVES: 1. The Republic of Moldova only provides the grounds for the East and the West to conduct their experiments. 2. Chisinau’s association with NATO will have catastrophic consequences for the Republic of Moldova, which the Alliance only uses against Russia. 3. The Deveselu base in Romania may be the target of an attack, and this would have consequences for the Republic of Moldova.

BACKGROUND: Russia's aggressive behavior (the cyber war against Estonia, the war in Georgia, the invasion and annexation of Crimea, the support for the separatist forces in the Donbass) has raised concerns, especially among NATO’s eastern members, and compelled the Alliance to consider measures to strengthen the eastern flank, in the Baltic area, in Poland and in Romania. Separately, Eastern Europe is also part of NATO's plans for an anti-missile shield, which precedes Russia's aggression in the region and is not meant to provide protection against threats from it but from missiles launched by third parties. The Deveselu base in Romania is already operational.

As regards the Republic of Moldova, after 2014 the country got more actively involved in joint military exercises with NATO, which aroused Moscow's disapproval. In December 2017, the opening of a NATO liaison office in Chisinau enhanced Russia’s rhetoric about the NATO-Republic of Moldova cooperation, although it’s just an embassy with a diplomatic and intelligence role, without any truly military responsibilities.

With the coming to power in Chisinau of the pro-European president Maia Sandu, who started by renewing relations with Romania and Ukraine and calling for the withdrawal of the Russian troops stationed in Moldova, Moscow resumed its rhetoric of war scenarios involving this state.

The three US military bases set up in Romania have triggered virulent reactions from Moscow, which accuses NATO of preparing for war in the Black Sea area. Also, the cooperation between Romania and the Republic of Moldova in the military field is by no means to Moscow’s liking.

In fact, Russian officials and experts have warned that by hosting the shield in Deveselu Romania becomes the potential target of a nuclear attack. The analysis carried by Sputnik also coincides with the arrival in Romania of the main elements of the first High Mobility Artillery Rocket System  - HIMARS – which will become part of the Romanian Army’s equipment.  

They will be transported to the headquarters of the 81st Tactical Operational Missile Battalion "Maior Gheorghe Șonțu" in Focșani, the first unit of the Romanian Land Forces that will benefit from this highly performant system. The equipment comes as a result of a contract with the USA which provides for the consolidation of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Sputnik stating that "[the United States] is considering a nuclear confrontation with Russia and the People's Republic of China" is a misrepresentation by omission. In fact, the words point to a statement by the American Admiral Charles Richard who wrote in the monthly magazine of the U.S. Naval Institute that “there is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state”. The US official’s statement is even more nuanced than that: “We cannot approach nuclear deterrence the same way. It must be tailored and evolved for the dynamic environment we face.”

On the other hand, an analysis by the American diplomat J. William Middendorf II published in the National Interest shows that Russia and China have accelerated their arms race, including with regard to the nuclear part, in recent years, and Moscow has reached the Cold War level in this respect.

The analyst points out that, in general, Russia has developed advanced weapons systems and nuclear capabilities and remains the most important threat to European security. Its aggressive stance in several theaters, including in the Balkans, Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, continues to both encourage destabilization and threaten US interests.

"The key weapons in Russia's inventory include 313 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 2,780 main battle tanks, more than 5,140 mechanized infantry combat vehicles, more than 6,100 armored personnel carriers and some 4,328 artillery vehicles. The Russian navy have an aircraft carrier, 62 submarines, including 13 ballistic missile submarines, five cruisers, 15 destroyers, 13 frigates and 100 military patrols and coastal troops. The Russian Air Force has 1,176 planes capable of fighting ", Middendorf writes.

As regards the collaboration between the Republic of Moldova and NATO, there’s nothing new about it. The first contacts were established right after the state gained its independence in 1991, and, in 1994, Chisinau joined the Partnership for Peace Programme. There followed a mission of the Republic of Moldova by NATO’s side in 1997 and the accession of the Republic of Moldova in 2002 to the South East Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group (SEEGROUP).

In May 2006, NATO and the Republic of Moldova adopted an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) which entailed boosting Chisinau's relations with the Euro-Atlantic structures and modernizing the Moldovan army. The Republic of Moldova has been participating for years in the Kosovo peace mission together with NATO, and the most recent mission left the Republic of Moldova for Kosovo on January 11, after a ceremony attended by President Maia Sandu, as leader of the armed forces.

In recent years, the Moldovan army have trained alongside NATO troops in various joint exercises in Romania or Ukraine, except for a several months period in which the former pro-Russia President Igor Dodon suspended Moldova’s military participation in such events.

Last but not least, the military bases in Romania and Poland do not have nuclear warheads and the Republic of Moldova cannot be seen as a victim of a potential nuclear confrontation between the West and Russia, only in view of its geographical position. Moreover, such a scenario could more likely be regarded as a threat from Russia, because a scenario in which Romania would use nuclear weapons to attack the Republic of Moldova, where one million of its citizens reside, is unlikely.

Moreover, the Deveselu base is equipped with SM-3 missiles that use kinetic force and have no explosive warheads, let alone nuclear ones. The military base in Kogălniceanu is an air base, and the one in Câmpia Turzii will be populated with drones.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: The Republic of Moldova does collaborate with NATO, but a potential accession is far from becoming a topic of discussion. Moreover, NATO's military presence in Romania and Poland follows Russia's high level of militarism in Ukraine and the Black Sea area. It’s a reaction to a tense regional security climate and not an offensive, as it is presented by the Russian propaganda, which is trying to cover up its own actions in the military field.


  • Publication / Media:
    sputnik.md
  • Date of publication:
    22/02/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    cetățenii vorbitori de limba română, decidenții de la Chișinău
  • Amplification:
    Sputnik.md, ziarelive.ro, stirinonstop.md
  • Political affiliation:
    Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The US and Romania turn the Republic of Moldova into a victim of the nuclear confrontation with Russia and China
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  • NARRATIVES: 1. The Republic of Moldova only provides the grounds for the East and the West to conduct their experiments. 2. Chisinau’s association with NATO will have catastrophic consequences for the Republic of Moldova, which the Alliance only uses against Russia. 3. The Deveselu base in Romania may be the target of an attack, and this would have consequences for the Republic of Moldova.
  • The analysis carried by Sputnik also coincides with the arrival in Romania of the main elements of the first High Mobility Artillery Rocket System - HIMARS – which will become part of the Romanian Army’s equipment.
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