Update on Joint U.S. Military Maneuvers in Moldova

Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:36am

Deutsche Welle reports that “t’s not the first time that the US army has taken part in military exercises with the formerly Soviet Republic of Moldova. This time, though, emotions ran high when about 200 US soldiers, dozens of armored vehicles and various examples of heavy equipment passed through villages and towns after crossing the border from Moldova. ‘I’m impressed, seeing these vehicles here,’ said Veaceslav, a man from Negresti, as he stood with a group of locals on the roadside, waving at the US soldiers. ‘I feel as if the liberators had finally come to us,’ he added.”  

“Veaceslav and his fellow US supporters stand on one side of the public political divide. After Russia annexed Crimea and apparently supplied separatists in eastern Ukraine, Moldova’s pro-EU government has tried to align the country with the United States and European Union. Joint military exercises with the United States represent another step in this direction. The pro-Russia opposition is doing everything it can to try and torpedo this course, and it currently enjoys more popular support. A presidential election is scheduled for this year, and the opposition candidate Igor Dodon currently tops all the opinion polls. The military maneuvers have created another opportunity for the Socialist leader to demonstrate his party’s fighting spirit. The Socialists call the maneuvers an ‘American invasion’ and claim that the presence of the US military contravenes Moldova’s neutrality.”