Moldova, Chișinău – From 3 to 20 May, Moldva is hosting the Dragon Pioneer 2016. It’s a series of drills of the Moldovian armed forces but also of the US armed forces. According to the Moldavian Defence Ministry Alla Diakonu , it will train both armies and and increase cooperation between them.
198 military men of the 2nd US Cavalry Regiment and 165 military men of the National army will take part in the drills. According to the Constitution, Moldova is neutral, but she has been collaborating with NATO since 1994. On May the 3rd, a column of military equipment and troops crossed the Romanian-Moldovan border to join the Dragon Pioneer 2016. Moldovian citizens and some members of parliament tried to block the road. No permission was given for the transportation of weapons. This event may be understood as a provocation from the US towards Russia.
Since summer 2015, tensions between ruling pro-Western liberals and the pro-Russian opposition are high. An unprecedented corruption scandal erupted in the summer of 2015 involving the former pro-Atlanticist Liberal Premier Vlad Filat, who has diverted more than one billion dollars. This case has almost provocted riots in a country divided between its pro-Western aspirations and pro-Russian supporters. The pro-Russian opposition has gained much support following the scandal, which concerned in particular Ukraine and Romania, its two neighbors with an Atlanticist policy and resolutely hostile to Russia. Moldova experiences on its Eastern territory, Transnistria, a pro-Russian separatism.
On May 9th an exhibition of NATO equipment in the square of Chișinău will take place.