President Mircea Snegur’s foreign policy adviser Petru Dascal told a Chisinau briefing that the protocol on Russian-Moldovan mutual defense assistance, signed in February 1995 by Snegur and Boris Yeltsin, represents part of an effort to replace the obsolete 1990 political treaty with a new one. The 1995 protocol envisages Russian-Moldovan military consultations and joint military measures to remove threats to regional peace if either party requests the other’s assistance. Dascal claimed that the protocol does not violate Moldova’s constitution because the latter rules out only the country’s participation in military blocs, not in a bilateral alliance. He sidestepped the question whether the protocol violates Moldova’s permanent neutrality which the constitution enshrines (17)
The Agrarian-dominated parliament had intended the constitutional provision on neutrality mainly as a safeguard against an unwanted Russian alliance. Snegur yielded to Yeltsin’s pressure in signing the protocol without prior consultation with parliament, notwithstanding that the document requires parliamentary ratification. Snegur has since broken with the Agrarians, and the protocol is now up for consideration by parliament. Moscow has historically used agreements of this type to subjugate neighboring countries. For Moldova to enter into it while Russian troops are still in the country would compound the risk to its independence. Agrarian parliamentary leaders take the position that the protocol’s ratification can only be considered after the withdrawal of Russian troops; but the parliament and government are vulnerable to economic pressure and political blackmail over Transdniester.
Georgia Claims Share of Black Sea Fleet.