Moldova should be armed “according to NATO standards” to protect itself against Russia, says Truss

The Ukrainian neighbor Moldova should be “equipped according to NATO standards” in order to protect it from possible Russian aggression, said the foreign minister.

Liz Truss said she wanted to ensure that Ukraine was “continued to be able to defend itself” and that this also applied to other “vulnerable states” such as Moldova, which is not a NATO member.

she said The Telegraph: “We are currently working on a joint commission with Ukraine and Poland to bring the Ukrainian defense up to NATO standards.”

“So we will explore what the Ukrainians need looks like. The question then is how do you maintain that over time?

“How do we ensure that there is deterrence through denial, that Ukraine is permanently capable of defending itself, and how do we guarantee that? We are working on that at the moment.

“And the same goes for other vulnerable states like Moldova. Again, since the threat is from Russia, we also need to make sure they are equipped to NATO standards.”

When asked if she would like Western arms and intelligence services to be made available to Moldova, Ms. Truss said: “I want Moldova to be equipped to NATO standards. This is a discussion we are having with our allies.”

When asked if this was because Russia posed a security threat to Moldova, she said: “Absolutely. I mean, Putin has made clear his ambitions to create a bigger Russia.

“And just because his attempts to take Kyiv were unsuccessful doesn’t mean he has given up on those ambitions.”

The Telegraph quoted an adviser as saying “NATO standard” would include members of the alliance supplying modern equipment to replace Soviet-era equipment and providing training on its use.

It comes as Boris Johnson spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the global response to the conflict in Ukraine.

The prime minister stressed that Finland and Sweden would be valuable additions to the Nato alliance, No10 said after Mr Erdogan said he was opposed to their joining – and accused the pair of not taking a ‘clear stance’ against groups that are his country as terrorists.

A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Johnson encouraged the Turkish president to work with his Swedish, Finnish and Nato counterparts to allay any concerns ahead of the alliance’s summit in Madrid in June.

The leaders shared their “deep concerns” about the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and its “far-reaching implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region and the wider world,” No. 10 said.

Additional reporting by PA Moldova should be armed “according to NATO standards” to protect itself against Russia, says Truss

Bobby Allyn

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