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    Only 23% of Moldovan Citizens Support Potential NATO Membership - Poll

    © Photo: Facebook / Ministerul Apărării al Republicii Moldova
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    CHISINAU (Sputnik) - Only 23 percent of Moldovan citizens would support the idea of their country joining NATO if Moldova held a referendum on the issue, a poll carried out by the US International Republican Institute (IRI) revealed on Friday.

    According to the results of the poll, a total of 35 percent of the respondents said that they would not approve of the country's potential NATO membership, while another 19 percent of the Moldovan citizens have not decided yet on their position and 23 percent of the respondents do not intend to vote at all if such a referendum is held.

    The poll also revealed that 40 percent of the respondents believed that Russia was Moldova's key economic partner and a total of 32 percent of the Moldovan citizens considered Moscow to be the country's main political ally, ahead of the European Union.

    READ MORE: Supporters of Moldova's Reunification With Romania Hold March in Chisinau

    More than half of the respondents — 55 percent — said that relations between Russia and Moldova were good, with another 29 percent considering bilateral relations to be in a poor state and yet another 12 percent saying that the two countries are neutral toward each other.

    The poll was carried out among 1,503 people between September 11 and October 16, with the margin of error being no more than 2.5 percent.

    The country's constitution states that Moldova is a neutral state, meaning that it does not align itself with political groups. However, Moldova has been engaged in bilateral cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program since 1994. A civilian NATO Liaison Office was opened in the country's capital in 2017. Moldova, in turn, has contributed more than 40 troops to the alliance's Kosovo Force (KFOR).

    In the first nine months of 2018, trade between Russia and Moldova amounted to $645 million, making Russia the country's second largest trading partner behind Romania, according to the Moldovan National Bureau of Statistics.

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