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200 US soldiers due in Moldova for military exercises

May 2, 2016

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Some 200 U.S. soldiers will arrive in Moldova for more than two weeks of exercises, in a show of U.S. military strength in the region.

The Moldovan defense ministry said the troops will arrive Monday from Romania in dozens of armored vehicles for the exercises.

Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition says it will stage protests against the May 3-20 joint exercises.

Some 165 Moldovan troops and peacekeepers will take part in the exercises in the country of 3.5 million located between Romania and Ukraine.

The U.S. embassy said medical treatment and evacuation, field maintenance, and basic demolitions will be among the training exercises, which mark ongoing cooperation with the U.S.

Moldova joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 1994. Less than 20 percent of Moldovans want to join the military alliance.