Ion Costaş (b. 1944, Ţarigrad) is a Moldovan soldier and a former Minister of Interior (1990–1992) and Defence (1992).
He is a leader of the Democratic Forum of Romanians in Moldova.
Ion Costaş was born in 1944 in the village of Ţarigrad (Drochia District) in a peasant family of Romanian ethnicity. Between 1949-1957, he was with his parents in Kazakhstan, where they had been deported following conviction of 25 years of hard labor (being accused of being accomplice with fascists). He graduated Higher Military Aviation School from Kharkiv (1967), Gagarin Air Force Academy in Moscow (1976) and the Police Academy in Moscow.
During 1967-1984 he worked as aviation officer in the Soviet Army, first as a pilot (1967), squadron commander (1976-1978) and then as deputy commander of joined troops(1978-1980). Becomes regimental commander (1980-1983), with 102 fighters under his direction and then deputy commander of the 14th Army (Soviet Union) on aviation issues.
In 1984 was appointed deputy commander DOSAAF (Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Fleet) RSS Moldavia (Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic), and the following year became commander of the Central Committee of DOSAAF, holding this position until in 1990. He was promoted in October 1988 to the rank of General-Major of the Soviet Army aviation.
In 1990 he was appointed Chairman of Committee Supreme Soviet of RSS Moldavia for State Security and Military Affairs, and in September 1990 - a member of the Presidential Council of the Republic of Moldova. Between 1990-1992, General Ion Costaş served as Minister of Internal Affairs in the Government of Moldova.
State by Presidential Decree no. 20 of 5 February 1992, Division General Ion Costaş was appointed as the first Minister of Defence of the Republic, but was dismissed (along with Anatol Plugaru, Security Minister) after Moldovan troops lost the fighting to restore part of Moldova Transnistria against Transnistrian paramilitary troops and 14th Russian Army, led by General Aleksandr Lebed.
He was then appointed as military attache in Romania, where he was recalled in October 1993 and went into reserve.
Ion Costaş was awarded the order "Service in the armed forces of their native country" grade III with 6 medals. On 24 February 2010, the Minister of Internal Affairs, General Victor Catan, Gen. Ion Costaş was decorated with "The Cross of Merit", the highest distinction of the MIA with occasion of celebrating of his birthday.
After retiring from politics in 1993, Ion Costas has entered the business sector. He is currently the general manager of Crystal System, an international group specialized in Information Technology. He was previously a regional manager for Hewlett Packard and for the Petrom, a large Romanian oil company.