Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said on Tuesday that Romania is ready to “actually” commit itself, “with resources”, to strengthening NATO’s presence on the Eastern Flank, pointing out that in the coming period he would make proposals for discussions at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw.
“I’ve underscored Romania’s priorities and expectations from the NATO Summit in Warsaw. We hope to see a strengthened NATO presence on the Eastern Flank (…) and here I underscored that Romania is ready to commit itself, not only on a declarative level, but also in a very concrete manner, with resources, to strengthening the NATO presence on the Eastern Flank, to an advanced presence of the allied forces on the Eastern Flank; in the coming days and weeks, we shall come up with actual proposals that can be taken into account in the discussions at the summit in Warsaw,” Ciolos told a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Ciolos said that during the talks he also underlined the importance of the Black Sea region, where Romania wants “an active presence of NATO.”
“Romania will already take the initiative to strengthen the cooperation with the neighbouring countries, with Bulgaria and Tureky, and we hope that this collaboration will turn into a multinational one, with a rotating presence of other NATO members,” the prime minister added.
NATO’s Stoltenberg: I commend Romania for increasing spending on defence
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday recommended Romania to keep on increasing its defence spending in the coming years, saying that this is a very important thing for the NATO members.
“I commend Romania for increasing your spending on defence in 2015, and for your commitment to continue this increase in the years ahead. This is key for our Alliance as we respond to security challenges in a changed world, where we all face a new and demanding security environment,” Stoltenberg told a joint press conference with Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, at NATO’s headquarters.
He mentioned that Romania “is also hosting important NATO assets, like the Multinational Division South East, which was activated in December and will strengthen the defence of our Alliance.”
“Last year I visited the NATO Force Integration Unit in Bucharest, one of the eight small new headquarters we are setting up in the Eastern part of our Alliance. It will contribute to planning, exercises, and help ensure NATO troops can deploy to Romania quickly, if needed. Romania will also host a vital part of the NATO missile-defence system in Deveselu,” the NATO secretary general also said.
In his turn, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said that in their conversation he underscored Romania’s commitment to equip its armed forces and that the political determination to secure 2 percent of the GDP for defence is firm.
“About defence spending, there is a political commitment of the parliamentary political parties and of Romania’s President and the current Government to continue this process of increasing the public defence spending to reach 2 percent, we hope starting next year, and to maintain this level over the next 10 years, with the funds to be used to improve troops’ lives, and also to equip the armed forces,” said Ciolos.