PM: NATO accession anniversary comes at time of maximum security crisis in the region


The 10th anniversary of Romania’s NATO accession came at a time of instability in the region, Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a symposium on the Alliance enlargement in 2014 held on Monday.
‘We celebrated ten years since our NATO accession in a year in which there certainly is the biggest security crisis in the region Romania is part of. Therefore, it was not only a celebration, I think at the same time it was a moment to express the concern and a moment when Romania, on the one hand, realizes how important it is that we should belong to an international security framework, but also the fact that this unstable atmosphere in the region is not final, that challenges appear and will continue to appear and that Romania, alongside its allies should adjust and work out its strategy for what is going to happen in the region and in the world in the years to come,’ Ponta told a symposium on NATO Enlargement in 2014: A Decade of Vigorous Contribution, Responsibility and Commitment to a New Alliance hosted by the Palace of Parliament. The prime minister thanked the politicians having made a major contribution to Romania’s NATO integration.
Attending the event organised by the National Defence Ministry also were FM Titus Corlatean, Vice Prime Ministers Gabriel Oprea and Daniel Constantin, Defence Minister Mircea Dusa as well as former Presidents of Romania Emil Constantinescu and Ion Iliescu.
Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean on Monday said Romania has achieved its highest degree of security following its accession to the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).
‘Accession to NATO has generated Romania’s highest security degree in its contemporary history, while also imparting it the capacity to actively contribute to the drawing up and implementation of NATO policies. Over the past decade, Romania has created its profile of a credible and reliable partner inside NATO able to significantly contribute to providing security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic space, and also to the projection of such values on the eastern neighbourhood,’ Corlatean told  the symposium.
Minister of the Interior Gabriel Oprea reasserted that Romania has proved over the past decade that it is not only a beneficiary but also a permanent supplier of security within the NATO. As for the High representative of the Government for public diplomacy Mircea Geoana, he said during a symposium that the events in Ukraine and Crimea and the reappearance of Russia as an “aggressive power” at international level forces the NATO to adapt the way they think the collective defence.
“If the hard border, strategically and military speaking, will be the eastern border of Romania, we can anticipate that the soft, commercial border, the border of influence and balance between East and West will be beyond Romania’s eastern border,” said Geoana.
Poll: Over 50 pc of Romanians show great deal or fair amount of confidence in NATO
The North Atlantic Alliance has the confidence of 50.5 percent of Romanians, according to cumulated data of eight polls conducted by INSCOP that were published on Monday. While 50.5 percent of the respondents show a great deal or fair amount of confidence in NATO, 49.5 put not very much trust or no trust at all in it. In March 2013, the percentage of favourable opinions was 52.1; one year later, it has declined to 48.5 percent. According to INSCOP, confidence in NATO is higher among men (52.7 percent) than among women (48.4 percent). The highest degree of confidence in NATO was found in the provinces of Moldova and Bucovina (east and northeast), where 54.2 percent of the answers indicated a great deal or a fair amount of trust; next came Banat and Crisana (western Romania) with 52.1 percent, Muntenia, Oltenia and Dobrogea (southern half of the country, from west to easternmost) with 51.9 percent, and Transylvania (center) with 42.2 percent. Research was based on data collected in eight polls within the ‘Public opinion barometer – The truth on Romania’ project carried out by INSCOP and ordered by Adevarul media organization.
Ponta, willing to increase the Defence budget
PM Victor Ponta said on Monday that he is willing to go in December in front of the Parliament to plead in favour of increasing the budget for Defence by 0.2 per cent of the GDP over the next three years so that it should reach 2 per cent of the GDP in 2016-2017. Inquired in what position he is going to plead, as he posted on Facebook a message saying he is going to withdraw in November to be closer to his family, Ponta said his position is that of the prime minister who must elaborate the budget for the Parliament. “Those who talk most about the army on TV are those who cut most from the Army. … So, those who talked about the NATO the most, Boc and Basescu, they made the most cuts from the Army, not to mention how they mocked the retired military,” accused the prime minister.

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