NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday was welcomed with military honours at the headquarters of Romania’s Defence Ministry (MoD) in Bucharest, in the presence of Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Defence Minister Mircea Dusa. President Traian Basescu also welcomed the visiting NATO Secretary General for official talks, holding a joint press conference.
After meeting with President Basescu, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Romania is not alone, any ally of the North Atlantic Alliance enjoys ‘full protection’. Romania is not alone, you are part of NATO and any ally enjoys full protection from NATO. That is why we have reinforced our air, sea and land presence from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, including here in Romania, and we shall do what is necessary, however necessary, because Russia’s aggression undermines the very principles we have built, peace and prosperity,’ Rasmussen said.
The NATO chief said that the talks with President Basescu focused on ‘the serious crisis’ unfolding at the Alliance’s borders, also adding that NATO’s task is to defend and protect its allies, pointing out that the commitment in this respect is extremely solid.
Rasmussen said that Romania is a powerful, committed and reliable country on the 10th anniversary of Romania’s NATO accession. He stressed Romania played an outstanding role in Afghanistan and is very active in the NATO programmes aimed at improving the military capability, including the anti-missile defence. ‘You have proved that it’s possible to reverse the downward trend in national defence budgets and make substantial investments in substantial capabilities,’ the NATO official said.
Answering to a question regarding the statement made by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk that Russia allegedly wants to break out the Third World War by the military and political occupation of Ukraine, Rasmussen stressed it is a bit dramatic to discuss of World War III.
“I think it is a bit dramatic to discuss of World War III, but I can assure you NATO is ready to defend and protect its allies in an efficient manner. That is why we took immediate measures to consolidate the collective defence by the air forces in the Baltic states, by deploying Avax aircraft over Poland and Romania, you have seen the naval presence in the Black Sea and in the Baltic Sea, more forces on ground”, the NATO Secretary General said, adding Ukraine will have to decide on its affiliation to whatever alliances it wants to join, and the nation must have the right to choose its security policies.
Russian Ambassador: Decision to deny Rogozin plane access not positive gesture at all
The Russian Federation’s ambassador to Romania Oleg Malginov said in an interview on Saturday that the Romanian authorities’ decision to deny a plane carrying Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin access to the Romanian air space was not a ‘friendly gesture’. ‘We did not consider this incident as a friendly gesture. It was an official delegation, at any rate. It was the vice prime minister, the culture minister, a number of deputies and other officials. It was considered as a not positive gesture at all by the Russian Federation,’ Malginov told Digi24 news channel. When asked whether he has clarified the incident with the Romanian foreign ministry, the Russian diplomat answered: ‘The process is under way, yes.’