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MoD slams F-16 deal opponents

Defence Minister Gabriel Oprea claims in an interview for Agerpres that the ones opposing the army’s acquisition programs ‘play with soldiers’ lives and address national security issues in a superficial manner.’ The statement comes against the backdrop of the Supreme Defense Council’s decision to buy F-16 fighter jets and of the controversies that it has stirred. The Ministry of Defence considers that although there are voices opposing it the deal represents a realistic and feasible solution in whose absence Romania would risk being left with no fighter jets in three years’ time and of being unable to live up to the exigencies derived from its statute as NATO member.


Oprea adds that the top priority for 2010, a year of major financial difficulties, is to ensure budget resources the system needs in order to work at normal parameters. ‘I am mainly interested in the priority of ensuring funds for salaries, for training, for the deployment of our troops abroad and their operations there, mainly in Afghanistan. Ensuring financing for mainstay activities is our top priority,’ Oprea said. The Minister stated that after the economic recovery the army ‘has to receive the funds it needs in order to fulfill all of its international commitments.’


Minister Oprea welcomed the fact that Romania was invited to take part in the missile defense system, opining that it represents new confirmation of the very good cooperation between the Romanian and American armies. In his opinion, NATO’s HUMINT center of excellence recently inaugurated in Oradea ‘is a confirmation of the trust and prestige that the Romanian Army enjoys among allied states.’

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