In a press statement issued to address “frantically maintained” speculations, Defence Minister Gabriel Oprea assured that he will not step down from his position with the Ministry of National Defence (MoD), Mediafax reports. In the statement sent to press agencies Friday, the minister says that he accepted the position in MoD “with the utmost responsibility and devotion,” as he has stronger affective bonds with this ministry than with any other institution. “I am a retired general of the Romanian Army, I am a member of this great family which brought me up and gave me my professional training and, in this context, the responsibility I was entrusted with, represents a kind of honour that cannot be minimised by any political calculation,” Oprea mentions. According to the minister, all the efforts he made in the service of the Army and of active and retired Army personnel prove that he never had, and does not have the intention to leave the Ministry. “I strongly reject all speculations about a supposed intention to take over the Ministry of Administration and Interior, or any other ministry. All these lies were launched with the obvious intent to stir discord inside the Coalition and provoke tension inside the Government,” Oprea added.