NATO summit: Romania requests the strengthening of the Alliance’s Eastern flank

We want to participate as a “coordinator state” to the NATO project for supporting Ukraine in cyber defense, president Basescu outlined. PM Ponta: “All state institutions have a common position at the Summit; it is a happy case”. “Our NATO Summit here in Wales will be one of the most important Summits in the history of our Alliance. A crucial Summit at a crucial time. This summit will shape the future NATO,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the beginning of the summit.

In Wales Thursday was the opening day for the NATO summit, where the US president Barack Obama and the other leaders of the Alliance states meet, having a main old and familiar goal – the protection of vulnerable NATO members from Russia.
At the summit, Romania targets a “clear defining” of the future relations between the Alliance and Russia. The Romanian head of state said that our country aims to obtain a consolidation of the entire Eastern flank of the Alliance, not just the Northeastern one, which involves placing Romania in the permanent alert and response systems.
Ahead the summit, president Traian Basescu made a series of statements at the Romanian Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) meeting which took place on Wednesday. The presence of NATO fighter aircraft in the territory of Romania and the country’s possible participation as a coordinating state of the cyber defense of Ukraine were among the topics most discussed then, according to Agerpres. “The aircraft will be stationed by rotation and is part of NATO integrated defense system and alongside the Romanian aviation it will provide air police, which means that beyond the fighter jets there will be stationed in the Romanian territory also 200 troops, pilots, mechanics and maintenance staff for NATO allies’ aircraft that should provide air police in the space Romania is responsible for. Such a decision has been made and we will communicate it to NATO,” Basescu told reporters at Cotroceni Palace.
The head of state stressed that Romania, by the decision made by the Defense Council may take upon itself one of NATO programmes relating the cyber defense of Ukraine.

“We may participate as a coordinating state in the project relating NATO fund for support for Ukraine in cyber defense. Romania is ready to take upon itself one of the four NATO programmes in the capacity of a leading nation and the programme we wish to take upon ourselves is related to the cyber defense of Ukraine,” the president announced.
“Russia’s actions in Ukraine have reached limits verging on the irrational”
The actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine have reached “limits verging on the irrational,” stated Basescu on Wednesday adding that this is why Romania will be asking at the NATO summit the consolidation of the entire eastern flank.
In the press statements delivered at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, he said that Romania’s objectives and aspirations at the summit are generated by events in Ukraine and by “what President Putin has shown us to be the actions of the Russian Federation”.
“Their action has reached limits verging on the irrational, because as long as we violate international agreements, fail to observe the borders of the states in Europe we can no longer talk of the rational, and that is when the irrational and unpredictable set in,” said Basescu.
He added that starting from these premises, Romania will generically ask for a consolidation of the eastern flank of NATO from north to south.
“That also means introducing Romania in the permanent warning and response capabilities. There are various means to reach such objectives, besides achieving the capabilities to consolidate the entire eastern flank,” said Basescu.
He also mentioned that Romania is asking for increased interoperability between Romania’s armed forces and other similar forces of  NATO member states, including the land, air and naval armies, with special emphasis on increasing interoperability between Romania’s Navy and similar armies of other NATO member states, given “the extraordinary power of the Russian Federation’s Black Sea fleet”. “We are not hiding the fact that the presence of that fleet generates worries to us. And then, a large number of drills entailing the presence of NATO allies’ ships in the Black Sea, alongside the fleets of Romania and Bulgaria is of great interest to Romania,” Basescu added.
He pointed out that Romania is interested in the existence on its soil of command structures of NATO forces, but not at a very high level.
“We would like NATO summit to clarify NATO’s approach of a hybrid war”
Basescu on Wednesday also said that Romania would like the NATO summit to clarify the position of the NATO allies when there is talk of a hybrid war. “We would like the summit to clarify the position of the NATO allies when faced with a hybrid war, such as the one going on in eastern Ukraine and having been conducted in Crimea. What I mean to say is a state fails to acknowledge that it is sending troops that do not bear the insignia of the state or the army of which they really belong, those people coordinate the occupation of a territory, the expansion of military and political control over some countries or parts thereof, but that does not justify the application of Article 5. Our point of view is that each state should be able to cope with such challenges, should have the capabilities to meet such challenges. But, when pressure is put on a state using conventional armies at its borders, which is a direct or indirect support to those who emerged like some green little men in eastern Ukraine or Crimea, than NATO’s intervention against the forces that are at the national borders of a NATO member state is mandatory, because a smaller state cannot cope with both a domestic war generated by the green men and pressure from armies ostensibly gathered at the national borders and that, directly or indirectly, is major support for the insurgents,” Basescu said in press remarks delivered at Cotroceni Palace.
He underscored that Romania hopes the incoming NATO summit in Wales will define the application of Article 5 in the NATO treaty “in instances that Russia has shown it can generate”. “This is a new kind of war which, we have to acknowledge – is very successful in the case of weak states, in states that neglect their own armed forces and security forces, in countries where corruption affects the running of public institutions. Hybrid war actions are successful in such weak states. In strong states, they will never succeed,” said Basescu.
The development of missile defense, top-objective at the summit
Romania expects the NATO summit to confirm the further development of the missile defense system in order to fully protect Europe. “We expect this NATO summit to record the progress and to confirm the further development of NATO’s missile defense system. For the moment, we find ourselves at the stage at which the system is based on a Romania-US bilateral agreement,” Basescu said after the CSAT meeting.
The head of state noted that the placement of missiles in Romania will be completed in 2015, but Romania would like “at this summit to be reconfirmed the continuation of the process of missile shield installing in order to fully protect Europe.”
Who attends the summit
Romania’s President Traian Basescu, Defense Minister Mircea Dusa and Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean are attending the summit meeting of NATO in Wales.
The accompanying official retinue includes the Chief of the General Army Staff Stefan Danila, presidential advisers Iulian Chifu and Iulian Fota, state secretary with Romania’s Foreign Ministry Bogdan Aurescu and presidential spokesman Bogdan Oprea.
Among the attendees at the NATO summit are US President Barack Obama, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, chairman-in-office of the European Council Herman van Rompuy, and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, who has recently stated himself in favor of Ukraine resuming its rapprochement to NATO.

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