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NATO’s Stoltenberg in Bucharest: Romania, a strong ally in a strong Alliance.We see no immediate therat against a NATO ally

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated, on Thursday, following official talks in Bucharest with President Klaus Iohannis, that Romania is a “very determined” ally.

The NATO Secretary General said that Romania is a very determined ally, adding that Romania counts on NATO and NATO can count on Romania, following talks at the Cotroceni Palace with President Iohannis.

Stoltenberg’s first meeting with Iohannis  took place in Brussels, in January, on the first visit abroad made by the Romanian head of state after taking up office.

“Today, I assured the Secretary General of the full support for the efforts of the Alliance and I reiterated the invitation to visit Romania. We will agree an adequate time for it together”, Iohannis had announced on Jan. 16, after meeting Stoltenberg.

The Romanian leader also met the NATO top official at the European Council’s Summer gathering, on which occasion the two officials swapped views relating to the measures that the Alliance was targeting in order to cope with the challenges of the current security climate.

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is currently visiting Romania, having met today Defence Minister Mircea Dusa at the headquarters of the National Defence Ministry, Acting Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea at the Victoria Palace, as well as Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following the joint statements, Stoltenberg has participated in a working lunch together with President Klaus Iohannis, after which was scheduled a visit to the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) headquarters in Bucharest.

 

“NATO is ready to defend all allies against any type of threat and this applies to land and air space, and to territorial waters”

 

The high  NATO official  stated that the North Atlantic Alliance sees no immediate threat against a NATO ally, showing that security guarantees apply on land, sea and air.

Stoltenberg said at the end of the meeting with President Klaus Iohannis that it is important for him to emphasize that the security guarantees stipulated in article 5 of the NATO fundamental treaty cover the entire territory of all allies, including territorial waters and airspace. He added that NATO is ready to defend all allies against any type of threat and this applies to land and air space, and to territorial waters as well.

He was asked how he views Russia’s investigation into the legality of recognizing the Baltic states, the fact that Romania was “threatened” by Russian officials, and was further asked if NATO is ready to militarily support Romania in the realm of sea defence.

The NATO Secretary General showed that Norway too, the country where he was a politician, has a demarcation line in the Barents Sea and a common air border with Russia, adding once again that NATO guarantees cover not only on land, but on sea and in airspace as well.

 

President Iohannis: Romania wants to be security provider in complicated context

 

President Klaus Iohannis has stated, on Thursday that Romania wants to be a security provider in a “very complicated” context.

“As I stated and assumed through the National Defence Strategy, Romania envisages being not only a security beneficiary, but also a security provider in a very complicated context, together with its partners. Our actions, as a state, are toward this direction”, said Iohannis after official talks with visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

He explained that the talks with Stoltenberg targeted the cooperation and activity of Romania in the Alliance in view of the implementation of the decisions made by NATO Summit in Wales and in laying the groundwork for the Alliance Summit in Warsaw in 2016.

Iohannis said he and the Alliance chief swapped views of the security developments in the Alliance eastern neighbourhood, “an area in which the situation has deteriorated from the time of the last NATO Summit”.

“At the same time, we are being faced with bloody terrorist attacks and a serious humanitarian crisis in northern Africa, that threatens the security of the partners in southern Europe. All these force us, ahead of the Warsaw Summit, to a strategic adaptation and to re-thinking the long-term vision in order to efficiently answer the complex threats coming both from the East and South. Romania will be firmly committed to this collective move, by the side of NATO member states. We have the duty to make all efforts for re-establishing security in the region and for supporting the pro-Atlantic and pro-European route of our partners in the eastern neighbourhood”, he said.

The Romanian leader praised the enhanced attention given by NATO to re-ensure the eastern flank.

He stressed the talks also focused on the importance of continuing the open-doors policy in NATO.

“I consider welcome the decision made at the recent meeting of NATO defence ministers, which targets a set of support measures for the defence capabilities of the Republic of Moldova”, Iohannis said.

The President reconfirmed Romania’s significant contribution to the continued and adapted NATO mission in Afghanistan in the spirit of solidarity within the Alliance.

 

“ We do not want a new arms race”

 

Romania’s President emphasized that the NATO policy envisages the consolidation of security in the Euro-Atlantic space, adding that “we do not want a new arms race”.

“The entire demarche and policy of our Alliance envisages the consolidation of security in the Euro-Atlantic space. We do not want a confrontation with anyone. We do not want a new arms race. We are still relying on the understanding of all responsible political figures of the fact that it is to no state’s interest to pursue the escalation of a conflict that none can win economically or militarily”, said Iohannis, at the Cotroceni Palace, after the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

 

“Something similar to Cold War to be avoided; I haven’t had any contact with President Putin”

 

President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday said also, referring to the need for dialogue with the Russian Federation, that “it is important to avoid something similar to the Cold War” and pointed out he hadn’t discussed yet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The dialogue is always important and together with the partners, both of the EU and NATO, we are trying to avoid a situation in which the animosities would escalate in the relation with the Russian Federation. It is important to avoid something similar to the Cold War and, at the same time, it is important to find ways to continue a dialogue. Romania is on the exactly same page as NATO and the EU. At this stage, Romania is participating in these efforts together with the partners of the EU and NATO,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, after the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, when asked if he had a discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin since he took over the mandate as Romania’s President.

He underscored that he hadn’t talked with the Russian President yet.

“I personally haven’t had a contact with President Putin yet,” Iohannis said

 

Acting PM Oprea reconfirms Romania’s appreciation for NATO efforts to consolidate security of eastern Allies

 

Acting Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea has reconfirmed, during the meeting on Thursday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Romania’s appreciation for NATO efforts to “consolidate the security of the eastern Allies and for strengthening the collective defence dimension”.

According to a release of the Government to Agerpres, during the discussions, Oprea reiterated “Romania’s commitment regarding its substantial contribution to the missions and objectives of the North Atlantic Alliance, stating his belief that a powerful Alliance, united and equipped with the necessary resources and political will is indispensable to the stability and security of our region and of Europe”.

The acting PM showed that the security situation in Romania’s vicinity and in the Black Sea remains troubling, a fact that requests “increased attention on the part of NATO”.

Gabriel Oprea has also emphasized the importance that Romania grants to the trans-Atlantic relation and the “determination of the Government to increase the defence budget in order for it to reach a level of 2 pct of the GDP until 2017, as is the sense of the Allied decisions adopted at the NATO summit in September 2014”.

In that context, Oprea also accentuated the importance that Romania grants to implementing the decisions adopted by the heads of state and government last year in the United Kingdom, especially the NATO action plan in regards to increasing operational capacity.

Furthermore, the acting Prime Minister emphasized the interest for “an ambitious approach” of the agenda of the future Allied high-level meeting in Warsaw, in July 2016, in the sense of continuing the process of adapting NATO to the long-term impact security developments. He also presented the pursuits of the Government in relation to consolidating a “coherent and operational” institutional framework to prevent and combat non-conventional security risks and challenges.

In his turn, the NATO Secretary General stated his appreciation for Romania’s contribution to the NATO missions and objectives. He hailed Romania’s commitment in Afghanistan, the professionalism and dedication of Romanian servicemen, as well as the decision to increase defence spending and to consolidate operational capabilities.

 

Defence Minister  Dusa :Romania will supplement, improve contribution to NATO Response Force

 

National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa has met on Thursday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, occasion on which, referring to the progress accomplished in revising and optimizing the NATO Response Force (NRF), the Romanian official emphasized the fact that Romania “will supplement and improve its contribution to the NRF, including through the identification of forces and capabilities for the NATO Rapid Reaction Force (VJTF)”.

“Romania continues to implement measures for the operationalization of the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) in Bucharest, fulfilling thus all responsibilities befalling our country in its quality as host nation. Furthermore, we have in view an ambitious calendar in regards to making available to the Alliance the division-level headquarters (HQ MND SE) that will offer additional options to the leadership of the Alliance missions in the southern area of the Allied eastern flank,” said Minister Dusa, during the meeting that took place at the Ministry of National Defence (MApN), as the MApN informs in a release.

According to the quoted source, during the meeting, the two officials discussed current topics on the allied agenda, continuing the discussions started during the ministerial meeting in Brussels of last week. The implementation of the Plan to increase NATO operational capacity, the process of adapting the Alliance in the long-term in the perspective of the Warsaw Summit of 2016, as well as the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan were the main topics of discussion, the MApN Press Bureau adds.

In that same context, Minister Dusa emphasized the need to redress the defence budgets and imprint upon them an ascending trend. “NATO credibility depends, ultimately, on the allotment by member states of the necessary resources to ensure the military capabilities we need related to the complexity of the current security context. Romania is firmly committed in this direction”, said the Romanian official, as quoted by the MApN release.

The aforementioned source adds that, referring to the need for strategically adapting the Alliance in the long-term, an inter-institutional process of analysis regarding own contributions to the development of this project has already begun at the level of structures in the national defence system.

“In this sense, one of the proposals tabled was that Romania become a regional center for training and exercises in the south-east region of NATO”, MApN informs.

Furthermore, both the Minister of National Defence, as well as the NATO Secretary General voiced their appreciation for the progress recorded in consolidating the structures of the national union government of Afghanistan and the significant progress noted in regards to the modus operandi of Afghan security forces.

“Romania is ranked third among allies that contribute troops to the Resolute Support mission. The more than 650 Romanian servicemen are active in a geographically large area, both in the north, center, as well as the south”, the Defence Minister emphasized.

Starting with the parameters agreed for the Afghanistan mission, Minister Dusa pointed out the need for an analysis to target defining the timeframe of the NATO commitment in the region, pointing out, as well, the flexibility that Romania will manifest in identifying ways to cover eventual deficits at the level of generating forces process, Agerpres informs.

 

 

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