Chief of Navy Staff Rear Admiral Alexandru Mirsu (photo C) drew attention in an interview with Agerpres upon the “unpredictable security climate” in the Black Sea extended region.
He mentioned that the responsibility to build up an Allied flotilla in this region rests upon the three NATO members around the Black Sea – Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey – as the Montreux Convention does not allow warships of non-riparian states to stay in the Black Sea for more than 21 days.
“The Romanian Navy is now ready to face an aggression depending on its magnitude, on the capacities a military action would imply. Our crews and ships are ready for battle actions in missions for which its vessels are intended, with the weapons, technique and capabilities currently on board. Our staff is prepared to make the maximum from the our present technical capabilities,” the rear admiral said.
Romania, given its position on the eastern flank of NATO, has a special importance in the strategy of securing this flank of the Alliance and of Europe. The Romanian Navy is working and taking all necessary measures to secure Romania’s area of responsibility in maritime terms, through prevention and patrol operations, which are in no way provocative and do not escalate the tensions already existing in the Black Sea basin, the commander insisted.
Since 2014, Romania has begun upgrading its naval capability; budgets were no longer cut – on the contrary, they increased.
Since the country has begun its cooperation with the allied forces within the Partnership for Peace in 1994, in preparation of its accession to NATO, the Romanian Navy has been restructured and modernized; it has some 40 river and sea ships and nearly 8,000 military and civil staff, down from 30,000 in the ’90s.