Minister of National Defence Mihnea Motoc said on Thursday that people have high expectations of the Army and of the alliance Romania is member of, and that 2016 will be a “difficult” and even “more intense” year than the one before.
“We have undoubtedly a difficult year ahead of us, even more intense than 2015. People have high expectations of their Army and the military alliance we are a member of. We have a number of major international commitments to honor and developments in the international milieu are becoming increasingly less predictable. Deadlines are short and exigencies high. The higher the uncertainties of the international environment and the steeper the decline of our predictive capacity in a time projection, the more our armed forces need to be easily adaptable. Today, the intelligent use of information can bring strategic advantages in defence, even higher than a tank division. Therefore, we must seriously and courageously reflect on our priorities and programs for the future,” said Motoc at the presentation of the Defence Ministry’s 2015 activity report.
He called for support from the country’s political leaders for the Ministry’s projects to be carried out.
“We won’t succeed but with the continued support of the state’s political leadership and of the Government, we won’t succeed unless we cooperate with our colleagues in the institutions of the defence system, public order and national security, and of course nothing is possible without the same dedication, selflessness, endurance and resilience the staff of the National Defence Ministry has fully proven in 2015. (…) Please count on the Army to carry through all its missions and tasks,” added Mihnea Motoc.
The MApN activity report on 2015 and the main goals for this year were presented by Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc, with President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos and Chief of General Staff Nicolae Ciuca also attending the event.
Iohannis: Extending what we did last year, main stake in 2016
President Klaus Iohannis told a 2015 activity report meeting of the Defence Ministry (MApN) on Thursday that the main stake in 2016 is expanding the national defence strategy, Romania’s strategic partnerships and commitments to NATO and other organisations.
“The main stake in 2016 is for us to continue expanding to the next level all that we started the previous year. And I mean here the implementation of the National Defence Strategy, our strategic partnerships, particularly with the US and our commitments to NATO and other organisations of which we are a member. We will have to adjust continually to complex and dynamic realities, and to this end, we need knowledge and anticipation, efficient organisations and cooperation, both between organisations domestically and internationally with our allies and partners. The reality in which we live continually shows us the importance of solid strategic alliances and partnerships in areas of defence and security,” said Iohannis.
“I fully trust the Army”
Klaus Iohannis said that he fully trusts Romania’s Army, underscoring that this is a model institution.
“With the patriotism shown by both military and civilian staff, you have turned Romania’s Army into a model. The Army is one of the Romanian state’s pillars, a fundamental institution the Romanians regard with respect and pride. I fully trust the Army,” the head of state said at the presentation of the 2015 activity report of the National Defence Ministry.
He mentioned that he was particular on participating in this event in order to honour the Army and in sign of respect for those serving their country under the tricolour flag.
President Iohannis announces plans to generate strong, ambitious mandate for Romania at NATO Summit
President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday said that he plans to generate, together with other institutions, a strong and ambitious mandate for Romania at the NATO Summit that will take place in Warsaw in July, showing that the Black Sea region’s strategic valences for the Alliance must be reaffirmed, by moving to establish a multinational naval group.
“From the perspective of foreign policy and security, one of the most important events this year is Romania’s participation in the NATO Summit in Warsaw. (…) In my capacity as President, my intention is that, together with all the institutions in charge, mainly the MApN [the National Defence Ministry] and the Foreign Ministry, we generate a strong and ambitious mandate for Romania at this summit, one that matches its status of responsible and credible ally. Romania supports the strengthening of the North-Atlantic Alliance’s role in collective defence and granting an enhanced attention both to the challenges on the eastern flank, particularly those from the Black Sea region, and to those on the southern flank,” the head of state said at the presentation of the MApN activity report on 2015.
He underscored that the strategic valences of the Black Sea region for NATO will need to be reaffirmed and materialized by initiating steps to establish a multinational naval group.
The head of state showed that the allied presence on the national territory will have to be strengthened by making operational the command and control structures that should then operate at optimum parameters.
“In parallel, we must adapt the command and control structure, ensure the necessary capabilities, as well as correlate the integrated planning with the equipping and procurement planning,” Iohannis said.
According to him, the responsible and efficient management of resources, both for equipping and for training, will be essential this year.
“The completion of the two major documents of the ministry – the Defence White Paper and the Military Strategy, will help you ensure strategic consistency. Moreover, we shall closely monitor the completion of the new European Global Strategy, which, after the presentation and approval in the European Council, will have to provide the orientation framework on a European level in the area of long-term security,” the head of state added.
PM Ciolos: Romania remains security anchor in this region
In a complicated geopolitical context, Romania will continue to be a security provider at the eastern border of NATO and the EU, said Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, attending on Thursday the presentation of the 2015 report on the activity of the National Defence Ministry (MApN).
“The geopolitical context is a complicated one. Romania remains a security anchor in this region. Our country will continue to be a security provider at NATO’s and the European Union’s eastern border. In this capacity, we have the responsibility to secure and strengthen at the same time the national security, but also to contribute to ensuring NATO’s collective defence,” Ciolos said.
The PM underscored that to this end it is essential to increase the Defence budget to a minimum 2 percent of the GDP in 2017 and “to maintain this level for the next ten years, at least.”
Ciolos added that in the future, the Romanian Forces operational capacity must be enhanced “in correlation with the allotment of the necessary funds for equipment, including with major equipment.”
“In order to materialize this priority of the National Defence Ministry, a strategic review of defence might be considered, which is actually also mentioned in the report, given the developments in the security environment; this revision is encompassed by the legislative framework in force or underway,” the PM pointed out.