*Romania consolidates her position as regional actor
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Saturday in Warsaw that the NATO Summit has been a success, with the objectives approved by Romania’s Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) being attained, and Romania is consolidating her position as a regional actor that contributes to the maintenance of stability in a region of risks and challenges.
“The NATO Summit that has ended represents a very important moment for the Alliance and for Romania. I can say, with certainty, that it was a successful summit for Romania,” the Head of State said.
Iohannis also stated that Romania is consolidating her position as a regional actor that efficiently contributes to the maintenance of stability in a region with risks and challenges, and the Summit’s final declaration covers all topics of interest for Romania, which were included in the mandate approved by CSAT.
The President added that the decisions taken in Warsaw, coming as a continuation to those adopted at the Summit in the United Kingdom, have as a direct effect the consolidation of the security of the alliance and of Romania, and include the recognition of the Black Sea region. He pointed out that Poland has announced that it will contribute a company to the multinational brigade, and Bulgaria has reconfirmed it will contribute a battalion. “Romania, in her turn, takes on her share of responsibility and contributes an infantry company with logistical support elements to the NATO effort in Poland. So we are participating with a company in Poland,” the President said.
The balancing of security measures on the eastern flank – the multinational brigade, the decision to devise options for a forward naval and allied presence in the Black Sea, the development of the contingency plan obtained in the United Kingdom, the operationalisation of the ballistic missile defence shield and the integration of the Deveselu facility within the NATO system, these are the objectives that are found in the final declaration adopted by the allies.
“We have obtained development of new options for Black Sea region”
Klaus Iohannis announced on Saturday that Romania has obtained at the NATO summit in Warsaw the development of new options for the air and maritime dimensions of the Black Sea, showing that the project of the naval training and exercise framework will be continued.
“We have requested and obtained the development of new options for the air and maritime dimension of the Black Sea, in conformity with the things decided at the ministerial meeting of June. These will be discussed within NATO in the coming period and will be tackled by defence ministers in October,” Iohannis said.
He mentioned that the final declaration of the Summit contains a clear mention regarding this task undertaken by the NATO military authorities.
“We will continue the naval training and exercise framework project and we are awaiting with great interest the decisions of the defence ministers’ meeting,” the head of state said.
He showed that at the Summit a political-military evaluation of the security situation in the Black Sea region was approved, including within the implications for NATO.
“It may not sound sensational, but I can tell you it is an important accomplishment of Romania, because the initiation of this evaluation was made through the proposal put forward by Romania at the defence ministers’ meeting in May 2015 in Antalya. It is for the first time that such a document regarding the Black Sea is adopted, expressly mentioning a regulated process of political-military evaluation of the security situation in the Black Sea region. This analysis is the basis on which further measures will be taken by NATO,” he said.
Iohannis indicated that thusly the conceptual stage was surpassed and the concrete measures stage has begun operationally.
“The final release adopted today explicitly reconfirms the Black Sea’s strategic importance for the Alliance, a result that is very important for us,” said the head of state.
Division Command and NATO Force Integration Unit were certified at Warsaw Summit
President Klaus Iohannis also stated on Saturday that the NATO Summit in Warsaw saw the certification of the NATO Division Command and the NATO Force Integration Unit on Romanian soil.
He noted that he has requested insistently, both within NATO, as well as through numerous bilateral demarches in allied capitals, that balance be brought to measures taken on the entire flank, between North and South, showing that this was obtained at the Summit.
“The two types of measures, for the north and south of the eastern flank, are complementary, contributing proportionally, meaning they are adapted to the particularities of the security situation in each dimension, to achieving the new posture of NATO of deterrence and defence,” said Iohannis.
He mentioned that in what regards command and control structures the NATO Force Integration Unit was fully operational since July 1, showing that on that date the Multinational Division Southeast headquarters, assumed by our country, reached initial capacity.
“Both the Division Command, as well as the NATO Force Integration Unit were certified at this Summit and, more so, for the [Division] Command the role of coordination for the two NATO Force Integration Units in Romania and Bulgaria was confirmed. Thus, we have two permanent NATO control and command structures on our soil, of which one, the division-level, acts regionally. These are capable to facilitate the rapid deployment of allied forces in the region, in the support of collective defence, if need be, as well as to coordinate the preparation of allied troops, to plan and to lead complex multinational exercises,” the head of state showed.
US announced participation in NATO exercises in Romania starting with 2017
The United States of America have announced their consistent participation in NATO exercises on Romanian soil starting with 2017, President Iohannis told the press conference after the Summit in Warsaw.
Furthermore, he mentioned that Turkey will also participate in exercises on Romanian soil with a brigade.
“The US have announced a consistent participation in exercises on Romanian soil, starting with 2017. Furthermore, Turkey will participate in exercises on Romanian soil with brigade-level unit,” said Iohannis, in a press conference.
He showed that this American presence is done on the basis of a bilateral agreement and does not have as a basis the decisions taken at the Warsaw Summit.
“It is done within the framework of rotational presence, which is planned to take place starting with 2017. These servicemen will come to Romania, they will be stationed for a while. We are speaking of an important number of servicemen that will come, will stay in Romania, they will train together with our soldiers,” said Iohannis.
Romania starts to play natural role of important regional actor
In addition, President Iohannis has stated that Romania is starting to play its natural role of important regional actor.
“In the first years, we acted [e.n. – in NATO and the EU] as a sort of guest with some obligations, meaning we entered and conformed, we did what we were told, which, in essence, is correct,” said Iohannis in a press conference.
He showed that, in what regards the EU, unfortunately, Romania lacked a plan, yet mentioned that through the national project Romania’s ambitions will be defined. Furthermore, he showed that in what regards NATO things moved even slower.
“For many years we have been in the posture of an allied state that receives security, we were a beneficiary of security defined by NATO. Recently, Romania registered, partly due to this support received, development which was positive and beneficial to Romania and Romanians. Thus, we were lucky that in the security domain larger ambitions than simply being a good executor appeared. We have an Army leadership which is competent and ambitious and, thus, Romania is starting to enter its natural role of important regional actor. We have the ambition to be an actor, to be active, we want to project security and stability in the region. The Allies have recognized that we have gone to the next level, not only as ambition, but that we have resources, they gave us two NATO units, one of which is already, obviously, of regional importance. Romania allots important resources for these things. Nobody should imagine that these things happen by themselves,” said Iohannis.
He emphasized that Romania has made progress in NATO.
“We have got to the situation in which we give a military unit to Poland, we support them. We have got to the point, a thing unimaginable a few short years ago, to not only have allied forces in Romania, but to command [them]. We have established, we have proposed and we are commanding this brigade. The others are coming to join us. It is a sensational accomplishment. And this accomplishment, we must be very honest, was possible because our army, the Romanian army has proved that it is serious, competent and steadfast. These things were demonstrated firstly in the many theatres of operations where our servicemen went with capable commanders, gifted commanders and made a name for the Romanian army. And, after that, this development was possible, putting us, effectively, in line with the other Allies,” the head of state concluded.