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January 28, 2023

President Iohannis decorates NATO Deputy SecGen Vershbow, thanks him for being Romania’s friend

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow on Monday was awarded Romania’s Star in rank of Grand Officer by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in appreciation of constant support to Romania and his vision for Euro-Atlantic development and security.

The high-ranking NATO official was in Bucharest for the Annual Meeting of Romania’s Diplomacy.

At the award ceremony hosted by the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, Iohannis thanked ambassador Vershbow “for his entire activity as deputy secretary general of NATO and for his direct and important contribution to NATO achieving its objectives.”

“His tenure has witnessed a highly dynamic period of time and a very complex security context marked by an accentuated lack of predictability, where the North-Atlantic Alliance had to simultaneously manage a whole series of serious challenges and threats, both in its eastern and its southern neighbourhoods,” said Iohannis.

The Romanian head of state said Vershbow is “a groundbreaker whose direct and efficient involvement has allowed NATO to undertake a part that has been ambitious and credible, besides being particularly efficient in managing current threats.” “His special experience and deep understanding of the developments in the eastern neighbourhood of NATO have been determinant in defining the consolidation measures for the eastern flank of NATO. Equally lauded has been his active involvement in NATO consolidating support for its partner states and deepening dialogue with them,” said Iohannis, adding that Vershbow has been Romania’s true friend.

Vershbow said in his turn that he is very honoured to receive the decoration, as it is a special honour for him to be acknowledged by a country that has an important contribution to NATO and NATO collective security.

He mentioned Romania’s involvement in NATO’s activities, saying that over the 12 years of its NATO membership, Romania has many times proved its value by participating in Afghanistan and Kosovo missions and by hosting key elements of the NATO missile defence system, as well as by actively contributing to the decisions of the recent NATO Summit in Warsaw to strengthen NATO defence and consolidate its positions.

Vershbow also mentioned the political environment when Central and Eastern European countries became NATO allies.

He said he is very proud to have been able to help shape up policies that allowed NATO to welcome in Romania and other Central European countries; former enemies, he said, became partners at first and then friends and very strong allies.

Vershbow added that he had the privilege of witnessing the involvement of Romanian troops NATO actions, saying that men and women from Romania as NATO military and civilian personnel have helped the Alliance be strong and Europe safe.


ForMin Comanescu: Romania supports energy security role for NATO


Romania is supporting an energy security role for NATO, Romania’s Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu said Monday at a meeting with visiting NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, according to a press statement by Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE).

Vershbow attended the works of the Annual Meeting of Romania’s Diplomacy as special guest of a plenary session called ‘Risk fusion – Neighbourhoods. Implications for Romania.”

The two high-ranking officials exchanged opinions on the results of the recent NATO Summit in Warsaw, as well as on NATO priorities in the period immediately ahead. In their conversation, they underscored the unity and solidarity of NATO Allies involved in the implementation of the summit decisions.

Also underscored was the determination of the Allies to ensure NATO’s efficient response to all the current security threats, irrespective of their provenance, as well as their commitment to consolidate relations with the partner states, particularly those in the alliance’s neighbourhood. The need for a consistent and unitary approach of the entire eastern flank was mentioned, with emphasis on the importance of keeping the Black Sea zone among the NATO priorities.

The two high-ranking officials also mentioned the importance of an ambitious role for NATO in the management of challenges coming from its southern neighbourhood in areas where NATO can bring real added value, to complete other international players. Minister Lazar Comanescu pointed out that “Romania is supporting an energy security role for NATO, given the complementariness among various components of security.”

Comanescu also underscored the need for appropriate preparations of the NATO ministerial meetings to be held late this year in order to implement, within the agreed deadlines, all the decisions adopted at the highest level in Warsaw. He insisted on the measures for adapted and advanced presence, agreed upon at NATO level for the eastern flank. He underlined the special importance of the decisions in question, as well as of the continuation of active support to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in a very complex regional context plagued by unpredictability and new tensions.

At the same time, the Romanian chief diplomat pointed to the crucial importance of NATO unity and solidarity, which he called some of the main assets of NATO that have to be preserved and further consolidated.

The NATO deputy secretary general thanked Romania for its consistent contributions to NATO missions and operations. He agreed with the need for full implementation of the Warsaw Summit decisions within the agreed deadlines, reiterating in his turn the importance attached by the Alliance to the measures for consolidating the deterrence and defence posture of NATO on its eastern flank, including in the Black Sea zone, as well as to relationships with the partner states in the same zone. Vershbow pointed out that unity is NATO’s most important resource, while the approval by the Warsaw Summit of a joint position on the challenges in the southern neighbourhood and the eastern neighbourhood proves that the Alliance is more united than ever.

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