DEFENCE

President Iohannis: 2nd Infantry Brigade to become multinational brigade. Defence Minister’s proposal adopted by CSAT

President Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday, at the end of the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) meeting, that the multinational brigade agreed at NATO’s Warsaw Summit will be headquartered in Craiova and will have the 2nd Infantry Brigade at its core. The Head of State added that the draft cybersecurity bill is being prepared by the Government and will be finalised by the end of the year.

“The multinational brigade we treated separately on the agenda of the CSAT meeting, because in this matter there are decisions to be taken that are validated separately in the CSAT. I can announce, as a first, that very important steps have been taken to put into practice this decision, more precisely the National Defence Ministry has decided which unit in Romania will become this multinational brigade. The Rovine 2nd Infantry Brigade will take on the role of multinational brigade. This brigade is headquartered in Craiova and there the multinational brigade will function,” said the head of state at the Cotroceni Palace.

He also added that it is not an opportune time to mention who Romania is negotiating with for presence in this multinational brigade, before discussions are finalized.

“Now in October there will be the Defence ministers’ meeting. Mr. Minister of Defence will meet there with colleagues from allied countries and we will make this announcement, when we shall know for sure who and with what troops is participating, how this multinational brigade will look like, because this depends also on how NATO sees this multinational brigade. We believe that during 2017 we will be in the situation to declare the initial capacity of this Brigade. (…) and in the most optimistic option, in 2018 this brigade will be functional,” the head of state said.

“The order of the day consisted of the strategy concerning the developments in the Middle East, a very important issue included on the order of the day because CSAT wanted to process a first report from the Foreign Ministry. We have a sustainable approach that entails the resumption of relations, economic relations in particular, with these countries, relations that were partially interrupted by the war in Syria. For Romania this region continues to be important,” he added.

Likewise, the order of the day also included a point concerning the relationship between Romania and the Republic of Moldova. “We have noticed, based on the Foreign Minister’s report, that our relationship has to become better, more pragmatic and more predictable. In order to improve the way in which the Romania – Republic of Moldova relationship is approached, it was decided to work on a medium and long-term strategy in order to establish how we will position ourselves in this relationship. There is the need for deeper economic involvement in the relations with the Republic of Moldova. Developments in Moldova have showed that pro-European parties have difficulties and these difficulties were very visible after the parliamentary elections. There is the need for an improved relationship; the fact that Romania supports Moldova with an important credit line is just a start, we believe there is the need for much more important involvement and there is the need for our involvement in the construction and strengthening of democratic institutions,” Iohannis said.

 

Need to restructure ROMARM

 

President Klaus Iohannis also stated on Tuesday, at the end of the Supreme Defence Council meeting, that there is the need to restructure the Romanian weapons and munitions manufacturer ROMARM.

“There is the need to restructure the ROMARM national company in order to make it more efficient, credible and sufficiently large to become a serious partner for an investor, especially a foreign investor. There is the need for correlation between the Romanian armed forces’ need for equipment and ROMARM’s offer,” said Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace.

He mentioned there will be intense work especially at the Economy Ministry and at the Defence Ministry in order for this correlation to be established.

 

Cybersecurity bill to be completed late this year

 

At the same time, Iohannis said, a very important issue, particularly in the current geopolitical context, was the assessment of the cybersecurity level. “There were attempts to go to Parliament, so far without notable success. The document is being prepared at Government level and this draft bill will be finalised by the end of the year. There is the need to considerably improve the level of awareness in this domain. Today, very many utilities companies are completely digitised. Imagine what could happen if a cyber-attack targets a water supply system in a large city for instance. This theoretical thing is possible if an entity wants to carry out such an attack. We have to protect our cyber infrastructure in all public institutions.”

Last but not least, the Head of State said that a report on the healthcare system and the citizens’ health was presented at the meeting by the Health Minister. “We were presented with the approach toward the nosocomial infections issue; the minister informed us that very important steps have been made in the legislative, the regulations area, including in what concerns disinfectants, in what concerns the investments needed for infrastructure. Important steps have been made when it comes to regulations, to the way investments are being planned, but there is still a lot of work to do in order to implement this legislation and to reach the investment stage per se,” Iohannis pointed out.

Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Deputy Director Silviu Predoiu attended the CSAT meeting, after SIE Director Mihai Razvan Ungureanu resigned on Monday. Silviu Predoiu however did not have the right to vote within the Council.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first CSAT meeting attended by Dragos Tudorache as Interior Minister.

The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) was represented by SRI Deputy Director Cristian Bizadea, since SRI Director Eduard Hellvig and SRI First Deputy Director Florian Coldea are taking part in a working visit.

The CSAT meeting was an ordinary, quarterly meeting. The meeting’s agenda was announced on Monday by Presidential Spokesperson Madalina Dobrovolschi.

“The CSAT agenda will include: the implementation of the decisions made at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, with national implications, the evolutions in the Middle East and implications to Romania, the main measures necessary to remove threats to the national security generated by a massive immigrants inflow, as well as to preserving the public order and safety climate,” the president’s spokeswoman announced on Monday.

 

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