Romania’s Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc on Thursday announced having signed with his Dutch counterpart Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert a letter of intent on bilateral defence cooperation.
“We have found that very promising action guidelines are in place regarding joint participation and training in Romania and also air force cooperation. Let us not forget that the Netherlands has a huge expertise and experience with operating F-16 capabilities, so we have what to learn from them and areas to work with them. To further this cooperation, I signed a letter of intent with Mrs Minister to advance bilateral defence cooperation, and we aim to expand the legal basis of this cooperation by new documents. We are contemplating, for instance, a memorandum of understanding to protect classified information that will allow Romania and the Netherlands to deepen defence intelligence cooperation,” Morotc said after welcoming the Dutch minister to the headquarters of the Romanian Defence Ministry.
He said the meeting was part of the actions to intensify consultations among NATO allies.
“There is an important meeting of NATO defence ministers coming in less than two weeks, a meeting where Romania has two objectives to advance: a political objective related to the rounding up of big, principle decisions made at the Warsaw Summit with decisions to materialise some aspects established back then, and a more practical objective of identifying, jointly with the allies, the contributions needed for the development of the security device that we suggested and we saw approved at the Warsaw Summit, namely a multinational brigade, the maritime and aerial components of NATO’s advanced Black Sea presence,” said Motoc.
He added that the Netherlands and Romania will start an exchange of opinions on their positions on the ongoing implementation of the European Union’s global strategy as well as on European defence cooperation.
Dutch DefMin: Europe is considerably less secure than in the past; we must act as one
Europe is at present “considerably less secure than in the past,” and the countries which are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance must act “as one” and of a flexible manner, with a focus on deterrence, Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said on Thursday.
She participated in the Bucharest Forum debates, where she delivered a short opening speech to a debate on defending NATO’s eastern flank.
“From my perspective, at present, Europe is considerably less secure than in the past. In particular, Russia’s aggressive reactions and opening to force use for political purposes have contributed to the deterioration of European security,” she said.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said that the NATO member countries must respond “as one.”
“As allies, we must deal with the challenges in respect to security as one. NATO must respond to threats in a 360 degree system,” she added.
Moreover, the Dutch Defence Minister underscored the importance of the deterrence actions which the Alliance must conduct.
“The current security environment will not change soon, so we must focus our energy towards deterrence actions. At the same time, we should keep the communication channels with Russia open, in order to avoid stupid accidents and misunderstood speeches,” she also said.
She mentioned that “deterrence actions” mean the Alliance’s opening “to dealing with all kinds of threats. ” “The Alliance must be as flexible as possible. Therefore, under no circumstance should we go back to the defence style of the Cold War,” she also showed.
NATO’s challenges are Russia’s deterrence, but also the fragile states “producing migrant flows.”
“The persistent presence in certain areas is essential and proves unity,” she underscored and mentioned “a constant and robust force rotation.”
Moreover, she brought to mind the need for a maritime presence on the Black Sea. “The uncomfortable truth is that no nation can isolate itself from such problems and we must face them,” Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert maintained.