The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the nine allied states of the Eastern Flank – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary gathered Tuesday in Romania’s capital city for the ministerial meeting of the Bucharest Format, attended also by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
According to a Monday release of the Presidential Administration , several topics were introduced on the agenda of discussions, such as the stage of implementing the decisions adopted at the NATO Summit held in Warsaw in June, as well as other aspects regarding the situation of security in the region.
“The fact that Romania hosts this meeting represents a reconfirmation of our country’s role on a regional level and within the NATO,” the release points out.
The Bucharest Format was established through the high-level meeting of the heads of states and Government carried out at the Cotroceni Palace on 4 November 2015, at the initiative of President Klaus Iohannis and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. The organization of the ministerial meeting on Tuesday takes place following the decision adopted in this matter within the Bucharest Format high-level meeting of the heads of state and Government which took place in 2015.
“The objective of the Bucharest Format is the inter-allied consultation for promoting mutual approaches of the allied states that are participating, to the benefit of the Euro-Atlantic community, taking into account the special interest of Central and Eastern European countries for ensuring security, stability and prosperity from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, and to develop regional cooperation for supporting the NATO objectives, in the context of the security developments in the Eastern and Southern Vicinity,” the release mentions.
President Iohannis: Meeting in Bucharest, useful; security context, marked by lack of progress in solving crisis cauldrons
President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that the ministerial meeting of the Bucharest Format is a useful meeting, taking place at an important time, as NATO is in full process of implementing the decisions made in the Warsaw Summit, “in a complex security context, which continues to be marked by lack of progress in solving the crisis cauldrons, but also by new tensions.”
“I am positive that the meeting today [Tuesday], organised by the Romanian Foreign Ministry, will be consistent and will allow a comprehensive opinion exchange on the stage of implementing the decisions adopted in Warsaw, as well as on other interest aspects regarding the security in the region. It is a useful meeting and it is carried out at an important time. It is an important moment for the transatlantic relation, which remains essential to the European security and to the security of the region. The allied states on both sides of the Atlantic must continue investing in its consolidation. It is an important moment for NATO as organisation as well. The Alliance is in full process of implementing the ambitious decisions made in Warsaw, in a complex security context, which continues to be marked by a lack a progress in solving the crisis cauldrons, but also by new tensions,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace, after the meeting with the Foreign Ministers, who are participating in the Bucharest Format ministerial meeting.
He showed that, according to the declaration adopted last year, the states of the Bucharest Format have a special responsibility in respect to the security at the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.
“I hope that the discussions of the ministerial meeting today contribute to successfully fulfilling this responsibility,” the head of state said.
He mentioned that he would also have a meeting with the new NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, with whom to discuss the current priorities of the Alliance with a focus on the stage and prospects of implementing the decisions adopted in the Summit of Warsaw.
“We will approach both aspects related to the consolidation of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture on the eastern flank, but mostly, of course, those regarding Romania and the enhancement of the Alliance’s role in projecting stability, by developing the support for the partner countries. Romania is firmly committed to fulfill all its obligations to ensure security in this part of the world,” the head of state said.
According to him, the NATO high official is paying her first visit since the mandate takeover to Romania.
“We are honoured that the Allied high official pays her first visit after she took over her mandate to an allied state in Bucharest,” Iohannis added.
President Iohannis, NATO Deputy Secretary General Gottemoeller discuss NATO’s defence posture on eastern flank
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday welcomed NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller to discuss the consolidation of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture on its eastern flank, especially those regarding Romanian, along with increasing the part of NATO in projecting stability by developing support for the partner states.
The Presidential Administration says in a press statement that the two officials also exchanged opinions on the current priorities of NATO, with emphasis on the latest developments in and prospects for the implementation of the decisions passed by the July 8-9 NATO Warsaw Summit, and the security developments in NATO’s eastern neighborhood.
“Special attention was attached to the consolidation of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture on the eastern flank, especially those regarding Romania, and increasing the part of NATO in projecting stability by developing support for the partner states,” the statement reads.
Iohannis congratulated Gottemoeller on the start of her tenure on October 17, assuring her of Romania’s full support for the achievement of this goals. At the same time, Iohannis gave assurances about Romania’s commitment to fulfill all its NATO membership obligations.
The president said that the Bucharest Forum format is in itself an example of Romania’s efforts for the achievement of the objectives of NATO, which has to become stronger by developing regional cooperation in support of NATO objectives, taking into account the special interests of Central and Eastern Europe in security, stability and prosperity in the area from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, as well as the latest security developments in NATO’s eastern and southern neighbourhood.
“Romania’s President mentioned the importance for the decisions regarding the advanced NATO presence on the eastern flank being implemented in all its three components – land, air and sea – with the NATO deputy secretary general voicing full support from the NATO leadership and from himself for the implementation thereof, reads the statement.
The two officials agreed that a consistent and unitary approach of the northern and southern dimensions of the eastern side is needed, as that would be indispensable to NATO’s strong deterrence.
Gottemoeller underscored her strong commendation for Romania’s efforts to strengthen NATO security, including by hosting in Bucharest of an eponymous format meeting, along with Romania’s contribution, via the Deveselu defence facility to the NATO ballistic missile defence system, housing NATO commands and contributing toward the implementation of the Warsaw Summit decisions, reads the statement.
She also thanked Romania for its contribution towards stabilisation in Afghanistan.
Lazar Comanescu meets NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller: Greatest security challenges come from NATO’s eastern neighborhood
The greatest security challenges for NATO come from the eastern neighborhood of the Alliance, Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu told a press conference Monday delivered jointly with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
The Romanian chief diplomat said that talks with the NATO official focused on the stability situation in the region, the relationship between NATO and partner countries in the eastern neighborhood of the Alliance, but also with Western Balkan states. The sides also considered the attention required by strengthening security and stability in the eastern, but also in the southern neighborhood.
“We had similar assessments of the critical importance of strengthening the presence of the Alliance in our area, of an enhanced attention as regards the south of the eastern flank of the Alliance because (…) the most important security and stability challenges come from this part of the Alliance’s neighborhood,” said Comanescu.
On the other hand, Rose Gottemoeller highlighted Romania’s contribution to training activities in Afghanistan, which she characterized as having a vital importance, especially in recent years. She noted that Romania has been for years now a very important participant in operations of major importance conducted in some of Afghanistan’s most dangerous areas. The NATO official also mentioned the missile system based in Romania.
At the same time, Gottemoeller spoke about the activation of the multinational division of the Southeast Command to support deterrence and defence in Southeast Europe. The NATO Deputy Secretary General said that the Alliance she represents appreciates Romania’s contribution towards the activities of the North Atlantic Treaty.
ForMin Comanescu, Estonian counterpart discuss NATO’s presence consolidation on eastern flank
Foreign Affairs Minister Lazar Comanescu had a meeting on Monday with his Estonian counterpart Jurgen Ligi, having focused, among others, on talks about the consolidation of the NATO presence on the eastern flank.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release sent to AGERPRES, the Estonian minister is paying a visit to Bucharest to participate in the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Central and Eastern European states (the B9 format), to take place on Tuesday.
The bilateral talks between the two dignitaries were preceded by the inauguration of the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Bucharest, in the presence of the Romanian and Estonian foreign ministers, alongside representatives of the diplomatic corps and other guests, the Foreign Ministry informs.
“During the meeting, the two high officials voiced satisfaction with the increase in the level of mutual diplomatic representation, through the recent opening of the Embassy of Estonia in Bucharest and the Embassy of Romania in Tallinn. Both speakers voiced confidence that, through their activity, the two diplomatic missions will contribute to consolidating the bilateral cooperation, through a better capitalisation on the collaboration potential, as well as to strengthening the partnership between the two states within the European Union and NATO,” the cited source shows.
MAE also mentions that the talks were also aimed at topics on the European agenda, the comprehensive exchange of ideas confirming Romania’s and Estonia’s similar positions on most of the priority topics inside the EU. The two ministers also decided to intensify the experience and good practices exchange in the perspective of both Estonia and Romania holding for the first time the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
“During the talks, the two officials also discussed the implementing of the Warsaw NATO Summit’s conclusions and the consolidation of NATO’s presence on the eastern flank,” MAE also points out.
Defmin Motoc points out importance of Black Sea to Euro-Atlantic security and stability
National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc on Monday pointed out the importance of the Black Sea to the entire Euro-Atlantic security and stability during a meeting with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
According to a press release of the National Defence Ministry, Motoc underscored at the same time the need for a fast progress of the military and political actions of NATO, aimed at preparing the concrete decisions concerning the measures in the maritime area, which are going to be adopted in the Defence ministerial meeting of February 2017.
Mihnea Motoc informed the NATO Deputy Secretary General on the implementation stage of Romania’s initiatives in the land, air and maritime areas, and the significant contributions of the allied states in this respect.
“During the meeting, the two officials approached topical issues on the Alliance agenda, with a focus on the regional security developments in the Black Sea area and the process of implementing the decisions adopted in the NATO Summit in Warsaw and the recent NATO ministerial meeting carried out at the end of October, in Brussels. They assessed the allied demarches aimed at ensuring an advanced presence of NATO on the eastern flank, insisting on the importance of intensifying the efforts for the efficient and within the agreed deadlines implementing of the decisions concerning the adapted advanced presence in the southern part of the eastern flank,” the release also reads.
In her turn, Gottemoeller underscored the interest in keeping the allied unity, efficiency and solidarity, in the current highly complex security context. At the same time, the NATO Deputy Secretary General reconfirmed the political support and the enhanced attention NATO grants to the advanced presence in the south-east, aimed at ensuring a solid and adapted response to the security threats and challenges specific to the Black Sea region.