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November 18, 2019
DEFENCE

DefMin Les, Rear Admiral Johnstone about Black Sea importance to NATO

The Minister of National Defence, Gabriel Les and Rear Admiral Clive C.C. Johnstone, the chief of the Northwood Allied Maritime Command, reiterated on Thursday the importance of the Black Sea to the Alliance, as a special interest area for the European and Euro-Atlantic security and underscored the importance of the vessels’ presence and allied capacities in the region, in view of deploying a consistent joint exercise programme with the naval forces of the regional allies, reads a press release of MApN.

The two officials also discussed about the recent evolutions in the regional and international security environment, the demarches to consolidate the allied posture of deterrence and defense, as well as the advancement on the eastern flank, with a focus on the maritime domain. In the context, there were discussions about the strategic significance and the objectives of the “Sea Shield 17” exercise, taking place February 1 through 10, with the involvement of 2,800 militaries, 16 surface ships, a submarine and ten airships.

Minister Les referred to the stage of the Warsaw Summit decisions’ implementation, with a focus on the credible, persistent NATO presence on national territory and at the Black Sea, an essential element of the allied posture of deterrence and defense. At the same time, the minister presented the stage of the initiatives promoted by Romania in this domain and requested the actual support of the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) for advancing specific elements of accomplishing the advanced maritime presence, specifies the quoted source.

The Chief of MARCOM thanked for the meaningful contribution of our country to the Alliance’s efforts on the maritime dimension, underscoring the importance of the regional expertise at the Black Sea for maintaining and developing NATO’s posture of deterrence and defense, in conformity with the Warsaw decision.

The Romanian Minister of Defence reconfirmed the commitment to accomplish the obligations incumbent on Romania on all important topics on the NATO agenda, based on the national decision of ensuring the necessary budget resources for modernizing and consolidating defence capabilities.

Still on Thursday, Rear Admiral Johnstone met with General Nicolae Ciuca, the head of the General Staff, and the talks aimed at identifying ways to consolidate the allied maritime security, the participation of the Romanian Naval Forces in multinational military exercises, under NATO command, and ways to diversify cooperation with the Allied framework, through the participation of the NATO Member States’ vessels and those of its partners in exercises organised by Romania in the Black Sea.

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