DEFENCE DIPLOMACY

U. S. Ambassador Klemm: Patriot missiles will provide protection from air attack not only for Romania but also for neighbouring countries and NATO

The purchase of the Patriot air defence system will offer protection from aggressive air attack not only for Romania but it will also indirectly contribute to the defence of neighbouring countries and of the North Atlantic Alliance as a whole, U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm stated in an interview for the Romanian public television broadcaster (TVR). Asked “whether there is any risk this would ramp up tensions with Russia,” the American diplomat said that “there’s absolutely no reason to,” since the capabilities Romania is acquiring are “purely defensive.”

U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm considers that the purchase of the Patriot air defence system will have “a profound impact” for Romania’s security and for NATO.

“In fact, this is a defensive weapons system with the highest capability. It will provide protection from aggressive air attack not only for Romania but a consequence, a positive spill over, will be that it will also contribute to the defence of Romania’s neighbours and of the NATO alliance as a whole. This is part of Romania’s commitment to invest 2 percent of GDP in defence, a commitment the United States strongly supports. The Patriots are not the only thing that Romania will acquire as a consequence of this 2 percent commitment, but it’s a very critical component of Romania’s decision to improve its defence,” Hans Klemm stated.

Asked whether he believes there is “any risk this would ramp up tensions with Russia,” the U.S. Ambassador answered: “There’s absolutely no reason to, this is a purely defensive capability Romania is acquiring.”

Hans Klemm also talked about the future of the strategic partnership 20 years from now, which he sees in “investing in Romania’s security, the security of the Black Sea region and Transatlantic security.”

On July 15, President Klaus Iohannis stated that the procurement of the Patriot air defence system is done so that Romania would have better-equipped and more efficiently-equipped armed forces, for defensive purposes and in order to guarantee Romania’s security.

“We should see why these procurements are made. We’re not preparing to attack anyone. We’re preparing to be better-equipped, for our armed forces to benefit from modern, efficient equipment (…) in order to guarantee Romanians’ security,” Iohannis stated at Cincu.

Premier Mihai Tudose, the Defence Minister and the Economy Minister have analysed the armed forces’ procurement needs, in relation to the Romanian defence industry’s current and future capacity. In this context, Adrian Tutuianu said that a decision on the type of air defence system Romania wants to acquire will be taken after all of the technical details and all elements pertaining to this programme are established, pointing out that offers from other partner states are being analysed.

“The 2017 budget has 2 percent of GDP for Defence, which we took the commitment to spend in order to equip the Romanian Armed Forces. We respect this commitment, both in relation to our NATO partner, and with the expectations and needs of our servicemen,” Premier Mihai Tudose emphasised, according to a Government communique.

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of the Patriot air defence system to Romania, including technical support and equipment, for an estimated USD 3.9 billion. The U.S. Congress was notified about this potential sale on July 10.

 

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