US Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm stated on Friday that Romania is making the best choice in respect to purchasing the Patriot systems, giving it is a solution for the country’s air defence.
He added that this year surface-to-air systems are useful and represent a very logical choice. An attack at the border it’s not a very probable scenario, but it cannot be ignored, however, an air attack over Romania is much more probable, the US diplomat told Bucharest Forum meeting.
He talked about Romania’s authorities’ intention to buy F16 aircraft.
Romania bought 12 F16 aircraft from Portugal, which is a very wise decision. He said that he endorses the National Defence Ministry’s purchase of many more F16 aircraft and the steps that the ministry made in upgrading the existent base. In his opinion Romania is making the best choice with the Patriot systems.
“These can offer defence against the ballistic missiles. We used this system for 30 years. It is not an old system, but a system which has been subjected to testes, in combat, ” the US Ambassador said. He pointed out that it is inter-operable with the US armed forces and, therefore, Romania enters the 12 state’s elite that use the Patriot system, which is responding very well to air threats.
Hans Klemm talked about Romania’s intentions to upgrade its defence systems, but also about the security challenges in the region, and namely the humanitarian crisis of Syria and Iraq, the tensions in the Balkans, the degree of insecurity in Moldova and the “aggressive attitude of Russia” in the region.
Klemm brought to mind that the US Government increased by four times the funds for Europe’s safety and mentioned Romania’s places which are part of the Defence infrastructure – Campia Turzii, Kogalniceanu and the Training Center in Cincu.
“It’s obvious that Romania should upgrade its armed forces. This year, 2 percent of the GDP were allocated to expenditure for Defence, just as Romania committed several year ago”, he said. He went on saying that the US acknowledge the effort made by Romania’s Government that has to also respond to other needs and which increased its budget by approximately 50 percent.
Ambassador Klemm also stressed that the sacrifices made by Romanians didn’t go unnoticed in Washington, nor Brussels. He added that Romania is an example for NATO allies in terms of security.
The US Ambassador also talked about his mission in Romania. He went on saying that he discovers each day that he has a lot to learn about Romania, in order to gather regional contacts so that he accomplishes his mission. He brought to mind his visit to the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iasi, in the opening of the academic year, at 100 years since the mission of his predecessor Charles Vopicka.