President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday that it is essential for the acquisitions of the armed forces to be secured and pointed out that funds for this area should be used efficiently.
“It is essential for the acquisitions of the armed forces to be secured to attain the standards that are specific of a modern and powerful army. Under the agreement that I proposed at the beginning of my term in office, concluded between the leaders of the political parties of Romania for the first time after 1989, 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is allocated for defence spending starting in 2018. Almost 35 percent of this budget represents funds for the purchase of major pieces of equipment. We have created the fundamentals for the spending to be kept at the same level for at least one decade. Thus, the strategic planning process can be based on a modicum of predictability. However, I am warning you that these funds should be used in the most efficient way, and the Government, the management of the Ministry of National Defence and the Romanian Armed Forces have the obligation to take this responsibility very seriously,” Iohannis said at a military ceremony that took place in the Carol Park in Bucharest on the Romanian Army Day.
He added that Romania is currently “looking more confident towards the future” due to Romania’s legitimate status inside NATO and the EU and the solidarity of the Strategic Partnership with the US, which he called “valuable, effective and pragmatic.”
“All of this gives us the necessary stability and security in a complex, dynamic international environment with multiple and often unpredictable challenges and threats. That is why I stress once again the need to strike a balance between the prevention and anticipation component, on the one hand, and the mechanisms for combating risks and threats on the other hand. It is therefore even more important that the Romanian Army has an optimal coordination and that its troops reach an increasing level of professionalism,” added Iohannis.
The head of the state showed that the battles at Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz and the making of Greater Romania represent landmarks of history.
“We are now celebrating the Romanian Army Day in a year of special significance: the celebration of a century from the heroic battles of Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz in the summer of 1917, a WWI highlight that demonstrated the determination and the power of sacrifice of the Romanian armed forces. At the same time, we are just months away from 2018, when we celebrate the centennial of Greater Romania following the unification of Basarabia, Bucovina, and finally Transylvania, with the motherland. The Romanian Army is indissolubly linked to these highlights of our history because of the essential role it played in consolidating the modern Romanian state and national identity,” said Iohannis.
Iohannis also said that “those who wore and wear the military uniform have at least equal importance in society also because of their ability to represent true examples of devotion, skillfulness and professionalism.”
“Romania’s defence objectives, ambitious in 2018 as well”
Klaus Iohannis underlined that Romania wants to become a predictable strategic regional player, a reliable partner and a security provider in the area, adding that the country’s defence objectives are ambitious in 2018 as well.
“Romania has set to become a predictable strategic regional player, a trustworthy partner and a security provider in the area. Strengthening the Romanian military profile has a crucial role to play in this, and I want to thank you for your remarkable achievements this year. You objectives are at least as important and ambitious in 2018 as well. I mean achieving the multinational brigade’s final operational capacity, creating a framework for NATO’s increased presence in the Black Sea and stepping up combined air cooperation,” Iohannis said at a military ceremony took place in the Carol Park in Bucharest on the Romanian Army Day.
He underscored that the decisions taken at the NATO summit in Warsaw last year and at the NATO summit in Brussels this May continue to be put into practice, welcoming the unitary steps aimed at materialising these objectives.
“I want to reiterate my appreciation for the way in which the Multinational Brigade in Craiova was set up, for which Romania is a framework nation and which initial operational capacity was declared in April. I also want to congratulate you on the establishment of an enhanced multinational training framework, which in fact represents a synchronisation matrix of exercises conducted on the national soil that can provide the necessary framework for the training of NATO forces, with emphasis on the specific requirements of our region. All these measures are part of the set of Romanian proposals under NATO’s adapted allied presence on the eastern flank, which is, in our appreciation, as important as the allied consolidated presence in the northern area of the eastern flank,” Iohannis said.
“Servicemen deserve not just our appreciation, but also best working, living conditions”
The President also stated that, besides our appreciation, servicemen also deserve the best working and living conditions.
“Women and men wearing the uniform, true professionals who serve their country under the tricolour flag, they are the ones to whom we owe our gratitude. The servicemen who devoted their entire career to this calling, we must offer them not just our appreciation, but also the best working and living conditions,” said Iohannis at the military ceremony held in the Carol Park on the Army Day.
He underscored that the Army is one of the fundamental institutions of the state, contributing in a decisive manner to the credibility and prestige of Romania in the world, while also enjoying the respect and trust of the citizens.
“The Army is like a living organism, undergoing a continuous process of transformation and adaptation to the strategic realities of an international environment facing a constant evolution. That’s why we must always pay attention to the selection, education and training process of all troop categories, for this human resource represents the supreme value of our Army,” said Iohannis.
The head of the state encouraged military pupils and students to find “a source of inspiration in the behaviour of the military staff, who are devoted to their duty of serving the country.”
“I am encouraging you all to operate with caution and prove your innovative spirit, your capacity of adapting to change, to love your country and continue to confirm, as you did until now, the slogan keeping you united and motivated: Honour and Country!”, said Iohannis.