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January 21, 2021

DefMin Les meets NATO SecGen Stoltenberg, emphasizes need for strengthened allied Black Sea posture

Minister of National Defense Gabriel Les emphasized, during a meeting in Brussels this Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the need to strengthen NATO’s posture at the Black Sea by establishing a strong allied land presence in Romania, tasked with deterring and defending the allied territory, a strengthened naval dimension, and by improving air policing activities.

The evolution of the security situation in the Black Sea region was on the agenda of the meeting of the Romanian delegation headed by Premier Viorica Dancila, that also included DefMin Gabriel Les, with Jens Stoltenberg, the Ministry of National Defense (MApN) informs in a release.

“The agenda of the meeting included subjects of major importance to the North Atlantic Alliance, such as the evolution of the security situation in the Black Sea area and the implementation of Allied decisions on strengthening the deterrence and defense posture, but also the commitments made by allied states in relation to the 3C’s rule – cash, capabilities, contribution,” the ministry said in a release.

The Defense Minister also emphasized the importance of completing NATO’s command and control architecture in the region by setting up the corps-level Allied Command subordinated to the Joint Force Command Naples, continuing allied talks with Georgia and Ukraine on Black Sea security, and of developing regional cooperation against hybrid threats.

“The long-term strategy of the Alliance should develop a structured approach to the region as part of a detailed assessment of Russia’s posture,” said Gabriel Les.

Referring to the allied deterrence and defense stance, the Minister of Defense reiterated that the implementation of the forward presence remains a priority for our country, underscoring in this context the need to increase the allies’ contribution with forces to the NATO-affiliated Craiova-based Multinational Brigade.

“At the end of the meeting, Minister Les reaffirmed Romania’s commitment to the 3 C’s principle – Cash, by continuing to allocate 2 pct of GDP for Defense; Capabilities – by allocating 35 pct of the Defense budget for the acquisition of hardware and technology, the modernization of existing resources and R & D activities; Contribution – by reaffirming the commitment to further support NATO’s efforts in the fight against terrorism through participation in both coalition missions and in the new NATO mission in Iraq”, the release also mentions.

The DefMin stressed that in 2019 the Romanian contribution to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan will increase, as the number of participating troops will be supplemented to 800 with military police personnel, counselors and force protection personnel.

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