Romania’s contributions to NATO make the Alliance stronger and safer, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated on Wednesday at the end of the meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila in Brussels.
“Romania being such a staunch and highly valued ally. This year is the fifteenth anniversary of Romania joining our Alliance. Your membership has been important for NATO and for Romania. You contribute to our shared security in many different ways and your contributions are making us all stronger and safer,” Jens Stoltenberg specified.
The Secretary General of the Alliance also talked about the presence of the Romanian armed forces in international missions under the NATO aegis.
“Romanian forces are part of NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan, helping to stabilize the country. And you contribute to stability in the Western Balkans with your troops in the KFOR mission. Romania also plays a crucial role in the security in the Black Sea region. Including with a Romanian-led, multinational brigade in Craiova; air policing and a strong naval presence. Romania also hosts a site for NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence, at Deveselu. Helping to protect Europe from missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. So thank you for all that Romania does to make us all more secure,” Stoltenberg said.
He underscored that NATO and the EU work increasingly closer in several äreas.
“At the start of January, Romania assumed the presidency of the European Union for the first time. NATO and the EU are already working more closely than ever, in areas including military mobility, cyber and hybrid threats, and maritime security. And I welcome your plans for further strengthening NATO-EU cooperation during Romania’s presidency,” Stoltenberg said.
The Secretary General of NATO highlighted Romania’s plans regarding the allocation of 2 percent of GDP for the endowment of the Army.
“We face a more dangerous and unpredictable world, so it is important that all Allies invest in defence. I welcome therefore Romania’s plans to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence this year. And that you intend to modernise your armed forces over the next decade. This is important, because fair burden-sharing means more than just cash. It also means investing in modern capabilities, and contributing to NATO missions and operations. I encourage Romania to continue on this path,” Jens Stoltenberg further said, thanking in the end the Romanian prime minister for the strong commitment to the Alliance.
PM Dancila: Romania remains reliable NATO ally
Romania remains a reliable NATO ally, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said in Brussels on Wednesday at the end of the meeting with Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg.
“It is an important moment for Romania – in the first part of this year, we are holding the presidency of the EU Council and also celebrate 15 years since joining the North Atlantic Alliance. In 2019 NATO also marks the 70th anniversary since its founding. All these landmarks call for a strategic reflection on how to respond effectively to the challenges we face together. Under these auspices, I assured the Secretary-General that Romania remains a reliable ally, firmly supporting a strong Alliance and strengthening a transatlantic relationship that is indispensable for the Euro-Atlantic security,” said Viorica Dancila.
She added that Romania has fulfilled and will continue to fulfill all its responsibilities within NATO, that our country has significantly increased its budget allocated to Defence and is paying special attention to programs for the modernization and endowment of the armed forces.
“We are present in allied operation theatres, I would like to recall Afghanistan, where Romania is one of the most important contributors, but also our participation in measures to strengthen defence on the eastern flank, both on the national territory and in Poland. The sacrifice of the Romanian servicemen, to whom I would like to bring, and on this occasion, a tribute, is the ultimate proof of our commitment within NATO,” the premier also said.
She mentioned that she presented to NATO Secretary General Romania’s priorities during the presidency of the Council of the EU, with emphasis on cohesion and cooperation between the Member States on the new security challenges, but also those aimed at ensuring a more prominent role for the EU globally.
“We want the EU to strengthen its capacity to respond to security threats, but as a NATO partner. I underlined the importance Romania attaches to the development of the NATO-EU partnership based on concrete measures established between the two organizations. We are faced with many common challenges such as hybrid attacks, including in the cybernetic field, and the use of misinformation and false news to create tension, to create distrust. We have to deal with them together. I have forwarded the support of the Romanian Government with regard to the important progress made in the process of NATO’s adaptation to new realities, and we stressed the need for this process to continue. In today’s discussion, we have had a profound exchange of assessments on the security situation in our region, with an emphasis on developments in the Black Sea area. Defence on the eastern flank and the Black Sea is an integral part of these efforts and represents an essential step for the entire Alliance, to which Romania will continue to pay special attention,” Dancila added.
The prime minister said that she is waiting for the Secretary General of NATO to come to Romania, both to attend the meetings organized under the aegis of Romania’s presidency of the EU Council, and to continue the dialogue on security issues.