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June 28, 2022

President Iohannis: Situation in the Black Sea region, volatile; we insisted on improved NATO physical presence

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday in Kosice where he attended the B9 Summit,  that the situation in the Black Sea region is increasingly more volatile, which is why he advocated for the need for an improved physical presence of NATO in the area.

President Iohannis was asked what the joint effort would be to deter actions such as those of Russia in the Black Sea region.

“We have initiatives designed for the Black Sea, we have NATO strategies for the Black Sea, and we have special units for the Black Sea area, such as the Craiova unit. We have special joint exercises for the Black Sea area and we have many joint training events, tactical approaches and even preparations for a command center for the entire region. These issues have very practical aspects as well. As I have mentioned, the Black Sea area is becoming increasingly more complex and there is an increasingly more volatile situation and, which is why I we insisted, and things are developing in the right direction, on an improved physical presence, a better NATO practical presence practice in the area. That is why we have requested and got a much improved NATO naval presence than we had a few years ago. There is air policing attended by with our important allies and, thanks to this policing, we can prevent some incidents. There are joint training sessions, and I think it is important to say that there is also the physical presence of the very good military allies in the Black Sea area. We all see this in complementarity with the NATO presence in the Baltic Sea,” Iohannis told a joint news conference with his Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.

He pointed out that such measures, which will be further enforced, will ensure the security of the NATO eastern flank, noting that this objective will be introduced at the NATO summit at the end of the year.

“We will have an opportunity to present these issues at the NATO summit at the end of this year,” Iohannis said.

He added that allied solidarity and a solid transatlantic relationship are key principles that must remain a priority if NATO is to respond effectively to complex security challenges, pointing out that Romania takes its obligations seriously.

“We have sent a clear message on the importance of allied solidarity and a solid transatlantic relationship. They are key principles that must remain a priority if we want NATO to continue to respond effectively to the complex security challenges it faces. These principles are partially transposed into concrete actions so that burdens are shared equitably and the ultimate goal, which is security of our citizens, is achieved. Romania takes these obligations very seriously, because we are not talking about abstract things, but about protecting people and giving them confidence that they are protected against any danger,” Iohannis said.

He added that the security developments in the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region continue to be “a serious source of concern.”

“We have approached the latest developments in and prospects for the initiatives developed under NATO’s enhanced forward presence on the eastern flank, highlighting the need for full implementation of decisions to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in the region in a consistent and sustainable manner. All the more important is continuing the consolidation of the NATO multinational brigade in Craiova, ensuring a constant and frequent presence of NATO ships in the Black Sea, as well as establishment of the most efficient military command and control structures in our region,” said Iohannis.


Read also:

President Iohannis at the B9 Summit in Kosice: Consistent approach needed on NATO’s Eastern Flank, Russia still threatens Black Sea stability

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