The security in the Black Sea region entails serious concerns, Russia being the biggest concern, Defense Minister Gabriel Les on Friday told the international conference Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum, which is taking place in the seaside resort of Mamaia.
“The Black Sea is fundamental to Russia’s national security, it provides control over the Caucasus, the Republic of Moldova and half of Ukraine, and provides a platform for projecting forces and influence in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Russia’s strategic objective is to dominate the Black Sea region, and Moscow’s security strategy classifies NATO as a military threat to Russia’s security,” Les said.
“Unlike the Baltic Sea region, in the Black Sea, Russia has a constant aggressive attitude. (…) Romania is included as a potential target for Russia’s capabilities of attack, being perceived as a NATO decision-making center. (…) Since the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, Russia has stepped up its aggressive actions in the Black Sea region, especially against Ukraine, but also against the allied presence in the area. It has increased its presence in the Black Sea as part of a coherent strategy, the military balance has been fundamentally changed in its favor, and Russia is already capable, if necessary, to prevent external military access to the Black Sea,” said the Minister of National Defense.
“A passive, dissuasive attitude is no longer effective and we should use a firmer attitude in the region. A long-term allied strategy is needed to counter Russia’s hegemonic tendencies in the region and to strengthen the Alliance’s defense and the capacity and resistance of allies,” Les said.
Asked why Romania would need to increase its military capability and deal with the potential aggressor Russia, the minister said that “collective defense” is needed, “capabilities that we put together to deal with such an aggressor”.
We must start Navy endowment programs, technical equipment extremely obsolete
Minister of National Defense Gabriel Les told the international ‘Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum’ taking place in the seaside resort of Mamaia that the Romanian Navy endowment programs must get started, as the current technical equipment of this military branch is “extremely obsolete.”
“What we must understand, though, is that we must start the much needed Navy endowment programs; regrettably, their technical equipment is extremely obsolete, and it is very important to effectively start the programs we have at this moment, whether we speak about coast guard, coastal batteries, or about the corvettes and frigates’ upgrading that should be started this year,” Les said on Friday, according to Agerpres.
Asked by the journalists when will the result of the corvette building bid be made public, the DefMin replied this will happen in a very short time.
“In a very short time, we are still in the legal process. The procedure is extremely complex, with a lot of requirements. We want this procedure to benefit both Romania and industrial cooperation, and that we are able to use these capabilities for a long time from now,” said the Minister of National Defense.
NATO and EU officials, representatives of the institutions with responsibilities in foreign relations and national security, as well as academics participated June 12 – 14 in the 3rd edition of the ‘Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum’ international conference taking place in Mamaia. The event was organized by the New Strategy Center in partnership with the “Ovidius” University of Constanta and the Constanta Metropolitan Area.