DEFENCE

Swear-in ceremony of the new Chief of Defence Staff Daniel Petrescu. President Iohannis says 2 pct of the GDP defence spending should ensure better training for the military

Attending the swear-in ceremony of the new Chief of Defence Staff Daniel Petrescu on Sunday, President Klaus Iohannis said the latter must act with great determination, so that he will use the financial resources when and as planned.

“I want to underline the fact that you have to act with great determination, so that the financial resources are committed when and as planned. The 2pct of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) earmarked on defence spending should also ensure a better training for all the structures of the armed forces, as well as the conditions necessary for carrying out complex exercises, in accordance with the reality of the strategic security environment. At the same time, you should pay attention to the working and living conditions of the military, those who devote their life in the service of Romania under our tricolour banner,” said Iohannis in a speech delivered at the military ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Defence.

He said that the National Day, “a moment with a profound significance to the Romanian Army,” is “the most appropriate opportunity” for Daniel Petrescu being sworn in as chief of the defence staff. At the same time, he said he is convinced Petrescu would work to deepen the modernisation, development and consolidation of the Romanian armed forces.

“You are taking over today the office of the chief of the defence staff, an institution that plays the leading role in the Romanian armed forces, and you have the responsibility to continue to ensure the readiness of the army for the fulfillment of all its national defence missions. A prospective strategy vision is essential to have a structure of forces capable of fulfilling the full range of missions provided for under the National Defence Strategy and the Military Strategy of Romania and in accordance with the commitments made by Romania to NATO,” said Iohannis.

He congratulated Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca on his tenure as the previous chief of defence staff, on the important achievements during his term of office.

“I have managed, based on the political agreement I concluded in 2015, immediately after the start of my first term as President of Romania, to secure 2pct of GDP in defence spending starting with 2017, for a period of ten years. It was a major decision that gave our country predictability and credibility internationally, while ensuring transparency of the strategic decision-making process. Today, our country is both a security consumer and a security provider, with a comprehensive view on how international security must be managed. We have made remarkable progress in a NATO context. Due to our efforts, the Black Sea Region has a better visibility and strategic importance to NATO, “said Iohannis.

He said that the international environment is currently characterised by accelerated security challenges, especially in South-East Europe, adding that the security and defence of the country is even more of a strategic priority , supported by three pillars: strengthening Romania’s profile inside NATO and the European Union, as well as deepening the strategic partnership with the United States of America.

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