NATO presence in the Black Sea region is a strategic imperative and it is Romania’s right to demand this, said Interim Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca at the 2019 activity review of the Ministry of National Defence (MApN), on Tuesday.
“For us, ensuring a more robust NATO presence at the Black Sea has been the main objective. Through the joint efforts of the President of Romania, diplomacy and Defence, we are witnessing a greater awareness today that coherence and cohesion are needed throughout our neighborhood, with a 360 degree coverage,” he said.
He evoked “legitimate concerns about the security of the area”. “We believe that NATO presence in the Black Sea region is a strategic imperative. It is our right to demand this and to have an enhanced forward presence of the Alliance throughout the Eastern Flank. At the same time, it is our duty to develop credible complementary and interoperable defence capabilities with the allied ones,” Ciuca pointed out, according to Agerpres.
In his opinion, “the most worrying evolution is that, through Crimea, Russia can project a self-assumed hegemony in the Black Sea, with important consequences on the Alliance’s deterrence forces.”
“Ultimately, the intention of this intensified militarization is to prevent NATO and its allies from operating freely in the region. The deployment of anti-access and regional interdiction capabilities represents a major transformation of security in the Black Sea. The logic of deterrence and military balance are changing,” said the interim defence minister.
He also emphasized that “the Western Balkans continue to remain a region with a fragile balance of security and stability.”
President Iohannis: In 2020, MApN will need to focus on consolidating strategic profile in NATO and EU
President Klaus Iohannis stated, on Tuesday, that in 2020 the Ministry of National Defence (MApN) will have to focus on consolidating the strategic profile of Romania in NATO and the EU, accelerating the process of developing the operational capacity of the Army, as well as initiating and running endowment programs.
“This year, the Ministry of National Defence will have to focus its efforts on reaching some concrete objectives: consolidating the strategic profile within NATO and the EU, accelerating the process of developing the operational capacity of the Army, as well as initiating and running endowment programs, in view of ensuring new capabilities necessary to the structure of forces. All these against the backdrop of the continuing participation with military troops in the theaters of operations outside the national territory of Romania,” said the head of state, at the presentation of the MApN’s 2019 activity stocktaking.
President Klaus Iohannis brought to mind that following the political agreement made in 2015, Romania has been allocating 2 pct of the GDP for Defence.
“The increase in budgetary allocations calls for more attention to the way this money is spent, the way in which the strategic endowment programs for the army are launched, in agreement with the real priorities of the Defence and the way in which the Ministry of Defence runs the contracts and follows through the deadlines. This financing must also ensure better training for all army structures, an updating of planned exercises to the realities of contemporary conflicts and adequate involvement of our allies and partners in these exercises, taking place in a joint, complex and dynamic environment. Furthermore, using the sums allotted to Defence, it’s necessary to ensure and improve working and living conditions for servicemen, because they represent the most treasured resource of the Romanian Army; as well as ours, all those who bear the responsibility of the country’s defence,” said Iohannis.
Photo: Valentin Ciobirca, www.mapn.ro