President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that the decisions taken at the NATO summit in Brussels meet Romania’s security interests.
“Today’s summit was one of visionary decisions. Starting with the NATO 2030 strategic reflection process launched in London in 2019, today we set out the major guidelines for action for the next decade, including by developing a strategic concept, a decision we supported. Decisions to further strengthen its military posture of deterrence and defence, strengthen its political profile, increase engagement with partners, increase resilience and maintain technological advancement have reaffirmed support for a stronger, more appropriate, active and relevant Alliance. I want to emphasise that today’s decisions meet Romania’s security interests, and by the results we have achieved our major goals set for this summit,” the Romanian head of state said at the end of the NATO summit.
He added that the achievement of these objectives is also due to Romania’s interactions and coordination with other allies, as well as capitalising of regional formats of dialogue and co-operation, namely the summit of the Bucharest Format (B9) and the Romania-Poland-Turkey trilateral meeting of foreign ministers.
Iohannis presented the results of the summit of interest to Romania’s security objectives.
“First of all, we have decided today to continue to strengthen NATO’s posture of deterrence and defense. We have emphasised that collective defence remains the cornerstone of NATO. We have encouraged further efforts to do so, and have emphasised the need for the process of strengthening the Alliance’s posture of deterrence and defense to focus primarily on the Eastern Flank as a whole, in a coherent manner, with special attention to Black Sea security developments. NATO should have the necessary forces, structures and capabilities to respond effectively to the threats we face in the region, and we have highlighted and mentioned in the summit documents Russia’s aggressive and destabilising behaviour towards our security allies and partners in our neighbourhood. Black Sea security remains worrisome, and the recent build-up of Russian troops and defence technology at the border with Ukraine and illegally occupied Crimea is further clear evidence of that,” Iohannis said.
He pointed out that the Black Sea region is of strategic importance to Euro-Atlantic security, which was clearly reconfirmed, including through multiple references to the region in summit documents.
Iohannis said the meeting agreed on the importance of advancing and deepening NATO’s relationship with the EU, and also with partners and states that share the same values.
“The partnership with the EU is very important. It must be stronger and stronger, and we called for the need for continued dialogue and co-operation between the two organisations in full complementariness. We also stressed the imperative to increase support and assistance for our partners in the Eastern Neighbourhood. My message is reflected in the final declaration of the summit together with the support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. In the summit’s final statement, NATO’s support for democratic reforms in Moldova is mentioned,” Iohannis said.
He also said that the NATO summit reaffirmed the validity of the open door policy, which Romania has traditionally supported, as well as the right of aspiring states to decide on their own foreign policy objectives.
The Romanian head of state also indicated that the summit set another goal for Romania, namely the need to increase resilience and maintain NATO’s technological advancement, showing that they contribute to a stronger and more relevant global alliance amidst various challenges.
“Romania is part of NATO efforts to increase resilience, demonstrating that it is ready to contribute consistently. Thus, I have informed my allied counterparts about the establishment and operationalisation of the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre. I am glad to be able to tell you that this initiative of Romania is regarded with interest at the level of NATO and allied states, being welcomed in the final declaration of the summit,” Iohannis added.
He said that the NATO summit also decided to launch the process of drawing up a new strategic concept of the Alliance.
“It is a necessary step because, since the adoption of the current strategic concept in 2010, the security environment and the Alliance have undergone profound changes. I want to point out that Romania was the first ally to support the need for a new strategic concept since November 2019. Today’s decision reconfirms that our assessment was correct,” said Iohannis.
The Romanian head of state also said that in his speech to the summit and in his contacts with his counterparts he showed that Romania has acted constantly and will continue to act as a responsible and active ally, involved in all efforts to ensure the security of the Euro-Atlantic area.
“We are one of the member states that have already reached the threshold of 2% of GDP in defence spending and we will continue to invest consistently in defence. I showed firmly, during the summit, that Romania was and remains a reliable ally that understands that the success of the Alliance depends on the way in which each one fulfills its obligations,” Iohannis pointed out.
He concluded that by the decisions taken at the NATO summit, the security of Romania and its citizens is better ensured.
Missile shield has only defensive role, we do not intend to attack anyone with it
President Klaus Iohannis emphasized on Monday that the missile shield has only a defensive role.
“This shield is often brought into discussion by Russia, but I think this discussion is welcome to reiterate that this shield is a purely defensive one, including the part here, at Deveselu, it has only a defensive role. We do not intend to attack anyone with this shield, but we are very determined to defend our nations, our states and that is why we accepted at that time the installation of a component of this shield also in Romania”, Iohannis said at the end of the NATO summit in Brussels, asked about the statement made by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who showed that he will discuss in Geneva with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, about the situation of Romania and Poland, where missile shield systems are located.
Asked to what extent Romania is discussing with Russia, he replied: “We are discussing all these issues in the formats we are part of because that is correct.”
The head of state also stressed that Romania’s interest is to have a very strong allied presence on its territory.
“You have certainly seen that we are working very well with the United States and any strengthening of this presence is welcome for us, but strengthening NATO as a whole is extremely good news for Romania and for Romanians because in this way Romania’s security and of each Romanian is guaranteed,” said President Iohannis.