President Klaus Iohannis says that the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the new security reality defined by the massive military presence of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and in Belarus confirm in the most eloquent way the necessity and urgency of strengthening NATO’s position on the Eastern Flank.
“Romania has strongly pleaded, in recent years, for the consolidation of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture on the entire Eastern Flank, in a unitary and coherent way. The Russian aggression against Ukraine and the new security reality defined by Russia’s massive military presence in Ukraine and in Belarus confirm in the most eloquent way the necessity and urgency of this consolidation of the posture on the Eastern Flank. I welcome the measures recently adopted at NATO level, namely the addition of forces, including in Romania, the activation of the Gradual Response Plans and the deployment, for the first time, of the NATO Response Force as part of the collective defence. We appreciate the Allied contributions in Romania and we want to thank Poland and Turkey for being part of these efforts to ensure a robust NATO position in our country and in the Black Sea region. We want, in this context, that the Allied decision to set up a Combat Group in Romania to be approved as soon as possible and we count on the support of your countries in this regard,” the Romanian president said on Tuesday, in the beginning of the trilateral Romania – Poland – Turkey at the level of presidential advisers for national security.
He also said that Romania will strengthen its own defense capacity, by increasing military expenditures from 2 pct of GDP, as they are currently, to 2.5 pct.
“It is important to ensure better conditions for the endowment of our armed forces, in order to better train and respond more efficiently to the operational needs of the Romanian Army and to the current and prospective security challenges,” Klaus Iohannis said.
He stressed that it is the worst crisis since the Second World War and that Romania strongly condemns the Russian military aggression on Ukraine, firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and will continue to provide multidimensional assistance to Kiev in these difficult times for the Ukrainian people.
The president reminded that, recently, it was decided to set up in Romania a distribution center for international humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, which would allow the collection and transport of donations to Ukraine and its citizens.
President Klaus Iohannis noted that Romania, Poland and Turkey are three important states within the North Atlantic Alliance and that individually, but especially in the Allied context, these countries have complex responsibilities in ensuring security and stability in the Black Sea region and on the entire Eastern Flank of NATO.
“I am convinced that, especially in the current security context, through an intensified trilateral dialogue, on multiple dimensions, we will better coordinate our efforts, we will be able to initiate new cooperation projects and we will obtain beneficial results for Romania, Poland and Turkey and for the regional security. At the same time, together we can do more for the eastern partners, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, who need our political and practical support to resist the different forms of pressure from Russia,” the president said.
Klaus Iohannis drew attention to the need to support the Republic of Moldova, which is facing increased difficulties in managing the increased flow of refugees and a new possible energy crisis.
“The unity of position and action of NATO, the European Union and the Allies as a whole gives us an unthinkable force. Therefore, we must remain united and in solidarity, committed to defending the values and principles that bind us, but equally to collective defence, as provided for in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,” he said.
The president pointed out that the agenda of the trilateral Romania – Poland – Turkey at the level of presidential advisers for national security is aimed at the scheduled NATO Summit, the security situation on the Eastern Flank, migration and terrorism, as well as climate change.
At the same time, the president said that Romania particularly appreciates the strategic partnerships with Poland and Turkey and the excellent bilateral cooperation with these countries in multiple areas of common interest.
“I am convinced that the friendship and the special connection between Bucharest, Warsaw and Ankara represents a solid basis on which we can further develop our collaboration, including in this trilateral format,” said Klaus Iohannis, according to Agerpres.