NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said on Friday that the NATO battle group to be deployed on Romania’s territory is already in the initial phase of the operationalization of capabilities, noting that the final decisions will be made at the Summit in Madrid next week on the defense and deterrence posture on the eastern flank, which will be much more robust, more sustainable and integrated than at present.
“The first of the four battle groups that we will set up in this part of Europe, the one in Romania, is already in the initial phase of operationalization of capabilities. The other three in Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia will do the same in the following weeks,” Geoana said after attending a conference.
“Romania will probably have the first battle group of the four set up, and our leaders will discuss next week, and they will make the final decisions in Madrid on the defense and deterrence posture on the eastern flank, which will be much more robust than today, which will be more long-lasting than today and which will be more sustainable and integrated than what we have today,” Geoana added, according to Agerpres.
Asked how many soldiers will arrive in Romania, Mircea Geoana said that the participation list is open.
“In addition to the NATO forces, that came as a measure of enhanced vigilance – and here we saw 1,000 US soldiers coming, the first contingents of the NATO Rapid Reaction Corps led by France, with 550 French, 300 Belgians – the battle group to be established in Romania, and which has already started operating under France’s command and with Romania’s help, of course, as a host country, will have a number of other allies, who have already announced their intention to participate and this list is open,” said the NATO Deputy Secretary-General.
According to Geoana, the Romanian authorities will persuade as many allies as possible to be part of this battle group.
“There are countries in the region that want to be part of this working group, other allies in Europe, the essence of these groups from the Baltic area is precisely this multinational character. The more nations, the better. (…) I give the example of the Baltic area, where there are four battle groups, there are about 5,000 NATO military, but there are 20 allied nations that contribute to those battle groups, which makes the element of collective defense and collective deterrence very strong. (…) I anticipate that this fully operational capability will happen in the near future,” the NATO official said.