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August 8, 2022
DEFENCE

NATO Day, occasion for Romanian authorities to reiterate full commitment to the Alliance values

President Iohannis: I will continue to strongly support the consolidation of the transatlantic relation, NATO’s spinal column

NATO Day is marked in Romania each year on the first Sunday of April. This year Romania marks 18 years of NATO membership, and NATO celebrates 73 years of existence on April 4.

President Klaus Iohannis says in a message on the occasion of NATO Day that he would continue to strongly support the consolidation of the transatlantic relation, which he sees as the spinal column of the Alliance and the community of democratic and security values Romania is part of.

“Romania reiterates the full support for each sovereign state to make its own foreign policy and security decisions. I will continue to strongly support the consolidation of the transatlantic relation, which is the spinal column of the Alliance and our community of democratic and security values. On the occasion of NATO Day, I reaffirm with confidence that our country and its citizens benefit from the most solid security guarantees in history, the largest and most sustainable concrete protection, day by day. Today’s reality is asking us to act of a joint and decided manner both on national level and within NATO, the European Union and all relevant multilateral structures, to ensure the security and welfare of the Romanian citizens,” Iohannis said in the message sent by the Presidential Administration.

He brought to mind that Romania marks, on Sunday, NATO Day, which this year takes place in a special security context, generated by the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

“18 years ago, on April 2, 2004, the Romanian flag was hoisted for the first time at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, our country having become a member of the strongest politico-military Alliance in history. In its 73 years of existence, the North Atlantic Alliance has proved its crucial role in ensuring the Euro-Atlantic security, guaranteeing the security of the member states, including Romania. Collective defence has been and must stay the central element of the Alliance, as provided by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,” he said.

President Iohannis said that these principles were “firmly and eloquently” reaffirmed in Brussels at the Extraordinary NATO Summit on March 24, when decisive steps were taken to achieve the long-term consolidation of the Allied position of deterrence and defense on the Eastern Flank, “as Romania has demanded and argued.”

“We have shown that we have the capacity, as Allies, to act together, to strengthen the transatlantic relation and to implement, without hesitation, the mission of collective defense of common values and principles,” the head of state said.

According to him, the decision to create the NATO Battlegroup in Romania, along with three other such structures on the Eastern Flank, “reflects exactly the allied determination and solidarity.”

“Today, more than ever, NATO is proving to be highly relevant by providing protection to member states and their citizens against increasingly diverse and increasingly complex risks and threats. Romania is, in turn, a major supplier of security and stability at regional and Euro-Atlantic level, a responsible and involved member, as evidenced by the efforts made in the international missions in which it participated or is participating. Consolidating the defence capacity further represents a priority of our country, also reflected in the decision to increase defense spending from 2 to 2.5% of GDP starting 2023,” Klaus Iohannis also said.

He stressed that Romania remains committed, “through substantial conceptual contributions” to the NATO adaptation process. In this regard, says the head of state, an important moment will be the NATO Summit in June in Madrid, when a new Strategic Concept will be approved and important decisions will be made for the further implementation of the objectives set out in the NATO Agenda 2030.

President Iohannis also assured that Romania will continue to promote the partnership between NATO and the European Union, “based on complementarity and synergy” and will support its partners – the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia or Bosnia and Herzegovina, in their resilience growth efforts.

 

PM Ciuca: Romania will make all efforts for the allied and U.S. military presence to be enhanced and consolidated

 

Romania will make all efforts for the allied and U.S. military presence to be enhanced and consolidated, to guarantee the citizens’ security, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca says, in the context of celebrating NATO Day in Romania.

“The illegal military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and NATO’s response to this unjustified invasion have proven the essential role of the Alliance, which acted swiftly and at a fact pace to consolidate the security of the Eastern Flank and Romania. Romania is an important NATO member and the allied measures adopted recently in the context of the Russian invasion in Ukraine place us under the umbrella of the strongest political-military alliance in history. We are the first allied country where NATO has activated its Rapid Response Force as a first,” the Prime Minister’s message reads.

He mentions that over 3,000 troops from NATO countries, out of whom approximately 2,000 are Americans, are deployed on Romanian soil, and over 20 allied aircraft ensure air policing missions on Romania’s skies together with the Romanian Air Force.

“Equally, NATO decided at its extraordinary Summit of March 24 to set-up a battlegroup on Romania’s territory, headed by our ally France. All these are immediate and short-term measures. On long-term, we are preparing the widest transformation of NATO’s defence concept, as well as that of the Romanian Army alongside the one of the alliance. To guarantee the security of all our citizens we’ll make all efforts for the allied and US military presence to be enhanced and consolidated,” Ciuca pointed out.

He hailed the results of the most recent NATO poll, published within the Secretary General’s annual activity report, that places Romania among the first allied nations whose citizens show the highest confidence level in the NATO affiliation.

According to Nicolae Ciuca, the accession to NATO on March 29, 2004, was preceded by a de facto affiliation to the Euro-Atlantic family in the previous years, when Romania joined the US and the Alliance in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Legally and politically, we became NATO members 18 years ago. Nonetheless Romania’s Army acted as an allied military force years before, smoothing the path of our accession, which we are always grateful for to our soldiers and their sacrifices on the battle field. Today, when our allies are by our side, in their turn, guaranteeing Romania’s security, we know ‘Defence starts at home.’ We are determined, especially in the context of the current war at Romania’s and NATO’s borders, to transform the allied defence posture on the Eastern Flank and develop Romania’s Army defensive capabilities to strengthen our role of security provider in the region,” Ciuca pointed out.

He brought to mind, as announced by President Iohannis, that the defence budget would increase 25%, from 2% of the GDP, to 2.5% of the GDP.

 

DefMin Dincu: The accession to the North Atlantic Alliance has brought Romania the most solid security guarantee in the country’s history

 

The accession to the North Atlantic Alliance has brought Romania the most solid security guarantee in the country’s history, as a member of the strongest political-military alliance in the world, Defence Minister Vasile Dincu said.

“The accession, 18 years ago, to the North Atlantic Alliance has brought Romania the most solid security guarantee in the country’s history. We are today members of the strongest political-military alliance in the world, which is particularly important in the current security context. As a community based on values such as liberty, democracy and rule of law, NATO has generated profound transformations in the Romanian society. Thus, April 2004 stays in the country’s history as the moment when the Romanian flag was hoisted for the first time at the NATO headquarters, the moment when Romanians understood the collective defence concept within the founding treaty of the Alliance: “All for one, one for all!,” Vasile Dincu said in Cluj on Sunday at the ceremony devoted to NATO Day.

According to him, this expression is so much more significant in the current period, when we see every day the effects of a ruthless war taking place so close to Romania’s borders.

“The accession to NATO has brought about important changes on the level of the military body as well. We have today a professional, experienced army, which has exercised its capacities in missions in the theatres of operations. Moreover, the Romanian troops are operating today based on modern procedures and concepts of conducting military actions, which are kept at an optimal interoperability level, through a great number of exercises and applications organised in the allied format. Ever since the Russian Federation invaded Crimea in 2014, Romania has sustained the geostrategic importance for NATO of the extended Black Sea region, constantly proposing measures to strengthen the Eastern Flank. And the Alliance has favourably responded each time, therefore today we benefit in Romania of a complete and permanent security architecture, starting from the South-Easte Multinational Brigade in Craiova, continuing with the South-East Multinational Division in Bucharest and ending with the South-East Multinational Corps in Sibiu,” the Defence Minister added.

Dincu reiterated that Romania needed credible military capabilities, with a proper endowment and well trained military.

“NATO can further count on Romania in the common efforts to develop the strategic defence. At the same time, NATO represents for Romania the strongest guarantee of security that we can count on in times as, unfortunately, we are living now. NATO is Romania, Romania is NATO!,” Dincu concluded.

The National Defence Minister participated on Sunday in the military ceremony that took place at the headquarters of the 4th Gemina Infantry Division in Cluj-Napoca, on the occasion of NATO Day.

 

Geoana: Romania is mature, influential and respected in NATO

 

Romania is mature, influential and respected in NATO, and the entire transatlantic space is vigilant, coherent and prepared to deal with any challenges, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said.

“Romania’s full and profound integration in NATO is happening in these dramatic moments, and in military and strategic terms there will no longer be a qualitative difference between the allies in the West and those in the East of Europe. We are NATO. The entire transatlantic space is vigilant, coherent and prepared to deal with any challenges,” Mircea Geoana said on Sunday at a ceremony celebrating NATO Day in Romania, at the headquarters of the Romanian National Defence Ministry.

According to him, there is no prosperity, democracy, “national and Euro-Atlantic transformation” without security, and the Army represents the spinal column of the Romanian state and the foundation of the nation.

Geoana underscored that Romania is to NATO “a first rank partner,” whose strategic relevance in the area of the Black Sea, South-Eastern Europe and the transatlantic space is respected.

“A few days ago we celebrated 18 years since our country, together with other currently allied nations, joined NATO. (…) Romania and the new allies have reached today their true strategic and political maturity,” Geoana pointed out.

He also brought to mind that there are eight battlegroups on NATO’s Eastern Flank. “We shall do even more, and, at the Madrid Summit, our leaders will adopt decisions with historic effects for the permanent, robust, sustainable and coherent presence of NATO on the Eastern Flank,” Mircea Geoana added.

 

Compiled from Agerpres

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