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August 13, 2022

Belgium’s PM De Croo, PM Ciuca and President Iohannis visit the 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base: NATO, defensive alliance ready to defend member states territory

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Wednesday in Romania that NATO is a defensive alliance which member states are ready to defend their territory in the event of an attack, adding that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was an assault on the core values of the EU and NATO – freedom, democracy and human rights.

He said this is a turning point in Europe, a brutal attack on Europe’s core values freedom, democracy. They are the core values of the European Union and NATO – freedom, democracy and human rights. This war is an assault on everything that we believe in. NATO is and will remain a defensive alliance. We have never sought and will never seek escalation, but, he said, NATO allies are ready to defend their territory. An attack on one of them is an attack on all of them, he said, adding that they are united in defending their values, their territory and they are extremely united in deterring anyone. De Croo made his remarks at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base he visited together with President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.

He emphasised support for Ukraine, saying that such support continues by imposing higher costs on Russia, by isolating Russia, by providing military support to Ukraine and by housing all refugees fleeing Russia’s atrocities. President Putin believed he would be able to control Ukraine and he underestimated NATO, but he was so wrong, he said. Activation of the NATO Response Force for the first time since its inception, just one day after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, he said, is a sign that NATO is more united than ever and more determined as never before.

De Croo added that the NATO summit in Brussels established the battle group to be deployed in Romania along with three other such groups in Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary.

He told the NATO troops at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base that they are not just a symbol of solidarity between them, as their presence is a very clear message to the rest of the world: they will defend their freedom, their democracy and the free world will never surrender.


Iohannis: We will continue our efforts to ensure the prompt, determined and robust response of the North Atlantic Alliance to any possible challenge or threat


President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday at the 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base that efforts will be continued to ensure a “prompt”, “determined” and “robust” response from the North Atlantic Alliance to any possible challenge or threat.

“We will continue our efforts to ensure the prompt, determined and robust response of the North Atlantic Alliance to any possible challenge or threat. As we decided at the recent Brussels Summit, we will accelerate the Alliance’s transformation to strengthen the position of deterrence and defence of NATO in the long run, especially on the eastern flank and on the Black Sea. We are working for making operational the four new Battle Groups as soon as possible, one of which will be in Romania. It will contribute, together with the other allied structures, to the strengthening of security on the entire Eastern Flank, in a coherent and unitary way, being a first step towards balancing the allied presence on the Flank,” said the head of state, who is visiting the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base together with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

He thanked all NATO allies for their presence in Romania.

“Through joint efforts, we contribute to the security of the Allied space, ensuring the peace and tranquility of our citizens. The fact that we are together in this military base is further proof of the unity, cohesion and solidarity that exists at NATO level,” he said.

President Iohannis brought to mind that since 2014, as a result of the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation, NATO has begun a complex process of adaptation.

“We are aware that we are facing a security environment marked by new risks and threats and by the increasingly aggressive conduct of the Russian Federation at the regional level.

The head of state stressed that the brutal aggression launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine has fundamentally affected regional, European, Euro-Atlantic security and has negative projections globally – on several levels.

“Therefore, in order to support Ukraine, which has been severely tried by this aggression, NATO and the European Union have taken concrete and consistent measures. Romania, in turn, has acted quickly and efficiently, both at the governmental level and at the level of civil society. (…) We have sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine and received on our territory all the refugees who have come to us, offering them support, accommodation and medical care. Furthermore, we put in place on the territory of our country a logistic hub that ensures the collection and transport of international humanitarian donations to Ukraine,” Iohannis said.

President Iohannis said that the international security environment had undergone radical changes and, as a result, NATO states had to take appropriate response measures, strictly defensive, meant not to lead to escalation.

“Thus, NATO has stepped up measures to prepare the Allied military forces and to consolidate the Allied position on the Eastern Flank. Dear military – Romanians and those from other NATO member states, you are standing shoulder to shoulder here and today you are the concrete expression of our determination to further strengthen the Allied deterrence and defence in the Black Sea region,” he said.

The head of state thanked the Prime Minister of Belgium for the contribution of the Belgian military on Romanian territory.

“Dear allied military, your presence in Romania has, beyond the security component, a symbolic dimension. Together with your colleagues, the Romanian military, you protect and defend the Euro-Atlantic values that essentially define our societies: democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the right of every people to decide their own destiny. Only together can we ensure the security and well-being of our citizens,” added President Iohannis.


PM Ciuca: NATO is the strongest security guarantee; we need to be prepared for a long crisis


NATO is the strongest and most concrete security guarantee for member states, said Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, who underscored that Romania and its allies must be prepared for a lasting crisis as a result of the armed conflict in Ukraine, and also for the situation in which this crisis will extend closer to Romania’s border.

The PM on Wednesday visited the 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu together with President Klaus Iohannis and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, Alexander De Croo.

“I am honoured to be with the troops today, who are proving through their presence and actions in Romania that NATO is the strongest and most concrete security guarantee for its member states and that NATO is not only at the headquarters in Brussels, but also here. We are living in difficult times that we did not think we would live in in the 21st century. We must be prepared for a lasting crisis and for the situation in which this crisis will extend closer to our border,” said Nicolae Ciuca.

He pointed out that NATO needs to develop a posture of deterrence and effective defence on the Eastern flank.

“Thank you, Prime Minister De Croo, for your contribution to NATO’s decision to implement the Graduated Response Plan. We need to create and strengthen a posture of defence and deterrence on NATO’s Eastern flank. We rely on your support for the new form of the strategic concept of NATO, which must include the Russian threat as it is now, requiring a strengthened presence of NATO on the Eastern flank. We must take defence very seriously and reflect it in our decisions. It’s time we switch from the advanced presence to the advanced defence and implement the decision taken by our leaders on March 24 at the Extraordinary Summit in Brussels,” the PM added.

Nicolae Ciuca firmly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reiterating that it represents “the greatest threat” to the Euro-Atlantic security in the recent days.

“We condemn the heartless attacks of the Russian troops against civilians, in violation of the international provision and of humanity and we mourn the tragic loss of human lives, the enormous human suffering and destructions provoked by the illegal, unprovoked and unjustified Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said the PM.

The head of the Executive underscored that it is the duty of Romanian authorities to help the Ukrainian refugees and their families and the displaced ones.

“We have established a humanitarian corridor to alleviate the tragedy they are facing, to give them hope and to show them they are not alone. We are by Ukraine’s side. Both NATO and the European Union are solidarity with the Ukrainian people and Government. The allies are united in supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” said Ciuca.

He also mentioned the decision of the supreme commander of the Allied Force in Europe to move elements of the NATO response forces.

“Russia’s aggressive actions have led the allies to activate NATO defence plans to protect the Alliance. SACEUR has decided to move elements of NATO response forces. This is the first time that these forces have been moved in a context of collective defence,” Prime Minister Ciuca explained.

The Prime Minister thanked the Romanian military and all allied troops for their presence at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.

“I want to thank you, the troops present today, together with your Romanian brothers, and all the allied troops, for proving how strong the solidarity of NATO members is. NATO will continue to take all necessary measures and decisions to ensure the security and defence of all. Our commitment to comply with the provisions of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is unwavering. We are united in protecting and defending the Alliance. Freedom will overcome oppression,” Ciuca added.


Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.gov.ro

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