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November 23, 2022

President Iohannis, at ceremony to mark Romanian Army Day: Romania has a distinct place within NATO, being indisputably a security provider

Romania has a distinct place within NATO and it is indisputably a security provider in the Black Sea region and on NATO’s Eastern flank, President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday, in a speech on the Day of the Romanian Army.

He added that NATO presence in Romania has constantly increased in recent years.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca also attended the ceremony in Carol Park.

“We are going through a period marked by heightened uncertainty, and the effects of these complex challenges also affect our daily lives. In the current difficult context, our direction is clear: we remain united and resolute, anchored in the values and symbols that define and empower us as a nation, and strengthen co-operation with our allies and partners,” said Iohannis.

He went on to speak about the importance of allocating a considerable amount in public defence spending.

“The Romanian Army continues to modernise, and you are at the core of this extensive transformation process as the most important resource that gives the value and strength to any military force. Allocating 2% of GDP in public defence spending as established in 2017 has facilitated an increase in investment, the provision of equipment, as well as the necessary funds for training for better interoperability with NATO.”

He said that that in 2023, Romania’s public defence spending will increase to 2.5% of GDP, “in order to increase the Army’s ability to carry out its entrusted missions and thus give Romania even more credibility in playing its part as a regional security pillar.”

“It is vital that we invest in our own defence forces because, unfortunately, we see that there are still states tributary to an outdated mentality, which use armed force to threaten the sovereignty of an independent country, defying the entire rules-based international system. Our response – of the NATO countries and our partners – must be a decisive and resolute one, intended to contribute to deterring the actions of any potential adversary.”

Iohannis addressed the soldiers in attendance.

“I am urging you to be an active part of this process of transformation and modernisation of the Army, to continue to prepare to the highest standards, to improve and strengthen your skills in accordance with NATO standards, including by capitalising on joint training with fellow NATO soldiers in our country, to strengthen the NATO deterrence and defence posture,” said Iohannis.


PM Ciuca: Training and endowment of the Romanian Army continue to represent key directions in strengthening the defence capacity


The training and endowment of the Romanian Army continue to represent key directions in strengthening the defence capacity of our country to better respond to the geostrategic demands and challenges as an external border state of the Euro-Atlantic community, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca stated on the occasion of the Romanian Army Day.

“The Day of the Romanian Army, which we celebrate today, is a timely tribute to all the heroes who fell in battle for the defence of the Romanian land. Now, we have the best opportunity to thank today’s generations of Romanian soldiers, in whom we all place the trust for the defence of the country or who represent us with honour in missions and different theatres of operations around the world under the auspices of the North Atlantic Alliance, the UN or the European Union. Professionalism, responsibility, honour, courage and dedication – this is the profile of the soldiers of the Romanian Army, confirmed by the appreciations constantly received from international partners and allies. The fact that, this year, the Global Firepower report ranked Romania among the most powerful military forces in the world, positioning it as the 11th military force of the European Union and the 14th of NATO, confirms the added value that the more than 18 years of membership in the North Atlantic Alliance have brought to the Romanian Army and the continuous process of modernization starting once with our accession to the organization,” said Nicolae Ciuca.

The head of the Executive underscored that the importance of the defensive capacity is more obvious than ever in this period, when “Russia’s irresponsible military aggression on Ukraine” threatens the security of the region and even of the whole world.

“Taking into account this context, the training and endowment of the Romanian Army continue to represent key directions in strengthening the defence capacity of our country so as to better respond to the geostrategic demands and challenges as an external border state of the Euro-Atlantic community. After the beginning of the war in Ukraine, an important decision was made in this regard, to increase the allocation for defence from 2 to 2.5pct of GDP, with a significant contribution for endowing the Romanian Army with modern military equipment and technology, as well as reprioritizing some of its programmes. We are currently running several programmes to modernize the equipment in the endowment and equip it with multi-role aircraft, with modern defensive systems and equipment, radar systems, as well as with equipment for decontamination and individual collective protection,” said Ciuca.

The Prime Minister emphasized the high level of training of the Romanian military and expressed his confidence in the Romanian Army’s ability to respond to current defensive and security requirements.

“The concept of a professional army, around which the field of defence is thought, also requires professional personnel, specialized to the latest standards, and the Romanian troops prove with each mission the high level of their training. We thank you for how seriously you understand to do your duty. In addition to the body of professional soldiers active at the national level, we have numerous soldiers deployed in NATO, EU, UN and coalition missions. The Romanian Army continues to enjoy the trust of the citizens, and this encourages us in the steps we take to also ensure an operational reserve of trained people, through the recruitment of voluntary reservists and voluntary military training. From the experience gained as a Minister of Defence and a military officer, knowing the high level of training of my former colleagues, I have full confidence in the Romanian Army’s ability to respond to current defensive and security requirements,” Ciuca said.

At the end of his message, the head of the Executive thanked the Romanian military for how seriously they understand to do their duty to increase the country’s defense level, including the support of the approximately 5,000 foreign soldiers deployed in Romania within the NATO Battle Group in Romania, of the US detachments present in our country, of the NATO commands in Romania, as well as of some joint exercises and the air police mission.

The PM also said he had a lot of respect for the soldiers wounded in mission, whose power to move forward regardless of obstacles is “touching and a real life lesson.”

“Happy returns to the Romanian Army! Happy returns to the Romanian troops and all the Army personnel!,” said Ciuca.


Defense Staff’s head Petrescu: NATO, EU affirm firm will to defend values of humanity


In the context of the war in Ukraine, NATO and the EU have affirmed the firm will to defend the values of humanity on the basis of which they were established, the head of the Defense Staff (SMAp), Daniel Petrescu, said on Tuesday in a message sent on Romanian Army Day.

“We are in a year that will remain recorded in universal history as the period in which the Russian Federation unleashed a bloody war against Ukraine. The peace in Europe, which, by the way, was showing signs of weakness, dissipated on February 24, once with the brutal, illegal and unjust offensive actions of the regime in Moscow against the neighboring people. However, it is also the year in which the great contemporary projects, NATO and the EU, affirmed their firm will to defend the values of humanity on the basis of which they were established,” Petrescu declared.

He added that “NATO’s rapid defensive reconfiguration on the eastern flank has led to the strengthening of the deterrence and defense posture in this area of Europe”.

“The response measures of the Romanian Army and the increasing relevance of the NATO presence in our country resulted in the strengthening of the national defense capacity, including the component of increasing the reaction capacity of the national force structure, as well as the strengthening of the allied shield in our country and in the Black Sea region. The results of military cooperation in an allied context, from the last decades, are now visible in the plan of the joint training of the forces and in that of the development of the infrastructure necessary for the preparation for the fight,” Petrescu pointed out.

He affirmed that “we will continue, at an accelerated pace, the consolidation of our own defense capacity, and the allied states will increase the consistency of their forces and capabilities in Romania”.

“We are in full process of putting NATO’s solidarity into practice. The footprint of the allied presence is the new normal of the present and will remain a component of the collective posture for the defense of Romania’s territory, as an integral part of the allied territory,” said the head of SMAp.

Petrescu showed that “the fate of the Army is linked to the fate of Romania”. “The institution of national defense, subordinated exclusively to the will of the people, is fully committed to the sacred mission of guaranteeing and defending the values of the Romanian state,” Petrescu said.

“Every day, the military are engaged in tasks and activities that serve to fulfill this mission. However, there is a day in the calendar dedicated to the institution of defense, in which the active military, as well as their retired colleagues, publicly reconfirm their will to remain closely connected to the fate of the army,” he added.


Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.presidency.ro

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