The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the 20th anniversary, on Monday, of the receiving by Romania of the invitation to join NATO, at the Allied Summit in Prague, emphasizing that this moment of unique historical significance represented a “major” political success of the foreign affairs of Romania, an objective constantly supported by the entire political class and civil society.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to AGERPRES, in this symbolic context, next week Minister Bogdan Aurescu will host, in Bucharest, the meeting of heads of diplomacy of NATO countries, the first in this format organized by our country since joining the North Atlantic Alliance and the second formal high-level event of the organization hosted by Romania, after the 2008 Bucharest Summit.
“This historic decision represented a major step towards the peaceful reunification of Europe. For our country, it also meant the fulfillment of a national objective and hopes shared by all Romanians. For NATO, as President Vaclav Havel himself remarked at that time, the invitation of the seven new members contributed to the fundamental purpose of the Alliance: ‘ensuring the best protection for the security, freedom, dignity, rights and prosperity of its citizens’. The 2002 decision recognized the solid commitment of Romania and the other invited states to democratic values the Alliance is based on. This was, at the same time, the recognition of the capacity of these countries to contribute substantially to the NATO collective defense and to the fulfillment of its fundamental tasks,” declared Minister Bogdan Aurescu, according to the press release.
According to him, the expansion round launched in Prague had a decisive role in eliminating the divisions of the Cold War and led to the strengthening of ties of friendship and cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe.
He said that, in the spirit of allied unity and solidarity, Romania made an important contribution to NATO’s collective defense, to the Alliance’s missions and operations, as well as to the process of its consolidation and adaptation to a spectrum of increasingly large challenging.
At the same time, as part of this commitment, Aurescu mentioned, Romania has constantly taken steps to strengthen its own capabilities, based on the principle of fair distribution of tasks, including by increasing the defense budget from 2% to 2.5% of GDP starting from the year 2023.
He added that the war started by the Russian Federation against Ukraine is the “most serious” and “most urgent” threat to the security of the Alliance, but also to the peace and stability of the entire Euro-Atlantic area.
In his opinion, in all these approaches, NATO’s cooperation with international partners remains essential, primarily with the European Union and the United Nations, but also with other partners who share the organization’s values and interests.