Romanian president: Russia is the most immediate and direct threat to Euro-Atlantic security
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis recently spoke at the end of a meeting in the Hague about the importance of further strengthening NATO, including Romania. He argued that Russia is and will continue to be the immediate and most direct threat to Euro-Atlantic security.
According to Iohannis, the upcoming NATO Vilnius Summit “will be an important moment in further strengthening our Alliance on many dimensions."
"First and foremost, we will be able to benefit from the progress made in strengthening our deterrence and defense posture. In Madrid, we clearly recognized the strategic importance of the Black Sea for Euro-Atlantic security. Current developments clearly demonstrate once again the validity of this recognition,” the president further declared, according to HotNews.
The Romanian leader also said that Russia is and will continue to be the immediate and most direct threat to Euro-Atlantic security. That threat must be answered with more support for Ukraine and vulnerable partners like the Republic of Moldova, he added.
Iohannis believes that deterrence and defense must be NATO’s focus in the upcoming period. “The Alliance needs a strong, long-term posture, a genuine Forward Defense, capable of responding to all threats. Given our strategic position, Romania is particularly interested in further consolidating the Eastern Flank through a coherent and united approach. This means ensuring the necessary forces, structures, capabilities, and equipment, as well as appropriate command and control arrangements,” he said.
Investments in defense are crucial to NATO’s goals, Klaus Iohannis also stated. “The Defense Investment Pledge of 2014 was crucial in advancing toward a stronger Alliance. Now is the time to move forward. Romania is ready to assume all the necessary responsibilities. Thus, as already announced in Madrid, starting this year, the national defense budget has increased from 2% to 2.5% of GDP."
According to the president, Romania's support for Ukraine and its aspiration to become a full-fledged Ally is well-known.
“We will continue to be a staunch supporter of Kyiv. In Bucharest, in 2008, the Allies decided that Ukraine would become a NATO member. In Vilnius, we must take this commitment further. It is about responsibility and trust in our relationship with Ukraine, but it is also about credibility for the Alliance. In Vilnius, we look forward to a meeting with president Zelensky, hopefully in the format of the new NATO-Ukraine Council,” Iohannis stated.
“We must not forget our most vulnerable partners in the region, especially the Republic of Moldova,” Iohannis also said. “Their security and Ukraine's security are interconnected. And their security is linked to our Euro-Atlantic security. If they are stronger, our region is stronger, the Black Sea is safer, and thus, the entire Allied territory is safer."
Klaus Iohannis ended his address by reaffirming Romania’s commitment to a stronger NATO.
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)