March 13, 2018

Speaker Dragnea: NATO membership, strategic partnership with US, security guarantees for Romania
Mar 13, 2018

Speaker Dragnea: NATO membership, strategic partnership with US, security guarantees for Romania.
NATO membership and strategic partnership with the United States are security guarantees for Romania, but at the same time there is need for consistency in national approaches to defence and national security, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea said Tuesday at the end of a meeting with heads of delegations from the Bucharest 9 Initiative format, as well as representatives of NATO, the US, including NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) on the occasion of a Bucharest 9 Initiative defence ministers' meeting. "I met defence ministers from the B9 countries ... (...) I told them what my views are on a few important topics for Romania. From our point of view, guarantees of our national security are NATO membership, that is NATO and a strategic partnership with the United States, and I also believe that NATO must have a much more consistent approach to strengthening its eastern flank, because we must understand that the eastern border of the European Union - which are the countries that are represented here today - is perhaps the most important area in NATO, taking into account the developments in the wider Black Sea region, Russia's actions and what's happening in our area. I also told our guests that there is need for consistency as regards national approaches to national defence and security and much more applied, more effective cooperation among the B9 countries," said Dragnea. According to him, Romania and Poland should play a very important role as decision makers. "Taking into account the size of our countries and the contribution of our involvement in NATO actions on various theatres of war as well as our decision taken and implemented to allocate important amounts for defence spending, at least 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Romania and Poland, in our opinion, have a very important role to play in the making of big decisions, because the Black Sea zone has become very important in recent times, a zone that involves risks for our country and for the countries in the eastern flank as well, and therefore we must be treated in the light of the new circumstances," said Dragnea. He pointed out that he had spoken with the officials attending the meeting in Bucharest about the fact that, because of sizeable defence spending allocations, the Romanian Armed Forces are undergoing a transformation, modernisation, renewal. "Also, the Romanian defence industry is entering this process as well, because one of our main objectives is that most of the money allocated for acquisitions should be used in the Romanian defence industry. In fact, a large part of the military equipment which we buy should be manufactured here in Romania, which - with one or two exceptions - has begun to happen. As far as the Black Sea military equipment is concerned, we did not go into details. I voiced hope that the July summit would adopt a very clear, well-defined and coherent policy for the eastern flank. I do not think there is a plan sketched up for that yet. And I also told them that, as far as I am concerned, the PESCO [Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence] project is a good project. Indeed, the EU must have a well-defined defence structure, but I would not agree that this competes against NATO the United States, on the contrary. (...) The eastern flank must be prepared to cope with all types of challenges and threats, regardless of their type and origin. It is not just two countries; it needs a much broader approach," said Dragnea. AGERPRES (RO - author: Catalina Matei, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)
[Read the article in Agerpres]

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