President Klaus Iohannis welcomed the decisions taken on Thursday by the NATO defence ministers, the setting up of control centres in six countries of the Eastern flank of the Alliance, including our country, and a multinational Command-level in Romania.
“Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, welcomes the decisions taken by the Defence Ministers’ meeting of NATO member states, regarding the establishment of command centres in six countries of the eastern flank of NATO (Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia). It is also worth noting the importance of the decision assumed by Romania to establish in our country a multinational Command at division level, as emphasized in the final communiqué of the meeting, which will coordinate the control centres in Romania and Bulgaria and provide connection to the High Allied Commandment in Naples,” reads a press release of the Presidential Administration, issued Thursday.
In his turn, defence Minister Mircea Dusa said while in Brussels: “After joining NATO in 2004, the decisions approved today for Romania are very important, we can even call them historical, in regard to the NATO and EU eastern flank reinforcement. These multinational NATO command and control structures are the materialization of the decisions taken by the Summit in 2014 on providing a visible and lasting presence of NATO allied countries’ territory. These units will have a key role to connect the national and the NATO forces, providing command and control in situations where the new NATO reaction force, with the high level of efficiency, will be deployed.
The UK will play a lead role in a “high readiness” NATO force that will be established in Eastern Europe, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced, the BBC informs.
Britain will send up to 1,000 troops and four RAF Typhoon jets for “air policing” in the region, he said.
The multinational force is the biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence since the end of the Cold War.
The move aimed to deter a perceived Russian threat to the Baltic states. It comes as French and German leaders headed to the Ukrainian capital Kiev to try to negotiate an end to escalating fighting in the east of the country.
Mr Fallon said NATO’s credibility in the face of the security challenges depended on “everyone playing their part” to implement decisions taken to bolster its forces at a summit of member states in Wales last year.
“Strong words must be backed up with firm action,” he said.
NATO defence ministers have gathered in Brussels to discuss the details of the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF), which will form NATO’s first response in the face of aggression.
It is expected to be made up of about 5,000 troops from NATO countries, with its lead units able to deploy at two days’ notice.
The UK will be the force’s lead nation in 2017 and then on rotation thereafter, Mr Fallon said.
He said the UK would contribute manpower to two regional headquarters in Poland and Romania, and to force integration units in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
More precisely, the alliance will establish a new northeastern regional headquarters in Poland and a smaller southeastern headquarters in Romania. Six command centers, staffed by national and NATO officers, will also be set up in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the three Baltic states to plan exercises and organize reinforcements for those countries in an emergency.
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg told the press conference marking the end of NATO defence ministers meeting that land forces would be dislocated in Romania, but also air and navy units that are to be decided at the upcoming meetings.
The UK will also send four RAF Typhoon jets to support the NATO’s Baltic air policing mission in 2015, he confirmed.
The Typhoons will operate alongside Norwegian aircraft between May and August 2015, with the aim of securing NATO’s airspace over Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, which do not have their own air defence fighters.
They will operate at NATO’s request from Amari Airbase in Estonia, he said.
BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus said the move was aimed to reassure NATO countries in Eastern Europe and deter what is perceived as a potential Russian threat to the Baltic republics or other NATO members.
He said it was also a signal that the alliance’s political leaders and military planners now see Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and military forays into eastern Ukraine as much more than just a temporary crisis between Moscow and the West.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine began last April, when separatists seized government buildings after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg has said that Russia continues to violate international law as fighting continues in Ukraine.