Romania needs more NATO troops on its territory, given that Russia is the biggest threat to European security and that Romania is just tens of kilometers from the war in Ukraine, says Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu.
Currently, there are already over 5,000 NATO soldiers in Romania, and the newly established Battle Group, which will be led by France, will become operational by the beginning of next year, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told Digi24.
“I think we really need a more consistent presence, although I can say that at the moment, if we look at the Allied presence in Romania, we already have over 5,000 allied soldiers in Romania. We have a doubling, even more than doubling, number of American soldiers in Romania, who are not in direct connection with this Battle Group“, said Bogdan Aurescu, on Monday evening.
“We have the composition of the Fighting Group, which is being set up and operationalized. We formally started this process of creating the battle group on May 1, it is in progress, it will be completed somewhere towards the end of the year, maybe the beginning of next year, maybe sooner, depending on how fast we move, and the allies who are part of this fighting group“, the foreign minister added.
The Romanian foreign minister said that although it has been said that NATO’s eastern flank countries perceived the Russian threat better than their Western allies, but that is not the case at this time, the perception changed after February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine.
“Look, there are states in Western Europe that send troops to Romania. The fact that France is sending troops to Romania to this battle group, the fact that Belgium is sending troops to Romania to this battle group, the fact that the Netherlands will send troops to Romania to this battle group, the fact that Portugal is already in Romania with forces, the fact that Finland and Sweden (…) want to join the Alliance shows that the perception of Russia’s threat is not only one of the states in this area, which have experienced the communist regime and the direct Russian influence on their own skin”, said Bogdan Aurescu.
“It is absolutely clear that the actions of Russia and Russia as such, by the way they act, are a threat and are the most serious threat to the Alliance. We are facing a conflict in the immediate vicinity of the North Atlantic Alliance, a war of illegal aggression unleashed by Russia unprovokedly, unjustifiably, which is not only directed against Ukraine, it is a war effort that is actually trying to put the whole European security architecture is being questioned. And from this perspective, it is clear that everyone needs to be aware of this, and that influences the decisions that the Allies have already made. We are now in the process of negotiating these decisions“, explained the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.