By Daniel Stroe – Bucharest
A NATO permanent military base installed on the Romanian territory is a strategic objective that Romania will discuss at next week’s military bloc’s summit in Wales, Romanian PM Victor Ponta has disclosed today.
The objective is unanimously supported by all the state institutions, Ponta pointed out. “This is one of Romania’s fundamental objectives and it is a position which has been established by all the state institutions, namely Romania’s desire to have a NATO permanent military presence on its territory” the head of government said.
“This is important because, if such a decision is taken, and I hope they will take it, its implementation will occur next year or in two years. This year, NATO’s summit will be attended by President Basescu who will not be President anymore and this is why I wanted to clearly show the support for this strategic project of the government and the Romanian authorities that will be leading the country next year” Ponta added.
Speaking earlier today in the presence of Defense Minister, Mircea Dusa, and Foreign Minister, Titus Corlatean, Ponta said Romania will seek a “clear NATO military presence in Romania and a clear commitment for ensuring security and partnership of the whole Eastern flanks.
“It is extremely important that Romania, which has proven a reliable partner for NATO, knows the North-Atlantic Alliance’s efforts are clearly channeled towards ensuring security in this region and a very clear support for the new EU accession candidates, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and commitments related to their security” he further said.
Romania, along Poland and the Baltic states, have been pleading for a NATO military presence in the former communist space to dissuade any possible aggression from Russia amid turbulence in Ukraine. Romanian officials have called on USA and NATO to redeploy military capabilities and station troops in the east of the bloc amid growing tensions in neighboring Ukraine, while strategists in Washington consider moving troops to Eastern Europe, even though a formal decision has not been made yet, other than temporary relocation of troops.
Romania is very concerned about developments in Ukraine, its neighboring country, that have regional impact and expects NATO to redeploy military capacities to the east, Romanian foreign minister, Titus Corlatean, said in an interview to France Presse in April. “Romania has concrete expectations concerning a redeployment and transfer to the east of NATO’s air, naval and land military capabilities” Corlatean said. Bucharest is also worried about further tensions in Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transnistria where about a thousand Russian troops are deployed. Moldova, former Romanian territory, has embarked upon serious reforms in its quest for European Union membership which has vexed Russia who replied by cutting Moldovan wine and fruits and vegetables imports.