Romania’s capital city Bucharest hosted the 63rd annual session of NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Attending the latest session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly hosted by Bucharest, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hailed Romania’s major contribution to the North Atlantic Alliance and emphasized the country’s participation in peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as the allocation of 2% of its GDP to defence. The NATO official also referred to the importance of Romania’s hosting elements of the anti-missile defence shield. Stoltenberg thanked Romania for its contribution to collective defence adding that NATO keeps its promises and adjusts itself to the new security threats and challenges. “We are concerned by Russia’s military build-up close to our borders. And its lack of transparency when it comes to military exercises,” Stoltenberg also said.
In turn, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis said, that Romania will continue to be a trustworthy ally and dialogue partner with NATO. In his opinion the North-Atlantic Partnership and NATO’s partnership with the European Union must be consolidated in the context of a deteriorating security background. Iohannis said that in Romania’s opinion, any differences in the manner of approaching NATO’s flanks must disappear and emphasized the need for the Alliance’s constant presence at the borders. Iohannis also pointed out to the need for a strengthened civil infrastructure, able to respond to cyber and hybrid attacks.
Klaus Iohannis: “NATO is not looking for confrontation and it does not pose a threat to Russia. However, in the relation with Russia, the Alliance needs a comprehensive and coherent strategy for the long-term. Such a strategy must also include dialogue but from a strong defence and deterrence position.”
Also present at the meeting, Romanian Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu said the country needs a strong alliance based on a solid transatlantic relationship, with all these requiring a renewed political commitment from the Alliance as well as the equitable distribution of costs in terms of defence. In turn, Chamber of Deputies Speaker, Liviu Dragnea, said that Romania wanted the implementation of the commitments jointly assumed, and the acceptance without hesitation of all responsibilities, including the cost-related ones, by all partners.
Liviu Dragnea: "We have made and continue to make great efforts to better shape our profile within the European family. We have allotted the necessary budget resources for defence as few countries have. The relationship with our transatlantic partners is of strategic importance for us and the Romanian troops have a brave and resolute contribution in operation theatres, defending successfully the first line of the European and Euroatlantic borders.”
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly passed several resolutions focusing, among other things, on the stability and security in the Black Sea area, the EU’s tighter cooperation with NATO and on ways of turning information into weapon.