Ukraine-Russia crisis: Romania demands more NATO presence in the country
The Ukrainian flag. pixabay.com
BUCHAREST (dpa-AFX) – Concerns are growing in neighboring NATO and EU country Romania in view of a possible threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We are ready to host a larger (NATO) alliance presence,” said President Klaus Iohannis in a televised speech after a meeting of the Supreme Defense Council on Wednesday. They want to actively campaign for more NATO troops on Romanian territory. The President also called on NATO and the EU for “unity and solidarity” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In the “security crisis created by Russia,” not only the security of Ukraine is at stake, and not just that of Europe, but that of “the entire Euro-Atlantic area,” emphasized Iohannis. In the event that Russia “rejects the path of dialogue” and hostilities break out, Romania is preparing, among other things, for incoming refugees.
In view of a massive Russian troop deployment near Ukraine, there are fears in the West that the Kremlin could be planning an invasion of the neighboring country – which Moscow denies. In response to the escalating tensions, several NATO member countries sent ships and military aircraft eastwards at the beginning of the week.
Romania has repeatedly been the target of criticism from Moscow because of its western orientation and the presence of US troops. A US-built and operated missile defense shield is located in Deveselu, southern Romania. The US Air Force operates a base at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Black Sea airport near Constanta./kl/DP/ngu
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