Romania is concerned about the increased Russian military activity in the Black Sea. Strengthening European security will be the main topic in January, when this country, in the order of rotation, will take over the European Union presidency, said Romanian Defense Minister Mihai Fifor.
“The Russian Federation is using the Black Sea to move forces into the eastern Mediterranean areas,” stated Mihai Fifor at the international conference hosted by the Aspen Institute.
“The situation has changed dramatically in the past year,” stressed the minister.
Romania is one of the European NATO members, which like Poland, has increased its defense spending, as the alliance aims to defer Russia and is undergoing modernization.
At the conference, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu announced that strengthening cybersecurity and fight against the Russian military threat would be an additional subject for consideration during the Romanian EU presidency.
In the interview with Reuters, Mihai Fifor said that by the end of the year Bucharest plans to present two new large-scale military procurement programs, in addition to the already announced plans to acquire new fighter jets and other weapons.
According to him, in the past two years, Romania has contributed an amount of 2 percent of its GDP to the NATO defense budget and will continue its funding at this level for a decade.
Earlier this year, Romania signed a contract for the purchase of a Patriot missile defense system as part of an integrated air defense system. The U.S. missile defense components are located in the country. The Romanian military, under the leadership of the United States, is involved in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.