Minister of National Defence Gabriel Les on Tuesday stated that Romania is facing a series of challenges in the Black Sea region coming from Russia, which it cannot respond to otherwise than working closely with its allies."I would like to use the term "challenges" instead of "threats" coming from Russia, as we are not discussing threats to Romania's security as this point, but only challenges Russia got us used to in the recent time. I also said Tuesday at the conference to which I was invited by Senator James Inhofe and several other Senators that in the Black Sea region we are facing a series of challenges that we cannot respond to otherwise than by working closely with our allies, especially by strengthening the transatlantic relation with the United States of America," Gabriel Les told Antena 3 private television broadcaster.
According to him, Romania won't answer individually to the "challenges" from Russia, for "we must keep our calm and peace."
"No, most definitely, since we are part of a transatlantic alliance we will respond together to these challenges from Russia. We must keep our calm and peace, as we do not speak of direct threats from Russia to Romania at this point. (...) There are certain aspects related to how Russia understands to do things and not just in our country. For I refer now to the entire Balkan area, the entire Eastern flank, the Baltic states and so on. There are aspects that we should take very seriously and see how we can manage to defend at home, in our country," said Les.
The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday sent a release through Russia's official news agency TASS that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is directly responsible for the undermining of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), since it accepted to install elements of the USA's missile defence system in some of the European states member of this Alliance.