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Iohannis: I'll keep on calling for an additional, strengthened Allied presence on our side of Eastern Flank

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Klaus Iohannis

NATO's eastern flank must be strengthened in a balanced way, namely the southern part, especially towards the Black Sea, it must be as well defended and strengthened as the northern part of the Eastern Flank, in the Baltic area, President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Chisinau.

"This war in Ukraine lies next to the Eastern Flank of NATO, of the European Union. We are on the Eastern Flank, we are near the Black Sea and, as I said before, we know, meanwhile, that from the Black Sea the Russian attack on the southern part of Ukraine was launched. So the Black Sea is not a theory that we need a strategy, that we need to strengthen our position, it is a conclusion that results from the realities on the ground. On the other hand, the Eastern Flank must be strengthened in a balanced way. In this case, the southern part, especially towards the Black Sea, must be as well defended and strengthened as the northern part of the Eastern Flank, in the Baltic area. In conclusion, in order to satisfy these self-evident demands from now on, I could say, I will continue to call for an additional and strengthened Allied presence on our side of the Eastern Flank, in order to be able to do what the NATO doctrine tells us, that we must have a strong, deterring presence," the head of state said, after the meeting with the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu.

He stressed that he would say these things "very clearly" at the extraordinary Summit of the North Atlantic Alliance to be held next week in Brussels.

"I repeat, we do not want a war with anyone. But we can't even tolerate being weak and being attacked in the vulnerable part of the Eastern Flank. In conclusion, we will continue to call for the strengthening and increase of the defense capacity on our side of the Eastern Flank and these things I will say very clearly at the extraordinary NATO Summit to be held next week in Brussels," Klaus Iohannis said.

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