President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that Romania is calling for "increased attention" from NATO to the Black Sea area, adding that the area needs NATO and European co-operation, and "increased attention from all to the eastern flank."
"These issues exist all over Europe. We are all concerned, but to us in Romania, it is extremely important to be attentive and we are attentive. But we are calling - and I have seen lately that we are succeeding better and better - for increased NATO attention to the Black Sea. At the 2016 summit, I managed to focus NATO's attention on the Black Sea. Since then, there has been a NATO Black Sea strategy. I want to move forward with them. We are setting up resilience, cybersecurity centres in Romania, and we obviously have our specialist bodies that deal with these issues, but what I want at this stage is for us to be aware that there is a need for both NATO and European co-operation, and more attention is needed to the eastern flank, "Iohannis said when asked if Romania would call on NATO for a more intense presence in the Black Sea basin and in the area close to the border with Ukraine, agerpres.ro confirms.
He added that "the eastern flank is an issue that requires the full attention of NATO" from a military point of view.
"And it is an area that needs the attention of the European Union, because on the eastern flank there are new members whose economies still cannot be compared with those in Western Europe, who have critical infrastructures that require very, very much investment until they reach the level of critical infrastructure in Western Europe. And we present these things, on the one hand in the NATO military-security area, in the area of critical infrastructure and civilian infrastructure in the European Union. In the end it is vital to us, and the European Union to reach in a reasonable time the same level, not only of living, but also of development of security zones and infrastructure, and for that we obviously need the European funds," Iohannis mentioned.
Iohannis announced that a meeting of Romania's Supreme Council for National Defence will be convened next week to discuss the situation in the Black Sea area. He described the situation in the area as "worrying".