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Long-term strengthening NATO's defense posture, especially on Eastern Flank and the Black Sea, necessary

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Bogdan Aurescu

It is necessary to transform and strengthen NATO's deterrence and defense posture in the long term, especially on the Eastern Flank and the Black Sea, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu said on Thursday at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Bucharest Format 9 (B9), which took place in Bratislava, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) informs.

The discussions were also attended by NATO's Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana and assistant to the US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried. The meeting also held a special session dedicated to support for Ukraine, during which Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba presented a message, Agerpres.ro informs.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu stressed the negative impact of this crisis generated by Russia on security in the Eastern Neighborhood of the Alliance, especially upon the Black Sea region, and at European and Euro-Atlantic level, stressing that the Kremlin's military action in Ukraine has generated an increased military presence of Moscow in the Black Sea. At the same time, he reiterated the importance of the Allied unity and the strengthening of the Alliance as a whole.

"Minister Bogdan Aurescu welcomed the decisions of the NATO extraordinary summit on March 24, especially regarding the creation of the four Battle Groups, including the one in Romania, but also those regarding the long-term adaptation of the NATO posture and noted that the next period is particularly important for the advancement of the Alliance's strategic projects, including from the perspective of the decisions that will be taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid in June," the MAE informs.

Minister Aurescu also stressed that the NATO adaptation process must be carried out and continued in a sustained manner, with the Madrid Summit in June representing an important moment for ensuring a consolidated, efficient and coherent NATO position, especially on the Eastern Flank, in the long term.

Moreover, Aurescu mentioned the importance of some actions supported at national level to ensure security and recalled, in this context, the announcement of President Klaus Iohannis regarding the increase of the national defense budget from 2 pct of GDP to 2.5 pct of GDP.

The Romanian chief of diplomacy also referred to the need to continue the support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Minister Aurescu stressed the constant and substantial support provided by Romania to Ukraine and the humanitarian assistance provided to Kyiv and to the Ukrainian citizens who have been in refuge since the beginning of the conflict, both on the territory of our country and through the donations sent to this neighboring country. In this context, Aurescu also presented the results of the northeastern Suceava hub and encouraged the continuation, by the Allies, of a committed approach in relation to Kyiv, as well as towards the partner states in the Eastern Neighborhood, especially the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.

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