President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that "at this stage" Romania will not increase more than 2 percent of GDP for Defense, specifying that this cannot be excluded at a later time.
"At this point we will not have an increase of more than 2 percent, but we certainly cannot exclude it for a later stage. The current defense pact states that these 2 percent will be maintained for at least a decade. This allows planners to come with proposals for endowments spaced out over several years, which puts us in the situation of having important acquisitions, which would be difficult with budgets made only from one year to the next. On the other hand, it allows a higher level of training for our military and as a whole allows a significant increase in Romania's security level," Iohannis told a press conference held at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, when asked if Defense could receive more than 2 percent of GDP.
Iohannis underlined, in context, an "often forgotten" issue, namely that "we endow ourselves, we will have an increasingly powerful army, but the guarantee of our national security lies in NATO and our most important strategic partner: the United States of America".
"However, in order to deal with NATO demands, our country and partnership demands, we have to be very serious and work on training and endowment, which we do. On the other hand, it is true that in NATO there are informal talks trying to figure out whether or not 2 percent is enough. There are NATO members spending more than 2 percent, for example, the United States or, even more recently, a neighbor of ours who is spending over 3 percent. These issues, in Romania, have not yet been addressed, there have been no discussions with the Government or the Ministry of Defense for an increase over 2 percent," explained the head of state.