with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and the Foreign Minister of Romania, Lazăr Comănescu.
Thank you, Foreign Minister Comanescu.
It is great to be in Bucharest.
Romania makes important contributions to our shared security. Including in Afghanistan where you are one of the main troop contributors for our training mission.
Romania is also playing a key part in making countries in our neighbourhood more stable. In Moldova, Georgia and in Ukraine.
You make a substantial contribution to our Trust Fund on Cyber Defence for Ukraine. Helping Ukraine become more resilient.
And I warmly welcome that Romania has committed to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP.
A good example for other Allies.
We just had a very constructive discussion on the security situation in the Black Sea region. Where Russia’s military build-up is a cause for concern. The security environment has changed – and NATO is responding with resolve. Including right here in Romania.
Your country now hosts a small NATO headquarters, here in Bucharest. You have activated the Multinational Division South-East Headquarters. And we are strengthening NATO presence in the Black Sea region. With a Romanian-led multinational framework brigade on land.
We are also working on measures in the air and at sea. Two weeks ago, several Allies indicated they will contribute to this presence – a strong sign of solidarity. And while NATO is increasing our presence in the region, we are keeping channels of dialogue with Russia open. When tensions run high, transparency and predictability are even more important.
Romania also makes an important contribution when dealing with other challenges.
Including by hosting Aegis Ashore at Deveselu, as a contribution to NATO’s Missile Defence system. As the name suggests, Missile Defence is defensive. It is not directed against Russia, or any other country. It helps protect our nations against missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
Foreign Minister Comanescu, let me thank you again for Romania’s steadfast contribution to the Alliance.
NATO is committed unconditionally to Romania’s security.