News / Europe

    Romania Seeks Greater US Military Presence in Black Sea

    FILE - Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters.
    FILE - Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters.
    Reuters
    Romania has called for the United States and NATO to boost their military presence in the Balkan country to promote stability in the Black Sea region following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

    Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean stressed the importance of an enhanced, long-term U.S. presence in the Black Sea region "to deter any other destabilizing initiatives,” the foreign ministry office said in a statement.

    Corlatean has been in Washington this week, discussing with U.S. officials the situation in Ukraine, which shares a border with Romania.

    The ministry said visits by U.S. warships to Romanian Black Sea ports and joint naval, aerial and terrestrial military exercises aimed at "consolidating a collective defense dimension" should increase.

    Romania, a former Communist state which joined the European Union in 2007, has been among the staunchest advocates of Western sanctions against Moscow after Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

    Romanian President Traian Basescu has called for NATO to reposition its resources in the wake of Russia's military maneuvers in recent months.

    Bucharest is especially wary that its neighbor Moldova, a tiny state with a Russian-speaking minority, could be next in Moscow's sights.

    Romania and its southern neighbor Bulgaria joined NATO 10 years ago and has deployed troops and been part of Washington's military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Since the standoff between Russia and the West began over Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria have taken part in navy drills in the Black Sea and hosted military exercises with U.S. troops.

    Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Monday that Bucharest will raise its defense budget for this year by 700 million lei ($217.41 million), or 0.2 percent of national output.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: gen from: Japan
    May 04, 2014 9:16 AM
    Romania just want money from US.
    They only ask for money to US.

    by: Wim Roffel from: Netherlands
    May 02, 2014 1:26 PM
    I wonder whether this was Corlatean's own idea or that he was asked by the US to ask for it. I suspect the latter.

    by: George Noory from: Los Angeles, CA
    May 02, 2014 7:55 AM
    The drums of war are beating louder.

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