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Iohannis: Black Sea security situation, worrying, I plead for enhancing allied military presence

President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that the Black Sea security situation is worrying, which is why NATO must continue to strengthen its deterrence and defense position, especially on the Eastern Flank, in a unitary and coherent manner.

"The worrying security situation in the Black Sea - which we have discussed at length - has shown us that we need to remain vigilant. Therefore, NATO must continue to strengthen its deterrence and defense position, especially on the Eastern Flank, in a unitary and coherent manner, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. That is why I pleaded - including in the discussion with President Biden - for enhancing the allied military presence, including the USA, in Romania and in the south of the Eastern Flank," president Klaus Iohannis said in a joint statement with Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda at the end of the B9 Summit.

He showed that US President Joe Biden referred in his intervention to the importance of an Alliance that would be stronger and more relevant global, and especially to the special importance of Article V of the Washington Treaty, which the United States of America support firmly.

"I share what President Biden said of the necessity to enhance trans-Atlantic cooperation: The trans-Atlantic partnership covers Europe and stretches not only over the Ocean, but goes to the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, this being the cornerstone of all we've accomplished in the 20th century and up to now," Iohannis stated.

Furthermore, he emphasized the necessity for NATO states to remain committed towards the partners in the Eastern Vicinity, in order to consolidate the defence capacities and to increase their resilience towards the multiple challenges they face.

The head of state mentioned that the B9 Summit saw a substantial exchange of evaluations regarding current subjects on the NATO agenda and the contributions in the perspective of the Alliance Summit in June.

"This Summit will be an important moment to reconfirm the Allied unity and solidarity. Furthermore, important decisions will be adopted regarding the NATO 2030 reflection process and the updating of NATO's Strategic Concept," Iohannis also said.

He emphasized the leadership of NATO's Secretary General in what regards the coordination of the NATO 2030 process, showing that this process will offer strategic vision for the Alliance in the coming decade and will allow the consolidation of NATO's role and posture on a few major coordinates.

"Firstly, it's about the consolidation of the Alliance on the political level. I emphasized, in this sense, the role of NATO as an essential forum for consultation among its members and the utility of ensuring a consolidated allied dialogue on matters of security and defence. The Alliance must consolidate its military posture as well - a dynamic adaptation to ensure an efficient and calibrated response to the current security challenges. At the same time, dialogue and cooperation with our partners, firstly the European Union, but also the states that share Euro-Atlantic democratic values, are fundamental for NATO's global approach," Iohannis also showed.

The head of state emphasized that the priority continues to be represented by the partners in the Eastern Vicinity and the Western Balkans.

"I emphasized the importance of allied unity and of the solid trans-Atlantic relationship, key principles so that NATO can act efficiently against the security threats it faces. Allied unity and solidarity are not concepts without content. They are the basis of NATO, because neither the US, nor Europe can be safe without each other. Strategic resilience remains essential for the efficient management of the current security environment, as we have learned also in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must enhance efforts to consolidate resilience both for us, as well as for our partners," he stated, recalling that Romania established and acted for the operationalization in Bucharest of the Euro-Atlantic Center for Resilience.

The B9 Summit was attended in video conference format by US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and the heads of the other Bucharest Nine states: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary.