Jens Stoltenberg: Welcome to NATO. It is a great pleasure and honor to meet you here at NATO Headquarters. Romania being such a staunch and highly valued Ally. It’s really great to have you here. This year is the fifteenth anniversary of Romania joining our Alliance.Your membership has been important for NATO and for Romania. You contribute to our shared security in many different ways and your contributions are making us all stronger and safer.
Romanian forces are part of NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan, helping to stabilize the country. And you contribute to stability in the Western Balkans with your troops in the KFOR mission. In Europe, Romania serves in our multinational battlegroup in Poland. Romania also plays a crucial role in the security in the Black Sea region. Including with a Romanian-led, multinational brigade in Craiova; air policing and a strong naval presence. Romania also hosts a site for NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence, at Deveselu. Helping to protect Europe from missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. So thank you for all that Romania does to make us all more secure.
At the start of January, Romania assumed the presidency of the European Union for the first time. NATO and the EU are already working more closely than ever, in areas including military mobility, cyber and hybrid threats, and maritime security. And I welcome your plans for further strengthening NATO-EU cooperation during Romania’s presidency.
We face a more dangerous and unpredictable world, so it is important that all Allies invest in defence. I welcome therefore Romania’s plans to spend 2% of GDP on defence this year. And that you intend to modernise your armed forces over the next decade. This is important, because fair burden-sharing means more than just cash. It also means investing in modern capabilities, and contributing to NATO missions and operations. I encourage Romania to continue on this path.
So Prime Minister,
Once again welcome to NATO and many many thanks for your leadership and your strong commitment to the Alliance.