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Nicolae Ciuca: Romania has managed to be NATO key-member in two decades since accession

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Senate President and National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Nicolae Ciuca said on Tuesday, during Parliament’s solemn meeting marking the 20th anniversary of Romania’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance and 75 years of NATO’s existence, that Romania has the strongest security guarantees it has ever had.

„Twenty years have passed since the tricolour flag was raised at NATO headquarters. For the collective memory it is important to say where we started and what made us succeed. Today Romania is profoundly transformed. We have the strongest security guarantees we have ever had. We are not just a security beneficiary, but a core state in ensuring security on NATO’s Eastern flank,” Ciuca said from Parliament’s rostrum.

He brought to mind that on 2 April 2004 the Romanian flag was hoisted at NATO headquarters in Brussels and that at that time he was in Iraq, commanding the infantry battalion with which Romania participated in the international coalition.

„The story of our entry into NATO is the story of every Romanian and of our strength as a nation. In 1990, the initiation of a diplomatic relationship with NATO was one of Romania’s most important foreign policy actions, shortly after the fall of communism. Romania’s commitment to NATO became clear as early as 1993. And in January 1994, Romania was the first former communist state to sign the Partnership for Peace, a decisive step on the path of North Atlantic integration,” Ciuca said.

The president of the Senate pointed out that „the politics of the 1990s was tense and that the transition involved enormous sacrifices on the part of all Romanians,” but political leaders „found the strength to go down the path of Euro-Atlantic integration.”

According to the PNL leader, Romania is „an important and respected state in NATO, as a pillar of stability in the region, because different governments with different ideologies and visions have understood that the national objective of joining NATO is paramount.”

„We were among the first to commit to increasing the defence budget to 2% of GDP, at a time when many still underestimated Russia’s expansionist ambitions and the security threats in the region. Even before the war in Ukraine began, I was among the first to speak out about these threats. We have called for the strengthening of the Eastern Flank and a balanced relationship between the northern and southern parts of the Eastern Flank, including through an increased military presence with permanent, not just rotational, troops. Romania has also been a spearhead in supporting the strategic importance of the Black Sea for the security of the region, Europe and beyond. As a result of Romania’s diplomatic efforts, the final communication of the Vilnius Summit last summer mentioned the strategic role of the Black Sea,” added Ciuca.

The president of the Senate pointed out that the announcement of the candidacy of President Klaus Iohannis for the post of NATO Secretary General should be seen as „an initiative of Romania, which we must all support, as an expression of the crucial role that our country is playing today.”

According to him, the war in Ukraine is „a war between democracy and dictatorship”.

„Ukraine is fighting not only for its own territorial integrity and European aspirations, but for the freedom of the whole of Europe, for a rules-based global order, for a world in which nations have the right to choose the future they want. We have a duty to do our utmost to support Ukraine in this war,” said Ciuca.

He thanked those who contributed to Romania’s accession to NATO and, subsequently, to the country’s evolution within the North Atlantic Alliance.

AGERPRES

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