The Black Sea is a region of strategic importance to NATO, Romania’s Foreign Minister Luminita Odobescu told AGERPRES on Friday.
„NATO’s interest in this vital area for security, and also world economy – being an exposed area amidst the Russian military aggression on Ukraine – is high,” said the head of the Romanian diplomacy.
On Thursday and Friday, she participated in Lithuania in the „Snow Meeting” event of high-level discussions on defence and strategic issues, especially amidst Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Odobescu also spoke about the NATO efforts to support Ukraine, including a facility that needs the approval of the European Council to come into operation.
She said that this is an „extremely critical time when we have to continue to join our efforts to support Ukraine, not only bilaterally, but especially at a European level.”
„What I mean is the importance of identifying a solution in order to reach an agreement at the beginning of February on the facility for Ukraine. There are already a number of positive signals. Negotiations in Brussels are ongoing and we hope that a solution will be identified as quickly as possible,” said Odobescu.
In Lithuania, she also spoke about strengthening NATO’s eastern flank.
„To Romania, it is extremely important to implement the decisions of the Vilnius Summit and to strengthen the defence and deterrence posture on NATO’s eastern flank in a coherent and united manner, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea,” she said.
She mentioned a recent Romanian-Bulgarian-Turkish demining initiative in the Black Sea that is open to all NATO member states.
Odobescu also mentioned the US Black Sea security and development strategy.
„We have worked closely with our American partners to highlight the geostrategic importance of the Black Sea and we are glad that in the American Congress we have these positive signals and the Black Sea was recognised as a strategic area when they passed their defence budget.”
She added that „dialogue with the American side continues at the highest level.”
„There were aspects that were already touched upon during the Romanian Prime Minister’s visit to Washington [in December 2023] and this dialogue with the American side will continue moving forward.”