NATO Deputy Secretary General visits Romania
On the occasion of Exercise Steadfast Defender, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană visited the Headquarters of the Multinational Division South-East (HQ MND-SE), which he described as ‘a prime example of NATO’s adaptation’. ‘It was set up to facilitate reinforcements in the eastern part of our Alliance, but also to boost training and exercising’ he added during a joint press conference, held with the Romanian Minister of Defence, Mr. Nicolae Ciucă, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, and the Chief of Defence of Romania, Lt. Gen. Daniel Petrescu.
Exercise Steadfast Defender, which runs from 12 May to 22 June 2021, is NATO’s biggest exercise this year. It aims to test the Alliance’s readiness and military mobility, with forces deploying across land and sea, from North America to the Black Sea region. Twenty ships, 60 aircraft, 500 vehicles and over 9,000 personnel participate in the exercise, which Mr Geoana said ‘shows that we stand together in an unpredictable world. And sends a clear message that we are ready to respond to any threat from any direction. Our 4,000-strong high readiness forces, led by Turkey, has deployed to Romania’ together with forces and assets from more than 10 Allies.
Earlier on Monday 31 May, the Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană participated in a panel discussion at the Black Sea Security Forum, hosted by the Aspen Institute of Romania in cooperation with the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund. The discussion focused on how to strengthen resilience and ensure the security of the Euro-Atlantic with the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bogdan Aurescu and the European Commissioner for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight/ Vice-President Mr. Maroš Šefčovič.
The Deputy Secretary General later attended the inauguration of the Euro-Atlantic Centre for Resilience, along with the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis, the Romanian Prime Minister, Mr. Florin-Vasile Cîțu as well as the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bogdan Aurescu and the European Commissioner for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight/ Vice-President Mr. Maroš Šefčovič. “We cannot have strong militaries without strong societies. Resilient societies are our first line of defence. Our security and prosperity depend on them” stressed the Deputy Secretary General.
Later on Monday, the Deputy Secretary General met with the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis. Throughout the day, he had bilateral meetings with the Foreign Minister, the Defence Minister and the Chief of Defence of Romania where they discussed preparations for the NATO Summit, to be held on 14 June.