by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Bogdan Aurescu
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Minister, dear Bogdan. First of all, thank you so much for the warm welcome and thank you also for your strong personal commitment to our transatlantic Alliance, to NATO, and also for your leadership in helping to transform NATO and adapt NATO to a more dangerous world. And I am very pleased by the fact that now we have the foreign ministerial meeting here in Bucharest starting tomorrow, that demonstrates the important role that Romania is playing in our Alliance, it also demonstrate that NATO is here to protect and defend all Allies. And as you mentioned, we have increased our presence in Romania, in the Black Sea region over many years, since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea back in 2014. But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, we have stepped up further with more troops, more air and naval presence. And all this demonstrates that NATO is committed to defend every inch of Allied territory and the reason we do that is of course to prevent an attack on an Allied country and to prevent escalation of the war in Ukraine. I'm looking forward to the meeting tomorrow also because that provides us with an opportunity to reiterate the strong message from NATO Allies, including Romania, that we support Ukraine, we support the right to self-defence, and that we need to continue to provide both military support but also humanitarian and financial support. And, again, I would like to commend the role of Romania, hosting large number of refugees and also providing support to Ukraine, helping them to fight back the Russian invasion. And then we also meet with foreign ministers all the partners, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Georgia, but also from Moldova, neighbour of Romania, demonstrating that we need to strengthen our partnership with other partners that are under pressure from Russia. So it will be an important foreign ministerial in Bucharest and again thank you so much for hosting all of us. Thank you.