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Romania - NATO Relations

NATO had concerns about Romania's membership in the alliance. Former secret police operatives from the Ceausescu era still held high level defense and intelligence positions in the country. Nonetheless, NATO officials said it's an issue that can be addressed. The alliance and the United States were impressed by Romania's help in the war on terrorism when it dispatched a battalion of troops to Afghanistan. And being the largest country in Southeastern Europe, Romania could help NATO keep the peace in the troubled Balkans. By 2002 prospects for NATO membership for Romania are said to have increased because of the assistance to the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan. Still, there are concerns among alliance members about the commitment to continue reform especially in the fight against corruption.

On 26 February 2004 the Parliament of Romania unanimously passed the law on the accession to the North Atlantic Treaty. On 01 March 2004 the law on accession to the North Atlantic Treaty was promulgated by President Ion liescu. And on 04 March 2004 President Ion Iliescu signed Romanias accession instrument to the North Atlantic Treaty.

NATO and its partners continue to promote and defend common fundamental values such as democracy, individual freedom, rule of law, market economy, peaceful settlement of conflicts, openness and transparency, but also international co-operation in order to successfully address the challenges of the new millennium.

Collective defense is and remains the main objective of NATO. In order to maintain security of its Member States, NATO may have to act beyond their borders to remove threats wherever they occur, thereby creating a safer international environment. One of the most difficult operations of the Alliance was in Afghanistan, under the UN mandate. The main challenges were represented by the opposition groups of extremist insurgents, as well as the need for Afganistan to increase its level of development, improve governance, create better equipped and trained armed forces, establish good neighborly relations with its neighbors.

The US switched on an $800 million (700 million euro) missile defense site in southern Romania Thursday, a move that infuriated Moscow. "Both the U.S. and NATO have made it clear the system is not designed for or capable of undermining Russia's strategic deterrence capability," U.S. assistant secretary of state Frank Rose told a news conference in Bucharest 12 May 2016. "Russia has repeatedly raised concerns that the U.S. and NATO defense are directed against Russia and represent a threat to its strategic nuclear deterrent. Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. Work on the Deveselu site began in October 2013, after an initial decision by NATO in 2010 to create a missile shield based on U.S. technology. The project, which includes building sites in Poland as well as Romania, was expected to be completed in 2020. NATO insists the role of the planned shield is a "purely defensive" response to external threats.

Romanian and US officials concluded a strategic dialogue, with an agreement to upgrade NATO air and sea defenses in the Black Sea and establish a Romanian-led ground-force brigade, US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner announced in a press release 28 September 2016. "The two partners will build upon successes such as completing the Missile Defense site in Deveselu and work together and in NATO to ensure swift and full implementation of the Warsaw Summit commitments by 2017," the release explained on Tuesday. At the recent NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, alliance members agreed to establish a Romanian-led multinational brigade and conduct joint training of air and maritime forces, according to the release.



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