Location, location, location
As you can all see Romania is on the Black Sea. Sharing a border with Ukraine and Moldova. And other states that have been in the news lately.
Moldova is apparently delinquent in it’s gas payments.
“[State energy company] Moldovagaz will pay Gazprom an advance of $38 million by January 20,” Spinu announced. “That leaves another $25 million in January, and Moldovagaz requested that this payment be delayed, but it could not come to terms with Gazprom, which didn’t want to help its daughter company.” He added that Moldovagaz is counting on receiving credit in order to pay down this debt.
Digression ended let’s check out Romania and some news from 2021 we missed while distracted by the pandemic
The US Air Force will this month start awarding contracts for construction work to upgrade the Campia Turzii base, enabling it to support heavy cargo aircraft and host fighter jets, boosting NATO’s capacities in the Black Sea area.
“We are getting ready to award four projects for construction between May and August 2021,” Darren Walls, a design and construction program manager at the European Deterrence Initiative launched by the US after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, said in a US Air Force statement quoted on Tuesday by Romanian media.
“The upgrade is important because Romania needs to boost its capacity to receive further NATO aircraft in case of a crisis or conflict that require a collective response,” former Romanian official and security expert Claudiu Degeratu told BIRN.
“Romania also needs a second major air base that meets NATO standards so it can serve its newly acquired F-16 jets,” Degeratu added.
Campia Turzii is the second base the US and allies have one right near the Black Sea
He said that Russia’s buildup of troops around the Ukrainian border in April “shows that a quick renovation of the Campia Turzii base is needed”.
Romania and its US allies already have a large NATO airbase at Mihail Kogalniceanu near the Black Sea. The improvements at Campia Turzii will increase the US and NATO’s capabilities to respond to any potential threats and deter Russia in the region.
This will enable the base “to sustain the [US] Air Force’s combat operation and surveillance missions while increasing logistics capabilities in the theatre”, he added.
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea has become a strategic priority for the US and NATO defence in Europe, as the Kremlin has heavily increased its activity and presence near the Western military alliance’s south-eastern flank.
As a result, the US and Romania have intensified their military cooperation. Former US President Donald Trump’s administration planned to redeploy some of the US troops he ordered out of Germany last year to Romania and Poland – a move welcomed by Romanian and Polish officials.
“I advocated a bigger presence of the alliance and the US in the south of the [NATO] eastern flank,” Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said he told his US counterpart Joe Biden, who took part in the summit remotely.
Security analyst Degeratu said this was “a message to Biden so he continues Trump’s policy to redeploy troops in the region”.
It’s all too predictable that NATO brass would advocate for a continued buildup in response to Russian posturing near Ukraine. How else would it stay relevant?
NATO already has operations located in Romania through Enhanced Forward Presence’s sister operation, Tailored Forward Presence, which seeks to strengthen the south-eastern front of NATO’s reach by providing a flexible military presence that can respond rather rapidly if a crisis were to ensue. The land troop operations is based out of Craiova, Romania, where groups of multinational troops train together to accomplish Tailored Forward Presence’s stated goals beyond that of deterrence. NATO also has Human Intelligence Centre of Excellence in Oradea, the Multinational Division Southeast Headquarters in Bucharest, and the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system at Deveselu Airbase.
Life sure went on for the NATO alliance. No pandemic could stop their military adventurism