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Romania wants to be able to deploy soldiers abroad to protect its citizens outside its territory

A few hundred kilometers from the front where the Ukrainians and Russians are fighting, Romania is watching, worried, as the war unfolds.

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Romania wants to be able to deploy soldiers abroad to protect its citizens outside its territory

A few hundred kilometers from the front where the Ukrainians and Russians are fighting, Romania is watching, worried, as the war unfolds. NATO member Bucharest has redoubled its efforts over the past two years to modernize its defense.

And as reported by the Romanian daily Adevarul, the Ministry of Defense this time wanted to develop its legal arsenal at the beginning of April by tabling a bill which would allow the country to intervene militarily outside the territory. to “protect Romanian citizens in danger”.

In detail, this law proposes, among other things, that the president of the country can order, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, external intervention in the event of threats, and with the approval of the National Defense Council. This law is supported by the new Romanian Minister of Defense appointed last November, General Gheorghita Vlad.

In February, in an interview with the media Europa Libera Romania, he called for a better preparation of the Romanian population for a possible war, stating that Vladimir Putin “would not stop” at Ukraine. “If he wins in Ukraine, the main target will be the Republic of Moldova,” he said. The article of the bill providing for possible external deployment therefore implicitly concerns Romanian citizens of Moldova who today number several hundred thousand out of the country's 2.5 million inhabitants.

Moldova has been the scene of a frozen conflict since 1992 and the secession of Transnistria where around 1,500 Russian soldiers have been stationed since and pose a military risk. The country is the target of Russian “interference” which “increases as” the country progresses “towards integration into Europe”, Moldovan President Maia Sandu recently warned. Ukraine is also home to a large Romanian community, mainly in the west of the country, in the Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia oblasts.

The bill put forward by the Romanian government also provides for a better assessment of the “hybrid threat” as well as the creation of a National Military Command Center which will be responsible for coordinating all the Defense Forces, NATO troops deployed in Romania included. France, in particular, is currently deploying more than a thousand soldiers in the country as part of Operation Eagle.

“This point [of the bill] reflects the responsibilities that Romania has assumed as a member of [NATO], underlining its firm commitment to international relations and cooperation around security,” underlines in this regard Adevarul. Revealing this investment, the current Romanian head of state Klaus Iohannis announced on Tuesday his candidacy to succeed Jens Stoltenberg at the head of the Atlantic alliance.

On the Moldovan side, the announcement of this bill was welcomed. “The trend towards consolidation of the defense sphere on the European continent is absolutely clear. And our neighbor and faithful friend Romania is no exception. The Moldovan government will remain attentive to all the progress of this bill,” declared government spokesperson Daniel Voda, quoted by the weekly Moldavskié Vedomosti and as reported by Courrier International.

In Transnistria, MP Andreï Safonov reacted to the Russian daily Nezavisimaïa Gazeta by declaring that “Romanian troops are preparing to invade territories that Bucharest considers as historically belonging to its sphere of influence”. According to this pro-Russian official who cites the recent Defense agreement established between Paris and Chisinau, the Romanian army could set up an operation “with the French”.

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