NATO foreign troops: Romania considers Moscow’s request “unacceptable”

Bucharest judged “unacceptable» Friday, January 21, Russia’s request for a withdrawal of foreign NATO troops present on Romanian soil, within the framework of a treaty that Moscow is demanding for a de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.

Such a demand is unacceptable and cannot be part of the subjects of negotiationsaid the Romanian Foreign Ministry in a statement. Russia, citing Romania and Bulgaria by name, had earlier claimed “a withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment and armamentsas well as other measures with the aim of returning to the situation of 1997 in the countries which were not then members of NATO.

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“Inappropriate and baseless” statements

The Romanian authorities haverejectedof such statements, calling them “inappropriate and unfounded“. The reinforcement of the military presence of the Atlantic Alliance on the south-eastern facade of Europeis a purely defensive reaction to Russia’s increasingly aggressive behaviorin the region, said Bucharest. And this “despite NATO’s attempts to engage in a constructive dialogue“. French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that France was ready to commit soldiers to Romania as part of a possible increase in NATO’s presence.

In Bulgaria, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov for his part insisted on “the sovereignty of his country, which made its own choice by joining NATO“. “We decide alone how to organize our defense in coordination with our partners“, he told Parliament, stressing that Sofia cannot be “a second class member“. About 1,000 American soldiers, 140 Italian soldiers and 250 Poles are stationed in Romania, while Bulgaria has an agreement with the United States to accommodate 2,500 soldiers, with a maximum of 5,000 at the time of personnel rotation periods.

Russia made its demands the day of a face-to-face meeting in Geneva on Ukraine between its head of diplomacy Sergei Lavrov and his American counterpart Antony Blinken, Washington accusing Moscow of preparing a new invasion of this country ex-Soviet who has become pro-Western and who aspires to join NATO. Russia demands to guarantee its security that Americans and Europeans sign treaties so that NATO renounces any enlargement and reconsiders the security architecture built in Europe after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the USSR.

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