June 21. 2024. 3:57

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Romania’s Iohannis at odds with army chief over Russian war escalation


President Klaus Iohannis urged Romanians on Wednesday not to panic following recent remarks by the Army’s Chief of Staff, General Gheorghiţă Vlad, who warned of the likelihood of escalation, including military, with Russia.

This followed a similar initial warning in February, when he told Free Europe that Russia would continue to be an aggressor and, if successful in Ukraine, would likely target Moldova next.

Commenting on the latest warning on Wednesday, Iohannis opted to call for calm.

“There is no direct threat, but the military always prepares for all possible scenarios. Based on the information I have, I can assure you that Romania is a safe country. Romanians should not be afraid,” he said, emphasising the importance of being prepared for unexpected events.

“There is no need to panic or believe Romania is under threat,” he added, recalling that as a NATO member, Romania enjoys the strongest security guarantees.

Iohannis also expressed his disagreement with the idea of Romania giving up its only functional anti-missile defence system. “If Romania gives up something, it must receive something in return. Otherwise, nothing will be done,” he said.

He also mentioned that no decision has been made regarding the Patriot system for Ukraine: “There is no set timeline for making this decision,” Iohannis noted.

Romania purchased seven Patriot systems from the US and has received four so far, but only one is currently functioning.

The Romanian president also ruled out sending soldiers to Ukraine.

(Catalina Mihai | Euractiv.ro)

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