Something like a win for Romania (and the Black Sea region)February 16, 2017
For several years President Iohannis and Gov RO have been pushing for a greater NATO presence in the Black Sea region and on (and perhaps under) the Black Sea itself – subject to the restrictions of the Montreux Convention.
On 16th February NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that NATO will indeed increase its presence in the Black Sea – “We will increase the presence in the Black Sea, but it will be a defensive presence, and in any case will not be sent to cause conflict, provocation or an increase in tension – this is one element in the increase of NATO defense forces.”
Quite right too. There is no reason to cede or be seen to cede any influence in the Black Sea due to The Kremlin’s illegal annexation and subsequent militarisation of Crimea.
Perhaps Odessa will see far more frequent NATO vessels calling in. At the very least an increase from a few a year to several.
However, it is also said that agreement was apparently reached by 13 NATO members for the multinational brigade in Romania to receive additional funding, or officers, or troops or aircraft from their respective nations.
Not before time it appears President Iohannis and Gov RO have achieved something of a win after several years of maneuvering. After numerous years of banging the drum that Ukraine needs to continue to improve its far below optimum relations with Romania, it would be foolish not to take this opportunity to the drum once more.
Consider it banged!