Romania marks 20th anniversary of NATO with focus on war in Ukraine

Sursa foto: wikipedia

Romania is marking the 20th anniversary of the largest expansion of the NATO military alliance when it joined the military defensive bloc.

The Ministry of National Defense is organizing „ROMANIA – NATO, 20 years”, with an eye to the war in neighboring Ukraine.

President Klaus Iohannis who announced last month his intention to be the next leader of the alliance will attend the event. Senate speaker Nicolae Ciuca, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, and other political and military personalities from Romania and NATO member states will attend.

Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined NATO on March 29 in 2004, bringing the total membership of the Alliance to 26.

The seven nations started accession negotiations after communism ended and were invited to join at the Prague Summit in November 2002.

Romania has held several events in the past two weeks to celebrate the landmark anniversary.

The first former Warsaw Pact countries to join the alliance were  Poland, the Czech Republic had Hungary in 1997.

Since then, they have  warned about the threat of Russian expansion, tapping into their national trauma of Soviet occupation.

While Western nations often dismissed or downplayed their attitude, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine is seen as a vindication of their sentiments. .

Many of the former communist countries that joined NATO in 2004 spend more than the required 2% of gross domestic product on defense.

When Iohannis announced his bid, he emphasized the threat from Russia and said the alliance needs a “renewal of perspectives” that Eastern Europe could provide.

“Russia is proving to be a serious and long-term threat to our continent, to our Euro-Atlantic security,” he said, announcing his bid.

NATO was established in 1949 in the aftermath of World War II.

 

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