Some 100 U.S. troops have arrived in Romania as Washington reinforces its NATO allies in Eastern Europe amid a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border.
Defense Minster Vasile Dincu said: “The Americans have arrived,” using a phrase that has historical connotations in Romania.
After World War II when the communists came to power, Romanians expected and hoped that the U.S. would liberate them for years afterwards.
When they didn’t there was national disappointment until the 1989 revolution when hopes rose again.
”The Americans have arrived, to give you a headline,” the minister told reporters on Tuesday. “More than 100 soldiers and specialists have come for preparations,” the first of the deployments.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Feb. 2 ordered nearly 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania, a move to reassure jittery NATO allies.
The Pentagon said that around 1,700 service members, mainly from the 82nd Airborne Division, would deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland. They first soldiers arrived there on Sunday.
Mr Dancu said Romania was logistically prepared for their troops arrival and the next deployment would arrive soon.
U.S. troops will be stationed in different places around Romania, he said.
The U.S. says it will deploy 1,000 troops to Romania. France has also promised deployments amid the military build-up around Ukraine.
VIDEO | NATO considering ‘longer term’ presence in eastern Europe: Stoltenberg