NATO has Announced the Creation of Black Sea Forces in Bulgaria and Romania
NATO has announced the creation of new multinational forces in Romania in order to counteract Russia's influence in the Black Sea region after the occupation of the Crimea, bTV quoted Reuters as saying.
The Alliance's Black Sea Forces will initially have about 4,000 Romanian soldiers backed by forces from nine other countries, as well as 900 US troops. Ships and airplanes will be deployed in the region.
In addition to Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish, Italian, Portuguese and German soldiers will be sent to Craiova. British and Canadian fighters will support the Romanian Air Force, while Italians will help Bulgarian fighters.
In addition to NATO's existing maritime patrols currently in the Black Sea, more marines will be sent to the Bulgarian and Romanian ports.
About a year and a half ago, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov categorically rejected the idea of forming a NATO Black Sea Fleet:
"I want to see sailboats, yachts, tourists, peace and love in the Black Sea. I do not want military frigates in our resorts. After all there were such a great deals, so much private capital and state investment in these resorts ... "
Later, the government said the fleet was a local initiative and would only consider an option within NATO, reminds the BBC.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on the occasion of the new Black Sea Forces: "We are not a threat, but we need a dialogue from the standpoint of a strong defense."
"NATO is here, NATO is strong, NATO is united," said Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in turn.
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