Supreme Defence Council: Black Sea security climate has continued to deteriorate because of Ukraine war

The security climate in the wider Black Sea region has continued to deteriorate due to the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine, which has fundamentally altered the nature and stakes of the struggle to sustain democracy at the global level, President Iohannis said in a letter to Parliament in which he sent the activity report of the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) for 2023.

The joint standing bureaus of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies sent the report, approved by the CSAT on 21 February, to Parliament’s relevant committees.

“In this context, our country has continued to implement measures to strengthen NATO’s posture of deterrence, defence and heightened vigilance on the Allied Eastern flank, through the development of capabilities to respond to current security challenges, as well as through actions to strengthen the country’s defensive capability, while intensifying cooperation with the Alliance’s member states. In 2023, the activity of the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) was carried out in accordance with the priorities of national defence, national security and collective defence and aimed at reducing risks and managing threats to national security, the security of the European Union and NATO allies,” the letter of the head of state reads.

According to Iohannis, “the CSAT has coordinated activities concerning the defence of the country and national security in order to strengthen our country’s profile as a credible, predictable and solid partner in relation to allies and strategic partners, as well as in relation to partner states in the region.”

The outlook for 2024 outlined in the CSAT report highlights that “the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, the continuation of the conflict between Israel and the terrorist group HAMAS, as well as the continued high potential for conflict in the Middle East, the Taiwan Strait, the East China Sea and the South China Sea will further foster political transformations by major global players, affecting international security, political and strategic relations between major powers and the regional security climate.”

“Consequently, Romania will adapt its national security objectives and major lines of action to the new realities of 2024, but these will be, conceptually, synergistic with those arising from its status as a NATO member and EU member, as a strategic partner of the US. At the same time, Romania will continue to be a factor of stability in the region,” the report highlights.

The CSAT fundamental directions for 2024 are aimed at strengthening Romania’s status within NATO in view of the NATO Summit in Washington on 9-11 July 2024, which will have as its main objective the consolidation of the Alliance’s strategic defence and the consolidation of Romania’s status in the European Union.

“Romania will continue to act consistently for full accession to the Schengen Area, strengthening the capacity for civil/humanitarian crisis management, managing hybrid threats, supporting Moldova’s European path. The Romania-US relationship remains fundamental in 2024, with emphasis on military cooperation, vital for the defence of Romania’s national security, on deepening cooperation in the area of regional and international security, but also on intensifying bilateral relations in other areas such as energy or civil nuclear energy,” the CSAT report points out.

After the report of the relevant Parliamentary Committees has been drafted, the CSAT document will be submitted to the attention of a joint plenary meeting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.