United States fighters arrive in Romania to strengthen NATO in the Black Sea region

United States fighters arrive in Romania to strengthen NATO in the Black Sea region

Nikita Folomov
NATO deployed F-15 fighters at a base in Romania just a week after talks between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, at which the Russian leader said that Russia would like to receive guarantees that the alliance will not expand. NATO reported that this action is aimed at ensuring the air presence of allies in the Black Sea region and “improving interoperability” between the allies in the bloc. Moreover, the secretary general of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO will continue its “expansion”. Gazeta.Ru is about why NATO continues to build up its military presence at the borders of Russia.
The NATO allied forces , which will include Italian fighters Eurofighter, intend to fly in the Black Sea region from 18 to 22 December. The press release of the North Atlantic alliance traditionally refers to “containment” and “protection of the airspace of the allies.”
“The additional US F-15 fighter jets are a welcome asset and will have a positive impact on Allied deterrence capabilities,” said Allied Air Command Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Joel Carey.
“The ability to quickly deploy Allied aircraft to support NATO is vital to our readiness and demonstrates the maneuverability of the forces,” the military added.
The initiative to build up military capabilities does not come only from the command of the North Atlantic Alliance. Recently, the Romanian authorities announced the purchase of about 32 used F-16 fighters from Norway to modernize their air forces. According to Romanian media reports, the deal will cost Bucharest more than $ 1.5 billion.
It is noteworthy that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took part in the Bucharest Forum last week, organized by the Aspen Research Institute in Romania. During his speech, the politician once again stressed that the security situation remains unpredictable, so the allies must join forces. On the eve of the forum, the Romanian authorities awarded Stoltenberg the prize named after the Romanian diplomat Mihni Constantinescu.
Stoltenberg himself said on December 16 that NATO would continue to expand, despite Moscow’s position. “We have already accepted Montenegro and North Macedonia, despite the protests of Russia,” he said, stressing that the alliance is not going to compromise with Moscow on the issue of Ukraine and Georgia.
A few days before Stoltenberg’s speech, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, during telephone consultations with President Biden, called for an increase in NATO’s military contingent in Romania and the Black Sea region.
Romanian rally point
Romania is one of the main NATO footholds on the Black Sea coast.
Back in January, the US Command Europe and Africa deployed MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and strike drones in the country at the Campia-Turziy airbase, where F-15 fighters arrived on Wednesday.
Biden’s policy towards Russia has been criticized both inside the United States and abroad, says Ruslan Pukhov , director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies . According to the expert, the situation is complicated by the fact that for some NATO member states, including the Baltic states and Poland, attacks on Russia are the main occupation.
“Therefore, Biden , on the one hand, went to negotiations, which was a wise and courageous step towards de-escalation; but at the same time, for domestic critics, convinced that he succumbed to Putin and makes unilateral concessions to him, this became evidence that Biden is trying to put additional pressure on Russia, ”the expert noted.
Ruslan Pukhov also draws attention to the fact that the US and the EU do not understand the “origins and origins” of the current crisis. According to him, most Western observers tend to blame the Russian president for the difficult relationship between NATO and Russia. However, continues the interlocutor of Gazeta.Ru, difficulties began during the reign of President Boris Yeltsin , when the West “demonstratively refused” to support Moscow in the fight against terrorists during the first Chechen war.
“Putin has nothing to do with it. The Russians have tried a lot to negotiate with the United States and its NATO allies. But it quickly became clear that the West was not ready to take into account our even the slightest fears, ”explained Pukhov.
“Western strategists think that with this patrol they are sending a powerful signal to Putin demanding to retreat. But in fact, this action only convinces Russian leaders and ordinary citizens even more that we are doing the right thing when we demand that NATO stop expanding to the East, ”the expert concluded.
The strengthening of the southeastern flank of the North Atlantic alliance continues, says Dmitry Danilov , head of the European Security Department at the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences .
Romania was not chosen by chance, the expert says, since the country has traditionally been one of NATO’s key footholds in terms of military activity and planning.
Danilov draws attention to the fact that NATO’s current military measures were planned even before the meeting between Putin and Biden, so they were not going to cancel them.
“In a military sense, this logic fits well into the concept of containing NATO and the United States in relation to the Russian Federation,” Danilov said in a conversation with Gazeta.Ru. “Another question is how it fits with the opened negotiation track at this stage.”
The expert draws attention to the fact that both the United States and Russia have firmly outlined their positions and concerns about NATO expansion during the recent talks between the leaders of the two countries. However, the main question is whether these positions will be discussed in a constructive manner.
“Will the Russian Federation and the United States be able to debug new communication mechanisms in order to work for a result? After all, the result should be a reduction in military tension and mutual risks in the Black Sea region, ”the expert asks.
Russia will continue to fix its position on the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance, Danilov is sure. “Efforts are being made not only along the Russia-US line, but also in dialogue with other NATO countries – first of all, with Great Britain,” the expert added.
“In the Black Sea region, we are talking about naval and aviation equipment, but everything is in limbo,” concluded Danilov.
What is NATO to all of them
Despite the desire of the leaders of Russia and the United States to continue the dialogue on the non-expansion of NATO, the Alliance Secretary General Stoltenberg regularly announces plans for further expansion to the East. So, after a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy , the head of NATO announced the organization’s desire to continue to provide military support to Kiev.
A day earlier, Stoltenberg met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and said that he was looking forward to continuing work on “further deepening cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan.”
The list of countries of the former USSR, with whose leaders the NATO Secretary General is in close contact, does not end there.
The day before, Stoltenberg also held talks with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili . Stoltenberg did not fail to remind his colleague that NATO is ready to provide “invariably strong political and practical support” to Georgia, its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Secretary General stressed that Tbilisi is one of NATO’s closest partners.

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