Romania's Patriot missile buy to boost defence, not strain Russia ties

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 19.7.2017 19:04

Romanian president Klaus Iohannis said on 15 July that Romania’s arms purchases are not designed to strain ties with Russia but to boost the country’s defences in the event of a conflict.

The statement follows in light of U.S. State Department’s authorisation of the possible sale of seven Patriot missile defence systems worth €3.4bn to Romania and on-going U.S.-led Saber Guardian joint exercises in the Romanian countryside. Earlier this year, Romania pledged to raise its defence spending to 2% of its GDP in a bid to meet NATO spending targets. Romania is the latest country to receive approval for U.S.-built missile defence systems. Ahead of U.S. President Trump’s visits to Warsaw and the G20 summit in Germany, Poland signed a memorandum to buy the Patriot defence systems by the end of 2017. Russia, whose annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 raised concern within NATO’s eastern flank, says NATO risks threatening regional stability by increasing its military presence and staging war games.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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