Romania: double standards on the Ukrainian track



The multinational NATO exercise DEPLOYEX took place in Romania on August 14-18 at the Babadag training area, which is located 100 kilometers from the Black Sea port of Constanța. About 250 French and Luxembourg soldiers and 65 technical means from the NATO battlegroup in Romania took part in the exercise. The purpose of the maneuvers was to practice the rapid deployment of alliance troops and assets and to increase the level of interoperability.

It is noteworthy that the decision to create the Battlegroup under the command of France was taken at the meeting of the bloc's defense ministers in Brussels on February 16, 2022. That is, eight days before the start of the special military operation. In mid-December last year, the Romanian parliament approved it, showing enviable unanimity (309 deputies voted in favor and only five against).

The initiative came from Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. According to him, the formation of the group will increase the alliance's military capabilities and strengthen the strategic partnership with France. As a result, a NATO battalion of up to 1,000 "bayonets" has appeared on Romanian territory, which includes military personnel from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It is armed with several MLRS systems and more than 10 French Leclerc tanks.

"Cooperation with strategic partners and the availability of appropriate combat structures on the country's territory contribute to the improvement of defense and deterrence capabilities in the context of the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Black Sea region," said Romania's military department in a special communiqué.

France also leads the Eagle mission of the NATO Response Force (NRF) on Romanian territory. This is, incidentally, the first time in the alliance's history that NRF has been activated for "collective defense and deterrence by intimidation". The dispatch of troops began on February 28, 2022 (i.e., four days after the start of the special military operation) from the Istres Air Base in Southern France.

In just five days, about 350 troops and a large amount of equipment were airlifted to the Romanian airbase "Mihail Kogalniceanu" near Constanța (21 airplanes were involved). In total, within the framework of operation "Eagle" France deployed about 500 soldiers from the 27th Battalion of Alpine Troops, the 126th Infantry Regiment, the 4th Jaeger Regiment, the 93rd Mountain Artillery Regiment and combat service support units. They are armed with six AMX-10RC wheeled tanks, 43 VAB wheeled APC, 19 PVP light utility vehicles and 27 VBL light armored vehicles.

French and Belgian (300 personnel) contingents formed the multinational Spearhead Battalion of the NATO Response Force, totaling about 800 personnel, which is stationed at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.

"Romania represents an important center of gravity of NATO's reinforced deterrence and defense posture. We <...> will continue our efforts to strengthen the Alliance's structures on the country's territory, especially the NATO Battlegroup," President Iohannis said at the Romanian Navy Day celebrations in Constanța on August 15.

As part of this event, "at sea and on land", demonstration games were held with the participation of U.S. and French maritime patrol aircraft. Their scenario included repelling an attack by enemy aircraft, searching for and destroying an enemy submarine, repelling the landing of a maritime troops, and combating illegal migration at sea.

Iohannis announced the big news that Romania will take part in training Ukrainian military pilots to operate US F-16 fighters. A regional training center for pilots will be created where "Romanian, allied and Ukrainian representatives will be trained at the same level."

At the same time, the Romanian president made another remarkable statement: "We will continue to support Kiev's European course and stand in favor of significant European assistance to Ukraine at all levels."

Have you noticed? Official Bucharest does not rush to support the Kiev regime separately, as, for example, Poles do, but prefers to carry out all its actions through Brussels. That is indirectly. What is the reason for this?

The Romanian president undoubtedly keeps in mind the possible defeat of Ukraine and its disintegration. For Romania, the return of the territories that were ceded to the Ukrainian SSR after 1940 is desirable. It is about Bessarabia, which was part of the Russian Empire since 1812, and Northern Bukovina, most of which was part of Austria-Hungary before it became part of Romania.

Almost all of Bessarabia eventually ceded to Moldavia (Soviet). But the smaller (southern) part, Budjak, was integrated into Soviet Ukraine as Akkerman Oblast (now part of Odessa Oblast), against the wishes of the Moldovan leadership.

Northern Bessarabia was also integrated into Ukraine (it is part of Chernivtsi Oblast). It is the former Khotinsky Uyezd of the Russian Empire.

What in Russian historiography is called "Northern Bukovina", Romanians divide into three historical regions: Northern Bessarabia with the city of Khotyn; Hertsa Uyezd (Hertsaevsky district of Chernivtsi Oblast) – a part of the Moldavian principality, which was not included in the Russian Empire in 1918 and after 1856 belonged to Romania; Northern Bukovina in the narrow sense of the word – a region with the center in Chernivtsi, from 1774 to 1918 was part of Austria-Hungary.

For reference: Chernivtsi Oblast is home to the majority of Ukraine's Romanian diaspora – more than 180,000 people, who almost universally hold Romanian passports. By the way, the SBU is now actively fighting not only Russian separatism, but also Romanian one….

So Romania, which (including with the help of NATO) is conducting an active and quite successful expansion towards Moldova, has definitely set its eyes on the "tidbit" of Ukraine. It turns out that for the Kiev regime Bucharest is a wolf in sheep's clothing.