Tuesday

2nd Jun 2020

Romania has contingency plan for Russian attack

  • The Russian fleet can reach Romania in six hours, says Basescu (Photo: Romania Libera)

Romanian president Traian Basescu has said Nato has a contingency plan for the "0.01 percent" chance that Russia will one day attack his country.

Romania, the EU's most easterly member state, has a 650km border with Ukraine. It also has a Black Sea coastline, which is close to Crimea.

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Speaking in Bucharest on Sunday (7 September) after a Nato summit which focused on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Basescu said his country and neighbouring Bulgaria were so far considered "outside a military risk", but that Romania now has contingency plans for naval, air or land attacks.

He said Turkey, Poland, and the Baltic states already had similar plans.

But he noted that Russian warships in Sevastopol, Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March, are just 160 sea miles from the Romanian coast. "These are ships that can reach [our] Black Sea coast in six hours", he said.

He note the Ukraine conflict could spill into Romania if Russia takes "irrational actions".

He said he is "99.9 percent" sure this will not happen.

"But there is a 0.01 percent chance, and as a head of state I don't have the right not to take this security crisis into consideration and not to ask that together with our allies we are safeguarding Romania's security against the irrational," he added.

Basescu mentioned that one of the Ukrainian separatist leaders on Saturday said their objective was to reach the Romanian border.

"This means our intuition is confirmed by someone who with a gun in his hand, who is threatening the territorial integrity of Romania".

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko last week also said that Russia could one day conquer Bucharest, Warsaw, or the Baltic capitals.

But Basescu poured cold water on the statement.

"President Poroshenko is in a situation where he thought he could eliminate the separatist problem with his national army, he then had to agree to a ceasefire and lose control over a quite large territory, so he probably tried to find explanation", the Romanian leader said, referring to the Russia-Ukraine ceasefire agreement last week.

"I contradict him categorically - no matter how big a power Russia is, it cannot withstand 28 [Nato] countries which include the US, the UK, Germany".

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