Romanian military units moving towards Ukrainian border
"The maneuvers will be held in compliance with the plan on strategic partnership existing between Romania and the US," Romanian Minister of National Defense Mircea Dusa announced.
Earlier Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Estonia asked NATO to strengthen its military presence in their countries because of the Ukrainian crisis. As soon as it broke out, the AWACS planes started their daily flights over the southern part of Romania, taking off from the NATO air base Gellenkirchen in Germany in order to conduct radar intelligence operations which covered the southern part of Ukraine, Moldova and Crimea.
At the same time, Romanian President Trian Basescu satisfied Washington’s request to increase the number of marines on the NATO air base in Germany from 1,000 to 1,600. In addition, the Romanian authorities asked official Washington to deploy a squadron of US fighter jets on their territory for the period until 2017.
The plans of an increase in the US military presence in Romania are being criticized by both politicians and the public in the country. An adviser to Romanian Prime Minister Ionel Blanculescu voiced his fears, saying that the US had turned Romania into a "good target" in case of military escalation in the region.
From the other hand, a number of Romanian political analysts believe that in view of the events in Ukraine, Bucharest must be well prepared for bringing its troops into the territories of the Odessa and Chernovtsy regions. "Intervention to the north of the Bukovina region, to the south of Bessarabia and Transnistria is becoming inevitable and even necessary, especially in case Ukraine is unable to maintain public order on the territories where the Romanian population lives," an analyst of the popular Romanian newspaper "Adevarul", Dinu Zare, wrote in his article, TASS reports.
A train loaded with anti-aircraft guns, trucks and surface-to-air missiles was spotted in Bucharest, the Ukrainian National News (UNN) agency reports.
The echelon was reportedly bound for Constanza ahead of joint military exercises due to be held by Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and the United States in the south of Macedonia.