Mihnea Motoc (MApN)

Mihnea Motoc (MApN)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Minister of defense of Romania Mihnea Motoc hopes that during the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw a decision will be made regarding creation of NATO Black Sea fleet with participation of Georgia and Ukraine.

NATO Black Sea fleet would comprise of ships from NATO members – Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey – with ‘enhanced cooperation’ with the fleets of Georgia and Ukraine, who are both aspiring to become members of the alliance. Greece hasn’t so far showed interest in the initiative, HotNews reported.

‘The formula is to be opened to partners who aren’t members of the alliance, such as Ukraine or Georgia, as well as to NATO members who don’t border the Black Sea, yet are constantly present in Black Sea ports and take part in exercises — first of all, to the United States’, Mr Motoc said during the interview.

‘There are precedents for participation in land, air, and naval exercises by partners. It was done so far within current parameters with the aforementioned partners. There are also signs which indicate their interest in joining this kind of integrated platform. It would be a strong signal to announce such an initiative during the Warsaw summit’, he added.

Mr Motoc denied that the initiative is aimed against Russia, yet he stressed the importance of highly trained fleet given unpredictable security challenges in the region, such as ‘the illegal annexation of Crimea, instability in eastern Ukraine, and military build-up in the Black Sea’.

The next NATO summit will be held on 8–9 June in Warsaw. President of Poland Andrzej Duda declared that strengthening NATO’s presence in Central Europe, including permanent NATO bases in the region, is Poland’s priority.