20 April 2019

Interview Cristian Diaconescu: The US-Romania relation is an earned asset for NATO

Nicolae Oprea

The former Foreign Minister, Cristian Diaconescu, stated, in an interview for MEDIAFAX and the Defence and Security Monitor (DSM), that the US-Romania relation is an earned asset for NATO

According to the former Foreign Minister, diplomate Cristian Diaconescu, Romania should understand that it can strengthen its security and it can get security guarantees only through cooperation with its European and Euro-Atlantic partners.

We are presenting you the entire interview with Cristian Diaconescu:

MEDIAFAX: What is your perspective on European leaders’ intention to establish a European Army to be autonomous to NATO?

Cristian Diaconescu: I would firstly like to say that, personally, I do not think that an army to be autonomous to NATO could be possible, all the more that I do not think it would favor the Europeans to develop such a project. On the other hand, I think that such an idea should be explored, it must be seen how the stability and security situation in Europe could be improved through a better cooperation, including in terms of the military industry between the European states. Reasons? The proxy crises and conflicts; a certain warning within the public opinion, equally on the European level, as I thinks that divisions between the European states today on the defence and security contribution are quite high, and, on the other hand, the political discussions in certain states are establishing different agenda in terms of the risk and threats. I could give you a quick example: in the Central-Eastern area of the European Union and the Alliance, the Eastern risks, which are close to the Alliance, are the most critical, including from the public opinion’s perspective. As we go further towards the West of Europe and we distance ourselves from this area, other risk categories, like migration or terrorism, are drawing public eye’s attention. This is why, as political collaboration element, the idea seems fine. As delimitation attitude, in one way or another, from NATO, looks absolutely wrong.

MEDIAFAX: Do you think Eastern Europe is a vulnerable area within NATO?

Cristian Diaconescu: If we consider that the last two Alliance’s summits were, almost half of the decisional sector, dedicated to the Eastern flank situation from the Baltic to the Black Seas, we conclude that threats and risks in this area have a certain specificity and severity level, way more serious than on the other part. From this perspective, any project which brings political, diplomatic or military solidarity across the Alliance is, from what I think, the proper answer.

MEDIAFAX: What’s Romania’s role, as security pillar and transatlantic pillar, here, in the area?

Cristian Diaconescu: Firstly, as highlighted across this conference, the transatlantic relation is a beneficent achievement for Romania within the area we are positioned, but also for the US participation at the military, deterrence and contingency deployments from this area. From this point of view, the US-Romania relation is an earned asset for NATO.

MEDIAFAX: As for cyber-threats, should these be considered a danger for the European security?

Cristian Diaconescu: Definitely these were a danger for the big powers, starting from electoral processes to blocking some economic systems and installations, some of them related to national safety, in EU states and NATO. Hence, yes, this is a danger, it is part of the hybrid warfare, which, is currently being developed.

MEDIAFAX: Which are NATO’s expectations from Romania, as trustable member of the Alliance?

Cristian Diaconescu: The classic ones, like political stability and predictability in terms of attitude and behavior within the political-military field, and, on the other hand, a pro-active role, more active than the effective one, on a regional Security project. We are collaborating with the US, Brussels and NATO a lot on risks and threats, but less on projects from the region. You have a region with a certain threats category, but a certain bias for the states in the region to bilaterally address the main strategic partners. The dialogue capacity, the political cooperation, at least for finding region’s proposals, I think, it should be strengthened.

MEDIAFAX: Instability factors, like radical nationalism or populism, could be a danger for Black Sea’s area security?

Cristian Diaconescu: Normally, the parties promoting such ideas are also anti-European and anti-NATO parties. These parties, besides messianic critics, do not normally offer solutions. A negative and extremely sad example comes from Great Britain and the critical moment it is experiencing as we speak in trying to find a solution to the Brexit referendum.  From this point of view, especially Romania must clearly understand that it can strengthen its security and get security guarantees only through collaborating with its European and Euro-Atlantic partners.  

Cristian Diaconescu has participated at the security conference organized by the Defence Monitor, part of MEDIAFAX Group.

Defence and Security Monitor organized, Tuesday, the “Transatlantic security bridges over increasing security vision gaps- Romania’s perspective” conference”, among the guests being also security experts, high-level militaries and members of the intelligence services, like: American General Charles Wald, former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command, Carol Rollie Flynn, associate professor of the National Security Program of the US Research Institute for Foreign Policy, Anthony Pfaff, research professor for the Military Profession and Ethic at the Strategic Studies (SSI), U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, retired Army colonel and Foreign Area Officer (FAO) for the Middle East and North Africa, Hans-Lothar Domröse, Former Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum and Arnold Dupuy (senior analyst on Energetic Security for the US Defence Department).