11 October 2019

INTERVIEW Gheorghe Savu: Cyber-attacks may increase before the elections |VIDEO

Nicolae Oprea

General Gheorghe Savu, former chief of the Military Representatives to NATO and EU, has stated, in an interview for the Defence and Security Monitor (D.S.M.) that cyber-attacks may increase in Romania before the presidential elections.

General Gheorghe Savu, former chief of the General Directorate for Defense Intelligence and former chief of the Military Representatives to NATO and EU, has stated, in an interview for the D.S.M., at the Conference on “The national security- from strategic thinking to security and defence institutions”, that cyber-attacks may increase during the campaign for the presidential elections.

During the interview, Gheorghe Savu has declared that a military aggression against Romania, coming from the East, is less likely to happen, and NATO took the necessary measures to deter an Eastern military action.

We are presenting you the entire interview, below:

The Defence and Security Monitor: Which are the main threats against the national security and ow vulnerable is Romania against such threats?

Gheorghe Savu: Threats against national security are clearly presented in the National Defence Strategy, and it is mentioned there the involution of the security situation at East of Romania, the frozen conflicts and instability in the Western Balkans, whereat we add terrorism, mass destruction weapons proliferation, and, recently, two threats against state’s security and cyber-attacks. Here, in terms of cyber -attacks and hybrid war, Romania did a really great job within NATO and EU.  We are an important actor and we have developed great national capacities that we can use to cope with these threats.

The Defence and Security Monitor: Talking about cyber-attacks, is Romania vulnerable to them now, before the elections?

Gheorghe Savu: Vulnerability against cyber-attacks are permanent. Our state, alike any other Euro-Atlantic state, must take the necessary protection measures, and I am convinced that our state is ready for it. Cyber-attacks may increase now, before the presidential elections, including the spread of what we call “fake news”; this is a problem that I call national resilience, which is whether this nation can prevent such attacks or not. Most likely, we cannot, because the cyber-space allows the quick spread of fake news, but we must combat it through a perfect strategic communication, which is mass-media’s role - the verification of the information they get-, but also state’s responsibility, when they feel that a fake news gets spread and it can affect the national interest, the authorities must communicate it (…). They may happen, but I am sure Romania can deal with it.

The Defence and Security Monitor: How should Romania and NATO respond to attacks coming from the East (military aggressions)?

Gheorghe Savu: The military aggression is one of NATO’s most important concerns. And we, as NATO member state, act collectively. NATO took the necessary measures to deter a possible Eastern military aggression. The probability for such things to happen is really small. However, if it really takes place, it would clearly be a strategic error, which is not something we would like to happen. We did our training, and if deterrence and diplomacy do not work, then defence within the Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, will be made accordingly with the NATO plans.

The Defence and Security Monitor: How important is the cooperation of the East- European states to maintain stability in the area, especially our cooperation with Bulgaria?

Gheorghe Savu: Extremely important, because when talking about the Eastern threat, the NATO member states have a different perspective. The proximity to the Eastern area is an important element and the border states are treating such threat extremely serious, therefore, they are acting to deter and prevent it. There is a great coordination on the East, from my experience to NATO; we had great coordination there, there is an extraordinary cooperation with Poland, where we have troops; they also have troops in Romania, along with the Baltic states and Bulgaria. Indeed, it depends also on the political leadership on these states. There are situations wherein some states do not have a major interest to build something on the Eastern flank. It is important that our country acts so that to have a state project, a clear geo-strategic profile within NATO. We were always really coherent, we always knew what to do.

The Defence and Security Monitor: How important is the assignment of a Romanian official for the NATO Secretary General Deputy?

Gheorghe Savu: It is really important. Concretely, he is the second individual within NATO (…). He wears the NATO hat, but, indeed, our country must be proud to have such a high position. In terms of our image, Romania gained many advantages.