France has around 500 soldiers deployed in Romania and has been a key player in NATO’s bolstering of forces on the alliance’s eastern flank following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. In May, France deployed an air defense system to Romania that NATO said “can ensure protection to the forces operating within the area.”
French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Romania on Tuesday to hold bilateral talks and meet with French troops stationed there who are part of NATO’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reports AP.
Macron’s visit to Romania, a European Union member since 2007 and a NATO member since 2004, marked the beginning of a regional tour that includes a visit Wednesday to non-NATO Moldova. Both countries share long borders with embattled Ukraine.
“Nobody knows what is in store for us in the coming weeks and months, but we will do all we can to put an end to the Russian invasion, to help Ukrainians and continue with negotiations,” Macron said at the eastern Mihail Kogalniceanu air base, where he was greeted by Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
In a brief address to French soldiers deployed at the NATO base, Macron praised them for “honoring our commitment to defend Europe as war is being waged again.”
© Copyright LaPresse