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HomeBalkansMinister of Defence of Romania Angel Tîlvăr pays an official visit to...

Minister of Defence of Romania Angel Tîlvăr pays an official visit to Slovenia

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Slovenian Minister of Defence Marjan Šarec hosted his Romanian counterpart Angel Tîlvăr on an official visit to Slovenia. The meeting aimed at strengthening bilateral and regional cooperation in the field of defence and military affairs, with a focus on Slovenia’s possible participation in the NATO eVA Battle Group in Romania.

The two ministers exchanged views on the security situation in Ukraine and the Western Balkans, and focused on the modernisation of the armed forces of both countries.

Ministers Marjan Šarec and Angelo Tîlvăr assessed bilateral cooperation in the defence and military fields as friendly and without any open issues, with the two countries cooperating mainly in the framework of the Alliance’s military exercises and in regional initiatives. Since 2018, Romania has been participating in the NATO Centre of Excellence for Mountain Warfare in Poljče, while Slovenia will join the international Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre in Bucharest. Romania provided Slovenia with two Spartan C-27Js for the Karst fire last year, for which minister Šarec thanked his Romanian counterpart. Minister Angelo Tîlvăr congratulated Slovenia on its recent election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The two countries also successfully cooperate in the regional Southeastern Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) and the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe (DPPI SEE). The ministers agreed that bilateral cooperation in the defence and military fields between Slovenia and Romania could be further strengthened in the future.

In discussion on international operations and missions, minister Šarec highlighted Slovenia’s strong commitment, in which the Western Balkans region remains strategically important for Slovenia, where we are increasing both military and civilian contributions to the KFOR and EUFOR Althea operations through CIMIC projects in support of local communities. As minister Šarec pointed out, we are very active in allied deterrence and defence activities, namely enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in NATO’s Eastern Wing, as Slovenian troops have been part of the eFP Battle Group in Latvia for the past six years, and we have already deployed some troops in enhanced Vigilance Activities (eVA) in Slovakia. In Germany, our soldiers are training members of the Ukrainian army in the framework of the European Union Military Assistance Mission in Support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine). As we are in NATO’s South-Eastern Operational Area, the Slovenian minister explained that we want to relocate our troops from Slovakia in the second half of 2024. He stressed that we will credibly support the Allied deterrence and defence posture and the EU’s rapid response capabilities.

In their discussion on the security situation in Ukraine, the ministers agreed that political will and unity will play a key role in the process of supporting Ukraine. The forthcoming Vilnius Summit must deliver concrete results to deepen our practical as well as political support to Ukraine, “and it will be crucial to focus on Ukraine’s urgent needs by upgrading the comprehensive assistance package into a well-thought-out long-term mechanism,” stressed Minister Šarec. He presented to his Romanian counterpart all forms of our country’s assistance to Ukraine and said that we will continue to respond to Ukraine’s needs in accordance with our capacities. Minister Šarec underlined the importance of the long-term stability of the Western Balkans for Europe, with an Euro-Atlantic perspective for the countries in the region, and a credible and effective enlargement process. To this end, Slovenia is deepening security and defence cooperation with the countries in the region, with our priority areas being hybrid threats, cyber security and military mobility, as well as strengthening the resilience of the region.

The two ministers exchanged information on the modernisation of the armed forces of both countries, with the Slovenian minister briefly presenting the update of strategic and planning documents, the increase in planned defence expenditure to 1.35% and 1.44% of GDP for 2023 and 2024 respectively, and the implementation of NATO’s capability targets. The parallel development of the Medium Infantry Battalion Group and the Medium Combat Reconnaissance Battalion are priorities here, he said, while additional national priorities include air defence systems, helicopter capabilities, procurement of an additional medium-range tactical transport aircraft and strengthening of cyber defence capabilities.

Source: Republic of Slovenia

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