Romania Seeks More F-16 Jets As NATO Vows Russia Won’t “Dictate” Its Policy
At a moment Moscow is pressing for legal guarantees from NATO to halt all military expansion eastward, Romania is pursuing plans to acquire 32 more F-16 fighter jets in a proposed half-billion dollar deal with Norway.
Days ago Russia sent a formal list of security guarantees it’s seeking from Brussels and Washington, in a document which calls for formal pledges from NATO not to build any bases or use military infrastructure in former Soviet states that are not NATO members. The proposal also urges negotiations toward an agreement wherein both the US and Russia would “refrain from flying heavy bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear armaments or deploying surface warships of any type,” according to the document.
NATO member Romania is further seeking to modernize is air force with US help. According to a recent report in Defense Post, “Of the $514 million proposed for the additional combat jets, around $400 million will be used to purchase the planes. The rest will be allocated for logistical support and modernization in the US.”
The defense report added, “Aside from Norway, the Romanian defense ministry discussed purchasing used F-16s from various NATO members, including Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, and the Netherlands.”
In recent years, US missiles positioned in Romania have caused considerable alarm for the Kremlin, especially the recent activation of the Naval Strike Missile Coastal Defense System.
Meanwhile, the rhetoric surrounding the Ukraine crisis 2.0 has continued unabated, with on Sunday Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, visiting Lithuania where a new muscular message was aimed at Moscow. The top official vowed that Russia will not “dictate” NATO’s affairs.
Lambrecht said, “We have to talk to each other, which means discussing the proposals that Russia has put forward, but it cannot be that Russia dictates to NATO partners how they position themselves.”
— BNS Lithuania (@BNSLithuania) December 19, 2021
The German defense minister added, “We need to solve the current tensions on the diplomatic level but just as well by putting up a credible deterrence.”
And continuing on this theme, and adding a call for significant escalation, Lithuania’s Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas laid out, “We need to support Ukraine with all means, which includes the delivery of lethal weapons.” Without doubt Russia would see this challenge as a severe violation of its “red lines” on Ukraine, in the event NATO countries began ramping up large-scale military deliveries to Kiev.
Mon, 12/20/2021 – 02:45