On September 24, 2022, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander and Romanian State Secretary Simona Cojocaru met in Romania to discuss a range of bilateral defense and regional security issues.
The two leaders recognized the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-Romania strategic partnership, shared views on Black Sea security, and lauded NATO’s unified response against Russia’s war of choice in Ukraine.
Both leaders noted Ukraine’s recent battlefield successes in the Donbas region and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent escalatory rhetoric.
Assistant Secretary Wallander re-affirmed the United States’ Article 5 commitment to the Eastern Flank and thanked Romania for hosting a significant number of U.S. rotational forces.
Both leaders also marked the historical significance of the NATO Summit in Madrid and stressed the need for Allies to continue investing in combat-credible forces to defend the Alliance and deter Russian aggression.
While aboard a Romanian naval vessel on the Danube River, Assistant Secretary Wallander and State Secretary Cojocaru joined a group of policy and military experts to discuss Black Sea security, and observed river barges and cargo ships ferrying vital Ukrainian grain exports to the global market.
The following day, both leaders visited Romania’s 86th Air Base in Borcea, where they met with members of a Romanian F-16 squadron supporting NATO combat air patrols and Black Sea air policing operations.