Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Minister of National Defense Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă in Bucharest today. In both meetings, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Romania strategic partnership and NATO’s Eastern Flank and recognized Romania’s leadership in the Alliance on responsibility-sharing.
The leaders marked the 10-year anniversaries of both the bilateral Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration and the bilateral Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement that paved the way for Europe’s first Aegis-Ashore site established five years ago. The Secretary also discussed Russia’s malign activities in the Black Sea region, cooperation among Black Sea regional Allies and partners, and new challenges presented by the People’s Republic of China. Minister Ciuca and Secretary Austin spoke at length about defense modernization. They agreed that implementing the bilateral 10-year Roadmap for Defense Cooperation is key to achieving this aim.
The Secretary concluded his visit to Romania by meeting with rotational U.S. forces deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base near the Black Sea coast. He thanked our servicemembers for their dedication and working with our Romanian Allies to help ensure deterrence and security along NATO’s Eastern Flank.