During an interview for Free Europe Romania, Romania’s Chief of Defense, General Gheorghita Vlad, expressed his concerns regarding the country’s defence. In his opinion, Romania needs more soldiers to cover the current deficit, such as for the Army personnel to reach 120,000 from 80,000.
At the moment, we have around 80,000 professional soldiers. The level of ambition and I believe that the sufficient force for a professional army in Romania would be somewhere around 120,000; you saw that the Minister of National Defense also released this information.Romania’s Chief of Defense, General Gheorghita Vlad
Not only that, but he also spoke about the escalating war in Ukraine and thinks that if Putin wins in Ukraine, the next target is the Republic of Moldova.
I personally, not necessarily as a military person, believe that the Russian Federation will not stop here. If he wins in Ukraine, the main target will be the Republic of Moldova. We will witness tensions in the Western Balkans. I am more than convinced that President Putin’s policy will escalate in the immediate future.Romania’s Chief of Defense, General Gheorghita Vlad
The Army Chief of Staff also spoke about the Bayraktar drones, which will be operated by Romanian personnel. The first personnel to be trained to operate these drones go to the training facility in Turkey this February. Romania’s Ministry of National Defense has granted a contract worth $321 million to Turkish drone magnate Baykar Defense to purchase Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).
Romania entered a war logic, which is more visible in 2024. As the Russian troops seemed to gain an advantage in Ukraine and the war took longer than NATO allied countries expected, Romania’s Defense staff started preparing for what’s worse.
All these happen in a very concerning context: Admiral Rob Bauer, NATO’s military committee chief, becomes the first NATO official to admit that the Western states are preparing for an all-out war with Russia. The blunt statement was offered during the press conference at the beginning of the largest NATO exercise since the end of the Cold War.