While Bulgaria is on high alert because of the Russian flights over the Black Sea, Romania, also located at the sea, said would host more American troops in the military bases at the Black Sea. NATO said on Tuesday it suspended the cooperation with Russia and that would defend, if necessary, the Eastern European and Baltic nations; “a reinvigorated NATO flexed old Cold War muscles “, Washington Post commented.
Bulgaria has put on high alert or deployed its air force about 30 times in two months in response to a recent spike in Russian military aircraft flying near its aerial borders on the Black Sea, its defence minister said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
In Romania, the President, who has heavily criticized the Russian government recently, said that the United States has asked to increase the number of troops and aircraft it has stationed at a Black Sea air base there, according to AP. The U.S. wants to add up to 600 additional troops to the 1,000 already stationed at the base of Mihail Kogalniceanu and military aircraft “for specific missions,” President Traian Basescu said. The base, which can accommodate up to 2,000 troops, is a major hub for U.S. forces and equipment leaving Afghanistan and is a few hundred miles from Crimea, which Russia annexed last month.
Romanian Minister of Defence, Mircea Dusa, said together with NATO Romanian forces are conduction surveillance mission of its aerial space using an AWACS airplane.
“Now, Romania has to be seen and has to assume its role of NATO border country, in a region so “hot”, that will see for sure new challenges in the future”, Romanian PM Victor Ponta said. He added that Romania has to increase its defense budget.