NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca today at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The meeting comes amid growing tensions in NATO member states over whether direct negotiations with Russia may be preferable to indefinite support for Ukraine in the Russia-Ukraine war, especially given the risk of dirty bombs and low-level tactical nukes. In Romania, defense minister Vasile Dincu resigned this past Monday over comments supporting the non-government position that Ukraine’s only chance for peace is through international allies negotiating with Russia on its behalf.
While Soltenberg has previously stated that the war will likely end via negotiations, NATO has reaffirmed its commitment to Russian deterrence by increasing its presence in Eastern Europe. This includes reinforcements to NATO forces in Romania, as the American 101st Airborne Division, Spanish fighter jets, and a convoy of French military equipment have or are scheduled to arrive in Cincu.
It is unlikely that Soltenberg’s meeting with Ciuca will lead to any noteworthy changes in NATO’s Eastern European forces or Romania’s official stance on supporting Ukraine. Instead, look for Soltenberg to seek reassurances from Ciuca that Romanian defense policy remains unified and to discuss future NATO deployments to the country.
Scott is an Analyst at Foreign Brief and works in International Development in Washington DC. His specific interests are geopolitics, regional conflict and governance, and political and economic development, and his geographic focus is Sub-Saharan Africa.