On September 24, 2022, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander and Romanian Secretary of State Simona Cojocaru met in Romania to discuss a range of bilateral defense issues. and regional security.

The two leaders celebrated the 25th anniversary of the US-Romanian strategic partnership, shared their views on Black Sea security and hailed NATO’s unified response against Russia’s chosen war in Ukraine.

The two leaders noted Ukraine’s recent battlefield successes in the Donbass region and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent escalating rhetoric.

Assistant Secretary Wallander reaffirmed the United States’ commitment under Article 5 to the eastern flank and thanked Romania for hosting a significant number of American rotational forces.

The two leaders also underscored the historic significance of the NATO summit in Madrid and stressed the need for Allies to continue to invest in credible combat forces to defend the Alliance and deter Russian aggression.

Aboard a Romanian Navy ship on the Danube, Assistant Secretary Wallander and Secretary of State Cojocaru joined a group of political and military experts to discuss Black Sea security and observed river barges and freighters carrying vital Ukrainian grain exports to the world market.

The following day, the two leaders traveled to Romania’s 86th Air Base in Borcea, where they met with members of a Romanian F-16 squadron supporting NATO combat air patrols and air policing operations. the black Sea.