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Romanian Defense Ministry proposes law enabling military intervention to protect Romanians abroad

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 3, 2024 5:30 PM 2 min read
Soldiers of the Romanian Army ride "PIRANHA 5" armoured vehicles during a military parade marking the National Day of Romania in Bucharest Dec, 1, 2023. (Daniel Mihailescu / AFP via Getty Images)
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Romania's Defense Ministry has proposed a draft law that would enable its troops to be deployed to protect Romanian citizens outside of Romania's territory, Romanian newspaper Adevarul reported on April 3.

Over 1 million people in neighboring Moldova have acquired Romanian citizenship since 1991.

Tensions have been growing recently between Moldova and Transnistria, a Moldovan territory that Russian troops have occupied since the early 1990s when Russia invaded the region under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians.

There is also a significant community of Romanians in Ukraine, most of whom live in the far western Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia oblasts.

The law proposes that the Romanian president could order the protection of Romanian citizens outside of the country's borders with the approval of the National Defense Council, according to Adevarul.

"The President of Romania can order, at the proposal of the Prime Minister, the necessary measures to protect Romanian citizens who are in danger outside the national territory," Adevarul quoted the draft text.

The law would also introduce a broader definition for the services that comprise the country's defense forces and establish a National Military Command Center to coordinate these forces and those of NATO troops in Romania.

"The new law also brings into discussion the concept of hybrid threats to Romania's security," Adevarul said.

Romanian Chief of Defense Gheorghita Vlad said in February that Romania and Europe have to be better prepared for a potential war with Russia, warning that Russia will continue its escalation if it is successful in Ukraine.

Moldovan military holds JCET drills with US, Romania
Moldovan, Romanian, and American troops are holding joint exercises JCET-2024 (Joint Combined Exchange Training) in Moldova between April 1 and 19, the Moldovan military said.
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