Romanian military chief warns of potential Russian aggression beyond Ukraine, urges NATO readiness
War in Ukraine. Keep updated with the latest developments from our LIVE COVERAGE.
Vlad highlighted that Russia "has emerged as a threat to global order and democracy", hence it's not only in a conflict with Ukraine but also "with the democratic world".
- Romanian residents, similar to the rest of the European Union's populace, should be concerned, and adopt appropriate measures to be prepared - Vlad added.
Could Moldova be Russia's next target?
The leader of the Romanian General Staff stressed that if Russia wins in Ukraine, the Russian Federation "won't cease their operations and could potentially invades Moldova, instigating an escalation in the Western Balkans".
- I am firmly convinced that President Putin will induce an escalation in the near future – noted Vlad.
Urgent calls on NATO to "replenish weapons inventory"
The supreme-ranking Romanian military officer appealed to NATO nations to restock their weapons inventory and educate the population - possibly by initiating voluntary military service for all citizens.
In Romania, Vlad called for legislative reforms to "equip the country with defences against Russian drones". According to him, the current law forbids this.
Russian drones have hit Romanian soil multiple times during widespread attacks on Ukraine's city of Odessa.
What is Putin scheming? More countries express war concerns
It's worth noting, comparable declarations have been recently voiced by military officials from several other countries. For instance, the German Defense Minister implied that Russia might launch an attack on a NATO member within the forthcoming 5-8 years.
The Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Mikael Bydén and the Minister of Civil Defense Carl-Oscar Bolin stated that all inhabitants must be prepared for war. "The risk has escalated, but there is no hint that war is imminent," said Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson during an interview with Sveriges Radio's First Program.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces stressed the need to seize the "window of opportunity" to prepare for potential head-on confrontation with Russia, as the time for this might be running out.