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  Nr. 3948 de miercuri, 6 iunie 2007 
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Let the Russians come!
-- 40 years after being driven away by Ceausescu, the Red Army has got the chance to return to Romania. Teodor Melescanu, a Romanian minister of defense, proposed common Romanian-Russian-Bulgarian-American military moves.
The official wants Russian troops in Romania. While attending the 53rd plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western Europe Union in Paris, Melescanu said in an interview to the AFP that Romania and Bulgaria were going to propose to Russia the making of common military moves, as an attempt to do away with the Moscow-generated tensions concerning the US bases in the two states. The minister expressed his ideas in a rather strained international political context.
The minister mentioned in the interview: "We will explain to Russia in more details what these bases will be used for, hence the intention to propose to Russia the making of common moves on our territory, with the participation of some Romanian troops together with the Russians and the Americans."
Although President Vladimir Putin threatened to set the Russian nuclear equipment against targets in Europe in order to counter the US anti missile shield, the Romanian minister wanted to show openness, still complaining about a sort of communication reminding about the Cold War.
Once the Paris event he was attending over, minister Melescanu announced that the governments of Romania and Bulgaria "decided on common approach to Russia". He argued in the interview to the AFP: "Everything that is going on in the region doesn't harm Russia's security. On the contrary, it can contribute to regional stability."
Liberal plans
Melescanu words remind of the bricks dropped by an ex defense minister in the Romanian government, Liberal Teodor Atanasiu. Without talking to the Supreme Council for National Defense or the government members, he decided to inform the allies by a telegram sent from the Ministry about the Liberals' intention to withdraw Romanian troops from Iraq. It is now time for minister Melescanu to make astonishing proposals. He wants no more and no less than Russian troops marching in the military bases here.
According to official information, the last time Russian troops participated at training in Romania was in 1968. After the Prague spring, Ceausescu ordered no more such military participation from the USSR. But after almost 40 years, Melescanu would like the Red Army to come back to Romania.
Strong response from Russia
The Russian President Vladimit Putin denounced the settling of US bases in Romania and Bulgaria several times, which was in contradiction, as he claimed, with the norms in the Treaty on the Conventional Forces in Europe (1992). Last April he announced that Russia would unsubscribe to the treaty at least for a time. As for the bilateral agreements signed in 2006 by Washington, Romania and Bulgaria, the two Black Sea states consented to the US military's right to use military equipment to serve US operations, especially by special forces. As for NATO, these agreements are said not to obey the above-mentioned treaty, because of the small number of soldiers to reach the future bases. (...)
Doru DRAGOMIR
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