Romania is not prepared for a possible war with Russia and must be prepared, said the country’s chief of defense, Gen. Gheorghiță Vlad on Thursday.
Vlad said in an interview published in Europa Liberă România on Thursday that “if Putin wins in Ukraine, the main target will be the Republic of Moldova. I am convinced that Putin’s policy will escalate in the near future,” the Romanian general added.
The general called for voluntary basic military training for men and women under 35.
“We target the age segment between 18 and 35 years, regardless of gender, nationality, religious beliefs, young people who want to put on the military uniform. Let’s pay for this service and train them according to the basic principles of waging war,” Vlad said, quoting the example of Sweden.
“I give you the example of Sweden. They surveyed 40,000 young people and 8,000 young people enrolled in the program. Romania should adopt a similar system,” he said. “Let’s target those who want to learn how to shoot a gun, how to navigate in a difficult environment, how to survive in a difficult environment, how to protect themselves against chemical weapons, how to do personal decontamination. There are many things that can be learned and learned by those willing.”
The general cited the end of conscription in Romania as a reason for the shortcomings in the preparedness of the army. He also called for legal reforms to enable Romania to defend itself against Russian drones.
Debris from a Kremlin drone fell in Romania last September, and the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could not be shot down because Romanian law does not allow it, said the general. His wide-ranging call echoed similar recent warnings from other Western military and defense leaders, including British army chief General Patrick Sanders, who last week urged British authorities to “mobilize the nation” to prepare for a possible war with Russia.