Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria want to set up a joint brigade

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Romania, Bucharest – Ukrainian President Petro Porochenko met his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis on Thursday, April 21. They discussed about regional cooperation and security.

Ukrainian President Petro Porochenko went on last Thursday to Bucharest. He met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and their discussion’s main topic was the possibility of setting up a joint military brigade with Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria modeled on the already existing Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade (LitPolUkrBrig), built up in 2009 and expected to reach full combat readiness in 2017.

According to novinite.com, Poroshenko thinks that a further step in this direction will be beneficial for enhancing the security and confidence in the region. He added that he supports the Romanian initiative to create a NATO flotilla in the Black Sea. Poroshenko said that he also discussed the project with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev during the latter’s March 27 visit to Kiev.

Several other Central and Eastern European countries have increased their regional defense cooperation since the Ukrainian conflict and the rise of tension between NATO and Russia. According to defensenews.com, some of the potential areas of enhanced regional military cooperation include the countries’ air capabilities. The Czech government is mulling setting up a joint air squadron with Hungary which would comprise Saab JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets operated by the two countries’ air forces. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Air Force is aiming to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-designed fighters with new aircraft, with the Gripen shortlisted as a potential replacement, beside the US F-16 and Eurofighter Typhoon. On Monday, April 25, two US F-22 Raptors fighters landed in Constanța, in South-East Romania to exercise.

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