The United States and Romania: Strategic Partners for 25 Years

11/28/2022 08:20 AM EST


Office of the Spokesperson

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between the United States and Romania. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Bucharest, Romania November 28-30 for a meeting of the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs and will meet with senior Romanian officials, including President Klaus Iohannis and Foreign Minster Bogdan Aurescu.

President Clinton announced the Strategic Partnership during a historic visit to Romania in 1997.  Speaking at Bucharest’s University Square, he said “ have agreed to establish a Strategic Partnership between our nations, a partnership important to America because Romania is important to America—important in your own right and important as a model in this difficult part of the world.  Romania can show the people of this region and, indeed, people throughout the world that there is a better way than fighting and division and repression.  It is cooperation and freedom and peace.  Our friendship will en­dure the test of time.  As long as you proceed down democracy’s road, America will walk by your side.”

For the past 25 years, the United States and Romania have walked that road together and strengthened bilateral relations, supported Romania’s democratic development and Euro-Atlantic integration, fostered shared prosperity, and worked together to face regional and global challenges. Our Strategic Partnership is rooted in a shared commitment to democratic values, including the rule of law, open markets, respect for and the promotion of human rights, and the strong bonds between the peoples of Romania and the United States.

Security cooperation is central to our Strategic Partnership as NATO Allies.

  • In support of our pledge to collective defense and our shared national security interests, Romania continues to strengthen its capabilities for NATO and multinational operations and has repeatedly deployed forces and assets, including significant contributions of troops, equipment, and other assistance in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Kosovo.
  • Romania hosts the NATO Multinational Division Headquarters South East, which is NATO’s fully operational command and control node for the region – a NATO Force Integration Unit, and a fully operational Multinational Brigade South East.
  • In 2005, the United States and Romania signed a defense cooperation agreement, establishing a framework for access for U.S. forces, which established several joint-use facilities in Romania. Approximately 3,000 U.S. troops are currently stationed in Romania.
  • In 2014, the U.S. Navy formally established Naval Support Facility-Deveselu, where the EPAA Aegis Ashore missile defense site has been constructed. The base houses approximately 200 U.S. sailors and Navy contractors on a persistent, rotational basis.
  • Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Airbase near Constanta is an important multi-modal transportation hub for U.S. forces and currently houses approximately 2,800 U.S. Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). It is expected future U.S. Brigade Combat Team elements will also be headquartered at MK.
  • The 71st Airbase located at Campia Turzii currently hosts approximately 100 U.S Airforce Airmen supporting USAF MQ-9 operations.
  • The Roadmap for Defense Cooperation for 2020-2030, signed in October 2020, outlined strategic priorities for the bilateral relationship and included collaboration on cybersecurity, military modernization, and multi-domain operations in the Black Sea.
  • Since 2016, the United States has provided nearly $500 million in State and DoD security assistance and security cooperation funding to Romania.
  • Our countries are working closely together to uphold democratic institutions and oppose authoritarianism globally. We appreciate Romania’s long-standing support and cooperation on the Republic of Moldova and the issues it faces.

Shared economic prosperity has been another important focus of our Strategic Partnership.

  • The United States is a major and growing commercial partner of Romania. Twenty-five years ago, the United States imported $400 million in Romanian goods annually and exported $258 million in American goods.  Our partnership has grown these numbers to $3 billion in imports from Romania and $1.4 billion in American exports in 2021.
  • This is in addition to the nearly 8,000 firms operating in Romania supported by American investors and approximately $4 billion in U.S. foreign direct investment in Romania—a number which will only increase as Romania continues to strengthen its investment climate through legal transparency.
  • In 2019, the United States ranked as the fifth largest foreign investor in Romania when European subsidiaries of American companies were taken into account.
  • The U.S. Government, with U.S. firm NuScale Power, will provide $14 million in support for the Front-End Engineering and Design study for Romania’s deployment of a first-of-its-kind small modular reactor (SMR) plant.
  • As Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry previewed with President Iohannis at COP 27, we are pleased that the U.S. Export Import Bank is working on a generous package of financing for the Cernavoda nuclear power plant that will provide clean, safe, reliable energy, which will power Romania for generations to come.

The Strategic Partnership has fostered mutual understanding and enduring ties between our peoples based on our shared values.

  • Romania and the United States are bound together through innumerable people-to-people ties in tourism, culture, sports, and the arts, as well as research and academics.
  • We promote mutual understanding through a robust network of exchange programs, including the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) for high school students and a robust Fulbright program managed by the bilateral Fulbright Commission.
  • Our universities’ doors are open and each year approximately 1,000 Romanian students enroll in America’s premier institutions of higher education.
  • Romania ranks second in the world in the number of young people who visit the United States each year through our Summer Work and Travel Program, well over 5,000 annually.
  • The United States assists in preserving Romania’s unique and beautiful cultural heritage. Recent grants through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation include $500,000 for the restoration of a 14th Century fortified Saxon church in the village of Alma Vii, $80,000 to preserve the Elie Wiesel Memorial House in Sighet, and $60,000 for restoration and preservation works at the Jewish Cemetary in Alba Iulia.

And the United States and Romania stand with Ukraine.

  • We appreciate the warm welcome Romania has provided to millions of civilians fleeing Putin’s violence. While many have safely traveled onward, thank you to Romania and its people for continuing to host many thousands of refugees.
  • We applaud Romania for delivering food, water, medical supplies, fuel, and material support to Ukraine and for hosting a logistics hub for international assistance to flow into Ukraine.
  • Romania has also played a critical role in facilitating the transport of Ukrainian grain, cereals, and other goods through its Port of Constanta for further transport out to other countries. To date, Romania has facilitated approximately 6 million tons of grain exports; this has been critical for ensuring global food security.
  • Romania has consistently advocated for Ukraine’s greater integration into Transatlantic and European institutions. Romania has also been unequivocal in its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
  • The United States is honored to stand with Romania as you stand with your neighbors in Ukraine. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Romania in March 2022. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Romania in May 2022.
  • Since February, the United States has provided nearly $49 million in humanitarian assistance to support the Ukraine response in Romania.
  • To strengthen Romania’s defense and deterrence capabilities, we have provided more than $121 million in security assistance this year through Foreign Military Financing (FMF), including Congress’s Ukraine Supplemental legislation.