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Romanian leader to NATO official: We'll spend 2 percent on defense

Romanian soldiers march toward the final portion of their rugged terrain hike on the final day of competition in the 2015 European Best Squad Competition at the Grafenwoehr, Germany, training area Oct. 19-22, 2015.

MICHAEL S. DARNELL/STARS AND STRIPES

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: July 13, 2017

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has promised a senior NATO officer that Romania will spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense this year in line with guidelines from the alliance.

Iohannis met NATO Military Committee head Gen. Petr Pavel and British and Romanian pilots and technicians at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base near the Black Sea Thursday, reiterating Romania's pledge to spend the money.

The military personnel are servicing RAF Typhoon fighter jets at the air base. Pavel is on a two-day visit to Romania.
U.S. Army-led NATO exercises in Eastern Europe are underway in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary involving 25,000 military personnel from more than 20 allied and partner countries.

The U.S. is seeking to reassure NATO's European allies after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014.
 

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