Deputy Secretary General in Washington D.C.: NATO enlargement has spread freedom in Europe
On Tuesday (10 May 2022), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană gave a keynote address at a public event celebrating 25 years of the Romania-US strategic partnership, co-hosted by the Meridian International Center and the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C. He highlighted the role that NATO’s open door policy and the enlargement of the European Union have played in spreading “freedom, democracy and human rights” across Central and Eastern Europe, “paving the way to a brighter future”.
Recalling the recent history of communist rule in the region as well as his own experience as Romanian ambassador to Washington DC advocating for his country’s accession to NATO, Mr Geoană underlined that “NATO enlargement is the result of sovereign choices by independent nations to define their own destiny, and to join a family of free nations”. He further outlined the economic benefits that NATO’s strong security guarantee has brought to members, making these countries “safer, freer, richer, and more open than could have been imagined a generation ago”. However, the Deputy Secretary General warned that these benefits cannot be taken for granted, noting that Putin’s war in Ukraine demonstrates the fragility of peace. He said that the war represents an attempt to destroy the international rules-based system that has preserved peace and ensured prosperity for decades, stressing that the war “cannot be allowed to succeed”.
During the Deputy Secretary General’s visit to Washington D.C. from 7 to 11 May, he is having a series of public and bilateral engagements. These include meetings with high-level United States officials including Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl, Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, and Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger. Mr Geoană is also meeting with members of Congress, including members of the Senate NATO Observers’ Group and Rep. Gerry Connolly, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.