Romania has allowed the deployment of the high-readiness NATO rapid deployment forces on Romanian territory this year, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis informed parliament in a letter sent on Wednesday evening, euractiv.com informs. With this decision, the North Atlantic Council may opt to deploy very rapid joint task forces on Romanian soil in the event of a sudden serious security crisis threatening the country’s national independence and sovereignty “to address the crisis promptly and prevent its escalation,” the president highlighted in the letter. “The fast transit or deployment of a series of overlapping crises and an increasingly unpredictable environment, where NATO’s intervention may become necessary to safeguard Romania’s security and sovereignty”, the letter added. To ensure the swift deployment of this force within a 72-hour timeframe, prior approval for its deployment or transit through the country is required, he added. Romania’s parliament will debate the president’s decision in the next joint session in the coming weeks. Romanian Defence Chief Gheorghita Vlad also suggests that such preparedness should be improved among the population, urging the Romanian authorities to adopt laws and measures to improve the population’s preparedness against potential Russian threats, warning that a victory for Moscow in Ukraine could encourage further aggression. But these calls have generated quite a heated debate, with Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu backpedalling on the military chief’s claims and Russian Ambassador Valeri Kuzmin rapidly reacting in a press briefing. “As soon as Romania invites even more troops and declares itself concerned about military service, then surely some consequences must be foreseen. We talk openly about them, but in no case are we seeking war,” said Kuzmin. Commenting on the military preparation of the population, Romanian Defence Minister Angel Tilvar pointed to a bill proposing a paid military preparation service for those aged 18 to 35 during discussions without providing details. Nevertheless, the ministry has ruled out the reintroduction of conscription, a highly sensitive issue in Romania, where the state abolished compulsory military service years after the fall of Communism.