Romania’s Chief of the Defense Staff, Lt. Gen. Vlad Gheorghita, expects an escalation from Russia and warned the European community, including Romania, to prepare for the possible spread of Russian aggression outside Ukraine, he said in an interview with his nation’s Radio Liberty service.

Gheorghita said that Russia “has become a problem for the world order and for democracy” and is waging war not just with Ukraine, but “with the democratic world.”

“The Romanian community, as well as the entire population of the European Union, Europe, should worry, and we must take appropriate measures to be ready,” he said.

“I am more than confident that President Putin will resort to escalation in the near future,” Gheorghita said.

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The Romanian general called on his nation and other NATO countries to replenish their weapons reserves and prepare their populations.

Gheorghita asked Bucharest lawmakers to introduce legislation to allow men and women up to the age of 35 to voluntarily learn to shoot a gun, saying Romanian military reservists are too old to fight on the front lines. He also recommended introducing voluntary military service for the entire population.

He offered this unsettling concern for Romania’s neighbor next door: “I personally, not necessarily as a military person, believe that the Russian Federation will not stop [with Ukraine]. If [Putin] wins in Ukraine, the main target will be the Republic of Moldova.”

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Russian, US Defense Chiefs Discussed Lowering Escalation in Call

Russia’s Defense Minister called the US Secretary of Defense to “lower risks of returning to a Cold War,” while the Pentagon says sporadic calls are important to “maintaining lines of communication.”

Citing a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) incursion into Romanian airspace, Gheorghita called for legal reforms to give Romania the opportunity to defend itself against Russian drones.

According to him, the Romanian military didn’t shoot down at least one Russian drone over the Dobrogea region, as current legislation doesn’t allow this.

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