Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Romania Says Russian Threat to Foscsani Gates as Great as to Suwalki Corridor

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 8 – NATO has long been focused on the Suwalki corridor, a strip of land between Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast, fearful that in the event of war, Moscow would push through portions of Lithuania and Poland, two members of the Western alliance, to ensure Russian control over the exclave.

            Now, Romania, another NATO member, has called on the alliance to focus equal attention on the Focsani Gates, an 85 km by 60 km portion of territory along the Romanian border with Ukraine and Moldova (vpoanalytics.com/2023/10/07/russkie-idut-dlya-chego-v-rumynii-razgonyayut-isteriyu-vokrug-fokshanskih-vorot/).

            According to Russian security analyst Vladislav Gulevich, “the Focsani Gates have been considered a weak point of Romania since the 19th century.” He notes that last year, Christian Negrea, the editor of Bucharest’s Tactic si Strategia, argued that if Russian troops moved dinto Odess, Romania would have to dispatch forces to Budjak.

            Senior NATO commanders have since echoed his words, Gulevich says, noting that “the Danube connects Romania with Western Europe” and the world oceans; and Romanians regularly note that without the Danube-Black Sea link through Focsani, “Romania cannot be great.”

            According to the Russian security analyst, Romanian calls for NATO to give the same importance to Focsani as it does to Suwalki “fits within the outline of the Western alliance’s overall strategy on the Russian borders,” one intended to “create an anti-Russian cordon sanitaire there.

            “Washington and Brussels share Romanian concerns about Focsani,” Gulyevich says; but so far they have not matched the attention the West has given to Suwalki. Whether that will now change remains to be seen.

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