French President Emmanuel Macron did not want to go to a hotel in Constanta during his visit to Romania, but preferred to sleep in a tent at the Mihail Cogalniceanu military base, Romania’s Digi 24 television reported. The information was confirmed by the Elysee Palace.
Macron arrived in Romania yesterday to visit the French military, based at the Mihail Cogalnicanu base near Constanta, which is part of a mission to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. France leads a NATO battle group in Romania of about 800 troops, including 500 French troops, along with others from the Netherlands and Belgium. Paris has also deployed a surface-to-air missile system.
In the morning, before the start of the official program of the visit, Macron did a jog and then had breakfast with the military, reports the French television TV5 Monde.
Last night, Macron had dinner with the French and Belgian military from the NATO Response Force, and the menu included dishes from authentic Romanian cuisine.
Yesterday morning, French President Emmanuel Macron met with his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Johannes, to discuss the situation in Ukraine, support for the Republic of Moldova and Romania’s accession to the Schengen area. Macron then went on a visit to the Republic of Moldova.
The French leader has been criticized by Ukraine and its Eastern European allies for what they see as its ambiguous support for Ukraine in the war against Russia.
In recent days, French officials have sought to boost public relations, while Macron seems to have taken a firmer stance when he was with his troops.
“We will do everything we can to stop Russia’s military forces, to help the Ukrainians and their army, and to continue negotiations,” he told French and NATO troops at a military base in Romania.
“But in the foreseeable future, we will have to defend, dissuade and be present,” he said.
In recent weeks, Macron has repeatedly said it is vital not to “humiliate” Russia so that a diplomatic solution can be found when the fighting is over, and he has continued to keep channels of communication with the Kremlin open, annoying more Allied hawks.
This is the French president’s first tour of Southeast Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.