The United States will deploy F-16 fighter jets to Romania this month as part of planned joint exercises, the NATO member’s defense minister was quoted as saying, amid rising tensions in neighboring Ukraine after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. . . .
“American F-16 jets will be in Romania … because we have planned joint exercises in Romania’s air space during this time, and they will stay for a pretty long period,” Romania’s Defense Minister Mircea Dusa was quoted by Mediafax news agency late on Sunday as saying. . . .
Dusa said Bucharest had “other requests to our American partner and to NATO” over deploying squadrons in Romania until the country’s own F-16 fleet becomes operational in 2017. He did not elaborate. . . .
Romania, along with neighboring Bulgaria, joined NATO in 2004 and has been part of Washington’s military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is in the process of phasing out its outdated Soviet-made MiG-21s.