On Tuesday morning, a group of 135 Belgian soldiers left the military airport in Melsbroek for the city of Constanta, on the Black Sea in Romania.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder came to see them off. There, the soldiers will join a group of French soldiers, aiming to train together and carry out military exercises.
"In the context of the war in Ukraine, it is important to show the presence of NATO troops," De Croo said. "We want to respond to the significant threat on the NATO border, showing our solidarity and taking responsibility in this. There is no direct threat to NATO countries at the moment, but we want to show that we are ready to defend the 30 member states."
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Last week, a small delegation of soldiers already left for Romania, bringing the total of Belgian troops to about 160. Besides the land troops, some people are also responsible for logistical support or medical services.
In total, it concerns about 300 Belgians, the French delegation consists of about 500 people. The troops are expected to stay for about three months, but as the situation changes, this period may be extended.
"The different services get along well. The preparation time was limited, but we are ready for it," one of the lieutenants told the Belga News Agency.