U.S.-Romania Talks: Russian Encroachment in the Black Sea

By George Cristian Maior

George Cristian Maior became ambassador of Romania to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015, having most recently served as director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). In November 2004, Ambassador Maior was elected senator in the Romanian Parliament, where he held various positions, including: chairman of the Committee for Defense, Public Order and National Security; member of the Joint Committee for the Parliamentary Oversight on the Foreign Intelligence Service Activity; and member of the Senate Committee for Human Rights, Cults and Minorities. From 2000 to 2004, he was state secretary and head of the Department for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Defense Policy in the Ministry of National Defense, where he was responsible for coordinating the strategic and military dimension of Romania’s NATO accession process.Ambassador Maior also served as a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Department of Treaties and Department of Strategic Affairs (1992-97) and chargé d’affaires of the Romanian Embassy in Ireland (1997-99).

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is in Washington today meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.  Romania, a member of NATO, is a key strategic partner of the U.S., hosting a U.S. missile defense site.  But the eastern European nation also sits in a precarious location along the Black Sea, where the Russian fleet conducts operations in Syria and maintains control over Crimea, which it illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014. 

The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder sat down George Cristian Maior, the Romanian Ambassador to the U.S., to get his take on security challenges in the region – and what’s topping the agenda in today’s meeting.

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