Bucharest, 19 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Romania's Defense Minister today estimated it would cost the country $ 3 billion dollars to integrate into NATO.
Victor Babiuc told a news conference in Bucharest that expansion costs are a heavy argument for the United States' decision on whom to admit during the first wave of NATO's eastward expansion. Babiuc said Romania could now show what the specific costs would be in its case - costs the Romanian government has said it can meet on its own.
Babiuc added that Romania still expected to be invited to join during the first wave. He said Romania meets all admission criteria and there are no significant differences between Romania and other, more favored, contenders for Nato membership.
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea is spending a week in Washington to try to persuade U.S. officials to reverse their decision to oppose early Romanian membership.