Emmanuel Macron has been in Romania since Tuesday. He will travel to Moldova on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening, he dined with the French soldiers at the Constanta military base, on the shores of the Black Sea. An exchange out of reach of the microphones. But our special envoy to Romania spent the day with these soldiers who are preparing to return to France after having been deployed there urgently during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At the NATO base in Constanta, the mountain hunters of the 27th BCA are preparing their gear in the rain before returning to their French mountains in a few days. They leave their instructions to their brothers in arms who relieve them. They are the first to arrive in Romania, just five days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A “complex” environment
Without really knowing what awaited them, as explained by their commander, Colonel Vincent Minguet. “The psychological situation, the emotional environment in which we were during the deployment really had to be taken into account”, he confides on Europe 1. “It was a complex environment. We felt the hostility. We do not know never in which direction the war wants to go”.
A NATO operational platform
Under the tent, a game of cards is improvised. Up to 98 soldiers can sleep there, side by side. A rusticity to which Warrant Officer Nicolas had to adapt. “As you can see, we’re all crammed on top of each other. Everyone has their own little bed, their little space, their little wardrobe,” he explains at the microphone of Europe 1. “Snorers, we isolate, we put them aside or we put earplugs”.
This battalion will be increased to a thousand men within a year. The military camp is destined to become an operational and strategic NATO platform from which French soldiers could leave urgently in the event of a violation of a border in South-Eastern Europe.