More information about Romania is available on the Romania page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Romania in 1880 following Romania’s independence, and 2020 saw the 140th anniversary of this relationship. The two countries severed diplomatic ties after Romania declared war on the United States in 1941; and re-established them in 1947. Relations remained strained during the Cold War era while Romania was under communist leadership. After the 1989 revolution ended communist rule, however, Romania’s policies became unequivocally pro-Western. In the decades that followed, the United States and Romania deepened relations by increasing cooperation on shared goals including economic and political development, deterrence and defense, and non-traditional threats such as transnational crime and non-proliferation.
In 2011, the United States and Romania issued the “Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century Between the United States of America and Romania.” The two countries identified key areas for enhanced cooperation, focusing on our political-military relationship, law-enforcement cooperation, trade and investment opportunities, and energy security. The United States and Romania are mutually committed to supporting human rights, strengthening the rule of law, and increasing prosperity in both countries. Romania and the United States are bound together through myriad people-to-people ties in business, the arts, scholarship, and a host of other exchanges, including the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) for high school students and a robust Fulbright program managed by the bilateral Fulbright Commission. In 1993, Romania became one of the first states to join the State Partnership Program, partnering with the Alabama National Guard. In May 2020, Romania deployed a 15-member medical team to support COVID response in long-term care and nursing home facilities. Over its history, the partnership has yielded over 200 bilateral engagements with focus ranging from F-16 operations and maintenance to construction of European weapons ranges and training sites in support of USEUCOM Exercise Atlantic Resolve. Romania’s promotion of greater cooperation among its Black Sea neighbors in the areas of defense, law enforcement, energy, economic development, and the environment complements the U.S. goal of enhancing stability in this sensitive and important region.
Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and has established itself as a steadfast ally of both the United States and NATO. The country continues to improve its capabilities for NATO and multinational operations and has repeatedly deployed forces and assets in support of shared national security interests, including significant contributions of troops, equipment, and other assistance in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Kosovo. Romania hosts the NATO Multinational Division Headquarters South East, which is NATO’s fully operational command and control node for the region – a NATO Force Integration Unit, and a fully operational Multinational Brigade South East. In July 2020, Romania established the headquarters of the Multinational Corps South-East, a NATO military command charged with supporting security in Europe’s southern flank.
Romania hosts a key element of the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) missile defense effort for NATO. The fully operational system was integrated as part of NATO’s ballistic missile defense at the Warsaw NATO Summit in July 2016. The two countries signed a ballistic missile defense agreement in 2011. In October 2014, the U.S. Navy formally established Naval Support Facility-Deveselu – the United States’ first new Navy base since 1987 – where the EPAA Aegis Ashore missile defense site has been constructed. The base houses over a hundred U.S. sailors and Navy contractors on a persistent, rotational basis.
In 2005, the United States and Romania signed the Defense Cooperation Agreement, the framework for our military engagements. The agreement established several (currently seven with more being contemplated) joint-use facilities. The Roadmap for Defense Cooperation for 2020-2030, signed in October 2020, outlined strategic priorities for the bilateral relationship and included collaboration in cybersecurity, military modernization, and multi-domain operations in the Black Sea. Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase near Constanta is an important multi-modal transportation hub for U.S. forces and currently houses several hundred U.S. soldiers on a persistent rotational basis under Operation Atlantic Resolve. The other joint-use facilities are Babadag training area and railhead, Campia Turzii air base, Cincu training range, Campu Media training range, Targu Mures military base, and Smardan training range.
The United States and Romania continue to work on issues of defense and security cooperation, combating corruption and strengthening rule of law, and increasing energy independence as well as economic and commercial ties.
U.S. Assistance to Romania
U.S. security assistance supports Romania in its ongoing military modernization, improving its interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces, and increasing its expeditionary deployment capabilities in support of NATO’s collective defense as well as coalition operations with the United States. Other programs include U.S. Department of Justice assistance to strengthen the rule of law, including combatting corruption and human trafficking, and strengthening intellectual property rights and cyber-security. The United States also assists in preserving Romania’s unique cultural heritage. For example, in 2019, Romania received the largest Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation grant in the world, $500,000, for the restoration of a 14th Century fortified Saxon church in the village of Alma Vii.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Following the 1989 revolution, Romania’s economy began a transition from state control to capitalism. The country worked to create a legal framework consistent with a market economy and investment promotion. Romania became a member of the European Union (EU) in 2007. In 1992, the United States and Romania signed a bilateral investment treaty (BIT), which came into force in 1994. In 2003, prior to Romania’s accession to the EU, the United States and Romania amended the BIT, which remains in effect. Romania attracts U.S. investors interested in accessing the European market, with relatively low costs and a well-educated, tech-savvy population being major draws. In 2019, the United States ranked as the fifth largest foreign investor in Romania when European subsidiaries of American companies were taken into account.
In Romania, major U.S. firms operate in the energy, manufacturing, information technology and telecommunications, service, and consumer products sectors. Top Romanian exports to the United States include machinery, vehicle parts, steel and metallic items, and fertilizers.
Romania’s Membership in International Organizations
Romania and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, among others. Romania is also a co-founder of the Three Seas Initiative, which is aimed at building infrastructure, technology, and energy assets in Central and Eastern Europe. The United States is an observer of the Three Seas Initiative. Additionally, the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy Cooperation (P-TEC) was launched in September 2018 in Bucharest to complement the Three Seas Initiative and enhance energy security and resilience.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Romania maintains an embassy in the United States at 1607 23rd St., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-332-4846).
More information about Romania is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: