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Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean talked, on ‘Adevarul Live,’ about the recent turmoil in Ukraine, one of the issues tackled being the abrogation of regional languages, a decision that has also affected the rights of the Romanian community. Asked whether Romania could play an active role in Ukraine, considering that we also have an ethnic minority there, the Minister answered: “The history of the Eastern Partnership started sometime in 2007-2008, being launched at the initiative of Poland and Sweden, not that of Poland and Romania. The ones representing Romania at that time could say why Bucharest has been absent now. I can give you a fairly clear explanation: in Bucharest at that moment it was said that the new proposed formula would be in contradiction with another initiative, the one concerning the Black Sea – the Black Sea Synergy. Now we can notice that it was a mistake, because the two initiatives were complementary.”
In his opinion, hypothetically speaking, “in the worst case scenario” the situation in Ukraine could generate a state of instability in Romania, a civil war, victims and a split between Ukraine’s eastern, Russian-speaking regions and the western regions that are closer to the EU. However, he pointed out that in this case Romania would not be the only one affected, such a scenario being liable to generate “very serious consequences for the whole region.” “There is an international interest concerning the need for stability in Ukraine, tied to the need for a political solution that would keep Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” the Minister said for adevarul.ro. Asked what is going on with the Romanian minority in Ukraine, he stated that the Romanian authorities have permanently kept in touch with the representatives of the community and with its political leaders, pointing out that the situation was more complex than presented “by commentators prepared to issue messages of Romanian intervention in Ukraine.” Concerning the recognition of the law concerning regional minority languages, the Minister said that this does nothing but implement some of Ukraine’s European commitments concerning the European charter of regional minority languages. “In other words, the recognition of the Romanian language as a regional language where there is a significant presence of the Romanian minority. This thing has become an imperfect reality because its application has been imperfect and has included the introduction of that famous Moldovan language.”
As it is already known, one of the first measures taken after the change of power in Ukraine was the abrogation of this law, the decision being harshly criticized by Titus Corlatean. “Our message was very clear towards European institutions too. Romania supports Ukraine’s European path, which entails some criteria, and the latter entail respecting the Romanian community in Ukraine. And we are not abandoning this position,” the Minister said. In his opinion when it comes to this whole issue “historically speaking we fell victims, because the abrogation of the said legislation was rather targeting the Russian speakers in Ukraine.”
Corlatean on Wednesday told Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner for National Minorities Astrid Thors, during her two day visit in Romania that the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) would continue to actively monitor the situation of the Romanian ethnics in Ukraine, as well as the manner in which their rights are observed and promoted, MAE reports in a press release issued on Wednesday.
Corlatean met yesterday the OSCE’s High Commissioner for National Minorities Astrid Thors, on a two-day visit she is paying to Romania, on an invitation from Corlatean. The visit is part of the frequent dialogue Romania carries out with OSCE’s High Commissioner for National Minorities. The OSCE High Commissioner highlighted the similarity of the position of the Office she coordinates and MAE’s position concerning the developments in Ukraine, according to the press release.