Ponta – Basescu exchange retorts on Ukraine crisis

PM Ponta said that Ukrainian crisis is a serious issue for Romania and R. of Moldova and because of that needs Defence Council analysis. “Ukraine’s situation has been analysed in the CSAT long time ago, but Ponta did not realize when it happened”, Basescu answered.

A new exchange of words, via TV, between Prime Minister Victor Ponta and President Traian Basescu has occurred recently. It all started from a statement made by Ponta, who qualified the crisis in Ukraine as ‘a serious issue for Romania and especially for the Republic of Moldova’.
Speaking in Negresti Oas, Satu Mare County (northwest) on Sunday, he mentioned that the matter should be discussed in the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT). ‘(…) this is no longer a theoretical danger. You see the situation worsening, and the Romanian state’s institutions must respond very clearly in terms of preparedness and future actions,’ Ponta declared, quoted by Agerpres.
According to the Premier, ‘no Romanian citizen is in danger or will ever be in danger’ in the context of the tensed situation in Ukraine, added that Romania is not threatened, although ‘the region is a hazard hot spot.’ Asked to comment the assertion of ‘Voice of Russia’ Radio that the Romanian Army wouldn’t last for more than 30 minutes in a war, he answered that ‘Romania would resist a lot more than that, first of all due to our national capacity, and also because we are included in the contingency plan involving interoperability with NATO’s military forces available in the area. I say very clearly that Romania is in no way threatened, but the region is a hazard hot spot, and our obligations extend beyond Romania; we must do our best to ensure the integrity and security of the Republic of Moldova. I do not wish to stir panic through unsupported declarations; Romania, like all the countries in the region and all the NATO countries, is in a special attention condition concerning the preparedness for territorial security, and all the other procedures’.
On the other hand, Ponta declared that the 700 million lei to be allocated to the Ministry of National Defence would go to the maintenance of military equipment and to the supplementing of stocks, mentioned that the Mechanical Factory of Sadu, currently in a difficult financial position, will be among the beneficiaries: ‘We have already adopted a decision, and obviously Romania is NATO’s and European Union’s outpost here on the Ukrainian border, on the border of a conflict that unfortunately does not settle; on the contrary, it escalates’.
President Basescu had asserted on Saturday night that Ukraine’s situation has been analysed in the CSAT long time ago, but Ponta ‘did not realize when it happened.’ On the other hand, the President said on Thursday, on B1 TV, that the NATO would increase its military presence in Romania and added that there would be a different position in the future. ‘(…) But for Romania, once the approach to Russia is changed, there is another reality: Romania will stay for a long time the border country of the NATO and the EU. … A border country between the European Union, the NATO, on the one hand, and the Russian Federation, on the other hand, must be an extremely powerful country and this is what the both Americans and the great European powers understood,’ the Head of State said. He emphasized the fact that the border countries must be consolidated and that both the nations and the allies will make efforts in the years to come.
FM Corlatean requests active support for increased NATO presence in Romania
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlatean, conducted on Wednesday in Washington D.C. meetings with members of the US Congress but also separate meetings with senators John McCain, member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and Dan Coats, member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) on informs. As part of the discussions, the sides approached the topic of developments in the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States, placing emphasis on cooperation in the realm of security, as well as the topic of ‘worrying developments in Ukraine, including their impact on stability and security in the Black Sea region and the agenda of the NATO summit in Great Britain’.
FM Corlatean underscored Romania’s major interest for the results of the top-level meeting in September 2014 to reflect the consolidation of the transatlantic relations and the dimension of collective defence, but also the credible and visionary continuation of the Alliance’s enlargement. Both US Senators supported the Romanian approaches and expressed their appreciation for Romania’s significant contribution to consolidating the security of the United States and of the NATO allies, including the distinguished and excellent cooperation with American military forces in the theaters of operations, especially in the context of Allied efforts in Afghanistan. Answering the extended invitation, the American dignitaries expressed their interest to visit Romania this year.

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