Foreign Minister Aurescu: Romania does not feel intimidated by Russia’s threats, NATO’s protecting the eastern flank is a consequence of the Russian Federation’s attitude

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Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Friday said that Romania does not feel intimidated by Russia’s threats and that NATO’s protecting the eastern flank is a consequence of the Russian Federation’s attitude.

“We took note of the statement the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman made, in reply to a question addressed by Radio Romania Actualitati correspondent in Moscow, and what I can tell you very clearly is the fact that the measures the North-Atlantic Alliance took following the decisions adopted in the Summit of the UK carried out last September, which were implemented following the decision adopted in the NATO foreign affairs and defence ministerial meetings of December and February, respectively, are measures taken for the protection of the allies on the eastern flank, after what happened in Ukraine, in Crimea – the illegal occupation of Crimea – , following the Russian Federation’s supporting the pro-Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine,” the Romanian Foreign Minister said.

According to the Romanian dignitary quoted by Agerpres, the measures of reassurance and protection come “as a reaction to a certain assertive, aggressive attitude of the Russian Federation.”

“Therefore, the Russian Federation cannot invoke these protection measures of the allies on the eastern flank – which, I reiterate, are reactions to the Russian Federation’s attitude in Ukraine – , as a justification to address more or less hidden, more or less direct threats to the allies in the eastern flank. Romania does not feel intimidated by these threats,” Bogdan Aurescu pointed out.

The build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe is an unprecedentedly dangerous step, violating Russia’s agreements with the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, commenting on Romania’s readiness to allow the deployment of NATO equipment in its territory, informs TASS Russian official news agency.

“The build-up of the NATO force grouping in the eastern flank, or as they say now, in the “frontline states,” is an unprecedentedly dangerous step, which violates absolutely every agreement one could think of, and the main thing is that it violates the Russia-NATO Founding Act that is still in effect,” Alexander Lukashevich said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Friday participated in the “Foreign Policy & Diplomacy” Workshop, organised for students by the Faculty of European Studies within Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, as well as in the debate on the topic “NATO’s eastern flank security today: challenges and opportunities,” organised by the CITADEL Group for Reflection and International Analysis. Moreover, he participated in the launching of the volume “The European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood Today: Politics, Dynamics, Perspectives” (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), edited by professors Valentin Naumescu and Dan Dungaciu.

 

PM Ponta: I back the position voiced by Romanian Foreign Minister

 

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Friday said he backed the position voiced by Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu, according to whom Romania does not feel intimidated by Russia’s threats and NATO’s protecting the eastern flank is a consequence of the Russian Federation’s attitude.

“I back the position voiced by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bogdan Aurescu!,” the Prime Minister wrote on his Facebook page.

 

“EU needs a new security strategy”

 

Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said Friday in Cluj-Napoca that the European Union needs a new security strategy in the current geopolitical context, and that Romania has already started demarches to this end.

“Given the major risks in our neighbourhood, particularly east and south of the EU, Romania believes a new security strategy of the EU should be designed. Because the EU’s security strategy in place was created in 2003, it was once updated but it no longer matches the latest security developments around the EU,” Aurescu told a debate on security on the eastern flank of NATO.

He added that Romania has already made a proposal for a new security strategy of the EU.

“There have been significant developments since 2003 and the EU cannot credibly assert its role as a global player, a security provider, unless it manages to be active and stabilise the neighbour areas. The Foreign Ministry has already submitted a comprehensive proposal to Brussels for debates by the member state to update the European security strategy,” added Aurescu quoted by Agerpres.