MAE: Russian FM’s threat to use a fighter jet, a very serious statement. President Basescu: Rogozin was in the heat of the moment; he did not know what he was saying.
A new verbal dispute has ensued between Moscow and Bucharest last weekend, when Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin accused Romania of denying his plane access to Romanian airspace upon request from the United States. “At the request of the United States, Romania shut down airspace access for my plane. Ukraine banned me,” the Russian Deputy Prime Minister stated in a Twitter message posted Saturday from Transnistria and cited by Itar-Tass news agency. Rogozin was returning from Transnistria, where he had attended Friday’s Victory Day ceremonies, to Moscow. “Next time, I’ll be flying on board a Tu-160 (strategic fighter jet),” Rogozin added, while emphasizing that despite such sanctions he will not cancel future visits to Tiraspol, capital of the Moldavian separatist region Transnistria.
“Yes, my esteemed Romanians, we will soon explain everything about who you are and what we think of you,” Dmitry Rogozin said further in a message posted late Saturday on his official Twitter account, https://twitter.com/ Rogozin. In a subsequent Twitter comment posted about thirty minutes later, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister wrote that “the Special Services of (the Republic of) Moldova confiscated a number of boxes containing Transnistrian signatures in favor of reunification with Russia,” to which he attached a picture of Transnistrian separatist Evgheni Sevciuc. “Yes, make the fool pray to God. You couldn’t make up better publicity for the people’s plebiscite if you tried,” Rogozin noted in another post accompanied by a photograph showing what appears to be a page of the aforementioned list of signatures. Moreover, Rogozin announced on Sunday that he brought from Tiraspol petitions asking Moscow to recognize Transnistria. In his latest Facebook post, the Deputy Prime Minister “claimed Romania had denied him airspace access based on sanctions imposed by the European Union,” according to Itar-Tass.
He also complained about encountering transport difficulties on Thursday upon arriving in R. of Moldova breakaway region where he had attended the May 9 parade celebrating the victory against Nazism. Again in a Twitter post, Dmitry Rogozin announced that his airplane, which was travelling to Chisinau, was denied permission to cross Ukraine’s airspace and was thus forced to make a detour through Bulgaria and Romania. However, the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister denied the allegation late Thursday, reassuring that no obstacles have been created for Russian airplanes, according to Interfax agency. On Saturday, Rogozin announced he had made it home to Moscow from the Republic of Moldova even though his plane had been forced to turn back in Chisinau by Ukrainian intercepting aircrafts.
Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) deems ‘a very grave declaration’ Russian Foreign Minister Dmitry Rogozin’s threat to use a strategic Russian fighter jet because Romania closed its air space to his flyover. ‘The Foreign Ministry believes the threat to use a strategic Russian fighter jet by a Russian deputy prime minister is a very serious declaration in the current regional context, where the Russian Federation has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and pro-Russia separatist forces are gravely violating public peace in neighbor Ukraine,’ MAE reports in a press release issued on Saturday.
MAE is calling on Russia’s Foreign Ministry to publicly state whether the quoted statements by Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin make up the official position of the Russian Federation on Romania, a NATO and EU member state. MAE also points out that Romania unequivocally supported and continues to fully support the sanctions imposed by the European Union in response to the actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Under Article 1 (1) of Decision 2014/145/CFSP concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, ‘member states shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into, or transit through, their territories of the natural persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and of natural persons associated with them, as listed in the annex.’ The annex comprises a list of persons, entities and bodies under the scope of the article, with Rogozin’s name mentioned as the first entry.
On the other hand, Romania’s Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean on Saturday said he is rejecting any assertion of a so-called patronage over Moldova’s sovereign territory, namely Transnistria. Media have quoted Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin as claiming that Transnistria is under Russia’s patronage. ‘I would suggest the one who makes the claim (Rogozin) to carefully read the historic ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of some years ago condemning the Russian Federation for its start and conduct of a secession war. Russia was the object of an ECHR condemnation for the part of its 14th Army deployed to Transnistria, which by law belongs to sovereign Moldova. The implementation of this ECHR ruling should normally entail Russia reconsidering the presence of its troops in Transnistria,’ Corlatean told journalists on Saturday at Parliament Palace. He added that Transnistria is de facto under Russia’s control, but de jure it belongs to sovereign Moldova. Corlatean also said high-level bilateral meetings with Russian leaders depend on the decisions made inside the European Union, warning that what is happening at Romania’s eastern borders might generate risks for separatism models that could regard Romania as well.
Reacting to Rogozin’s statements, President Basescu stated Saturday in Arad that the Russian Deputy Prime Minister’s threat of using a strategic fighter jet was made in the heat of the moment and “he did not know what he was saying.” With regard to Rogozin’s accusation that he was denied access to Romanian airspace, the head of state remarked that “those who made the decision” “know what they are doing and how to interpret certain restrictions” as in Rogozin’s case.
In a subsequent comment released Sunday, the President’s tone hardened as he said that “To such statements I can only have one response. We should inquire how much vodka Rogozin had had before making these statements. They show utter disrespect to all other states and anything that is not Mother Russia,” Traian Basescu stated for opiniatimisoarei.ro.