We have a legitimate right to expect a favourable decision, most likely entailing two phases,” the minister said.
Titus Corlatean, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated the Lithuanian presidency of the EU has put Romania and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area on the Justice and Home Affairs Council agenda for December, when a favorable decision could be made. “Several months ago, the Lithuanian presidency of the EU enlisted Romania and Bulgaria’s accession as a decision draft on the JHA Council agenda for December. We are still working on maintaining the project – possibly a two-phase project – valid for December,” the Head of Diplomacy stated Sunday on Realitatea TV. “What happens in Berlin will be very important” (\negotiations between CDU and SPD to form a coalition government) in this respect, Minister Corlatean added, but discussions between PM Victor Ponta and Chancellor Angela Merkel “have helped clarify some aspects.” “We obviously want this (accession to Schengen) in December because it is a legitimate issue for Romania. If it doesn’t happen, our only alternative is to continue our efforts toward acceding to the Schengen area,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said.
Corlatean reiterated this idea in an interview in yesterday’s edition of Romania Libera. “We are taking actions to ensure the first decision is made in December. We have a legitimate right to expect a favorable decision that will most likely entail two phases. (…)”, Corlatean said. As regards France’s opposition, the minister believes the only obstacle in way of Paris expressing support for Romania’s accession are electoral battles, despite the existing strategic partnership. “I have reservations in saying ‘France is opposed,” but I believe France, like many other states, is internally confronted online casino european roulette with social challenges related to upcoming elections (…),” the Foreign Minister pointed out.
Romania’s relations with Russia should be normal
On a change of topic, Corlatean approached Romania’s relationship with Russia in the same interview. From his perspective, the main objective in connection with Russia is to diminish balance of trade discrepancies, expressed by the fact that Romania imports over USD 3 billion in gas and exports approximately USD 1 billion in products to Russia. “Romanian relations with Russia should be normal and in compliance with the interests of each party. (…) In 2012, the level of trade exchanges was around USD 4.4 billion, of which Russian exports amounted to approximately USD 3 billion. It is a significant deficit that we would like to change. Romanian businessmen want to have access to the Russian market,” Corlatean said. The minister acknowledged the relationship still has sensitive areas. “For example, the matter of national treasure. I discussed the issue openly with the Russian Foreign Minister and we agreed to resume the joint commission’s activity and wait for its response. (…) It would be extremely useful to leave aside political interests. We have reason to believe the national treasure exists and is still in Moscow,” he continued. Furthermore, Corlatean said, Romania is interested in honoring the Romanian soldiers who died on Russian territory in World War Two. “Currently, there is no cemetery for soldiers who died in battle, although there are small areas designated for Romanians who died in NKVD concentration camps. Serghei Lavrov immediately agreed that Romania should build such a cemetery, most likely near Volvograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, where a lot of Romanian officers and soldiers died,” Corlatean concluded.