The US Secretary of Defense would also come to Bucharest. President Basescu
and Premier Ponta met yesterday CIA Deputy Director Avril D. Haines, regional situation topped agenda. Rogozin’s dispute with Romanian authorities worsens.
US Vice-President Joe Biden will pay a visit to Romania next week to discuss the situation in Ukraine with President Traian Basescu and PM Victor Ponta, sources have told Mediafax. Recent developments have hastened this meeting, the same sources said, adding that the visit is expected to take place by the end of next week.
President Traian Basescu confirmed on Monday he had invited US Vice-President Joe Biden to visit Romania, adding that Biden offered a tentative date for the visit. ‘I have extended an invitation to Vice-President Joe Biden to visit Romania. He offered a tentative date. What we agreed was to issue the official reports on the visit simultaneously,’ Basescu told Adevarul Live webcast.
President Basescu refused to clarify the date when Biden is expected in Bucharest, saying that for the time being it is a matter of security. ‘The news has just come out. It could be on the website of the White House, but I will not venture enunciating exact dates without knowing whether or not the dates are on the White House website,’ said Basescu.
Basescu also said that the US Secretary of Defense would also come to Bucharest and that he welcomed the CIA deputy director, Avril D. Haines, to discuss regional affairs and security in the region. ‘I would like the US to act so that we can say it meets its obligations of a strategic partner to Romania also by the significance of the visits in the period immediately ahead and by direct contributions to increasing the security level in Romania and the region,’ said Basescu. Avril D.Haines also had a meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Victor Ponta. During the meeting, they talked about aspects concerning the situation in the region, mainly the crisis in Ukraine and the situation in the Republic of Moldova.
Rogozin’s dispute with Romanian authorities worsens
Meanwhile, the Moscow-Bucharest dialogue on the issue of the interdiction to fly through Romanian airspace invoked by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has worsened.
Aleksei Puskov, the head of Duma’s Foreign Affairs Commission, stated yesterday for Ria Novosti that Moscow will retaliate against the states that close their airspaces. “Any state that conducts hostile actions towards Russia has to be aware that it could be the object of retaliation in kind. Meaning that if we have the impression that Russia is currently suffering pressures, especially through the interdiction of overflight from government airplanes, it’s time to show we are capable of retaliating,” Puskov stated for the Russian agency.
On the other hand, Rogozin answered President Traian Basescu’s accusations concerning his consumption of vodka. “I wonder how much Basescu drank in order to have the courage to close the airspace to our airplane,” Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter, after the Romanian President stated on Sunday in Timisoara that first one should find out how much vodka Rogozin drank before making such statements, referring to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister’s attacks on Romania.
After posting the answer for President Basescu, Rogozin then posted a reaction to Premier Victor Ponta’s statements. “I notify the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry about the statement made by this Romanian politician,” Rogozin wrote on Twitter, referring to a statement made by Romanian Premier Victor Ponta and quoted by the moldnews.md website. The message appears on Rogozin’s Russian-language and English-language Twitter accounts, followed by a Russian-language pun that is ironical towards the Romanian Premier: “The tough Pontas and the jokes…”
Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Sunday evening said that Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin had been playing the part of a provocateur in Romania and Moldova and that he personally managed the refusal to let Rogozin fly over Romania, because President Traian Basescu was canvassing in Arad.
‘I guess Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin is playing the part of a provocateur in R. of Moldova and Romania. Normally, in such circumstance, when Russia’s deputy prime minister is provoking Romania, we should have had a meeting with our President, the commander-in-chief, as he likes to call himself. But the commander-in-chief was with Mrs. Udrea in Arad, doing I do not know what. First of all, we did not have a commander-in-chief. That is why at the level of the Foreign Ministry and other ministries I managed the situation from my point of view, telling the ministers exactly how we should proceed, namely by meeting Romania’s commitments that are very clear. A blacklisted person such as Rogozin – and he was not the only one as there is another MP of Russia’s Duma – is not allowed either to enter Romania or transit through it. That is the reason why we forbid his passing through Romania’s airspace. It was not the US who told us what to do. We want to be with the US and Europe. We have done our job very well; I acted as the commander-in-chief because the commander-in-chief was busy doing something else,’ Ponta told Antena 3 private broadcaster. He argued that the situation could have escalated and could have made it necessary for Romania to use fighter jets. On the other hand, PM Ponta on Sunday disclaimed the piece of information according to which he allegedly planned to pay a visit to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin and said that President Traian Basescu’s statements on this topic were against Romania.
PM Victor Ponta accused yesterday President Traian Basescu of carrying electoral campaigns together with Elena Udrea and added he will be the one to take important decisions, as Vice-President of CSAT. The statements were made after being asked how the flight of Russian Vice-Premier Rogozin was forbidden in Romania’s airspace.
In his turn, Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea, Rogozin’s Romanian counterpart, pointed out that the Russian Deputy Prime Minister’s reaction after he was not allowed to go through Romania’s airspace reflects the attitude of a country that does not have a lot of respect for international treaties. “We closed our airspace because Mr. Rogozin, as far as I know, was on the list of officials that had an interdiction to enter European airspace,” Dragnea explained.
Basescu, new charges: Rogozin is the king’s buffoon
On the other hand, yesterday, on Adevarul Live, President Basescu resumed his criticism towards Rogozin, stating that the Russian Deputy Prime Minister is “the king’s buffoon” who “wants to annoy,” pointing out that when Russia issues a lofty communique Romania’s answer will be lofty too. “Rogozin is the king’s buffoon. If you take him seriously you will have to take extremely costly measures. (…) One has to answer a clown of Rogozin’s ilk in kind,” Basescu stated. “It’s clear we were not very prepared, at European Union level, not at Romania’s level, for such an event that never happened before,” he continued. The President added that Rogozin offended Romanians and he, as Head of State, did not answer officially, because it was not a lofty communique.
“When there will be a lofty communiqué the answer will be lofty,” Basescu said, pointing out that ‘Rogozin writes a lot, his mind is well rested, he has nothing to do.”
The President stated on Sunday evening on Digi 24 that he wants to tell Dmitry Rogozin that “we are a nation that lived in-between three empires” and “we are still here,” thus reacting to Rogozin’s Twitter comment: “Yes, Romanian gentlemen, we will soon explain it all to you, who you are and what we think of you.” “Rogozin is an extremely impulsive man, egotistical, and in this case I suspect he made those statements after he became good friend with several bottles of vodka. It’s obvious one cannot take into account this kind of statements. What could Rogozin tell us, who we are? If he needs to, we will tell him who we are, if he doesn’t know. And I can tell him we are a nation that has lived in-between three empires, the Russian Empire to the east, the Ottoman Empire to the south and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the west and we are still here, they should leave. This is who we are, and Rogozin should understand this well,” Traian Basescu stated.