H.E. A.A. Churilin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Romania
Today is the National Holiday of Russia. On June 12, 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) passed the Declaration on state sovereignty. A new era began in the history of our country. The system of power and of state leadership fundamentally changed, true federalism began to develop. The society changed – freedom of speech, pluralism, private property became realities. Russia committed itself to a democratic path, it is building a market economy, the living standards of its multinational peoples changed.
The country is convinced that it chose the right path. This means constructing an efficient state, creating the civil society, setting up a free private environment that is socially responsible, fighting corruption and terrorism, upgrading the defense and enforcing the rule of law, and strengthening Russia’s role in foreign affairs. This is what our people wishes.
Russia’s leadership grants a primordial importance to the measures aimed at consolidating our economy and preserving the population’s living standards. Among the absolute priorities for our domestic policy, there are ensuring the living quality of our population by completing nationwide projects – which include the reform of education and health sectors – giving support to mothers and the construction of dwellings. Russia will continue the program to renew its machine-building industry, the agriculture, to create and implement advanced nanotechnologies, to improve transport and communications.
Russia’s authority in the world is strengthening because we correctly evaluated the trends in the evolution of the international situation, and due to the foreign policy actively promoted by our country. Among the participants in the global processes there is an ever stronger understanding of the fact that there is no alternative to building international relations upon juridical bases. The hegemonic attempts to control the world by force, as proved by last years’ experience, lead to confrontation and problems that cannot be solved.
The new Russia considers nobody as an enemy and constructs its policy on a pragmatic basis. We are open to collaboration without prejudice or ideological stereotypes, but we don’t allow others to harm our interests and those of our friends.
The economic and financial crisis has become a serious challenge for all states, including Russia. Unfortunately, no answer has been found yet to all the problems facing the international community. However, the main conclusion has become obvious: finding solutions to overcome the crisis is possible only through the joint efforts of the states that abandoned the national selfishness, and by using effective and coordinated measures. In fact, such collaboration and such joining of efforts are the only way of action in the modern world. Russia favours this kind of collaboration.
Another important problem is securing the energy. Not long ago, the Russian Federation launched a new initiative – stabilizing a modern legal basis for international cooperation in this field. We proposed this document to be discussed at the summit between Russia and the European Union, held in Khabarovsk.
We also start from the need to continue a constructive dialog in promoting another initiative of the Russian Federation – the European Security Treaty. Our target is most clear. We must end, once and for all, with the vestiges of the “cold war” and the countries of the Euro-Atlantic area must be provided with equal conditions of security. This will allow for freeing extra resources in view of solving some urgent problems in environment, economy and other sectors.
Our country proposes a positive and unified foreign affairs agenda. Russia is open to the widest cooperation with our regional partners.
Russia traditionally grants a particular attention to our neighbors from Eastern Europe, including Romania. You are our neighbors, history has determined good relations between us, on multiple plans, there is a mutual sympathy between us. We are united through similar cultures, through our ways of living, most Romanians and Russians are Orthodox Christians. Our common memory will always have a place for the common victories and losses on the battle ground in the two world wars and in the war for freedom in the Balkans.
The same as in the past, now too there are political premises for the collaboration between our countries. We have important common interests in the international arena. It is encouraging that the new Romanian Government pronounced itself for a policy of openness in the bilateral relations with the Russian Federation, especially in the economy, as well as for actively promoting the development of relations between our country and the European Union.
Our commercial and economic relations are developing with full success. Over the last six years, the volume of trade exchanges between Russia and Romania has increased approximately 4.5 times, from USD 1.3 bln in 2002 to some USD 6.0 bln in 2008. Exports are rising both from Russia and from Romania. Russian exports increased 4 times, from USD 1.25 bln to nearly USD 5 bln, while Romanian exports to Russia went more than 20 times up, from USD 40 M to USD 890 M. In other words, the increase in the deliveries of Romanian goods on our market significantly outpaces that Russian exports.
Russia and Romania, as well as the whole world, are going through a time of trials and changes. The world is rapidly and radically changing, and not all changes can be foreseen. Not everything we got used to will be preserved. Yet, there is something we really must transmit to the Russian and Romanian youth. This is the sympathy verified in time, the mutual understanding and the capacity to cooperate. We have the obligation not only to save these values, but also to develop them to our common interest, in the new 21st Century.