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March 25, 2023

Ex FM Diaconescu: Romania must rally for energy independence

Former Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu said in an interview for Agerpres news agency yesterday that Romania must assure energy independence and must achieve this goal without harming other states’ interests. “We must explain, both to Russia and to other states that Romania’s energy independence is an economic, strategic obligation for this country,” he said. In the context, Diaconescu spoke about the country’s relationship with Russia and voiced confidence that Moscow can become a very important partner, both politically and economically.

“From this perspective, however, we must understand our mutual interests and to determine a joint Russian-Romanian project which would have a medium and long-term political and strategic vision,” the former minister said. He added that Russia is a very important partner at the Black Sea and as neighbour of the European Union.

When asked whether Romanian-Russian ties are still marked by conflicts, Diaconescu replied that “so far, we have not been sophisticated enough to identify common issues of interest.” Diaconescu explained that Russia will surely play an important part in NATO’s new strategic concept and should also be drawn into projects regarding Romania’s neighboring region, including Black Sea cooperation. The former foreign minister also spoke about Romania’s future stance in ties with the US administration, underlining the importance of the Romanian-American strategic partnership and their shared interests “on multilateral and regional level.”

“I would mention here the Black Sea area, the Western Balkans. Romania and the United States have serious cooperation projects for the area’s security and stability. In this partnership, we want a more serious economic component in our relationship with the US” and more American investments in the country, he said. Diaconescu also tackles the US visa regime, saying that Romania still has a lot to do to be able to lift visa requirements for its citizens.

When asked what his vision is of the European Union after the Lisbon Treaty, Diaconescu underlined that this is the most important area where Romanian foreign policy must assert its role and increase the country’s “responsibility and dignity.” It is important that Romania has a substantial representation in the European Union’s negotiation and decision-making mechanisms, he said, adding that the country should carry out and promote important projects in the bloc, such as the Danube strategy (backed by Romania and Austria), enlargement issues, but also Turkey’s accession and the Western Balkans. “So there are many fields in which we have to be more sophisticated in our relationship with the EU,” Diaconescu said.

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