President Traian Basescu in Brussels yesterday participated in the European Council meeting tackling the situation in Ukraine. Before leaving for the European Council, President Basescu said that, in case they decide to create a format of negotiation for easing off tensions between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, Romania must belong to this formula. ‘In case they decide to create a format of negotiation for easing off tensions between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, as a consequence of the actions taken in Crimea, Romania must belong to the format of negotiation,’ said Basescu, as quoted by Agerpres.
Basescu pointed to some arguments, namely that in Romania there are more than 400,000 Romanian speaking Ukrainian citizens, that it is the EU member state nearest to Crimea and is one hundred kilometres away from another frozen conflict, the one in Transdnestr region. ‘Last but not least, Romania is not dependent on the gas imports from the Russian Federation. Therefore, it is not heavily dependent on gas imports from the Russian Federation and can replace them with other forms of energy supply or even with gas, through the interconnector to Hungary we can receive gas from Norway too,’ added Basescu, making it clear that Romania’s national interest is to be involved in this situation, also starting from the prerequisite that it has a 640 km long border with Ukraine.
The Romanian Head of State also said that Romania maintains that Ukraine, if it wants to, can sign the Association Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, as well the programme with the International Monetary Fund.
‘We shall maintain that Ukraine must urgently enter a programme with the International Monetary Fund, with the World Bank and, if necessary, with the European Union, aimed at funding Ukraine in the medium term, for the country not to default, to be able to make its domestic payments and, at the same time, to go through a fast-track reform programme,’ Basescu underscored. At the Eastern Partnership Summit of November 2013 in Vilnius, Ukraine should have signed the Association Agreement with the EU, but announced the suspension of this process.
‘U.S., Britain should guarantee Ukraine’s security’
President Traian Basescu also said before leaving for the European Council that the U.S. and Great Britain are the first two states with obligations to negotiate with the Russian Federation, as the two states are guarantors of Ukraine’s security, territorial integrity and independence, under a memorandum signed in Budapest, in 1994.
‘In my opinion, and I will tell this to the Council as well, the situation in Ukraine starts from several premises. ‘The first is related to the existence of the memorandum in Budapest, in which three states, the U.S., Great Britain and the Russian Federation constitute as guarantors of Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty over its territory (..),’ Basescu said.
According to President Basescu, a second premise on which Romania’s stance is based is the existence of a bilateral agreement signed in Kiev between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the stationing of some Russian military structures on Ukrainian territory throughout 2047.
‘The third premise is that Ukraine’s Parliament is legitimate and the Ukrainian Parliament’s decisions, including those to appoint a new government, are legitimate. So, our partner is the government designated by the Ukrainian Parliament. The fourth premise is that the two states that have the obligation to negotiate with the Russian Federation, in our view, the U.S. and Great Britain, should establish the level to which the Russian Federation has overstepped the bilateral agreements between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the presence of these troops in Crimea and find solutions so that the breaches of bilateral agreements no longer occur,’ added the head of state, reiterating that Romania considers that what the Russian Federation has done by violating the bilateral agreements is ‘an aggression’ against Ukraine.
FM Corlatean to visit Kiev on Monday
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean will pay a visit to Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday. Corlatean had announced the visit two days ago, after the meeting with the members of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committees. The FM had also mentioned that he undertakes the trip at the invitation of his Ukrainian interim counterpart Andriy Deshchytsia. Foreign ministers from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania paid visits to Kiev last week to meet members of the new Ukrainian Government.