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May 26, 2020

Basescu: Second stage of sanctions on Russia ahead

The President attends European Council, EPP summit.

President Traian Basescu left for Brussels to attend the works of the European Council and a summit meeting of the European People’s Party. Basescu was scheduled to attend the EPP summit on Thursday and a meeting of the European Council with the Speaker of the European Parliament. Later in the day, he was to take part in the first working session of the European Council meeting as well as attend a separate working dinner of the heads of states and governments. Basescu will attend the second working session of the European Council meeting on Friday and he will then make a press statement at around 1:30 p.m.
The president said in Iasi (eastern Romania) on Wednesday that Romania will raise the issue of the Republic of Moldova’s situation at the European Council debates. Basescu stressed at the end of a meeting with Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti that Romania expects the European Union to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation following ‘the illegitimate annexation of Crimea’.
In a statement made before leaving for Brussels, Traian Basescu said that at the European Council meeting in Brussels the second stage of sanctions on the Russian Federation could be approved ‘in a convenient manner’ and that there could also be talks concerning a possible third stage of sanctions. He said that ‘in theory’ the main objective of the European Council was related to adopting the guiding lines of economic coordination inside the EU, in order to meet the aims of the EU 2020 agenda.
‘However, the main topic (…) will certainly be related to Ukraine and we estimate that the second stage of sanctions on the Russian Federation will be approved in a convenient manner and that there will be talks concerning the third stage, the opportunity of stepping to the third stage and, if opportune, when and under what circumstances to be done,’ Basescu told journalists. He pointed out that the second stage of sanctions on the Russian Federation was mainly aimed at ‘making a list of the Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean officials considered the main players in Crimea’s takeover by the Russian Federation and in violating Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and also at making a list of their accounts and assets held in Europe.’
About the legitimacy of participating at the Council: “Let them read the Constitution”
In what concerns the legitimacy of him participating at the European Council, Basescu presented to the journalists the file containing the ministries’ points of view on the economic issues to be discussed at the European Council, inviting those that “want to talk about the legitimacy of the president’s presence at the summit” to read the Constitution.
“Because I understand Ghita and his television channel badly want to talk about the legitimacy of the president’s presence at the European Council, I can only invite him to read the Romanian Constitution, invite him and the group of supporters of some of the silly things being said in Romania by important politicians,” the President said before leaving for Brussels. “I don’t know what scares the Premier, there is an integrating institution called the MAE (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – editor’s note), which, based on what the issues on the agenda are, takes over the issues from the ministries and they end up in the file with which the president goes at the Council. So the government’s point of view exists in this file,” he explained. The head of state pointed out that he is not obliged to share “all points of view” and he updates and corrects them when needed, “so that the Council can thus reach a consensus,” something that all of his colleagues in the Council do.
Traian Basescu also stated, in what concerns the theme of the European Council, that in what concerns European-level coordination “this should be known by the Premier too,” adding that Romania has an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the World Bank. “This is the reason why we have a budget deficit limit, in agreement with the IMF, this is the reason why we have the request to lower arrears, this is the reason why, for instance when we are talking lowering unemployment, it refers to the absorption of European funds, so that we would create jobs,” the head of state added. The President also pointed out that he approved the IMF memorandum because it matched the European Commission’s recommendations included in the country recommendations made for Romania. “Since I approved it, it means I am also backing it. Maybe Prime Minister Victor Viorel finds out how relations function within the Romanian state,” Basescu added.

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