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September 20, 2020

FM Corlatean: Ohlsson using Roma issue to gather votes

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlatean on Wednesday declared that his Swedish counterpart Brigitta Ohlsson is using the Roma issue and offending ‘a government and a country’ in order to gather votes. ‘I have met the [Swedish foreign] minister last year in Stockholm, and we had a serious, sound dialogue. I know her profile, which is considered in Sweden as slightly nervous, including in politics. (…) No one denies that there is a problem related to Roma integration (…), but getting from that to using this theme – even in Nordic states, which is surprising – to gather votes, to offend a government and a country like Romania is unacceptable,’ Corlatean said at the public TV station TVR.
He mentioned that Romania’s refusing cooperation on Roma integration was never considered, and that a European monitoring mechanism for Romania is ‘unacceptable’. ‘The [Swedish] minister never discussed personally this type of project with anybody. There was a Swedish state secretary who talked with a Romania state secretary; the latter recently said, ‘Yes, we are opened to cooperation.’ It’s a long way from here to stating that the [Romanian] government refuses the cooperation, and the explanation is electoral,’ Corlatean concluded.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry Brigitta Ohlsson had asserted on Tuesday that Romania rejects the proposal of foreign aid for spending the European funds allocated for Roma integration, AFP reported quoted by Mediafax.
‘We shall never accept extremist attitudes in Romania’
Romania’s Foreign Minister also told TVR public station that the relation between Romania and Hungary is ‘extremely important’, but Romania will not accept ‘extremist attitudes’ on its territory. ‘We show all openness, but, at the same time, I say it very clearly, noting that an extremist, Euro-sceptical party has reinforced following these elections, I’m referring to Jobbik, there should be no expectation that Romania accepts such things, as Jobbik has supposed during the election campaign. (…),’ the head of Romanian diplomacy said.
About  EU-Russia relations
On the other hand, commenting on statements made by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who had said no new sanctions against Russia were needed amid the Ukrainian crisis as he underscored there are common economic interests between the EU and Russia,  Titus Corlatean said there are economic interests, ‘some of them extremely important’ between the European Union and Russia and the two sides should make a political effort to overcome the current situation so that the relations might ‘gradually turn back to normal’.

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