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February 4, 2023

American officials: “We are looking forward to work with newly-elected President Iohannis and Romania’s new Government”

No more than a day after presidential elections ended, Rose Gottemoeller, the US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security visited Romania on Monday and Tuesday, accompanied by Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy with the U.S. Department of State and the leading negotiator of the Romanian – American agreement regarding the ballistic missile defence system at the military base in Deveselu, in order to discuss Romania’s security perspectives and the evolution of the base in Deveselu, where Romania hosts elements of the USA and NATO ballistic missile system with high officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and officers of the National Defence College. The two American officials had an encounter at MAE with state undersecretary Bogdan Aurescu and Minister Teodor Melescanu, a few hours before the latter resigned.

In an exclusive interview for Gandul, the two American officials who report to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, described how the presidential elections were perceived and what the expectations in Washington were from the newly elected President of Romania Klaus Iohannis and “his new Government”.

“I think that the democracy is alive and healthy in Romania, and this thing is pretty obvious. Afterwards, we are looking forward to work with the newly elected president Iohannis and his Government; we are truly interested in continuing to strengthen the bilateral relation in all fields and, therefore, we are waiting to create bonds to him as fast as possible, to start working on developing our bilateral relations in many fields, especially some new fields the new president might have among his priorities. It will be a healthy relationship, we think, and we are looking forward to meet him and work with him”, Ms. Rose Gottemoeller declared for Gandul.

“The US continues to see Romania as key strategic partner, and we do not expect any change in the relations of USA and Romania. We see support for this strategic relation in all parties and I know there was an almost unanimous support for the agreement regarding the ballistic missile defence system, in 2011. We are looking forward to work with the elected president and with Romania’s new Government”, Frank Rose said on his turn.

The Romanian media immediately started quoting these declarations made by the two US officials in their interview for Gandul, unanimously interpreting that, by the two expressions used by Gottemoeller (“we are looking forward to work with the newly elected president Iohannis and his Government”) and by Frank Rose (“looking forward to work with the elected president and with Romania’s new Government”), Washington tries to send a signal that the days of the Ponta Government are counted.

On the other hand, journalist Ion Cristoiu claims on his blog that “carefully reading the signs given by the US Embassy in Bucharest through their friends in the media”, he saw in Klaus Iohannis’ statement (the one referring to the fact that will attempt to overtake the power in 2015, or in 2016, editor’s note), a different thing: “The agreement, dictated by Americans, to share power.

“Victor Ponta has the Government, Klaus Iohannis has the Presidency. Therefore, Romania will not be able to reproduce the Viktor Orban nightmare that happens in Hungary. Where power is divided between two parties and not in the hands of one, America may be relaxed. Especially that President Iohannis will not have the power of somebody who also has the majority in the Government, and poor Victor Ponta, crushed by the clandestine operation “Let’s Punch Him With Our Vote” is willing to do anything to survive in PSD and in the Government. Even to struggle against corruption more intensely than Monica Macovei”, Ion Cristoiu writes on his blog www.cristoiublog.ro in an article entitled “How the Agreement of Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis, Imposed by Americans, Works”.



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