Day with special diplomatic connotation for Romania yesterday: Bucharest received on Wednesday the visits of two high envoys from two countries with which it shares especially important strategic partnerships for its foreign relations portfolio: the USA and the UK. By a rare coincidence, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland and the British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond were in the Romanian Capital city at the same time.
There is no information whether Nuland and Hammond had a one-to-one meeting while in Romania, however their presence in Bucharest at the same time will be difficult to forget. Especially that, during the separate talks they had with President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, apart from their respective interests of discussing with the Bucharest partners itemised matters regarding the bilateral relations, they stressed in unison the special role Romania has in regional stability but also as a trusty NATO partner for Euro-Atlantic security and peace.
As common messages conveyed to the Romanian authorities, both Mrs. Nuland and Mr. Hammer hailed Romania’s substantial progress achieved in judicial reform and in combating corruption, as well as commitment the Romanian Government made to implement the decisions of the Summit of Wales concerning the increase of the Defence budget to 2 per cent of the GDP.
In addition the main message transmitted by the US and Great Britain’s high representatives was connected with the need to change the Romanian political culture, with respect to collaboration among all Bucharest political factors.
“I could tell you the main messages: to change the political culture in Romania with respect to collaborate and work together. So, don’t listen to those reaching for scandal. Our strategic partners’ main message is to work together for Romania and for our position in the region. Collaboration and not war and scandal is what brings credibility to Romania, firstly, and secondly the investors’ confidence in Romania,” said Prime Minister Ponta at the beginning of the weekly Gov’t meeting.
Mrs. Nuland conveyed to her Romanian partners of dialogue the special appreciation of the US for the strategic partnership with Romania and for its important achievements and stressed the interest of the United States into enhancing it, also by identifying new opportunities for cooperation and joint projects along its economic and energy security, education, science, innovation and good governance axes.
The Romanian-American bilateral talks also emphasized the advanced status of the operationalization of the American ballistic missile defence system of Deveselu (southern Romania), due this year – a significant strategic project for the security of both states and for the Euro-Atlantic security.
Romania’s will to strengthen the strategic partnership with the US by expanding cooperation not only in the military field, but also on economic one was in the focus of discussions between the US Assistant Secretary of State and the Romanian officials.
The interest of US companies to invest in Romania was hailed by Bucharest representatives who have encouraged their increased presence on the Romanian In this regard, the Romanian-American bilateral talks have emphasized the need for legislative stability, predictability and transparency in the business environment.
“The UK has a very solid bilateral strategic relation with Romania. We have an excellent cooperation in the defence and security area and growing economic exchange,” Philip Hammond told a press conference jointly held with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu.
He said that Bucharest and London would work together inside the EU to make sure the Union remains united and strong in maintaining the sanctions against Russia until this state no longer tries to change the map of Europe by military force.
“I have voiced my and the Romanian authorities’ intention to strengthen our bilateral relations in the context of the potential of the strategic partnership. We have also tackled the economic, social, political and security challenges we are confronted with in the European Union, for which a comprehensive response through coordinated efforts on a European level is needed,” said the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.