In a troubled European and international context because of the situation in Ukraine, by an interesting coincidence, the most authorised and influential voices on foreign politics in Romania have unfolded the last couple of days a concerted diplomatic offensive in Paris, Brussels and Washington. Hot topics on the international agenda such as the tensed relations between Kiev and Moscow, but also the latest developments in Ukraine following the Minsk negotiations, as well as the cooperation and fight against terrorism were at the core of the talks the Romanian president and premier had with top-ranking European and American authorities. They had excellent opportunities to present Bucharest’s position on those primordial matters that concern the political and diplomatic community in the Euro-Atlantic area, but also to reiterate Romania’s firm willingness to fulfil its commitments to its partners and allies for the management of those crises by a good cooperation.
President Klaus Iohannis talked to European leaders about EU common strategies for the management of those situations of concern, but, both on Tuesday in Paris, during his bilateral meeting with French counterpart Francois Hollande, and on Thursday in Brussels, with the EPP leaders and with the heads of state or government in the EU lobby to obtain support for Romania’s European interests. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the head of the government was receiving thanks from first-rank US officials for the way in which Romania fulfills its commitments in the North-Atlantic Alliance. Both from the Pentagon and the US Department of Commerce came praises for the way in which the Strategic Partnership develops, but PM Victor Ponta took the opportunity of his talks with US officials in Washington to present Romania’s interest in developing the economic size of its strategic partnership with Washington to catch up with the political-diplomatic-military level. The good news coming from the American Capital after Ponta’s talks with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is that an American economic mission organised by the US Department of Commerce will travel to Romania in May.
Ahead of the European Council’’s meeting, President Klaus Iohannis participated on Thursday in a first summit of the European People’s Party (EPP) since he became president of Romania. Before his meeting with the EPP officials, Klaus Iohannis had met with EPP President Joseph Daul, one of the European leaders who were in Bucharest during the presidential campaign last November to express his support for the candidate K. Iohannis.
The main topics on the two’s agenda were the current geopolitical situation regarding the peace negotiations in Minsk, the region’s situation and Romanian’s domestic policy in the first months since the President, Klaus Iohannis took office.
After the EPP meeting, Klaus Iohannis participated in his first European Council . He had a brief discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the beginning of the informal European Council meeting.
On the agenda of the 28 heads of state and government who met in Brussels there were three crucial dossiers: the situation in Ukraine, the Monetary and Economic Union and the fight against terrorism. The European leaders were supposed to make a decision on how Europe could defend itself from the new scourge of Jihadist terrorism the exponents of which, while born in the EU, return to their countries or origin to spread terror among European citizens.
‘It is my first participation in a European Council. On the agenda there are topical subjects. Two of them have been announced: the fight against terrorism and the consolidation of the Economic and Monetary Union. The situation in Ukraine and relations of the European Union with the Russian Federation will definitely be discussed too. All this is preparing the new developments expected this spring and it has to be said that the process of consolidation of the Economic and Monetary Union is one of special importance not only to the eurozone countries, but also for the rest of the member countries that are preparing to join the eurozone. These matters are of especial importance also to our country’, the president said before leaving Bucharest for Paris and Brussels, on Tuesday.
PM Ponta received at the Pentagon: U.S. Secretary of Defense thanks Romania for its continued strong support in Afghanistan and in other NATO activities
Prime minister, Victor Ponta has met the US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel during his working visit in Washington, a release sent to Agerpres by the Romanian Government on Thursday morning, reads.
During the meeting at the Pentagon, “the constant preoccupation of the Romanian Government was restated for the strengthening of the bilateral cooperation in Defence, as a pillar of the Strategic Partnership between Romanian and the United States of America,” also highlighting “the ample support in Romania for the consolidation of the US, NATO staff’s presence in our country.”
“Romania’s contribution to the international operations, in Afghanistan in particular, and the excellent bilateral collaboration in these operations, were appreciated,” the source adds.
The two officials also tackled the regional evolutions in Eastern Europe, and in this context the Romanian Prime minister reiterated Romania’s strong position regarding the Russian Federation’s actions in Ukraine.
Victor Ponta underlined “the crucial importance of the solidarity of all the EU, NATO member states as against the East European challenges.”
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby summarized the meeting, reporting that Hagel thanked Ponta for the Romanian government’s offer to commit more troops to the mission in Afghanistan, as well as Romania’s continued strong support in other NATO and coalition activities.
The readout of the meeting provided by the Pentagon Press Secretary and published on the website of the U.S. Department of Defense notes that Hagel and Ponta met briefly last June when the secretary travelled to Constanta, Romania, to thank U.S. and coalition troops at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.
“In his concluding remarks, Minister Ponta thanked Secretary Hagel for his attention to Black Sea security issues and his stewardship of the Department of Defense during a period of unrest for NATO allies,” Kirby said.
PM Victor Ponta meets Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker: US economic mission to visit Romania in May
Prime Minister Victor Ponta, within the visit he is paying to the USA, had a working meeting on Wednesday with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, informs a Government release remitted to Agerpres.
According to the cited source, the two officials agreed that an economic mission organised by the US Department of Commerce will visit Romania in May, one of the main interest areas being that of information technology and cyber-security.
At the same time, during the meeting the two assessed the progress made in implementing the bilateral Action Plan for the improvement of the business environment of Romania, in which context the US official voiced appreciation for the recent measures taken by the Romanian Government based on the consultations with the business environment established in the format of “The Coalition for Romania’s Development.”
“The two dignitaries agreed the main thematic priorities for the future stage of the Action Plan on the bilateral cooperation in the economic and commercial area, among which energy, cyber-security, strengthening the administrative capacity, in order to come to the aid of the concerns of the business environment,” the Government announces.
Moreover, the Romanian Prime Minister and the US official reconfirmed “the common concern for consolidating the economic dimension of the Romanian – US Strategic Partnership, which is a priority to Romania’s Government.”