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September 16, 2021

President Klaus Iohannis’ main message at Nuclear Security Summit: Romania wishes to promote good practices in nuclear security

Arriving in Washington D.C. on Wednesday afternoon, President Klaus Iohannis was welcomed at the Andrews Air Force Base by Romanian ambassador George Maior and U.S. Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm.

The Romanian Head of State is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, for the first time at the working dinner hosted by him on Thursday evening on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit, then on Friday, the American President will  welcome Iohannis and the other 51 guests at the summit.

The event in Washington is the last event in a wide process launched by Barrack Obama in 2010, with three Summits having taken place before, bringing together leaders from 50+ countries and four international organisations to highlight accomplishments and commitments made toward reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism, one of the greatest threats to the collective security. Locking down nuclear materials and strengthening the global nuclear security architecture are the best ways to prevent this threat and that is why, in 2010, President Obama decided to take this issue directly to other world leaders.

Consequently, the current summit plans to analyse what has been achieved over the last six years and what are the next steps to be taken. The summit is attended by 53 states, but not by Russia, which is boycotting the talks.

Observers deem that the event is a very important summit against the backdrop in which there are suspicions that terrorists want to get hold of radioactive materials in order to build bombs, and Romania has a nuclear power plant. Romania, sources say, is concerned in this context, but the risk of radioactive materials being smuggled from our country by terrorist groups is moderate.

The summit is expected to formulate five action plans.

President Iohannis will participate on Friday in the opening session of the summit; he will attend a working lunch and talks based on a scenario prepared by the organizers, based on the presentation of a video illustrating a hypothetical case of nuclear terrorism, consisting in the stealing of nuclear or radioactive materials by non-state actors and their partial use. The President will make a press statement in the end.

Sources within the Presidential Administration quoted by Agerpres disclosed that Klaus Iohannis will speak at the Nuclear security Summit about responsibility and about Romania’s wish to promote good practices in nuclear security.

“Risks for Romania are as high as for any other state in terms of nuclear security, but these risks are limited. In the present conditions, we must be not just vigilant, but very vigilant,” these sources mentioned, stressing that there is some information on terrorist groups attempting to purchase radioactive materials.

Also on Friday, President Iohannis will meet representatives of the Romanian community in Washington.

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