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January 16, 2021

President Iohannis at White House

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday evening in Washington DC attended a dinner extended by US President Barack Obama at the White House to honour the heads of delegations to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS).

The Romanian head of state posted on his Facebook page a picture of him and Barack Obama at the White House.

At the dinner, Iohannis was seated between the Polish and Ukrainian presidents.

The Nuclear Security Summit  in Washington DC 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.

Klaus Iohannis on Friday is scheduled to attend the opening session of NSS, take part in a working lunch and attend the discussion based on a scenario prepared by the organisers which consists of the video presentation of a hypothetical case of nuclear terrorism – the theft of nuclear or radioactive material by non-state players and its partial use. At the end of the summit, President Iohannis will make a press statement.

According to sources with Romania’s Presidential Administration, Iohannis will be delivering a message expressing Romania’s responsibility for and wish to be a promoter of the best nuclear security practices.

“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,” the cited sources said, stressing that there are some pieces of information on terrorist groups attempting to purchase radioactive materials.

The summit is expected to formulate five action plans.

The Romanian head of state started his visit to the US on Wednesday. On Thursday he toured the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. On Friday he will meet the Romanian community in Washington.

President Iohannis’ visit to the US ends on Saturday.

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