President Klaus Iohannis and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Thursday have signed in Bucharest a protocol on the relaunch of the Romanian-Ukrainian presidential joint committee.
Iohannis asserted this protocol allows taking steps to solve old files on the bilateral agenda, such as the Bastroe Channel in the Danube Delta.
“The committee will be an instrument of imprinting the political will and the necessary impulse to solve the issues on the bilateral agenda, allowing us to fully capitalize the cooperation potential that exists between our countries. Therefore, we will be able to make steps forward to resolve some files that are on the bilateral agenda for a long time, one of which is the Bastroe Channel,” the Romanian head of state said at the Cotroceni Palace, the seat of the Presidential Administration, in a joint press conference with Poroshenko, who is on a one-day official visit to Romania.
Iohannis stressed that a sign of the joint determination regarding the deepening of the Romanian-Ukrainian relationship is given by the signing on this occasion of two bilateral agreements on military transports and joint patrolling at border.
Romania’s president pointed out that it is intended to intensify cooperation between the two countries both in the cultural and the educational field, and expressed hope that the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) will start to operate as soon as possible in Kiev, alongside its branch of Cernauti.
“We have agreed that it is important to develop cross-border, regional cooperation projects in various fields – economy, tourim, environment, infrastructure construction. In this context, I have evoked the possibility to build a bridge on the Tisa River, between Sighet and Solotvino,” the head of state added.
Iohannis said that talks with his Ukrainian counterpart also focused on a better enforcement of the border traffic agreement, the progress of the infrastructure projects and the opening of new border crossings.
“Such measures have a strong impact upon the life quality of the citizens of the two countries and upon the tightening of the connections among them. In this respect, the faster opening of the Romanian consulate in Solotvino is very important,” said Iohannis.
The head of state also said the bilateral economic relations should be fostered.
“We have several shared interests, in particular in the border area, in the power inter-connecting field. Ukraine remains an essential part of the European power architecture,” Iohannis concluded.
Romania remains committed to support to Ukraine’s domestic reforms
President Klaus Iohannis assured on Thursday that Romania is ready to support Ukraine in its domestic reforms needed to honour its commitments upon its association with the European Union.
“I wanted to reassure President Poroshenko of Romania’s strong and constant support to the Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. Respect for the principles and norms ruling the international relations were the basis of our foreign policy relations, and Romania will not change from this point of view. Romania is ready to support Ukraine in its domestic reforms process necessary to fulfilling the commitments it has assumed to associate to the EU,” Iohannis in a joint statement with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.
Iohannis advocates ethnic Romanian needs to Ukraine’s Poroshenko
President Klaus Iohannis emphasized on Thursday Romania’s support to ethnic Ukrainians, and called for better responses to Romanian ethnics’ needs from Ukrainian authorities.
“The Ukrainian minority in Romania enjoys considerable support from the Romanian state – approximately 1.6 million euros per year. I have discussed with President Poroshenko the need for better responses to the needs and aspirations of Romanians in Ukraine,” the President said in a joint statement with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, who is paying a one-day official visit to Bucharest.
Iohannis stressed that resuming the works of the Government Commission for Minorities after a ten-year break should contribute to this goal. The two ethnic communities – Romanians in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Romania – can count a consolidation of bilateral relations, he added.
“Fight against corruption is vital for Romania; it’s not just a wish, it’s a fact”
President Klaus Iohannis appreciated the work of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
“Fight against corruption is vital for Romania; it’s not just a wish, it’s a fact. The fight against corruption is actually very intense, to the corrupt people’s dismay. The fact that we are in pre-campaign [for elections] is irrelevant for the way the DNA fights against corruption and corrupt people,” the President said answering a question posed by a journalist.
He dismissed allegations on political tendencies in DNA’s investigations.
“I have no knowledge of any commands, but I have a well-informed opinion on the way the anti-corruption fight works. The DNA does an excellent job. There is no political interference into the DNA’s way of working and there is no state institutions meddling with DNA’s business or in its way of operating. The fact that we are in a pre-campaign probably makes more visible the way some people are summoned at the DNA. This proves that the fight against corruption goes on irrespective of campaigns. DNA’s work is not political; it’s a very important fight for Romania,” Iohannis insisted.
Poroshenko satisfied of Ukraine’s anti-corruption effort
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his country fights corruption in a quite efficient manner.
“We are showing a decisive approach, making decisive steps against corruption. Yesterday’s decision of the European Commission on the proposition of waiving visas for Ukrainian citizens demonstrates that Ukraine has implemented 140 items on its list of reforms, which were conditions for the said decision. Most of these 140 reforms concerned the fight against corruption. This includes the creation of infrastructure to fight against corruption; creating a national agency to fight corruption, a specialized prosecutor’s office, a national agency to prevent corruption, and many other structures,” Poroshenko stated in Bucharest, after meeting his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis.
He mentioned several cases against members of the Parliament, governors and public officers. “Just yesterday, in the first sitting of the new government of Ukraine, traditionally corrupt structures like the railways and the Ukrainian Post got new foreign managers who have proven their efficiency in their countries of origin. Tomorrow, my advisors will have several meetings to discuss as priorities some topics of the fight against corruption. I am convinced that the efficiency of the fight against corruption in Ukraine is very important; it is vital for the business, for the reform of the judiciary, and for other state development guidelines, which were discussed yesterday in the State Reforms Directorate. I think the fight against corruption is quite efficient,” Poroshenko concluded after the first meeting on the agenda of his one-day official visit to Romania.
Ukrainian President: We support Romania’s initiative to create NATO Black Sea flotilla
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko underlined he supports Romania’s initiative for the creation of a NATO flotilla in the Black Sea zone.
“Security is very important and needs new decisions, new approaches (…). We support Romania’s initiative to create a NATO flotilla at the Black Sea and I underscore that we are willing to join it as soon as this initiative is approved by the Alliance. I talked about this matter with Mr President and we shall develop this collaboration, but this isn’t the only direction in which we shall collaborate in the security area. During a visit of Bulgaria’s President to Kiev and also today, during the talks we had, we discussed the possibility of creating a Romanian-Ukrainian-Bulgarian brigade patterned on the existing one involving Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. (…) Ukraine will gladly join this initiative. We confirmed this after the Alliance’s approval,” Poroshenko said at Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest.
He underscored that the Minsk accords must be fully implemented.
“Crimea’s annexation, the continuation of the presence of Russian units in Donbas, the violation by the Russian side of the Minsk accord create dangers to the current system of international relations and international law. Ukraine and Romania cannot accept this. We gladly find that our countries have one single main position. The discussions on lifting the sanctions on Russia cannot take place before the aggression ceases. Any reduction of the sanctions in exchange for some partial fulfillment of the Minsk accord will be a direct danger to the regulation of the situation in Donbas. I am positive that this may lead to Russia’s continuing its aggressive actions and it cannot be accepted, because the Minsk accords must be fully implemented,” Poroshenko said.
He added that he was reassured that Romania will support visa requirements being lifted for Ukrainian nationals.
PM Ciolos hosts working lunch in honour of President Poroshenko
Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Thursday extended a working lunch in honour of visiting Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.
The Government reports in a press statement that the two officials reviewed the latest developments in the bilateral relations between Romania and Ukraine, Ukraine’s political and security state, as well as Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union.
Ciolos is quoted as having said the formation of a new government in Kiev is a new chance for speeding up domestic reforms and stabilisation of Ukraine.
He also assured Poroshenko of Romania’s support, at a bilateral as well as European level, for reforms and the implementation of Ukraine’s European commitments.
In his turn, Poroshenko presented the latest developments in Ukraine, giving assurances of the commitment of the new government in Kiev to take all the necessary measures to stabilise the political situation and continue reforms.
He also mentioned the main measures for the immediate future, extending thanks to Romania for constant support.
Part of the working lunch was the signing of a bilateral agreement on military transportation cooperation and an agreement on joint patrolling at the common borders between Romania and Ukraine.
Ukrainian President’s agenda in Bucharest has also included meetings with Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Chamber of Deputies Speaker Valeriu Zgonea.