The statements made by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin on the issue of the anti-ballistic missile shield should be treated with all seriousness, an analysis on the risks and threats against Romania being necessary at the level of all institutions that have a national security role, the Liberals believe.
“We took note, with surprise, of the statements made in Athens by the Russian Federation President about the alleged offensive role of the anti-ballistic missile shield and about possible retaliatory measures. This is not the first time Russian officials are tackling the issue from these positions but when the Russian Federation chooses this level of communication supplementary clarifications are needed from all political decision-makers in Romania. In what concerns the retaliatory measures, the Russian leader’s statements have to be treated with all seriousness and an analysis on the risks and threats against Romania should be carried out at the level of all national security institutions, in coordination with the alliances and organisations our country is a member of,” PNL states in a communique signed by PNL Executive Secretary Radu Carp.
The Liberals reiterate that the anti-ballistic missile shield has a strictly defensive role and is meant for capabilities other than those of the Russian Federation.
“This shield does not violate any of Romania’s international obligations, it’s hosted in her capacity as NATO member and represents an extremely important component in what concerns ensuring the security of the European continent, not just of a state or a group of states. Any statement that contradicts these facts only plays the role of misleading the public opinion. We salute the reaction of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, and that of NATO’s Spokesperson, convergent reactions that show that establishing and presenting the facts is essential in the relation with the Russian Federation,” Radu Carp concludes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in Athens on Friday, at a joint press conference with Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras, that Romania and Poland could find themselves in the sights of Russian missiles because they are hosting elements of the American missile shield which Moscow considers a threat, Reuters informs. The Russian President’s statement quoted by Reuters does not include the term “missiles,” the term “sights” being used instead.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry reacted immediately, pointing out that “the repeated distortion of these realities only serves to maintain a tense atmosphere, in contradiction with the spirit of openness manifested by Romania and her Allies on the missile defence issue.”
Ioan Mircea Pascu, Vice President of the European Parliament: Russia carries two sticks, and the favour she does to you is to beat you up with the smaller of them
Former Defence Minister Ioan Mircea Pascu stated on Monday on RFI that the Romanian Foreign Ministry should have asked the Greek ambassador to Romania for explanations, since Putin threatened Romania at a joint press conference with the Greek Premier, in Athens.
“The only issue that remains in suspense so to say is that this statement was made alongside the Premier of a NATO member country, who is allied with us and whom I did not hear somehow tackling this issue. After all, Greece and Mr. Tsipras are our allies, allies with Romania and Poland, not with Russia, consequently I don’t understand his silence, which in fact means an implicit acceptance that this threat can be tolerated. I have also suggested the Foreign Ministry to ask the Greek ambassador to Romania for some explanations about this,” Pascu stated for RFI Romania.
Deputy Chairman of the EP’s Foreign Affairs Commission, Pascu also emphasised that “the American and NATO presence on Romania’s and Poland’s territory is a long-term presence and has a different weight. And this removes the outlook of restoring Russian influence in Poland and Romania. This is what Russia is reacting to. She wants to restore its sphere of influence, and such an American presence removes such an opportunity.”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea: “Romanian state’s reaction to Putin’s threats was of rare violence. They took part in a marathon”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea ironized President Klaus Iohannis’s lack of reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats, pointing out that the “reaction” was “of rare violence. They took part in a marathon.”
Asked by journalist to comment on Vladimir Putin’s threats against Romania, Dragnea sarcastically answered:
“The Romanian state’s reaction to Putin’s threats was of rare violence. They took part in a marathon. So I believe Putin and Russia’s entire Ministry of Defence are hiding somewhere in Siberia. They were really scared. Threatening with a marathon is something of unprecedented violence, one that not even we hoped for. So a very strong reaction, we were all proud for being Romanians and for being led so well,” the PSD leader stated, referring to the Head of State’s and First Lady’s presence at a marathon in Sibiu over the weekend.
Traian Basescu: “The country is poorly led, Mr. Iohannis”
Ex-president Traian Basescu criticised on Sunday evening, on Romania TV, President Klaus Iohannis’s lack of reaction to the threats levied by Vladimir Putin, who had stated that Romania and Poland could find themselves in the sights of Russian missiles because they are hosting elements of the American anti-ballistic missile shield. Moreover, he had a message for Iohannis, who had suggested Basescu should retire.
Ex-president Traian Basescu labelled Vladimir Putin’s threats as “deceitful threats” and said that President Iohannis should have reacted.
“Let’s explain a bit what Vladimir Putin’s statement was and in what context it was made. On Friday, Vladimir Putin was in Athens with the Greek Premier and he directly threatened Romania, with outlook for Poland too, because we are hosting elements of the anti-ballistic missile shield on our territory. And Poland because the construction has barely started there. Of course an immediate reaction would have been necessary, because this time we are no longer talking about an errand boy, we are talking about Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. A reaction from president to president was necessary. It’s impermissible for the Head of State not to react when another Head of State threatens Romania,” Basescu said.
“Putin’s message was a threat, that Romania and the population of Romania has entered the operational range of the Russian Federation’s armed forces, pay note, he didn’t say missiles. So he cautioned his statement a bit but the hint was clear. This is Vladimir Putin’s big lie and he disappointed me. Putin disappointed me. Why? Because he was lying. Here’s the deal… the moment Romania joined NATO she became a target of the Russian Federation’s armed forces. (…) What we did by accepting to host elements of the missile shield on our territory was to defend from these threats that became real the moment we joined NATO. Considering that Iohannis surely knows this – or should know this – a reaction from Romania’s President was needed. An extremely harsh reaction that would have showed, to the Romanians first of all, that Putin is in fact lying. That Romania was threatened before having the shield on her territory. And to respond to Putin’s aggressiveness. It’s impermissible for the Romanian Head of State not to react when a Head of State threatens a state like Romania,” Traian Basescu stated on Romania TV.
On this occasion, the ex-president had a message for Klaus Iohannis, who had told Basescu to retire.
“It seems Iohannis is a very grudge-bearing guy. He would like me to retire. Can’t do that, Mr. Iohannis. As long as you are the President of Romania the country is poorly led and I have whom to be in opposition to. Lead it properly Mr. Iohannis and I won’t say a thing anymore. The more so since I backed you and I’m convinced you were a better solution than Victor Viorel Ponta,” Basescu pointed out.