On a two-day official visit in Bulgaria, President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Sofia that Romania’s initiative to establish a permanent fleet in the Black Sea has exclusively a defensive purpose.
“We don’t want to return to the Cold War and in no way do we prepare to attack anyone, yet we want to be capable of defending ourselves and prove that we are here. That’s how the Black Sea naval initiative must be understood and we believe that it is natural and fair that riparian countries, and Black Sea countries in the first place, participate in this initiative. Not only does Romania receive security, we also want to participate and provide in our turn security in the region, and this initiative we believe Bulgaria and Turkey will join in with enthusiasm, is one we want to create locally, to place it within short under the NATO umbrella, because we are NATO allies,” Iohannis told a joint press conference delivered with his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev.
He specified that this proposal of Romania’s comes to NATO’s support.
“This proposal will be materialized, we will take steps to reach a concrete form, we’ll describe its evolution in time, probably starting with simple exercises of compatibility, with training, and we’ll see how it evolves over time. It is important to present this initiative to our NATO allies and we try to persuade them that it supports the entire alliance,” said the Romanian head of state.
Plevneliev: Bulgaria supports the Black Sea regional initiative, which is aimed at defence
The Bulgarian President said that his country will support Romania’s initiative.
Bulgaria supports the Black Sea regional initiative, which is aimed at defence, said Rosen Plevneliev. Bulgaria will support not only with words but also with actions every effort to improve security in the region. It is our strategic interest. Bulgaria will contribute to the establishment of this NATO structure and is waiting for the relevant decision to be reached in Warsaw. (…) Bulgaria will prove not only that it throws its firm support behind regional cooperation, but we will also use NATO as a platform. It all depends on us and together we are strong and capable to face any challenge. We want more cooperation and security. This is why Bulgaria will support these initiatives, said the Bulgarian President.
President Iohannis: We want intensification of negotiations for completing delineation of Black Sea areas
Romania’s President also said on Wednesday in Sofia that the negotiations for the completion of the boundary delineation of maritime areas in the Black Sea need to be intensified, pointing out that Romania wants a solution that complies with the method established by international courts’ jurisprudence.
“We agreed that we need to strengthen negotiations for the completion of the delineation of maritime areas in the Black Sea. Romania wants a solution corresponding to the method established by the jurisprudence of international courts,” the Romanian head of state told a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev.
In respect to the Romanian community of Bulgaria, Iohannis pointed out that its rights must be protected and promoted.
“I believe it is to the mutual benefit that the national identity and rights which the Romanian community in Bulgaria must enjoy are protected and promoted, mainly as regards education in the native language, same as the Bulgarian community of Romania enjoys,” the head of state showed.
According to him, Bulgaria is Romania’s neighbour and traditional partner. Moreover, Iohannis mentioned that Rosen Plevneliev was the first president to visit Romania after he took over as head of state.
President Iohannis also pointed out that he talked with his Bulgarian counterpart about rising the bilateral relation to the level of comprehensive partnership.
Romania’s interest in joining the Schengen Area stays unchanged
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Wednesday in Sofia that Romania’s interest in joining the Schengen Area stays unchanged.
“In the current context, keeping up the functionality of the Schengen Area, one of the most visible and valuable projects of the European community continues to be very important. Romania’s interest in joining the Schengen Area stays unchanged and we will continue our actions to contribute to strengthening the external borders of the EU,” Iohannis told the joint news conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev.
Plevneliev underscored there should be more cooperation for the Schengen project to stay unchanged.
“We have to continue to work so as the Schengen project will not be changed. We have to collaborate more to be more efficient,” said Plevneliev.
Romanian and Bulgarian Presidents decorate each other
President Klaus Iohannis bestowed Wednesday upon his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev the Order of the Star of Romania in rank of Collar, “in sign of high appreciation for the contribution to promoting democracy, prosperity and security in the region, to the development of friendship and collaboration relations between Romania and the Republic of Bulgaria.”.
Bulgarian President Plevneliev decorated Iohannis with the Stara Planina Order with ribbon.
In the first day of his official visit to Bulgaria, Romanian head of State has also meetings with PM Borissov and Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva Iohannis also opened a Romania-Bulgaria business forum and met members of the local Romanian community.
The President’s delegation includes Foreign Affairs Minister Lazar Comanescu, Deputy Niculae Mircovici, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania President Mihai Daraban, and presidential advisors Bogdan Aurescu, Leonard Orban, Andrei Muraru, Ion Oprisor and Cosmin Marinescu.
According to the Romanian Presidential Administration, talks with high officials of Bulgaria will address the consolidation of the bilateral partnerships, focusing on specialized cooperation in trade, investments, energy security, transportation, and other fields of shared interest; also, the management of the complex challenges currently facing the European Union, NATO and the international community, including those in the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region.
“The preparation of the NATO Summit in July has an important place in the agenda, with a stress on the balanced strengthening of the eastern flank of the Alliance, including its southern dimension – a position supported by both countries,” the Presidency mentioned.
On Thursday, the President will visit the Mihai Eminescu High School in Sofia and the construction site of the Giurgiu (Romania) – Ruse (Bulgaria) natural gas interconnector, and the towns of Pleven, Grivitsa and Pordim.