DIPLOMACY

Valery Kuzmin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Romania: New Russia offers dialogue

27 years ago, on June 12th, 1990, Congress of People`s Deputies of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic within the USSR adopted Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Republic.

Today the proclamation of sovereignty of Russia is seen as a historical milestone, which had a crucial impact, predetermining the end of the Cold War and the fate of the Soviet Union and quite comparable to the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 or creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 1991.

The declaration of state sovereignty formed the basis of the new democratic statehood of Russia, defined its key priorities as providing human rights and development of federalism on the ground of equal rights and mutual respect between the nations living in our country.

The Russian Federation became not only a continuer-state of the USSR, but also inherited more than a thousand-of-years-long Russian state tradition. Special attention was paid to the issues of rebuilding the basis of the statehood, nation-building and social coherence in the rapidly changing environment of the 21st century. It was this process of re-considering the historical heritage of Russia that should be viewed as the true incentive of the Russian state policy of supporting compatriots living abroad, strengthening the “Russian world” humanitarian entity.

Current international tensions  though are not caused by “Kremlin revisionist policy”, but by the reluctance of Western “liberal neoconservatives”, feeling nostalgic about the era of their global dominance, to accept the realities of the emerging multipolar world as well as the imperative need to work together to address global challenges ranging from terrorism to climate change.

Both European and world security in our time could be guaranteed only on the solid foundation of equal dialogue and reciprocal respect for legitimate interests of all parties involved. In this perspective, Russia views the ongoing from the 90-s NATO enlargement to the East, which now is complemented by the buildup of its combat forces on our national borders in violation of the letter and spirit of Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Between NATO and the Russian Federation (1997), as a destabilizing security factor in the region. It’s not only us, who considers the deployment of the US strategic anti-ballistic missile network all over the world as undermining the global balance of nuclear deterrence.

As President Vladimir Putin had noted during his recent visit to France, the anti-Russian sanctions “in no way contribute to the fulfillment of “Minsk-2” agreements”. Key responsibility for de-facto failure of the above agreement falls on the Ukrainian authorities, incapable or unwilling to fulfill their commitments concerning introduction of  amendments to the constitution on the special status for Donbass region, holding democratic elections there, not to mention cessation of shelling  civil cities and villages, which has already caused the loss of thousands of lives – of children, women, elderly people.

In this regard, it makes sense to mention that the EU sanctions and countermeasures, taken by Russia, besides creating certain problems have had evident positive effect on our economic development, enabling diversification of industries, adding to the essential growth of agricultural production. As a result, Russia has become one of the world leading grain exporters.

Relations between Russia and Romania are essential to both sides. Russia remains a reliable energy supplier and investor. Such companies as Lukoil, involved in the modernization of a refinery in Ploiesti, or TMK, which operates plants in Resita and Slatina, clearly prove this fact. Being neighbour countries and remaining vital trade and economic partners (in 2016 the volume of bilateral trade reached 3 billion Euros) Russia and Romania are definitely interested in deepening cooperation in particular in the fields of innovations, energy, railways.

Intergovernmental Russian Romanian Commission for Economic and Technical and Scientific Cooperation, as well as direct contacts between business communities, including small and medium-size enterprises, are to contribute to rebuilding and further development of these relations. Highly appreciated are traditional cultural and humanitarian exchanges.

Summing up, Russia believes, that it is high time to leave behind ideological confrontation in the Cold War-style…Russia is ready for dialogue.

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