Romania, as a member state of the European Union, wants more solidarity and unity, Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Tuesday at the ceremonies in Slovakia dedicated to the Slovak National Uprising.
The Romanian Government says in a press statement that Ciolacu laid wreaths at the Military Cemetery of the Romanian Army in Zvolen and the War Heroes Monument in Banska Bystrica that has an inscription written in Romanian saying “Thanks to the Romanian Army, the Liberator of the city,” as part of ceremonies commemorating the Romanian soldiers killed in their line of duty in WWII battles on the battle fields on today’s soil of the Slovak Republic.
In a speech at the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising at Banska Bystrica, Ciolacu thanked the Slovak people and officials for praising and commemorating the memory of the Romanian soldiers and sent a congratulatory message on the National Day of Slovakia. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danko and Defence Minister Peter Gajdos.
“We owe the victims of war not only the respect and honour of their memory, but also learning the lesson of their suffering. It is incumbent on us to keep up their trust and faith in a free and democratic world and to make our own contribution to the advancement of the values of freedom and peace. Our shared history and experiences have created the premises for the present good bilateral relations. We are partners inside the European Union and NATO, where we share the same democratic values and principles, and promote common objectives in the areas of security and defense,” said Ciolacu, according to Agerpres.
He also expressed his conviction that the good Romanian-Slovak relations will continue to develop.
“Romania, as an EU member state, wants more solidarity and unity, because we are never stronger than when we are united. Therefore, I want to assure you of Romania’s determination to work, together with Slovakia and other partners in the European Union, to revive the European design built on solidarity and unity, and respect for the fundamental European principles and freedoms, a project that best meets the daily expectations of European citizens,” said Ciolacu.
According to him, the challenges and risks to European stability and security are multiple.
Attending the ceremonies in Slovakia, as a special guest was war veteran, retired General Neculai Pruteanu, one of the Romanian soldiers who fought in Banska Bystrica, Zvolen, Kremnika, Murani and Breznova, and one of the last survivors who fought both on the Eastern Front and the Western Front.
The ceremonies were organised to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising that started on August 29, 1944, the national holiday of the Slovak people. “The Romanian soldiers contributed, together with their allies, to the liberation of more than 1,700 settlements, including 31 cities in the former Czechoslovakia. Their memory is honoured today in more than 50 settlements in Slovakia through monuments, commemorative plaques and at military cemeteries,” reads the statement.
The Romanian delegation accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Ciolacu in Slovakia was made up of Secretary of State with the Ministry of National Defence Mircea Dusa; Romania’s ambassador to Slovakia Steluta Arhire; Brigadier General Teodor Incicas of the General Army Staff; Major General Petrica Lucian Foca, commander of the Joint Forces Command, and state counselor Florin Vodita.
Senior defence official Dusa lays wreaths, decorates veteran at Slovak National Uprising ceremonies
Romanian senior defence official Mircea Dusa (photo R) participated on Tuesday in ceremonies dedicated to the 73rd anniversary of the beginning of the Slovak National Uprising, laying wreaths, decorating war veterans and having bilateral meetings with senior Slovak officials.
According to a press statement released by the Romanian Ministry of Defense (MApN), the head of the ministry’s Defence Policy and Planning Department laid a wreath at the Romanian Army Military Cemetery in the town of Zvolen (Slovak Republic), then took part in a ceremony at the Slovak National Uprising Museum at Banska Bystrica. The ceremony was held in the presence of the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska.
At the end of the ceremony at the National Slovak Uprising Museum, Dusa bestowed the Badge of Honour of the Romanian Armed Forces on a Slovak veteran, Jan Steinsdorfer, 96, who participated directly in the anti-fascist uprising accompanying the Red Army troops and those of the Romanian Armed Forces in crossing the frontline to free prisoners.
“A special moment of the ceremony was the decoration of a Romanian veteran by the Slovak defence minister. The retired general, 92-year-old Neculai Pruteanu, participated alongside the 27th Bacau Infantry Regiment in the battles of Debrecen, Banska Bystrica and Zvolen. He was wounded on the Czechoslovakian battle front; he was a platoon commander during WWII, and after 1945 he was successively company commander, battalion commander, deputy and chief of staff. He retired in 1978, ” according to MApN.