DEFENCE DIPLOMACY

EU High Representative Mogherini in Bucharest: EU-NATO partnership is essential

The partnership between the European Union and NATO is essential, being strengthened over the past years and the consolidation of European defence and, at the same time, the EU-NATO cooperation represent a reason of pride, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stated on Wednesday evening, shortly after arriving in Bucharest in order to attend the informal meetings of the defence and foreign affairs ministers of the member states, events that are organised by the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said she was delighted to be here for three days, first for the informal meeting of the defence ministers, then for the foreign affairs ministers’ meeting of the member states, under the mandate of the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council. She said that she was pleased to begin the year under the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council with many important discussions. The meeting with the defence ministers will start tonight with a working dinner, alongside partners of the UN and NATO, she added. The high EU official mentioned that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would join the working dinner, as well as United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. Federica Mogherini said that the discussion were to focus on the common activity, in particular the “Women, peace and security” topic, but in general terms, the talks were to tackle the partnership.

She wanted to thank NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for his personal contribution to the promotion and strengthening of the EU-NATO partnership in the defence and security area. Moreover, Federica Mogherini also thanked her Romanian friends, especially to National Defence Minister Gabriel Les, for the warm welcoming in Bucharest and voiced hope that during the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council progresses be registered in the area of European defence.

On the other hand, the EU High Representative voiced herself confident that a way would be found for maintaining and fully implementing The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The topic will be approached in the discussions Federica Mogherini will have with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as it happened in the NATO ministerial meeting of December.

Last month, Washington gave Moscow a 60-day ultimatum to conform to the INF Treaty, threatening that on the contrary it would withdraw from this pact. Moscow denies any violation of the treaty. The INF Treaty, signed by US President Ronald Reagan and the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev – forbids the use of a whole series of missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. In turn, Moscow accuses the US that installing Mk-41 missiles with vertical launching in its anti-missile defence facility in Europe, Romania included, breaches this treaty, according to the Russian media.

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