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June 26, 2022

US Ambassador to the EU, on visit to Bucharest: We are ready to help Romania in any problems related to the rule of law

The United States Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, who was in Bucharest on Thursday, told a press conference that the US is ready to help Romania in “any problems related to the rule of law.”

“”The US is very concerned about the rule of law for not just the obvious reasons that you can’t have a civil society without rule of law. It is very difficult to create a conducive investment climate in any country where those who want to put capital at risk don’t know what the rules are or, even more importantly, if the rules are the rules today and they are going to change tomorrow after you’ve risked your capital. So rule of law is critical, and a great example of our concern about rule of law is our Attorney General [e.n. – William Barr] recently invited your Justice Minister, which is one of the reasons why I was here to meet with her, to follow up on that invitation to come to the United States and to continue to work with him and his team directly, on a roadmap that he has helped create for Romania,” said Sondland.

He said that the respective roadmap is an advisory one related to what “the United States believes are appropriate provisions and measures to take in legislation and in executive orders to ensure a strong rule of law and a consistent rule of law.”

The diplomat mentioned that on the agenda of his visit to Bucharest there were meetings with President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and the Minister of Justice.

“One of the things that we are here to do is to help shore up any rule of law issues, or ambiguity issues, to make Romania even more hospitable for not just American firms, but for all Western firms, who want consistency and reliability in the laws, so that they can put the risk capital at work here,” he pointed out.

Sondland stressed that the friendship between the US and Romania “stems from the fact that Romania is a true democracy, they are tirelessly working to respect the rule of law and to create a friendly investment climate for Western investments.”

He spoke, during the press conference, about the reasons why the US opposes the North Stream 2 project, about the Romania-US Memorandum of Understanding on the recently signed 5G technology and about the “reset” plan of US-EU relations.

Gordon Sondland has shown that North Stream 2 is “a device that can be used by the Russians to create undue political influence.”

“Romania completely shares our concerns and Romania is far more affected than we are, because they’re here and we’re there. North Stream 2 is a device that can be used by the Russians to create both undue political influence on those who are dependent on their gas and also to weaponize potentially that gas, when you turn off someone’s gas in the middle of winter, when it’s freezing outside, it can threaten their life. There is no softer way to put it, and Russia has a history of having done that before, it’s not a theory,” Gordon Sondland said.

The US official pointed out that the United States wants “Europe to be energy independent, we want them to have multiple sources of energy”.

The diplomat appreciated the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Romania and the USA in the field of 5G technology.

“We want our friends and our allies to use any kind of equipment they want to use in their 5G, as long as it is compliant with our standards of governments, which does not include information sharing with host governments, it does not include malign activities. (…) I think Romania has taken a very sober look at their future 5G technology and has decided that Chinese technology is not the way to go, and we applaud that,” he said.

Regarding the resumption of the relationship with the EU, Gordon Sondland said: “We reset the relationship, and see if we can begin in earnest to knock down some of the trade barriers that have existed between the US and the EU and move the relationship forward in a concrete way.”

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