Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis welcomed on Monday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda as part of an official visit to Romania.
The visit of the Polish President, at the invitation of President Klaus Iohannis, takes place amidst the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of a Defensive Alliance Convention between the Kingdom of Romania and the Republic of Poland, signed on March 3, 1921, a symbolic moment in their bilateral relationships.
According to the Presidential Administration, talks between the two officials will focus on ways to develop and deepen the bilateral strategic partnership, and for that purpose regional as well as international security co-operation will be examined.
“The Strategic Partnership established in October 2009 and renewed in March 2015, at the level of chief of state, provides a comprehensive framework for co-operation, encouraging a sustained development of Romanian-Polish relationships in recent years,” the Presidential Administration says.
More attention is expected to be paid to the security dimension, which has increased substantially in relevance in recent years, with the dialogue on this issue generating mutual benefits for both countries, for our region and for NATO. The significant results of bilateral defence co-operation under the Bucharest Nine (B9) format are to be reviewed in preparation for a B9 summit to be held in Bucharest on Monday, and in the in the run-up to a June NATO summit.
The prospects for strengthening economic co-operation between the two countries will also be addressed, given that Poland is one of Romania’s most important trading partners, with trade exceeding seven billion euros in 2020, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Stimulating mutual investment and deepening sectoral co-operation will also be considered.
From the perspective of the Three Seas Initiative, the implementation of strategic regional interconnection projects will be discussed, with emphasis on projects jointly promoted by Romania and Poland connecting the North and South of the region, namely Rail2Sea and Via Carpathia.
Regarding the relations with the European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood, regional security developments will be addressed, as well as boosting and substantiating the Eastern Partnership in preparation for this year’s summit.
Duda’s Monday’s schedule of his visit to Bucharest also includes official talks with President of the Romanian Senate Anca Dragu and Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies Ludovic Orban, as well as a working lunch with Prime Minister Florin Citu.
On Tuesday, May 11, the two heads of state will participate in a day of the distinguished visitors of the military exercise “Justice Sword 21,” taking place at the Smardan shooting range in which Poland participates with the forces and hardware deployed to Romania under NATO’s forward presence on the Eastern Flank, from the NATO Multinational Brigade in Craiova.
The exercise is designed to test the capacity of the participating bodies in executing actions and measures established by the planning documents and the way of achieving Romania’s support for the troops and equipment transiting on its soil.
Iohannis, Duda discuss deepening strategic partnership, joint meeting of the two governments in second half of 2021
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that he had discussed with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda deepening and expanding the Romanian-Polish strategic partnership, announcing that a new joint meeting of the two national governments would take place in the second half of the year that will design a new partnership action plan for the years 2021-2025.
“At the meeting that has just concluded, held in a very open atmosphere of friendship, we discussed the expansion and deepening of the Romanian-Polish Strategic Partnership established in October 2009 and renewed in 2015. I was glad to note that this strategic partnership has encouraged a sustained development of our bilateral relations in recent years. Holding in the second half of this year a new joint meeting of the national governments of Romania and Poland where a new action plan of the strategic partnership for the years 2021-2025 will be agreed on demonstrates once again the excellent level of the Romanian-Polish dialogue,” said Iohannis at a joint news conference with Duda.
He underlined that the Romanian-Polish dialogue has intensified substantially in recent years through contacts at all levels and in all areas.
The Romanian chief of state said that he agreed with his Polish counterpart on the need to further stimulate trade, adding that the commercial exchanges exceeded 7 billion euros in 2020, despite the covid-19 pandemic, as well as mutual investment.
“Discussions also highlighted the common interest in deepening sectoral co-operation, including in areas such as the defence industry,” Iohannis said.
He indicated that the discussions also focused on regional co-operation under the Three Seas Initiative, with an emphasis on the implementation of strategic regional interconnection projects and that agreement was reached on the continuation of the joint promotion, with priority, of the Rail2Sea railway project linking the ports of Constanta and Gdansk, and the Via Carpathia road project.
Iohannis also mentioned that special attention was paid to the security dimension, an essential component of the strategic partnership.
“The Romanian-Polish security dialogue brings definite mutual benefits for both countries, for our region and for the North Atlantic Alliance. I agreed with the president to continue the military contributions that Romania and Poland have on each other’s soil as part of implementing the decisions adopted at previous NATO summits,” Iohannis said, adding recalling that on Tuesday, he and Duda will participate in the military exercise Justice Sword 21 at the Smardan shooting range.
The Romanian chief of state said their talks also focused on security in the Black Sea and the Eastern Flank in general, as well as priorities for this year’s NATO summit.
“Thus, our countries will continue to support the consolidation of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture on the Eastern Flank, its cohesion, as well as the NATO 2030 process and the adoption of a decision on updating the Allied Strategic Concept at the June NATO Summit. Romania and Poland have paid special attention to strengthening the resilience of NATO, allies and partners, and I am pleased that Poland supports the project of the Euro-Atlantic Centre for Resilience in Bucharest. We also reaffirmed the strong support of our countries to the consolidation of the transatlantic relationship,” said Iohannis, pointing out that these security issues will be discussed in more detail at the Bucharest Nine (B9) summit.
According to President Iohannis, the talks also aimed at consolidating the Romania-Poland-Turkey three-way organisation and the developments in the Eastern Neighbourhood.
“We reiterated support for the European journey of the Republic of Moldova and discussed the worrying security situation in and around Ukraine, as well as the challenges related to Belarus. We also agreed to coordinate the positions of Romania and Poland in order to revitalise and substantiate the Eastern Partnership ahead of the summit to be held his year,” Iohannis concluded.
President Duda: I would like defence co-operation between Romania and Poland to improve
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said on Monday in Bucharest that he wants defence co-operation between Romania and Poland to improve, referring to the modernisation of the armed forces of the two countries.
“We have an American presence in our countries, we have allied armies on our soil, which guarantee our security and we can thus modernise and develop our own armed forces, being aware that the security of our citizens, both in Poland and in Romania and in other countries in the region is additionally ensured by the NATO presence, especially in these difficult times,” Duda said told a joint news conference in Bucharest with President Klaus Iohannis, according to the official translation.
He said such approach has “good premises.”
“I would like for defence co-operation to improve, if we are to think about the modernisation of our armed forces. There are good premises for that, on the part of Poland, we will strive for these processes to be well carried out,” said the Polish president.
At the same time, Duda commended his Romanian counterpart for involvement in the Three Seas Initiative. “I want to emphasise the merits of the President, his involvement, because thanks to this involvement of the President we have managed to create the fund of the Three Seas,” he said.
Duda also spoke about the importance of investment in infrastructure and showed that in that area there is “negative legacy” in the two countries.
“You mentioned Via Carpatia. Here are two very important aspects – on the one hand the infrastructural aspect, which will help us in our daily life, will help the economy, people, tourism (…), on the other hand it also helps strengthen our security, because it will make it possible to relocate armed forces, not only by air but also by land. It is obvious that such development is very important. We have delays in the area by decades, we have received this negative legacy in the wake of the previous regimes, but I strongly believe that we will be able to recover these delays,” the Polish president also said.
NATO countries must be prepared to defend Belarus, if it is necessary to defend this independence
NATO countries must be prepared to defend Belarus, “if it is necessary to defend this independence,” Polish President Andrzej Duda told a joint news conference with President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest on Monday.
“This is the problem in Belarus, which also affects Belarusian citizens of Polish origin. We have cases of arrests of Polish minority leaders there. The situation is very difficult, but we have uncertainty about the future of Belarus and its inhabitants. We would very much like this country to move towards democracy, we would very much like this country to become a fully sovereign country, we would like these ambitions and aspirations of the people of Belarus and all the citizens and its inhabitants to be fulfilled,” said the Polish head of state, according to the official translation.
“We must be very careful, observe the situation on the one hand, but, on the other hand, be prepared to react to any dangers that may come from that direction and be prepared to defend Belarus if it is necessary to defend this independence,” he added.
“I am very pleased that the President of the United States will also attend the Bucharest Format Summit (B9). I am glad that the Secretary General of NATO will also attend. This shows that our meeting is really important, it is a meeting that is welcomed by the North Atlantic Alliance and it shows North Atlantic cohesion,” Duda said.