Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu supported on Thursday, in Brest, France, a series of elements that would best reflect Romania’s interests, during the informal meeting on the elaboration of the Strategic Compass and the security situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood, informs a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) sent to AGERPRES on Friday.
As for the Strategic Compass, Aurescu welcomed the evolution of the document that will define this instrument that must, in the opinion of the Romanian side, have a practical character, in accordance with the principles of the EU Global Strategy of 2016.
“Thus, (Aurescu, ed. n.) said that it is necessary to clearly highlight the complementarity and partnership with NATO and the US, in particular. He stressed the importance of an adequate reflection of the current security situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood, including in the wider Black Sea region. He recalled the impact on European security of the protracted conflicts in the Black Sea region and advocated an increased EU commitment to resolving them, including through the strategic document under discussion. He added that in-depth discussions are needed regarding the EU’s rapid intervention capacity, taking into account the need to ensure full complementarity with NATO and avoid any duplication, and to strengthen the instruments for combating hybrid threats,” the MAE release said.
The discussion on the security situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood took place in the context of deteriorating security environment in the region and recent developments. Bogdan Aurescu presented Romania’s assessment of these and stressed the importance of the EU unit, based on the common principles and values, and the continued preparation of the adoption of firm and credible measures to deter Russia, including sanctions, to be adopted in case of continuing the aggressive, escalating approach on the part of Russia, while strengthening the resilience of Ukraine and the other partners in the Eastern Neighbourhood, the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads.
The Foreign Minister stressed the need for concrete de-escalation of the security situation, as well as the fact that attempts to undermine the current parameters of the European security architecture remain unacceptable.
According to the MAE release, Aurescu emphasised the need to intensify the EU-US and EU-NATO partnerships, as well as to reflect the adequate security situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood, including in the context of the elaboration of the Strategic Compass.
The Romanian foreign minister reiterated the importance of increasing the EU’s involvement in the management and resolution of the protracted conflicts in the wider Black Sea region, given the impact on the security situation in Eastern Europe and starting from the results of the tour carried out in the South Caucasus in June last year, together with the Austrian and Lithuanian counterparts, in coordination with and with the mandate of the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
He reiterated his support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and welcomed the visit made by High Representative Josep Borrell earlier this month, confirming the EU’s “strong” commitment to this country.
Possibility of adopting new sanctions represents the EU’s contribution to deterring future aggressive actions from Russia
The possibility of adopting new sanctions represents the EU’s contribution to deterring future aggressive actions from Russia, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Thursday before the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers (Gymnich), which takes place on Thursday and Friday in Brest.
“Today we will also discuss the role of the EU in this situation and what the EU can do to help de-escalate things. The EU can be united, and this is the most important issue I will emphasize today, and I believe that the EU can move forward with the planning of new sanctions to be adopted in case of need, for I believe that the possibility of having such new sanctions adopted represents EU’s contribution to deterring future aggressions from Russia,” said the head of the Romanian diplomacy.
He added that “for Romania, the most important issue on the agenda is the security situation in our eastern neighbourhood and I will present my country’s stand with respect to the recent developments.”
In this context, Bogdan Aurescu mentioned the US-Russia meetings, the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE talks on this topic.
“During these meetings we expressed our position that the security architecture in Europe should be maintained and we rejected the proposals put forward by Russia, which were considered unacceptable, and we reaffirmed NATO’s values and foundations. The purpose of these meetings was to find ways to de-escalate the situation and to find ways and means to improve the security situation in this region and in Europe as a whole. The ball is now in Russia’s hands and we have to wait and see what is the Russian’s side conclusion after this dialogue, which took place during these meetings, through the week,” the Minister said.
Aurescu also said that at the Brest meeting he will underscore “the need to support the resilience of Ukraine and other partners in the eastern neighbourhood and the need for the European Union to get more involved in resolving protracted conflicts in this area.”