One of the greatest challenges is to re-establish a relation of stability and predictability with Russia, said, on Wednesday, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, from the rostrum of the Parliament in Bucharest, at the solemn session dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Romania joining the European Union.
“In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges that we must face together is the re-establishment of a relation of stability and predictability with Russia. This is, without a doubt, the challenge of a generation. But it is, at the same time, an urgent challenge. Because it is clearer and clearer, for a few years now and today even more, that our Russian neighbor has chosen to act as a destabilizing power,” said the head of French diplomacy.
“In order to find a new balance with our Russian neighbor, we must formulate a set of principles with our allies and partners – and that is what we are doing. But we must, at the same time, we, the Europeans, be capable to shape it – and we are showing today that we are truly capable, because, ultimately, this task involves aspects that affect nobody else as they affect us,” Le Drian said.
The French Minister evoked the principles of collective security in Europe, the sovereignty of states, the inviolability of borders and the territorial integrity of states, the freedom of each state to choose its alliances and the organizations it wants to be a part of, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the applicability of which is universal.
“Even in this context, these are also the principles on the basis of which Russia offers, today, all the means in order to trample them in Ukraine. I want to be extremely clear: Russia must be aware of the blow it would land on itself if it would launch a new attack on this country, because Europeans would not accept this,” said Le Drian.
The official spoke, in context, of a joint “solemn commitment”.
“We have already begun preparing massive sanctions that we would adopt without hesitation against Russia, if it were to come to this, and we have started to coordinate with our American partners in order to manage the consequences on our economy,” said the minister.
The head of diplomacy in Paris emphasized that it is the responsibility of the allies to try and define, in the relation with Russia, “the terms of an exigent dialogue regarding the regulation of the strategic competition relation,” adding that, “without rules, cohabitation with Russia is an unstable and dangerous cohabitation.”
Le Drian evoked, from the rostrum of the Parliament in Bucharest, the moment of Romania’s joining NATO.
“It’s a matter of pride for us to have contributed to it, as it is a matter of pride for us, today, as an ally, European partner and friendly country, to be together with you in a moment in which our security environment is deteriorating at your borders,” said the French minister.
He recalled the announcement made by President Macron regarding France’s availability to contribute to new measures of reassurance to Romania’s benefit, including, if the case calls for it, as a framework-nation in a collective stance that is to be agreed upon with NATO allies.
“This commitment is circumscribed in the continuity of our actions in favor of our joint security, that of France and its allies and European partners, through air policing missions and as part of the consolidated advanced and adapted presences of NATO, in Estonia and Lithuania, which France will maintain,” said Le Drian, according to Agerpres.
Photo: Facebook/Parlamentul Romaniei-Camera Deputatilor