Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Wednesday that a “complete” withdrawal of troops and equipment deployed by the Russian Federation at Ukraine’s borders and in the Black Sea region was needed if one were to “really” mean de-escalation of tensions.
The head of Romanian diplomacy testified before the foreign affairs committees of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies on security developments in the Black Sea basin.
“We have discussed the need for further steps to de-escalate in order to achieve de-escalation of the security situation. We need to continue to promote dialogue in order to achieve these goals, and we need to be prepared for an instance of conflict,” said Aurescu.
He added that it was necessary to see if, indeed, it was a question of a withdrawal of Russian troops deployed on the borders of Ukraine and in the Black Sea region, given that the equipment remained in place for the time being.
“As the NATO secretary general said yesterday, at this time we need a confirmation of these troop movements and to see if it is really a withdrawal. Because, as the NATO secretary general said yesterday, what we see for the time being is that equipment remains in place, as it did last year in April, when there was a major military exercise conducted by Russia in the same region, (…) and then there was a withdrawal of some forces, but pieces of equipment were left behind and are used today. In order to really talk about de-escalation, we need a complete withdrawal of these troops and equipment deployed by the Russian Federation at the borders of Ukraine and in the Black Sea region,” said Aurescu.
He added that “there is no danger at this time of a military involvement of Romania or NATO.”
“Romania, as a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, currently benefits from all the security guarantees it can have. As an allied state, we are fully protected by collective defence, by the NATO security umbrella. No Romanian citizen should worry about Romania getting dragged in a military conflict, because that will not happen. It is true that if the Russian Federation starts a military conflict, a military aggression against Ukraine, the security situation Europe-wide will deteriorate even more, and then it is clear that such a situation will affect NATO as a whole, including Romania, but there is no danger at this time of a military involvement of Romania or the North Atlantic Alliance,” said Aurescu, according to Agerpres.
Romanian Embassy in Kiev is fully operational, no need for additional staff reduction at this time
The Romanian Embassy in Kiev is “fully operational”, with 15 staff members, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Wednesday, noting that some non-essential staff had been withdrawn, respectively two people.
According to the minister, there is no need for further staff reductions, and all EU member states’ embassies in Kiev have the same operating logic.
The head of Romanian diplomacy was heard on Wednesday in the foreign affairs committees of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies on security developments in the Black Sea basin.
“We have completed the procedure of returning to Romania the family members of the diplomatic staff at the Romanian Embassy in Kiev and the Consulate General in Odessa. The other two consular missions that are in Solotvino and Chernivtsi, respectively, have not been in view of this measure because there is no need, there are regions that have a higher degree of security,” Aurescu said.
He added that all EU member states’ embassies in Kiev have the same operating logic, and it is “important” that a unitary message be given.
“As for the Romanian Embassy in Kiev, at the moment, we have 15 people in the embassy staff, the embassy is fully operational. We have withdrawn some of the non-essential staff, more precisely two members, (…) who are already in Romania. “There is no need for further staff reductions at this time, and it is important to send this unitary message at the level of EU member states. All EU member states’ embassies in Kiev have the same operating logic at this time,” Bogdan Aurescu explained.
On February 12, the Foreign Ministry (MAE) announced that it had decided to withdraw non-essential diplomatic and consular staff from Ukraine. At the same time, the ministry informed that all measures had been taken regarding the “voluntary” repatriation of the family members of the diplomatic and consular staff. The MAE strongly recommends that Romanian citizens avoid any travel to Ukraine and pay special attention.