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July 3, 2022
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ForMin Aurescu strongly condemns Russia’s announcement to put nuclear forces on high alert

Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu strongly condemned on Sunday the announcement by Russia that it was putting its nuclear forces on high alert.

Minister Aurescu attended an extraordinary meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) by videoconference, the fourth meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union in a week.

“Featuring on the agenda was a new package of EU sanctions on Russia as a result of a continual worsening of the security situation in Ukraine, as well as the EU’s response to Ukraine’s request for assistance to increase its state’s resilience. Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu strongly condemned today’s Russia ‘s announcement that it was putting its nuclear forces on high alert, which could be tantamount to threatening to use nuclear weapons,” the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) says in a press statement released on Sunday.

Aurescu voiced strong political support for the new ambitious package of extended sanctions on Russia unveiled by the European Commission and the European External Action Service in line with the political commitment of European leaders. The package also includes disconnecting certain Russian banks from the SWIFT system, additional restrictions on Russia’s Central Bank, individual listings of oligarchs, closure of EU airspace to Russian aircraft, use of the European Peace Fund to finance military assistance to Ukraine, and banning Russian propaganda media.

The Romanian minister also underscored the importance of adopting similar restrictive measures targeting Belarus, taking into account its responsibility for its contribution to Russian aggression against Ukraine, but also for avoiding possible circumvention by Russia of some of the effects of sanctions.

“At the same time, the Romanian foreign minister mentioned the measures already taken at national level regarding the ban since February 26 on the use of the Romanian airspace by flights operated by Russian airlines and a decision to withdraw Romania from the Budapest-based International Investment Bank (IIB) and the Moscow-based International Bank for Economic Co-operation (IBEC) in Moscow, both of which support Russian financial interests and influence.”

Aurescu reiterated the need for continued close EU coordination with the US, the UK and Canada to maximise the potential of deterrence measures taken against Russia, voicing support for the suggested EU military assistance for the Ukrainian army from the European Peace Fund, expressing availability to facilitate the implementation of such measures.

He pointed out that Romania has the longest border with Ukraine among the EU member states and unveiled measures designed to facilitate the flow of Ukrainian citizens at the border, while emphasising the need to support the efforts of Moldova, both in terms of managing Ukrainian refugees and in the event of a possible new energy crisis.

“Also, given the recent actions of Russian forces in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, minister Aurescu expressed support for an emergency meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” according to MAE.

 

Via Agerpres

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