President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday in Bucharest stated that Romania is an extraordinary example of solidarity in Europe, mentioning that our country did not only help the refugees from Ukraine, but also the Republic of Moldova.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Thursday morning was welcomed by President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
The head of the European Commission arrived in Romania on Wednesday evening, when she had a meeting with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
“Romania offered a touching example to the entire world when the war started. Romania helped all the refugees entering the country through the Siret Customs, by offering them blankets, water, food. People opened their doors to the refugees, organized themselves by using the media platforms to raise money. The Romanian people are ready to receive refugees. Romania does not only welcome the refugees in its homes, but it also helps the Republic of Moldova and provides it electricity generators that are especially important for Moldova. Romania sends medicines to Ukraine. You are an extraordinary example of solidarity in Europe. I thank you with all my heart for the given example” , Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint press statement with President Klaus Iohannis.
She thanked Romanians for welcoming the refugees with open arms.
Mr President, I am here to thank you and to congratulate, from the bottom of my heart, all the Romanians who welcomed the refugees fleeing the war with their open arms. This is a time when we need to show unity, solidarity with Ukraine and the victims of this atrocious war. And you offered them a ray of light. Hundreds of thousands of persons are now running away from Putin’s weapons, leaving their families or their entire wealth behind, sometimes leaving with their children to find a safer place in the European Union. At least one million inhabitants in Ukraine have fled in the past few days, and Romania provided shelter and food to 55,000 persons, said the head of the EC.
Ursula von der Leyen also sent condolences to the families of the military who died in the helicopter crash on Wednesday night.
European Commission President on Ukraine’s accession to EU: The mechanism has been set in motion
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that in the case of Ukraine’s application for membership of the European Union, the mechanism had been set in motion, adding that there was no doubt that this brave people, who defend European values, may be part of the European family, but at present efforts are focused on war.
There is no doubt that this brave people, who defend our European values at the cost of their lives, can successfully be part of the European family. President Zelensky has sent a letter of candidacy for Ukraine, this mechanism has been set in motion, but we are currently focusing our efforts on this war. We are trying to strengthen diplomatic and economic relations with Ukraine, we are trying to connect Ukraine to the energy network of the European Union and we will all be with Ukraine in this process, with a lot of determination, with feelings of solidarity and unity, said Ursula von der Leyen, who was welcomed at the Cotroceni Palace by President Klaus Iohannis.
President Iohannis: Work is done on commissioning humanitarian hub for the donation collection, shipping to Ukraine
President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that he had discussed with visiting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen intensifying support for Ukraine, pointing out that work was being done to make a humanitarian hub operational in Romania as soon as possible where international donations to Ukraine would be collected and shipped.
“We discussed (…) intensifying humanitarian assistance, especially for Ukraine. I want to thank the President of the European Commission for the support extended for the establishment in Romania of a logistic facility, a so-called humanitarian hub, a centre that allows international humanitarian aid to Ukraine to be collected and shipped. We are working to get this center operational as soon as possible,” Iohannis told a joint news conference in Bucharest with von der Leyen.
He added that the hub will allow the centralisation of aid and its sending to Ukraine, and also to Moldova, and will operate at full capacity in a few weeks.
“It is important to know that this hub will be a large centre. The hub will allow the centralisation of aid and its sending to Ukraine, but in my opinion also to Moldova. (…) The hub will operate for quite some time. We believe that, unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine will continue to deteriorate and that the need for assistance will increase significantly. We will certainly work in stages and work with the European Commission. It is a logistics hub for humanitarian aid that will be set up under the umbrella of the EU RESC, so under the umbrella of European humanitarian aid. Romania will obviously play the role of host; we will have most of the duties to fulfil. It will start working in stages. We will start with a first aid centre and will continue to grow. In the end, it will be a very big and very complicated undertaking, because it will work with all the actors involved in humanitarian aid,” said Iohannis.
He added that the aid would be delivered in a humanitarian corridor.
The chief of state pointed out that Romania will make every effort to provide assistance to any refugee from the war in Ukraine and intends to access moving forward the funds available at European level to better manage the massive flow of refugees, namely the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Financial Support Instrument for Border Management and Visa Policy.
“We will also coordinate with other EU member states and other partners and international organisations,” he said.
EC’s von der Leyen: Humanitarian centre that is operational in Romania supporting Ukraine will play a very important role
The humanitarian centre that is operational in Romania supporting Ukraine will play a very important role, as a medium-term approach, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Thursday.
Romania provides humanitarian aid to Ukraine through this humanitarian centre. It is important for us to be able to gather all the resources here, as close to Ukraine as possible. These resources come from all member states and will be channeled from the hub as fast as possible, to the regions in need in Ukraine, said Ursula von der Leyen at the Cotroceni Palace, where she was welcomed by President Klaus Iohannis.
She added that this centre will play a very important role, noting that when it comes to crises such as the one in Ukraine, very strict coordination is needed.
With the support of the United Nations, the United States and other entities, such as non-governmental organizations, this humanitarian centre will play a very important role. When it comes to crises like this one, very strict coordination is needed. It is a medium-term approach and, with all our experience in crisis management, we enjoy all of Romania’s support, flexibility and pragmatism. You have been prepared to start this work immediately and I am glad that it has progressed so well, said the President of the European Commission.
Iohannis: European Union’s dependence on Russian gas must end
European Union’s dependence on Russian gas must end, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis told a joint news conference with visiting EC President Ursula von der Leyen, adding that short-, medium- and long-term energy supply approaches are needed for the European Union and for prices not to suffocate the economy.
He said that von der Leyen had informed him of the steps taken to increase the European Union’s energy security.
“This is a strategic goal for all of us. Interconnection, liquefied natural gas imports, massive investment in renewables and the civilian nuclear sector must continue to be supported. To us, these energy issues are extremely important and we have discussed these matters thoroughly. A short-term approach is needed to ensure the energy supply of all the member states of the European Union. A medium-term approach is needed to secure enough energy so that prices will not surge and the European economy will not be suffocated. In our case, obviously, we must be careful that these prices do not suffocate the Romanian economy, and, yes, we need a long-term approach. It is clear and I want to emphasise that the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas must end!,” said Iohannis.
He added that there was a need for more and better emphasis on alternative energy sources.
“And I found total understanding when I said that, to Romania, the decision is clear: we need to move towards energy independence by investing in renewables and the civilian nuclear sector,” Iohannis added.
He emphasised how important the delegated act proposed and approved by the European Commission on the taxonomy of gas and energy generated in nuclear power plants was in order to guarantee a smooth transition to a green economy.
According to Iohannis, the talks also focused on concrete ways to provide support to Moldova, which is also facing an increased wave of refugees, but also other economic or energy difficulties.
“Romania will continue to work closely with the European Commission. Unity, coordination and rapid response to help Ukraine are our main strengths in these difficult times we are all experiencing,” Iohannis said.
The chief of state said that “we are in an unprecedented situation, generated by the unjustified, illegal and unprovoked armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, in which not only the security of Ukraine, but also the transatlantic one is strongly threatened.”
“I want to take this opportunity to once again praise the courage of the Ukrainian people, who are fighting for freedom and resisting the deadly shots of an invader,” added Iohannis.
Compiled from Agerpres