President Klaus Iohannis reiterated, on Wednesday, at the meeting with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Romania’s expectations regarding the accession to the Schengen area.
“I have reiterated our country’s legitimate expectations of joining the Schengen area, expressing confidence that we will be able to count on Germany’s support to identify a solution in this respect as soon as possible,” Iohannis told a joint conference with the German President.
The head of state also pointed out that the bilateral, strategic relationship between Romania and Germany is very strong and has very good prospects, despite the current difficult period, marked by multiple challenges, especially in terms of security.
“Our economic ties are very close, Germany being, for many years, Romania’s first trading partner and the third largest investor in the Romanian economy. During the meeting we have evoked the solid bridge between the two countries, which is represented on the one hand by the Romanian community in Germany and, on the other hand, by the ethnic Germans in Romania,” said Iohannis.
The head of state underscored that Romania wants to deepen cooperation with Germany in the field of security in the Black Sea, including ahead of the NATO Summit in Madrid. In this context, President Iohannis thanked his German counterpart for Germany’s participation in ensuring the enhanced air police for Romania.
The discussions between the two officials also focused on the economic situation at the European level, especially from the perspective of the impact of the conflict in Ukraine.
“The Union will have to use all the mechanisms at its disposal to reduce this impact and strengthen its economic resilience,” Iohannis said.
In this context, the issue of energy security was also addressed, with an emphasis on the implementation of the Union’s decisions on the elimination of energy dependencies on the Russian Federation.
“I have underscored that Romania wants to play an active role in achieving the European Union’s strategic objectives for diversifying its natural gas supply in the long run, including through a green transition that is socio-economically sustainable,” Iohannis said.
Germany’s Steinmeier: We will be standing with Ukraine; Romania and Germany closely linked
Romania and Germany are closely linked politically, economically and in terms of the civil society, visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday, adding that his country will join Ukraine in the difficult times that the latter is facing.
“In the 30 years since the signing of the treaty of friendly relations between Romania and Germany, a lot has happened. I think our countries have used this time to bring themselves even closer. We are very close today politically, economically, in terms of the civil society. Let me emphasise that because it may never have been so clear as in these times how important unity is in Europe, how important unity is inside the transatlantic alliance at a time when Russia’s fierce war of aggression is taking place against Ukraine: destruction, thousands of dead, wounded, millions of refugees and much suffering,” Steinmeier told a joint news conference on Wednesday with Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis.
He said that Germany would stand with Ukraine during the difficult period the latter is facing.
“It is extremely important for both of us that this close connection is not only emphasised, but also maintained in the coming weeks and months in which this war will continue. And together (…) we are convinced that we, not only Germany and Romania, but the entire European Union and the whole of NATO, we will side with Ukraine, we will be close to Ukraine, we will support it with everything necessary in this emergency. I think that our help, our support will be needed for a long time (…).We will be standing with Ukraine in this difficult period they are facing, we will not abandon them,” the German official added.
Steinmeier went on to say that Germans are impressed with Romania’s solidarity and humanity toward Ukraine refugees.
“We feel respect, gratitude for the support provided. I know that there are between 600,000 and 700,000 refugees arrived, of which 80,000 or 90,000 have remained in Romania, and the fact that this support was expressed not only by support from the government but also by many civil society initiatives. I want to make it clear that what Romania is doing has all our respect, and Germany is aware of that, and Germany will continue to help the refugees with all they may need. There are 350,000 registered refugees in Germany, plus about 100,000 who are still unregistered and who are enjoying great hospitality in Germany,” he said.
He added that Germany’s solidarity with NATO was unquestionable.
“In a country that is not as close to the conflict as Germany, unlike the Republic of Moldova, where I was a few weeks ago, I can understand that here in Romania, not only in politics, but also among the public, the security situation has been a topic of discussions. I would like to say what last week I also said in Slovakia that our solidarity within the Alliance is unquestionable and we have shown this in various ways, such as by the presence of our soldiers in Lithuania – you just said that German forces contributed to air security as six Eurofighter planes were part of a rotating project,” the German official said.
According to him, “unity is a precious asset at this time when others are trying to divide Europe and NATO.”
“Unity and cohesion exist in the bilateral relations between Romania and Germany and have always existed. Contributing to that are the many interpersonal relations that have always existed between our countries and that have been of help that have even been a bridge. There are thousands of Romanian students studying in Germany, the workforce, and also the German community in Romania. All of these together are bridge builders that have contributed to the excellent relations between Romania and Germany that we are witnessing today. I am glad that today we will also talk to the German community, we will have the opportunity to talk to the prime minister as well.
Iohannis: Pressure must intensify so that Russia stops invasion, ends aggression
President Klaus Iohannis stated, on Wednesday, that it is crucial for the European Union and member-states to continue to support both Ukraine and the Ukrainian refugees, while also emphasizing on the need to adopt new sanctions against Russia.
“I have reiterated that Romania fully supports all refugees coming from Ukraine to our country, through concrete measures, including by making operational the humanitarian logistic hub in Suceava. It’s crucial for the European Union and member-states to continue to support both Ukraine and the Ukrainian refugees. I presented the measures taken by Romania in supporting the Ukrainian economy, heavily affected by war, by facilitating the transit through our country of Ukrainian freight, including food products to third-party markets. We approached, also, the necessity to adopt new sanctions on Russia and to continue demarches to isolate it internationally. The pressure must intensify so that Russia stops the invasion and ends the aggression,” Klaus Iohannis mentioned, in the joint press conference held with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is visiting Romania on Wednesday.
Iohannis underscored that all war crimes committed by the Russian troops must be investigated carefully and punished under the international laws, while repeating that Romania will support this process.
The head of state also said that Romania supports the proposal of the European Commission regarding the ban on the oil from Russia, by showing that our country has been preparing for such situation.
“We are going to support the proposal made by the Commission. This proposal stipulates a so-called phase-out, meaning that the EU will gradually pull out in the following six months from importing the Russian oil. The idea is not new. The idea of giving up the imports of oil and gas from Russia has been under debate for a long time. The government is now working on sustainable solutions that can be put into practice within a reasonable amount of time. We do have options and we are now discussing these option, some of which are close to materialize. Romania will be ready to deal with this situation if we come to it,” said Iohannis.
In his turn, the German President specified that the six pack of measures against the Russian Federation will materialize in the following days.
According to the German official, Germany’s dependence quotas when it comes to the Russian energy resources has been significantly reduced, specifying that the latest figure show that this dependence quota is now 15 per cent.
“This is a figure that has been significantly reduced,” said Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Compiled from Agerpres