The President of the Federal Council (Bundesrat) of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bodo Ramelow, Minister-President of Thuringia, said on Monday that his visit to Romania is motivated by the desire to give thanks and show solidarity, adding that the costs incurred by our country in the context of the war in Ukraine “must be regulated at European level” and that Russia must withdraw its army from the neighboring country and peace be established in a Europe in which countries coexist “in their diversity”.
Ramelow had a meeting at the Palace of the Parliament with Senate President Florin Citu.
“Giving thanks and solidarity – these were the reasons for my visit to Romania. We agree that Putin must withdraw his army from Ukraine, the weapons must remain silent, peace must be established, and this is only possible if Putin withdraws his army. We must also show solidarity at the European level with Romania, which means that the costs incurred by Romania in this crisis situation must be regulated at the European level. What is certain is the idea of a Europe in which countries coexist in their diversity, but, first and foremost, in peace. That is why the question of the accession of other European states, such as North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina arises, we must address it together and integrate them together in this European construction. And just as in Romania it is enshrined in the Constitution for minorities to retain all their rights, to have freedom of religion, to live in diversity, this should be the goal throughout the region so that we can develop. (…) That is why I am glad to be here in Romania, and to say very clearly that Romania is in the middle of Europe,” said Bodo Ramelow, according to Agerpres.
Asked if Germany is complying with the European Commission’s requirement to give up Russian gas and what his country’s alternative is to provide gas to the population, the German official said the only alternative is to “get out of fossil fuels”, but that means “a lot of money”.
As for the possibility of financing the reconstruction of Ukraine, he said that it is not a question of “not giving money to Ukraine”, but of “accumulating debts”, and his opinion is that all the money that would have flowed to Russia should be deposited in an account to be later used for the reconstruction of Ukraine. And I’m also in favour of some funds at European level, which we could assume, for the rethinking and restructuring towards green energy at the level of the whole of Europe and of the whole region. Clearly, I’m in favour of shutting down the oligarchs’ and Putin’s tap, the Bundesrat president added.
For his part, Florin Citu said that the visit of the President of the Bundesrat shows the high appreciation the latter has for Romania, as well as the level of bilateral relations between the two countries, and added that he had discussed with Bodo Ramelow bilateral relations, the trade partnership, the European agenda and the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that sanctions against Russia should be maintained until the country withdraws from Ukraine.
Citu also expressed his satisfaction with Germany’s support for the EU integration of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as for the accession to NATO of Finland and Sweden.
The President of the Bundesrat, Bodo Ramelow, on Monday started a three-day visit to Romania in Bucharest and Timisoara, with political discussions scheduled with the President of the Senate, Florin Citu, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, reads a release of the German Embassy in Bucharest.
The president of the Bundesrat (the upper house of the German Parliament) will also meet with students and the leadership of the University of Bucharest. On this occasion, the extension of the Erasmus cooperation agreements between the University of Bucharest and the Nordhausen Applied Science University, respectively the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, will be signed.
The high guest will also have an exchange of ideas with representatives of non-governmental organizations regarding the situation of Roma minority in Romania.
In western Timisoara, Bodo Ramelow will meet with Mayor Dominic Fritz and representatives of the Timis Prefecture and the County Council.
There are also planned a meeting with representatives of the German minority, participation in a cultural event organized by the twin cities of Gera / Altenburg and Timisoara and a visit to the German company Continental Automotive Romania.
The President of the Bundesrat travels together with an important delegation of businesspersons who will explore possibilities for deepening economic cooperation.
“It was my express wish to visit Romania – one of the youngest EU member states – during my mandate as President of the Bundesrat. Current events clearly show that a strong EU provides a good framework for positive developments in the Member States, even under more difficult conditions. Romania, as a country on the eastern external border of the Union, has a very special role in this respect, but which should be outlined more clearly, not only in terms of security policy. We, the Federal Republic of Germany and, in particular, the Free Land of Thuringia, want to continue to connect at European level in terms of economics, scientific and civil society and to accumulate new ideas and incentives. This visit will contribute greatly to this,” Ramelow was quoted as saying in the release.
According to the German embassy, Romania and Germany are celebrating this year 30 years since the signing of the Treaty of Friendly Cooperation and Partnership in Europe, and during this anniversary year the visits of senior German officials highlight the good relations of friendship between the two countries.
Photo: Facebook/Ambasada Germaniei Bucuresti