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President Iohannis at the European Council in Brussels: Risks in the Black Sea region are on the rise

President Klaus Iohannis told a special European Council meeting in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday that risks in the Black Sea region are on the rise and joint efforts at European level should continue to focus on providing assistance, but also on providing an adequate response to the implications of the military conflict in Ukraine.

The main topics on the European Council meeting agenda were the security situation in Ukraine, with a focus on political and humanitarian support, economic and financial assistance from the European Union, the impact of the conflict on global food security, security and defence issues and the energy situation.

“The President of Romania voiced his concern about the recent developments in the field, both in terms of security and the humanitarian situation in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, while pointing out that the risks in the Black Sea region are growing and joint efforts at the European level should further focus on providing assistance, but also on providing an adequate response to the complex implications of the military conflict, including in terms of the repercussions on energy and food security,” reads a press release of the Presidential Administration sent to AGERPRES on Tuesday.

Klaus Iohannis said that Ukraine’s reconstruction process will require sustained efforts in the medium and long run, while the EU will have to continue to play an important role, in coordination with international partners.

The Romanian head of state presented the measures adopted by Romania in support of Ukraine, with an emphasis on the humanitarian aid and the facilitation of the grain exports through the Port of Constanta and the ports on the Danube.

The President also underscored the importance of responding positively to the accession requests of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, through a “strong” political message of support.

“At Romania’s suggestion, with the support of other Member States, a paragraph has been inserted in the text of the European Council Conclusions on the need to adequately support the Republic of Moldova, which was hit by the energy, economic crises and the pressure of refugee flows,” the same source said.

The issue of food security has been addressed by European leaders both in the context of the conflict in Ukraine and in its global dimension.

The head of state referred to the direct impact of the war on food security and supply chains and underscored the need to identify “urgent” solutions, given the effects felt globally.

In respect to security and defence, President Iohannis underscored the importance of stepping up efforts to bridge the gap in defence investments by stimulating investment and acquiring defence capabilities in full complementarity and coordination with NATO.

He also stressed the need to find solutions to achieve the European Union’s political goal of eliminating energy dependence on Russia as soon as possible.

With regard to the RePowerEU Plan, President Iohannis emphasized the importance of the rapid implementation of the European Commission’s proposals, with adequate financial support according to the needs of each Member State. The head of state pointed out that measures at the Union level must lead to both energy independence and affordable prices for consumers.

Regarding the formation of electricity prices, he indicated the need to find suitable solutions, at the EU level, for decoupling gas prices. He noted, again, that a key factor in the price increase was Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“The President of Romania welcomed the fact that the RePowerEU Plan recognizes the regional and national circumstances that determine the use of a specific set of energy sources and technologies, such as nuclear energy and natural gas from domestic production. Moreover, President Klaus Iohannis said that, in order for an efficient green transition, public and private investments in the field of renewable energy are essential and must be stimulated, a well – managed green transition being an engine of growth and competitiveness,” the same press release says.

The head of state reiterated the increased role of interconnections in ensuring diversification and security of supply not only for gas but also for electricity and hydrogen as part of the EU’s internal energy market, calling for the active involvement of the European Commission and close coordination of Member States’ efforts in their implementation.

The meeting of the European Council was attended by video conference by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who presented the current developments in security to the European leaders, and the President of the African Union, Macky Sall, who participated in the discussions on food security, given the acute vulnerability of African countries, the Agerpres correspondent in Brussels reported.

 

Photo: www.presidency.ro

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