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June 28, 2022
DEFENCE DIPLOMACY

President Macron, at the 57th Military Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu: For France, Romania is not a country like any other, the alliance between the two countries is based on a two-century friendship

For France, Romania is not a country like any other, the alliance between the two countries is based on a two-century friendship, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who visited the 57th Military Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu, in southeastern Constanta County, and had talks with his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, said on Wednesday.

“For France, Romania is not a country like any other. The alliance of our countries is based on a friendship of two centuries. I have evoked this together and several times. In the face of serious crises threatening its security, Romania was able to count on the brotherhood of France. I am proud that today we continue this historical tradition. In order to go further, we want to continue to advance bilaterally, we are working at the request of the Romanian authorities on an ambitious plan to support the Romanian Naval Forces. The relevant ministers were able to discuss and establish a framework document and, on the political and military level we want to strengthen this framework document and this cooperation,” the French president said.

Emmanuel Macron added that the French military apparatus operating within NATO in Romania will increase.

“And also, within NATO, because in this framework the French army is on Romanian territory, together with the other allies and with the support of the Romanian Army, the current device will grow, will increase its capabilities. The summit to be held in Madrid will confirm this ambition and is an additional proof of our unity to remove any military threat from the eastern flank of the EU and NATO,” Macron said.

The French president stressed that he shares a common vision with his Romanian counterpart on several topical issues in the region.

“That is why my visit makes a special sense, we have a common vision, together, Mr. President, when it comes to the political approach to the situation in Ukraine, a common approach to the file of the Western Balkans and especially to the ongoing discussions between North Macedonia and Bulgaria,” Macron said.

He also expressed the wish of the French side ‘that the file on Romania’s accession to the Schengen area should move forward.

“The French Presidency, as you know, has been particularly committed and the next few hours will be decisive. It is also about Romania’s accession to the Schengen area. We have discussed this subject and we want this dossier to evolve, to move forward. (…) We want to make the situation progress together,” Macron said.

He also referred to the importance of adopting and strengthening the Strategic Compass for the Black Sea region.

Macron also pointed out the joint commitment to supporting Ukraine in all its forms – political, humanitarian, financial, military, but also to ensure energy independence and improve global food security.

“Because here together we have also condemned the aggressor country, as shown by the unprecedented level of sanctions adopted by the European Union against Russia. And we continue together the same efforts to ensure our energy independence, to build a common defence and to improve the food security not only of Europeans, but also of the rest of the world in this context. And finally, we have approached together with President Iohannis the proposal of a European political community, which we want to see progressing, which, beyond bilateral cooperation, has the vocation to structure on a political level, on a level of security and energy and infrastructures, to structure our continent and, as a whole, all states that have a common geography and common values,” said the French president.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, was officially welcomed on Wednesday morning at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Air Base by the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis. The two presidents had one-on-one talks and official talks, then they met with the military deployed in the Mihail Kogalniceanu military base.

The President of the French Republic arrived in Romania on Tuesday evening. He was greeted at the Mihail Kogalniceanu International Airport in Constanta County, by the Prime Minister of Romania, Nicolae Ciuca.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca sent a message of thanks to France for its military presence in Romania as part of NATO’s rapid reaction force, on the occasion of welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron to Romania.

“I had the pleasure of welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron in Romania. Welcome, Mr. President! Once again, a big thank you to France for its military presence in Romania, as part of NATO’s rapid reaction force,” Nicolae Ciuca said on Tuesday evening, in a message on the Government’s twitter page.

From Romania, Emmanuel Macron will leave for Chisinau, where he will be received by the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu.

 

“In order for Ukraine to win and ceasefire to come about, we need to negotiate”

 

The Ukrainian president will have to negotiate with Russia, and the Europeans will also be present at the negotiating table, bringing security guarantees, said on Wednesday French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and had talks with President Klaus Iohannis.

“We, Europeans, share the same continent and geography is stubborn and Russia will stay where it is, where it was yesterday and where it will be tomorrow. Russia is a feared power and we do not want to be at war with the Russian people. We have not said this, but for Ukraine to win and the cease-fire to come about, we must negotiate. The President of Ukraine will have to negotiate with Russia and we, the Europeans, will be present at this table, bringing security guarantees and elements that fall within our remit. This is the reality, it will have to happen at some point and no excessive speech should come to overshadow our future,” the French president told a news conference.

He emphasised that France had taken steps to prevent the war and to sanction Russia, which it had “designated from day one as responsible” for this “political, moral and historical mistake”.

“In the face of the war decided by Russia against Ukraine and against the Ukrainian people – the position of France and Europe is clear from day one. First let us do everything to prevent this war – and we have acted on it – and then let us clearly and in an unified manner sanction Russia, which we have designated from day one as responsible for this war and for this political, moral and historical mistake. We have tried, under the French presidency, to maintain the unity of the Europeans and to decide quickly and strongly the first package of sanctions, and since the beginning of the conflict we have taken six series of successive unprecedented sanctions, until the last one, which almost entirely sanction the supply of Russian oil,” Macron said.

The French president added that his country will continue to support Ukraine to defend itself, but also from an economic, financial and humanitarian point of view.

“Very clearly we will continue to support Ukraine, to help it defend itself, to fight, to help it economically and financially, in terms of humanitarian plan. And we will continue to receive (refugees, ed. n.) on European soil, which is the main space in the world that receives these refugees fleeing war,” Emmanuel Macron said.

 

French President: At EU gates, an original geo-political situation is playing out

 

French Republic President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that messages of support are needed for Ukraine, but also for the Republic of Moldova, a country “destabilized by separatist political movements and the large number of refugees” it receives on its territory.

“We must send a message of support to Ukraine at this critical moment. Let’s also consider the situation of Moldova, a neighbouring country, where I will travel today. We must support it, because it is destabilized by separatist political movements and by the large number of refugees it generously receives on its soil. The representatives of the humanitarian organizations will accompany me. We must also bear in mind the effects on the Western Balkans region, which have also been engaged in this accession process for several years. A region that risks being destabilised by any movement. We see that an original geo-political situation is playing out at the gates of the European Union. The geo-political context and the decisions that European nations must make justify new in-depth discussions and new progress,” Emmanuel Macron said at a press conference held by President Klaus Iohannis, at the Mihail Kogalniceanu military air base in southeastern Constanta County.

The French leader stressed the importance of talks with Ukraine, adding that the EU must send “clear” political signals to the country and to the Ukrainian people, “who have been heroically resisting” for several months.

“From a political and logistical point of view, I believe that we are in a situation of convergence at the present time in order to have new discussions with Ukraine, to continue the cooperation and equipment effort and the financial effort. We are in a context where we need to ensure the export of cereals from Ukraine. We are also at a time when we need to send out political signals, we, Europeans, the European Union. Clear political signals to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people who have been heroically resisting for many months. That is why the Europeans need to remain united, it is our work for several weeks, which focuses on this issue and the European Council must take decisions in this regard,” Macron said.

He reiterated France’s view that Russia “is the aggressor country” and added that “the only possible resolution of the conflict” is either a military victory for Ukraine or a discussion for an agreement between Ukraine and Russia. In this regard, he said he was “struck” by the fact that “there is a form of verbal escalation”, without an analysis of the consequences of these statements.

“We have strongly condemned this war in all international structures and we have taken measures. The difficulty, at the moment, that we have discussed at length with President Iohannis is that, of course, we denounce this situation, we sanction Russia, we support the Ukrainians to fight, but to be lucid, to find that we do not launch ourselves into a war, we are not at war, we are not at war with Russia. So the only way out, the only possible solution to the conflict is either a military victory of Ukraine or at some point a discussion, because it is the only solution that allows for an agreement between Ukraine and Russia. So (…) it’s a matter of common sense. I am struck to see that there is a form of verbal escalation, without an analysis of the consequences of these statements. I try to be coherent in what I say and in accordance with the situation on the ground,” the French president said.

 

Iohannis: Cooperation between Romania and France in the field of security has recently seen a special and welcome intensification

 

Cooperation between Romania and France in the field of security has recently seen a special and welcome intensification, amid the crisis generated by the military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, said President Klaus Iohannis, who pointed out that the visit of his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, is further evidence of the “excellent bilateral relationship” between the two countries.

“Your visit, Mr. President, and the substantial consultations we have just concluded are further evidence of the excellent bilateral relationship of genuine strategic partnership between our countries. Welcome, dear Emmanuel! Even in the midst of the crisis generated by the military aggression of the Federation Russia in Ukraine, our cooperation on security has recently intensified and, I can say, very welcome,” Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Base.

Iohannis thanked once again for the presence of the French military in Romania and for the assuming by France of the quality of leader of the NATO battle group in our country, whose operationalization as soon as possible is a top priority.

“In fact, a special focus of our discussions was on the preparation of the NATO Summit in Madrid, which will take key decisions for the future of the Alliance and for our common security. Thus, we firstly discussed the need to strengthen the deterrence and defense posture on the Eastern Flank, especially, certainly, on the Black Sea, about the new strategic concept, about the support of the Alliance partners and the prospects of the Sweden and Finland’s accession,” added Iohannis.

“I presented the measures taken by Romania for Ukrainian refugees coming to Romania, as well as the support we provide to Ukraine, including through the hub in (northeastern, ed. n.) Suceava, which France has also used intensively,” Iohannis said.

The Romanian head of state specified that another topic of primary common interest was ensuring global food security, which is deeply affected by Russia’s abusive blockade of Ukrainian ports.

He pointed out that Romania is making sustained, multidimensional efforts in support of Ukraine, by offering routes for the export of cereal, including through the Port of Constanta on the Black Sea and through the Romanian ports on the Danube.

“Our authorities are looking for integrated solutions to make this transit as efficient as possible, including with the support of our external partners. We have thus agreed with Mr. [French] President to work closely together to achieve this goal,” Iohannis said.

“We discussed how we can help the Republic of Moldova to cope with the many challenges it faces as a result of the security crisis generated by Russia’s war against Ukraine. An important initiative in this regard is the International Moldova Support Platform, which Romania, France and Germany launched in Berlin in April, and we approached the preparations for the follow-up conference on this topic, which Romania will host this summer,” the Romanian head of state said.

Klaus Iohannis pointed out that the issue of energy security was also addressed, in the light of developments in Ukraine and the EU’s strategic decisions to eliminate dependence on the Russian Federation, context in which he stressed that Romania is ready to play an active role in achieving the Union’s strategic goals and will make every effort to ensure the long-term resilience of the energy sector.

The Romanian head of state pointed out that a comprehensive topic of discussion with President Macron focused on the prospects of expanding the Schengen area, context in which he explained Romania’s legitimate expectation regarding accession.

Iohannis underscored the strong support for the European integration of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia in their EU membership bids.

“I supported the importance of a clear political signal on the European Union’s determination to engage with partners on an ambitious pro-European path to be adopted at this month’s European Council in June,” he said.

With respect to the Western Balkans, President Iohannis went on to say that he reaffirmed Romania’s support for the adoption, as soon as possible, of the decision to launch accession negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia.

 

Romanian president: Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia should be granted EU candidate status as soon as possible

 

President Klaus Iohannis reiterated that the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia should be granted EU candidate status as soon as possible, adding that there are chances for European Council discussions on this subject to be finalized by the end of this month.

Iohannis thus answered a question as to whether there is a European consensus with regard to the EU candidacy of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.

“As far as the application for accession of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia is concerned, this has been repeatedly discussed and we are expecting a decision by the end of this month. The Commission is working on this case, the French Presidency is extremely involved. And in my opinion, chances are that we complete the discussion in the Council by end-June,” Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in a press conference delivered together with French President Emmanuel Macron at the 57th ‘Mihail Kogalniceanu’ Air Base.

“I can only speak on my own and on Romania’s behalf, I said it and I will repeat it: in my opinion, the candidate status should be granted as soon as possible. It is a solution that would be morally correct, a solution that would be correct economy- and security-wise. President Macron and I discussed the matter extensively today and we will try to find a feasible and sustainable solution,” said Klaus Iohannis.

 

Romania, determined to play positive part in solving issue of Ukrainian cereals transport

 

Romania is determined to play a positive role in solving the problem related to the transport of cereals from Ukraine to international markets and is looking for the best logistical solutions in this regard from the government level, President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday at the Mihail Kogalniceanu military air base in southeastern Constanta County.

“In order to find the best logistical, practical solutions, Prime Minister Ciuca has already set up an inter-ministerial committee and is working intensively on finding solutions. We have to see first where we are. These logistical routes, this whole large capacity transport logistics at the moment do not exist. We are in a position to develop, not quite from scratch, but from a fairly low level to a very high level the transport capacities,” Klaus Iohannis said, in the joint press conference with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron, at the 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu.

Iohannis added that in order to achieve the mentioned objective, certain infrastructure projects need to be put into practice quickly.

“For example, let’s bring a large overall line to a port, probably in the Galati area. There is a need to facilitate the procedures on the Danube, the barge transport on the Danube and so on. There is a need to significantly increase the capacity of the Port of Constanta to trans-ship important quantities of cereals and many, many other things,” Iohannis added.

“We have transported hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wheat from Ukraine to Constanta and from there to the markets of the world, but, obviously, a significant increase in this capacity is needed and we are, together with our partners, willing and interested to develop these ways quickly,” Klaus Iohannis said.

 

Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.presidency.ro

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French President, expected in Romania to meet the French troops deployed here. Iohannis to welcome Macron at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Air Base

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