Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Friday that the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has miscalculated a lot his plans regarding the war in Ukraine and, instead of separating NATO and the EU members, contributed to unprecedented unity.
“I think President Putin has miscalculated a lot his plans. He thought that he would attack Ukraine and occupy Ukraine in couple of days, but this was not the case. To the contrary: Ukraine is resisting, with the help of the international democratic community, and now it’s even counterattacking, which is very important. And Putin’s soldiers have abandoned their parade uniforms, which they were carrying at the beginning of the war. Mr Putin tried to divide us, and tried to attack our unity. To the contrary, the unity inside NATO is more powerful than ever; the unity inside the EU is more powerful than ever, the unity between the two shores of the Atlantic is more powerful than ever. He thought that he would intimidate the countries in the region, including in the Alliance and in the European Union. The effect was to the contrary,” Aurescu told the 6th edition of the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum on Friday.
He said that neutral countries, like Finland and Sweden, decided to join the Alliance, other countries in the Eastern Neighborhood decided to embark more decisively on the European path, and the June European Council decided to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova and also recognised the European perspective of Georgia. “I think we should thank Mr Putin for that,” the Romanian minister concluded.
Aurescu added that for Romania, NATO continues to be “a cornerstone for Euro-Atlantic security.”
“We are very much aware of the fact that security and defence start at home, that’s why we have decided to increase the defence spending from 2% to 2.5% [of the Gross Domestic Product], starting with next year. We not only count on the solidarity of NATO but also fully contribute to that. At this critical moment for our security, we need to continue to strengthen NATO as a foundation of our collective defence and as an essential forum for transatlantic security consultations and decisions among allies. It is important to continue promoting an approach based on unity and solidarity and on the strength of the transatlantic link. And the transatlantic link is more powerful than ever before, and this is one of the results of the war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine,” explained Bogdan Aurescu, according to Agerpres.
It is important to continue to support Ukraine; there is no place for fatigue
Supporting Ukraine is one of Romania’s important steps in the near future, Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Friday at the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum.
“What is important for us in the near future is, on one hand, to continue to support Ukraine, and as far as Romania is concerned, we will do that. There is no place for the so-called fatigue which is mentioned quite a lot these days. There is no place for fatigue. As far as Romania is concerned, we will continue to support Ukraine on all dimensions. Second, it is important to continue the pressure on Russia, to isolate Russia. All these instruments are valid: sanctions, isolation in international organisations, the path of ensuring that impunity is not ensured for the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes, aggression, and so on. And I think the effort of keeping unity of the transatlantic community is also an instrument that needs to continue to be functional,” said Aurescu.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy said that he is worried about the incoming so-called referenda in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
“I mentioned during the Gymnich meeting in Prague [an informal meeting of the foreign ministers] that we need to be prepared for this scenario and have a proper reaction,” added Aurescu.