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November 30, 2022

ForMin Aurescu, Swedish counterpart Billstrom address Schengen accession, Romania’s efforts in context of war in Ukraine

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, had, on Tuesday, a telephone conversation with his Swedish counterpart, Tobias Billstrom, in the context of which the latter congratulated Romania for the key role it played in the overall EU actions in favour of Ukraine, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to AGERPRES reads.

Bogdan Aurescu briefly presented the measures adopted by Romania at all relevant levels, including to facilitate the entry into the country of over 2.78 million refugees from Ukraine and the transit through our country of over 6.5 tons of Ukrainian grain.

As for the NATO expansion, the Swedish foreign minister especially thanked minister Aurescu for the active support given to the NATO accession process of Sweden (and Finland) by Romania and personally by the Romanian foreign minister. Minister Bogdan Aurescu reiterated Romania’s full and active support for the successful completion of Sweden’s NATO accession process, appreciating the role that Sweden is already assuming for the benefit of the Alliance, including in terms of participation in NATO missions and interoperability with allies. He pointed out that Romania will continue its efforts to support Sweden’s accession to NATO. He also referred to the importance of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, which he will host in Bucharest at the end of November 2022 and to which Sweden is invited.

The two dignitaries emphasized the importance of a close coordination, especially considering the complex dynamics generated by the aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the implications it generates at the European and international level.

The dialogue between the two foreign ministers also addressed, at the initiative of the Romanian side, the file of Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, with minister Aurescu presenting the status of the accession process and the related steps, including the positive results of the voluntary visit to Romania in October 2022. In this context, he thanked his counterpart, who welcomed all Romania’s efforts in this file, for the support given by the Swedish side for the adoption of the recent resolution of the European Parliament on the subject.

At the same time, the Romanian minister reconfirmed the interest for closer cooperation with Sweden in relation to the files related to the Eastern Neighbourhood of the EU, in which this country is traditionally involved. He appreciated the importance of identifying consistent solutions at the EU level for the revitalization and adaptation of the Eastern Partnership to the new realities, supporting a constructive approach that would meet the increased expectations of the partners. The two dignitaries agreed on the importance of a comprehensive exchange of views on these topics at the level of the EU Council, the Swedish foreign minister appreciating Romania’s initiatives and effort in this file and agreeing that Sweden and Romania should cooperate closely in the immediate future.

In this context, minister Bogdan Aurescu gave assurances to his Swedish counterpart regarding Romania’s full support for the objectives and the smooth running of the mandate of the future Swedish Presidency of the EU Council, which will start on January 1, 2023, an extremely complex mandate including through the prism of the special effects of the recent security developments in connection with the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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