Western countries must remain united in the face of “Russia’s new efforts to divide us”, President Klaus Iohannis told a joint press conference in Kaunas with the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, the President of the Republic of Latvia, Egils Levits and the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
“Russia’s brutal, illegal and unjustified war against Ukraine has raised challenges for all of us. Our countries have been robust supporters of Ukraine and so has the entire Euro-Atlantic community. One thing is clear – we must preserve Western unity and the strategic solution in the face of Russia’s new efforts to divide us, including attempts to escalate [the conflict, ed. n.], the food crisis, energy blackmail and disinformation,” said the Romanian head of state at the joint conference with the Lithuanian, Latvian and Polish counterparts after the summit dedicated to strengthening NATO’s Eastern Flank, supporting Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.
He showed that the discussions with his counterparts focused on the ways in which political, economic, technical and humanitarian assistance can continue.
“Romania is the EU and NATO’s ally that has the longest border with Ukraine. And we have been an active and honest supporter since the first day, and we will continue to be in the future. We presented Romania’s concrete and multidirectional actions. We facilitated the entry of approximately 3 million Ukrainians in Romania, we welcomed them with open arms. Romania facilitated the export of over 7 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine that transited our territory, in order to support the Ukrainian economy and its war effort, but also for the proper management of the global food crisis,” said Iohannis.
The head of state declared that Romania’s support for Ukraine will remain multidimensional and comprehensive, on several levels: political, economic, including reconstruction, financial, humanitarian, through the international law instruments, the identification of those responsible and the fight against impunity, transport and agriculture.
He emphasized that as regards the reconstruction of Ukraine, there is a great need for help from the international community and that Romania is ready to take part in this effort.
The discussions also covered the situation of the Republic of Moldova. In this context, the Romanian president requested collective, continuous and firm support for the democratic, pro-European and reform-oriented agenda of the partners in Chisinau.
“We must mitigate the negative impact of Russia’s actions on the Republic of Moldova, continue to provide direct assistance, in a coordinated and harmonized manner. A useful tool is the Support Platform for the Republic of Moldova, created and launched by Romania together with Germany and France,” said Iohannis.
He also indicated that the exposure of Russia’s flagrant violations and abuses needs to continue vocally in all international forums.
President Iohannis also showed that the full implementation of the decisions of the Madrid Summit on the strengthening of the defense posture on the Eastern Flank is essential, considering the security situation in the Black Sea.
“We advocated for the coherence of our deterrence and defense posture on the entire Eastern Flank, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. In the spirit of solidarity and commitment, Romania will resume its participation in the Air Policing mission in the Baltic states in 2023,” he added.
The head of state stated that the meeting of NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers that will take place next week in Bucharest will be an opportunity to discuss the progress made in implementing the decisions of the Madrid Summit.
“This meeting in Bucharest will also be crucial for the preparation of new results and decisions for the next NATO Summit, which will take place in Lithuania in 2023,” said the president.
He also showed that Romania supports the joint efforts aimed at promoting European memory, combating disinformation and attempts to rewrite history.
“The Russian aggression against Ukraine is also proof of the alarming rise of authoritarianism. Efforts are also needed to prevent the manipulation of historic facts for propagandistic reasons,” President Iohannis concluded
Poland’s Duda: It is best to have Patriot missile system deployed on Ukraine’s territory
The best option for Poland’s security is the deployment of Patriot missiles on Ukraine’s territory, but this decision belongs to the allies, Polish President Andrzej Duda told on Friday a joint press conference alongside President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits and President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis.
“In this case, it will ensure the best possible security for Ukraine and for Poland. As regards the decision on the deployment of Patriot missiles, the deployment of the entire system, it belongs to Germany, it depends on our NATO allies, on the German side. This decision is at the discretion of our allies, those who have these systems. What I can say, as the president of Poland, is that I have to make sure that the entire territory of my country is as well protected as possible. It is my duty, as the president of Poland, to defend, above all, the Polish citizens and the Polish territory,” Duda said, according to the official translation.
Berlin conveyed on Thursday that the Patriot air defense units it offered to Poland are intended for use on NATO territory, thus rejecting Warsaw’s request that the system be sent to Ukraine, reports Reuters.
Compiled from Agerpres