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February 3, 2023

President Iohannis in Tirana: Romania will not stop negotiating its accession to the Schengen area until the very last moment

President Klaus Iohannis says that Romania’s accession to the Schengen area will be on the agenda of the Council of Justice and Home Affairs meeting on Thursday and those negotiations are ongoing until that moment.

“It is still being discussed, it is being negotiated. On Thursday, the matter will be on the agenda of the JHA council meeting of interior and justice ministers, where this matter will certainly be discussed at length. Until then, negotiations are needed; the text of that decision is still being discussed and we are committed to staying determined until the last moment and leading the decision where we want it to be,” Iohannis said on Tuesday before participating in the European Union – Western Balkans Summit in Tirana.

Regarding Austria’s opposition to Romania’s accession to the European border-free area, Iohannis said that “it is still being discussed and negotiated.”

“We will keep on discussing and negotiating until the very last moment,” he said.

He was also asked if Romania could be decoupled from Bulgaria in this case.

“Given that the decisions regarding Romania and Bulgaria are not exactly identical, the results cannot be exactly identical either, but that does not mean that a decision formula that is convenient for both sides cannot be found. Decoupling as a solution was discussed before and my hope is that we will have a positive decision and that there will be no need to discuss these issues any further,” said Iohannis, according to Agerpres.

According the Presidential Administration, the meeting in Tirana is the first event of this kind organised in a Western Balkan capital, which reconfirms the European commitment to the Western Balkan states.

“The high-level meeting will be a new opportunity to reiterate the mutual commitments between the European Union and the Western Balkans to the European integration process, as well as the advancement of political and sectoral co-operation, in the context of managing the consequences of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine. Also participating in the summit meeting will be officials of international financial institutions,” the Presidential Administration says.

Iohannis will present Romania’s position of supporting the advancement of the European Union enlargement process based on the merits of the candidates.

He will also reiterate Romania’s availability for continued support for the concrete European Union integration efforts and actions of the countries in the region. At the same time, Iohannis will emphasise aspects related to the need to strengthen the resilience of the partners as well as European support in areas such as energy, digital transformation, cyber-security and migration management.

The attending leaders are expected to issue a declaration at the end of the summit reflecting the support of the EU and its member states for the European perspective of the Western Balkans, along with some concerns including those regarding the need for the Western Balkan states to fall in line with EU’s foreign policy.


Concrete action is also needed to give additional chance to the Western Balkan states


President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that by holding the European Union-Western Balkans summit meeting the EU member states want to show that they stand with the countries of that region.

“It is a moment that will present a political point rather than a decision making moment. We are not meeting in the format of a council meeting for decisions, but we want to show that we are standing with the states of the Western Balkans. Apart from that, it is clear that at this moment, when the world has multiple problems and the war started by Russia against Ukraine is affecting everyone, it’s good, it’s important to show that we are united and in solidarity around the values we believe in. Concrete action is also needed to give an additional chance to the states of the Western Balkans. In-depth sectoral co-operation is needed, and we also need to collaborate in a rather unpleasant area but decisive action is needed – I am talking about migration, uncontrolled, illegal migration. There we need a very good collaboration between the forces that deal with these matters. And, finally, I think it is important to be united in combating disinformation and simply fake news,” said Iohannis.


President Iohannis on EU ban on Russian seaborne crude oil: We will deal with consequences in our case


President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday stated, regarding the coming into force of the EU ban on Russian seaborne crude oil, that this will also have consequences in Romania, but that the Government will find a solution to this problem as well.

“Now there will be consequences, that is very clear, but the Government will also take care of this matter and certainly as good measures have been taken up to now to protect the population, a solution will be found to this problem as well,” said the head of state, before participating in the European Union – Western Balkans Summit, which is taking place in Tirana.

The head of state was asked if Romania will be affected by the embargo on Russian oil and if he thinks that fuel price compensation should be extended.

The European Union (EU), the G7 countries and Australia have agreed to cap Russian oil prices, a measure set to take effect as of Monday. The activation of the cap coincides with the coming into force on Monday of an EU ban on the seaborne Russian crude oil.


Compiled from Agerpres

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