Bloomberg interview: PM Ciuca expects Romania to join Schengen this year

Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă told an interview for Bloomberg that Romania is expected to join Schengen this year and that Brussels will lift the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for our country.

It is an “illusion” to expect relations between Russia and the West to return to the pre-war state immediately after the end of the fighting in Ukraine, given that the Kremlin seems determined to create a buffer between itself and NATO, the Romanian Prime Minister said in the interview published Wednesday by Bloomberg.

In his view, the war in Ukraine opens a fault line between free and autocratic states and considered that NATO must prepare for at least the medium term deployment on the eastern flank.

Although he has said he does not believe Russia will attack a NATO country – triggering an open conflict – the current war has confirmed warnings issued for more than a decade by eastern members of the Alliance that President Vladimir Putin is determined to reclaim territories once controlled by the Soviet Union.

“Russia is not thinking like us. Russia is not behaving like us. The situation now, it seems, is recreating that hole between western civilization and eastern civilization, between free, democratic countries and autocratic regimes.”

If the Russians “don’t want to stop as quick as possible and to negotiate, to find a solution, to recognize Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, they will do the same with other countries,” PM Ciuca said.

“It’s not only about defense, it’s about food security’ globally. It’s about a region that’s very close to the Balkans region as well, so all these decisions made to increase deterrence and defense along the whole eastern flank are very welcome,” the Romanian PM added.

According to Nicolae Ciuca, it is expected that Romania – after more than a decade of standby – will join the Schengen area before the end of the year, a step that would eliminate the long waits at Romania’s borders with other EU states and increase Romania’s attractiveness to foreign investors. In his view, Brussels will also lift the CVM, a mechanism that monitors Romania’s progress in reforming the judiciary and eradicating corruption, after years of criticism from the EU executive.

“Everything we did since the conflict started shows that we are prepared to become a member of Schengen. We really do expect all the other EU leaders to recognize everything we did,” he underlined.

bloombergCooperation and Verification MechanismCVMinterviewPM Nicolae CiucaRomaniaRussiaSchengenukrainewar
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