Romania’s Council for National Defence (CSAT) decided on Wednesday to activate the Interministerial Committee of the country’s National Coalition for Refugee Integration, tasking the Interior Ministry with assessing the capacity to take in refugees/ asylum seekers and the possibility of expanding it.
“In the short and medium term, Romania will continue to support, including through humanitarian and development assistance funds, projects that directly help improve the situation of Afghan nationals in Afghanistan and Afghan refugees. An integrated approach to migration is needed related to developments in Afghanistan through effective interinstitutional collaboration. That is why CSAT has decided to activate the Interministerial Committee of the National Coalition for Refugee Integration,” according to a press statement released by the Presidential Administration.
Also, collaboration with the relevant European institutions will be intensified, first of all with FRONTEX, as well as with the neighbouring countries that could be targeted, together with Romania, by potential migration waves from Afghanistan.
The CSAT also decided that Romania, “in full coordination with its international partners”, will pursue the adoption and implementation of the best options to respond to the political, security and humanitarian challenges generated by the Afghan crisis.
“CSAT concluded that urgent amendments are needed to the normative framework of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to complete resources for response to the situations on the ground, so that Romania can effectively provide assistance with the takeover and relocation of Afghan nationals,” reads the statement.
“To Romania, the regime change in Afghanistan may have security consequences due to the dangers posed by extremism, terrorism, the export of instability in the region, drugs and arms trafficking, illegal migration, all of which must be countered. Consequently, Romania will take the necessary measures and remain committed to defending the national interests of its nationals and will equally join, in solidarity, together with its partners and allies, in the international effort to overcome the crisis,” the document also reads.
CSAT also decided to deploy 200 Romanian troops to take part in the evacuation and relocation of Afghan citizens who worked for NATO missions in Afghanistan.
The Romanian military will participate in the operation starting with August, for a maximum of 6 months.
“The NATO operation will consist in principle of taking Afghan citizens from temporary bases in Kuwait and Qatar and relocating them to temporary bases stationed in the territory of the allied states, providing essential services. In this sense, based on the initial planning elements communicated by the Command of the Allied Forces in Europe, the CSAT decided the participation of the Romanian Army in this operation of evacuation and relocation of Afghan citizens with a maximum of 200 troops, starting with August 2021, for a period of no more than 6 months,” the Presidential Administration states in a release.
The CSAT members also agreed that “further steps should be taken in order to bring Afghan nationals from the categories mentioned above safely to Romania, as objective difficulties related to security have so far prevented their access to the airport.”