Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu stated that the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, “very wrongly” calculated his plans regarding the war in Ukraine and, instead of separating NATO and EU members, “contributed to a unprecedented unity”.
“I think that President Putin has miscalculated his plans. He thought he would attack Ukraine and occupy it in a few days, but it wasn’t like that. On the contrary. Ukraine is resisting, with the help of the international democratic community, and now it is counterattacking, which is very important. And Putin’s soldiers abandoned their parade uniforms, which they had at the beginning of the war. Mr. Putin tried to divide us, to attack our unity. On the contrary, unity within NATO is stronger than ever, unity within the EU is greater than ever, unity between the two sides of the Atlantic is greater than ever. He thought he would intimidate the countries in the region, including those from the Alliance and the European Union. The effect was the opposite“, FM Aurescu told the audience attending the 6th edition of the Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum on Friday.
The head of the Romanian democracy recalled that neutral countries, such as Finland and Sweden, decided to join the Alliance, other countries in the Eastern Neighborhood decided to commit more strongly to the European path, and the European Council in June decided to grant the status of candidate countries to Ukraine and The Republic of Moldova also recognized the European perspective of Georgia. “I think we should thank Mr. Putin for this”, Aurescu said.
The Romanian FM underlined that, for Romania, NATO continues to be “a cornerstone for Euro-Atlantic security”.
“We are fully aware of the fact that security and defense start at home, that’s why we decided to increase the Defense budget from 2% to 2.5% (of the Gross Domestic Product – n.r.), starting next year. We count on the solidarity of the Allies, but we also contribute to it. At this critical time for our security, we must continue to strengthen NATO, as the basis of our collective defense and as an essential forum for consultations related to transatlantic security and decisions taken by allies. It is important to continue to promote an approach based on unity and solidarity and on the strength of the transatlantic bond, which is stronger than ever, and this is one of the results of the war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine”, explained Bogdan Aurescu.