Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said in an interview with CNN that the anti-missile shield from Deveselu is strictly defensive. The statement comes in the context in which President Vladimir Putin stated that rocket launchers in Romania and Poland are a threat to Russia. The minister also said that Romania will allow the Russians to check for themselves whether or not there are offensive missiles there. In addition, Bogdan Aurescu told CNN that a meeting of foreign ministers from NATO’s eastern flank countries will be held in Bucharest tomorrow. The heads of diplomacy in Paris and Kiev will also take part in the talks.
Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, following a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, that rocket launchers in Romania and Poland are a threat to Russia. He said Russia’s security requirements, including NATO’s withdrawal at the 1997 border, had been ignored by the United States and NATO.
“(Putin – editor note.) said once again that the anti-missile shield in Romania and Poland represents a threat to Russia’s security. It’s completely untrue. It is absurd to say that a purely defensive system, which is not intended for Russia, but for possible missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area, is a threat to Russia. We are ready to allow Russia to check for offensive missiles in Romania,” Bogdan Aurescu – Minister of Foreign Affairs stated.
On February 3, the foreign ministers of the Bucharest-9 format, which includes the nine states on NATO’s Eastern flank, will meet in Bucharest to discuss the situation in the region. The meeting will be attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, as well as that of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba.
According to FM Aurescu, the talks will tackle the security in the region and in the Black Sea region. He announced that the Ukrainian foreign minister will join the meeting. “We’ll talk about continuing to promote dialogue and to defuse the situation in the region“, Aurescu added.
Iohannis-Zelenski phone talk
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis had a phone talk on Tuesday on his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, assuring the latter of Romania’s “strong support” for “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well for its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations”.
“President Klaus Iohannis has shown that the threat of use of force and the attempt to undermine the current parameters of European security architecture, as well as attempts to recreate” spheres of influence “, are unacceptable and reaffirmed Romania’s strong support for Ukraine’s right to to choose their own foreign and security policy options. The President of Romania reiterated his support for the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and appreciated the responsible behavior of Ukraine in order to avoid the increase of tensions “, reads a press release by the Romanian Presidential Administration.