Romania-Poland-Turkey Trilateral in Bucharest: FM Aurescu says NATO must become stronger. What he said about Russia-Ukraine case?

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The Romania-Poland-Turkey Trilateral is working very well, and its relevance has significantly increased, contributing in its 9 years of existence to strengthening the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO),  Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told the plenary session of the Romania-Poland-Turkey Trilateral Summit on Friday, also attended by the Polish and Turkish counterparts Zbigniew Rau and Mevlut Cavuoglu. The three Foreign Ministers signed, in a first for this format, a Joint Statement.

“Today I can say without hesitation that this Trilateral, which started to be very active in 2012, (….) works very well, and its relevance and usefulness have increased significantly, contributing in its 9 years of existence to reinforcing the North Atlantic Alliance, as well as to ensuring the security of the eastern flank, at the Black Sea included,”  FM Aurescu stated, stressing that NATO must become ‘politically and militarily stronger.

“Romania’s, Poland’s and Turkey’s operational contributions to NATO actions in the region are essential. Today we reviewed the results of the main NATO developments, the recent ministerial meetings, we discussed follow-up actions, we approached the preparation of the NATO Summit on June 14 this year, which is very important because it will allow us to reaffirm allied unity and solidarity and especially to reinforce a strong transatlantic relationship, which is the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security. We believe that the 2021 NATO Summit will be a very important milestone in the evolution of the Alliance. We emphasized today that we want NATO to become politically and militarily stronger, an actor with a real global footprint,” Aurescu said.

As for the recent tensions in Ukraine prompted by Russia’s mass troop deployment and amid Moscow’s last minute announcement on withdrawing its troops, FM Aurescu said that the announcement of withdrawal at Ukraine’s eastern border doesn’t change at all the need for the actors in the region to continue reviewing the causes that led to this highly tensed situation.

Amid the Russian troops build-up, we discussed about the recent worrying security developments in and around Ukraine, as well as further development prospects, as well as de-escalation and defusing measures, including concrete ways to support Ukraine. Yesterday’s announcement on the withdrawal of Russian troops, which is a move in the right direction, does not change the need to continue the analysis of the causes of this very tense situation, to identify de-escalation measures and to avoid similar situations in the future,” said Aurescu.

“We also highlighted the importance of further strengthening the allied deterrence and defense posture on the eastern flank, including in its south, especially in the light of security developments in the Black Sea region and in general, in the light of the progressive consolidation in recent years of the Russian military presence in the region. We endorsee the consolidation of NATO action for promoting resilience and innovation, highlighting the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Center Romania is setting up and which will become operational in the coming months. We invited both Poland and Turkey, as well as other allies and partners, to participate with us in the development of this Center. We emphasized the special importance Romania attaches to the NATO 2030 strategic reflection process and in this line, we expressed appreciation for the activity of NATO’s Secretary General. We want a new NATO strategy concept that reflects current realities,” the head of the Romanian diplomacy pointed out.

Also on Friday, in a first for the Romania-Poland-Turkey Trilateral format, Georgian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers David Zalkaliani and Dmytro Kuleba will participate, at the initiative of Minister Aurescu, in a special working session with the Foreign Ministers of the Trilateral on the Eastern Neighborhood.

Polish FM: Russia’s activities on Ukraine’s border concerning for us

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland Zbigniew Rau said that these trilateral-format meetings provide a unique perspective on NATO’s role in these “turbulent times”, when there are “traditional and new threats” affecting the transatlantic community.

“Russia’s extraordinary military activities on the border with Ukraine and Crimea are of concern to us. These are part of a wider pattern of destabilizing activities by Russia in the region. Let’s hope they stop soon. We hope to take advantage of our meeting to voice our solidarity and support for Ukraine and Georgia. We also talked about potential actions aimed at strengthening NATO’s activity and their resilience to help bring them even closer to NATO’s aspirations,” Poland’s foreign minister further affirmed.

We agreed that we will continue to support, maintain and strengthen the transatlantic tie that remains key to NATO and is crucial to our common defense and international security. In addition, we reaffirmed our strong commitment to stability and security in the region, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. I am glad that our three countries have the same strong position on maintaining NATO readiness on the eastern flank“, said Zbigniew Rau, also announcing that “a military contingent will soon be operational in Turkey”.

Turkish FM: Black Sea region is our common home

In his turn, the Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu told the trilateral meeting that the Black Sea region is “our common home” and must be “kept away from tensions”.

“Today I want to emphasize the importance of unity and solidarity. The Black Sea region is our common home and we need to make sure that this region is kept away from tensions. We are all concerned about recent developments, but we have received promising news recently and we hope that dialogue and diplomacy will prevail. There are other pressing issues that we need to address, Afghanistan, NATO and the NATO Summit and we have discussed all these issues and we will continue to coordinate our policies,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu.

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