Political Counselor with the US Embassy in Bucharest, David Allen Schlaefer, has said in an interview that the United States is concerned about the lagging of anti-corruption fight in Romania.
“A concerning risk factor is corruption and the lagging of anti-corruption fight. Corruption is a vector of influence and can be extremely dangerous to Romania. Therefore, it is the most important of all reasons for which Romania should continue the fight against corruption,” David Allen Schlaefer has told EuropaFM.
Asked if he believes there are strong anti-American forces in Romania, the US Embassy counselor said that, from his point of view, there are not, and that the relation between the two countries is very strong.
“I believe not. From my standpoint I do not believe there is a strong anti-American sentiment, there are strong bonds between Romania and the US, between persons, companies. There is the Strategic Partnership, which is very important. Our countries have a powerful relation and we want to keep it this way,” David Allen Schlaefer said.
Referring to Russia, he argues that it is much more active in the past years in Europe, including in Romania.
“I arrived here two years ago and I see 100% that Russia is more active in Europe as well as in Romania. Also in the United States, of course. For us, the objective is clear: to make Romania more vulnerable and to weaken its relations with the rest of Europe and the United States. This is Russia’s interest, not Romania’s,” the counselor said.
David Allen Schlaefer added: “There are people who become conjectural allies with Moscow, who adopt – sometimes without knowing it – Russia’s rhetoric. Other people want to escape justice, they have corruption problems, they use negative nationalism: a rhetoric against the Western values and an anti-corruption rhetoric.”
He argued that Romanian officials are unaware of the risks or do not know the tactics of the Russian propaganda.
Regarding the decreasing confidence of Romanians in the European Union, David Allen Schlaefer believes there is a certain feeling of instability in the EU and uncertainty about the Brexit.
“For me, it is natural that some surveys reveal a small decrease in confidence in regard to the EU, but at the same time I believe that most Romanians are strongly pro-Western and understand the benefits coming from the EU to Romania,” David Allen Schlaefer said for EuropaFM.
(The interview was granted in Romanian language, the translation belongs to RJ)
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