US renowned journalist: “It’s time to clean up Romania with sanctions”

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An American journalist, Tom Rogan, who used to be analyst reporting for BBC, Sky News, CNN and The Guardian, has asked in his latest editorial published in Washington Examiner that the U.S. should apply sanctions to Romania, just like in Russia’s case.

“Time to clean up Romania with sanctions (and hurt Putin’s influence, too)”,  is the title of his article.

Recognizing Romania’s growing rule of law crisis, the U.S. should sanction Romanian politicians known to be corrupt. This action would represent a calibrated step to stand with Romanians as they demand a more honest democracy,” the editorial says.

He also mentions the fight-against corruption undergoing in Romania, and the dismissal of the anti-graft chief prosecutor, Laura Codruța Kövesi, one month ago.

The need is real. Facing the Romanian government’s recent firing of an anti-corruption prosecutor, tens of thousands of citizens have been taking to the streets demanding reform. One top concern is the government’s dismissal of Laura Codruța Kövesi in July (…) Until she was forced to step down, the prosecutor was a much-needed example of change,” the author further says.

He underlined that sanctions should exclusively target ‘corrupt politicians’, in a way to avoid unnecessary escalation.

“(…) Any sanctions on Romania would have to be carefully targeted. With U.S.-Romania trade being relatively limited (in 2017, at around $2 billion, U.S. imports from the eastern European nation were double its exports) and Romania’s population already struggling with low living standards, U.S. sanctions should focus tightly on corrupt officials. That would get the Romanian government’s attention, but in a calibrated way designed to avoid unnecessary escalation. In turn, the U.S. would have means of leveraging Romania to listen to their citizens demands and hopefully reappoint Kövesi,” Tom Rogan concludes.

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