On the same day when Romania has taken over the presidency of the Council of the European Union, on Thursday, the United States has sent a message about the discussions regarding amnesty and pardon, as well as regarding the so-called tax on greed approved at the end of last year.
David Hale, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, on a visit to Bucharest, said on Thursday that has sent to President Klaus Iohannis and Presidential adviser Bogdan Aurescu a message of concern regarding the recent events in Romania involving the rule of law and the fiscal policies adopted in December, which would have a negative impact on the economy and the business environment.
The message includes the request to reject any proposals for amnesty or any other decisions that may put at risk the huge progress made by Romania in the past 30 years.
David Hale said such decisions would undermine the cooperation in terms of law enforcement, could erode the judicial institutions and democracy in Romania and could offer some hostile actors, such as Russia, an opportunity to gather influence over Romania.
The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs said he has had talks with President Klaus Iohannis and adviser Bogdan Aurescu, as well as with Deputy Premier Ana Birchall.
David Hale added that even before joining NATO in 2004, Romania was ‘an excellent partner’, hosting drills and supporting the alliance in fighting terrorism.
“I thanked Romanian leaders for their commitment to bearing Romania’s share of responsibilities in NATO, including spending 2% of GDP on defense.
Romania’s leadership is playing a significant role in encouraging other NATO members to do the right thing and increase their contributions as well.
Even before joining NATO in 2004, Romania was an excellent partner, hosting exercises and assisting us in combatting terrorism.
We are proud to serve side-by-side with Romanian soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. We value Romania’s contributions to regional and global security,” Hale said, adding that “our Strategic Partnership maintains our strong commitment to work together to strengthen security and defense cooperation throughout the Black Sea region and beyond.”
The US official mentioned he had expressed concerns during the meetings with the Romanian authorities over the latest developments regarding the rule of law.
“I expressed to President Iohannis, Vice Prime Minister Birchall and Mr. Aurescu our concerns over recent developments in Romania related to the rule of law and over the fiscal policies passed in December, which could have a negative impact on the economy and investment climate.
We continue to urge officials to reject any proposals for amnesty or any other measures that would endanger the tremendous progress made during the past 30 years toward greater security, prosperity and democracy.
Such actions potentially undermine law enforcement cooperation, erode Romania’s judicial and democratic institutions, and provide an avenue for malign actors such as Russia to gain strategic influence in Romania,” he concluded.