joi, 14 februarie 2008 : Cioroianu: ‘There are no taboo subjects between Romania and Ukraine”


Cioroianu: ‘There are no taboo subjects between Romania and Ukraine”

The Foreign Affairs Minister held talks with his Ukrainian and Moldovan counterparts in Kiev yesterday, with Romania recently involved in rows with the two countries.

published in issue 4121 page 3 at 2008-02-15

President Basescu is expected to pay a visit to Ukraine this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Adrian Cioroianu announced yesterday in Kiev. The FM attended the official launching of a new regional cooperation initiative – the ‘Black Sea Synergy’.

‘President Iuschenko’s visit in Romania was a successful one, just as I hope President Basescu’s visit to Ukraine would turn out to be. We are also glad that the Ukrainian President has confirmed his presence at the NATO Summit’ Adrian Cioroianu stated yesterday during a bilateral meeting with Volodimir Ogrizko, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister.

‘The date of President Basescu’s visit is still in discussion, but it will be scheduled this autumn’ Cioroianu stated, adding that it is not known for now if Traian Basescu will visit the Snake Island as Iuschenko had suggested. ‘I did not discuss the itinerary of the President’s visit. We want it to be a successful visit, wherever it would take place’ the Foreign Affairs Minister added.

Following the discussions with his Ukrainian counterpart, Adrian Cioroianu stated that there are no ‘taboo subjects’ in the dialogue between the two countries. ‘As a first contact, the meeting I had with Ukraine’s new Foreign Affairs Minister has given me the belief and the confidence that we will manage to have a dialogue that will lack taboo subjects. We must have an open, pragmatic dialogue, whether we talk about the Snake Island, the Bistroe Canal or the rights of ethnic minorities’ the Minister concluded.

Cioroianu also stated that he has offered assurances to his counterpart that Romania supports Ukraine’s efforts to get closer to NATO. ‘We notice the way in which the pro-NATO feeling is growing in the Ukrainian society’ the Foreign Affairs Minister stated.

Unanswered ‘questions’ with Moldova too

Cioroianu also had a bilateral meeting with Andrei Stratan, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Moldova. Recently there had been several exchanges of harsh rhetoric between the two countries, with the communist regime in Moldova accusing Romania of not respecting its sovereignty.

Cioroianu has invited Stratan to Romania but the Moldovan Minister stated that he does not know when he will honour the invitation. ‘A series of questions have been accumulated, questions that have to be discussed and resolved. Not problems but questions!’ Stratan stated referring to the relations with Romania. He said that he had talked about bilateral relations during the bilateral talks he had with Adrian Cioroianu during the meeting in Kiev. The questions mentioned by Stratan basically have to do, among other things, with the extension of negotiations on the two political documents that ‘need to be signed’, namely the Basic Political Treaty and the Agreement on state borders.

‘The negotiations and discussions procedure on the two documents has been virtually finalized at expert level and we must convene on the next political step, on the examination, signing and coming into force mechanism of the two documents that are important for both the Republic of Moldova and Romania’ Stratan pointed out. The Moldovan Minister added that other agreements on sector cooperation, agreements that are discussed at Ministerial level, will follow next. Cioroianu pointed out that he has exchanged telephone numbers with the Moldovan Minister for the first time yesterday. ‘Now we will use them’, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out. He stated that he has decided in mutual agreement with his Moldovan counterpart to ‘leave the problems of 2007 behind’.

‘The Republic of Moldova has certain European goals that we are willing to support’ Cioroianu stated, adding that this is ‘to the advantage of all parties’. ‘You have no other alternative but to help us’ Andrei Stratan replied, smiling.

EUR one bln project

The importance of the meeting from Kiev resides in the fact that through the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to EU, the Union begins to become party of the Black Sea region, stressed the European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner yesterday in Kiev. The European official, who made public the “The Black Sea Synergy,” which underlay the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU member states and from the Black Sea region, held in Kiev, believes in the potential of such regional projects, stressing that there are a few domains where this cooperation can have effect: energy security, environment protection, fight against organised crime, migration. The projects connected with “The Black Sea Synergy” will receive from EU at least EUR one bln per year, with the possibility to grow. The joint declaration that has to sanction the cooperation principles in the Black Sea region, the involvement of the EU member states and of the states from the region in this process and the priorities of the region, was signed yesterday in Kiev.

by Paula Dumitrescu

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