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Cooperation in the field of security

Committed to the efforts to support Ukraine in the war against the Russian invasion, Romania continues to take steps towards full accession to Schengen.

Angel Tîlvăr, Kathleen Kavalec, James O'Brien (Photo: Laurenţiu Turoi/MApN)
Angel Tîlvăr, Kathleen Kavalec, James O'Brien (Photo: Laurenţiu Turoi/MApN)

, 17.04.2024, 13:50

More than two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Romania continues to play a key role in international efforts to support the administration in Kyiv. From logistics and information support, to the efforts made to support Ukrainian grain exports, Bucharest has proven its usefulness and value as a NATO and EU member state. Consequently, as early as 2022, Romania was placed by the Kremlin on the list of “unfriendly” countries, and criticism and even threats from Moscow have multiplied. In this context, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, James O’Brien, traveled to Bucharest as part of a tour that also includes visits to Bulgaria, Switzerland and Slovenia.

 

During the meeting he had with the Romanian Defense Minister, Angel Tîlvăr, the American official stated that the US is working with Romania regarding the security risks arising in the context of the war in Ukraine. He emphasized the cooperation in the field of aerial, maritime and land surveillance for the detection and stopping of Russian drones that have reached the Romanian territory. O’Brien has also said that Romania has done a lot to build its own capacity in all these dimensions and appreciated the cooperation between Bucharest and Kyiv, which he said is ‘essential for the Ukrainian people’ and ‘also helps Romania be safer’. ‘The longer Ukraine can fight Russia and keep Russia occupied and Russia withdraws, the safer Romania will be. Our work with Romania is to make sure that the fight cannot expand and that Romania can well defend its territory and people against any risk of this battle coming its way’ O’Brien said. In turn, the representative of the Romanian government highlighted the need to strengthen the allied presence on the NATO’s entire eastern flank and said that this aspect is imperative for the security and stability of the extended Black Sea region and beyond.

 

Despite the tense security context, Romania has not reduced its diplomatic efforts for full accession to the Schengen Area, a right that has been denied to it for years for political reasons. Starting from March 31, both Romania and Bulgaria were included in the European free travel area only with air and maritime borders, Austria being the country that until now has prevented, by veto, the introduction of Schengen rules at land borders as well. In a discussion held in Bucharest with her Romanian counterpart, the German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, praised the efforts made by Romania for European solidarity in the matter of asylum, as part of its effort to fully join the Schengen area. On the other hand, the Romanian Interior Minister, Cătălin Predoiu, has expressed his hope that the Schengen rules will be introduced at Romania’s land borders this year. (LS)

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