The Custodian of the Crown, Margareta, hailed on Tuesday the "exceptional" way in which the community of Western nations responded to the war in Ukraine, which proved its "resistance" and "durability" in the face of this challenge, and said she was proud of the role played by Romania in this process.
The Royal Evening dedicated to the Diplomatic Corps took place in the Throne Room at the Royal Palace.
"I know that some of you, who represent nations outside the European continent, are concerned about many difficulties, such as the economic consequences of the pandemic or combating the effects of the climate crisis and the increase in food and energy prices. I do not want to give the impression that these difficulties are less significant than the problems in Europe. However, I hope you will understand why I am focusing this evening on the war and the catastrophic humanitarian situation on our borders. There is no need to remind you of the exceptional gravity of our current security situation", said Her Majesty Margareta.
According to her, "all the optimistic assumptions we made are now put into question", and certain aspects of the crisis in Ukraine deserve increased attention.
"Far from being eliminated, war has returned to Europe. Once again, we have to face mass crimes on our continent. Once again, a leader denies the principle of equality of rights of other nations and even questions whether certain states should continue to exist. And, again, some are trying to recreate empires and spheres of influence. All of this is known to you. So I would like to highlight certain aspects of the crisis in Ukraine that deserve increased attention tonight. First of all, the community of Western nations, which extends far beyond Europe, rose to this challenge exceptionally well and proved its resilience and durability. Ukraine was able to defend its independence because its brave soldiers and citizens received support from many other nations around the world. Millions of Ukrainian refugees have found temporary shelter across Europe without the requirements of immigration control or other formalities," said the Custodian of the Crown.
Romanians and other Europeans who border Ukraine, can now carry out their daily lives thanks to the protection offered by the North Atlantic Alliance, said Her Majesty Margareta.
"One of the strongest messages that the Alliance has ever adopted is the slogan 'We are NATO'. Indeed, we are all NATO, because the Alliance ensures our independence and peaceful existence. And where would we be without the European Union? It is the institution that coordinates keeping Ukraine's war-torn economy afloat and the only body capable of handling the enormous responsibility of rebuilding Ukraine once the war is over. Those who started this war thought we were divided. We proved them wrong, and this is a fundamental achievement", highlighted Her Majesty.
She noted that the war in Ukraine irrevocably directed attention to Central and Eastern Europe.
"My second observation is that as we resist aggression, the key institutions that protect our security and prosperity are also changing. Although most of the countries behind the Iron Curtain were members of the EU and NATO for nearly two decades, for largely historical reasons, the center of gravity of both institutions, their political decision-making and their concerns remained concentrated in the West of the continent. The war in Ukraine has now irrevocably shifted attention to Central and Eastern Europe, partly because that greatest needs and because the future of our continent will be decided here. This shift in the center of gravity is of historic proportions and significance and we should appreciate it, because it is an absolutely necessary adjustment, both for NATO and for the Union European, a transformation that assures us that these institutions represent a truly united continent," the Custodian of the Crown said.
Her Majesty Margareta said she was proud of the role played by Romania in this process, including the recent hosting of the NATO Ministerial Meeting in Bucharest.
"For Romania and for other key countries in the region, such as Poland, this new reality means that our voices will be better heard, but it also implies greater responsibilities in forming and sustaining a European consensus and a greater contribution to continental security and stability. I am proud of the role played by Romania in this process, including the recent hosting of the NATO Ministerial Meeting in Bucharest. I am sure that you will see the Central and Eastern Europeans in the future having higher expectations and exercising a much stronger voice when the debate about the reconstruction of Ukraine," she added.
The Custodian of the Romanian Crown called for a "serious commitment" to the Eastern Neighborhood.
"I welcome the decision to grant Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova the status of candidate for EU accession. I know that this was not easy, that accession will not come soon and that very much is expected from these two nations. However, the acceptance the principle that these two countries will one day join the EU is vital, not only for their security, but for our security as well. Our eastern borders will only know peace if these two nations are allowed to live in peace. And, as we all discovered from our own experience, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will not find peace unless they become part of our family. It's very simple," explained Her Majesty.
She stressed that Romania has a special interest in the Republic of Moldova, not only due to the obvious historical and humanitarian ties, but also because the "serious vulnerabilities" of Chisinau "can be easily exploited to undermine both Ukraine and Romania in the future".
"My husband and I were recently in the Republic of Moldova and I can tell you unequivocally that the leaders in Chisinau are really committed to European integration. However, they struggle daily with destabilization attempts and with worrying poverty. Even if the war in Ukraine ends soon, you can be sure that attempts to destabilize Moldova will not disappear, but, paradoxically, will increase. Making sure that the Republic of Moldova remains firmly committed to its European integration policy is an inseparable part of the effort for Ukraine to succeed in its defense, the two are sides of the same coin. Just as King Mihai embarked decades ago in a campaign to convince our partners that Romania's natural place was in NATO and the EU, I commit today to do everything in my power so that the Republic of Moldova succeeds in following the same path. I will also promote broader efforts to enhance the regional security of the Black Sea, encouraging Georgia's integration efforts next year," emphasized Her Majesty Margareta.
At the end of the speech, the Custodian of the Crown expressed belief that Europe will emerge from this war "united".
"I wish to convey once again my appreciation to all of you, for friendship and solidarity. I believe that Europe will emerge from this war united and perhaps even strengthened in its decision to reject those who still think in terms of imperialism, client states and spheres of influence. And I am convinced that when we meet again next year, we will enjoy even more the unity of our goals. I wish you all the best for the New Year!" concluded Her Majesty Margareta.
The Apostolic Nuncio, Miguel Maury Buendia, dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Romania, highlighted the contribution of our country, Romanian civil society and the Royal Family, through the Red Cross, to the humanitarian assistance efforts offered to Ukrainian refugees.
He noted, at the same time, the efforts of the Royal Family for the promotion of democratic values and human rights, which ensure the prosperous future of the citizens. They inspire the construction of a democratic society, which guarantees respect for the values of minorities in every country, and are all the more relevant today for preventing conflicts and finding peaceful solutions for peace.
HRH Prince Radu, Princess Sofia, as well as representatives of the Romanian Parliament, the Presidential Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense took part in the event, along with ambassadors and diplomats accredited in Romania. AGERPRES