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ForMin Aurescu on National Defence Strategy: We are not saying Russia is an enemy state

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
bogdan aurescu

Romania is not saying that Russia is "an enemy state," but only that this country, "has been acted aggressively in recent years," Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Friday.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy participated in the online debate organised by the US think tank Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) focusing security in the Black Sea region, context in which he was asked about the introduction of the Russian Federation in the new National Defence Strategy of the Country.

"It is not a sudden change, definitely it is not a radical change. If someone looks at Romania's policy as a NATO member and a strategic partner of the US in the region, on the Eastern Flank, at the Black Sea, one can notice that our Country Defence Strategy, the draft recently presented for adoption by the Romanian Parliament, is in line with Romania's previous Defence strategies and it is not uncommon to mark Russia's behaviour in the region. It is not only how Romania sees things, but this is also part of our analysis within NATO, the EU and it is a joint decision of the allies to remark that Russia's actions in the Black Sea region generate risks," Aurescu explained.

He talked about transparency in this regard.

"When mentioning what Russia has done in the region, an obvious thing for everyone, we want to be transparent, we want to be predictable, we want to tackle topics which are legitimate sources of concern and, of course, we do not want to provoke anyone. We are simply presenting the facts. If you look at what has happened in the region in recent years, I think it is clear. For example - was Crimea legally occupied? We can ask ourselves this. Does Russia's exercises in the Black Sea, both the offensive and defensive ones, create a peaceful climate? Can we talk about the militarization of Crimea? Does the perpetuation of conflicts in the region, such as those in Transnistria, Donbas or the Caucasus, mark a peaceful climate in the region? I believe that the answers to these questions are obvious and there is no need to repeat ourselves. This is what we mentioned in the National Strategy," the Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out.

Moreover, he stressed in this context that the Russian Federation is not seen as "an enemy state."

"Contrary to what the Russian media emphasized, we are not saying that Russia is an enemy state. I've noticed that this was a kind of mantra of the analyses and news articles in the Russian media, regarding our Strategy. We are only commenting on Russia's behaviour, which has been aggressive, in the past couple of years, and some of these actions violated the international law, the principles and norms of international law, a fact yet again obvious in the context of this positioning of Russia in the region and on the Eastern Flank, certainly that it attracts natural concerns on behalf of Romania and NATO allies. That is why NATO adopted several measures of defence and deterrence on the Eastern Flank," Bogdan Aurescu stated.

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