Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu recalled Monday in Brussels that Romania has condemned the arrest of Russian opponent Alexei Navalny and noted the repression of the latter's support demonstrations on Russian territory, stressing that freedom of assembly and freedom of expression cannot be annulled.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy spoke before attending the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States.
"I will recall that Romania has condemned the arrest of Navalny, which is unacceptable, I will repeat our viewpoint that the repression of the opposition, just because it is opposition, is unacceptable, is not democratic. In fact, the opposition, even the non-parliamentary or non-systemic one, also has rights and I believe that they must be recognized by the authorities," Aurescu pointed out.
The Romanian minister said the discussions would also address the possibility of sanctions in this case.
"This weekend we witnessed a determined and aggressive attitude against demonstrators in many Russian cities. Freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are very important, fundamental human rights and must be observed, cannot be annulled. We need to discuss today and I think we will discuss the adoption of sanctions and we will see the outcome of these discussions," Bogdan Aurescu added.
The Romanian chief diplomat said that the ministers of the EU member states will also talk about the strategy for distributing vaccines to the partners of the European Union and recalled our country's position in this regard.
"As you know, Romania fully supports the adoption of a mechanism to help the countries of the Western Balkans, but also the Eastern Partnership, so that they benefit from the vaccines provided by the European Union. I think it is an important initiative, because the EU cannot be safe and healthy if the European Union's neighbours are not safe and healthy," Bogdan Aurescu pointed out.
At the same time, the minister reaffirmed his support for the transatlantic link.
"We believe that the EU and the United States of America represent a community of values and security. We will continue to support the strengthening of the transatlantic partnership and the transatlantic strategic resilience," the minister said.
He also said he would present the Romanian initiative to create an Euro-Atlantic centre for resilience.
Aurescu explained that this is "an initiative to create a platform to help EU and NATO member countries, but also our partners to strengthen their resilience in the face of many risks, based on comprehensive approaches from societies and governments".A