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In phone call, ForMin Aurescu, US conterpart Blinken discuss consolidating US military presence in Romania

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Bogdan Aurescu

Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday to discuss the consequences of Russia's illegal military aggression against Ukraine and NATO efforts to manage and respond appropriately to them.

According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE), the two officials also talked about the concrete ways to offer support to Ukraine, as well as about a series of aspects of bilateral co-operation under the Romania-United States Strategic Partnership.

Blinken thanked Aurescu for Romania's regional role and for all measures taken by Romania to manage the current crisis, for the multidimensional support offered to Ukraine and other vulnerable partners in the region, including Moldova, according to agerpres.ro.

In addition, Blinken praised "Romania's continued commitment, as a strategic partner of the United States and a responsible and reliable NATO ally, to stability and security in the Black Sea region, as well as at European and Euro-Atlantic level."

Aurescu underlined the importance of the rapid implementation of the decisions of the extraordinary NATO Summit of March 24, especially the sped-up creation of a battlegroup in Romania, as a first step towards balancing and consolidating NATO's presence on its Eastern flank.

The two officials also agreed to maintain close coordination in preparing the NATO decisions at the NATO summit in Madrid, which will be key to transforming and adapting the alliance's long-term deterrence and defence posture especially on the East flank. The importance of the Bucharest 9 (B9) Summit, which will be hosted by the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, in June, before the NATO summit, was also highlighted.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy thanked the US for its decision to increase its military presence in Romania and highlighted the need to further consolidate a US and NATO presence as robust as possible in Romania and the entire Eastern flank, especially in the Black Sea. The US official offered assurances that the United States is fully committed to protecting the territories of Romania and all NATO allies, especially those countries that are at the forefront, such as Romania.

Aurescu also reiterated Romania's strong support for a strong transatlantic relationship, acting together with like-minded partners, including in relation to sanctions against Russia and its international isolation. Blinken expressed US commendation for Romania's co-sponsorship of the UN resolution that led to Russia's suspension from the Human Rights Council.

Blinken also congratulated Aurescu on the very good and substantial results obtained in support of Moldova following the international Moldova Support Conference, which was co-chaired by Aurescu and his German and French counterparts in Berlin on April 5.

Aurescu presented the needs of Moldova to deal with the effects of the crisis triggered by the Russian aggression in Ukraine and to strengthen the resilience of Moldova. The US secretary of state agreed with the Romanian counterpart's assessment of the importance of strengthening resilience in the Eastern Neighbourhood, emphasising the need to support Moldova.

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