President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday because of the ongoing war in Ukraine, "we are living in very complicated times" and "we really need to strengthen our trust in Euro-Atlantic values and not move away from them."
"Today we are celebrating the historic moment when the centuries-old dream of our people became a reality. With emotion and gratitude, we evoke the memory of those who, inspired by patriotism and led by the vision of a modern nation, carried out the Union in Chisinau, in Cernauti, in Iasi, in Alba-Iulia and Bucharest. The values and ideals that our forefathers believed in and sacrificed for in WWI, on the Jiu, at Dragoslavele or in the battles of Marasesti, Marasti and Oituz are the foundation of strong Romania. Those values and ideals have always given us the strength to move on, even in the most difficult of times. And it is precisely such turning points that show us what our true benchmarks are, clarify the difference between right and wrong and determine us to own the principles in which we believe. Difficulties strengthen us and give meaning to the message of our National Day across generations, namely that, in the major moments of history, we, the Romanians, stand in solidarity, emphasise what unites us and together become stronger and more respected," Iohannis told a National Day reception he gave at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, told Agerpres.
He mentioned the ongoing tense context caused by the war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, an independent and sovereign state that for nine months has been giving the whole world a "vibrant example of the fight for the defence of freedom and democracy."
"The war on our borders has triggered a security crisis, an energy crisis and a humanitarian crisis and has also generated a rise of extremism and hate speech. We live in very complicated times, which put us to the test and test our system of values as well."
Iohannis said that freedom of movement, of thought, of expression, equality before the law are huge assets of democratic societies that in troubled times acquire an even stronger meaning.
"We know how precious all these are, but we also know, and the present proves it, that they are neither universal nor eternal. They are freedoms and rights that must always be promoted and defended, because they are very hard to win, but they can be lost infinitely easier. We therefore have a great need to strengthen our trust in Euro-Atlantic values and not move away from them. Isolationism and populist theories that call for a false archaic nationalism are treacherous and equally dangerous because they find fertile ground especially at times riddled by deep crises, as is happening now. When people feel bereft, oppressed by the worries of the present, they more easily fall prey to manipulation and misinformation."
Iohannis mentioned that in 2022, Romania has demonstrated on numerous occasions that it is a reliable partner in the European Union, NATO and internationally by the steps taken to support Ukraine, for the defence of the NATO eastern flank and the Black Sea region, for the consolidation of NATO, and also for the prevention of a global food crisis.
"Today we benefit from the highest possible security guarantee, and the presence of NATO troops in Romania demonstrates and strengthens the allies' commitment to defend our entire territory against any potential dangers or aggressions. The security of our country in such an unpredictable geopolitical climate can be the best asset of the last 30 years," he said.
The chief of state thanked the Romanian military and also other NATO troops stationed in Romania for the courage and devotion they show every day.
Iohannis concluded by saying that the strength of solidarity and the contribution of each of us are fundamental to achieving the major objectives of society.
"We are contemporaries with moments that will define, without a doubt, the history of mankind. The wounds caused by the pandemic have not yet healed and here we are, forced to face other serious crises: a war on the border, faster climate change, the spectre of a global recession. But other generations were also forced to overcome terrible trials and succeeded. The message of achieving the Greater Union remains unchanged even today. The strength of solidarity and the contribution of each of us are fundamental to achieving the major objectives of society! It is within our power to build the country we want. So, let's walk together on this road, with determination and confidence! Happy birthday, dear Romanians! Happy birthday, Romania!"