Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu on Monday highlighted, at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU member states in Brussels, the need for the European Union to ask Russia to take responsibility and ensure an impartial, transparent and comprehensive investigation in the Navalny case, while also mentioning the need for the EU to examine the possibility of adopting restrictive measures, if needed.
According to a press release of the MAE, Minister Bogdan Aurescu had an intervention on the "Current Affairs" item.
Bogdan Aurescu referred to the EU-Russia relations in the Navalny case, stressing "the need for the EU to ask Russia to take responsibility and ensure an impartial, transparent and comprehensive investigation in this case and to fully cooperate fully with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - OPCW," the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release reads.
Minister Aurescu also joined the other ministers who said it was useful for the EU to take an active position on the issue and examine the possibility of adopting restrictive measures, if necessary.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy also referred to the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, reiterating his call for reducing tensions and conflict de-escalation.
Aurescu supported the diplomatic efforts of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, the President of the European Council and Germany to resume direct dialogue, advocating a balanced approach that would create political space for negotiations, the same source said.
Regarding the situation in Libya, Minister Bogdan Aurescu stressed the importance of EU unity on the Libyan file, on all its components.
"Romania supports the UN and Germany's mediation efforts in this case," Aurescu said, adding that it was necessary to use the "window of opportunity generated by the ceasefire agreement, which is a step towards a substantial political discussion that could lead to to a lasting settlement of the conflict," showed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the said release.
The position of the Romanian side regarding the EU-African Union relations is in the sense of concluding a modern and ambitious post-Cotonou Agreement, being necessary to consolidate and adapt the communication strategy towards Africa, given that the EU is the largest donor for Africa, said the head of the Romanian diplomacy, according to the abovementioned source.
The Romanian minister also conveyed Romania's solidarity with the Belarusian civil society, which is defending its rights, despite repression, and stressed that sanctions must enter into force as soon as possible, in line with what was discussed and agreed at the Gymnich meeting in Berlin, while any delay in their adoption risks triggering unwanted developments.
Minister Bogdan Aurescu mentioned Romania's support for civil society and independent media in Belarus and stressed the need to continue EU assistance to them.
He briefed on the support of the Romanian side for an OSCE mission to facilitate national dialogue and presented the Joint Statement of the presidents of Romania, Poland and Lithuania on Belarus, stressing the need to develop a package of economic assistance for Belarus, as proposed in the Joint Statement.
The European foreign ministers also discussed other topical issues, such as the situation in Lebanon, the EU-China relations, the situation in Hong Kong and the situation in Venezuela, the press release informs.
The MAE also notes that during the working lunch, the foreign ministers discussed the EU's relations with the southern neighbourhood.
"The position of the Romanian side is that the discussion on this subject is opportune, on the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Barcelona Process, but also in the context of the adoption of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. The future of relations with the region should take into account the most pressing concerns of the southern neighborhood, the instability and insecurity affecting a number of states in the region and having a negative impact on the EU. The partnership with the region must take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a priority on restoring the economies in the southern neighbourhood by using the existing financial mechanisms and instruments," the MAE also shows.