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NATO2022 Bucharest/ Blinken: Romania can count on America being by its side

The Wall Street Journal
Antony Blinken

Having proceeded down the long road to democracy and now standing up for democracy everywhere, Romania can count on America to continue to be by its side, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a joint news conference with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu in Bucharest on Tuesday.

"I think it's fair to say that few nations understand better than Romania why it is so important to stand up for the right of all nations, big and small, to have their sovereignty, their territorial integrity respected, to insist that one country cannot simply seize the land of another by force, erase its borders, destroy its identity," said the head of US diplomacy.

He mentioned his first visit to Bucharest in 1997. "I was with President Clinton for the announcement of the strategic partnership. I remember that day as if it were yesterday: the tens of thousands of Romanians who packed University Square under the bright sun, the tricolour flag that President Clinton unfurled and the pledge that he made: as you proceed down democracy long road, America will be by your side. So it's a particular pleasure to return now to Bucharest, 25 years later," said Blinken.

He added that "the United States will continue to support Romania's work to build robust democratic institutions, to combat corruption to strengthen even more the state of law" and that his country "could not wish for a more stalwart and more committed ally.'

Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, he emphasided that "Romanians have opened their doors and opened their hearts to millions of innocent civilians, mostly women and children fleeing Putin's violence, tens of thousands of whom remain here in Romania."

He said that Romanians helped with food, water, medical supply and fuel, adding that Romania facilitated the export of more than 6 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain helping prevent millions of people around the world from going hungry.

Blinken also said that "the Romanian government has been subject to threats and cyber-attacks from Russian groups."

"We know that Romania's leadership in all these efforts has come with costs to the Romanian people, as it has for people across Europe and indeed around the world. Russia's war has raised the cost of energy, food and other essentials for Romanian households as they head into winter."

Regarding Romania's commitment to the Alliance, Blinken pointed out that "Romania not only meets, but it exceeds the commitment the allies made to spend 2% of GDP on defence by 2024". AGERPRES

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