Romania and Portugal, as EU and NATO member states, prove that they can rely on each other's support and can establish together very good relations of cooperation, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca declared on Thursday at the end of talks at the Victoria Palace of Government with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa, who is in Romania for a working visit."Our discussion brought together common topics of interest, proving that both Romania and Portugal, as EU and NATO member states, can count on each other's support and that together they can establish very good relations of cooperation. The talks took place against the backdrop of efforts to reinforce allied deterrence and defense along the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance, and I thanked the Portuguese Prime Minister for the decision to participate in this mission with Portuguese military subunits deployed to Romania. I am glad that today we will have the opportunity to go to Caracal together and thank the servicepeople for the the way they fulfill their mission," Nicolae Ciuca told a joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart.
He specified that the climate of continuity in the Romanian-Portuguese relations was underscored during the talks, mentioning in this sense the signing today, by the two countries' Defense Ministers, of a new bilateral military agreement.
"We are convinced that these relations have a solid foundation and have potential to continue and further develop in specific sectors," Ciuca added, pointing out that the first pillar of this cooperation was set by Romania's acquiring F-16 aircraft from Portugal.
"This program didn't come to end with the arrival of the aircraft in the country, it continues on the basis of a technical and industrial cooperation," Ciuca said.
According to the head of the Bucharest Executive, a subject tackled at the meeting of the two Prime Ministers was the current situation in Ukraine, including the prospect of the situation growing worse if the Russian forces continue their offensive in the Odessa region.
"It is a concern that we both share and of course we discussed the concrete current situation and the prospects, analyzing the possibility of aggravation if the Russian armed forces continue their offensive in the Odessa region. We discussed the humanitarian support that Romania provides to Ukraine and EU-wide measures to support Ukraine, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. We openly expressed our support for each of these three countries to be able to follow the European integration path, based on its own merits," Nicolae Ciuca said.
In terms of bilateral economic cooperation, the Romanian Prime Minister pointed out that, although affected by the COVID pandemic, the economic relations between Romania and Portugal reached their highest level last year.
Ciuca also announced that he and Portuguese PM Costa agreed on setting up a working group at the level of the Energy Ministries, as Portugal has a very good experience in developing renewable energy capabilities.
"We have a very good example - yesterday, a Portuguese company invested in renewable energy infrastructure in Romania. Opportunities exist and we have decided to continue to identify solutions to join the decisions taken at EU level for an as fast as possible transition to green energy and to take the necessary measures to reduce the effects of the rising energy and gas prices," he said.
Cooperation on battery production was another economic aspect discussed, with PM Ciuca also mentioning plans to organize exchanges of experience in ensuring the implementation of Romania's digital transition program, given that Portugal has started this project a long time ago.
"There are many areas for which we expressed interest and for which we committed to hold expert meetings in the next period and concretize everything we discussed today," Ciuca added.
"We are further relying on the political support of the Lisbon government - I discussed with Mr. Prime Minister Costa and we have the guarantee of Portugal's technical and political support for Romania's acquiring Schengen membership," Nicolae Ciuca concluded. AGERPRES