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Romania reiterates importance of consulting ethnic Romanians in Ukraine on decisions with major implications

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Secretary of State Dan Neculaescu reiterated the importance of consulting ethnic Romanians in Ukraine on all decisions that have major implications for them, including regarding the administrative-territorial reform in Ukraine, informs a release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), sent on Friday, to AGERPRES.

Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs Dan Neculaescu, co-president of the Romanian side of the Romanian-Ukrainian Joint Inter-governmental Commission on the Protection of the Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities, held a video-conference on Friday with Svitlana Fomenko, Deputy Minister for European Integration at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, co-president of the Ukrainian Council.

According to the source, Deputy Minister Svitlana Fomenko highlighted the determination of the Ukrainian side to cooperate with the Romanian party in order to identify sustainable solutions aimed at responding to the concerns of people belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine.

Discussions between the two co-presidents took place as a result of repeated telephone calls between the Romanian and Ukrainian Foreign ministers Bogdan Aurescu and Dmytro Kuleba between March and June 2020. In these telephone conversations, the two ministers agreed, on a proposal from the Romanian part, to resume the work of the Commission and, to this end, to have discussions at the level of the co-secretaries and co-presidents of the Commission. The MAE notes that in the talks between the two ministers, relevant issues concerning the right to education in the Romanian language of persons belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine were also addressed, as well as other topics of interest circumscribed to the issue of protecting the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minority, including in the context of administrative reform in the neighbouring country.

The Romanian-Ukrainian Joint Inter-governmental Commission on the Protection of Persons of National Minorities was established on the basis of the provisions of Article 13 of the Treaty on Good Neighbourhood Relations and Cooperation between Romania and Ukraine, signed on 2 June 1997. This is the main bilateral framework for consultation and collaboration in order to fulfill the commitments made by the two countries regarding the maintenance and development of the ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural identity of persons belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine and persons belonging to the Ukrainian minority in Romania.

The Commission has meetings held alternately in Romania and Ukraine on an annual basis. To date, seven sessions have taken place: 10-12 November 1998 (Bucharest), 25-26 November 1999 (Kiev), 17-18 May 2001 (Bucharest), October-December 2002 (in Bucharest and Cernauti, respectively), November 2006 (Bucharest), September 2017 (Kiev), December 2018 (Bucharest), the MAE release added.

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