Luxembourg, the 25th of February 2022
Romania’s perspective on the current state of play between Russia and Ukraine
We witness a start of 2022 with grave and legitimate concerns when it comes to Russia’s massive, unprovoked and unjustified military build-up in and around Ukraine, including a stockpiling of military equipment and a consistent presence of troops. This is destabilizing conduct that happens not only in Ukraine. It can also be easily noticed in Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, where Russia has military forces, without the consent of those governments. The consequences will not affect only Ukraine or the Black Sea region, or even Europe. It is and it will always be about the Euro-Atlantic and global security.
One cannot deny that through such an approach, Russia has seriously undermined European and international security, fueling unpredictability and long-term instability. A long series of actions undertaken by Russia during the past period are self-explanatory: continuing to wide-range military build-up, including by significantly expanding the nuclear and missile arsenal; militarizing Kaliningrad and illegally annexing the Ukrainian region of Crimea; using disinformation, propaganda, and hybrid tactics, and attempting to interfere in elections in NATO and partner countries; carrying out cyber-attacks and using chemical weapons against Kremlin’s political opponents, including on foreign soil; and, most recently, recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk areas of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law.
It is Romania’s strong view that diplomacy must continue to have the upper hand in solving the current crisis. I would like at this point to express my appreciation for US leadership and approach, based on constant consultation and coordination with allies and partners. We need to preserve the strict adherence to the principle “nothing about you, without you”, that has ensured so far the success in maintaining transatlantic unity. And we have to remain strong, resolute and united in our response, and act together in facing the current crisis, be it within NATO or talking about the NATO-EU interaction.
I couldn’t be more determined in underlying that Romania rejects the idea of spheres of influence. The iron curtain philosophy must be left (way) past us and we have to face the reality of our times. Every country has the right to choose its own path. So, Ukraine has the sovereign choice to decide its own future and the course of its foreign and security policy, and Romania and the Allies stand by Ukraine regarding the decisions adopted at the Bucharest NATO Summit when it comes to Open Door policy on membership. Our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders is unwavering. As it is our support for a political settlement of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine based on the Minsk Agreements.
In numerous occasions, Romania made clear the consequences and severe costs of any military aggression against Ukraine, including sanctions (and here it is worth to mention that Romania will continue to abide by the EU sanctions regime related to the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity). Alongside our Allies, we will continue to strongly support, with arguments backed by the security developments in the Eastern Neighbourhood, the importance of strengthening the Eastern Flank. Therefore, Romanian authorities welcome the recent US and France announcements regarding the intention to deploy troops in Romania, as part of the Allied deterrence and defense posture.
I highlighted earlier the firm support for the path of dialogue with Russia in solving the current crisis. It should be read as part of a dual-track approach with regard to Russia, that Romania sees completed by deterrence and defence and preceded as a must by significant de-escalation. By the same token, any discussion of substance with Russia has to be based on the core principles of European security. There will be no compromise on the fundamental principles of European security. It also has to address NATO’s concerns about Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine, and its continued pattern of aggressive actions.
Any dialogue should also bear in mind that NATO is a defensive Alliance that exists only to protect, not attack. NATO drastically reduced its conventional and nuclear forces in Europe from the end of the Cold War to 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, changes to our defensive posture have been made solely to prepare for the possibility of Russian military action against members of the Alliance and remain fully consistent with the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.
It is critical to send a common message to Russia: the borders of a sovereign state cannot be changed by force, citizens in a democracy have an inherent right to determine their country’s future, and all members of the international community are bound by common rules – and will face consequences if they do not live up to their solemn commitments.
Bio – H.E. Ms. LIVIA RUSU AMBASSADOR OF ROMANIA TO LUXEMBOURG
Alexandrina – Livia Rusu is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a career diplomat in the Romanian Diplomatic Service since 1998. Her experience covers the multilateral, as well as the bilateral arena. She served in the Permanent Mission of Romania to the International Organisations in Vienna (where she covered the non-proliferation dossier and then she became chargé d’affaires a.i.), in the Permanent Representation of Romania to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (as chargé d’affaires a.i. and minister plenipotentiary), in the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations in New York, in the Romanian Embassy in Rome and the General Consulate of Romania in Milan. She was part of the team preparing Romania’s accession to the European Union (as director for EU External Relations, Official Development Assistance/ODA and CFSP, being the Romanian European Correspondent). In her professional activity, she also interacted with various OSCE, Western Balkans and regional cooperation issues. She holds a PhD in economy and international affairs, an MA in international relations and European integration and a Bachelor’s Degree in international economic relations.