President Basescu: Black Sea should be like a destiny keeping us together

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The European Union (EU) and Russia need to reach together the necessary balance and the vision of creating a stable neighbouring area, and the Black Sea should represent a destiny to bring us together and not one to separate us, Romanian President Traian Basescu said on Tuesday morning, in his opening speech at the Europe-Russia Economic Forum held in Bucharest.
‘The Black Sea should represent a destiny to keep us together and not one to separate us. The Black Sea should not be like a border between the democratic and prosperous European continent and the others.
While from a geographical viewpoint it belongs to the European configuration, it should be considered part of Europe politically and economically too. EU and Russia need, together, to reach a balance and to create a vision of a stable and prosperous neighbouring area, to be built on a mosaic of cultures, traditions and religions, where each and every one of us should feel protected and respected,’ Basescu said.
The Romanian head of state also added that EU in the last years has made available to the Blask Sea states, by adopting the Black Sea Synergy, an instrument to help them boost reforms and support regional cooperation in such fields as transport, energy, environment and fight against organized crime or the information society.
Basescu underlined that Romanians will remain ‘good Europeans’ and they will meet all their pledges made on joining the EU, including those commitments made under the common foreign and security policy.
‘Moreover, we will continue to be good neighbours, insisting on the guarantee of independence and integrity of all the states in the area. And I notice here the big problem of the frozen conflicts. As a country that has known the advantages of the free option, Romania cannot support now a different approach, with this being the single way to offer prosperity and a good life to as many citizens as possible,’ the Romanian head of state said.
Basescu voiced hope the debates at the Forum, including ‘such controversies that will inevitably appear’ will contribute to building a solid partnership for future with Russia.
„We are able to enjoy together peace and the economic development, both in Europe and in Russia. Nevertheless, for this to happen, we will need first to discuss such matters that separate us, to re-build the trust and to make the necessary commitments,’ he said.
The president also added that Romania was honoured to host this Forum at a moment when there was need ‘more than ever of a critical analysis, of consultations.’ He thanked the Institute for South-East European Studies from Poland for having chosen Romania to host the event.
Basescu highlighted that EU represents an area of peace and prosperity in which, through joint efforts, there was created the greatest economy of the world and the largest area of free movement.
‘What is unique about the EU is the intelligence and generosity that led it to lend a helping hand to its former adversaries. Twenty years ago, once the Iron Curtain fell, the EU had started its long way to the eastern side of the continent, being moved by an ideal, but with no guarantee existing back then that the enlargement decision was to be actually taken or that such decision was to prove successful.
What was certain was that we needed to offer the countries in the Central and Eastern Europe the chance to change their lives radically, to shake off their past, including the oppressive system they had not wanted and that was not specific to them,’ the Romanian president said.
Traian Basescu stressed that Romania is also part of this ‘successful story’ that is the EU enlargement, having become a piece of the West from a country that had been isolated both among the Western and the Eastern states.
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