President Iohannis: Romania to seek new ways to energy independence, insist on Schengen membership

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President Klaus Iohannis answered a media question about the South Stream gas pipeline on Thursday by saying Romania will seek new opportunities for consolidating its energy independence and for connecting to the European energy systems.

He specified that his talks with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday did not cover South Stream, as this was ‘a topic closed earlier, not now.’

‘Romania’s energy independence is one of my concerns, and Romania will seek other opportunities to advance on the path of consolidating its energy independence on one hand, and of interconnecting with the European energy systems on the other hand,’ Iohannis said at a joint press conference he held alongside Juncker.

He also announced that he will continue discussions with the European partners in reference to Romania’s accession to the Schengen area.

Therewith, he said that at the beginning of February he would have meetings in this respect in France and Germany.

„It’s an important matter to us and I wish to tackle it with all our partners. Today, I’ve learned with joy that the two presidents [Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker — editor’s note] have shared my point of view, that Romania could and should become faster a Schengen area member. Further on, I’ll have meetings and talks with the other partners of the Union on this matter. The first discussions, in early February on the occasion of a joint visit to France and Germany. I’ll continue talks with these partners and obviously I’ll continue talks till we solve the problem, hopefully,” Iohannis said.

The President of Romania is on an official visit to Brussels on Thursday and Friday. His Friday agenda includes a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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