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President wants to strengthen Romania's position in Black Sea Basin

Romanian President Traian Basescu said in an interview with "Le Monde" of 3 March that Romania intends to consolidate its relations with Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia. "Good relations between these countries and a NATO and EU member state means a plus in security for the Euro-Atlantic system as a whole," Basescu said. He underscored that good relations with Russia, too, will also contribute to more stability not only for Romania, but also for the organizations Romania is a member of. Basescu said at present there are several frozen conflicts in the Black Sea region such as in Transdniester, South Ossetia, and Nagorno Karabakh. "Sooner or later, these conflicts must be resolved diplomatically, backed, if necessary by intervention," Basescu said. "We must not deceive ourselves and think that [those conflicts] remain frozen indefinitely, because they can break out at any moment. It would be better to prevent this process and avoid surprises."

...And stresses national interests in Foreign Policy

Commenting on the question of whether Romania's good relations with the United States and Great Britain could strain its relations with the EU, Basescu said Romania will remain a partner of the coalition forces in Iraq, adding that he will not cultivate any ambiguity on the subject. "The politicians who want to put Romania in either one camp or the other are wrong," Basescu said. "Romania is first of all a country that has national interests, and our primary interest at the moment is to consolidate our position in the Black Sea region. The same national interest obliges us to have very good relations with France and Germany in the process of European integration."

(RFE/RL 04.iii.05)

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