News review of the day – October 13th

Romanian officials respond to Russia`s claims regarding breach of INF Treaty

Russia urged Washington and Bucharest to drop their plans of setting up elements of the anti-missile defense system in Romania. The Chief of Nonproliferation and Arms Control Department in the Russian Foreign Ministry declared  this would represent a breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) by the United States.  Romania’s Foreign Ministry replied that the anti-missile defense system in Deveselu does not breach the above-mentioned treaty, as claimed by officials in Moscow. The ministry explained that the treaty stipulates about missiles aiming for ground targets and does not apply for development and testing of interceptors aiming for airborne targets, as the US system operates.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta has also commented on the subject today.

Victor Ponta: Romania finds itself in an extremely important position which is the Eastern border of the North Atlantic Alliance. Therefore, all threats and intimidation coming from Russia do nothing but strengthen our conviction that we belong to NATO and we do our duty here. All these hawkish statements in Moscow prove that Russia holds neighboring countries in contempt in regard to international laws and, I say it loud and clear, as I did before, not only does it not frighten us at all, but instead it strengthens our conviction that we do our duty alongside our NATO allies in this complicated but important region.

On the other hand, Romania’s Defense Minister Mircea Duşa has had talks with the US Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm. According to a press release, the minister considered during talks that the anti-missile facility in Deveselu is part of a complex project and it is essential to become operational by the end of the year, given the new strategic context, for further integration in NATO’s anti-missile defense project in Europe.

Chamber of Deputies ratifies 150-million-euros loan agreement between Romania and the Republic of Moldova

The Chamber of Deputies has ratified today the 150-million-euros loan agreement signed in Chisinau on October 8th by Romania and the Republic of Moldova and supported by all parliamentary parties and President Klaus Iohannis. The decision had been made on September 22nd during a joint Cabinet meeting. Romania will grant the 5-year financing with a similar interest rate our country pays for loans on the capital markets. The Republic of Moldova will use the money to finance its budget deficit and to cover the public debt, according to PM Victor Ponta who attended the vote in the Parliament.  The first instalment of 60 million euros is scheduled for November, the second one, 50 million euros worth, for March 2016 and the third for 2017.

Moldova’s PM Valeriu Streleţ was also expected to attend the vote in Romania’s Parliament today but his flight was delayed due to weather conditions. Back in Chisinau, on October 8th, after the signing of the document, the Moldovan PM had pointed out this money will help reduce pressure on the Moldovan Leu which has been significantly depreciating since the start of 2015. He had welcomed the agreement and underlined the „brotherly spirit” of the talks which have been swift and constructive ones.

Earlier this evening, Prime Minister Valeriu Streleţ has been received by his counterpart Victor Ponta who made the following statement.

Victor Ponta: Today, now, the Republic of Moldova needs financial support that no one else can grant it to overcome a difficult time they are facing, I am telling you, due mostly to economic sanctions the Russian Federation chose to impose on Moldova for one, fundamental gesture: last year, on behalf of the Moldovan state, PM Iurie Leancă signed the Association Agreement with the EU.

Bianca Ioniţă