Attending the UN General Assembly, president Klaus Iohannis called on Russia to unblock the transport of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.
„Romania is a direct neighbour to the continued war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine and we acted, with all our energy, to bring a solid contribution to regional and international security and stability”, said the Romanian president in his address at the UN National Assembly, before adding: „This war demonstrated that the Black Sea needs more global attention, as it is of strategic importance for transatlantic security”:
„Our region, the wider Black Sea area, must be protected against the effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine and its hybrid war and malign interference. Romania has been constantly arguing on the need to keep the so-called protracted or frozen conflicts in the region high on our agenda. Romania has also been at the forefront of supporting, in a multidimensional manner, the vulnerable partners in the region. We have thus offered substantial support to our neighbour, the Republic of Moldova, the country most affected by the war, after, of course, Ukraine itself.”
The Romanian president again urged Russia to cease blocking the Black Sea Grain Initiative, emphasising that by withdrawing from the deal and by attacking Ukrainian ports, it is exacerbating the global food crisis. Iohannis recalled that Romania facilitated the delivery of significant amounts of Ukrainian grain, namely more than 25.5 million tonnes, and promised that his country would not let down its most vulnerable partners, especially those from least developed countries, including in Africa.
The Romanian president also had talks about the transit and export of Ukrainian grain with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister, Mariya Gabriel. At the end of the talks, president Klaus Iohannis said solutions were found to manage the export of Ukrainian grain through the creation of a system to authorise these exports, so that Romanian farmers should not be affected. He said a significant part of the transit goes through Romania and it is important to manage undeclared exports, for example to markets in Romania. He concluded by saying that the Romanian government together with the Ukrainian side found solutions that were also approved by the European Commission.
Corina Cristea, Radio Romania International