Interviews

Interview

Speaker: 
Titus Corlăţean, Romanian Foreign Minister
Date: 
02/23/14
Author: 
Dermot Murnaghan – Channel Sky News

DERMOT MURNAGHAN: As we’ve been hearing, events in Ukraine have been moving very quickly and Ukraine’s neighbours are amongst those warning that the crisis there could destabilise some of the region. I can speak now to one of those neighbours, he is the Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlatean and he joins us now from Bucharest. A very good morning to you, Foreign Minister, just tell me how worried Romania is about events in Ukraine.

TITUS CORLATEAN: Good morning and thank you for the invitation. Speaking about and giving an answer to your question, if you think about the fact that Romania represents the eastern border of both EU and NATO and the fact that Ukraine is the larger, the biggest neighbour of Romania, you can understand that we follow with great concern and great interest the dramatic developments in the past weeks and days and we welcome, together with our European and North Atlantic partners, the agreement that was signed and the fact that the violence has stopped and a political process has started. It will take political efforts to implement this agreement and to have not only 2004 Constitution in Ukraine, not only an inclusive government but also to have correct early elections concerning the presidential functions.

 

DM:A long way from it I know, we hope, from a civil war in Ukraine but if things were to move more in that direction, Foreign Minister, what possible effects, what are some of the effects on countries like your own?

TITUS CORLATEAN: I think you took notice about the different public political statements at the level of the EU for instance. Also Romania stated very clearly that we are very supportive of the the stability, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and trying to avoid any dissemination of tensions in the region,because we are interested to support, based on positive political developments in Ukraine, the European path for Ukraine. We are interested to support the Republic of Moldova on the European path and what is happening in Ukraine is quite relevant for the entire region. So we are not in favour of any, let’s say, temptations to divide Ukraine. We are for an inclusive approach and this is why the political inclusive approach will be extremely important the next days and weeks.

 

DM: Presumably if there were an increase in conflict in Ukraine, Romania may have to deal with refugees and things like that.

TITUS CORLATEAN: It is natural in these circumstances that the Romanian authorities be well prepared, if necessary. But I can tell you that until now we didn’t receive any relevant information about a possible migration or problems at the border. At the contrary, it’s calm and it is a situation that we are managing as normal as possible, without any problems.

 

DM: And of course we are sincerely hoping that things move in the opposite direction, in the peaceful direction. If that is so, how quickly do you feel that Ukraine could become an EU member, what’s the position from Bucharest?

TITUS CORLATEAN: We think that this extremely important agreement that was signed with the direct support of the European Union and also Romania had the mandate to support at the last Foreign Affairs Council, exactly those elements that were included and we are seeing right now in this political agreement, it is possible to advance on the European path. If you take the final conclusions of both last European and Foreign Affairs Councils, you will see that it is written in very clear terms that the associated agreement and the free trade agreement for Ukraine is not the final goal, that means there is a European perspective which is recognised within the European Union but it is based on the legitimate and civil will Ukraine and we are respecting the civil will and we expect that all the international actors to respect the legitimate will of Kiev.

DM: Okay, Mr Corlatean, very good to talk to you, thank you very much indeed.

TITUS CORLATEAN: Thank you.

DM: The Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlatean.

Interview with Romanian Foreign Minister about Ukraine, Channel Sky News