BUCHAREST, August 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Romania is interested in constructive and pragmatic relations with Russia, Foreign Minister of Romania Teodor Baconski said in an interview with the newspaper Evenimentul Zilei published on Thursday. He regretted the fact that “relations between the two countries were affected by statements of a number of politicians and commentators within the country.”
“Relations with a country of a level of Russia must not depend on the atmosphere in blogs or on commentaries on TV. It would be better if national interests be held above party interests. At least, some affairs of the foreign policy should be rid of internal political passions,” Baconski said. He said, “The dialogue between the two countries was never easy, as our views on matters of history and security problems differed.”
He mentioned as an example the problem of the deployment of the US ABM system in Romania, which, in his opinion, “will not change the strategic balance of forces in Europe.” “This project is meant for fighting the missile threat whose existence is confirmed by all contemporary strategic analyses. There exist states and non-state subjects that can have such weapons and want to have them,” the Romanian minister said.
“I believe Russia is excellently informed of the proportions and is not concerned over the anti-missile defense program of the second stage which involves Romania. We, certainly, are open to a dialogue with the Russian side on the matter,” Baconski noted. He expressed the hope that after the parliamentary and presidential elections in Russia “Bucharest and Moscow will be able to progress in the political dialogue.”
Relations between Russia and Romania clouded after President Traian Basescu, in his speech on Romanian television, said if he were in the position of fascist dictator Ion Antonescu on June 22, 1941, he, too, would have ordered Romanian soldiers to attack the USSR. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich assessed that pronouncement as “a shameless bravado justifying the fascist aggression and insulting the memory of millions of victims of Nazism.” He stressed that “such statements are impermissible and must be adequately assessed by civilized Europe.”
Bucharest’s decision to deploy elements of the US ABM on its territory caused Moscow’s concern, too. The Russian Foreign Ministry demanded from the United States juridical guarantees that US anti-missiles in Romania would not target the Russian nuclear forces.