NATO ministerial meeting in Bucharest
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenber attended the meeting of Alliance foreign ministers in Bucharest this week. Speaking at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, he said that Russia shouldn't be underestimated, as its missiles continue to attack cities, civilians, and critical infrastructure in Ukraine. The head of NATO pointed out that continued military support for Ukraine was essential, especially in anti-air defense. He added that Finland and Sweden's integration into NATO was almost finalized, and thanked Romania for the excellent hosting of the meeting in Bucharest. In turn, Romania's foreign minister, Bogdan Aurescu, underlined the need to closely monitor the situation in the Black Sea, considering the unpredictability of Russia's behavior. The foreign ministers committed to enhancing their support for Ukraine, and to help in restoring its energy infrastructure. He also reiterated the strategic importance that the Black Sea has for the alliance, and the commitment for defending the entire allied territory. This was the first such meeting, in this format, which Romania organizes since it joined NATO, and the first event taking place in an eastern flank country since the start of the war in Ukraine.
More major meetings in the capital of Romania
In addition to the meeting of NATO ministers, Romania hosted, for the first time, the meeting of Munich leaders. 75 high ranking government officials and experts in foreign policy and security discussed the consequences of the war in Ukraine, and other security issues in the region. Under analysis by the Aspen Forum, also held in Bucharest, were the economic, energy, and food crises, as well as the war in Ukraine. The capital city also hosted a meeting of a new group for energy coordination, which includes representatives of the G-7 and other allied countries, aimed at mobilizing or planning the delivery of equipment to Ukraine as soon as possible.
The strategic partnership between Romania and the US
The US State Department saluted the 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership with Romania. Among other things, they recalled Bucharest's contribution to NATO's multinational operations, the fact that Romania hosts several NATO military structures and several American military units and installations, including elements of the anti-ballistic shield in Deveselu. On Tuesday in Bucharest, US State Secretary Antony Blinken and Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu evoked the anniversary of the Romania-US Strategic Partnership, reaffirming the firm commitment of both sides to enhance it in all its dimensions. The head of Romanian diplomacy underlined the fact that the Strategic Partnership was an essential pillar of Romania's foreign and security policy. At the same time, he reiterated the priority importance of including Romania in the US visa program. Blinken also held talks with President Klaus Iohannis and PM Nicolae Ciuca.
December 1, Romania's national day
December 1, Romania's national day, was celebrated with military parades in several cities around the country. The parade at the Triumphal Arch in Bucharest was attended by 1,500 Romanian troops, as well as troops from Belgium, France, Northern Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Portugal, the US, and the Netherlands. Another such parade was held in Alba Iulia, attended by a detachment of French soldiers part of the Collective Defense Task Force deployed in Cincu, in Brasov County. The Romanian Cultural Institute is organizing, until December 10, 50 events in 31 foreign cities. On Monday, the Romanian Parliament held a solemn session to mark 104 years since the Grand Union. The events also mark the centennial of the coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie in Alba Iulia. Also known as the Unifier, Ferdinand was the first king of all Romanians, and under his reign the Grand Union was achieved, on December 1, 1918, when Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina joined the Fatherland.
Romanian foreign minister attends the OSCE Ministerial Council
Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu attended on Thursday the OSCE Ministerial Council in Lodz, Poland. He condemned the atrocities committed by Russia against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including energy infrastructure, in Ukraine. The head of Romanian diplomacy reiterated his call on Moscow to immediately and unconditionally end its military aggression, and to pull out its military forces and equipment from the entirety of Ukrainian territory, as defined by internationally recognized borders. At the same time, he also referenced the bilateral and international aid for the Republic of Moldova, which has been gravely affected by the Ukraine conflict.
Romanian peasant blouse part of UNESCO heritage
The ie, the Romanian decorated peasant blouse, was put by UNESCO on its world immaterial cultural heritage list. The application to do so had been made jointly by Romania and Moldova. UNESCO's decision is in recognition of the identity and value of this element, but is also a signal for cultural institutions from the two countries to support and promote the art of making the beautifully adorned traditional shirt. This is a basic element of traditional Romanian celebration garb. Romanian is also on the UNESCO list jointly with other European countries for its tradition of breeding horses of the Lipizzaner variety.