“A reliable partner by our side”

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The Federal Chancellor’s visit to Romania “A reliable partner by our side”

Germany supports Romania in its goal to soon become a full member of the Schengen area, said Federal Chancellor Scholz during a meeting with President Iohannis in Bucharest. He also acknowledged Romania’s great humanitarian gesture of taking in Ukrainian refugees.

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Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis.

First trip to Romania: Federal Chancellor Scholz and President Iohannis in Bucharest.

Photo: Federal Government/Denzel

After a meeting in Bucharest with President Klaus Iohannis of Romania, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz recalled last year’s 30th anniversary of the signing of the German-Romanian friendship treaty. He said that the festivities in honour of the treaty that was closed in 1992 had “showed how good, close and trusting our bilateral relations really are.”

The German-speaking minority in Romania and the steadily growing Romanian community in Germany were key when it came to building bridges between the two countries and their societies, the Federal Chancellor emphasised.

Continuing a success story

Scholz described German-Romanian business relations as a success story, and pointed out that Germany was a key investor in Romania. Bilateral trade exchange had recently reached a new record high, he said, adding that this was particularly true for the energy and industrial sectors, which showed great potential for further development.

Continuing support for Ukraine

With regard to central questions of European, external and security policy there was a “strong convergence” between the two countries, Scholz stated, not least when it came to their stance concerning Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. He added that this had also been obvious when they had visited Ukraine’s President Zelensky in Kyiv last year, together with the French President Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi, who was Italy’s Prime Minister at the time.

“This strong European symbol was important. It is also important that we will continue to support Ukraine on military matters for as long as necessary. We are working on this continuously and jointly,” said the Federal Chancellor. He paid respect to Romania for its vital role in taking in many Ukrainian refugees: “This is a great humanitarian gesture.”

Reliable partner for aid supplies

The Federal Chancellor highlighted Romania’s key role in aiding the delivery of international aid supplies to Ukraine, not least when it came to grain exports. “It is good to know that we have a reliable partner by our side.” Scholz added that cohesion within the EU and as transatlantic partners was and would continue to be essential in this situation. More information on the war in Ukraine is available on our topic page.

Aiming for full Schengen membership

“Germany stands firmly by Romania’s side, and I am explicitly saying here and now that this also includes the goal for Romania to be granted full membership in the Schengen area at long last this year,” Scholz went on, noting that Romania had made numerous efforts to achieve this.

The Schengen area enables more than 400 million people to travel between member states without any border checks. Further information on this is available from the European Council.

Romania and Moldova living as European neighbours

The Federal Chancellor pointed out that he was very impressed with Romania’s solidarity with the Republic of Moldova. “This is European neighbourhood put into practice and a leading example for Europe.”

Following a conversation with Iohannis and Moldova’s President Maia Sandu, Federal Chancellor Scholz stressed: “Moldova is part of our European family.” The country was granted the status as an EU accession candidate in the summer of 2022. Scholz said that he greatly appreciated the determination with which Moldova had pursued the reforms that are necessary for joining the EU. Moldova could rely on Germany’s support along this path, he added.

International support platform

Moldova was not being left to its own devices but was receiving enormous international support, Scholz pointed out. Germany and France, for example, had organised the conferences on the support platform for Moldova in the past year, which had been a strong message of international support, the Federal Chancellor explained and added: “I am confident that the fourth conference in Moldova in autumn will also be a success.”

Europe stands together

The second summit meeting of the European Political Community would be held in Moldova’s capital Chișinău on 1 June, the Federal Chancellor informed. “I think it is a nice symbol that it is being held in Moldova and also a sign of the European Political Community’s success.” The meeting would be yet another demonstration of Europe’s unity and cohesion in these times, Scholz said.

Russia must stop the war

The Russian attack on Ukraine had made a very immediate impact on the Republic of Moldova, and this had also been discussed, the Chancellor said, adding that “We agree that Russia must stop this war at last and must withdraw the troops from Ukraine, to allow for a just peace.”

Help to prevent destabilisation

Federal Chancellor Scholz also expressed his concern over reports of Russian attempts to destabilise the Republic of Moldova. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country was inviolable, he pointed out. “This provision of the Helsinki Final Act and other agreements under international law was signed by Russia, too, and it is still valid. This is why we are helping Moldova to the best of our abilities in steeling itself for any attempts by Russia to destabilise the country.”

Scholz thanked President Sandu for Moldova’s solidarity towards Ukraine that it had displayed politically, as well as by taking in refugees. “We are aware of the great efforts that you and your country are making.”