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Hoyt Yee: our challenge is to help the Moldavians to understand that their place is in Europe

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The deputy assistant of the State Secrtary of the United States of America for Europe and Eurasia, Hoyt Yee stated on Thursday afternoon in Constanta that the US collaborated with Romanian institutions for getting ways to help the Republic of Moldova to go towards their integration into Europe and that the citizens and the leaders of this state must be convinced that their future is a western one.

Hoyt Yee was asked on Thursday afternoon at the Ovidius University where he held a speech regarding the strategic partnership the US – Romania about the situation of the Republic of Moldova. The American diplomat said that together with the authorities of Romania there were investigated ways to help the Republic of Moldova to integrate in Europe.

‘We collaborated with the Romanian institutions, which have much experience as regards the Republic of Moldova to find ways to help Moldova to go towards integration in the rest of Europe, to advance towards a western future, a future based on several of the ideals the Romanians have, the Americans and the Europeans as well.Our challenge is to help the Moldavians to understand their place is in Europe, together with Romania, other Europeans who have made necessary democratic reforms with a view to meeting the criterial for accession to the European Union. The recent elections in the Republic of Moldova brought to power a leader with complicated views about the European future of the Republic of Moldova. Of course, this means to face the challenge to collaborate with the Moldavian leaders so that we present them the advantages of the European perspective’ Hoyt Yee said.

He mentioned that after the fall of communism the challenge was that the people in the East, among which Romania understand their place is in the western and that they cannot go back.

‘Over the last 20 years, after the fall of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the challenge was to present them with an attractive perspective which could be understood and reached by all peoples in countries such as Romania, Poland or the Czech Republic. The citizens have to understand that their direction is towards the West, not back to the East. Moreover, it is important that the citizens communicate to their leaders that this is what they want. So, it is a very complex situation. I think that for us, the US and Romania it is important to continue to help Moldova, financially, with technical assistance, with diplomacy to convince the Moldavian leaders and the citizens that their future is in Europe’ the American diplomat explained.

Irrespective the way the relations the US with Russia evolve, this will not affect our commitment to the allies

Hoyt Yee stated on Thursday in Constanta that the US want to collaborate with Russia in different domains, but that, irrespective of the way the relations of the two countries go, this will not affect the commitment to the allies, including Romania, and if their policies will not be in agreement then the US will defend their interests and will meet their commitments to the allies.

At the end of his speech, he had a dialogue with the students present in the hall. At a certain moment, one of them asked him if the Strategic partnership between the two countries would suffer if the US had a collaboration with Russia. Hoyt Yee said that the American administration wants to find common points with Russia but the commitments taken by the US towards the allies, including Romania, will not suffer.

‘There was a meeting in Munich last week, the conference for security policies and in Bonn there was the G20 reunion. The US vicepresident was in Munich, and the state secretary Rex Tillerson was in Bonn and during both events they said tat although the US wants to find common points with Russia they want to collaborate with Russia in the domains where there are common interests or similar ones, in the situations where our interests differ, where our policies are not in agreement, we, the US will take attitude to defend our interests and those of our allies. For short, irrespective of the way the relations between the US and Russia evolve, this will not affect the commitment to our allies, including Romania, towards NATO and the meeting of our obligations as friend, partner and ally of Romania and the other countries’ the deputy assistant of the state secretary of the US for Europe and Eurasia.

Rule of law, key defence against tyranny, corruption, malevolent foreign influence

The US diplomat explained the significance of the rule of law in direct correlation with the free market system.

"Why do we consider the rule of law so important? Firstly, for economic reasons. To increase trade and investment, companies need stability and predictability, the rule of law, they need good laws fairly and transparently enforced. We want Romania to be more prosperous, attractive for foreign direct investment. The European countries having a reputation for strengthening the rule of law have a strong economy. Countries known for a penchant for corruption and a weak rule of law tend to have weak savings," said the US official.

Hoyt Yee also spoke about the accountability valences in the relations among the partner states, seen as a guarantee of adopted commitments.

We must know that our allies are willing to meet their commitments to mutual defense, but also to sustain shared values — democracy, freedom, rule of law. These values are the foundation which are relationships are built on. The commitment of Romania to the rule of law is a measure of its commitment toward US-Romania relations. The rule of law is a key defense against tyranny, corruption and the foreign malignant influence," said the speaker.

In his speech, Hoyt Yee highlighted the value of democratic principle in founding the rule of law and law enforcement.

Democracy is safest when the law is applied equally, fairly to everyone, even to high-ranking politicians, and no one is above the law. When the rule of law is weak, corruption and nepotism prosper and leaders focus on personal interests over those of the citizens. When the rule of law is weak and corruption is widespread, foreign players can give bribes, can buy and control politicians, the press, the parties and in extreme cases take over countries without invasion or use of force, warned Hoyt Yee.

The US diplomat stressed in conclusion that Romania has made tremendous progress in strengthening the rule of law in recent years, particularly by prosecuting corruption through law enforcement, through the activity of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) and of courts.

Nothing is more effective in combating corruption and upholding the law than prosecution, conviction and, when justified, the imprisonment of corrupt officials, specified Hoyt Yee.

Hoyt Brian Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs with the US Department of State, held on Thursday an interactive lecture for students and professors at southeastern Constanta's Ovidius University (UOC), in which he highlighted the value of the concept of rule of law, of market economy and democracy and the importance of the US - Romania Strategic Partnership.

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