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President Iohannis, în Brussels: We cannot tolerate certain issues in our relation with Russian Federation, collaboration, beneficial


President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that there are a number of issues that need to be discussed and clarified in the EU's relationship with the Russian Federation, noting that there are matters that cannot be tolerated, while also maintaining that collaboration would be beneficial in some areas.

The head of state was asked about France and Germany's exploratory approach regarding the possibility of organizing an EU summit with the Russian Federation.

"We will firstly discuss this issue in the Council and it is there that I will give our opinion for the first time and not in the public space, but I can tell you right now that there are very different issues that need to be discussed and clarified in relation to the Russian Federation, because there are matters that we cannot tolerate, but there are certain areas where a discussion and collaboration would be beneficial, for example if we want to have a common plan to combat climate change, there we all need to discuss, it is a global issue that concerns us all and in this context, we must certainly have approaches that are feasible. The discussion will be very complicated, because opinions are very divided, but it is important, in my opinion, to find a way in which we can very firmly express our position based on values, but on the other hand on global issues we should find a channel of communication," said President Iohannis before attending the European Council meeting.

He was also asked if there should be a wider participation in such a summit. "I think it's a little early to talk about the format. For now, we're discussing the main issues," Iohannis said.


President Iohannis also stated on Thursday that at a European level there is need for better crisis management.

"We will start to discuss about the evolution of the pandemic, about the way in which the pandemic was fought and the measures we've taken. Now, we must know that we are already in the phase in which we have fewer and fewer cases both in Romania, as well as in the other member-states and we are trying to draw conclusions to see what we can do better in the next crisis - which we hope won't come, but we desire to be prepared. And we're speaking here of crisis management and I will be very clear that we need to improve crisis management at the European level," said the head of state before the meeting of the European Council.

He emphasized the fact that the involvement of the European Commission in the vaccine acquisition process was very beneficial.

"We have the conclusion that the Commission's involvement was very beneficial in the way in which they arrived to the member-states and I will still say it very clearly: there is need to have European mechanisms, which can be useful in crisis situations in our public health systems, even if public health is a national resort, I saw that we have a lot of things in common and we must go further towards something I could call the European Union of Health, so we are involved together for a better public health," said Iohannis.

The head of state showed that the discussions in the European Council meeting will target economic recovery as well.

"We will talk about the approval of the mechanism to access funds, approval that has gone through all national parliaments and is a success. Now, the Commission may lend money in the name of the Union and finance all these national recovery and resilience plans. There are many things to discuss here and I believe we will find newer and newer solutions," Iohannis said.

Discussions in the European Council will also cover foreign policy, namely the EU's relation with Turkey and the Russian Federation.

President Klaus Iohannis is participating, on Thursday and Friday, in the European Council meeting. On Friday, the head of state will participate in the extended format of the Euro Summit.