SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s a great pleasure to have Prime Minister Ciolacu here with us today. Welcome. Romania is and has been a very close partner and a very valued ally, and we are working more closely together than ever to meet some of the most important challenges of our time.
I am grateful, the United States is grateful for that partnership. We see it right now, particularly when it comes to helping defend Ukraine against the ongoing Russian aggression, and the critical role that Romania has played and continues to play in making sure that Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself, but also critically the ability to continue to export grain, wheat, and other things that are so vital not only to Ukraine’s economy but vital to people around the world. And it is thanks in large part to Romania that Ukraine continues to be able to do that – the Danube, as well, of course, as the Black Sea.
We are working very closely together as well on civil nuclear cooperation, where we’re partners in I think what is going to be one of the most important and exciting projects for the future of civil nuclear power and be effective in dealing with climate change.
And of course, fundamentally – and I’ve had the great privilege of being to Romania on multiple occasions over the course of my 30 years in government, including with President Clinton many years ago and then much more recently than that, and what I’ve seen is a partnership that’s only grown stronger. It’s fundamentally grounded in the ties between our people, but it’s also because of the work between our governments as well as our private sectors, something else that we want to continue to deepen.
So Prime Minister, thank you so much for being here today, for taking the time. It’s wonderful to have you.
PRIME MINISTER CIOLACU: Your Excellency, I prefer speaking my language.
(Via interpreter) The strategic partnership with the United States, which represents the most important partnership concluded by (inaudible), especially on the background of the security crisis resulting from the unlawful aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. I would like to congratulate you for your (inaudible). Definitely for the entire diplomacy and for the entire world, this involvement didn’t go unnoticed. And I’d like to thank you on behalf of Romania, on behalf of Romanians, for all the support provided so that we can recover the Romanians living in the Gaza Strip – something that will never be forgotten for Romanians.
As you rightly mentioned, (inaudible) has stood and will stand by Ukraine’s side until it achieves a victory against the Russian Federation. Romania has learned (inaudible) its relationships with Russia some time ago, quite a while ago. We are very much aware of the Russian people and the aggression system, and this is why we will ask you, besides the partnership that has already been concluded with Romania, we would always – we would also like to encourage you to take into consideration a special relationship with the Republic of Moldova. It’s the most vulnerable country, the second most vulnerable country after Ukraine. Well, Ukraine has an armed conflicts and undergoing, while in – Republic of Moldova is subjected to hybrid warfare directed against the president, Maia Sandu, and against democratically elected government.
I’d like to thank you once more for the honor receiving us here together with my colleagues.