U.S. president-elect Joe Biden's visits to Romania and what was on their agenda
Joe Biden visited Romania three times before being elected president of the United States, while he was serving as VP to president Barack Obama and as the Democrat leader of the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.
Biden visited the country in September 1999, while he was serving as a Delaware senator. At the time, he spoke of the progress he saw in Romania, which he described as a "beautiful country," according to Stirileprotv.ro.
Biden returned to Romania in October 2009 as part of a three-day visit to Eastern Europe. After meeting president Traian Băsescu, he thanked Romania for supporting the U.S. missile defense system, Deutsche Welle reported.
In May 2011, the United States and Romania selected the Deveselu Air Base to host a U.S. land-based ballistic missile defense system, also referred to as the Aegis Ashore site. The agreement on deploying the United States ballistic missile defense system in Romania was signed in September 2011.
A third visit followed in 2014 when he again met with then-president Traian Băsescu and prime minister Victor Ponta.
"Over the past 25 years, I have come to know and appreciate this beautiful country. I watched you make the journey from tyranny to freedom. In Romania, American forces have found a devoted NATO ally. We, too, care deeply about the alliance. A marriage commitment to collective defense under Article V of NATO is a sacred obligation in our view, a sacred obligation not just for now, but for all time," Biden was saying at the time.
He assured Romania that it could count on its partnership with the United States. "I am here to say, on behalf of the president, but I hope you already know, you can count on us, period. We do what we say, and we mean what we say."
He also spoke of why NATO was needed, in the context of Russia's aggression in Crimea, arguing Europe's borders should not change through armed force.
Another topic of discussion during his 2014 visit was energy security. "The security and stability of a region depend on the existence of several providers and multiple energy transport means. A more stable and safer supply of energy for Europe will mean a more stable and safer world and world economy," Biden told Mediafax in an interview at the time.
He mentioned that the U.S. was collaborating with several countries in Europe, including Romania, to increase their domestic output through the exploitation of conventional and unconventional gas resources. He also said the U.S. would continue to support Romania in achieving an essential role in the integration and interconnecting of European energy sources.
In this year's election, Biden ran on a platform that included a Clean Energy Revolution plan "to address this grave threat and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency." According to it, the U.S. "achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050."