US assistant state secretary meets Romania’s leaders, expresses ‘concern’ over current situation

Everyone is “concerned” about Romania. The latest is US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H. Gordon, who met the major players in Romania’s political scene, PM Victor Ponta, suspended president Traian Basescu and interim president Crin Antonescu over the last few days. Following his meetings, Gordon (in picture, left), like EC president Barroso and all the rest, expressed US “concern” over the current state of play in Romania.

Quoted by Romanian media, he said he fully supports the European Commission’s ’11 commandments,’ and referred to “credible” allegations of vote rigging in the referendum, attempts to change the electoral rolls and pressure being put on the Romanian Constitutional Court. According to Philip Gordon, these accusations “have raised questions about the legitimacy of any outcome,” to the referendum on impeaching Traian Basescu.

The US assistant secretary said he did not favor either side in the power struggle and that he wanted to see continued good relations between the US and a democratic Romania where institutions and the rule of law are respected. “We care about Romania, its future, its democracy,” said Gordon. When asked if he was convinced by his meetings with Romania’s leaders, Gordon said actions were more important than words, but that he hoped the Romanian authorities would follow the advice coming from the US and the EC and respect their institutions and the rule of law.

He described the current situation as a “test” for Romania. “We want to help Romania to pass this test. It is in Romania’s interest to pass the test,” said Gordon.

Romania will be hosting elements of the US anti-missile shield at Deveselu. The interceptors in Romania will be ready at the end of 2015. Deveselu, the village in Southern Romania where the anti-missile shield will be placed, remains under Romania’s property and sovereign jurisdiction, according to the agreement signed by Romania and the US in fall last year.

Liam Lever, [email protected]

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