US Deputy Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland has praised Romania’s “substantial” progress in judicial reform and combatting corruption. EurActiv Romania reports.
During a meeting between Nuland and Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, the good relations between the two nations were highlighted and both parties reiterated their commitment to strengthening ties within the context of the Romanian-American Strategic Partnership.
They also talked “in depth” about developments in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood.
“The two officials voiced their concern about the situation in the Republic of Moldova and underlined the need to continue reform and the European course in the country,” according to a statement put out by the pair.
Other items on the agenda included the continuing problem of Ukraine, which has a direct impact on the security of Romania’s part of the continent.
Having arrived in Bucharest on Sunday (17 January), Nuland had an informal meeting with newly-appointed Prime Minister Dacian Ciolo?, who among other things, presented his government’s priorities. Washington’s European expert also met with the Minister for Defence, Mihnea Motoc.
According to a statement released by Motoc’s office, the two discussed regional security issues, including concerns posed by the Black Sea.
Motoc stressed the need to increase the operational capacity of NATO’s Readiness Action Plan (RAP).
Nuland also met last week with Bucharest’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laz?r Com?nescu, in Lithuania, at the “Snow Meeting”, a traditional informal discussion club, organised by the Foreign Ministry of Lithuania since 2008.
Nuland praised the steps Romania has taken to improve its legal system and tackle corruption. A scandal broke last year in which it became apparent that convicted criminals could reduce their sentence by writing books or engaging in other ‘good works’. Bucharest recently closed the legal loophole that allowed prisoners to shave time off their sentences.