ForMin Odobescu in Sofia: We are coordinating to achieve common goal of joining Schengen with land borders
Romania and Bulgaria are coordinating to achieve, “as soon as possible,” the common goal of having their land border controls lifted in the European free movement area, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminita Odobescu, said on Monday in Sofia, told Agerpres.
She had a joint press conference with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel.
“We agreed to maintain close cooperation and coordination, in the context in which we continue the steps regarding the implementation of the decision of March 31, this year, with the support of the European Commission. Furthermore, we decided to coordinate in such a way as to obtain, as soon as possible, the decision to have the land border controls lifted for our countries. In this respect, we will continue the dialogue with the Austrian partners, with the other member states and, obviously, with the European Commission, to achieve this goal,” said Odobescu.
The head of Romanian diplomacy added that she discussed with her colleague in Sofia aspects regarding security in the Black Sea and the risks generated by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
“I emphasized the importance of strengthening NATO’s defence and deterrence position on the Eastern Flank,” the Romanian minister said.
In this regard, the official mentioned the Romania-Bulgaria-Turkey demining agreement in the Black Sea, “a concrete proof” of how the two states can cooperate in the Black Sea region, “in a difficult context.”
Also, during the consultations with his Bulgarian counterpart, Minister Luminita Odobescu welcomed the recent positive developments regarding the advancement of infrastructure projects of major interest to both states – the FastDanube project, respectively the construction of a new bridge over the Danube, likely to contribute significantly to the consolidation of interconnectivity at the regional level, states the MAE.
In terms of the European agenda, Minister Luminita Odobescu expressed Romania’s firm support for advancing enlargement as a key European policy, both in terms of the Western Balkans and the Eastern candidates, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.
According to a press release sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Romanian minister was received by the president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, and also by the prime minister, Nikolai Denkov.
During the meeting with President Rumen Radev, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted the importance of the bilateral strategic partnership, established a year ago, which provided a consolidated framework for the expansion of cooperation between the two neighbouring states, says the MAE. During the discussions, aspects related to regional security and the importance of continuing close coordination at the European and international level were addressed.
Also, the reception with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov provided the opportunity to reconfirm the common interest in expanding and diversifying bilateral economic and sectoral cooperation.
Themes of central interest for Bucharest and Sofia were addressed, such as coordination on priority EU files, with an emphasis on completing the process of accession to the Schengen area as quickly as possible. Last but not least, the discussions with the head of the Bulgarian executive focused on the steps to strengthen regional interconnectivity in the field of transport and energy, in accordance with those agreed during the trilateral meeting of the Prime Ministers of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, held in Varna, at October 9, last year, the MAE press release also states.