News / Europe

    Romania's Basescu Slams EU for Soft Putin Stance

    FILE - Romania's President Traian Basescu in Bucharest, June 25, 2014.
    FILE - Romania's President Traian Basescu in Bucharest, June 25, 2014.
    Reuters

    Romania's President Traian Basescu on Monday accused the European Union of being weak and too slow in imposing sanctions on Russia to deter it from encroaching further into Europe after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

    An ex-communist state on the Black Sea, Romania joined the EU in 2007 and has been among the most vehement advocates of Western sanctions against Moscow after neighboring Ukraine lost control of its peninsula and some of its eastern territories.

    "We're now facing a reality because we didn't discourage Putin, because in Eastern Europe there's a conflict fueled by the Russian Federation, with military equipment, politically, with personnel, so that 192 Dutch citizens died on Monday," Basescu told a news briefing.

    He was refering to the downing of a Malaysian airliner with nearly 300 people on board in separatist-held territory in Ukraine last week. One of the victims was a Romanian.

    Basescu said it was a mistake to handle sanctions against Russia "with kid gloves".

    The more delay in implementing them the higher the price will be paid to stop Putin's plans to rebuild the former Soviet Union's empire, he said.

    Romania has said NATO must reposition its resources in the wake of Moscow's maneuvers and plans a gradual increase in its defense budget over the next two years.

    It is especially concerned that Moldova, a small state bordering Romania with a Russian-speaking minority - could be next in Moscow's sights given the risk of separatist unrest there.

    Basescu attributed the EU's stance towards Russia to various economic interests by member states: "There's always an argument: one country has a big investment, other has to deliver sophisticated equipment, another is natural gas dependant."

    "Today is Ukraine, then the Baltics borders are reached, then Poland and then Romania," he said. "Aren't we at risk by making economic considerations weigh more than solidarity with states in the EU's eastern flank?"

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Boris Ionut from: Bucharest, Romania
    July 22, 2014 8:37 PM
    Maybe Mr. Basescu remembers Hitler ascension better than his european colleagues. First Czechoslovakia than we'll see...

    by: Goyisher_Kop from: Buhusi
    July 22, 2014 5:09 PM
    Basescu is a nationalist Romanian politician. He has a fixation with Russia and the unification of Moldova and Romania.

    Russia poses no real threat to Romania. However, it poses a threat to the territorial integrity of Moldova, a Romanian state.

    Russia is inimical to Romania as it is inimical to all Eastern European countries who joined NATO and are faithful allies to the USA. Russia exerts a subversive influence in Romania, true. However, for Russia, Romania must represent small stuff.

    Ponta (Romania's PM) seems to be less pro-American and anti-Russian than Basescu.
    He will compete with Klaus Iohannis, a Romanian German and most likely the opposition's candidate, for the presidency of Romania this autumn. I suspect that Iohannis, being German, is even less anti-Russian than Ponta, a Romanian Romanian. (In fact Ponta has Vlachs origins. Even Basescu doesn't seem to be 100% Romanian. He has the squinted eyes of Putin. Tatar blood? Tatars live in the Dobrogea region from where he comes.)

    So, this staunch anti-Russian attitude of Romania could become history after the end of Basescu's term this autumn.



    by: Magy from: Romania
    July 22, 2014 5:15 AM
    Hard to believe this are his words, because few months ago, when the prime minister tried to say something about Russia being too aggressive, Basescu said his job is not to talk like this, but better he should search cheap gas. So, when did he spoke the truth, then or now? I guess he is going where the wind blows.. trying hard to impress the west...

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    July 22, 2014 12:48 AM
    Maybe Basescu hasn't been a shining light for the troubles in Romania, but he makes a valid point. He knows that the EU and UN are weak. And the leader of the free-world (Obama) is simply a talker, not a man of action!!!!!

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 21, 2014 11:06 PM
    The Romanian Pres has the clear wiew of the situation; given that his country is next to Ukraine, his view is very clear and his sit is far more risky; and given that Romania was under the Soviet fist, he understands the bad situation Ukraine finds itself in. And obviosly he does not have the inside track, to Putin, that the German chancellor has, and thus she looks the other way, Westwards, to more normal sights, like France, and even the Netherlands, rather than confront the reality turning more ugly by the day in the East.
    Will see how many more innocent lives will it take, to see Germany, France, the Netherlands separate themselves from their money and investments on the other side of Europe = Russia; and join the US/Canada/Britain/Australia in the search for justice and peace; appeasement does not work, it only emboldens agressors.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.