Α preparatory conference on “Security Challenges from the Baltic to the Black Sea Region. Vision of Romania, Poland and Turkey” was held on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Bucharest. In the first part of the conference hosted on WEBEX by three think tanks, namely the New Strategy Center (Romania), the OSW (Poland) and the SETA (Turkey), the Foreign Ministers of Romania and Poland, Bogdan Aurescu and Zbigniew Rau respectively took the floor, while Mevlut Çavuşoğlu sent a videotaped message.
Issues of common interest of the three countries were discussed, in the light of the security challenges arising in the East Wing of NATO and the situation created by the pandemic worldwide.
The first part of the conference themed “The Importance of the Romania-
Bogdan Aurescu kicked off the discussion, emphasizing in his remarks the Value Added of the tripartite cooperation in managing today’s security challenges. He referred to the complex context formulated by disturbing regional developments affecting the entire region from the Black Sea to the Baltic, which today are particularly evident on the eastern border of Ukraine and the illegally occupied Crimea. Mr. Aurescu further noted that the interaction of the three allies in the context of this scheme was “a triangle of stability” and a tool for coordination and joint action aimed at strengthening regional security and the Alliance as a whole.
The Romanian Foreign Minister welcomed the valuable contribution of Poland and Turkey to the NATO Forward Presence in Romania. He also noted that the three countries share a common vision and determination to act in support of the neighborhood partners, strengthen their defense capabilities and increase resilience in the face of security challenges. He underlined the need for continued support toward Ukraine and Georgia, whose Foreign Ministers will attend for the first time the enlarged tripartite meeting.
Regarding instability in the Black Sea region, the Romanian Foreign Minister reiterated his country’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Eastern Neighborhood partners, stating once again the importance of consolidating their resilience.
Finally, Bogdan Aurescu expressed Romania’s growing interest in continuing the tripartite cooperation, based on a substantive agenda, and the implementation of specific projects which will help strengthen the North Atlantic Alliance, according to a statement from the Romanian Foreign Ministry.
The second part of the conference addressed issues related to defense, deterrence and resilience in the wider Black Sea and Baltic region, presented from the Polish, Turkish and Romanian point of view by Justyna Gotkowska, OSW Program Coordinator, Muhittin Ataman, SETA Director of Foreign Policy Studies, and Ambassador Cristian Diaconescu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania and member of the Scientific Council of the New Strategy Center. The conclusions of the conference were presented by Murat Aslan, SETA researcher.
The panel was conducted under the rules of Chatham House and was not public.
Tonight, Aurescu announced that a first working tripartite meeting will be held in person followed by a plenary session on Friday, to which the Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Ukraine will be added. According to the Romanian Foreign Minister, “in essence, we will have a regional mini-summit with five foreign ministers to discuss regional security issues.” /ibna