From the event


30 June 2008

Joint press point

with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the President of Romania Traian Basescu

JAMES APPATHURAI (NATO Spokesman):  Ladies, Gentlemen, the Secretary General and the President will each make an opening statement.  And we have time for questions.  The Secretary General.

JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER (NATO Secretary General):  Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.  Let me start by saying what a big pleasure, a great pleasure it is to receive Romanian President Băsescu this afternoon here at NATO. 

And that is more than a remark of protocol because it gave us and me another opportunity to thank him, and of course through the President of the Romanian people, for two things.  First of all for organizing a wonderful summit in Bucharest and for giving us unprecedented hospitality.  But also... and that has to do I think of the ambiance in which we had the summit for overseeing a very successful summit because I think that it was, of course, the hospitality but also the substance which made Bucharest into a very important summit. 

And it will come as no surprise to you that the president and I, a moment ago, during our bilateral meeting discussed the results of the summit.  I commended Romania for its very active participation in Afghanistan, in Kosovo and elsewhere so we discussed NATO's operations and missions. 

We discussed, of course, NATO enlargement which was also an important feature element of the Bucharest agenda.  The president and I discussed an area which is, I know, very important not only for Romania but also in wider sense the Black Sea region, the Western Balkans situation in Kosovo, the integration perspective of the... of the Western Balkans.  In brief, where are we at the moment on the Bucharest agenda, including issues like missile defence and other elements discussed in Bucharest.

So, in brief, Mister President, the background basically says it all.  It is a living remembrance to what was a marvelous, marvelous summit.  We have a lot of homework from this summit.  We cannot say: "Okay, this was the summit, this was it."  We have many dossiers and elements on which we have to work very hard in the NATO alliance also in preparation for the summit next spring in Strasbourg and Kehl. 

And I know, Mister President, let me end there, that in Romania, in the host of the Bucharest Summit, we have a strong support of the alliance, a very active participant in NATO's operations and missions and a very active participant in the political domain as well.  So Mister President, once again, warm thanks to you and to the Romanian people.  And please take the floor. 

TRAIAN BASESCU (President of Romania):  Thank you very much Secretary General.  I'll use Romanian language, having in view that a lot of Romanian journalists are here.  And...  (SPEAKS IN ROMANIAN)


  I have performed along with the Secretary General of NATO, Mister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a review of the Bucharest Summit and of course I have started by extending my thanks to him and to his team for the support in organizing this event. 

Together, we have found that the Bucharest Summit had substance and it gives shape to the new NATO. 

The substance resides in the decision taking and in the new missions that NATO will undertake given the new threats to the security of the member States.

And probably organizing this event in Bucharest had apart from the satisfaction for Romania, also had the significance of the importance of the West of the Balkans, of the Black Sea and of the enlargement towards East of NATO. 

Together, we have analysed the development, the post-Summit development and we have found that a great part of our decision are now underway.

On the 9th of July, Albania and Croatia are to sign the protocol that now afterwards will be ratified by the member States.

Also the issue of the missile defence shield that is to cover the entire territory of the NATO member States is now underway.

And also the technicians are trying to find solutions regarding the protection of the energy infrastructure that are of interest.

And Mister Secretary General I would like to tell you that although it was widely debated before the organization of the summit and during the summit, the citizens of Bucharest are now praying to have another event of such a magnitude in order to have a good traffic in Bucharest.   (END OF INTERPRETATION)

APPATHURAI:  All right, questions.

BASESCU:  Thank you.

Q:  Carmen Constantin de (INAUDIBLE) France Internationale.  Mister Secretary General, France is preparing to reintegrate de command.  Should comment in that?  And also what do you think on the ESDP is going to be as the French presidency of European Union start.  I don't know, is it going to... are going to have a relationship of complementary?  Or is it going to be, I don't know, something competitive to NATO?   (SPEAKS IN ROMANIAN)

DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Let me start by saying that from the very beginning I have very strongly supported President Sarkozy's qualification about the relationship between the European Union and NATO.  And that is... that is sent around the word complementarity...  "complémentarité en Français".  So I entirely share.  I think that a strong ESDP is in the interest of NATO.  So I also share the French President's ambitions to discuss of ESDP and the future of ESDP, including of course a European security and defence identity. 

I would go one step further.  I think it is important that process in the domain of the European Union has a certain link with the process we're having in NATO in the run-out to the Strasbourg-Kehl next year, where as you know, we are preparing a declaration on Alliance security, I do think. 

And I'm happy to speak at the seminar organized by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on the 7th of July where I will say more about the subject.  I think we should forge this partnership between the European Union and NATO because I say again:  "A strong EU also in this sphere of ESDP-CFSP defence is in the interest of NATO."

BASESCU:  (SPEAKS IN ROMANIAN) (INTERPRETATION) No, we will not have competition between the EU military force and NATO.  It's simply a matter of planning because EU has to develop a military force.  It is only a matter of planification.  And I would like to be very clear as of why we can't have competition between the two, because it's simply we're talking about the same forces and about the way that they will be distributed.  (END OF INTERPRETATION)

Q:  Vous pouvez traduire du Français au Roumain, Madame?  


Q:  Non. OK, so my question will be in English, despite the fact that Romania is a member of Francophonie Internationale...

DE HOOP SCHEFFER:  Le pays ne l'est pas encore.

Q:  Not yet. 

DE HOOP SCHEFFER:  Ça peut venir, ça peut venir.

Q:  The question is about Moldova.  Did you address the issue of Moldova, a neighbour, a country which speaks the same language than yours by the way, and which is more or less inclined to exchange a possible membership in NATO for an agreement with Russia on Transnistria?  Is it a question that has been discussed or not?  And on principle what do you think of that?

BASESCU: The question is for myself or for Secretary General?  Well, we don't discuss the subject simply because we know the constitution of Republic of Moldova...  According with the constitution, Republic of Moldova is a neutral country, point. 

DE HOOP SCHEFFER:  And let me add... let me add on my part that you know, in the domain of the partnership, the Republic of Moldova is making progress, that it is an appreciated partner, that I'm in regular with the authorities and that NATO does not play and is not seeking to play a direct role in the Transnistria issue.

Q:  (INAUDIBLE) Romanian Television, I have a question for you Mister Secretary General.  Last weekend, in Moscow, the Prime Minister of Russia Mister Putin has told to his counterpart from Ukraine Tymoshenko that any idea that Ukraine will have to come closer to NATO will be...  he did use the word "punished" but it will have consequences.  Is it NATO and all the countries...?  And it's a question for our president...  Is it NATO ready to accept this kind of political behaviour from Russia I mean to put a word between everything another country wants to join NATO and Russia to say yes or no?

DE HOOP SCHEFFER:  Well, I mean, we're used to some rhetoric in this regard, coming from Moscow.  So in that respect it wasn't new the message coming from Moscow.  But as we discuss, as I discuss with Prime Minister Tymoshenko, and the North Atlantic Council was in Ukraine two weeks ago as you know, it will finally...  At the end of the day, the people of Ukraine deciding what foreign policy cause they want to follow. 

And as far as (inaudible) of the matter is concerned it will be political decision-making in NATO when that moment comes.  And you know since Bucharest it is not anymore if that moment comes but when that moment comes.  It will be the people in Ukraine.  I mean we can't decide for the people of Ukraine.  And I think the same with all due respect is relevant for Prime Minister Putin. 

BASESCU:  (SPEAKS IN ROMANIAN)  (INTERPRETATION) From our point of view, the decision that we have adopted in Bucharest concerning Ukraine and Georgia reflects the wish of the Alliance that is to invite at some point Georgia and Ukraine to become member States when they will be ready.  And so in our opinion it is... it is the choice of Ukraine and of the Ukrainian people when they will decide to support the accession of their country in NATO.  And on the other hand it also depends on the internal performance, because we all know that prior to becoming a NATO member, a country has to meet many criteria.

APPATHURAI:  I think that's all the questions that we have. 


UNIDENTIFIED:  Thank you very much.