Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu had a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Ukraine’s national minority law, with the two agreeing to embark on „comprehensive” talks on this subject, according to the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE).
There are currently approximately 409,600 ethnic Romanians living in Ukraine, making it the largest local ethnic group after Ukrainians and Russians.
MAE stated that the conversation was a continuation of a telephone conversation between Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on January 4, when it was agreed that the Romanian and Ukrainian foreign ministers would hold talks to solve the problems reported by Romania in relation to Ukraine’s national minority law.
The two ministers agreed to embark on „comprehensive” consultations on these issues, which would include discussions at the level of experts and a meeting of the two dignitaries. Also, the two ministers decided to stay in constant, direct contact to coordinate the process.
Aurescu highlighted the procedural and substantive aspects of the law that raised the concern of Romania and leaders of Ukraine’s Romanian community and that were presented in detail and reasoned in a December 2022 letter to Kuleba.
The head of Romanian diplomacy mentioned an intense dialogue on this subject last year with the Ukrainian side, including directly with Kuleba, and requested the undertaking of concrete steps to meet the concerns of the Romanian side. At the same time, in continuation of the previous discussions with the head of the Ukrainian diplomacy, he reiterated the need for Ukraine to acknowledge the non-existence of the so-called „Moldovan language”, according to MAE.
Aurescu also reconfirmed Romania’s firm support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and pointed to Romania’s solid and comprehensive support for Ukraine amid the war of aggression launched by the Russian Federation.
The two ministers also discussed the next meeting of the Romania – Moldova – Ukraine trilateral meeting that follows a similar meeting in Odessa in September 2022.