Trusted ally: For Romania, the relationship with the U.S. is strategic, not political

Romania is one of the U.S.’s most important and reliable political and military allies in the region. Bucharest had less invested in who won the U.S. presidential election than Hungary and Poland whose populist leaders were close allies of Donald Trump.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was the first leader in Eastern Europe to congratulate Joe Biden on Saturday shortly after it was declared that he had won the presidential race.

Trump ally Polish President Andrzej Duda issued a curiously-worded tweet Saturday congratulating him for his „successful presidential campaign.”

The Polish president also failed to mention Mr. Biden in a speech on Monday for the ratification of a US-Poland defense co-operation pact, referring instead to „a very heated time indeed” in US political life.

In what looked like a closely choreographed statement, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban also congratulated Biden “on your successful presidential campaign,” in a message sent a day after the announcement.

Trump’s defeat is bad news for illiberal demagogues like Mr. Orban who have looked to Trump to boost  their political standing at home and push back against European Union criticism over attacks on judicial independence, media independence and civil rights.

Unlike leaders of Poland Hungary, Slovenia and elsewhere, Mr. Iohannis is a pro-Western centrist and pragmatist and sees Romania’s future tied to the EU and NATO and, like his predecessors, particularly to the U.S.

He will get along as well with a President Joe Biden as a President Donald Trump for Bucharest considers Washington the most trusted of allies regardless of who is in the White House.

Romania’s relations with the U.S. are strategic. Romania, which is historically pro-American, sees the U.S. as a guarantor of stability and democracy in the region in the face of an increasingly hostile Russia.

President Donald Trump invited Mr. Iohannis to Washington in 2019 before his re-election bid and relations were warm. But the ties go beyond politics.

On Monday, the Romanian president sent a second message of congratulations to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden who also has close ties to Romania.

He said  “It is my great honor and pleasure to congratulating you on your having been elected President of the United States of America.”

“I wish you every success…. as President of the United States of America …. and I look forward to working together to promote our common goals,” the Romanian president said in a statement posted on the presidential website.

Mr. Iohannis mentioned Mr. Biden’s visit to Romania in 2014, and the „personal support” he has offered.

He stressed that Romania was  a reliable strategic partner of the United States, remains firmly committed to continuing to promote the two countries’ shared strategic security, defense and economic objectives.

In 2021, Romania and the U.S. will celebrate the tenth anniversary of their Strategic Partnership which was adopted during Biden’s term as Vice President.

“Romania and the United States share the values of democracy, human rights, good governance, and the rule of law, with our strategic partnership making a decisive contribution to the democratic transformation of my country.”

It goes beyond politics.


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