Vice President Kamala Harris credited Romania for helping thousands of refugees who fled Ukraine after Russia invaded and slammed the Russian president.
Her visit to Bucharest on Friday was to reassure a vital ally on NATO’s eastern flank that finds itself in a key position with the conflict over its border in Ukraine.
„From everything that we know and have witnessed, Putin shows no sign of engaging in serious diplomacy,” Ms Harris said at a news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
She credited Romania for taking in thousands fleeing the fighting in neighboring Ukraine. She said Washington was constantly reviewing support levels for its NATO allies according to the dynamic situation on the ground.
She traveled to Romania from Poland, and her visit came a day after talks between Ukraine and Russia’s foreign ministers failed to bring a cease fire.
Responding to a question whether Washington intends to increase the number of troops in Romania, she said: „We will on a daily basis, assess the needs that we have to maintain stability in this region.”
Her trip to Europe has tested her diplomatic abilities and the resolve of the broader Western alliance to forcefully confront Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching the largest ground invasion in Europe since World War II, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden has already dispatched 1,000 troops to Romania and pledged support for the country which has seen a hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the war next door.
A visit by his number two_ the first by a U.S. VP in eight years_ is meant to demonstrate American commitment at a troubling time for the region.
Unlike Ukraine, Romania is a member of NATO, and an attack on the country by Russia would trigger the alliance’s collective defense treaty.
The alliance’s famous Article 5 says an attack on one is an attack on all.
But the protection of NATO bases and a missile defense system can’t entirely calm nerves in the former communist country which has been invaded by Russia repeatedly over the course of its history.