A preparatory conference on “Security Challenges from the Baltic to the Black Sea Region. The Vision of Romania, Poland and Turkey ”was held on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Bucharest. In the first part of the conference organized on WEBEX by three study groups, respectively the New Strategy Center (Romania), OSW (Poland) and SETA (Turkey), the Foreign Ministers of Romania and Poland, respectively Bogdan Aurescu and Zbigniew Rau took speech, while Mevlut Çavuşoğlu sent a video message.
Issues of common interest of the three countries were discussed, in light of the security challenges arising on the east side of NATO and the situation created by the pandemic worldwide.
The first part of the conference on “The Importance of Romania-Trilateral Poland-Turkey. Collaboration in the context of the security challenges posed by the Pandemic “, coordinated by Wojciech Konończuk, Deputy Director of the OSW Center for Oriental Studies.
Bogdan Aurescu started the discussion, emphasizing in his remarks the Added Value of 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 visible on the eastern border of Ukraine and 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 means of 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 forthcoming NATO presence in Romania. He also noted that the three countries share a common vision and determination to act in support of neighboring partners, strengthen their defense capabilities and increase resilience in the face of security challenges. He underlined the need for continued support for Ukraine and Georgia, whose Foreign Ministers will be attending the enlarged tripartite meeting for the first time.
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, stressing once again the importance of consolidating their stability.
Finally, Bogdan Aurescu expressed Romania ‘s growing interest in continuing trilateral co – operation, based on a core agenda and the implementation of specific projects that 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 protection, prevention and sustainability in the wider Black Sea and Baltic region, presented from the Polish, Turkish and Romanian perspectives by Justyna Gotkowska, OSW Program Coordinator, Muhittin Ataman, External Director of SETA Policy Studies and Ambassador Cristian Diaconescu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania and member of the Scientific Council of the Center for New Strategy. The conclusions of the conference were presented by Murat Aslan, SETA researcher.
The panel took place under the rules of Chatham House and was not public.
Tonight, Aurescu announced that a first tripartite working 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, “basically, we will have a regional mini-summit with five foreign ministers to discuss regional security issues”.