Romanian Parliament Rejects Attempts To Hinder Negotiating Process With Moscow

On November 9, the Romanian parliament's house of deputies rejected, by a majority vote, the initiative of the Great Romania nationalist party (which has the second largest faction in parliament) to hold debates on a number of issues connected with the conclusion of a basic political treaty between Romania and Russia. Nationalists, in particular, tried to impose on the parliamentarians a discussion concerning plans to include the so-called "problem of Romanian gold" into the treaty (what is meant is Romania's gold reserve transferred to Russia during the First World War). In this connection, Mircea Geoana, Romania's foreign minister, said during the parliamentary debate that such discussions were premature and could have a negative effect on the course of Russian-Romanian negotiations. This October, the two countries' foreign ministries adopted the decision to step up the negotiating process. Bucharest agreed to put "all the existing differences and hindrances" outside the framework of the basic document. The sides believe that the treaty which is being drafted now should be oriented towards long-term mutually-advantageous cooperation, while disputable historical issues should be examined separately, with the participation of specialists and the use of documentary sources.

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