Bucharest To Push For A Basic Political Agreement With Moscow

Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana has stood up for support of a qualitatively new stage of relations with Russia and Eastern partners. Returning from Moscow last night, Geoana said his talks in Moscow focused on the Romanian premier's upcoming visit to Russia. The purpose of the visit, which is scheduled to take place in the next few weeks and envisages meetings with Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, is to push for a basic political agreement, which could be signed during Romanian President Ion Iliescu's trip to Moscow in the first half of 2002. The Romanian foreign minister is convinced that experts from Russia and Romania will manage to find the right wording to settle a number of old unresolved problems, such as the Russia-sponsored proposal to refrain from participating in military and political formations directed against each other. Moscow's role in the effort to ensure global security has greatly increased, said Geoana, adding that the recent meeting between Vladimir Putin and George W.Bush in Shanghai, as well as the dialogues between Russia and NATO and Russia and the European Union, marked the birth of a new international structure based on "healthy and trustful relations between the West and the East." Likewise, some of Romania's outstanding politicians have recently pointed out the importance of activating relations between Bucharest and Moscow. The Chairman of the House of Deputies of the country's parliament Valer Dornianu, for instance, said Romania should not insist on including controversial property-related issues in the future agreement since Russia was equally interested in restitution of property in even larger quantities. In Dornianu's opinion, historical problems should not be mixed with modern-day realia.

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