All former US ambassadors to Romania for the past 25 years have signed an open letter to Romanians stating that “the Strategic Partnership with Romania has proven to be one of the best US investments in Europe.”
The approach comes in the context in which 25 years of Strategic Partnership between the USA and Romania are celebrated on Monday.
Diplomats note, in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, that “Romania has responded to this challenge, becoming an essential provider of civilian and military assistance to Ukraine.”
“Romania has a decisive role in defending and strengthening NATO’s Eastern Flank, as well as in strengthening stability and security throughout the Black Sea region,” they said.
Also, the ambassadors touch on the issue of visas for Romanians.
Romania’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver program would be a powerful amplifier for all dimensions of the Strategic Partnership. It would stimulate trade, tourism, educational exchanges, as well as human relations which are the foundation of Romanian-American friendship. Our governments must continue to work together to make progress towards meeting Romania’s admission requirements in this program. There is a clear need for more communication with the public, in the form of information and education campaigns, as well as closer cooperation with all actors involved, including civil society and the business community, ”the letter reads.
Below is the full text of the letter:
“Dear Romanian friends,
- In presenting the United States’ foreign policy strategy, President Biden stressed that “America’s alliances are our greatest asset.” This has never been more obvious than now, when the world faces the most complex set of geopolitical challenges since the end of World War II. As ambassadors, we have had the privilege of contributing to building one of the strongest alliances in the United States, in a key region of Europe: the Strategic Partnership with Romania, which is now 25 years old.
- Romania is today one of the closest and most capable US allies in Central and Eastern Europe. Your country sets an example in promoting democratic values, fundamental human rights, the rule of law and good governance. Romania is working with the United States to uphold these common principles at the regional and global levels. As is well known, democracy cannot exist in the absence of the rule of law, political responsibility or strong national institutions. The continuous support of Romanians for reforms is necessary both to ensure a resilient democratic society and to a prosperous, strong and competitive one.
- Now, when Russia’s invasion threatens not only transatlantic security, but even the foundations of the global order, Romania has responded to this challenge, becoming an essential provider of civilian and military assistance to Ukraine. At the same time, Romania provided shelter and transit for over 1.5 million Ukrainians and made it possible to export grain from Ukraine through its own ports on the Black Sea, thus helping to avoid a global food crisis.
- Romania has a decisive role in defending and strengthening NATO’s Eastern Flank, as well as in strengthening stability and security throughout the Black Sea region. Our successful security partnership includes hosting US forces and key facilities such as the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System. Romania’s firm commitment to the principle of common defense was recently highlighted again by the decision to increase national defense spending to 2.5% of GDP, which positions you as one of the major contributors to the NATO budget. As Romania continues to invest in its own capabilities, it will have the potential to become one of the leading security providers in the region and throughout the North Atlantic Alliance. In addition, a robust American military presence in Romania would help ensure the highest level of defense and deterrence along the entire NATO Eastern Flank. The decision, taken at the recent Alliance Summit in Madrid, to position an additional rotating brigade in Romania is a substantial step in the right direction.
- In the 25 years since the launch of the Strategic Partnership in 1997, Romania has proven to be a reliable ally and a true friend. Over time, over 30,000 Romanian soldiers fought alongside American forces in some of the most difficult theaters of operations in the world. Romania has demonstrated its determination and leadership on critical issues such as energy and climate change, 5G network security and cyber security. He was a champion of promoting cooperation, security and development at the regional level, through formats such as the Three Seas Initiative or Bucharest 9.
- Although the level of bilateral economic cooperation has steadily increased, we appreciate that it has not yet reached its true potential. Efforts and initiative are needed on both sides to increase the volume of trade and investment and to capitalize on Romania’s outstanding advantages as a member of the European Union, a booming regional economic center and a strong link in secure international supply chains. Romanian companies and specialists have a lot to offer the American market. More American investors should be encouraged to discover Romania.
- Energy has become one of the main dimensions of the US-Romania Strategic Partnership and one of its main development engines. The diversified energy mix, own resources and regional profile make Romania a natural partner of the USA in a sector with both economic and strategic value. Romanian-American cooperation can make a decisive contribution to the diversification of sources and supply routes, a critical aspect for Europe’s energy security. Your country’s vision and leadership in addressing the dual challenge of energy security and the green transition are found in projects such as the installation of small modular reactors in Romania.
- Educational exchanges and joint research projects are essential for a future-oriented partnership. The Fulbright program remains the central pillar of bilateral academic cooperation, but much more can and must be done to bring together the incredible resources of intelligence, talent and creativity of our peoples. Romanian universities and research institutes should be encouraged and supported to develop long-term partnerships with similar institutions in the USA.
- Romania’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver program would be a powerful amplifier for all dimensions of the Strategic Partnership. It would stimulate trade, tourism, educational exchanges, as well as human relations which are the foundation of Romanian-American friendship. Our governments must continue to work together to make progress towards meeting Romania’s admission requirements in this program. There is a clear need for more communication with the public, in the form of information and education campaigns, as well as closer cooperation with all actors involved, including civil society and the business community.
- The Strategic Partnership with Romania proved to be one of the best US investments in Europe and we are all proud to have been part of this success story. The breadth and depth of the Partnership, together with its many positive results, highlight both the compatibility between our countries and the mutual benefits for the USA and Romania.
- At the same time, we believe that the Partnership has helped build a strong and prosperous Romania. And this strong and prosperous Romania has proved to be vital for ensuring security, democratic values and sustainable economic development throughout the transatlantic area.
- With this image in front we send you, dear Romanian friends, heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between the United States and Romania and we express our hope that you will continue to demonstrate leadership, courage and vision and that you will always find new ways to develop friendship and cooperation between our great nations.
- God bless Romania! God bless the United States! ”
Alfred H. Moses – US Ambassador to Romania 1994-1997
James Carew Rosapepe – US Ambassador to Romania 1997-2001
Michael E. Guest – US Ambassador to Romania 2001-2004
Jack Dyer Crouch II – US Ambassador to Romania 2004-2005
Nicholas F. Taubman – US Ambassador to Romania 2005-2008
Mark Gitenstein – US Ambassador to Romania 2009-2012
Hans G. Klemm – US Ambassador to Romania 2015-2019
Adrian Zuckerman – US Ambassador to Romania 2019-2021