Romania 'Freezes Business Relations' with Russia

Business | August 4, 2014, Monday // 13:36
Bulgaria: Romania 'Freezes Business Relations' with Russia Prime Minister Victor Ponta has maintained Romania will not suffer if it chooses to renounce Russian imports. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced Monday his country had decided to halt joint economic projects with Russia.

Ponta told the news TV channel Digi24 (as cited by a Russian business daily) that the "destabilization" of the region which followed the actions of the Russian Federation, meaning "the annexation of Crimea" and "the actions of separatists in Eastern Ukraine".

"Romania is not directly affected. But Russia is exerting influence on Moldova and its pro-European way," Ponta explained according to Ekonomicheskie Izvestiya ("Economic News").

The Prime Minister described the situation of his country as "privileged" if compared to its neighbors in terms of energy dependency on Russia.

Bucharest has over the past months been among the staunchest supporters of sanctions against Moscow, and is firmly backing further restrictive measures as its economy is not strongly intertwined with Russia's.

Romania is not dependent on Russian fuels and alongside Poland has called on the EU to explore alternative sources such as shale gas to tackle key issues of its energy security.

The Southeast European country, however, imports certain quantities of resources from Russia, and in Ponta's words is planning to turn to China and Turkey and improve trade with them to make up for its energy deficits.

Ponta's comments follow last week's decision of EU leaders to impose further sanctions on Russia over its stance on the Ukraine crisis.

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Tags: Victor Ponta, Russia, Romania, ukraine crisis, sanctions, energy, turkey, China, Crimea
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