Biden starts Romania tour with Ukraine crisis on agenda

Biden starts Romania tour with Ukraine crisis on agenda

21Bucharest, May 21 (IANS) The NATO nations are never alone, US Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday, soon after his arrival in Bucharest for a two-day visit.

Romania has always been a reliable partner and ally for the United States, and “currently Romania helps us with the air base which supports our effort for transport to Afghanistan”, Xinhua quoted Biden as saying at the 90th Air Transport Base, the first place he visited after arrival.

Biden arrived in Bucharest Tuesday afternoon for a visit and is to conduct meetings with President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta. The discussions with Romanian authorities will focus on, according to the White House, the reaction of Ukraine crisis.

Talking about the regional situation, the American official stressed that “Europe’s borders should not be changed by force”.

Crimean issue “reminds us why we need NATO”, he said, emphasising that the US was devoted to the NATO, and “We’ll do what we say and fulfill our obligations”.

Romania’s Defense Minister Mircea Dusa, who received the U.S. vice president at the air base in northern suburb of Bucharest, said the situation in Ukraine continued to stir worries among NATO allies, particularly in the countries making up the eastern flank of NATO.

“We believe the NATO summit meeting to be hosted by Wales will be an opportunity for commitments to be reiterated in the context of the reassurance of the allies on the eastern flank,” said Dusa.

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