Marcel Ciolacu: Ratifying the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO is a firm response to Russian aggression

July 20, 2022

The President of PSD, Marcel Ciolacu, President of the Chamber of Deputies, gave a speech in the plenary session of the Parliament on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in the extraordinary session for the adoption of the draft law on the ratification of the Accession Protocols of the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty. Marcel Ciolacu stated that Romania’s ratification of Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO represents a firm response for the Russian Federation and proof that European solidarity remains one of the main weapons against the “absurd, unjust and deeply illegal” aggression against Ukraine.

The text of the full speech is below:

“Ladies and gentlemen deputies,

What is happening today, in the Romanian Parliament, is not just a political and diplomatic gesture. Our country’s ratification of the accession of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Alliance represents a firm response for the Russian Federation. It is proof that European solidarity remains one of the main weapons with which we can respond to this absurd, unjust and deeply illegal aggression. The solidarity of all of Europe with Ukraine and its people is one of the fundamental elements that Putin never thought possible. That is precisely why the Kremlin regime is now desperately looking for cracks and breaches in this mechanism, hoping to sabotage and undermine it by trying to cause food and energy crises.

Romania followed this path of solidarity from the first moments of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, both at the level of NATO and through the mechanisms of the European Union. We have made efforts to support the neighboring country with equipment, financial assistance and humanitarian aid, including medical supplies for Ukrainian forces. We were and remain in the front line of the states that carried out concrete actions to support the neighboring country, especially through the operationalized humanitarian logistics hub in Suceava, used effectively by several states. And in recent months, the Government and state institutions have found solutions that seemed impossible to facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain to Romanian ports. This is how Romanians know how to show solidarity, through deeds, not through words, with a neighbor in a difficult situation!

I went to Kyiv together with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă and saw horrors that I did not think were possible in this century. When you see innocent civilians simply slaughtered under a rain of bombs, you realize that anyone left alone in front of such an aggressor could suffer the same fate, regardless of nationality, religion or age, regardless of whether they live in Kyiv, Bucharest, Stockholm or Helsinki. Therefore, the fact that we are among the first European parliaments to ratify the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is not only the expression of our political consistency, but also our sincere belief that, in the current political context, this represents a legitimate security option for any civilized state.

As leader of the Social Democratic Party, I am glad to be able to lend a helping hand to states where both governments are Social Democrats. I greatly appreciate the work of the two Prime Ministers, Sanna Marin and Magdalena Andersson, whom I consider to be true models of public communication, full of empathy, but equally extremely energetic and determined. The fact that they managed to convince their peoples, in record time, to take such a strategic decision, is a historic achievement. And I assure them that they have a sincere and open ally in me and in Romania. We want Finland and Sweden to feel, as members of NATO, as Romania feels today, to benefit from the most important security guarantees in the entire history, guarantees that are as concrete and visible as possible.

After the start of the Russian invasion, the North Atlantic Alliance activated concrete defense plans for the eastern flank for the first time since its establishment. We saw how, in a very short time, NATO’s rapid reaction forces were deployed in Romania and other allied countries, proving that the principle “all for one and one for all” is not just a slogan, but a reality. In a very short time, the Allies sent thousands of soldiers to the countries on this flank. Moreover, the implementation of the decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid will make the defense of the Eastern Flank balanced between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea region by adopting a coherent security architecture, which is based on the American presence and the Groups of NATO Combat. If Vladimir Putin sought to sow discord and division in NATO,

We are part of an alliance that does not seek revenge, that does not provoke or position itself aggressively, but simply exercises the right to defend its own territory and its own values. And the presence of Finland and Sweden in this alliance can only make us stronger, more empathetic, and more solidary.

Thank you!”