George Maior, Ambassador of Romania to the United States, speaking at the Hudson Institute, March 19, 2019/Photo by Patricia Leslie
"I am a diplomat," said George Maior, ambassador of Romania to the United States, answering a question about NATO at a talk he gave at the Hudson Institute Tuesday.
"NATO functions well despite differences," and its members "have values and common interests. We should work for creating harmony" rather than talk about disagreements, said Mr. Maior, 51, whose nation in January began its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Europe faces "many challenges on a global scale," Mr. Ambassador said.
The E.U.'s main concern is the upcoming departure of the United Kingdom from its ranks, a topic of utmost interest at the Hudson.
Ambassador Maior said the E.U. will "remain just as strong without the U.K." but countries in north central and Western Europe "really, really consider [Brexit] a great loss," and "we must face this pragmatically."
The U.K. exit can become "lose, lose" for the E.U. and the U.K.
High on the agenda at a May summit will be E.U.'s future, said Mr. Maior.
At the crowded afternoon session, Mr. Maior addressed the relationship between the E.U. and the U.S., stressing the importance of cooperation and "shared values."
"European and American destinies have always been and need to be interconnected" to "benefit both."
The U.S. and the E.U. share "a great track record" which "has made a difference to people around the world."
Europe "needs more, not less" U.S. involvement in Europe, based on the agreement of the Transatlantic Partnership, the ambassador said.
On left is Walter Russell Mead of the Hudson Institute with George Maior, Ambassador of Romania to the United States, at the Hudson Institute, March 19, 2019/Photo by Patricia Leslie
After Ambassador Maior's remarks, there was time for a few questions and answers, some about Turkey, which, moderator Walter Russell Mead noted, is "an important part of Romania's economy."
"From NATO's point of view," said Ambassador Maior, "Turkey's presence is vital for the alliance."
And how about reported human rights violations in Turkey?
"We are concerned everywhere in terms of the rule of law and human rights."
He labeled the area around the Black Sea, "a region in turmoil," affected by the war in Georgia and Russia's "illegal annexation" of Crimea.
A man who identified his organization as the Russian News Agency asked about missiles in Romania which belong to the U.S.*
"I do not agree [with the question]," Mr. Maior said. The missiles do not belong to the U.S. "but they are a NATO project" for protection for Europe against missiles from the Middle East. "They have nothing to do with Russia."
The ambassador talked about 45 minutes in this chapter in the institute's "Ambassadors Series."
*When it woke up this morning, missiles were on Russia's mind. See comments by the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, at the Stimson Center, March 4, 2019.