Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary of state, said during a speech in Bucharest that the fight against corruption is a “marathon, not a sprint” and Romania is in a “crucial moment” inside the marathon.
Speaking at the Faculty of Law in Bucharest, Mitchell underlined that Romania recorded a “significant progress” in the anti-corruption efforts.
Asked about the controversial amendments voted by MPs to the justice laws, the Department of State official stated that the “US supports the fight against corruption this should encourage Romanians.”
He went on to say that the US support the anti-corruption institutions in Romania “as a pillar of your democracy and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
The official was asked if president Klaus Iohannis should remove the head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi. “I think this is a matter that has to be solved by Romanian citizens and their leaders through the constitutional mechanisms that you have.”
The American official said Romania’s anti-corruption efforts are important to eliminate vulnerabilities which could be used by hostile powers to undermine the state from the inside.
Mitchell pointed out that both China and Russia aim to break the West, suggesting that the Russians want to fracture it, while the Chinese aim to replace it.
“And nowhere are they more determined to do so than here, in the Black Sea region. Their objective is the very political, social and economic fabric that makes up Romania,” he said.
Talking about Romania’s potential, its geographical position and the abundance of resources turns the country into a crucial component of energy security in Europe.
Mitchell is responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE.