Romania does not trust Russia: president
Romania does not trust Russia because it feels "uncomfortable" with Russian troops stationed at its border in the breakaway Republic of Transdniestr, Romanian President Basescu said on Tuesday.
Asked in an interview with the daily newspaper Romania Libera "why Romania does not trust Russia", Basescu answered: "because we are uncomfortable with Russian troops stationed along our border in Transdniestr".
The Russian-speaking region broke away from the rest of Romanian-speaking Moldova in a short war in the early 1990s. It is not internationally recognised but Russia has deployed troops there for a so-called "peacekeeping mission".
"We also do not feel comfortable at all that Russia extended its lease on the base for its Black Sea Fleet in Sebastopol (Ukraine) until 2042... Why do they need such a big fleet in such a small sea?", he asked.
According to Basescu, the lack of confidence was mutual between the two states.
"I do not think that there is any more trust of Romania in Russia than we have in Bucharest towards Moscow", the president underlined.
He said that a withdrawal from Russian troops in Transdniestr was seen as a "test" of Moscow's good intentions.
Romanian relations with Russia became tense in August after a spy scandal involving tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats.
© 2010 AFP