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Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging President Biden to Invite Romanian President to Washington

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Subcommittee, led a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators in a letter today urging President Biden to invite Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, to Washington or to consider a visit to Romania ahead of the 2024 NATO Summit. Joining Shaheen on this letter were U.S. Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Peter Welch (D-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).  

In part, the Senators wrote: “Since joining NATO in 2004, Romania has built deep partnerships with the transatlantic Alliance and strengthened the U.S.-Romania relationship on issues ranging from military cooperation to countering Russian malign influence and disinformation. […] In response to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine last year, Romania has been a vital partner to both Ukraine and NATO. Romania has provided over $1 billion humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and welcomed more than 6 million Ukrainian refugees.” 

They continued: “Most critical to the enduring success of the NATO Alliance, President Iohannis announced the country’s decision to increase its defense spending to 2.5% of its GDP, making Romania a leading contributor to NATO. […] A visit by the Romanian President or a visit to Romania will enhance our strategic relationship and cooperation on regional security engagement and reaffirm our friendship to the Romanian people.” 

Text of the letter can be found here

Senator Shaheen is a leading voice in U.S.-European relations. In October, Shaheen and Ricketts chaired a subcommittee hearing on implementation of the Department of State’s strategy on security in the Black Sea region. Shaheen also led a congressional delegation to Romania and Georgia in February with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to discuss the importance of Romania’s leadership in the Black Sea region. As chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group and Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that oversees U.S. policy towards Europe, Shaheen is a leading policymaker on efforts in defense of democracies around the globe amid Putin’s efforts to destabilize the continent. Shaheen also led on the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which was signed into law, and establishes a military lend-lease program to enhance security assistance to Ukraine.??