The new US ambassador, Kathleen Kavalec, on an official visit to Constanta, told G4Media and Info Sud-Est that she does not consider the Black Sea region to be “a powder keg“, as it has been described by the American media, and described the episode of the US drone shot down by the Russians as an “unprovoked and unprofessional incident”.
Asked about “the lack of a single voice on the Romania-Bulgaria-Turkey axis, like the Baltics”, Kathleen Kavalec said she hoped “we will see better cooperation between the countries in the region”.
Regarding the Port of Constanta, the ambassador said that one of the issues the US will continue to look at is “what will happen in terms of grain transport routes from the Black Sea, and if there are going to be restrictions, there will be more demand for the Port of Constanta”.
Reporter: After the incident in which an American drone was shot down in the Black Sea, the area was described as a “powder keg” even in the American press. Do you agree with this description and the assessment that “Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey are hard to be made to function like the Baltics, as one singular voice”? (details here, ed.)
Kathleen Kavalec: I don’t agree that it’s a powder keg, I don’t think that’s an accurate description, I think it’s important to know that the incident was unprovoked and unprofessional on Russia’s part and happened in international airspace, and the United States will continue such missions. I believe that the war has made many capitals aware of the value of cooperation and I hope that we will see better cooperation between countries in the region.
Reporter: The port of Constanta has become a key port in the region, for grain exports from Ukraine but also militarily, strategically. What has been done well in the Port of Constanta since the beginning of the war, what more could be done?
Kathleen Kavalec: I had a wonderful tour of the port, which I really enjoyed. What I think has been done well is the public-private partnership in the port, where the government is present and the operators are private companies, which I think has made it possible to improve performance in response to the war and the need to transport more grain. I know there will be more investment to come. I have heard about them. Obviously, one of the things we will be looking at going forward is what will happen in terms of grain shipping routes from the Black Sea, and if there are restrictions, there will be greater demands on the Port of Constanta. What we have seen today has shown that the improvements that have been made have made it possible to grow rapidly and hopefully there will be an alternative route.
Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec paid a visit to Constanta on Friday, which included a meeting with Mayor Vergil Chițac, the head of the Port of Constanta, Florin Vizan, the spiritual leader of Muslims in Romania, Iusuf Muurat, and the director of ADM Romania, Anton Povkhan,
At the end of the day, the Ambassador arrived at Ovidius University where she met the Rector Marcel Iliescu, the Vice-Rector Mihai Gîrțu, the coordinator of the American Studies program, Ludmila Martanovschi, the Director of the “Ioan Popișteanu” University Library of Ovidius University, Florentina Nicolae, and students and professors of the American Studies program.
Kathleen Kavalec also visited the American Corner Constanta resource centre, met with it’s team and participated in a round table discussion with journalists from the region. Ambassador Kathleen Kavalec began her term in December 2022, replacing former Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman.
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