Black Sea Tour on the Regional Effects of Ukraine Crisis

Representative Loretta Sanchez (D – CA), travelled to Romania on a fact-finding mission between June 29 and July 1, at the invitation of the German Marshal Fund in cooperation with MIC & Associates.

Congresswoman Sanchez met during her official trip, among others, with Mr. Iulian Fota, the National Security Advisor to President Traian Basescu, as well as with Mr. Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary for International Affairs at the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On Monday, June 30, Mrs. Sanchez chaired a roundtable discussion at the Gheorge Sincai Institute in Bucharest. The topic debated was – “Romania – The Last Frontier on Ukraine – Black Sea Conflict“. The meeting, hosted by Mr. Adrian Marius Dobre, General Secretary and Ms. Maria-Manuela Catrina, Executive Director, was joined by senior members of the Prime Minster Victor Ponta’s Cabinet, including Justice and Foreign Affairs representatives.

Rep. Sanchez, Adrian Dobre (behind her), Manuela Catrina (left of Mr. Dobre), Ms. Maia Teodoroiu, State Secretary – Justice Ministry (left of Ms. Catrin),  Mr. Sorin Encutescu, State Counselor, Nat. Sec. Agency (light jacket), senator Dan Tataru member of the Natl. Defense Committee (left of Mrs. Sanchez)

Later that afternoon, Representative Sanchez met with Mr. Valeriu Nicut, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Defense.

A Dinner Hosted by TRH Prince Paul and Princess Lia of Romania in honor of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez concluded the first full day of the visit.

Ms. Meyer, Prince Paul of Romania and Rep. Sanchez at Dinner in Bucharest

On Tuesday, July 1st, Mrs. Sanchez visited the US/Romanian Military Base at Kogălniceanu Airport, near Constanta – The 21st Theater Sustainment Command. At the base they were greeted by Col. Dave Brown, Base Commander, as well as by high-ranking commanders from the Air Force, Marine and Army Rangers stationed there. The Kogalniceanu Base serves as a transit and clearing point for a vast majority of the US troops leaving the theater of operations in Afghanistan. Representative Sanchez was accompanied by Stefan Minovici and his colleagues from the US and Romania, Mr. Edward Griffith and Mr. Doru Epure, as well as by Mrs. Katherine Meyer from California.

The delegation was invited to attend a Working Lunch with the troops at the base, a special opportunity to interact with the men and women of our armed forces.

Rep. Sanchez, Mrs. Meyer, Stefan Minovici, Ed Griffith and Doru Epure with commanders USAF and Marines in front of a California made C-17 cargo plane that just arrived from Afghanistan

Rep. Sanchez, Mrs. Meyer, Stefan Minovici and Doru Epure with commanders of Marines, Air Force and Army Rangers at the MK Base – Constanta

Stefan Minovici and Col. David Brown – Commander of the US Base at MK AF at lunchtime

MK BASE – Rep. Sanchez with a group of Marine sand Army Rangers from California in front of the Romanian flag

Rep. Sanchez on the Angle Saligny ship, surrounded by members of her delegation and the local officials and community leaders

The visit at the MK Base was followed by a tour of the largest and most important harbor on the Black Sea, the Constanta Port. With neighboring Crimea in Kremlin’s hands today and Ukraine besieged by invading Russian forces, all compounded by the downing of MA 17 Flight, Romania today is virtually bordering a belligerent Russia, eager to resurrect its defunct Soviet empire.

The US delegation led by Congresswoman Sanchez was greeted by Mr. Zoltan Istvan, Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport, by Mr. Iulian Matache, Secretary of State for Transportation, by Mr. Dan Belecea, General Director, Romanian Commercial Rail System and by Mr. Dorin Iacob, President of Romcargo Maritim, who organized the visit in the city and the port of Constanta.

After a briefing and presentation at the headquarters of the Port Authority of Constanta, the delegation went on a tour of the Port by vessel, reviewing the Romanian Navy ships docked at piers, as well as various cargo vessels and ongoing operations.

Romania is a key promoter and partner of the TRACECA Project, also known as the new Silk Road between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan that will bring commercial traffic and access from the Caucuses into Europe via the Black Sea and Romania.

A dinner hosted by the Mayor of Constanta, Mr. Radu Mazare, in the resort area of Mamaia concluded the visit to the Black Sea and Romania by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.


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