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April 3, 2022 UPDATE

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, 03.04.2022, 19:58

NATO — Sunday marked 73 years since the setting up of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO, and according to the national law, Romania also celebrated NATO Day, marking 18 years of membership. On this occasion, a military ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Gemina Infantry Division 4 Command in Cluj-Napoca (northwest), which was attended by the defense minister, Vasile Dîncu. Events were also organized by the Romanian Naval Forces on board the military ships from the ports of Constanţa, Mangalia, Brăila and Tulcea. President Klaus Iohannis said in a message on NATO Day that he would continue to strongly support the consolidation of the transatlantic relationship, which he considers to be the backbone of the Alliance and the community of democratic and security values ​​ which Romania is a part of. The PM Nicolae Ciuca said that Bucharest would make every effort to increase and strengthen the Allied and American military presence, in order to guarantee the security of its citizens. In turn, the defense minister, Vasile Dîncu, said that NATO accession brought Romania the strongest security guarantee in the countrys history, and the country now has a professional, experienced army, which has exercised its capabilities in missions in theaters of operations abroad.



Visit — On Monday, the Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu will have political consultations with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Eva-Maria Liimets, on the occasion of her visit to Bucharest, at the invitation of the Romanian Foreign Minister. According to a communiqué of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the two officials will participate in a conference organized by the New Strategy Center think tank, with the theme Russias aggression in Ukraine. How can we build a more resilient NATO Eastern Flank, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea? Consultations will focus on discussing ways to develop bilateral ties, especially in relation to economic and sectoral cooperation between the two countries, with a view to properly exploring the existing potential.



PNL — The extraordinary congress of the National Liberal Party – PNL, in the ruling coalition in Romania, for the election of a new president of the party, will take place on April 10, the Liberals National Council decided on Sunday. 1,300 delegates will attend. Until the congress, the interim presidency of PNL will be held by the president of the Suceava County Council, Gheorghe Flutur. On Saturday, the Speaker of the Romanian Senate, Florin Cîţu, announced his resignation as president of the PNL. Many Liberals had previously called for his departure. They accuse Cîțu of causing tensions within the governing coalition, in its relationship with the Social Democratic Party – PSD, of not communicating with the party members and of having a bad public image, which affects the Liberals score in the polls regarding voting intentions. Cîţus opponents would like the party leadership to be taken over by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, who, according to the media, has a much better image in society and a coherent dialogue with the governing partners. Respected as a full-time professional military, Ciuca is, however, the protagonist of a plagiarism scandal, related to his doctoral thesis. The former Prime Minister Cîţu was elected only half a year ago, at the end of September 2021. At the time, clearly supported by the head of state, Klaus Iohannis, he won, in a tense congress, the elections against another former prime minister, Ludovic Orban, who had led the PNL since 2017.



Academy – The Romanian Academy on Monday celebrates its 156th anniversary. The anniversary is marked in the hall of the Academy by a festive general assembly and by screenings of documentaries, featuring the main moments in the history of the institution. Considered one of the first fundamental institutions for the consolidation of the Romanian modern state, the Romanian Academy initially had the mission to regulate the Romanian language and to study the national history. Subsequently, its activity has diversified to include all fields of science. Opinion surveys show that, along with the Army and the Church, the Academy is the institution which Romanians trust the most.



Covid – In Romania, the number of new COVID cases continues to drop, reaching 1,429 on Sunday. The authorities also reported 11 coronavirus-related deaths. Since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, more than 2.85 million cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in the country and more than 65,000 patients have died. More than 8 million people have been fully vaccinated. We recall that, as of March 9, no anti-Covid restrictions have been in force in Romania.



Ukraine — Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that it has documented numerous cases in which Russian military forces have violated the laws of war against civilians in the occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkov and Kyiv regions of Ukraine. In the period February 27 – March 14, the Russian soldiers are accused of one case of repeated rape, of two summary executions, of violence and threats against civilians. Soldiers were also involved in looting private property, from where they stole food, clothing and firewood. After the withdrawal of Russian troops, a mass grave was found in the northern Ukrainian town of Bucea. Nearly 300 people were reportedly buried there. Tens of bodies lay on the streets, some with their hands tied. “Russia has an international legal obligation to impartially investigate the alleged war crimes committed by its soldiers,” said Hugh Williamson, HRWs Director for Europe and Central Asia. He stressed that all parties involved in the armed conflict in Ukraine are obliged to respect international humanitarian law and the laws of war. (LS)

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