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March 16, 2024

A roundup of domestic and international news

NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 16.03.2024, 13:55

NATO – The Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó, has welcomed the recent entry of the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, into the competition for the NATO leadership and considered as gratifying the fact that Central Europe finally has a candidate for the position of Secretary General of the Alliance. The Hungarian official declared, on Friday, that the government in Budapest will not support the Dutch Mark Rutte for this post, stating that in a union such as NATO, mutual trust is essential, and supporting a candidate who declared that Hungary must kneel is not possible. We remind you that President Klaus Iohannis announced, this week, his candidacy for the NATO leadership, in the context in which Romania and other Eastern partners requested greater representation in the allied structures at a time when regional security is threatened by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

 

Romarm – Romania will receive 47 million Euros for a project carried out by the Romarm Company together with Germany. The budget allocated by the European Commission to the Romanian project is the largest of the 31 winning projects. The Commission released, on Friday, more than 500 million Euros for companies from member states, in order to increase the ammunition production capacity. It is a first installment from a total of about 2 billion Euros. According to the European Commission, at the end of 2024, European arms production will reach an annual capacity of 1,000,000 bombshells (155-caliber) and at the end of 2025 the amount will double. According to Radio Romania’s correspondent in Brussels, in parallel, the Commission recommends the member states to make joint purchases of larger sizes, in order to give a signal of predictability in the medium and long term to the arms industry.

 

Russia – Saturday is the second day of the presidential election in Russia, in which almost a third of the approximately 112 million Russians with the right to vote have already participated. President Vladimir Putin voted from his office, in an attempt to promote electronic voting, considered fraudulent by the opposition. Several people were arrested for spraying ink, paint and antiseptic on the ballot boxes or throwing Molotov cocktails in the direction of the polling stations. Furthermore, Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of trying to disrupt his re-election through attacks and incursions on the border. At least 2 Russian civilians were killed in a Ukrainian missile attack on the city of Belgorod, while Russia, in turn, attacked a residential area of ​​the Ukrainian city of Odessa on Friday, killing at least 20 people. According to official polls, Vladimir Putin enjoys a voting intention of over 80%, so he could achieve his biggest electoral victory since he came to power in 2000. The opposition has asked the West not to recognize the election results.

 

Book Fair – Romania will be present, next week, at the Leipzig Book Fair, in Germany, the most important event in Central and Eastern Europe dedicated to authors, translators and literary debates. Nine invited authors, 12 events, over 150 exhibited titles and a mini-bookstore are waiting for the public, between March 21 and 24, at the Romanian stand organized by the Ministry of Culture in Bucharest. Two of the authors who will be present at the Romanian stand have books translated, for the first time, into German, which confirms a growing interest of the German-speaking literary space in cutting-edge Romanian literature.

 

Tennis – The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, ready to play again after the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne reduced her 4-year suspension to 9 months, was called up to the Romanian team for the match against Ukraine in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers. The match will take place on April 12 and 13, in Florida (USA). Romania and Ukraine have met four times so far, with the Romanians leading with the score 3-1. In November, Romania defeated Serbia 4-0 in the play-off to stay in the World Group of the competition, while Ukraine defeated Lithuania 3-1. On the other hand, also in tennis, the Romanian-Russian pair Monica Niculescu/Irina Hromaceva was defeated by the pair Sara Errani (Italy)/Tereza Mihalikova (Slovakia), 6-4, 6-3, on Friday, in the doubles semifinals at the American WTA 125 tournament in Charleston. (LS)

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