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March 31, 2023 UPDATE

A roundup of domestic and international news

Newsflash
Newsflash

, 31.03.2023, 20:00

DEFENCE – The strategic
partnership between the US and Romania has never been stronger, said the US
secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, during the talks with his Romanian
counterpart Angel Tîlvăr in Washington on Thursday. According to a news release
from the Pentagon, the US official praised the excellent relations between the
two countries’ armed forces and thanked Romania for hosting thousands of US and
Allied troops to bolster deterrence on NATO’s eastern flank, and for its role
as a leader in the Black Sea region. The two officials condemned Russia’s
reckless war of choice in Ukraine and reiterated their firm support for
Ukraine. The Romanian defense minister is on a visit to the US for several
days, and has meetings scheduled with senior US officials in the following
days.




GREEN DEAL – The involvement of
Romania and the EU in combating climate change, environment education as well
as the consequences of the war in Ukraine ranked high on Friday’s agenda for
talks between Romania’s president, Klaus Iohannis, and European Commission
vice-president, Frans Timmermans, the EU official in charge of the European
Green Deal. President Iohannis spoke of the need to maintain support for
Ukraine as well as for the Republic of Moldova for as long as it’s necessary.
Frans Timmermans also met with Environment Minister Tánczos Barna. The meeting focused on European programs that
should receive financial support similar to the one provided by the Social
Climate Fund. Minister Barna pointed out that everyone affected by the
reduction in carbon-gas emissions should be compensated to make these changes
acceptable.




MEETING – Romania’s Prime
Minister, Nicolae Ciucă, on Friday met in Stockholm his Swedish counterpart,
Ulf Kirstersson. This is the first visit paid to this country by a Romanian
Prime Minister in the last 20 years. The two discussed the priorities of the
Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU, namely a greener, safer and freer
Europe, as well as the Russian Federation’s aggression in Ukraine. Prime Minister
Kristersson recently said Ukraine is the top priority for all, and that Kyiv’s
victory is essential for Europe and the whole world. Swedish wants to continue
to provide economic, political, humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.
Romania’s Prime Minister outlined the Romanian authorities’ effort to support
Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees at multiple levels. At the end of February, 109
thousand Ukrainians still resided in Romania, out of the total of 3 million
that transited our country. Ukrainian refugees benefit from free medical,
social and education services and can access the labor market. Romania has
fulfilled Schengen accession criteria, the Swedish Prime Minister also told the
joint press briefing.




B9 – Romania’s Foreign
Minister on Friday attended the meeting of B9 Foreign Ministers hosted by Łódź,
Poland. The Romanian official warned that the Russian threat affects NATO
security on the eastern flank, which requires a unitary vision at NATO level to
ensure proper deterrence and collective defense. In this sense, Minister
Aurescu pointed out that the consolidating of Allied military forces on the
Eastern flank is key. Minister Aurescu said a strong defense will also generate
strong deterrence, which is the only message that Russia understands. In this
context, the Romanian official argued in favor of continuing to provide robust
support to Ukraine and for the consolidation of the strategic resilience of
neighboring states, particularly those that are the most vulnerable to Russia’s
pressure, namely the Republic of Moldova but also Georgia, with a view to
ensuring peace and stability in the Black Sea region.




VISIT – Germany’s
chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Romania on April 3 to meet Romania’s
president, Klaus Iohannis, the German Embassy in Bucharest has announced. Talks
will focus on bilateral relations and European security and energy policies.
Olaf Scholz will later meet with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă. During the
second part of his visit, Chancellor Scholz and president Iohannis will hold a
joint meeting with the president of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu. This
meeting will tackle support for the Republic of Moldova. Chancellor Olaf Scholz
is also expected to meet with the Romanian Chamber of Deputies Speaker, Marcel
Ciolacu, as well as with representatives of the German community in Romania. (AMP
& VP)





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