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May 28, 2024

A roundup of local and international news.

Newsflash
Newsflash

, 28.05.2024, 13:55

DEFENSE – The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, on Tuesday called for a ‘balance’ between the need for Ukraine to attack targets on Russian territory with equipment donated by the West and the risk of escalation of the conflict that this approach can involve, informs France Presse reports. Borrell said before the Council of EU Defense Ministers that the possibility of allowing Ukraine to use European weapons to launch attacks inside Russia would be discussed. Also in Brussels, the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that Ukraine’s use of weapons provided by its Western allies against targets inside Russia would not make NATO and its members part of the conflict. In this context, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo signed a ten-year bilateral security agreement in Brussels on Tuesday, which includes the delivery of 30 F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv.

 

 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminiţa Odobescu, emphasized, at a meeting of her EU counterparts, the importance of rapid military assistance to Ukraine and adoption of a new package of sanctions against Russia. The Romanian official also signaled Russia’s hybrid attacks on the Republic of Moldova. The meeting in Brussels also addressed developments in the Middle East. Minister Odobescu emphasized the need to resolve the crisis in Gaza by continuing efforts to release all hostages, cease fire, provide comprehensive humanitarian assistance and resume the political process leading to a lasting peace, based on the two-state solution.

 

 

WAGE – The Bucharest Government is to adopt, this week, the decision to increase the minimum wage to 3,700 lei (approx. 740 euros), starting July 1, the leadership of the PSD-PNL ruling coalition has decided, according to political sources. The Social Democrats and the Liberals also decided that the value of the salary, exempt from any taxes, should increase from 200 lei (approx. 40 euros) to 300 lei (approx. 60 euros). The coalition also discussed reducing budget expenditure by limiting it to what is strictly necessary, but also maintaining the cap on trade mark-up and extending it to all Romanian food products. The merchants do not reject this idea, PM Marcel Ciolacu said, explaining that in France the measure has already proven its effectiveness in protecting domestic producers.

 

 

GAZA – The UN Security Council convenes today in an emergency meeting following Sunday’s Israeli air bombardment of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The emergency meeting was requested by Algeria and has the support of Slovenia, according to some diplomats. Gaza’s health authority, led by Hamas, said 45 people were killed and dozens wounded in Sunday’s airstrike, which hit tents housing displaced people. Most of the victims were women and children. The European and Arab states condemned the continuation of Israel’s bombardment of the city of Rafah. In a message on the X social media platform, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned, in turn, “Israel’s actions that killed dozens of innocent civilians who were only seeking shelter in this deadly conflict.” The Israeli military said the airstrike targeted a Hamas compound and that two high-ranking members of the group were killed. Israel announced that it was investigating the incident.

 

 

THEATRE – “Anthology of Disappearance”, directed by Radu Afrim, staged at the National Theatre in Iaşi (north-east), was last night designated best show at the 2024 UNITER  Awards Gala, an event that rewards excellence in Romanian theatre. The awards for actors in the main role went to Cerasela Iosifescu and Tudor Cucu-Dumitrescu, the award for debut went to the actress Ramona Nicolae, and the “Ion Caramitru” award of excellence was received by actor Valer Dellakeza. Oana Pellea and Dan Condurache were honored with awards for their entire activity. The winner of Best Radio Drama show was “The summer in which my mother had green eyes”, directed by Diana Mihaipol, which was broadcast last year on the Radio Romania Culture Channel.

 

 

VISIT – The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is travelling to Chisinau today, for talks on the topic of the United States’ support for the Republic of Moldova’s EU accession, as well as on the subject of energy security. Antony Blinken was in the Republic of Moldova two years ago, at the beginning of March, just a few days after Russia invaded the neighbouring country, Ukraine. After the visit to Chisinau, the American official will go to Prague, in the Czech Republic, to participate in an informal meeting of the NATO foreign ministers, where the priorities of the Alliance’s next summit in July, in Washington, will be analyzed. We remind you that the Republic of Moldova applied for EU accession in March 2022 and three months later it was granted the status of candidate country. In December 2023, EU leaders decided to open accession negotiations with the former Soviet republic.

 

 

TENNIS – The Romanian tennis player Sorana Cîrstea (30 WTA) is up against the Russian Anna Blinkova (55 WTA) today, in the first round of the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year. The two met only once in the WTA circuit, in 2020, when Sorana defeated Blinkova. Two other Romanians qualified, on Monday evening, to the second round, after victories in straight sets. Irina Begu (127 WTA) defeated the Argentinian Julia Riera (115 WTA), 6-2, 6-2 while Ana Bogdan (64 WTA) beat the French Elsa Jacquemot (149 WTA ), 6-1, 6-3. In the second round, Begu will face the Czech Linda Noskova (29 WTA), who defeated the British Harriet Dart. Noskova beat Begu in the first round at Indian Wells last year. Bogdan will be up against the Russian Anastasia Pavliucenkova, victorious in the first round against the Hungarian Panna Udvardy. (EE)

 

 

 

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