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May 6, 2024 UPDATE

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Newsflash
Newsflash

, 06.05.2024, 20:00

EASTER Orthodox and Eastern-Catholic Christians in Romania are celebrating Bright Week, the first week after Easter. Easter, the most important religious holiday in the Christian world, is also the only one that lasts 3 days.

 

STATISTICS Romania has the 3rd-lowest life expectancy in the EU, 76.6 years, according to a report released by Eurostat. The only 2 countries in the European bloc with poorer rates in this respect are Bulgaria and Latvia (below 76 years). Spain has the longest life expectancy in the European Union, 84 years, followed closely by Italy and Malta. According to Eurostat data, lower rates are reported in Eastern Europe and in the three Baltic states, whereas in Mediterranean, Scandinavian and Central European countries people live longer. On the other hand, the EU statistics office said, Romania sees the steepest increase in life expectancy, with one year gained between 2019 and 2023.

 

MILITARY A multinational exercise called Swift Response 24 takes place until May 24 in Romania and other countries. Thousands of troops and hundreds of vehicles and other equipment from 7 Allied and partner states are taking part. The exercise is organised by the US Army Europe and Africa, and according to the Romanian defence ministry it will include one of the largest air assault operations conducted in Europe since WWII, with around 2,000 paratroopers from France, Germany, Romania, Spain, the US and the Netherlands taking part. Romania contributes 2,300 troops, several air bases and 3 firing ranges. The drills on Romanian territory are coordinated by the German Armed Forces jointly with the Romanian Land Forces, with support from the Romanian Air Forces.

 

COMPANIES The number of companies deregistered in Romania increased by nearly 15% in the first quarter of this year, to over 12,000, according to the National Trade Registry Office. Most of these companies were registered in Bucharest and Ilfov County (south), Constanţa (south-east), Cluj (north-west), Timiş (west) and Iaşi (north-east), and operated in sectors like vehicle repair, wholesale and retail, and constructions.

 

RUSSIA Russia’s president Vladimir Putin ordered nuclear weapons drills “in the near future,” involving in particular troops deployed close to Ukraine, France Presse and Reuters report. According to the Russian defence ministry, the drills are designed to keep the Army trained, following “provocative statements and threats of certain Western officials regarding the Russian Federation.” Missile units from the Military District South and naval forces will take part in the drills. Russia currently has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. The 2022 invasion of Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin led to the worst deterioration of Russia’s relations with the West since the Cuban missile crisis, both US and Russian diplomats said. While Moscow claims the war is a response to NATO’s attempts to control Ukraine while expanding its military presence eastwards, the West and Ukraine define Putin’s war as intended to occupy new territory and bring Ukraine under Moscow’s control, Reuters says.

 

UKRAINE Russia’s army announced on Monday having seized another 2 Ukrainian villages, one in Donetsk, in the east, and the other one in Kharkiv, in the north-east. Commentators say Russia has the initiative against an enemy struggling to recruit new troops and facing a slow-down in Western aid. With the US military assistance resumed after a USD 61 bln aid plan for Kyiv approved in late April, Ukraine should be able to strengthen its forces and to try to stabilise the front.

 

VISIT The war in Ukraine and economic relations between China and the European Union were the main topics on the agenda of Monday’s talks in Paris, held as part of a 2-day state visit by China’s president Xi Jinping to France. The Chinese official called for a consolidated strategic coordination between China and the EU, as major world powers, at the start of a 3-party meeting with president Emmanuel Macron and with the European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen. President Macron pleaded in turn for “fair rules for all” in the trade between China and Europe. “The future of our continent will very clearly depend on our ability to continue to develop relations with China in a balanced manner,” Macron said, and added that “coordination” with Beijing on “major crises” including Ukraine and the Middle East was “absolutely decisive.” In turn, the EC president Ursula von der Leyen said that China and the EU have a shared interest in peace and security, and emphasized the determination to end Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and to achieve just and long-term peace.

 

GAZA On Monday the Israeli armed forces started to evacuate Palestinian civilians from Rafah, ahead of a planned military move in this town in the south of Gaza, an Israeli radio station, Army Radio, has announced. The Israeli Army said it “encourages” residents in eastern Rafah to move to an extended humanitarian area close by. Seven months since the start of its attack on Hamas, Israel says Rafah is hosting thousands of Islamist Palestinian fighters and that the town is critical for its victory. But with over one million Palestinian civilians relocated to Rafah, the prospect of a military operation with a large number of victims is a concern for the West and for neighbouring Egypt, Reuters reports. (AMP)

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