Pres. Iohannis on official visit to the USA on August 19-20
VISIT The head of the Romanian state, Klaus Iohannis, will be on an official visit to Washington D.C. on August 19 and 20, at the invitation of the US president, Donald J. Trump. The 2 leaders will have a meeting on August 20, to discuss ways to strengthen and further develop the strong and dynamic strategic partnership between Romania and the US, in all its components. The Romanian president will emphasise on this occasion that his country will remain a reliable ally and strategic partner of the USA, one of the priorities of Romania’s foreign policy being to consolidate the trans-Atlantic relation and Euro-Atlantic security. Klaus Iohannis said he also intended to talk to Donald J. Trump about the American troops in Romania and about the country’s capacity to host more US troops. The issue of US visa requirements for Romanian citizens will also be approached. Meanwhile, according to the White House, the US president looks forward to celebrating the 30th year since the fall of communism and the 15th year of Romania’s NATO membership with president Iohannis. Klaus Iohannis and Donald Trump previously met at the White House in 2017, when they discussed the prospects for deepening and broadening the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US.
UNIVERSITY The 17th edition of the Izvoru Mureşului Summer University comes to a close today in Harghita County, central Romania. This year’s theme was “Romania and the Romanians abroad, one year since the Great Union Centennial”. The topics approached include means to preserve the identity of Romanian communities in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova in the context of regional geopolitical developments and the Romanian national interest, the policies of parliamentary parties and public institutions with respect to the Romanians abroad and the Romanians in multi-ethnic communities in the country. Attending the works were students from Romania and from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and the diaspora, academics from the main universities in Romania and abroad, civil society and mass media representatives.
VOTE Nearly 9,000 Romanians living abroad had registered to vote by mail on the www.votstrainatate.ro portal 20 days since its release. According to the Permananet Electoral Authority, this is more than the total number of registrations for mail voting for the 2016 parliamentary elections. The website www.votstrainatate.ro has been created to ensure better records on the Romanians living abroad and to help keep them better informed on the voting process ahead of this November’s presidential election. The Ministry for the Romanians Abroad also launched an information campaign in this respect and announced that over 5.5 million Romanians have left the country. In the recent elections for the EP, tens of thousands of Romanians queued for hours in polling stations abroad, and many of them eventually failed to cast their ballots.
PIPELINE The BRUA pipeline, designed to carry natural gas from the Caspian and the Black Sea to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, will only be completed in December 2020, one year behind schedule, according to the financial report for the first half of this year made public by the Romanian company Transgaz. The reasons for the delay include problems in the bidding process, the need to amend the legislative framework, the discovery of archaeological sites, adverse weather conditions for extensive periods of time as well as delays in the negotiations with some of the land owners or users, the company explains. Last month, the Romanian Economy Ministry announced having finalised almost half of the pipeline, and around 80-90% of the 3 compressor stations. Stage I of the BRUA project requires total investments of nearly 500 million euro, of which the EU has offered a 179-million grant. The Government of Romania holds about 60% of the stock of Transgaz, with the remaining shares traded in the stock market.
MILITARY The National Defence Ministry will organise at the Mihail Kogălniceanu 57 Air Base, in the south east, a ceremony to mark the dispatch of the 'Carpathian Pumas' unit on a mission in Mali. The Romanian troops will take part in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. The around 120 members of the Romanian unit, accompanied by 4 IAR-330 Puma L-RM helicopters, will be in charge of medical evacuation, transportation of troops and materials, passenger transport, air patrol and monitoring activities beginning mid-October. At present Romania has 1,033 troops involved in missions abroad.
SONGS All Romanians are invited to vote for one month to choose the 6 songs representing Romania in the first EU Songbook. So far 65,000 people in 26 countries have voted for their favourites, says the organiser of the event, the European Union Songbook organisation, on its website. The EU Songbook is a non-profit organisation without political or financial connections with Brussels. The first edition of the Songbook will be published on Europe Day, May 9, 2020.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)