Covid-19Ro. The number of new cases of coronavirus infection is dropping in Romania, though the number of related fatalities remains quite high. 14,524 new cases and 135 deaths - of which 10 from the previous reporting period - have been reported today. Health Minister Alexandru Rafila and those responsible for managing the crisis are considering a staged relaxation, by field of activity, which might start two or three weeks from now. As regards vaccination, more than 8.1 million people have been immunized with the first doze, and 2.5 million with the booster.
Talks. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, has met Brussels today with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. The two discussed security developments in the EU's Eastern Neighborhood, the support for the Republic of. Moldova (ex-Soviet, predominantly Romanian-speaking), energy security, the package of measures to combat climate change and the enlargement of the Schengen area. The meeting took place on the sidelines of President Iohannis' participation in the 6th European Union-African Union Summit, held on Thursday and Friday in Brussels. Today, Klaus Iohannis has also attended a teleconference organized by the American president Joe Biden on the crisis in Ukraine, along with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the EU and NATO. Romania wants to ease the crisis through diplomacy, but is prepared for the consequences of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, Klaus Iohannis said. He has added that if the security situation at Ukraine's borders changes, the EU has an established package of reactions and Romania, which has more than 600km of common border with Ukraine, is ready for a possible influx of migrants from that country.
Security. The Romanian Minister of Defense, Vasile Dîncu, participates, on February 18-20, in the Munich Security Conference, where the context created by the massive deployment of Russian troops at the borders of Ukraine will be discussed. According to a statement from the Ministry of National Defense, the officials will also address issues related to the importance of nuclear security, risk reduction in this area and transparency in terms of disarmament and non-proliferation, for global and regional stability and security. Topics such as climate change and hybrid threats will also be addressed. The Romanian Minister will participate in a working lunch hosted by representatives of the American Atlantic Council think -tank , the main topics of discussion being the security situation and military mobility.
Protest. Three employers' organizations of Romanian road haulers are preparing to organize street protests in case the Government does not intervene for capping the prices of the civil liability insurance for car owners(RCA), according to a communiqué issued on Friday by the Romanian Confederation of Authorized Operators and Carriers (COTAR). The president of this confederation, Vasile Stefanescu, pointed out that the increase will bankrupt the Romanian carriers, which will in turn block Romania. The employers' organization recalls that in recent years the Financial Supervisory Authority has repeatedly reported situations in which insurance companies have broken the law, have increased fees even after capping, and used non-transparent tariffs which included all their operating costs, although these companies have several business lines.
Accident. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has announced that 29 Romanians, passengers and crew, have been saved by Greek teams from a fire that broke out on a ferry near the island of Corfu. Greek authorities say all passengers were taken by other ships and carried to the shore. The Romanian Embassy in Athens has called on the Greek authorities to urgently provide additional information about the identity and health of the Romanian citizens, for the embassy to provide the necessary support. There were 237 passengers and 51 crew on board the ferry that was carrying passengers and goods between Greece and Italy.
Tennis. Romanian tennis player Simona Halep plays today against the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, in the semifinals of the WTA 500 tournament in Dubai, with some 800 thousand dollars in prize money. On Thursday, Halep defeated the Tunisian Ons Jabeur in two sets, and Ostapenko won the match against the Czech Petra Kvitova, in three sets. The two players last met at the Roland Gaross tournament of 2017, when Ostapenko won. As regards the Dubai tournament, Halep has won it twice before, in 2015 and 2020. (MI)