SCHENGEN – Romania is in the right context to join the Schengen area, the minister delegate for European affairs, Victor Negrescu, said on Monday. He explained that this context refers to the preparations that are being made for Romania’s presidency of the EU Council, in the first half of 2019. Negrescu said that Romania is currently meeting all technical criteria to join the Schengen area, the only problem being what he called the lack of unanimous political will among the partners. Few influential EU members point an accusatory finger to the persistent corruption in the Romanian administration and are opposed to Bucharest’s Schengen accession.
REP. OF MOLDOVA – Currently on a visit to Chisinau, Romanian defence minister, Mihai Fifor, has reiterated Romania’s constant readiness to support the Republic of Moldova along its path to European accession, as well as within the North-Atlantic structures. After the meeting with his Moldovan counterpart, Eugen Sturza, Fifor has announced that this year, 41 troops of the Republic of Moldova will be trained in Romanian military education institutions. Furthermore, the number of scholarships in the military medical education system in Romania has been supplemented to 200. The official agenda of talks covered such issues as the security situation in the region and bilateral cooperation in the field of defence, laying emphasis on the joint projects for the continuation of Moldova’s European and Euro-Atlantic path. Mihai Fifor has been accompanied during the visit by the chief of staff of the Romanian army, general Nicolae Ciucă.
NATURAL GAS EXPORTS – Romania will detail the technical conditions for natural has exports to neighbouring Hungary until 2020, according to an agreement signed in Bucharest on Monday by the foreign ministers of the two countries, Teodor Melescanu and Peter Szijjarto, respectively. The Hungarian foreign minister said Hungarian firms have already reserved 4.4 billion cubic meters, the whole capacity of the pipeline linking Romania to Hungary. It is for the first time in the past decades that Hungary has the opportunity to buy huge amounts of gas from other source than Russia, Szijjarto concluded. Earlier, Romanian energy minister, Anton Anton, had said he supports the exploitation of gas from the Black Sea so that Romania obtains maximum profit.
TENNIS – Romanian woman tennis player Simona Halep, no. 2 WTA, will be replaced by Ana Bogdan (no.86 WTA) in Romania’s national team in the FedCup match with Canada, scheduled for the weekend, on home turf, in Cluj-Napoca, north-western Romania, sources with the Romanian Tennis Federation have announced. Halep has been struggling with an ankle injury that she sustained last month, in the Australian Open. Upon her return, she said she was “exhausted” from a physical point of view and added that she will have to undergo several medical investigations to see when she can return to the tennis court. The other players that have been summoned for the match with Canada are Sorana Cîrstea (no.38 WTA), Irina-Camelia Begu (no.37 WTA) and Raluca Olaru (no.45 WTA in the doubles).