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COVID-19 36,269 new SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported for the past 24 hours in Romania, along with 193 related fatalities, the Strategic Communication Group announced on Tuesday. Since the start of the pandemic 2 years ago, more than 2 million Romanians have had the disease and over 60,000 died. Meanwhile, since the start of the vaccine roll-out in December 2020, over 8 million people have received a full vaccination cycle, and 2.4 million have also got the booster dose.
MOLDOVA The number of supporters of the R. of Moldova's union with Romania is growing, according to an opinion poll quoted by Radio Chişinău on Tuesday. Over 34% of the respondents in Moldova would vote in favour of the union, says the poll commissioned by IDIS Viitorul in Chișinău and the Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations with the Romanian Academy. This is a record-high number of union supporters, over 10 times higher than in 2010. According to the same poll, which focused on citizens' perception of the relations between Moldova and Romania, over 62% of the people with dual citizenship would vote for the union. However, in the case of new tensions similar to the one in Ukraine, more people would back a military alliance with Russia (22.5%) than with Romania (12.5%).
POLITICS The Prosecutor General's Office announced on Tuesday that a criminal investigation was initiated with respect to an incident in Parliament, where the Romanian energy minister Virgil Popescu was assaulted by the co-president of the nationalist opposition party AUR, George Simion. Popescu had previously filed a criminal complaint against Simion. While attending a Chamber of Deputies meeting on Monday, the Liberal minister Virgil Popescu was insulted and assaulted by Simion. The meeting was suspended, and subsequently resumed with only the opposition MPs from AUR and USR in attendance.
POLLUTION Romanian authorities have today launched 2 programmes, RABLA Clasic and RABLA Plus 2022, with a combined budget of around 240 million euros. Under the 2 programmes, the Government provides subsidies for scrapping old and heavily polluting motor vehicles. The same rules apply as in previous years, but novelties have also been introduced. One of them is the option of using 2 vouchers obtained through scrapping used vehicles for the purchase of a hybrid or electric vehicle.
UKRAINE The president of France Emmanuel Macron discussed with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday about the need for dialogue in the context of the Ukraine standoff. At the end of the meeting, Emmanuel Macron said all parties should behave "responsibly" in this crisis. He pleaded for maintaining the current system of agreements concerning European security, and suggested that a system of concrete security guarantees be put together for all stakeholders. In turn, Putin said a number of ideas and proposals put forth by the French president may pave the way for the de-escalation of the current crisis over Ukraine. Vladimir Putin also added that Russia and France have shared concerns regarding security in Europe. Today the French president meets his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, in the first official visit of a French president to that country in 24 years. Macron has repeatedly discussed the need to deescalate tensions and to find diplomatic solutions to the situation in the east of Europe, and emphasised that finding a political way out of the standoff was his priority. Meanwhile in Washington, following talks at the White House with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US president Joe Biden said diplomacy remains the best way to settle the Ukraine crisis. He warned however that the US and NATO will be prepared in case Russia attacks Ukraine. (tr. A.M.P.)
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