A roundup of domestic and international news.
NATO – NATO has inaugurated a new Cyber Incident Response Capability for the Moldovan Armed Forces, to help minimize any threat resulting from cyber incidents, provide quick and efficient recovery and prevent similar incidents in the future. The inauguration was marked through a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană and the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Moldova, Victor Gaiciuc. “NATO and Moldova have been partners for more than 25 years. Our cooperation supports Moldova’s efforts to reform and modernize its defense and security structures and institutions, in full respect of Moldova’s constitutional neutrality,” Mircea Geoana said.
Restrictions – A number of restrictions in place in the capital Bucharest, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, will be lifted as of Monday, Prefect Traian Berbeceanu has announced. Thus, theaters and cinemas, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes will be open between 6 am and 9 pm, with an occupancy rate of a maximum 30%. At the same time, licensed gambling operators will be allowed to resume their activity, with the observance of the 30% occupancy rate. The decision to ease restrictions was taken following a contamination rate below 3 cases per thousand people, for three consecutive days.
Protests - In Bucharest and other cities of Romania, protests organized by one of the biggest trade union confederations in the country, Cartel Alfa, continued on Friday. After trade unionists' representatives discussed with labor minister Raluca Turcan, they said they only got promises that pensions would be recalculated and certain corrections would be made to the public servants’ salaries. Employees with the Interior Ministry also staged protests on Friday, unhappy with the salary cap announced by the government.
Coronavirus – Some 2,699 new cases of infection with SARS-C0V-2 were reported in the last 24 hours in Romania, following a total of 29 thousand tests at national level. At the same time, 74 died from the virus. 7,968 people are being treated in hospitals, of whom 977 in ICUs. Since the onset of the pandemic, over 700,000 contaminations have been registered in Romania. Prime Minister Florin Cîţu announced that the country has a stock of 2.4 million doses of anti-Covid vaccine to be used by the end of March.
Tourism – The number of tourists who visited the Danube Delta, in south-eastern Romania, in 2020 was by almost 30% smaller as compared with 2019, due to the sanitary crisis. The cruise tourism was the most affected, given that over 95% of the ships due to arrive in the area last year cancelled their trips. An unique area in Europe, the Danube Delta is on UNESCO heritage list.
UN – A UN treaty on a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons took effect on Friday. The document includes a commitment not to develop, test or threaten to use nuclear weapons. This is not the first treaty initiated by the UN which is aimed at encouraging nuclear disarmament. The Non-Proliferation Treaty, concluded in the 1970s, was signed by 119 nations, but its main objective was rather to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, rather than to totally ban them. Although there have been some reductions in weapon stocks, countries have continued to modernize their arsenal, while other countries have simply ignored the treaty. None of the 122 states that have signed the new treaty on a ban on nuclear weapons has such weapons, the BBC reports. (Translated by EE)