UN - At the UN headquarters in New York, Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu deposited Romania's instrument of ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change, reads a communiqué issued by the Romanian Foreign Ministry on Friday. Melescanu has stated that a coordinated implementation of sustainable development and climate change strategies comes in line with Romania's commitments as a member of the EU and UN. In turn, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares has stated that Romania's ratifying the Paris Agreement helps maintain the issue on the international agenda. Minister Melescanu is in New York to promote Romania's candidacy for a two-year office of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Since it joined NATO in 1995, Romania has held four such terms.
PARIS AGREEMENT - Climate changes represent a worldwide emergency, and the global solutions proposed by the Paris Agreement mustn't be turned down, according to actress Medeea Marinescu, Ambassador of the Agreement for Romania. Greenpeace International believes that the US's withdrawal from the agreement will turn the US from a climate leader at world level into an isolated society. The Romanian branch of Greenpeace too believes that this decision is one to be condemned, given that the US is one of the world's biggest polluters. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has termed the decision a major disappointment for the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote international security. The White House leader has invoked the level of contributions and the effects on the economy, saying that the accord has had negative consequences for the US industry and its workers, placing them at a disadvantage as compared to China, India or other emerging powers. The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 states, is aimed at combating climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions and containing the increase in the global average temperature.
CONGRESS - The opposition Save Romania Union (USR), the third largest political group in Romania's Parliament, has announced its intention to hold a congress to elect its new leader, following the unexpected resignation on Thursday of its founding president Nicusor Dan. The USR vice-president Elek Levente, the head of the USR branch in Cluj, north-western Romania, has become the group's interim president. Nicusor Dan stepped down after the USR National Bureau had decided to oppose new Constitution amendments over redefining the family as the union between a man and a woman. The bill revising the Constitution has already been endorsed by the Chamber of Deputies and if the Senate endorses it too, the Romanians will be called to have their say in a referendum. The aforementioned Constitution amendments have been requested by three million Romanians.
TALKS - We are having a constructive dialogue at European Commission level to ensure a good preparation for Romania's taking over the EU Council Presidency in 2019, the Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs Ana Birchall has stated. The Romanian minister has held talks on the issue with Jean-Eric Paquet, Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission. "Holding the presidency of the EU Council is one of our priorities. Romania has been an EU member for 10 years now and I believe we have grown mature enough to turn a big challenge into an opportunity. Talks with European Commission officials are vital for ensuring a successful mandate at the helm of the EU Council in the first half of 2019", Minister Birchall has also said.
MOLDOVA - The Republic of Moldova's values are different from those of the Western countries, and the former Soviet state is now resuming its strategic partnership with Russia, said on Friday the Moldovan President Igor Dodon at the economic forum in Sankt Petersburg. "After eight years of pro-European and clearly anti-Russian policy, following last year's presidential elections we have started to remedy this situation" the President added. He also said that his country cannot join the EU as it is today, questioning the benefits of such an integration, given that even Great Britain has decided to leave it. In turn, the Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia and NATO must cooperate in the fight against terror, because, otherwise more attacks will follow. However, Putin has also stated that to him NATO is one of the US's political instruments, also voicing concern over NATO military infrastructure getting closer to the Russian borders.
NOBLE JUMP - A 50 strong Norwegian contingent has come to Romania to take part in the multinational exercise Noble Jump 2017 at the Cincu shooting range in Brasov Country, central Romania. On Thursday, eight NATO convoys also arrived in Romania, to participate in the exercise. The convoys are made up of some 300 soldiers and 150 battle vehicles and carriers. Noble Jump 2017, which started on May 26th, includes drills that are carried out on Romanian, Green and Bulgarian soil. 4000 Romanian soldiers and military staff from 11 NATO member countries are taking part in the exercise.
CENTRAL BANK - Romania's foreign currency reserves dropped in May this year by 477 million Euros as compared to April, down to some 35.5 billion, according to date made public by the National Bank of Romania on Friday. As regards its gold reserve, last month it stood at some 104 tons. Against the latest price developments across the world, the value of this reserve is now 3.8 billion Euros. The Central Bank has also announced that over May 24th - June 23rd 2017, the minimum reserve requirement ratio on foreign currency-denominated liabilities will be reduced from 10 to 8%.
TIFF - Some 200 feature films and short reels will be screened in Cluj Napoca, north-western Romania, at the 16th Transylvania International Film Festival - TIFF 2017, which started on Friday. Over 12 hundred Romanian and foreign guests are attending the screenings, concerts, workshops, debates and launches held during the country's most important cinema event, which has Radio Romania as its partner. Romanian actress Tora Vasilescu is to be awarded an excellence award at the festival, whose special guest this year is the French film star Alain Delon, on his first visit to Romania.
TENNIS - The world's fourth tennis player Simona Halep of Romania will be playing Russian Daria Kasatkina, no. 28 WTA, in the third round of the Grand Slam tournament of Roland Garros on Saturday. Halep has clinched a two-set win against Tatjana Maria of Germany in the second round. Another Romanian in the competition, Sorana Cirstea has conceded defeat to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. In the doubles, the Romanian-Dutch pair made up of Horia Tecau and Jean Julien Rojer will be playing in the round of 16 against the winners of the game pitching Tunisian-Italian pair Jaziri/Seppi against Croatian-Spanish pair Dodig/Granollers.