CRIMEA - The Romanian Foreign Ministry supports and joins the declaration of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy regarding Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. In a communiqué issued on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry in Bucharest states that, 4 years since the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, Romania is once again firmly condemning that violation of international law regulations and principles. Also, Romania is reasserting its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
DEFENSE - Romania's Supreme Defense Council, headed by president Klaus Iohannis, will convene on Tuesday. According to the Presidential Administration, the meeting will focus on an analysis of the activities carried out by the Council and the other institutions with responsibilities in the field of national security in 2017 and the main objectives for 2018. Also, the participants will tackle other major national security topics.
RIUF - More than 100 universities and education institutions from 18 countries are attending in Bucharest, on Saturday and Sunday, the 22nd Romanian International University Fair (RIUF). According to the organizers, participating in the fair are education institutions from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Romania, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the US, Singapore, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and Bulgaria. Visitors will find information about free tuition in the Nordic countries, but also about a scholarship fund of 3,000,000 Euro for bachelor and master degrees in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany. At the RIUF YouForum there will be more than 30 workshops, talks and presentations. The topics of discussion include online marketing, branding, gaming, IT, architecture, non-formal education and technology.
RUSSIA - The British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Saturday that Moscow's response to the sanctions decided by London did not change the facts of the matter, namely Russia' part in the poisoning of the former Russian spy Serghei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. Theresa May stated that Great Britain would decide the next steps in the coming days, together with its international allies, following Russia's decision on Saturday to expel 23 British diplomats. On Saturday morning, the UK ambassador to Russia was summoned by the Russian Foreign Ministry for the second time this week. Russia has also decided to stop any activity of the British Council on Russian soil. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The measures were announced just one day before the presidential elections in Russia, as a result of which Vladimir Putin would get his fourth term. According to France Presse, the Kremlin is worried that a low turnout would weaken the legitimacy of the otherwise predictable outcome. Putin has been heading Russia for 18 years, as president and once as a prime-minister. His main opponent, Alexei Navalny, has been deemed non-eligible because of a criminal conviction in a case which, he says, was staged by the Russian authorities. Navalny has called on the population to boycott Sunday's elections.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, number one in the WTA rankings, has failed to qualify for the final of the Indian Wells tournament in California, with 8 million dollars in prize money, as she was defeated by the Japanese Naomi Osaka in two sets: 6-3, 6-0. Halep won the Indian Wells trophy in 2015, but this year has already sustained two defeats. However, she remains top of the rankings. In the final, Naomi Osaka will play against the Russian Daria Kasatkina, who has defeated the American Venus Williams.
RUGBY - Romania's national rugby team, ranking 17th in the world, on Sunday will play against the team of Georgia, away from home, in the last leg of Rugby Europe International Championship 2018. Romania is hoping for qualification to the World Cup to be hosted by Japan in 2019. So far, 'the oaks', as the Romanian rugby players are dubbed, have defeated Russia, Germany and Belgium and have lost to Spain. In the competition's classification, Georgia ranks first and Romania second. (translated by Mihaela Ignatescu)