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VISIT The president of Romania Klaus Iohannis, currently on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates, Sunday travelled to Masdar City, a model of sustainable urban development with solutions centered around energy efficiency and environment protection. The Romanian official was presented solutions for transport and urban cooling and ventilation, building energy generation and optimum usage of natural light in schools and research institutions. The solutions tested in Masdar City may be an inspiration for other cities increasingly interested in sustainability, including in Romania. Contributions to these solutions come, among others, from Romanian researchers as well, affiliated to research institutes in Masdar City, the Romanian presidency said in a news release. President Iohannis will be in the UAE until Tuesday, at the invitation of his counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The main goals of the visit include strengthening the political and diplomatic dialogue on topics of mutual interest, encouraging bilateral economic relations, which are already on a significant positive trend, and attracting investments in the Romanian economy through projects in fields like infrastructure, energy, climate change, cybersecurity and food security.
REFUGEES The Romanian Border Police Inspectorate General announced that on Saturday as many as 86,342 people entered Romania using border checkpoints around the country. Of them, 8,510 were Ukrainian nationals. Since February 10, 2022, two weeks before the Russian invasion of their country, nearly 3.8 million Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania. Most of them have travelled further on to western European countries, but around 100,000 of them have chosen to stay in Romania, according to the authorities in Bucharest.
DIPLOMACY The Romanian diplomacy chief Bogdan Aurescu takes part on Monday in the Foreign Affairs Council, a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. He will also attend the joint meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers, as well as in a conference of international donors for Turkey and Syria, in the aftermath of the February earthquakes. The Foreign Affairs Council will focus on Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, the situation in Tunisia and the latest developments in Iran. Bogdan Aurescu will plead for continuing multidimensional support for Ukraine, both at EU level and from the member states, with a focus on the quick provision of military equipment and training for the Ukrainian army. According to the Romanian foreign ministry, Mr. Aurescu will also support a consolidation of the sanctions against Russia and a more efficient implementation of current restrictions.
MILITARY Over 3,000 troops from Romania and 12 Allied and partner states will take part in the Sea Shield 2023 multinational exercise, the most complex event planned and spearheaded by the Romanian Navy this year. Taking part in the event between March 20 and April 2 are forces from Albania, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Greece, Poland, Portugal, UK, the Netherlands, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the US and Turkey. The exercise contributes to promoting Romania's interests and initiatives at regional and international level, as well as to enhancing inter-operability among the participating countries. Sea Shield, a complex concept designed for the training of NATO forces, was proposed by Romania at NATO's summit in Warsaw in 2016, to boost security on the Eastern flank.
HANDBALL Romania's women's handball champions, Rapid Bucharest, were defeated on Sunday by Slovenia's Krim Ljubljana, 29-24, in the first leg of the playoffs for the Champions' League quarter-finals. The second leg takes place in Bucharest. This is Rapid's first presence in the Champions' League, and the match against the Slovenian champions is also the team's first march in European competitions with the Danish manager Kim Rasmussen, who replaced Carlos Viver (Spain). If they qualify into the quarter-finals, Rapid will be facing Kristiansand (Norway). Romania's vice-champions, CSM Bucharest, have already qualified into the quarter-finals, where they will take on the winner of the playoff between the French side Brest and the Danish team Esbjerg. (AMP)
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