NATO – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis hails Sweden's decision to apply for NATO membership, following the announcement made on Monday by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. In a Twitter message, president Iohannis states that Romania fully supports a rapid process of Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance. He adds that, once they join the Alliance, Sweden and Finland will make NATO stronger than ever before. The two countries in northern Europe, located near Russia, have decided to go out of neutrality and demand to be admitted into NATO after Russia attacked and invaded Ukraine almost three months ago. NATO currently has 30 member states, 21 of which are part of the EU. The EU member states that have not joined the North Atlantic Alliance are Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden.
Forecast – Romania's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by 2.6% this year and by 3.6% in 2023, according to the European Commission's spring economic forecasts. This is a smaller increase than expected in the previous assessments, in February. The situation is valid for the whole of the European Union and is mainly due to the disruptions caused by the war waged by Russia in Ukraine. European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni has announced that the European average inflation rate will be 6.8% this year. He also said that in April European inflation averaged 7.5%, the highest value ever recorded in the monetary union. According to the Commission, inflation in Romania will reach 8.9% this year, double the percentage reported in 2021. Inflation is expected to fall to 5.1% next year, but the Commission warns that there are growing economic risks as the war in Ukraine is prolonged.
Visit – A delegation of the Romanian Interior Ministry led by minister Lucian Bode pays an official visit to the US between May 16-18, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Romania-US Strategic Partnership. The Romanian official is to have meetings at the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Congress. The discussions with the US officials focus on institutional efforts in line with the State Department's recommendations made in the Trafficking in Persons Report (TiP Report), Romania having the necessary tools for an adequate response to the challenges posed by this type of crime, namely structures, legislation, strategies and action plans, informs the Interior Ministry. The meetings are an opportunity to reconfirm the very good cooperation between the Romanian authorities and the US law enforcement agencies in the field of combating organized crime, with a focus on combating illegal migration and cybercrime, as well as intensifying the exchange of information. During the talks with members of the US Congress, Lucian Bode will discuss the challenges of the current regional context, both in terms of managing the humanitarian crisis generated by Russia's aggression against Ukraine and in terms of security.
Tennis – Poland's Iga Swiatek leads the world ranking of professional tennis players (WTA), published on Monday. Next in the ranking are the Czech Barbora Krejcikova and the Spanish Paula Badosa. The Romanian Simona Halep returned to the Top 20, climbing two positions compared to last week, from 21 to 19 position. Romania has six players in the top 100, the other five being Sorana Cîrstea - 27, Gabriela Ruse - 52, Irina Begu - 62, Jaqueline Cristian - 69, Ana Bogdan - 91. In the doubles ranking, Romania has five representatives in the first hundred: Monica Niculescu - 40, Raluca Olaru - 47, Irina Begu - 57, Irina Bara - 59, Gabriela Ruse - 87.
Football – CFR Cluj (northwest) won its fifth consecutive title as Romania’s football champions, after defeating the Universitatea Craiova (south), score 2-1, at home, in a match from the 9th stage, the penultimate of the First League play-offs. The vice-champion is FCSB, from Bucharest. On Thursday, Sepsi OSK Sfântu Gheorghe (center) and FC Voluntari (south, a satellite city of Bucharest) will play the final of the Romanian Football Cup. At the end of the domestic season, the Romanian national football team will have their first match in a new edition of the League of Nations, at the beginning of June, when it will meet the national teams of Montenegro, Bosnia and Finland. (LS)