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LAW Romania's president Klaus Iohannis Friday signed into law a bill banning convicted offenders from running for public offices such as senators, deputies, mayors, chairs or members of county councils and others. Under the said law, the ban does not apply in cases involving rehabilitation, amnesty or decriminalisation.
AIRCRAFT Romania has signed an agreement to purchase 32 F-16 fighters from Norway. According to the Defence Ministry, the first aircraft will be delivered towards the end of next year, and total costs amount to EUR 388 mln. The ministry also explains that the aircraft will be operational and fit for use for another at least 10 years. The agreement is supported by the US Government and is a capability transfer between 2 NATO member states, aimed at enhancing Romania's defence capacity and at ensuring the country's contribution to the collective defence as part of the Alliance. At present the Romanian Air Forces operate 17 F-16 fighters.
TRADE The volume of trade exchanges between Romania and Germany in the first 9 months of the year exceeded EUR 28 bln, 18% higher than in the same period last year, says the Federal Statistics Office quoted by the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce. According to the same sources, German exports to Romania stood at roughly EUR 15 bln, while imports exceeded EUR 13 bln, placing Romania on the 19th position in a ranking by exports and on the 21st position in terms of imports. Federal authorities have voiced hope that Romania will join the Schengen zone as soon as possible in what is seen as a strong political signal acknowledging the country's positive achievements in terms of European integration.
EXTREMISM The Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation condemns the xenophobic statements made by a Hungarian politician on a visit to Sfântu Gheorghe (central Romania). Barna Bartha, a Deputy affiliated with the extremist party Mi Hazánk (Our Motherland) made racist statements concerning Roma and Jewish people, and threatened Boróka Parászka, a Hungarian ethnic employed as a journalist with Radio România Tîrgu Mureş. The management of the Radio Broadcasting Corporation sees these statements as unacceptable and a serious attack against basic rules of democracy and against the rule of law. PM Nicolae Ciuca also described the threats against journalist Paraszka Boroka as a "serious attack on democratic values" and urged the relevant authorities to use their legal powers to protect the members of mass media. Mi Hazánk is a far-right party in Hungary, set up 4 years ago by dissidents from Jobbik party after its leaders moved away from the organisation's radical roots.
UKRAINE Some 4.5 million Ukrainians, accounting for one-tenth of the country's population, were left without electricity on Thursday night, after Russian attacks on the country's energy network. Power went out both in the capital Kyiv and in 10 other regions. The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said "the Russians cannot beat Ukraine on the battlefield, so they try to break our people" by resorting to "energy terrorism." Meanwhile, Ukraine "firmly" condemned the "massive displacement" of civilians in Russian-controlled Kherson region (south) for fear of a massive Ukrainian counteroffensive. Civilians were reportedly also moved in the neighbouring region of Zaporizhzhia and in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, as well as in the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, partly controlled by pro-Moscow secessionists. (AMP)
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