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Ukraine – The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Russia's "illegal and illegitimate" annexation of four regions of Ukraine and warned Moscow not to use nuclear weapons in this conflict, AFP reports. “Ukraine has of course the right to retake Ukrainian territory which is now occupied by Russian forces. That's the reason why we support them” he told a press conference in Brussels, after the Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine reacted to the annexation of its four regions by demanding accelerated accession to NATO. Zelenski also accused Russia of redrawing borders through murder, blackmail, mistreatment and lies. The annexation of the Ukrainian territories by Russia was vehemently condemned by the West, and the USA, Great Britain and Canada almost immediately announced new sanctions against Moscow. The European Commission, in turn, demanded the tightening of conditions for the entry of Russian citizens into the EU bloc, and the leaders of the Council of Europe, an organization that guarantees human rights on the continent and to which Russia is no longer affiliated, also condemned Moscow's action. A condemnation of the annexation in the UN Security Council was however blocked by Russia's veto. China and India, which are its close partners, abstained from the vote. The annexation of the four Ukrainian regions was also firmly condemned by Romania, which does not and will never recognize the referendums illegally orchestrated by Moscow, according to President Klaus Iohannis. In a Facebook post, the Romanian president also recalled the joint statement of the European Council, which rejected and unequivocally condemned the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions.
Interconnector - The Romanian Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciucă, on Saturday participated, in Sofia, together with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in the inauguration of the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector, which will allow natural gas imports from Azerbaijan, as an alternative supply source. In his speech, Nicolae Ciucă reminded that the deficiencies in the supply chain, especially with gas, artificially created by Russia, not only have an impact on Europe, but create disturbances on the global energy markets. Romania is ready to play its role as a reliable partner in ensuring Europe's energy security, the Romanian Prime Minister gave assurances in Sofia. As for Romania, Nicolae Ciucă stated that the country has the necessary amounts of gas and will not lack gas in the coming winter. Also on Saturday, a new pipeline - Baltic Pipe - was put into operation, which transports gas from Norway to Poland, via Denmark and the Baltic Sea. According to Warsaw, the pipeline is at the heart of Poland's strategy of diversifying its gas supply outside of Russia. Having become the main supplier of gas to Europe after the reduction of Russian deliveries, Norway is connected to Europe through a network of underwater gas pipelines that stretches on almost 9,000 km.
Chisinau - The Romanian Defense Minister, Vasile Dincu, has given assurances, in Chisinau, that Romania supports the Republic of Moldova to overcome the current energy crisis. At the same time, together with his Moldovan counterpart, Anatolie Nosatîi, he agreed to cooperate for the improvement of military education and for the modernization of the Moldovan army. "The modernization of the army of the Republic of Moldova needs Romania's support. The Republic of Moldova wants, with the support of Romania, to intensify the participation of the army in other peacekeeping missions too" - the Moldovan minister stated. In turn, the president of the Moldovan Parliament, Igor Grosu, thanked Bucharest, during the meeting with the Romanian official, for the support it offers to the army of the neighboring state, including by organizing joint exercises with the participation of the Moldovan military. The two also discussed the security challenges facing Chisinau and the entire region as a result of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Romanian Defense Minister is on a two-day official visit to Chisinau.
Gas – Gazprom has completely suspended gas supplies to Eni for Saturday, invoking the 'impossibility of transporting gas through Austria' - the Italian hydrocarbons giant announced, AFP reports. Most of the Russian gas delivered to Italy passes through Ukraine, through the TAG gas pipeline that reaches the north of the country, at the border with Austria. Italy consumed 29 billion cubic meters of Russian gas last year, representing approximately 40% of its imports. According to Eni, the country is gradually replacing about 10.5 billion cubic meters of this amount by imports from other countries, starting this winter. Russian gas exports to Europe have been in constant decline since the first sanctions were imposed on Russia. The most affected countries are Germany, Hungary and Austria. The least affected countries are France, Sweden and Great Britain, which have not traditionally relied on Russia, as well as Italy.
Energy - European energy ministers have decided to tax the additional income made by producers in the field that exceed a maximum level of 180 Euros for one Megawatt-hour between December 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. The money will be used to finance the protection measures for final electricity consumers. The European officials also aim at a voluntary reduction in electricity consumption by 10%, with a mandatory component of 5% during peak hours, in the context of the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. The Romanian energy minister, Virgil Popescu, announced that, during the negotiations, Romania obtained the guarantee that the measures already adopted at the national level regarding the consumer protection can be maintained.
Recession – Analysts believe that the world economy is approaching a period of recession. In their opinion, the world is witnessing a new world order and a resettlement of monetary flows and policies that will be negotiated between China and the US. According to Andrei Rădulescu, director of macroeconomic analysis, the recent developments of indicators in the United States and in the euro zone clearly express the state of recession in the second half of this year, so, an economic crisis similar to that of the late 90s will follow. Also a social crisis is expected in Europe, Adrian Rădulescu believes, which will not be felt so acutely in Romania, because the degree of dependence on hydrocarbons imports from Russia is much lower. In his opinion, Romania can enter the top of ten European economies by the end of the decade from the perspective of the nominal gross domestic product, because the country has a younger population compared to the western states, and the investments of the Euro-Atlantic bloc in the national economy will continue.
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