European Council. President Klaus Iohannis reiterated, on Friday, in Prague, Romania's stand regarding the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and the continuation of Bucharest's constant support, on multiple levels, including in preparation for winter, in the context of the new escalations caused by the Russian Federation. The head of state participated in the informal meeting of the European Council in the Czech capital, where he expressed Romania's openness to the reconstruction process. In another move, regarding the high level of energy prices, a constant concern for Romania, Klaus Iohannis recalled the need to adopt measures to ensure the decoupling of the price of electricity from the price of natural gas. The main topics on the agenda of the European Council meeting concerned the situation in Ukraine, developments in the field of energy, from the point of view of the impact of high prices and efforts for ensuring supply security, as well as the economic situation at the European level. As for Ukraine, European leaders strongly rejected and unequivocally condemned Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions following fake referendums.
Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities have announced that two cemeteries were found in the city of Lyman (east), recently freed from the control of the Russian occupiers. Lyman, a town in the Donetsk region, was liberated from the control of the Russian forces a week ago. According to the BBC, the governor of the region, Pavlo Kirilenko, said that at one of the cemeteries there are about two hundred graves, where civilians are believed to be buried. The other is a mass grave, where both civilians and soldiers could be buried. Kirilenko stated that the authorities have started an investigation and soon the dead bodies will be exhumed. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of committing war crimes against civilians in the occupied areas. In another development, several rocket attacks have been reported today on the city of Kharkiv. Also today, the bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to mainland Russia was badly damaged after a truck was detonated alongside a train of fuel tank cars. The destruction of the bridge deals another serious blow to Russia's war effort in Ukraine, disrupting a crucial supply route. Moscow illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, ahead of this year's Russian invasion.
Rating. Fitch Ratings Agency has confirmed Romania's sovereign rating at 'BBB minus' with a negative outlook, this being the last note in the 'investment-grade' category (recommended for investments). The rating is supported by the EU membership and the capital flows that support investment and macrostability, and the GDP per capita (GDP per capita value expressed in standard purchasing power parity), governance and human development indicators, which are above the values of other states benefiting from a 'BBB' rating. However, these values are counterbalanced by a budget deficit and a current account deficit that are higher compared to the deficits of other countries, by low performances regarding budget consolidation and high budget rigidities, and a relatively high net external debt, Fitch says. The agency estimates a reduction of the fiscal deficit in 2022 to 6.4% of the GDP, following the solid performance on the revenue side. According to Fitch, the economy would register a 6.2% growth in 2022, one of the highest growth rates in the EU. This is driven by the build-up of stocks, but also by solid private consumption, despite the war in Ukraine.
Nobel. Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian human rights organization Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties are the laureates of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for their defense of human rights and resistance against power abuses, the Nobel Committee announced on Friday from Norway. This award comes against the background of Ukraine fighting the Russian invasion, and there are many accusations that numerous war crimes have been committed. The Norwegian Nobel Committee explained, in its motivation, that the Peace Prize laureates have been promoting, for many years, the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. "They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy, the Committee's announcement also reads.
Festival. More than 340 short and feature films are presented, until October 16, in several locations in Bucharest, at the 17th International Animation Film Festival Anim'est. According to the organizers, this year the event includes lots of screenings and special events, parties and masterclasses supported by professionals specially invited to Bucharest. The list of films participating in the festival includes titles that have attracted the attention of the entire industry over the last year, standing out in the competitions of major international film events. For example, the production Flee, directed by the Danish Jonas Poher Rasmussen, which received three Oscar nominations and numerous awards and which tells the story of a man's escape from Afghanistan to Denmark. There are also Romanian films presented at the festival, such as The Island, the latest feature film by Anca Damian, a surrealist comedy based on a reinterpretation of the story of Robinson Crusoe. (MI)