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GRAIN EXPORTS - France's Transport Minister, Clement Beaune, has today announced the signing of an agreement with Romanian authorities designed to boost the export of grain from Ukraine to developing countries, particularly in the Mediterranean. According to Reuters, France is expected to help enhance the efficiency of the port of Galați, modernize border crossing points in northern Romania, max out the effective use of grain silos in the port of Constanța and boost the operability of this port and on the Sulina Canal. Ukraine's Agriculture Minister has recently estimated his country's grain exports could go up to 6.5 tons in October, which is double the volume reported in July after the gradual opening of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, based on the agreement signed in Istanbul. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has recently criticized the fact that only a small part of Ukrainian grain will be exported to poor countries based on this agreement, accounting for 2 of the 87 cargo ships that transported as much as 60 thousand tons of grain. However, analysts with the British Defense Ministry have disproved Putin's statement, citing data centralized by the UN, according to which approximately 30% of Ukraine's grain exports have reached low- and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
SESSION - The European Parliament starts a new session today in Strasbourg. European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, will deliver her state of the union address, presenting the impact of the Commission's activity in the last year and future plans for the community bloc, particularly those related to solidarity with Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, energy security and curbing the EU's reliance on Russian fossil fuel, as well as the latest energy price hikes. President Von der Leyen will also address the Green Deal and green transition, digitization, the EU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for future pandemics, as well as the Next Generation EU recovery plan.
ENERGY - The European Commission is this week expected to present the set of proposals agreed upon in Friday's meeting of EU Energy Ministers, designed to combat the energy crisis. The package might include a cap on energy prices and taxing the excess profits of fossil fuel companies and redistributing the revenues to state-aid schemes. Romania's Energy Minister, Virgil Popescu, says Romania supports a balanced approach towards all Member States. Capping natural gas prices at community level would significantly curb volatility on the EU energy market, the Romanian official said.
KING CHARLES - King Charles III this morning appeared in the British Parliament, where the House of Commons and the House of Lords met in a joint sitting to present condolences to the new monarch. The King is today expected to attend a sitting of Scottish Parliament as well. The coffin of her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was in Edinburgh yesterday, and today it will be moved to from Throne Room in Holyroodhouse Palace, the official residence of the royal family in the Scottish capital-city, to Saint John's Cathedral, as part of somber journey through the Scottish countryside. Attending will be the new king and other members of the royal family. The coffin will remain at Saint John's until tomorrow, allowing locals to pay their last respects. Tomorrow, the coffin will arrive at Buckingham Palace in London. The state funeral will take place on September 19 at Westminster Abbey. Meanwhile, people from all across Britain continue to lay floral tributes at the residences of the royal family from all across the country.
INFLATION - Romania's annual inflation rate went up to 15.32% in August from 14.96% in July. According to data published by the National Statistics Institute on Monday, foodstuffs prices went up by 18.22%, while those for non-food products also went up by 15.98%. Prices for services increased by 8.26%. The Central Bank has increased its inflation forecast for 2022 to 13.9%, estimating an inflation rate of 7.5% for 2023. The Central Bank expects the deflation trend to temporarily stop in the second quarter of 2023, once the current state-aid schemes targeting the energy sector end. The Central Bank expects an inflation rate of 2.3% for June 2024. (VP)
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