ELECTION The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has criticised the parliamentary election in Russia, which they described as marked by violations of the fundamental rights and the lack of real political alternatives. Putin-backed United Russia Party won the election by a landslide with roughly 54% of the votes. Only the communists, the far right Liberal-Democrats and the leftist A Just Russia party have cleared the election threshold. None of these political groups is considered of being in opposition as their MPs usually vote together with United Russia. On Saturday, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said it didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the election in Crimea for the Duma in Moscow. The diplomacy in Bucharest has reiterated their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring Ukraine recalling that Romania does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by Russia in 2014.
TRUST The technocratic government in Bucharest has no intention of raising any tax, duty or indemnity, by the end of its mandate, Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said before Parliament on Monday. The government activity mainly focused on regaining the citizens’ trust in the state and building a predictable investment-friendly economic environment, the Prime Minister explained adding that economic growth is this year estimated at 4.8%, higher than the envisaged 4.2%. The executive is getting ready to apply reforms in the social assistance system, granting fiscal facilities to those investing in the professional training as well as measures for boosting local capital, Ciolos went on to say. He had been invited to Parliament by the Social Democrats to brief the MPs on the country’s economic situation. However, Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea has lashed out at the Prime Minister’s speech criticizing the government’s inability to absorb European Funds and for having delayed subsidies in agriculture.
The State Secretary for Strategic Affairs with the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Dan Neculaescu, has reiterated Bucharest’s active support for the Republic of Moldova’s European integration. On Monday, the Romanian official participated in the opening ceremony for the sixth edition of a programme aimed at training diplomats and public servants from the Republic of Moldova, an ex-soviet Romanian-speaking country. Neculaescu has highlighted the essential role these servants are playing in the continuation and implementation of the process of reforming and modernizing this former soviet country for the direct benefit of its citizens. The programme was launched back in 2010 and has been annually addressing a number of 20 participants – diplomats with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and servants with central administration in Chisinau. The course has been staged by the Romanian Diplomatic Institute and funded by the Foreign Ministry.
ARREST The Islamist of Afghan descent Ahmad Khan Rahami, believed to be responsible for the explosion in Manhattan on Saturday night and an earlier bombing in New Jersey, was arrested on Monday after he had been wounded by gunfire in an encounter with the police, law enforcement officials said. According to the same sources a policeman was wounded during the operation. We recall that 29 people were wounded in Manhattan on Saturday night after the bomb planted by Rahami went off. Police have found another explosive device planted by Rahmani a few blocks away.