September 3, 2020 UPDATE

september 3, 2020 update A roundup of domestic and international news

COVID-19 - The number of Covid infections in Romania stands at 90 thousand with a death toll over 37 hundred. The country's president Klaus Iohannis has again appealed for compliance with prevention rules and regulations as worrying figures have been reported during the pandemic. The president believes the school year can begin on September 14 in Romania, but unless the situation improves, authorities are considering alternative scenarios.

EU - The European Commission has greenlit an investment worth €875 million from the Cohesion Fund to build the first phase of the Sibiu-Pitesti motorway in central Romania. This will be the first motorway crossing the Carpathians, allowing for a better connectivity along the Rhine-Danube corridor. The project will help ease traffic in Romania, boost road traffic safety, reduce travel times and the costs for the transport of passengers and goods, the EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, Elisa Ferreira has said. The European Commission has also adopted a funding worth €578 million from the Cohesion Fund to improve the Romania's disaster response capacity. This investment will help improve the terrestrial, air and maritime response through the purchase of new equipment and training of personnel.

MEETING - Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Thursday met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, as part of his second visit to Israel. Talks focused on the contribution of the Romanian community in Israel to the progress of Israeli society. Minister Aurescu said Romanians in Israel serve as a bridge between the two countries, stressing the need to preserve their Romanian cultural identity, particularly among the youth. At the same time, the two officials discussed the prospect of the peacemaking process in the Middle East. The Romanian Foreign Minister reiterated Romania's readiness to support the positive evolution of this file. Minister Aurescu also met with Ofir Akunis, Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation. On this occasion, the two officials expressed a common interest to intensify cooperation in the economic sector, with a focus on the need to identify projects that should boost the two countries' economies, including in the field of science, research and innovation. Also on Thursday, Bogdan Aurescu paid an official visit to Palestine, where he had consultations with Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on bilateral relations and cooperation prospects, as well as on the peace-making process in the region. The Romanian official expressed hope to develop cooperation with Palestine in such fields as the economy, education or home affairs. On Wednesday, the Romanian Foreign Minister also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two agreed to intensify bilateral political dialogue. Additionally, Bogdan Aurescu also met with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi. The two signed a cooperation agreement in the fields of culture, education and sports and decided to set up a joint task force to extend economic and trade cooperation.

HELICOPTERS - The Romanian company ROMAERO and Sikorsky, which is part of the American group Lockheed Martin, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to setting up a Regional Center for Black Hawk Equipping and Maintenance for Central Europe. Black Hawk is the most commonly used multi-mission helicopter in the world. ROMAERO will equip the helicopters both for military missions as well as for search and rescue operations, emergency medical services, command and control missions or transport of officials. The aircraft will be delivered from the PZL Mielec factory in Poland, the biggest production plant owned by Lockheed Martin outside the United States. Minister of Economy, Energy and the Business Sector, Virgil Popescu, said the Memorandum creates the conditions to implement the strategic partnerships Romania has signed with the United States and Poland.

NAVALNY - Western leaders and institutions have firmly condemned the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called on Moscow to provide explanations and assurances that the culprits will be brought to justice. Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu says that Navalny's poisoning is completely unacceptable and has called for a thorough and impartial investigation. On Wednesday, Germany announced that Navalny, presently in a hospital in Berlin, was poisoned with a novichok nerve agent. The use of chemical weapons under any circumstances, is completely unacceptable and a breach of international law, the head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell said. The White House has also voiced concern regarding the incident pledging cooperation with its allies to bring the culprits to justice. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian government, says the authorities in Moscow are ready to cooperate with the German executive to uncover the circumstances of Navalny's poisoning. This fourth-generation nerve agent has been used to eliminate numerous Kremlin critics, although Moscow has always denied any allegation. 

TENNIS - Romanian tennis player Patricia Tig on Thursday lost to Donna Vekic of Croatia in the second round at the US Open. Another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea, is playing Johanna Konta of Great Britain. In the men's doubles, Horia Tecau and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands are playing Marcela Arevalo of San Salvador and Jonny O'Mara of Great Britain.

(Translated by D. Bilt & V. Palcu)
Publicat: 2020-09-03 19:46:00
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