According to a MFA press release, State Secretary for European Affairs Daniela Gîtman attended the General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting in Brussels on Monday (23/05).
Main points below:
- Gîtman stressed the need to continue support efforts for Ukraine at all levels, with a particular focus on immediate financial and economic assistance, but also in view of the country’s reconstruction process.
- At the same time, she emphasised the need to continue to support the Republic of Moldova in dealing with the effects of the conflict in Ukraine.
- The Romanian official also referred to the complex implications of the conflict in Ukraine on European and global energy and food security and highlighted Romania’s support for Ukrainian grain exports through the port of Constanța and Romanian ports on the Danube.
- Gîtman also called for the earliest possible adoption of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
- On the subject of #defence discussions, Gîtman welcomed the communication from the European Commission and the European Defence Agency on defence investment shortfalls and the possibilities for joint procurement of military equipment.
- On the issue of #energy security, State Secretary Daniela Gîtman said that the RePowerEU Plan presented by the European Commission, aimed at eliminating strategic energy dependence on the Russian Federation, is an important step towards a more energy resilient European Union.
- Gîtman reiterated the need to ensure the achievement of the Union’s decarbonisation targets and an energy transition at an acceptable cost for citizens and businesses, with the aim of protecting the most vulnerable consumers.
- The Romanian official also addressed the issue of the EU membership applications of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, stressing the need to send a positive signal to all three candidate countries at the European Council.
- Gitman reiterated Romania’s support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans.
According to Guvernul României, Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă met with the President of the Bundesrat, Bodo Ramelow, on his first visit to Romania, at the Victoria Palace. (Agerpres, Twitter)
Main points discussed:
- The two top officials underlined the interest in deepening bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic and strategic sectors, noting the importance of maintaining a constant flow of information on the conditions of Romanian seasonal workers.
- Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă noted the role of the Romanian community in Germany and that of the ethnic German community in Romania, which provides a solid bridge between the two countries.
- The Romanian government has expressed its willingness to offer sustainable alternative facilities and capacities for the relocation of German industry from Russia, Asia or even Ukraine.
- From the perspective of energy security, the Romanian PM presented the opportunities generated by the exploitation of deep-sea gas in the Black Sea and the importance of diversifying gas supply routes at European level, to which Romania can actively contribute.
- There was a broad convergence of views on the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine, with both leaders condemning the brutality of the war.
- The two officials further stressed the need to remain vigilant and to combat misinformation and propaganda promoted by Russian sources, aimed at weakening citizens’ trust in the state and its authorities.
On 23 May, 75,921 persons entered Romania through border points, of which 7,709 were Ukrainian citizens (down by 2.4% from the previous day). At the border with Ukraine 3,781 Ukrainian citizens entered Romania (an increase of 1.2%), and at the border with the Republic of Moldova, 893 Ukrainian citizens entered Romania (down by 14.2% from the previous day).
Since the onset of this crisis, until 11 May at 24:00, at national level, 1,010,955 Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania. (Border Police)
On Wednesday 11 May, the Romanian Naval Forces were notified of the existence of an aerial wreckage (drone) drifting in the territorial waters of Romania. The wreckage of the drone was taken over by the Romanian Air Force for the legal procedures to identify the wreckage and investigate the circumstances in which it arrived in Romanian territorial waters. Initial data showed that the wreck, bearing the insignia of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, had no weapons or ammunition on board. Legal procedures are currently underway to notify the Ukrainian authorities of this situation. (MApN, Agerpres)
#Humanitarian/Manifestations of solidarity
The National Company “Romanian Post” (CNPR) informed that more than 10 tons of clothing items collected in Romanian post offices, as part of the “Solidarity with Ukraine” campaign, have reached the “Pro Vita” Association in Valea Plopului, coordinated by the priest Nicolae Tănase. (Poșta Româna, Bursa.ro)
Guvernul României announced on Monday (23/05) in a press release that Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă met at the Victoria Palace with the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Energy, David M. Turk. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu, and the Director General of Nuclearelectrica, Cosmin Ghiță.
Main points below:
- Discussions focused on European energy security and the expansion of Romania’s civil nuclear programme.
- The importance of the partnership relationship between Romania and the US was underlined, in the context of the need to expand Romania’s power generation capabilities, as part of the steps that can contribute to strengthening security in the region.
- The Romanian side stressed that the construction of reactors 3 and 4 at the Cernavodă power plant, as well as the maintenance works to be carried out at Unit 1, are necessary steps to reach the level that will ensure Romania’s energy independence.
- The new projects that will consolidate this progress are linked to the implementation of SMR – Small Modular Reactor – based on technology owned by the American company NuScale.
- PM Ciucă declared that “We want to develop a strategic partnership with the United States of America in other relevant areas, such as industrial, economic, research and development, and nuclear.”
- Both sides have shown their willingness to develop the Romania-US partnership, both in the field of nuclear energy use, as well as in the exploitation of gas, oil, and energy from renewable resources.
#MSHT Minister of Interior, Lucian Bode, said in an interview with Digi24, that Romania risks sanctions and risks jeopardising partnerships, including the arms procurement partnership with the United States, if it does not improve the situation in the fight against human trafficking. (Libertatea, News.ro, Digi24)
Main points below:
- Bode added that, in this context, a cross-border investigation centre will operate in Bucharest.
- On the other hand, the minister does not rule out a change in the law, in the code of criminal procedure, to stop allowing lenient sentences for traffickers in human beings.
- Touching upon the Visa Waiver program, Bode said that the Romanian authorities will launch an information campaign so that only those who meet the criteria will apply for a US visa, hence the rejection rate will drop from 10% to 3%.
In a Twitter post, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, congratulated Senator Penny Wong on her appointment as Foreign Minister of Australia. Aurescu added that he looks forward to “sharing key interests and values, and to working together as like-minded partners at global level, to enhance bilateral cooperation and act jointly for peace and sustainable development in our regions.”
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr Lucian Nicolae Bode, participated on Monday (23/05) together with the Italian Ambassador in Bucharest, H.E. Mr Alfredo Durante Mangoni and the Minister of Justice, Mr Cătălin Predoiu, in the ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of the tragic disappearance of the Italian magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both killed by the Mafia and who became symbols of the fight against organised crime worldwide. (Ministry of Interior)