REFUGEES - The number of Ukrainian nationals who
crossed the border into Romania went up 30% on Wednesday compared to the
previous day, reads a news release issued by the Romanian Border Police. As
many as 8,635 Ukrainian citizens entered Romania in 24 hours, coming from
Ukraine or the R. of Moldova. Since the start of the crisis over 2 months ago,
over 800,000 Ukrainians have come into Romania. Meanwhile, the UN Refugee
Agency (UNHCR) announced in a conference in Geneva that over 8 million
Ukrainians may leave their country. According to the UNHCR spokesperson Shabia
Mantoo, the Agency and its partners intend to raise 1.85 billion USD to support
an estimated 8.3 million refugees in Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland,
Romania and Slovakia, as well as in other countries in the region, including
Belarus, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
UKRAINE - The authorities in Ukraine
are hopeful about the future, despite the current difficulties, Romanian Senate
Speaker, Florin Cîțu, said upon his return from Kyiv. Florin Cîțu visited the
Ukrainian capital to attend the first congress of local authorities held since
the start of the Russian invasion. Florin Cîțu said talks focused primarily on
reconstruction. Ukraine needs support for this effort, and it is clear the
country needs further assistance in order to defend itself, the Romanian
official pointed out.
TROOPS - The Romanian defence ministry announced that the Romanian
Army currently has no troops deployed in the Republic of Moldova to take part
in drills or other joint training programmes. The statement comes after a
Russian-language publication released fake news according to which Romania
plans to attack Transnistria with NATO support, and then to annex the
Republic of Moldova, and claimed that Romanian troops have already been
deployed to the neighboring country. Disinformation on Russian channels follows
a number of attacks by unknown perpetrators, which took place in the past few
days in Transnistria, a pro-Russian breakaway region in the east of the
Republic of Moldova.
GOVERNMENT - The government on Thursday passed an
emergency decree allowing economic operators on the Romanian Black Seacoast to
sign contracts for renting and operating the newly created beach areas. In this
context, the Minister of Tourism and Entrepreneurship, Constantin-Daniel
Cadariu, announced that over 100 hotels will open their doors to guests for the
May 1 mini-holiday, which have already booked approximately 80% of their units.
Also on Thursday, the government passed another emergency decree implementing
the provisions of the Omnibus Directive, whereby Romanian consumers will
benefit from the same rights and protection as European citizens. The
government also passed a draft law for the recognition of babysitters as a
professional category of workers providing families with child day-care and
monitoring services. Additionally, the government approved the setup,
organization and functioning of the cross-ministry committee on climate change,
which will be coordinated by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă.
NATURAL GAS - The European Union
told Russia it would not give in to blackmail, after Moscow discontinued
natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, which had refused to pay for
natural gas in rubles. The European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen
said the Union had other options to make up for the suspended deliveries, and
warned member states not to breach the sanctions imposed by the EU after
Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We have to guarantee alternative supplies and the
best possible storage levels across the EU, Von der Leyen explained. EU member
states have implemented emergency plans for such a scenario and we have worked
together in coordination and solidarity, the EU official added.
TENNIS - Romanian tennis player Simona Halep on
Thursday ousted Shuai Zhang of China in the opening round at the Mutua Madrid
Open. Sorana Cîrstea however lost to Nuria Parrizas Diaz of Spain, while Irina
Begu was defeated by Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. The Madrid Open takes place
between April 28 and May 7. Simona Halep won the 2016 and 2017 editions.
Romania's rugby team has qualified to the 2023 World Cup in France after Spain
was disqualified for using an ineligible player in two matches held as part of
the 2021-2022 Rugby Europe Championship. World Rugby had previously opened an
investigation following a query submitted by Romania, after finishing the Group
in 3rd place. We recall Romania too was disqualified from the 2019
World Cup for using an ineligible player.