WAR IN UKRAINE - Romania's president, Klaus Iohannis, this morning
arrived in Kyiv by train, the Romanian Presidency reports. Also today, the
president of France, Emmanuel Macron, the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz
and the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, arrived together with a special
train in the Ukrainian capital-city. The European officials are here to express
Europe's solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Kyiv has criticized France,
Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy for alleged delays in providing Ukraine
with weapons, and for supposedly putting their own prosperity before the
liberty and security of Ukraine. On the other hand, Ukraine's president,
Volodymyr Zelensky, has thanked US president Joe Biden for the 1-billion-USD
military aid the White House leader previously announced will go to Ukraine.
Moreover, the Ukrainian president accepted the invitation to take part in the
G7 and NATO summits in late June in southern Germany and Madrid, respectively,
although he didn't mention whether he will be attending the meetings in person
or if he will address the participants by videoconference.
DEFENSE - Romania's Defense Minister, Vasile Dîncu, attended the
meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the level of NATO defense ministers.
The meeting reviewed progress reported in coordinating the military actions of
approximately 50 participant states and the military and humanitarian
assistance provided to Ukraine. Minister Vasile Dîncu highlighted the need for
the international community to continue their efforts to support Ukraine, the
Defense Ministry reports. Minister Dîncu reiterated Bucharest's close
involvement in supporting the Ukrainian people, including the over 1.2 million
refugees who have entered Romania since the start of the conflict, as well as
Romania's efforts in facilitating grain exports from Ukraine with a view to
avoiding a global food crisis.
CFR - The Romanian Rail Company (CFR) will mobilize team of workers
in Galați to start modifying
railways so as to allow freight transports from Ukraine and Moldova to enter
Romania. A total of 5 kilometers of rail will be rehabilitated within 60 days
to ensure the transport of grain from Ukraine, disrupted by Russia's invasion. The
company has the necessary cranes and vehicles allowing the transfer of cars
from the broad gauge used in Russia and ex-Soviet countries to the standard
gauge used in the EU. To simplify the procedure, the Romanian Transport
Ministry decided to render operational a double-gauge track that was
decommissioned 30 years ago in order to allow the freight trains from Moldova
to unload the cars directly in the cargo boats docked in Danube River ports.
GOVERNMENT - The Government wants to
freeze all hiring in the public sector starting July 1. The government is today
expected to pass an emergency decree suspending all vacancy-filling contests in
public, central and local institutions. Also today the Cabinet will discuss an
emergency decree designed to combat profiteering by banning the introduction of
unwarrantedly high prices as well as capping production and sales with a view
to increase prices. Additionally, the Government wants a ban on hoarding
commodities with the intent of benefiting from future price increases.
EXAMS - Over 150,000 eighth-graders are
today sitting their written exam in mathematics. The exam is part of a nationwide
series of exams pupils take when completing the gymnasium cycle (grades 5-8)
and the results will help them enroll in high schools or vocational schools. On
Monday, pupils took their test in the Romanian language, while pupils who are
members of national minorities will take their mother tongue test tomorrow. The
written Baccalaureate tests are scheduled for next week.
MOTION - The Save Romania Union (USR)
in opposition has filed a simple motion against Education Minister, Sorin Cîmpeanu, blaming him for the high rate
of school dropout and the poor exam results. USR claims Minister Cîmpeanu
introduced changes in the way pupils are examined without taking into account
the opinion of stakeholders. The simple motion will be debated next Monday in
the Chamber of Deputies, with a final vote scheduled for Wednesday. (VP)