NATO – Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, participates in the NATO summit in Madrid until Thursday. The war in Ukraine and the security crisis in the Black Sea region are the main topics on the agenda of the summit. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a video speech in the first part of the meeting. According to the Romanian Presidential Administration, during the summit, the Romanian president will welcome the fact that the current security situation was reflected in the Alliance’s new strategic concept, starting from the recognition of Russia as the main threat to NATO, and the fact that the strategic importance of the Black Sea region for Euro-Atlantic security was mentioned for the first time. Klaus Iohannis will emphasize Romania's significant contribution to supporting Ukraine at humanitarian level, as well as the most vulnerable partners, especially those in the eastern neighborhood, mainly the Republic of Moldova (an ex-Soviet country with a majority Romanian-speaking population) and Georgia. Klaus Iohannis will reiterate Romania's firm support for NATO's "open door" policy, including the accession of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Alliance.
Partnership – The two Chambers of Romania’s Parliament have today adopted, in a joint session, a Declaration on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US. The two countries, the document states, share common values and interests, a deep commitment to democracy and a lasting strategic relationship. We particularly hail the important progress made in the cooperation between the two countries in the field of security, in order to strengthen NATO's eastern flank, including in the Black Sea region – shows the document adopted with a majority of votes by the Romanian senators and deputies. They welcome the intensification of the dialogue to meet the conditions for Romania's inclusion in the Visa Waiver program, a program that would allow Romanian citizens to travel to the US for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days, without the need to obtain a travel visa. During the speeches, both the ruling coalition and the opposition representatives underlined the importance of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
Tennis – On Monday evening the Romanian tennis player Irina Begu qualified to the second round of the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament, after defeating the Georgian Ekaterine Gorgodze 6-4, 6-1. Sorana Cîrstea also qualified to the second round, after defeating 7-6, 7-6 the Serbian player Aleksandra Krunic. Five other Romanians are playing today in the first round: Simona Halep (against the Czech Karolina Muchova), Gabriela Ruse (against the American Cori Gauff), Mihaela Buzărnescu (against the German Nastasja Schunk), Irina Bara (against the French Chloé Paquet) and Ana Bogdan ( against Ukrainian Daiana Iastremska).
Moldova – The Republic of Moldova is today marking 82 years since the occupation of Bessarabia by the Soviet Union on June 28, 1940. Back then, the Soviet troops annexed Bessarabia, northern Bukovina and Herța land, regions with a majority Romanian-speaking population, following an ultimatum to Bucharest. Radio Chişinău recalls that the annexation led to the establishment of a totalitarian communist regime, which meant forced collectivization, the replacement of the Latin alphabet with the Cyrillic one and Russification, political oppression and deportations. Tens of thousands of people were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia, many of them dying on the way to or in the USSR camps. Historian Ion Varta said that under the Soviet regime forcefully established on the left bank of the Prut River, ‘about 400,000 people were victims of organized famine’, ‘626,000 people were subject to forced labor’, and between 120,000 and 130,000 people were deported. "It was a true genocide," the historian concluded. The territories annexed in 1940 now belong to the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Ukraine, that gained their independence from Moscow in August 1991, after the failure of the neo-Bolshevik coup against the last Soviet leader, the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev. (LS)