The Romanian authorities say they are prepared for any scenario of the Ukrainian crisis.
Cyber-attacks, espionage activities and fake news phenomena have intensified in Romania, in the current regional context - said the director of the Romanian Intelligence Service - SRI, Eduard Hellvig. Heard in the standing joint committee of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate in charge of exercising parliamentary control over SRI's work, Hellvig presented a security analysis from the perspective of SRI's legal responsibilities and in the context of the tense situation in neighboring Ukraine. According to a SRI statement, director Hellvig called for the updating of the national security law package, all the more so as the regional security environment is constantly changing.
Also in Bucharest, the defense minister Vasile Dîncu said that, in case of an armed conflict, Romania is ready to receive over 500 thousand refugees from Ukraine. "There is a plan in this regard that is being prepared in all major cities, there are areas dedicated to this purpose near the borders" minister Dîncu explained. Romania and the neighboring Ukraine share a common border of more than 600 kilometers.
The Romanian community in Ukraine numbers over 400 thousand people, most of them concentrated in northern Bukovina, northern and southern Bessarabia and Herța Land, the Romanian territories annexed by the former Stalinist Soviet Union in 1940 and taken over by Ukraine as a successor state in 1991, with the disintegration of the USSR.
In another development, Romania has decided to send medical products to Ukraine such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and disinfectants. The aid is provided through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and is a response to the request for emergency assistance made by the Kiev administration to the European Commission. Alongside Romania, Austria, France, Ireland and Slovenia will provide community aid to Ukraine. As the geopolitical crisis may worsen the energy crisis, the Romanian authorities have given reassuring signals on this issue.
A conflict in Ukraine will not cause problems with the gas supply of neighboring Romania, which, with the arrival of spring, can ensure its entire consumption from domestic sources - says the energy minister, Virgil Popescu. The decision-makers, he added, are looking into ways to diversify import routes and are also considering sources of gas other than the intermediaries of Russia's energy giant Gazprom.
The local think tank Expert Forum (EFOR) writes, in its annual report for 2022, that energy prices have risen due to the gas deficit, deliberately deepened by Gazprom since the summer. According to EFOR, the Russian giant has honored its contracts with Europeans at the last minute, emptying its gas storage facilities in Europe since the summer, and has delivered as little gas as possible in the pipelines. In general, Gazprom's strategy was to abuse European rules while formally respecting them, just to show that the European rules are faulty - concludes the report written by the Romanian experts. (LS)