Romanian attendance at the funeral in London
President Klaus Iohannis, along with Romanian crown custodian Margaret and the prince consort, Radu, attended the state funerals of Queen Elisabeth II in London. 2,000 guests were present at the biggest gathering of world leaders in the history of the planet. Writing on social media, President Klaus Iohannis said that, after attending the state funeral of Her Defunct Majesty Elisabeth II, he wished to express deep compassion for this great loss on behalf of the entire Romanian people. The Royal House of Romania also wrote a message, saying that Her Majesty Margaret had, along her entire life, unequaled support from Queen Elisabeth II, a model of royal leadership and courage, a beacon. The Royal House of Romania emphasized that Queen Elisabeth II was always present in the life of the royal family, maintaining uninterrupted family ties. As descendants of Queen Victoria, both Elisabeth II and the late King Michael I of Romania, who passed away in 2017, were third degree cousins. The new British monarch, Charles III, is a close friend of Romania. Gathering at the so-called Blue House, owned by the present sovereign in Viscri, in Brasov County, British ambassador Andrew Noble and members of the community paid a last homage to Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II.
The Romanian President at the UN General Assembly
At the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis emphasized the need for common solutions regarding global challenges, from the situation in Ukraine to climate change, and access to education. Among the topics under discussion was also energy security, and Klaus Iohannis underlined that energy should not be a tool for blackmail. Here is the president:
“Energy security is a global concern, which needs joint action, and responsible action. We must avoid using energy as a tool of blackmail. Energy security necessitates strategic investments in renewable sources, in nuclear energy, with new, future oriented projects, such as small modular reactors or hydrogen. Also, it necessitates energy prices that are accessible to our citizens. The link between climate change, peace, and security should be more prominent in our discussions, including within the Security Council.”
At the gathering in New York, heads of state and government have once again condemned the invasion of Ukraine, after the announcement by the Kremlin that it would start a partial mobilization. Speaking to the plenary gathering of the UN General Assembly, President Klaus Iohannis said that Romania would continue to support Ukraine, and recalled that Bucharest offered direct humanitarian assistance to the over 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees that crossed the border in the seven months of war. The head a state said that there was no justification for military aggression against a sovereign state, at the same time specifying that democracy and universal human rights are legitimate aspirations for the whole of humanity. He added that Romania reiterates its appeal on Russia to immediately cease aggression against Ukraine, and to withdraw completely its armed forces.
Head of Romanian diplomacy in meetings in New York
After Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Russians to send to fight in Ukraine, the foreign ministers of EU countries held an emergency meeting on Wednesday in New York. In an official declaration, they firmly condemned the recent Russian escalation in the context of the illegal, unprovoked, and unjustified aggression against Ukraine. At the reunion, the head of Romanian diplomacy, Bogdan Aurescu, condemned in the firmest of terms the recent actions taken by Kremlin, including the decision to declare partial mobilization, and to organize illegal so-called referendums in the occupied regions in neighboring Ukraine. According to the Romanian official, these represent a violation of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as well as of international law, including the UN Charter, and the principles behind rule based international order. Also, Bogdan Aurescu specified that it is completely unacceptable to use the threat of utilizing nuclear weapons. The recent events in Ukraine and their impact on European and Euro-Atlantic security were also discussed at the Bucharest 9 meeting held around the UN General Assembly. Bogdan Aurescu evoked the use of the B9 as a useful instrument for transatlantic coordination in the entire period after the start of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
Discussions about energy, fuel, and salaries
PM Nicolae Ciuca on Thursday, speaking in Bucharest with ministers of energy from the region, identified solutions for providing needed gas resources at the regional level. At the same time, the members of the Energy Committee in the Romanian Senate discussed with energy providers and the line authorities the measures provided by the government issued emergency executive order regulating the market. Until a decision is made, though, Romania lags behind in its measures to alleviate the impact of the energy crisis. A report issued by a group in Brussels shows that, while Germany has allocated over 100 billion Euro, in Romania the bill amounts to only seven billion. Meanwhile, the governing coalition parties convened to extend the subsidies for fuel at the pump until the end of the year. At the same time, Labor Minister Marius Budai said that pensions could be upped by at least 10% from January 1. The minister said that there would be discussions with unions and employers to raise the gross minimum wage across the country. This occurs as the European Parliament established that member countries, including Romania, have to secure a minimum wage to citizens that provides a decent living, considering the cost of living and the general level of wages. Right now, the gross minimum wage in Romania amounts to a little over 500 Euro.