March 14, 2022

march 14, 2022 A roundup of domestic and international news

WAR IN UKRAINE - Russia has expanded its attacks westwards, to the Polish border, as well as to the south of Urkaine. According to British intelligence, Russia has now imposed a blockade of the entire Ukrainian Black Seacoast, with a view to mounting an attack on Odessa. Russian forces destroyed a military base a few kilometers from the Polish border, killing 35 people and wounding another 130, local authorities say. The base was used prior to the war by NATO staff to train Ukrainian security forces, although the Alliance claims no staff was on the ground at the time of the attack. Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has condemned Russia's unjustified attack, again calling on Western countries to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. NATO and the United States have so far ruled out this possibility, US president Joe Biden arguing this might lead to the outbreak of WWIII. According to American officials, Russia has called on China to deliver military equipment and support for the war in Ukraine, as well as additional financial support to counter the negative effects of international sanctions. US officials have so far refused to discuss Moscow's specific requests or China's response. On the other hand, Russian-Ukrainian negotiations will resume today in videoconference format. According to Radio Romania's correspondent, Moscow sources say a number of documents could be signed over the coming days. On Sunday, the first foreign journalist was killed north of Kyiv.

REFUGEES - Romanian authorities have launched an interactive map for refugees, mapping out transit corridors to border checkpoints. The application can be accessed on the website of the Ministry of Transport, and is available in Romanian, English and Ukrainian. Refugees who need to reach other countries can find information about road and rail connections. The application also provides information about border checkpoints, international airports and connections to the nearby airports and border crossing points. Since the start of the Russian invasion in neighboring Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed into Romania, most of them in route to other countries. Yesterday, president Klaus Iohannis assured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, that Romania will take great care of all Ukrainian citizens crossing into Romania.

TALKS - Romania's Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, is today having a new round of talks with his Italian counterpart, Luigi Di Maio. Talks will focus on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and on Italy's interest to support the refugee relief effort. High on the agenda will also be efforts to put an end to the conflict, sanctions against the Russian Federation and measures to consolidate NATO's eastern flank. The two officials will also discuss ways to boost the Consolidated Strategic Partnership between the two countries. The Italian official will also meet with president Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă.

DEFICIT - Romania's trade deficit was by 945 million Euro higher in January compared to the same period last year, and now stands at 2.126 billion Euro, the National Statistics Institute reports. In January, exports stood at 6.76 billion Euro, while the total value of imports was 8.88 billion Euro. Vehicles, transport equipment and other manufactured goods account for the largest share of trade.

CENSUS - Delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the census of population and households has started in Romania. For the first time, citizens will be able to use an online application for self-enumeration. People with limited digital skills can get guidance in special centers, where trained staff will guide them every step of the way. The form stipulates four categories of information: data about the household and home ownership, the official place of residence, members of the household and secondary place of residence. Citizens who complete the self-enumeration form online will be awarded a day off, whether they work in the public or private system. An enumerator will be visiting homes that were not enumerated online. The whole process is digitized. The previous census dates back to 2011, when Romania had a population of over 20 million.

TOURISM - Tourism was one of the sectors that started to recover after the Covid pandemic last year, the latest Eurostat reports reads. In 2021, accommodations in tourist units totaled 1.8 billion, up by 27% compared to 2020. The biggest increase was reported in Greece, Spain and Croatia (70%), compared to Romania (43%).

TENNIS - The best-ranked Romanian tennis players, Simona Halep (WTA 26) and Sorana Cîrstea (WTA 27) will play each other in the Indian Wells round of 16. The WTA 1000 tournament in the United States this year totals some 8.6 million USD in prizes. Halep, who won the trophy in 2015, yesterday defeated Cori Gauff of the United States in straight sets, whereas Cîrstea ousted Anna Kalinskaya of Russia in three sets. Simona Halep and Sorana Cîrstea last played each other 12 years ago, in the Cincinnati preliminaries. Cîrstea leads 2-1 head to head. (VP)
Publicat: 2022-03-14 13:55:00
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