Romania Monitor Articles
The visit of Klaus Iohannis to Ukraine was necessary and one of the more frequent comments was “better late than never”. His presence, however, remained somewhat overshadowed by Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi. There were also opinions that his presence supported their policy of concessions to Russia. The case, however, is more nuanced.
The Russian attack on Ukraine has been going on for three months now. Currently, the main area of fighting is the eastern part of the country. However, Ukrainian commanders must also bear in mind the western border. All through the so-called Transnistria, i.e. the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic. Approximately 1.5 thousand Russian soldiers are stationed in the internationally unrecognized separatist quasi-state, which inevitably may be alarming. There are many indications that their role should not be overestimated. A small number of troops and the outdated equipment used by them allow at best for subversive activities on a limited scale. However, it is worth being aware of their potential.
In December 1989 communism in Romania started to collapse. Even though it seemed that nobody could endanger Nicolae Ceaușescu, the dictator was shot after less than two weeks after the outbreak of riots.
Even though Romania is a member of the European Union since 2007, it is still outside the Schengen Area which allows border crossing without border control. Many myths have arisen about this matter during the last decade and it appears that the problem will not be solved soon.
The result of these elections was seemingly predictable. An overwhelming number of commentators expected the victory of the current president. However, it did not go without surprises.
65 people died and hundreds were hurt in the disastrous fire in 2015. The tragedy happened in Bucharest during the Halloween concert. Subsequent protests led to the collapse of the Social Democratic government of Victor Ponta.
The motion of no-confidence was supported by six opposition parties, with National Liberal Party (PNL) ahead. It was barely achieved as five more than required 233 members of parliament voted for the motion.
More people declared their willingness to run for elections but not everyone managed to collect 200 000 votes of support and provide them to the Central Election Bureau. In turn, part of them withdrew from the competition. The elections scheduled for November 10 are to decide who will take the presidential seat.
The appointment of the former anti-corruption chief, Laura Codruța Kövesi, has already been confirmed by the EU member states. It happened despite the opposition of the Romanian government which from the very beginning is trying to torpedo her candidacy.
The discussion on double standards used by companies selling products in the eastern and western part of the European Union market has been held for several years. This regards, among others, the worse composition of food available in the states of the “new Union” – including Romania. Despite pressure on the international corporations and laws introduced by the European Parliament, the situation requires changes.
Russian-Moldovan negotiations are being held before the expiration of the current contract with the Russian gas supplier, Gazprom. Russia remains a monopolist on gas supplies to Moldova and all sudden rises of energy prices may significantly influence the condition of the Moldovan economy.
During the earthworks in the Gorj county in the south of Romania archaeological sites were found. Now, they have to be examined before they are damaged. This means delays in the construction of the BRHA gas pipeline.
The collapse of Romania’s ruling coalition has only been a matter of weeks. Now, the future of the current government is one big unknown. Will the PSD party stay in power with no majority in the parliament, will it be able to find a new coalition partner or perhaps snap elections will be held? The answers to these questions are still unclear.
The blue fuel will most likely flow from the south of Europe to Ukraine already on January 1, 2020. This is the result of an agreement signed by local operators that will hit the interests of the Kremlin and, most importantly, contribute to Ukraine’s greater energy independence.