Friday, September 4

Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum opens in Bucharest

The Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum opens in Romania’s capital Bucharest on Friday. The two-day event is organised by the New Strategy Center in partnership with the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medical Sciences (USAMV) with support of Romania’s Foreign and Defence Ministries. The forum’s 4th edition proves its outstanding position in regional security debates as speakers include such leading experts as Poland’s Army Chief of Staff Gen. Rajmund Andrzejczak, James Appathurai, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Damien Arnaud, senior member of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, and Romanian experts such as Daniel Dăianu and Cristian Diaconescu. Participants also include Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, and other Romanian officials. Debates of the forum will focus on fake news campaigns, misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic, challenges and opportunities in economy and education, and effective ways designed to strengthen EU-Transatlantic solidarity.

New cigarette smuggling case in Romania

Police at a border checkpoint in the Romanian north-western town of Sichetu Marmației discovered and seized some 8,000 cigarette packs of Ukrainian origin on Friday, according to a statement issued by the Territorial Border Inspectorate in the region. Some packs entered Romania by drone while others on trails at over 1,900 m high in the nearby Maramureș Mountains. Cigarette smuggling remains big business in Romania as 1 in every 10 contraband cigarettes in the European Union is smoked there, according to reports. The impact of illegal trade is worsened by the poverty of areas around the Romanian borders with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

Romania’s coronavirus figures

Romania’s COVID-19 cases hit 92,595 with another 1,339 new cases, according to a statement of the country’s Strategic Communication Group (GCS) on Friday. A total of 39,636 people were declared cured and 11,868 asymptomatic patients were discharged 10 days after testing positive. A legislative void that enabled thousands of infected people to walk out of hospitals or not be treated at all was in part responsible for the hike since July. Another reason was a relative lack of compliance with social distancing and wearing facial masks in closed places.

Alexandru Danga