Newsflash – April 22, 2022

Visit – On Friday, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba analysed the security situation in the region following the Russian military aggression. The Prime Minister highlighted the efforts made by authorities, together with civil society, volunteers and international humanitarian organisations to support the more than 800,000 Ukrainian refugees who have entered Romania since the outbreak of the war. Dmytro Kuleba gave an extensive presentation on the military situation on the ground and thanked the Government of Bucharest and the Romanian citizens for all the support and solidarity shown since the outbreak of the war. On his formal visit to Bucharest, Dmytro Kuleba also spoke with his Romanian counterpart, Bogdan Aurescu. The latter has stated that Romania strongly supports Ukraine’s European prospects and is ready to be part of the reconstruction effort. „We will never forget Romania’s help” said Kuleba when asked about bilateral relations after the war, given that there are still issues between the two countries that must be resolved, such as education in Romanian for the ethnic Romanians in Ukraine. Dmytro Kuleba also met with the Romanian Defense Minister Vasile Dincu, who reiterated Romania’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its unconditional support for the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ukraine – In a phone conversation on Friday, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, asked the Russian president Vladimir Putin to guarantee humanitarian corridors, over the Orthodox Easter, in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, France Presse reports. The Russian troops say they are ready to observe a truce at any time at the Azovstal steel plant, the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in the city. The Russian Defense Ministry has given assurances that the evacuated civilians will be able to choose whether to go to the territories under Ukrainian control or those under Russian control and that the soldiers who surrender will be treated with dignity and the wounded will be cared for. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a discussion that was broadcast on Russian television, not to storm the Azovstal plant so as not to cause further casualties. Kiev has called for a humanitarian corridor to evacuate the 1,000 civilian refugees and 400-500 wounded Ukrainian soldiers inside the plant.

Refugees – According to the Romanian Border Police, more than 84 thousand people crossed Romania’s borders on Thursday, of whom 7,608 Ukrainian citizens (1.2% less than on the day before). 3,845 Ukrainians entered Romania via the crossing points on the border with Ukraine, and 1,334 crossed the border from Moldova. The border staff on mission in the border areas has been supplemented. Also, an operative exchange of data and information is ensured between all the relevant institutions.

(Radio Romania International)