Visit – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will pay official visits to Brazil, Chile and Argentina from April 18 to 26, the Presidential Administration announced on Friday. According to the aforementioned source, these visits are meant to re-launch the high-level dialogue with the Latin American states and to revitalize bilateral relations at political, diplomatic, and sectoral levels, being intended to open new opportunities for collaboration in areas of high interest, including in relation to the common response to a series of global challenges. The Presidential Administration shows that the Romanian president will highlight in all official discussions the unprecedented security challenges that Romania must manage at the national level and, together with its partners, at the European and Euro-Atlantic levels, given the complexity of the current global context.
Space - The European Space Agency’s Juice probe blasted off, on Friday, on a mission to Jupiter to discover whether Jupiter's moons are capable of hosting extraterrestrial life, France Press reports. The spacecraft was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. "Juice is the most complex probe ever sent to Jupiter," emphasized ESA's Director General, Josef Aschbacher. It has ten scientific instruments on board (optical camera, imaging spectrometer, radar, altimeter, magnetometer and many more). The probe is also equipped with huge solar panels, measuring 85 square meters - the size of a basketball court - to maintain power in an environment where the Sun's light is 25 times weaker than on Earth.
Expenses – All Romanian ministries have presented plans to reduce expenses to balance the budget, but many do not want to give up the allocated funds. According to Radio Romania’s correspondent, they justified every penny they received from the budget, while others came with small reductions, so that, all in all, the sum of the proposed spending reductions is far from the target of 20 billion lei (approx. 4 billion Euros), which should be saved until the end of the year. The Labor Ministry proposes a 20% reduction of fuel expenses and a reduction of non-essential internal and external trips. The Tourism Ministry is also considering the tourism marketing chapter. However, there are also ministries that will not substantially reduce expenses, such as the Ministry of European Investments and Projects, where the employees are paid mostly from European money, while the Ministry of Culture proposed savings of only 2 million lei. All proposals will be analyzed next week in the government meeting. Also next week, the Finance Ministry is expected to come up with its own analysis regarding the reduction of expenses and the increase in budget receipts.
Ukraine - Romania will continue to support Ukraine as long as it is necessary to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, said the Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr, on Thursday, in Bucharest, after the meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov. The Ukrainian defense minister was on his first official visit to Romania, where he participated in the first conference on security in the Black Sea organized within the International Crimea Platform. During the meeting, the Romanian minister condemned in the toughest terms the war of aggression illegally and unjustifiably launched by Russia against Ukraine, which killed many civilians and destroyed critical infrastructure in many regions of Ukraine. The agenda of the meeting included talks on aspects related to the intensification of bilateral cooperation, also in the context of the EU and NATO, the Romanian side reiterating the importance of continuing the political and military dialogue and its implementation by prioritizing the implementation of the Comprehensive Assistance Package within the Alliance. (LS)