20 May 2021

Morning headlines – May 20th 2021

Florin Jipa

Image source: Profimedia

Coronavirus and vaccines

  • Vaccination in Romania: In the last 24 hours, more than 94.000 people got vaccinated (with more than 61.000 getting both doses). Totally, more than 4 million people got the vaccine, with more than 2.9 getting both doses.
  • Coronavirus in Romania: In the last 24 hours, there were recorded 707 new SARS CoV-2 cases, 54 deaths and in ICU there are now 718 people hospitalized.

Global political and military events

  • The Israeli-Palestinian war: The conflict entered the 11th day, and a HAMAS leader stated for CNN that he expects a ceasefire to be established in the following 24 hours. According to CNN, HAMAS did not launch any missile in the last 6 hours, but Israel continued the air strikes. Since the conflict started, there were killed 227 Palestinians, among them being at least 64 kids. More than 1.500 people were wounded. On the Israeli side, 12 people died, and among them there was also a kid.
  • The UN General Assembly will meet on Thursday. The UN General Assembly will meet, tomorrow, to discuss the recent developments in the Middle East, especially the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant groups, says The Hill. The US has postponed, until now, issuing a joint statement on the conflict, says CNN.
  • The first US-Russia meeting at the level of Foreign ministers. THe US State Secretary, Antony Blinken, met, on Wednesday, with the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Reykjavik, within the Arctic Council. Meanwhile Lavrov said they had constructive talks, the US State Department announced that Blinken expressed his `deep concerns` on the deployment of the Russian troops in Ukraine and close to the border, but he said he hopes for a collaboration in controlling the nuclear weapons and files about Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.
  • The US is giving up some sanctions for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Russia praises the decision. The United States announced on Wednesday that is giving up sanctioning the main company involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, says AFP. Russia has immediately praised the decision, according to TASS. In a letter addressed to the Congress, Antony Blinken said he decided to sanction many Russian entities involved in the project, meanwhile the Nord Stream 2 AG company, a subsidiary of the Russian giant Gazprom, based in Switzerland, and its CEO, the German Matthias Warning will not be sanctioned, says Agerpress. These exemptions are keeping the good relations with the European allies, said Blinken.
  • Plans for a Biden-Putin meeting. The Russian media wrote that the Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev and the US National Security Counselor Jake Sullivan are about to meet in a European city, in the following period, to set up a meeting between the two presidents for next month.

Romania’s defence and security

  • The prime-minister is not commenting the appointment of Viorica Dancila as BNR counselor. Prime-minister Citu refused to comment on the appointment of Viorica Dancila as counselor of the BNR, says TVR. However, the USR-PLUS party asked the BNR governor, Mugur Isarescu, to reconsider the appointment as it affects the credibility of the institution.
  • Important meeting between Florin Citu and Marcel Ciolacu. The two will talk about the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience.