• Ukrainian ambassador: Cutting natural gas exports to Ukraine not suitable for Russia 30 Nov 2015, 15:24 • ENGLISH

    Ukrainian Ambassador to Romania Teofil Bauer said in an interview with AGERPRES that cutting the natural gas exports to Ukraine is not suitable for Russia and the declarations to this effect coming from Moscow are political.

    “Russia is actively using the energy aspects in politics. It is very much politicized. Those declarations coming now from the Russian Federation are political declarations. Ukraine meets all the conditions mentioned in the contract on the gas import from Russia. If we compare the natural gas consumption over this year with the one last year, we’ll see that the consumption volume has diminished by 20 percent. I am convinced we will go through this winter, given last year’s practice, when our European partners helped us a lot in being supplied natural gas — we received it via Slovakia and Poland — and I am convinced that if a similar situation emerges this year too, our European partners will help us resolve this problem”, Bauer said.

    The ambassador underscored that it is “guaranteed” that Ukraine remains a transit country for the natural gas crossing its territory towards Europe.

    “Ukraine, considering all the aspects relating this matter, will remain a transit country for the natural gas crossing Ukraine, this is guaranteed. I think that cutting the gas exports to Ukraine is not suitable for Russia. We are much better prepared for the winter season this year than we were prepared last year. Natural gas is a product that must be shipped constantly and I would like to remind that Ukraine has the largest possibilities to store natural gas. For Ukraine, the most important is that there should be open market relations as regards the issue of the natural gas trade”, Bauer stressed. More…

  • Cyprus satisfied over EU-Turkey Summit results

    The Cypriot government has expressed its satisfaction over the results of the EU-Turkey Summit, that was held on Sunday in Brussels, focusing on the refugee crisis and Turkey`s role in curbing the influx of refugees to Europe.

    Cyprus, an EU member since 2004, has also welcomed the support by leaders from the fellow member states in reminding Ankara over its obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus.

    In a written statement that was submitted during the Summit, Nicosia recognises the need for collective action to tackle the refugee crisis, it notes, however, that Turkey`s EU accession course depends on the implementation of its obligations vis-à-vis EU and all its member states.

    According to an official announcement, Nicosia has made particular reference to Ankara`s obligations, as mentioned in the negotiating framework,, the relevant Council Conclusions and the Declaration by the European Community and the Member States of September 21, 2005.

    On the EU-Turkey Summit, which resulted in Ankara agreeing to help the EU stem the flow of migrants, in return for 3 bln euros of support and the reactivation of accession talks, the Cypriot government notes that member states` financial contribution is non-obligatory.

    The government finally welcomes a reference included in the Council`s statement, that the Visa Roadmap benchmarks need to be fulfilled vis-à-vis all member states.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed last May.

    CNA/AGK/GCH 2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • #ColectivMemorial – an AGERPRES initiative against forgetting

    ‘I want that club of horror, of pain and of desperation TO BECOME A MEMORIAL”.

    That is how Oana, the sister of Catalin Alexandru Simion, who perished in the Colectiv Club fire, begins her letter.

    The Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES joins and supports demarches for this memorial to become reality, opening a special section on the www.agerpres.ro public website where the opinions of all those who have something to say in the matter will be collected.

    Thus, for three months, between November 30, 2015 — February 29, 2015, we will launch a set of questions to our public and to those who are directly involved or who wish to change something following the Colectiv Club, with the intention of making public the voices that can transform this project into a reality.

    #ColectivMemorial is the hashtag that will gather all the journalistic materials, answers and debates to come and which will collect all the proposals to construct a symbol in the memory of those who disappeared.

    We invite, at the same time, all media institutions, bloggers and trendsetters to join the project to construct a Colectiv Memorial, together with architects, psychologists, sociologists, historians, representatives of the authorities and the loved ones of the victims.

    The questions AGERPRES will pose are as follows:

    1. How do you see the building of a Colectiv Memorial as a symbol against forgetting?

    2. How do you imagine this Colectiv Memorial? Should it be built at the site of the tragedy or somewhere else?

    3. Given the situation of the space where the Colectiv Club was situated, who and in what degree should take care of designing and constructing a Colectiv Memorial, including in this the finding of necessary financing: the Romanian state or the non-governmental organizations?

    4. What motto do you believe should define this Memorial?

    5. What do you believe should be the most important lesson remembered after visiting the Colectiv Memorial? More…

  • Martin (FAPT): Romania must be alternative for Russian tourists

    Romanian tourism must be an alternative for Russian citizens, given the conflict between Russia and Turkey, so that the relevant authorities in Romania should launch a strong promotion campaign on the Russian market, Corina Martin, Chairwoman of the Tourism Promotion Associations’ Federation (FACT), told AGERPRES on Sunday.

    The FACT chairwoman says that the tourism authorities of Israel “are already reacting and are heading with attractive tariffs to Russian tour operators to create an alternative,” considering the fact that Vladimir Putin demanded that the Russian government take steps to ban charter air transport between Russia and Turkey.

    “Romania should obviously take advantage of this situation, in the sense that we have the opportunity, as happened last year, when we managed to attract to Constanta a much higher number of cruise ships following the tense situation in Ukraine,” said Corina Martin. More…

  • Peace talks progressing but obstacles still exist, Foreign Minister says

    Negotiations for a political settlement in Cyprus have come a long way, without the involvement of any foreign factor, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said, noting at the same time that obstacles still exist and the peace talks have yet to conclude.

    He expressed the hope that the negotiations will continue until the end of the road.

    “If however this is difficult to achieve, then we shall need the help of the US and Russia and the rest of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to get to the desired result,” he said in statements to the press, in Malta, at the conclusion of the Commonwealth summit.

    Invited to comment on the interest the international community displays in Cyprus, reflected in this week`s visits to the island by the US and the Russian foreign ministers, Kasoulides said it is an honour for Cyprus to welcome the foreign ministers of two big powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council.

    He referred also to the forthcoming visit by the Chinese Foreign Minister.

    “I believe they will be briefed on developments in Cyprus and I am sure they will hear that the talks are moving smoothly,” he added.

    UN-led peace talks are underway between the island’s two communities with a view to finding a negotiated settlement to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    CNA MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Imports of used cars up almost 13pct in Romania ten months into 2015 (APIA data)

    The imports of used cars rose 10 months into this year by 12.8pct year on year, having reached 204,000 units, show the analyzes of the Car Makers and Importers Association /APIA/ consulted by AGERPRES.

    According to the statistics, the growth trend of used car imports has thus led to a ratio of 3.2 to 1 between these imports and the sales of new cars, slightly higher compared to that in the same period of 2014, of 3.1 to 1 respectively.

    The sales of new Romanian-made cars increased in the first 10 months of 2015 by 26.5pct compared to the same period in 2014, whilst the sales of imported rose by only 11.2pct, according to the APIA data. More…

  • World leaders gather in Paris for the UN Conference on Climate Change

    World leaders are gathering in Paris to attend the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21), which begins on Monday, with a view to adopting a new universal agreement which will cover all UNFCCC countries.

    The aim of the new agreement is to reduce emissions across developed and developing countries to a level that will keep global warming below 2°C.

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will represent Cyprus at the Conference that will concluded on December 11.

    The conference takes place in the backdrop of a series of alarming developments, as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned that 2015 is likely to be the warmest year on record, breaching the symbolic and significant milestone of 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

    Moreover, data from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) revealed that over the last 20 years, 90 per cent of major disasters have been caused by 6,457 recorded floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other weather-related events.

    “We must take action. We have spoken for a long time – at least 20 years, longer than 20 years – and the science has made it plainly clear,” UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon said at a news conference on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit in Malta, on the eve of the two-week-long UN climate change conference.

    “I think that [now] all the stars seem to be aligning. There is a strong commitment, not only from the Government but from the business communities and civil society,” he added.

    Ban referred to the effort to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that threaten to radically impact the world as we know it, from rising sea levels overwhelming low-lying island States to devastating droughts and floods.

    In his words, five years ago at a climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, Member States agreed in their Declaration: let us agree on a universal, legally binding, ambitious climate change agreement by 2015.

    “I think that [now] all the stars seem to be aligning. There is a strong commitment, not only from the Government but from the business communities and civil society,” he concluded.

    CNA/GS/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • US President signs defence bill allowing sale of defensive weapons to Cyprus

    US President Barack Obama signed on Wednesday the US National Defence Authorization Act, which includes an amendment allowing the sale of US defensive weapons to the Republic of Cyprus.

    The amendment, co-sponsored by Congressmen David Cicilline and Gus Bilirakis, allows the sale of US defensive weapons, under the condition that the Secretaries of Defence and State submit a report to Congress assessing the impact of the embargo on Cyprus’ national security and counter-terrorism efforts.

    The embargo, which dates back to 1992, bans the export of defensive weapons to the Republic of Cyprus, according to Congressman Cicilline. Bilirakis, Cicilline and Senator Robert Menendez tabled amendments in the House of Representatives and the Senate pointing out that the embargo is an anachronism which does not reflect the current upgraded relationships between Cyprus and the US, which are allies and strategic partners.

    The embargo “fails to reflect the relationship Cyprus and the United States have today as allies and strategic partners in the global war on terror,” Cicilline said in a statement.

    Reliable sources have told CNA that following the joint maritime search and rescue exercises between the USA and Cyprus, the US offered to strengthen Cyprus` port police with offshore vessels.

    The Hellenic American Leadership Council Executive Director Endy Zemenides applauded the inclusion of the Cyprus amendment, noting that “this is an important step in the growing strategic partnership between Cyprus and the United States.”

    “The reevaluation of the arms embargo required by this act will hopefully rectify the absurd status quo in which Turkey is allowed to occupy Cyprus with American arms but Cyprus has to look elsewhere to buy defensive weapons. Resolving this will allow Cyprus to step up even further as a front line state in the Western security infrastructure,” he concluded.

    CNA/AZ/GS/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Vice President Popova Confers with Vietnamese Counterpart, National Assembly Chairman, Prime Minister

    Sofia/Hanoi, November 27 (BTA) – The first day of Vice President Margarita Popova’s official visit to Vietnam included meetings with Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The Bulgarian guest was received by her Vietnamese counterpart with an official ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, said the President Press Secretariat on Friday. Popova and Doan voiced their satisfaction with the dynamic high-level political dialogue in recent years, which gives a new impetus to the further reinforcement and deepening of bilateral relations in the direction of building a strategic partnership. More…Vietnam

  • JusMin: Magistrates’ integrity criterion, the more so important as they try others

    Integrity aspects are important in any profession, but in the case of the magistrates, the integrity criterion is the more so important ”because the judges and prosecutors are called upon to try others,” Minister of Justice Raluca Pruna told a public event.

    “It has been said that justice is a public service. I should have added that integrity aspects are important in absolutely any profession, yet I dare say that in the case of the magistrates the criterion of integrity is the more so important as judges and prosecutors are called upon to try others and for this reason I think that, just as the Prosecutor General has said, their paramount intrinsic value must be their own integrity,” said Raluca Pruna, who attended the National Conference on the presentation of the conclusions of the project “Strengthening the integrity of the judiciary,” a project carried out by the Supreme Council of the Magistrates (CSM) in partnership with the Dutch Judicial Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. More…

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