Romania at the end of 2013: an exercise in geopolitics
November 14, 2013 -- EU to offer a perspective to Moldova:
"Our government, like most of the people, has chosen the way of civilization and European integration," Corman told an audience in Berlin. "We're on the right path; we've introduced many reforms, especially in the fight against corruption and in the justice system. We are not a risk for the EU."
November 27, 2013 -- Ukraine signs oil, gas deal with Eni and EDF, sees $4 billion investment
November 28, 2013 -- Romania to Seek Reunification with Moldova:
Romanian President Traian Basescu has revealed that his country is to seek a reunification with neighboring Moldova.
"I am convinced that if "unionist winds" start to blow in Moldova, Romania will always be ready for that. Accession to NATO was once a fundamental project for Romania. There was also another one - accession to the EU. I think that the third fundamental project should become our unification with Moldova. There can be no doubt about that," Basescu told Romania's TVR-1, as cited by Interfax.
November 29, 2013 -- Ukraine Faces E.U.’s Dismay on Turnabout on Accords:
Ms. Merkel, holding a glass of white wine, stood in front of Mr. Yanukovich, a beefy man who is at least a head taller. “We see you here,” said Ms. Merkel, nodding her head and giving a disapproving shrug. “But we expected more.” Next to her, Ms. Grybauskaite nodded in assent. Mr. Yanukovich had nowhere to turn.
December 1, 2013 -- Romania's National Day
December 2, 2013 -- Chevron resumes east Romanian shale gas search:
U.S. oil major Chevron has resumed its search for shale gas in eastern Romania, it said on Monday, despite opposition from local residents.
In October the company won approval to drill exploratory wells in the small town of Pungesti in the impoverished eastern county of Vaslui but had to halt works soon after as local residents blocked access to the site.
December 2, 2013 -- Frum: Beware Russia's power play in Ukraine:
Since Putin's entry into power, Russia minus Ukraine has sought to influence and corrupt the democracies of Europe. A Russia that reintegrated Ukraine would possess the power -- like the Soviet Union of old -- to intimidate and bully democratic Europe. Russia minus Ukraine can aspire to become a normal nation state, a democracy, even a liberal democracy. A Russia that holds Ukraine by force must forever be a militarized authoritarian regime, a menace to its own people as much as to the rest of the European continent and the democratic world.
Don't be fooled by the muted words, however. What's at stake in the streets of Kiev is the future of the European continent -- and American prosperity and security. An inward-looking America is averting its attention from its own most important interests and highest ideals.
December 4, 2013 -- The battle over Ukraine: Towards a new geopolitical game:
This is quite a turnaround in German policies towards Russia. It is the first time Merkel has spoken to Moscow with the assertive attitude of the leader of a great power. And she was doing what great powers usually do: pushing back other great powers and offering protection to smaller powers.
In other words, Merkel took a first step towards a geopolitical competition with Russia over Eastern Europe -- effectively ending years of cozy bilateral relations with Moscow.
Merkel has picked up the gauntlet thrown by Putin at her and the EU. But it is still unclear to what extent she will follow-up her rhetoric and push the EU towards making more substantial offers to Ukraine -- especially after the hopes of signing an agreement at the Vilnius summit have been disappointed.
But she has shown a Germany that no longer afraid to confront Russia over Eastern Europe. This is starting to look like an entirely new game.
December 5, 2013 -- Moldovans now officially speak Romanian:
The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday the country's official language should be changed to "Romanian" from "Moldovan."
Moldova's remaining Communists opposed the change.
In neighboring Romania, officials welcomed the decision. President Traian Basescu called it "an act of justice."
December 6, 2013 -- How Natural Gas Has Helped Fuel Ukraine’s Violent Unrest
December 6, 2013 -- Russia and Ukraine leaders seek partnership treaty
December 6, 2013 -- IMF to Likely Postpone Romania Meeting:
The International Monetary Fund's executive board will likely postpone until March a meeting to discuss Romania's progress under a 2-billion-euro ($2.74 billion) loan program, after the Romanian president refused to endorse some of the measures included in the latest policy package, news agency Mediafax reported.
"We are aware of President Traian Basescu's disagreement with the government over the specific measures. The IMF staff is monitoring developments and is awaiting a decision by the authorities on whether they wish to modify the policies needed to secure the agreed deficit target, before submitting the policy package to the Fund's Executive Board," the IMF said Tuesday.
December 7, 2013 -- Ukraine Opposition: No Talks Unless Govt Fired:
Ukraine's opposition, preparing for what it hopes will be a gigantic protest rally on Sunday, says it will negotiate with President Viktor Yanukovych only if he fires the government and appoints a new one committed to deepening European integration.
Russia wants Ukraine to join a customs union also including Belarus and Kazakhstan that would be a counterweight to the EU and put pressure on Yanukovych to shelve the EU agreement.
Yatsenyuk called the customs union "a new version of the Soviet Union."
Distress over the customs was high after Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Friday. The leaders' offices on Saturday said the presidents didn't discuss the customs union, but suspicions persisted.
"It was clear that (Yanukovych's) way to the European Union was blocked from the start," Yatsenyuk said. "It was a big auction — who is to buy Ukraine."
December 7, 2013 -- Chevron halts Romania shale work after protest:
On Saturday, about 300 riot police were deployed in Pungesti, 340 km (210 miles) northeast of capital Bucharest, to try to prevent an equal number of protesters, mostly local residents, from entering the Chevron site. Some broke through into the site, however.
The activists chanted "Stop Chevron" and held banners saying "No drilling allowed here". Dozens were detained by police.
Chevron said some equipment had been damaged on the site. "Chevron can today confirm it has suspended activities ... as a result of unsafe conditions generated by unlawful and violent protester activities," it said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
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