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Zelensky, Romanian PM meet in Kyiv, discuss military support, grain transit

by Martin Fornusek October 18, 2023 8:11 PM 3 min read
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky meets Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu in Kyiv on Oct. 18, 2023. (Presidential Office)
This audio is created with AI assistance

President Volodymyr Zelensky met Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu in Kyiv on Oct. 18, discussing defense assistance and cooperation in grain transit, the presidential office said.

Zelensky noted that he and Ciolacu addressed the importance of building new routes for the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products through Romanian territory.

The president listed the key priorities for future Romanian support for Ukraine, with a particular focus on the protection of the southern regions and port infrastructure at the Danube River from Russian airstrikes.

Russia has escalated its attacks against Ukraine's Danube ports in recent months, resulting in several cases of Russian drones falling on Romanian soil.

Romanian PM: Ukraine recognizes ‘non-existence of Moldovan language’
Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said that the Ukrainian government decided to abandon using the phrasing “Moldovan language” to refer to the language spoken by Moldovans, European Pravda reported on Oct. 18.

"Thank you to Romania for supporting Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, and for the military aid packages that strengthened us on the battlefield," Zelensky wrote on his Telegram channel.

As part of his official visit to Kyiv, the Romanian prime minister met his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal earlier on Oct. 18. Shmyhal confirmed that Romania is transiting up to 60% of all Ukrainian grain exports and said that Bucharest has become one of Ukraine's leading trade partners.

The two countries have also "made enormous progress" in developing border infrastructure and have opened new border checkpoints, Ukraine's head of government said.

Shmyhal praised military cooperation with Bucharest and thanked Romania for setting up a training center for Ukrainian pilots on its territory.

Today's meetings follow talks between Zelensky and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest last week, which addressed security in the Black Sea region and reinforcements for Ukrainian air defenses.

Ukraine has been seeking air defense aid from its partners ahead of the coming winter months to protect the country's infrastructure and cities against Russian airstrikes.

Zelensky also discussed ways to strengthen the country's air defenses with French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call earlier on Oct. 18.

Ukraine's president said that during the conversation with his French counterpart, the two leaders addressed cooperation in long-range and naval capabilities, as well as the Black Sea grain corridor and Zelensky's peace formula.

Ex-Estonian president: If NATO ambiguous about conditions for Ukraine, Russia won’t know what to prevent
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Former Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has been among the most vocal supporters of Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, just four months after her term came to an end. From public…
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