Business news from Ukraine

Bulgaria and Romania join Schengen area

Starting March 31, Bulgaria and Romania will become members of the Schengen area: Schengen rules will be applied in both member states, including the issuance of Schengen visas, and control at internal air and sea borders will be abolished.
This was reported by the press service of the European Commission on Saturday.
“The Commission strongly welcomes this achievement, which follows the historic Council decision of December 2023. The accession of these two Member States to the Schengen area will make the common area more attractive by significantly expanding the world’s largest common area without internal border controls,” the press release says.
Commenting on the event, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “Tomorrow marks an important day: Bulgaria and Romania join the Schengen family. I welcome the abolition of internal air and sea border checks. This is a great success for both countries. And a historic moment for the Schengen area – the largest free movement area in the world. Together we are building a stronger and more united Europe for all our citizens.”

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Ukrainian company Avtomagistral-Pivden to build airport in Romania

Romania has signed an agreement with a consortium of concessionaires Avant Airports and Avtomagistral-Pivden to build a new airport near Bucharest, the company’s press service told Interfax-Ukraine.

The new airport may be built on the site of a decommissioned military airfield in the town of Alexene, 66 km from Bucharest, and will be an alternative to the airport in Otopeni. It will be able to handle all categories of cargo, accept wide-body, long-haul aircraft such as Boeing 777 or Airbus A330, create conditions for attracting low-cost airlines, and specialize in aircraft maintenance.

“We see Aleksene Airport as a state-of-the-art aviation hub and a driver of economic growth both for the Ialomita region and Romania as a whole. In Ukraine, our company has participated in the reconstruction of airports in Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Odesa. In Romania, we are completing the reconstruction of the Satu Mare airport runway, and now we have the opportunity to participate in what is probably the largest and most ambitious infrastructure project in Romania. Our victory in the tender is evidence of the trust in the company on the part of Romanian partners. If we manage to attract investment and implement the project, it will help us open the EU market,” said Mykola Tymofeev, CEO of Avtomagistral-Pivden.

The concept of the future airport will include a passenger terminal with an area of 30 thousand square meters, capable of handling 6.5 million passengers annually, as well as a cargo terminal of 20 thousand square meters to handle more than 10 thousand tons of cargo per year. The project’s facilities also include a 30,000-square-meter aircraft repair and maintenance facility, an aviation academy, fuel stations, customs, and a photovoltaic park designed to ensure the airport’s energy independence.

The project developer, Avant Airports, notes that it has attracted a team of the best civil aviation experts from more than 15 countries to develop the project. “Avtomagistral-Pivden will be responsible for the execution of the work.

During the signing of the concession agreement with the local community, the Jalomica region, Avant Airports co-founder Mircea Tudor noted that the company plans to build the world’s first passive airport and certify it according to BREEAM.

Alexene Airport will be Romania’s first private airport. Only the first stage has been completed, with a concession agreement signed with the local community. Now the developer can begin the process of attracting investments, which are estimated at EUR 400 million. The project will take four years to complete.

Avtomagistral-Pivden LLC has been on the market since 2004. It designs and builds highways, bridges, interchanges, airfield complexes, and hydraulic structures. The company’s owner is listed in Opendatabot as Oleksandr Boyko. According to the financial results for 2023, the company’s net profit amounted to UAH 624.9 million, and revenue was UAH 8.215 billion.

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Farmers block truck traffic to Ukraine in Romania

In Romania, farmers are blocking truck traffic to Ukraine at the Siret checkpoint, the reason and duration of the blockade are unknown, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reports.

“Truck traffic through the Romanian checkpoint Siret, opposite the Ukrainian checkpoint Porubne, is blocked! Farmers in Romania are blocking truck traffic through the Siret checkpoint. The reasons and estimated duration of the blockade are unknown. Traffic may be hampered in both directions,” the message posted on the telegram channel on Saturday reads.

The State Border Guard Service notes that no significant queue of trucks heading towards Ukraine has been recorded so far. There are 825 vehicles registered in the E-queue for departure.

At the same time, cars, passenger buses and pedestrians are allowed to cross as usual.

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Ukraine and Romania sign agreement on development of 5G corridors and cyber defense

An agreement on the development of electronic communications, 5G corridors and cooperation in the field of digitalization between Ukraine and Romania was signed by Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister for Innovation, Education, Science and Technology Development and Minister of Digital Transformation, and Bogdan-Gruia Ivan, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization.

“This will allow the exchange of experience between Ukrainian and Romanian specialists, as well as the implementation of joint projects for the development of telecommunications infrastructure, digitalization, and cybersecurity,” the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MinCyber) said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the press release, the parties agreed to jointly develop 5G corridors between Ukraine and Romania, cloud infrastructure for public e-services, restore and modernize digital infrastructure affected by Russian aggression, increase the resilience and security of information and communication technologies, and strengthen cybersecurity of national networks and digital infrastructure.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation noted that the agreement will allow Ukraine to participate in EU financial support programs.

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An earthquake has occurred in Romania near border with Ukraine

An earthquake with magnitude 4.0 (on the Richter scale) was registered on Sunday at 08.06 Kiev time in the area of Vrancea Mountains (Romania), it could be felt in Ukraine, but does not pose a threat to the population, the Main Center for Special Control reports.

“The source of the earthquake is located on the territory of Romania, in the area of Vrancea mountains, 110 km from the border with Ukraine, at a depth of 103 km. The earthquake does not carry a threat to the population of Ukraine. Fluctuations can be felt only by individuals who are quiet indoors, especially on the upper floors,” – said in a message published on the website.

The Main Control Center reminds that the last powerful earthquake from the area of Vrancea mountains was registered on December 04 this year with a magnitude of 4.6 (on the Richter scale).

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Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria to sign agreement to counter mine threat in Black Sea

Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria will sign a joint agreement in January 2024 to counter the mine threat in the Black Sea, Turkish National Defense Minister Yashar Güler said, TRTHaber reported on Saturday, December 16.

“Within the framework of the Trilateral Initiative, launched under the leadership of our country against the mine threat in the Black Sea, on November 22-23, we held the third round of the meeting of the Task Force on Mine Action in the Black Sea, hosted by our ministry. We are also planning to hold a signing ceremony in Istanbul on January 11, 2024, with the participation of the defense ministers of the three countries,” said Yasar Güler.

The minister emphasized that Turkey responsibly and impartially implements the Montreux Straits Convention, which ensures balance in the Black Sea, and is determined to continue to do so.

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