Weekly overview in pictures: Ukrainian citizens find refuge in Romania | President meets top officials and visits military base
This weekly overview brings you the main topics from Romania, in pictures. As the Russian invasion continues in neighbouring Ukraine, more Ukrainians are fleeing to Romania, where volunteers, NGOs, and public authorities have joined efforts to help them. The collection of the February 28-March 6 week also includes photos from the president's meetings with top foreign officials and his visit to a military base, the arrival of French troops in Romania, and an anti-war mural in Iasi.
Ukrainian woman hugs a child just as they cross the border to Romania, through the Isaccea crossing point, on March 1. According to March 6 data from the Romanian Border Police, more than 260,000 Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania since the Russian invasion started. Most transit the country, travelling further to other countries, mainly Western Europe.
A Ukrainian refugee family has a quiet meal in an apartment in Bucharest after safely arriving in Romania (March 1). Since the first day of the Russian invasion, many individuals, NGOs, and businesses in Romania rushed to provide help to Ukrainians fleeing their country, providing accommodation and food, transport, essential goods, or support and assistance for pets.
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis visited the mobile refugee camp in Siret, Suceava county, on March 5. "War refugees are in a desperate situation. Many came with nothing, and we offer everything that can be offered to people in this situation. If necessary, they receive food, clothes, transport from customs to the camp - where those who don't have the necessary documents have their papers done," the president said after the visit.
President Klaus Iohannis visited the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in southeastern Romania on March 6, where he thanked allied forces for their presence in the country. In response to Russia's military action in Ukraine, NATO has moved to reinforce its eastern flank by sending more troops and military equipment to its Eastern European members, including at the Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania.
Another 135 French soldiers and technical means arrived at the Mihai Kogalniceanu Air Base on Tuesday, March 1, joining those already stationed in the country. The French battalion represents the first ground element of the NATO Response Force deployed in Romania following the decision of the North Atlantic Council of February 25.
President Klaus Iohannis and the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen met on March 3 in Bucharest to discuss ways to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine plus other important topics such as energy security in the EU. After the meeting, the EC president said Romania would host a civil protection hub that would help direct the European Union's support to Ukraine and Moldova.
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, at the Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest on Thursday, March 3. The two officials also talked about the situation of Ukrainian refugees and Romania's response to this humanitarian crisis.
Maia Sandu, the president of the Republic of Moldova, together with the prime minister and the president of the Parliament, officially signed the application to join the EU on Thursday, March 3.
Students from the "Henri Coanda" Air Force Academy and other Romanian soldiers donated blood for Ukraine at a transfusion centre in Romania. The Health Ministry announced last week that people could go to centres across the country to donate blood for the wounded Ukrainian soldiers and citizens.
An anti-war mural, with a message directed against the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, was painted on a wall near the Iasi Recovery Hospital. The painting was made by local artists HarceaPacea, Burok and Vladude.
The jury and the public chose local singer WRS to represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin. During the National Selection, his song "Llamame" received the most votes from the jury and the audience.
(Opening photo: Ukrainian refugees entering Romania through the Isaccea crossing point; photo source: Inquam Photos/Adriana Neagoe)