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August 10, 2022

CSAT meets to discus security developments along Eastern NATO flank and illegal logging

The Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) met on Thursday in the absence of Prime-Minister Victor Ponta who is currently on holiday.

‘The members of the Council analysed security developments in the proximity of the Eastern NATO flank, the regional impact and consequences such developments may have on Romania, as well as the more general concerns as an ally about the risk of an escalation of the situation in the Southern geographic proximity of the North-Atlantic Alliance’, a communiqué of the Presidential Administration states.

Another topic addressed during the one hour meeting was the illegal logging.

‘The Supreme Defence Council analysed the risks and vulnerabilities to the national forestry heritage, caused by the illegal logging, with a major impact on the business environment, and, by that, on the general consolidated state budget’, the release notes.

The Deputy Prime-Minister on National Security and Minister of Home Affairs, Gabriel Oprea, the Ministry of National defence, Mircea Dusa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, the Minister of Public Finance, Eugen Orlando Teodorovici, the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service, Eduard Hellvig, the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, the Chief of the Army General Stuff, Gen. Ltn. Nicolae Ciuca, the presidential adviser on national security, Ion Oprisor, and the CSAT Secretary, Brigadier Mihai Somordolea.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Environment submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office the findings of the investigation regarding the companies exporting wood. Several irregularities were identified, including suspicions of the existence of a number of economic operators who supplied illegally sourced wood mass coming from illegal logging.

‘The Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests has sent the check reports on the activity of a number of forestry operators to the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice. The decision was made in view of specific investigations to determine if the aspects presented meet the constitutive requirements of criminal offences’, the release states.

The Ministry representatives note that S.C. Holzindustrie Schweighofer was checked regarding the compliance with the legislation on the origin, transportation, storage, primary processing and trading of wood mass, including import.

‘We remind that, following the publication in the mass-media of several articles indicating possible irregularities in the forestry sector, the Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, Gabriela Gavrilescu, organised a comprehensive inspection, from 7 May 2015 to 12 June 2015, to S.C. Holzindustrie Schweighofer S.R.L. Sebeș, S.C. Holzindustrie Schweighofer S.R.L Rădăuți, as well as the head offices or operating points of their main wood suppliers. The checks were aimed at verifying compliance with existing legal provisions on the origin, transportation, storage, primary processing and trading of wood material, including imports’, the document also says.

‘We note that, based on the checking of physical inventories declared and accounting recordings, a series of irregularities were identified, as follows: suspicions regarding the existence of several economic operators that supplied illegally sourced wood mass from illegal logging; inconsistencies regarding the reception and recording of received wood mass without reporting to SUMAI; the existence of wood mass received against documents which fail to clearly show the source, differences between the quantities of wood mass recorded in the accompanying permits and the quantities actually received; reporting in SUMAI, by various economic operators, of fictitious accompanying permits’, the Ministry of Environment states.

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