Romanian President Traian Basescu and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko met in the city of Sighetu Marmatiei on Romania’s northern border to open officially a new bridge between Romania and Ukraine, across the Tisa river. The two cut a ribbon depicting the flags of their countries to mark the event.

Basescu said that during a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart a series of economic issues of bilateral interest were discussed as “Romania will try to be a linking bridge between Ukraine and the EU”.

The bridge was built in 2000-2001, has a length of 262 meters and will be used for both pedestrian and light road traffic. The total investment amounted to 20,5 billion ROL.

Yushchenko used the occasion to make a surprising announcement: his country, he said, was interested in the privatization of the Daewoo Craiova car maker, which has returned under the control of the Romanian state after the withdrawal of the Korean giant Daewoo.

Several names have been circulating for the privatization of the company, including Indian car maker Tata Motors, General Motors and Ford, and Renault-Nissan.

The Craiova-based plant has 4,000 employees and produces 25,000 cars annually, a fifth of its capacity.