DISINFORMATION: The EU won’t let Romania help Syria, a country strongly affected by the February 6 quake

Rescuers search for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building, after an earthquake in Idlib, Syria, 08 February 2023.
© EPA-EFE/YAHYA NEMAH   |   Rescuers search for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building, after an earthquake in Idlib, Syria, 08 February 2023.

Adrian Severin: “The current government is made up of dumb servants”

Europe’s embargo prevents the delivery of assistance to Syria, a country also devastated by the earthquake, and out of subservience to its Western masters, Romania too has refused to help the troubled Syrian people, according to a piece of disinformation promoted by on online publication that also spread false narratives over the years, many of which are specific to Russian propaganda. The disinformation was promoted by former Foreign Minister Adrian Severin, an ex-criminal convict with a strong pro-Moscow rhetoric. In fact, both the EU and Romania have provided help to Syria.

NEWS: “The Romanian Government has tried to excuse its inhumane decision not to send assistance to Syria and to our misfortunate fellow human beings in Syria, just as it is trying to excuse its other depravities (including those that directly affect the Romanian people), by cowardly blaming the EU sanctions against Syria (which we have to say, are baseless in terms of international law) and Romania’s obligation, as a disciplined member of the EU, to apply these sanctions to the letter […] The Romanian government’s lack of empathy towards Syria, which has been hit hard by a natural calamity that exceeds our wildest imagination, is not the result of European treaties or policies, and cannot be justified or excused by any of these. It is the effect of the dull and dulling servitude of those who are members of the current Cabinet and Romania’s leadership overall”.

Fact: Syria, just like Turkey, is the recipient of relief aid from the EU and Romania, although Damascus has prevented assistance from reaching rebel-held areas

NARRATIVES: 1. Displaying no empathy, Romania refuses to help the hard-pressed Syrian people under orders from its Western masters. 2. Romania’s foreign policy is dictated by Brussels.

BACKGROUND: Adrian Severin is a former Romanian Foreign Minister and MEP caught in the act of taking bribes for peddling his influence and sentenced to a final prison sentence. After his release, he has been constantly promoting sovereigntist and anti-Western theses, similar to the ones spread by the Kremlin.  After the start of the invasion of Ukraine, Severin even continued to pick up several other Russian propaganda narratives.

For some time, the former politician turned convict has been promoting his opinions on solidnews.ro and in radio shows broadcast by Gold FM, the station associated to this news agency, which was sanctioned by the Audiovisual Council for spreading fake news. Both media channels are linked to Cozmin Gușă, a controversial Romanian politician / analyst / consultant / businessman who over the years has been promoting false narratives and was described by Romanian media as a close associate / supporter / agent of influence of Russia.

It’s also worth noting that, for many years, Russia has been supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime, despite the regime’s brutal treatment of its own population. At first, Russia’s support was political and extended all the way to speaking in favor of the Assad regime in the UN Security Council, when Damascus used chemical weapons to target its own population. Later, Russia even intervened in the Syrian civil war, bombing civilian objectives, including hospitals. Moreover, the brutal force used by the Russians in Syria has earned at least two of the generals involved in battles, Aleksandr Dvornikov and Sergei Surovikin, the same nickname - “the Butcher of Syria”. Both generals were subsequently appointed commanders of the Russian forces involved in the large-scale attack on Ukraine, with respect to which both Adrian Severin and Adrian Gușă and his associated media channels have been spreading pro-Russian false narratives.

PURPOSE: To undermine popular confidence in the EU and NATO, to promote sovereigntist discoure and indirectly defend Russia’s interests in Syria.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Despite the devastating effects of the earthquake on the population and on the civilian infrastructure in Syria, already decimated by the civil war, Syria called for international aid only two days after the quake. In the early phase, the Syrian government refused to reopen the country’s borders to the transit of humanitarian convoys. Damascus officials motivated their decision, saying they didn’t want the aid to reach the territories currently under the control of anti-government rebels. Their decision was not surprising, as for many years the UN had been facing obstacles in delivering humanitarian assistance to the population of northwestern Syria. Nevertheless, as soon as the humanitarian crisis in both countries became obvious, the European Union said it would help both Syria and Turkey by any means possible. Furthermore, the Swedish presidency decided to activate its Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) mechanism in full to coordinate EU support measures, in close collaboration with the European Commission. Therefore, the EU announced the disbursement of a €3.5 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for Syria, to help people in need to access shelter, water and sanitation, health various items they currently need, as well as to support the search and rescue operations. At the same time, the Commission also decided to provide an additional €6.5 million to both countries as part of the largest ever search and rescue operation through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In turn, Raed Arafat, the head of the Romanian Department for Emergency Situations (himself born in Damascus, Syria), announced Romania would send humanitarian aid to Syria, and that the specifics of this assistance will be decided over the coming days. Obviously, Romania will have to coordinate all its relief efforts with the European Union, strictly to make assistance fluid, effective and timely.

As regards Bucharest conceding its decision-making independence to Brussels, we’re dealing with a typical Russian and pro-Russian propaganda narrative, which comes in extension to Cold War-era narratives about the West’s preying on and exploiting other countries. In fact, Romania was the one who asked to join the EU and pledged, as a member state, to accept and adopt community regulations. Although Romania’s economic power is by no means comparable to the majority of member states, as a full-fledged EU member Romania is bound by the same rights and obligations as the rest of the community bloc.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: Romanian authorities did announce that Romania would send to Syria humanitarian aid but no search and rescue teams, because right now, the maximum number of rescue teams allowed by Romania’s national emergency strategy have been deployed to Turkey. 

Tags: EU , suveranism , Romania
  • Publication / Media:
    solidnews.ro
  • Date of publication:
    09/02/2023
  • Target audience:
    Nationalists, sovereigntists, anti-Western and anti-European audiences, Putinists and pro-Russians
  • Amplification:
    cotidianul.ro, bzi.ro, social media
  • Key narrative:
    The EU won’t let Romania help Syria, a country strongly affected by the February 6 quake
Cezar Manu

Cezar Manu




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