With its sovereignty at the mercy of the great Western powers, Romania is now turning itself into a doormat for Kyiv and dismissed its Minister of Defense, Vasile Dâncu, just because he spoke of peace, according to the former Prime Minister, Viorica Dăncilă. The narrative very much resembles Russia's, according to which Ukraine - the country under attack - is the one that does not want peace. Viorica Dăncilă has also promoted the false narrative that Ukraine undermines Romania’s agriculture and, implicitly, its economy.
NEWS: “I tend to believe Mr. Dîncu He made a statement that I think was disturbing, he said that peace must be negotiated. After he came out with this statement, that the great powers must sit down at the table and negotiate peace, I saw that Mr. President came out against him, and told him to read the press, the PSD president did not have any reaction in support of Mr. Dîncu... There is another aspect - let's not forget that there was also a reaction from the Ukrainian side - my feeling at the moment is that when Mr. Zelenskyy sneezes, our people in Bucharest catch a cold. We act like servants. Products from Ukraine full of pesticides have entered the Romanian market, and our farmers have big problems. [...] Mr. Zelenski's recent attitude has led to a lack of credibility, because he has shown that he does not trust those who analyzed what happened in Poland, neither the Polish nor the American side, he insisted on being part of the analysis as if he were in control, and this is not done. I believe that in the coming period there will be more and more voices that will campaign for peace, more and more countries will support peace”.
NARRATIVES: 1. Vasile Dâncu was dismissed because he wants peace in Ukraine. 2. Romania has become the servant of Ukraine. 3. Ukraine is to blame for Romania's economic problems.
LOCAL CONTEXT/ETHOS: Noted in Romania's political life mostly for the blunders and failures during her term as prime minister, Viorica Dăncilă is now trying to return to the foreground, by appearing in the friendly media, on shows by journalists as embarrassing as her performance as head of the government. Capitalizing on the sovereignist discourse, the only type of discourse that can produce some changes in the options of the local electorate, the former prime minister “adhered” to the narratives announcing the demise of Romania's independence, coming up with considerations about the war in Ukraine that sound as if “borrowed” from the Russian propaganda; the latter launched them with the aim of reducing the international community's support for Ukraine.
The idea of peace negotiations in Ukraine has recently been increasingly promoted by Russia, given that its forces are under pressure and have suffered a series of defeats on the ground. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has even cynically stated that Ukraine is to blame for Russia's bombing of its civilian infrastructure because it does not accept peace talks. In other words, Peskov admits that, in the absence of military solutions, Russia is trying to force Ukraine to talk by terrorizing its population and throwing it, on the eve of winter, into cold and darkness.
Ukraine, on the other hand, as the aggressed state, cannot negotiate until Russia withdraws its forces from its territory – a possibility ruled out by the Kremlin with the illegal annexation, at the end of September, of four Ukrainian regions. Basically, through its territorial claims on Ukraine, it is Russia that is blocking the possibility of any peace negotiations. However, since it needs these negotiations, at least to get a break to regroup its forces, the Kremlin is trying to put direct pressure on Kyiv, through bombings, but also indirectly, through Ukraine's allies.
The idea is to undermine the support that the Western states offer to Ukraine by creating the image that the latter wants to fight the war at any cost and any sacrifice; the energy crisis in the West is already meant to exert another kind of pressure, the idea being to create a mentality of the type “we suffer for Ukraine and Ukraine does not want to make any compromise”.
PURPOSE: To promote a sovereignist type of discourse for electoral purposes
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: In a speech that abounds in extremely gross grammatical errors, Viorica Dăncilă tried to paraphrase the famous expression of the no less famous Prussian diplomat von Metternich: “When France sneezes, the rest of Europe catches a cold”, but misses the point for the use of this phrase. Probably, Mrs. Dăncilă wanted to say that Vasile Dîncu was dismissed from the position of Minister of Defense at the request of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a theory which, we hope you agree with us, is absurd enough not to deserve a professional debunking.
We will only say that the position of Romania's EU and NATO allies, a position shared by Bucharest, is that Ukraine is the only one to decide when, what and if it will negotiate with Russia. NATO, the EU and implicitly Romania have repeatedly conveyed the message that they respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which the aggressor state, Russia, has violated and continues to violate. By stating that “negotiating with Ukraine is the only chance for peace”, the former Minister of Defense only distanced himself from the official positions of Romania and its allies and indirectly promoted Moscow's interests and the Russian propaganda. In fact, Vasile Dâncu was not dismissed but resigned, after the head of the government he was part of, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis - who is also the supreme commander of the army - but also the head of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the party that proposed him for the position of defense minister, all criticized him for his blunder.
As for the problems of Romanian farmers caused by imports of products “full of pesticides” from Ukraine, it is obvious that we are dealing with another disinformation. Add this year's terrible drought and rising fuel prices to the already existing problems of Romanian agriculture , and blaming Ukrainian imports for the agricultural crisis we are going through becomes a bad joke at best. Agricultural products from Ukraine, a country that indeed still allows the use of some pesticides that have been banned in the European Union, are rarely, if ever, intended for the Romanian market. They are only transiting the territory of Romania and their final destination is Africa or South America. Moreover, when it comes to overuse of pesticides , Romania has been dealing with this situation for some time, independent of imports from Ukraine.
Another problem caused by agricultural products imported from Ukraine could be represented by falling prices, a situation that can be considered an issue, but this is normal in a free market where the price is set freely according to supply and demand.
Reproaching the Ukrainian president for requesting that a team from Kyiv be part of the commission of inquiry into the November 15 incident is also absurd, Volodymyr Zelenskiy's request being as legitimate as possible in the given context. In a similar situation, Russia's participation in the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage investigation was not only allowed by the international community, but has already happened. Former Prime Minister Dăncilă's predictions that “more and more countries will support peace” are mere speculations, as opinion pols at European level still indicate a broad popular support enjoyed by Ukraine in the war of defense against Russia’s aggression.
We can't help but notice at the end, with a smile in the corner of the mouth, the involuntary irony of the moderator who asks Viorica Dăncilă to analyze the performance of the current prime minister, in English, and her answer to the question:
- How do you assess the activity of the Ciucă government?
- Very hard.