The Romanian-language edition of Sputnik writes that the United States would validate the idea that Transylvania doesn’t belong to Romania, because the embassy didn’t delete a certain commentary posted by a Romanian on Facebook. In fact, Sputnik is trying to link the status of Crimea, occupied and annexed by Russia, to that of Transylvania.
NEWS: The United States Embassy has published a statement which is as nonsensical as it is susceptible to President Joe Biden’s personal interests – “Crimea belongs to Ukraine”. The nonsense is self-descriptive, since everyone knows the population of the peninsula has expressed its will clearly in the referendum on reunification with Russia. Crimea’s autonomous status allowed the local population to proceed to such a referendum and to a decision expressing the will of the people, observing the strict principle of subsidiarity.
On the other hand, Joe Biden is and has always been involved in a huge scandal where he stands accused of corruption, influence peddling and pressuring Ukrainian leadership in order to cover up his son’s illicit dealings in the East-European country, as well as the nature of his son’s joining the board of a major energy company in Ukraine, which offered him great benefits.
We’ve recalled all of this data because in this context, Adrian Ioan Ferenț from Cluj posted an absolutely outrageous commentary on the United States Embassy’s Facebook page, which the page’s administrator hasn’t deleted!"
NARRATIVES: 1. The United States validates the idea that Transylvania doesn’t belong to Romania. 2. Crimea doesn’t belong to Ukraine because the population voted for the reunification with Russia in the referendum; Russia’s annexation of Crimea is legitimate. 3. Joe Biden is being influenced by Ukraine (which explains the United States’ position on Crimea).
BACKGROUND: A territory rightfully belonging to Ukraine, Crimea was captured and annexed by the Russian Federation after the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown, and the population opted for a pro-European Government. After the invasion of Crimea by military groups bearing no insignia and dubbed “little green men”, a controversial referendum was held (no international observers participated, the voter turnout was exaggerated while the community of ethnic Tatars boycotted the referendum), based on which the Ukrainian peninsula was annexed to the Russian Federation. The international community never recognized the decision, but the Russian Federation has been trying ever since to make its claim on Crimea legitimate (often invoking “the will of the people” and “the principle of subsidiarity”) and drawing unsupported parallels with other cases. In the absence of real arguments and facts, Russia is searching for any kind of source, albeit obscure or fabricated, to create the impression of a trend backed up by real opinions. Regarding the narrative on Transylvania, we are dealing with a Facebook commentary: the source is irrelevant (it’s not some influential politician or a relevant public figure, which would give the message any particular weight) and actually unreliable: Sputnik itself writes this is a high school teacher who accused the Romanian Intelligence Service of involvement in his mother’s death. Actually, it is a typical method Moscow uses to promote narratives with obscure or irrelevant sources. And if there’s no source, then it can be invented. Such was the famous case of Twitter user @SouthLoneStar, a “proud Texan” who grabbed world headlines after posting a photo of a Muslim woman walking past the victims of the March 2017 Westminster attack and allegedly ignoring them. This is not just fake news, but the “proud Texan” actually turned out to be a Russian troll operating out of the famous Saint Petersburg-based troll factory.
What is further noteworthy about this narrative is its timing. Romania has firmly condemned the annexation of Crimea, just as its Western partners, from the very beginning, and Bucharest’s position on this matter has not changed in the meantime: seven years later, Romania reiterated its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, highlighting that its annexation represents a violation of international law. Bucharest had made the announcement on February 26, two days before Sputnik published the article.
PURPOSE: The article seeks to promote the narrative according to which the annexation of Crimea is a legitimate move, similar to Transylvania’s unification with Romania, and that the United States will not recognize it due to Joe Biden’s corrupt dealings in Ukraine. It is equally suggested that the United States is not a straightforward partner of Romania.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The fact that the embassy didn’t delete or answer the post doesn’t make it valid and doesn’t mean the embassy agrees to it. The same post on the embassy’s Facebook page includes statements like “Biden is not our president” (which, according to Sputnik, would mean that the US Embassy would agree that Joe Biden is not the president of the United States) or “the USA invaded all countries in the world” (again, it would seem strange for a United States embassy to promote theories on American “imperialism”), in addition to using profanity against President Biden.
The United States has never questioned the status of Transylvania, Romania’s current borders having been recognized by the entire international community in a number of successive documents signed since the end of the First World War.
The annexation of Crimea was a breach of international legislation and the international community has condemned it as such.
The United States’ stance in this matter was not set by Joe Biden, but goes back to the Obama administration, having also been upheld under president Trump. Hunter Biden’s alleged acts of corruption predate his father’s successful claim on the presidency and, at any rate, have never been verified to this day. Because of that, it is nothing more than a toxic attempt at misguiding audiences.