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FAKE NEWS: Russian diplomats do not carry out any illegal activities in Romania, and Russia and Romania have a common history that should bring them closer

kuzmin
©EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT  |   Valery Kuzmin, the ambassador of the Russian Federation in Romania, delivers a speech at the Soviet Soldier Heroes Cemetery in Bucharest, Romania, 08 May 2018, during celebrations dedicated to mark the 73-rd anniversary of Victory Day.

Russia carries out a classic type of diplomatic activity, within the law, while other diplomats accredited to Bucharest interfere in Romania's internal affairs, says Russian Ambassador Valeri Kuzmin, who repeats the fake narratives used by the Kremlin in its attempt to pose as a victim.

NEWS: “Often, the questions are about the reasons for the “imperceptible” behavior of Russian diplomats in Romania compared to many Western colleagues. The Russian diplomatic service has always acted on the basis of the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention, i.e. the respective rules of international law, which, in particular, strictly prohibit foreign embassies and their employees from interfering in the internal affairs of those states to which they are accredited. […] This is exactly the main difference between the behavior of the Russian diplomats in Romania and the activities of foreign colleagues from EU and NATO member states.

Many of them, according to the direct instructions received from the governments they represent, believe that they can openly criticize the actions of the Romanian authorities or other state bodies, of Parliament, as well as influence Romania's domestic politics in different ways.

The Russian Embassy, ​​in accordance with the Vienna Convention, limits its political activity in the host country exclusively to the study and analysis of Romania's domestic and foreign policy in order to inform its government in this regard, as well as to explain Russia's foreign and domestic policy to the representatives of the Romanian authorities and the Romanian public opinion. By the way, even in this completely “conventional” manner, we are periodically obliged to hear about Bucharest’s “dissatisfaction” […]

Russia and Romania have much in common, indeed. As the remarkable Romanian diplomat N. Titulescu used to say, "the Romanian-Russian friendship is rooted in history ...". In his book "Romania's Foreign Policy" he wrote: "History shows that Russia has always been Romania's ally, not enemy." There will be people saying that this was a long time ago: N. Titulescu, they’d say, died before the Second World War. In response, I would use just one fact, although there are many such facts. It was the USSR that added in 1944 to the text of the armistice agreement between the allied powers, i.e. the United Nations and Romania (which, let me remind you, had fought against the Soviet Union for 3 years on the side of Nazi Germany) a sentence about the return of Transylvania under the control of Romania ", wrote the Russian ambassador to Bucharest Valeri Kuzmin on the Facebook page of the Russian Embassy in Bucharest.

NARRATIVES: 1. Russia carries out diplomatic activities within the law, while other Western diplomats go beyond the diplomatic framework and customs 2. Romania and Russia have a common history, and Transylvania was obtained at the end of World War II with the help of the liberating Red Army.

LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS Ambassador Kuzmin's statements came amid the latest military espionage and sabotage scandal involving the Russian Army's special service - GRU - in the Czech Republic, where dozens of Russian diplomats have already been sent home by the Prague authorities under the accusation that the GRU masterminded the blowing up of an ammunition depot in the Vrbetice area in 2014.

The Czech Republic has also called on EU and NATO member states to expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with Prague.

In parallel, Romania on Monday expelled an official from the Russian Embassy in Bucharest, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The official is Alexei Grishaev, a deputy military attaché with the Embassy of the Russian Federation, declared persona non grata on Romanian soil for carrying out activities that violated the provisions of the Vienna Convention.

More precisely, the Russian diplomat is accused by the Romanian authorities that, as an agent of the GRU military secret service, had tried to recruit government officials to obtain classified information about both Romania's security policies and NATO. Earlier, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Italy had expelled Russian diplomats accused of espionage.

These expulsions also come against the background of the US-Russia bilateral relations getting worse under the Biden administration, because of the Russians’ interference in the US presidential election, but also as a result of Russia’s pressure on Kiev to sign a new peace agreement with the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

As regards the relation between Romania and Russia, the expulsion of the Russian diplomat from Bucharest comes after, recently, Valeri Kuzmin made a veiled threat, in case Romania would get involved in a "military adventure" alongside the "hot heads" of NATO against Russia. Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told the Russian ambassador that "any threat to Romania is a threat to NATO."

Russia also commemorates 80 years since the launch of "Operation Barbarossa", when Nazi Germany, back then with the Romanian army on its side, invaded the USSR. Moscow veiledly condemns Romania for the desire to recover Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, annexed following an ultimatum the Soviet Union gave Romania a year earlier, on June 28, 1940, and tries to portray Romania as an aggressor state, without mentioning though the real reason for the decision to take part in the war - in response to a Soviet aggression.

PURPOSE: To defuse the public pressure on Russia, after the whole of Europe entered an open or smoldering conflict with Russia, following the crimes and intense espionage carried out by Moscow’s agents everywhere in the Euro-Atlantic area.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Despite the fact that Ambassador Kuzmin states that Russia does not carry out illegal activities, more precisely some that would violate the provisions of the Vienna Convention, reality has shown that Russian spies under diplomatic cover carry out extensive espionage operations in Romania.

One of the most telling examples in this respect is the recent case of Alexei Grishaev, a deputy military attaché with the Embassy of the Russian Federation, who has been expelled from Romania. Bucharest authorities have stated that he tried to recruit Romanian government officials and people with access to NATO secrets. In fact, this is not a first in Romania.

Also, one of the countries with which Kuzmin claims that Russia has "fruitful relations" is Italy. In reality, Russia and Italy are in the middle of a diplomatic crisis after Russian authorities caught a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) officer in the act while buying NATO classified documents from the Italian officer Walter Biot.

Regarding the part about the so-called common history that Romania and Russia share, Kuzmin attempts a truncated incursion in time, highlighting only those moments that could support his statements. Obviously, he refers to the years between the wars, when the former Foreign Minister, Nicolae Titulescu, was trying a rapprochement with Russia in order to obtain the integration of Bessarabia into the Romanian state after the First World War, but then he deliberately skips the Stalin – Hitler pact (Ribbentrop-Molotov) of August 1939, the invasion of Europe by Germany and the USSR and then the annexation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina in late June 1940.

Kuzmin goes straight to the events after August 23, 1944, when the Russian and Romanian armies fought together for the liberation of Transylvania. However, Kuzmin fails to mention that Romania was never treated as a winning power, but rather had to pay enormous war reparations through joint Soviet-Romanian enterprises, known as SovRoms, and Bessarabia and northern Bukovina remained part of the USSR.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: 2021 marks 61 years since the signing of the Vienna Convention.

THE NARRATIVES SERVE the Kremlin, in a bid to defuse the public tension caused by the growing number of sabotage and espionage activities in Europe and the USA.

Tags: Russia, Vladimir Putin, spying, Kremlin

  • Publication / Media:
    Pagina de Facebook a Ambasadei Ruse la București
  • Date of publication:
    23/04/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    Eurosceptici și simaptizanți ai Rusiei
  • Amplification:
    vestidirusia.ro
  • Political affiliation:
    Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    Diplomații ruși nu desfășoară activități ilegale în România, iar Rusia și România au o istorie comună care ar trebui să le apropie
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  • Russia carries out a classic type of diplomatic activity, within the law, while other diplomats accredited to Bucharest interfere in Romania's internal affairs, says Russian Ambassador Valeri Kuzmin, who repeats the fake narratives used by the Kremlin in its attempt to pose as a victim.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. Russia carries out diplomatic activities within the law, while other Western diplomats go beyond the diplomatic framework and customs 2. Romania and Russia have a common history, and Transylvania was obtained at the end of World War II with the help of the liberating Red Army.
  • PURPOSE: To defuse the public pressure on Russia, after the whole of Europe entered an open or smoldering conflict with Russia, following the crimes and intense espionage carried out by Moscow’s agents everywhere in the Euro-Atlantic area.
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