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Plea for a responsible foreign policy of Romania towards Ukraine

Eugenia Gusilov   |   Issue brief  |   09/09/2023   |   13 Pages

Of the NATO and EU member states, Romania is the country with which Ukraine shares the longest border (581 km) – compared to Ukraine’s 542 km border with Poland, 137 km border with Hungary and 98 km border with Slovakia. Romania and Poland (the two pillars of NATO’s eastern flank) should be the most visible supporters of Ukraine at the moment. However, the two countries have embraced opposing strategies: while Poland (along with the Baltic States) has asserted itself as Eastern Europe’s strongest and most vocal supporter of Ukraine, Romania has opted for a muted public profile, hinting that it helps the victim of Russian aggression, without saying exactly how – a policy summarized by the phrase “Romania keeps silent and does things” („Romania tace şi face” in Romanian). At the same time, statements against Ukraine are made in the public space, which, combined with other facts, leave the impression that Romania speaks with two voices: one that supports Ukraine and another that, on the contrary, does not support it at all. What are these contradictory signals, what are the blunders in Romania’s policy towards Ukraine, and why is in fact Romania’s policy so different from that of countries on NATO’s north-eastern flank? How good is Romania’s decision not to participate in the public discussion about Russia’s war, to be stingy in public communication about its contribution to Ukraine’s victory, and what benefits do we hope the absence from the conversation will bring us, 18 months into the war?


Beyond the diplomatic support of Romania, beyond the “correct statements” said to the outside world, usually after the direction of communication is drawn by the United States, EU and NATO (never before!), the incapacity of Romanian officials, of institutions in the field of foreign policy, defense and security to understand contemporary Ukraine and the historical context in which we live is obvious and should concern any responsible person. Although a part of the Romanian society showed empathy towards the suffering of the Ukrainian people and stood in solidarity with Ukraine immediately (and above expectations), mostly because of the antipathy towards Russia, another part of society (the nationalist wing and those who lack the ability to understand and judge clearly) continues to foster anti-Ukrainian feelings.


Lack of judgement

At the level of the political elite there is a strong anti-Ukrainian feeling, present both within the Social Democratic Party (PSD) as well as in the National Liberal Party (PNL). This phenomenon can also be observed in the academia and in enough institutions of the Romanian state (including the Romanian Parliament). Some of these moments are worth remembering:

  • The statements of Vasile Dâncu, Romanian Minister of Defense (from PSD) between November 2021 – October 2022, made both at the start of the Russian invasion, according to which Romanians should get used to the idea of being neighbors with the Russian Federation – “We will learn to live with the Russians at the border ” (February 2022), as well as dating from October 2022, according to which “the only chance for peace is negotiation with Russia” and that “it would be ideal to reach a negotiation situation, even if there is a frozen conflict, negotiation would still be better than what is happening now” (Prima TV).[1] In the end, Vasile Dâncu resigned citing “the impossibility of working with the President of Romania, the Supreme Commander of the Army“.[2] The fact that, in the biggest crisis on the European continent since World War II, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of a NATO member country, a country that has a direct border with the attacked state, stands in solidarity with the aggressor country, is an extremely serious matter and shows the high degree of inadequacy of those appointed to key positions in the Romanian state. Even if President Klaus Iohannis tried a correction afterwards: “In this war, Russia is attacking Ukraine. Ukrainians are paying the price in blood in this war, and we must all accept the idea that only Ukraine will decide when and how and what it negotiates. This position is our official position, it is the official position of the European Union[3], the damage has already been done. Romania, Ukraine’s neighbor and a pillar of NATO’s eastern flank, through the mouth of its Minister of Defense (not any ministry) supports the attacker, agrees for Ukraine to lose territories and for the international law to be trampled.


  • The statements of Andrei Marga, former PNL member, philosopher, former minister of education (1997-2000), former minister of foreign affairs (2012), former rector of the best-rated university in Romania (Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj, UBB) said in September 2022 that Ukraine “is in unnatural borders” and “must cede territories: Transcarpathia to Hungary, Galicia to Poland, Bukovina to Romania, Donbass and Crimea to Russia. These are territories of other countries”.[4] The „Fate of democracy ” (the title of the latest book written by Mr. Marga) is really bleak in Romania, if people of such intellectual breadth (who should know what critical thinking is and have knowledge of history) roll completely unfiltered Russian propaganda, this being the very thesis officially promoted by Russia (that Ukraine is not a real country). The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had a prompt reaction to the former Foreign Minister’s words: “MFA strongly rejects Mr. Marga’s position, which embraces, encourages and promotes the malignant narratives issued by Russia. (…) These statements are in flagrant contradiction with Romania’s official position towards Russia’s illegal, unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, as well as with the fundamental principles of international law” (…) The MFA reiterates its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders “.[5] Despite the MFA’s attempt to do damage control, Mr. Marga persists: “I stand behind the statements made (…) My statements correspond to historical truth, international law and general interests“, forgetting that if you go too far back into the past, any country, including Romania, can be accused of having “unnatural borders“.


The two examples signal something extremely serious: the total lack of judgement at the political and academic level, because (attention) the issuers of these points of view are a dignitary in office (the head of MoD at the time, but also a university professor at the University of Bucharest and former professor at the National Intelligence Academy “Mihai Viteazul” which trains the operatives of numerous Romanian intelligence services) and a former foreign minister of Romania, both university professors, PhD supervisors, people with publications and who are supposed to have critical thinking. Both trained intellectually at UBB, both unable to understand contemporary reality and deficient in foreign policy. Mr. Marga has also been, for instance, since 2011 a “Senior Consultant of the International Network of Confucius Institutes”[6]– institutes known to form the propaganda network of the Beijing regime, which under the pretext of promoting the Chinese language, actually promote the ideology of the Communist Party and self-censorship and restrict freedom of thought there where they are established,[7],[8] which is why universities in the West have started to close them.


  • The abusive and totally unjustified shutting down of some websites that were explicitly pro-Ukrainian since the beginning of the Russian aggression in 2022 (for example: )[9], either out of overzealousness or in order to crack down on “inconvenient” websites under the pretext of the fight against Russian propaganda (cyber security reasons) – a practice that has nothing to do with democracy. The precedent is dangerous and demonstrates the lack of ability of state institutions to distinguish what constitutes Russian propaganda and what does not, or even worse – it shows the authorities’ proclivity to abuse the power at their disposal by using a serious external situation to punish a website critical of PSD.


  • The unhindered continuation of the activity of the Russian Cultural Center, located near the seat of Romanian government (at Boulevard Lascăr Catargiu no. 50), for a year and a half (!) after Russia attacked Ukraine. While Russians were systematically massacring Ukrainian civilians, Russia’s Cultural Center in Bucharest continued its propaganda activity, unhindered. Another extremely serious fact. As quick as the Romanian institutions were to block independent pro-Ukraine platforms, as slow they turned out to be in closing the Russian disinformation channels in Romania. The very moment when the Russian Cultural Center in Bucharest was opened is thought-provoking – May 15, 2015 – a year after the annexation of Crimea, annexation which did not seem to have any bearing at all on the decision of the Romanian government to promote “cultural cooperation” with Russia. In February 2023, Romania finally decided to close the center on the grounds that it had turned into a propaganda and disinformation tool.[10] However, the Russian Center has functioned as a propaganda and disinformation center ever since its opening, in the spring of 2015. The effective closure is to take place by August 20, 2023. Basically, the center was left by the generous (with Russian propaganda) Romanian authorities to operate for another 6 months (from March until August 2023).


  • The frequent visits of Diana Şoșoacă (former senator from AUR – Alliance for the Union of Romanians, now an independent MP) to the Russian Embassy: the first time it was in March 2022 to “negotiate” (although no one mandated her) “Romania’s neutrality” in the war between Russia and Ukraine, the second time in November 2022 to celebrate Russia’s Day of National Unity, the third time – on February 9, 2023, at the reception organized by the Russian Embassy on occasion of the Day of the Russian Diplomat[11], the fourth time in May 2023 at the reception organized for the 78th anniversary of the Allied victory against the Axis in World War II[12], and most recently in June 2023 on the occasion of Russia’s National Day.[13] Known for her anti-Western stance, a militant for Romania’s exit from the EU (RoExit) and decoupling from NATO, a Romanian senator openly conducts not only pro-Russian propaganda in the public space, but also anti-Ukraine legislative activity in the Romanian Parliament. For example, the senator is the author of a bill that proposes an amendment to the 1997 Treaty between Romania and Ukraine that would annex territories of the old kingdom of Romania, which now belong by law to Ukraine. Art. 3 of the legislative proposal reads like this: “Romania annexes the historical territories that belonged to it, namely Northern Bukovina, Herța, Bugeacul (Cahul, Bolgrad, Ismail), historical Maramureș and the Snake Island.”[14] In response, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv labeled the senator as a “person who poses a threat to national security” and announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine would initiate sanctions against her. Even if many consider her a marginal politician, who got into the Romanian Parliament by accident, the harm that Diana Şoșoacă produces is as real as it can be, in a country with a much too high percentage of the population of functional illiterates[15], i.e. people unable to distinguish propaganda from correct information.


  • George Simion’s statements according to which neither Ukraine nor Moldova should be supported. The activity of AUR causes social discord and antagonizes Romanians against their neighbors (Ukrainians, Moldovans, Hungarians). The increase in the polls of this party (from 9%, the score with which it entered the parliament in 2020, to 20% in the voting intention of Romanians as measured by a poll in July 2023[16]) is a real danger to national security and Romanian democracy. The activity of these politicians will trigger processes that will get out of control, with dramatic consequences for Romania, such as the departure from Europe, a return to a ferocious nationalism, antisemitism. Market economy and democracy will be ditched, we’ll have underdevelopment, unemployment and widespread crime.


AUR was founded as a unionist party. However, in February 2023, during an AUR congress, George Simion (the party leader) spoke about the fact that Romania should stop “any additional aid given to its neighbors, both to the Republic of Moldova and to Ukraine (especially to the Ukrainian refugees)“.[17] To go off the tracks in such a manner, for a political entity with only one goal on the agenda (unionism), can hardly be explained. So, it is obvious that this party has other political objectives, such as: moving Romania away from the West, alienating Romania from the North Atlantic Alliance, removing the country from EU and NATO and re-enter under Russian influence (under the banner of so-called “sovereignism”).

It is all the more revealing that Romania’s eastern neighbors (Ukraine and Moldova, two countries with big difficulties – one at war, the other in economic collapse, and both ravaged and impoverished by corruption and oligarchs) have firmly embraced the Euro-Atlantic values and path and understood faster than Romania (a EU and NATO member country) the destructive and destabilizing potential of this politician and took measures: George Simion was expelled from Republic of Moldova in 2015 and is banned from entering both Moldova and Ukraine until 2024.[18]


Unfinished business

Inventing false problems (such as the violation of the rights of ethnic Romanians in Ukraine or the dredging of the Danube Delta by the Ukrainian side – a maintenance work that does not endanger biodiversity)[19] echoes in large segments of Romanian society, which shows an extreme vulnerability of Romania to Russian propaganda which is “swallowed” whole by a large part of the public and amplified by a lack of education. Downplaying by the Romanian authorities of the danger this party represents can cost us dearly. The stakes are very high. Measures to counter Russian propaganda must be stepped up. Lies must be exposed and imaginary dangers dismantled (we have enough real dangers). The deviation of officials (case of Vasile Dâncu) but also of academics (Andrei Marga case) from Romania’s official position towards Ukraine must be publicly explained and framed accordingly. The voices spreading Russian narratives in Romania are not harmless, as they may have a snowball effect in a few years with devastating effects that today we cannot even imagine.

Therefore, the tactic of keeping secret the military aid, so that ordinary Romanians may not know how Romania helps Ukraine, is wrong. The aid must be openly acknowledged and communicated publicly, not only at the level of Romania’s Supreme Defense Council (CSAT), presidency and MFA. At the level of those institutions that have more frequent contact with the West, their positioning should be firm, in support of Ukraine.

There is no need to babysit AUR’s electorate, they shouldn’t be „managed” (by keeping secret what is being done), they should be educated instead. That is why, in parallel, a broad information campaign must be kicked-off to dismantle all the anti-Ukrainian narratives cultivated in the last 30 years within Romanian society and institutions which, knowingly or unknowingly, played into Russia’s hands. The staff that embraces these deep anti-Romanian narratives (because, today, anti-Ukrainian narratives are in fact pro-Russian and anti-Western and, therefore, deeply anti-Romanian) must be removed from the militarized institutions in charge of foreign policy (MFA, presidency) and security policy (domestic, foreign and military intelligence). A few hundred or even thousands of „luxury retirees” from militarized institutions would significantly reduce the threats to Romania’s security, which their presence in high positions in these institutions continues to keep high.

Far too many in Romania today still blame Ukraine for what the Soviet Union did. Like Romania, Ukraine is a victim of the USSR. Blaming Ukraine today for what the USSR did is like blaming the Republic of Moldova for the fact that USSR took Bessarabia. And if we are to be completely honest with ourselves, we should remember that not only the USSR took, but also that Romania of King Charles II gave Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to Stalin. There was no attempt by the Royal Government of Romania to oppose the Soviet ultimatum of 1940, it did not fight militarily or diplomatically to keep Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina within Romania. The Romanian army and administration simply withdrew, in order to avoid an armed conflict with the Soviet Union. Perhaps, it is this non-recognition of one’s own historical guilt (the abandonment of “Romanian historical territories”) that poisons and undermines the neighborly relationship. Because, it is easier to blame Ukraine (and not Russia) for the loss of these territories than to admit that they were not taken from Romania, but Romania gave up herself (far too easy even) these territories.

Today, Romania and Ukraine have more in common than they realize, and the dramatic events we are experiencing since February 2022 clearly demonstrate that Russia and Ukraine are not the same thing. The militarized elite in Bucharest must adapt to this reality. The anachronic thinking that undermined the cooperation potential between the two neighboring countries (Romania and Ukraine) in the three post-communist decades must be left in the past. It is time for a new, bold chapter in the relations between the two countries. This chapter is one without territorial claims on the part of Romania, so without “unionism”, revisionism or other “-isms”. Both with respect to Ukraine and to the Republic of Moldova. Not only diplomatically, but also societally. This new beginning must come with a full understanding of what the status of a NATO and EU member country means – a country that does not merely parrot the official position of NATO and the US administration on how we will support Ukraine “as long as necessary”, but articulates its own vision on the Russia-waged war and the post-war architecture in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, Romania is totally absent in this area – of regional and international conversation regarding the war in our vicinity. The government’s choice to keep a low (almost-invisible) profile, regarding what Romania is doing for Ukraine, equates to not owning this policy of support. Not assuming ownership of this support by comparison to the detailed support made public by other countries (Poland, the Baltic States, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Bulgaria, etc.) puts Romania in a bad light.

If supporting Ukraine for “as long as will be necessary” is Bucharest’s official policy, and if that means to be on the right side of history, what’s the point of hiding?

The reasons why Bucharest opted for this ridiculous strategy are multiple, but the “big culprits” are two: an extremely weak political class (including the institutional apparatus and the advisers who should have guided it towards wiser decisions) and the deliberate cultivation of anti-Ukrainian sentiments for decades within Romanian society.


The mood in Romanian society

Romanians’ trust in state institutions (parliament, presidency, government) is at an all-time low. The scale of the disaster is captured in the latest CURS opinion poll, conducted between July 8 and 20, 2023 (see graphic), which reveals that 89% of Romanians do not trust or have very little trust in political parties. This is perhaps not as surprising as the fact that 86% do not trust the parliament, 82% do not trust the presidency and 83% do not trust the government. So, we are dealing with a total collapse of citizens’ trust in state institutions at the central level! It is an unprecedented situation, comparable only to the situation during the time of Nicolae Ceaușescu.

Neither the mass media enjoys the people’s trust (71% distrust), nor the NGOs (65% distrust). Not even the European Union (which is funding most of the projects that have improved the lives of Romanians) is trusted by Romanians (only 36% trust the EU compared to 59% who do not). In the midst of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, 52% of Romanians do not trust NATO, and 50% of Romanians do not trust education. The only institutions that enjoy trust are: the firefighters (83%), the army (67%) and the church (66%).


Trust towards institutions in Romania

Source: CURS survey [20], July 2023


Given the disaster captured by this survey which shows the population’s state of mind and the state of relations at social level, it is clear that the political elite, which should have actively explained to Romanians why we support Ukraine as well as counter anti-Ukraine sentiments, is totally discredited. However, although Romanians do not trust their leaders, miraculously, Romanians (in their vast majority) position themselves correctly towards Putin’s war: 59% identify Russia as the main culprit for the war, 24% identify the West (EU, NATO) as the culprit, while 8% believe that Ukraine itself is to blame.


Blame for war, national survey, Romania

Source: CURS survey, July 2023


The last question in the cited opinion poll measures reactions to the war refugees, especially the type of aid the Romanian state should provide: 63% of respondents favor supporting the refugees while 34% are against it. Of the 63% who are in favor of helping refugees, only 9% would do it in a Christian way (without asking anything in return), 20% would offer help to integrate, and 34% would help them conditionally (only if the refugees integrate, for example, find a job). Now comes the painful part. Of the 34% who are against the Romanian state helping the refugees, 8% would like the Romanian state not to help the war refugees at all, 12% would like the Romanian state to encourage them to go back, 7% would like for the Romanian state to not receive them at the border or to send them back and another 7% for the state to encourage them to go further west. So, a third of Romanians would like mothers with children and elderly people fleeing the war to not be helped with anything, either to be sent back to their country (where there is war), or to be turned away at the border and, if received, to be directed further to other countries, so that none stay in Romania.


Approach/attitude towards Ukrainian refugees, Romania

Source: CURS survey, July 2023


Romania’s government “Aid” for the refugees

In order to reset the optics through which Romanians view Ukraine, perhaps the best starting point would have been precisely the humanitarian aid offered during this period to Ukrainian refugees who requested temporary protection in Romania. The start (the reaction of civil society) was excellent and far beyond expectations. However, the current management of this aspect by the Romanian state leaves much to be desired. In fact, the malfunctioning of the humanitarian assistance is the very thing which forces more and more mothers with children to go back to Ukraine, although the war there rages on! It seems that this governmental indifference is correlated with the sentiment of at least a third of Romanians and, may even be a deliberate policy of the Romanian state: aid to Ukraine as superficial as possible, the military aid (whatever that may be)– kept secret, the humanitarian aid dust in the eyes of the EU and NATO, granted in such way so that not too many Ukrainian refugees remain in Romania. According to the data of the Ministry of the Interior, in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 5,089,388 Ukrainian citizens passed through Romania between 10.02.2022 and 18.07.2023, of which 4,997,878 (98.2%) left Romania and only 91,510 (1.8%) remained.[21] Of those that stayed, according to UNHCR data, 80% are women with children, and 20% are men.[22] However, although it currently cares for less than 100,000 refugees (compared to approx. 1 million who are in Poland, for example), the way in which the Romanian state „cares for” these people remains deficient.

An eloquent example is the Program 50+20, set up in March 2022 and funded by the EU, although the lie that this program is fully financed by Romania was deliberately promoted and not countered in the public space, perpetuating (erroneously) the narrative that the money for this program comes exclusively from Romania, when in fact it comes from the European Union. The program offered an aid of 50 lei/day/person for accommodation and 20 lei/day/person for food for each Ukrainian refugee, but the money was not given to the refugees, but to the Romanians who hosted them. This format deepened further the vulnerability of people who were already in the most vulnerable situation possible, since the majority are women, children and elderly. Instead of giving this financial aid directly to refugees, a formula that would have respected their dignity and not infantilized them (i.e., treated them like children), assuming they are not capable to rent a house, the money was directed to the Romanian owners, leaving the refugee at the mercy or lack thereof of the Romanian host – each refugee according to his/her own luck. There are many cases of Romanians abusing Ukrainian refugees. For example, situations when the Romanian owner simply did not give the money for food (already a meagre 4 euros/day) to the refugees (who, attention, are women with dependent children and infants). There are no proper mechanisms for the refugees to report the thief-owners, and the state does not check if the owner provides adequate living conditions or if he actually gives these people the money for food t which they are entitled by law. Given that 80% of the refugees who stayed in Romania are women with children (UNHCR data), the “temporary protection” looks like anything but protection. Furthermore, the assistance program has long delays in payments (as long as 3-4 months). According to the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU), the value of payments not made (aid due, but not granted) for the months of April-July 2023 amounts to 312 million lei (63.7 million euros).[23] Oftentimes, desperate mothers post on social networks asking for help – specifically, diapers and powdered milk for their babies – a clear sign that the program is not working and is not intended so much for the good of the war refugees, but for the enrichment of Romanians, a sort of „help” for the pandemic-hit touristic guesthouses. It is hard to imagine with what money mothers feed their children, if the money meant for food in April does not reach the beneficiaries even in August. Thank God for the local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that still give out vouchers and distribute food. But, with friends and “help” like this, one doesn’t even need enemies… So, from the start, the design of the program was deficient, being thought of more as an income source for the real estate market in Romania than as humanitarian aid for war refugees, so a sort of assist for the hotel industry, but with European money The refugees – just a pretext. Attention, we are talking about women and children, whose fathers/brothers/husbands sit in the trenches, are taken prisoners, and return maimed for life (if they ever return).

A recently published report by Expert Forum (EFOR) makes an excellent inventory of the problems faced by the war refugees in Romania .[24] Romanian decision-makers should study it and make an effort to change the state assistance for the better. Solving the problems flagged in the EFOR report constitutes a necessary first step in the longer process of understanding the specifics of the problems left unsolved for the 91,510 Ukrainian refugees that are in Romania, so that Romania can rise to the occasion of the historical moment we are living in and not add insult to injury by needlessly mocking people who have gone through so much already.


In conclusion, Romania’s foreign policy towards Ukraine continues to be shaped by outdated attitudes and perspectives, inadequate for our time. The approach based on total secrecy, not properly acknowledging the support given (in contradiction to the norms of an open and democratic society) will not bring any advantages to Romania. Quite the opposite– this stance is what will take Romania out of the post-war architecture of the region, placing our country on a secondary orbit or in a second-hand category, in our own neighborhood. The window of opportunity opened by Russia’s aggression must be used to reset the bilateral relationship between Romania and Ukraine and place it on a modern and solid basis , one that reflects the understanding of the deep transformations that Ukrainian society has gone through since 2014. The strategic ambiguity that currently defines Romania’s public communication towards Ukraine is not worthy of a NATO member country that has a direct border with the victim of the aggression. The policy of silence must be abandoned immediately because it does more harm than good. Romania must leave no room for interpretation regarding our positioning in this conflict. It must genuinely, publicly and unequivocally commit to the support of the neighboring country. Moreover, in parallel, Romania must start a large-scale process of educating public opinion in order to update the framework of reference through which the population views and analyzes its neighboring country. Romanian officials and the militarized structures in charge of decision-making in the foreign, security and defense policy should abandon the nationalist perspective, which is the very thing poisoning the bilateral relationship, generating animosities and fabricating false problems.


NOTE: This text was originally written in Romanian and was first published in August 2023 on Contributors platform. To read the text in Romanian go here



  1. Sebastian Jucan, “How Zelenski answered Vasile Dîncu, who called for peace negotiations with Russia: “When someone wants negotiations, they don’t do this” (in Romanian), October 10, 2022, available at:
  2. Maria Dinu, “Vasile Dîncu resigned from the Ministry of Defense: the reason is the impossibility of collaborating with the president” (in Romanian), 24 October 2022, available at:
  3. Ibid.
  4. Andrei Chirileasa, “Former Romanian foreign minister makes controversial statement on Ukraine’s “artificial” borders”, Romania-Insider, September 19, 2022, available at: ukraine-borders;Sebastian Pricop, A former minister of foreign affairs and education demands that territories in Ukraine be divided between Romania, Hungary and Russia: “They are the territories of other countries” (in Romanian), Libertatea, September 17, 2022, available at:
  5. The reaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Andrei Marga’s statements: It encourages and promotes the narratives issued by Russia (in Romanian), Digi24, September 18, 2022, available at:
  6. Andrei Marga’s official CV, available at:
  7. US Department of State, Factsheet, “Confucius Institute US Center” Designation as a Foreign Mission”, August 13, 2020, available at: as-a-foreign-mission/
  8. Lee Edwards, Confucius Institutes: China’s Trojan Horse , Heritage Foundation, 27 May 2021, available at:
  9. Mihai Roman, “The journalist Ovidiu Albu accuses the government of shutting down the independent website for alleged pro- Russian propaganda: “I wake up forbidden based on a lie as big as Russia” / The site was known to have an anti-PSD position ” (in Romanian), G4media, 4 March 2022, available at:;Timeea Teodoru, “National Cyber Security Directorate closed news website ActiveWatch organization: There is no factual basis!” (in Romanian), March 4, 2022, available at:;Adrian Vasilache, “Journalist Ovidiu Albu accuses the Government that it closed his website based on a lie as big as Russia: “There are thousands of trolls who curse me because I write bad things about Putin ” (in Romanian), Hotnews, March 4, 2022, available at:
  10. Adina Căpîlnean, “Romania closes the Russian Cultural Center in Bucharest, because it turned into a propaganda tool” (in Romanian), Bucharest Bulletin, February 21, 2023, available at:
  11. Melania Cincea, “Diana Şosoaca’s third “bowing” at the Russian Embassy” (in Romanian), Revista 22, February 21, 2023, available at:
  12. Şoșoacă goes to the Russian Embassy to celebrate Victory Day with Valeri Kuzmin. The Senate published the announcement but then deleted it (in Romanian), Digi24, May 4, 2023, available at:
  13. Şosoacă visited the Russian Embassy again: “Stop the war, Westerners ! We want peace!” (in Romanian), Digi24, available at:
  14. Diana Şoșoacă, visiting the Russian Embassy again. Announcement on the website of the Senate (in Romanian), Hotnews, May 4, 2023, available at:; Sosoacă proposes the annexation of some territories from Ukraine. Analyst: A stupid proposal. Ignites pro-Russian reactions (in Romanian), Adevărul, March 21, 2023, available at:
  15. The BIRO report on literacy (2023) indicates a percentage of 89% of school children grades 1-to-8 as functionally illiterate, of which 42% are non-functional and 47% are minimally functional. See Lorena Mihailă, “Romania’s illiteracy. 89% of general school children are functionally illiterate or semi-illiterate (in Romanian), Adevărul, April 30, 2023, available at:
  16. AUR grows in surveys: from 10% (in May 2022), 12% (July 2022), 15% (September 2022), 12% (November 2022), 14% (January 2023), 16% (March 2023), 17% (May 2023) reaching 20% (in July 2023).
  17. Defense Romania, Russia’s Octopus: Large-scale media investigation in Ukraine regarding the connections of Romanian dignitaries George Simion and Diana Șoșoacă with the FSB (in Romanian), April 6, 2023, available at:
  18. Ukrainian general: George Simion is banned in Ukraine until 2024 / AUR confirms the ban (…) , Hotnews (in Romanian), April 7, 2023, available at:
  19. Magda Gradinaru, Fact checking: What does the deepening of Bâstroe Canal mean? Is the Delta drying up ? Will the sturgeons disappear? What can Romania do – the compromise solution, Interview with university professor Alfred Vespremeanu-Stroe, director of the marine and river research station Sf. Gheorghe (Tulcea county) of the University of Bucharest, Spotmedia, February 22, 2023, available at:;Cristian Otopeanu, Director of the marine research station Sf. Gheorghe: the Delta does not dry up if Bâstroe is dredged, that’s a stupid thing, Libertatea, February 27, 2023, available at:
  20. Center for Urban and Regional Sociology (CURS), survey conducted at national level, Romania, July 2023, available at:
  21. How many Ukrainian refugees chose to stay in Romania after the outbreak of the war. The number represents less than 2% of those who entered the country”, July 18, 2023, available at:
  22. Diplomatic Passport, Interview with Pablo Zapata, UNHCR Representative in Romania, Digi24, July 2023.
  23. Bianca Iosef, “Romania owes 300 million lei to the Ukrainian refugees. Instead of paying the humanitarian assistance due, Romania sends them to work“, PRESShub, August 16, 2023, available at:
  24. Expert Forum (EFOR), ” The problems of Ukrainian refugees and what they tell us about Romania“, Policy Brief no. 152, July 2023, available at:


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