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October 22, 2021

SIE Head: Romanian spies lost their lives in the line of duty

While on a B1 TV programme Wednesday evening, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, said that Romania too lost spies during their missions. “Since I have been director of the SIE, human lives have been lost in missions. I can’t tell you how many. (…) A Romanian spy is reckoned as a criminal outside Romania’s border. This is the risk they take, given they carry an illegal activity over there, legally punished by any country in this world, more or less severely, depending on its gravity,” Ungureanu explained, according to the online edition of “Evenimentul Zilei”. The SIE boss also said that, as Romania’s geopolitical weight is increasing, it becomes an object of attention by spying services. “Romania, virtue of its current geopolitical status, is interesting to any spying institutions of states with an open strategic interest in the EU, NATO, the South-East Europe or the basin of the Black Sea. We stir the interest of other intelligence services. Sometimes, such things appear in the press too. Most of the times, the fight is carried in the inner depths of society,” Ungureanu says.

The SIE head also rejected criticism levelled by some voices in the opposition, according to which secret services would be a political policing tool in the hands of President Traian Basescu. “This is an urban legend and most likely the most simplistic explanation for political failure. Intelligence services in Romania (…) are subject to extremely rigorous legislative control, maybe one of the strictest, Europe-wide, which translates in operations, including the most intrusive ones and subject to public attention – such as wiretapping – to often be quite difficult to be put into practice,” he said.

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