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August 12, 2022

Russia’s Pravda slams Basescu’s comments on WWII

Russian website Pravda.ru yesterday published a comment on Romanian President Traian Basescu’s recent statements about the Second World War and Marshal Ion Antonescu’s decision to join Nazi troops in invading the Soviet Union. According to the publication, Basescu’s statements that “practically justify his country’s participation in the war against the Soviet Union on Hitler’s side” gave birth to a major diplomatic scandal between Romania and Russia.

“Speaking on June 22 at B1TV TV channel, Basescu acquitted Antonescu for his actions of 70 years ago,” the comment reads, adding that the president also urged against blaming the marshal alone for the deportation of Jews and Gypsies.

The author of the article also notes that Basescu described King Mihai as “a Russian servant”. “Perhaps he meant that after the war Mihai renounced the throne and was awarded the Soviet Order of Victory,” the article says.

Furthermore, the author of the article also notes that Russian diplomats’ response to “this outrageous statement” was belated, coming only on June 30. “However, it was justifiably very tough,” the publication said. It also mentioned that Romanian diplomats described Moscow officials’ language as “inappropriate” but voiced hope that “any misunderstandings” can be solved through bilateral dialogue.

“Basescu’s words could have been left unnoticed if we were talking about a marginal politician from countries like Andorra or Kiribati. Yet, Romania is a rather large 22,000,000 strong country, a member of the European Union and NATO, which borders two countries of the CIS, Ukraine and Moldova. (…) Basescu is not a lone wolf. He has a powerful political protection, and Russia will not be able to just brush him off,” the publication also notes.

Pravda.ru also criticizes Basescu’s involvement in Republic of Moldova policies and his comments hinting at a possible unification between Romania and Moldova.

“‘Civilized Europe’ is silently observing the words and actions of Basescu. Russian diplomats do not always react to the statements of the official in Bucharest, or often react with a delay. However, in this case Romania threw an open challenge to Russia. This is a combination of a blow to the historical memory and contemporary politics and a public praise of the Nazi ally,” the publication also says, adding that “leaving this statement without consequences is hardly a choice.”

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