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April 12, 2021

Romanian president: ‘It is a former covert officer or covert officer’

By    Dana Purgaru

President Basescu said he would give details on the ‘covert officer’ in the presence of all the press, noting he had no information from the intelligence services and that if nonetheless ‘among the candidates there is a gentleman who, in his past, had such thing, that thing has to be admitted to’.
Answering a question relating to the statement made by the Deputy Chairman of the SIE Overseeing Committee, Ilie Sarbu, according to whom the Service had communicated that none of the presidential candidates was a covert officer, President Traian Basescu said that Ilie Sarbu’s answer ‘only covers half’ of what he had stated on the subject. ‘I said it was a former covert officer or a covert officer, because, when you know about someone that he/she was a covert officer, you don’t know when his/her mandate ceased, and that is the sort of thing that needs to be disclosed before one becomes a candidate for president’, Basescu said on the public television TVR1. ‘Mr. Sarbu has lied by omission today, and not only today’, Basescu added. He went on saying that he would come back with data on the covert officer when he is sure all the media is present, but noted that he had not received ‘such a document, with the first name and the last name from any of the Romanian intelligence agencies’, stating that a member of the Government was or is a covert officer. ‘If anything like that had happened, I would have had to keep quiet. I am a head of state and I know what a state secret means’, Basescu added. He said that the period under discussion was ‘after 1990’. ‘If, nonetheless, among the candidates there is a gentleman who, in his past, had such thing, which, I repeat, is nothing shameful, especially since we are talking about the period after 1990, that thing has to be admitted to’, Mediafax reports.
Politicians’ reactions to the president’s life statements were prompt to appear. Ex-PNL leader Crin Antonescu said there would be some ‘stupid enough’ to take President Traian Basescu’s statements on the covert officer seriously. ‘As long as, after ten years, we can still take seriously a president who comes and tells or covers the hypothetical {officer] that, claiming he did  not mention in his CV that he is a covert officer, it means that he is still taking us for fools. And, most likely, until the end of his term, many of us will be stupid enough to take Mr. Basescu into consideration’, Crin Antonescu states on his Facebook page. ‘If Traian Basescu has anything to say, he should say it, if not, this is just a  circus show by which he is trying to be a part of this election campaign and similar schemes will probably follow’, Antonescu said.
The former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, said on RFI radio station that the president had crossed the line of political discourse. ‘The president is already crossing the line of political exaggeration and political discourse, drawing dangerously closely to the borderline of instigation to the commission of an offence. If he has documents and those documents turn out to be peremptory evidence that can be used in court and if he believes that, based on them, the articles of law no. 182/2002 on the protection of classified information may be violated, then let him do that, but he does it at his own risk’, Ungureanu said. ‘If he publishes the information, he will also be liable for breaking Law 182/2002’, the ex-SIE chief added.
On his arrested brother: ‘After I finish my term,
I will deplore him’
Regarding his brother, Mircea Basescu, currently arrested on a charge of influence peddling, the head of state said, during the same public television programme, that he would ‘deplore’ him after he finished his term in office. ‘A president, setting aside the fact that he has a brother, has responsibilities towards the country. The next day after I finish my term I will deplore him, I will be his brother and I will put myself in his shoes, but, until 22 December, I can only be his president’, Traian Basescu said.
‘Klaus Iohannis was a political tool who came with the image of a good manager’
With regard to the ACL candidate in the presidential; election, Klaus Iohannis, Basescu said he ‘is a very furtive man’ and ‘was used as a tool by Voiculescu, Crin Antonescu, Geoana and then Ponta replaced him. He was a political tool who came with the image of a good manager, but I am unclear about this man and that’s why I can tell you, because I still have enough connections inside PDL, that many organizations are demobilized’, Basescu said.
Asked about his support for Elena Udrea as a candidate in the presidential election, the head of state said: ‘I support PMP’s candidate in election, Mrs. Elena Udrea. Is there any article in the Constitution that reduces the president’s civil rights, the right to have a choice?’ He stressed that Udrea ‘is the only honest candidate’. ‘I am not necessarily saying that she is the best, but she is the only honest candidate. (…) Elena Udrea has made far fewer political compromises than Monica Macovei’, the president further noted.
As for Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s action to have him impeached, Basescu said on TVR that the national interest had to be considered in the current regional and international context. ‘It’s a complicated situation where you don’t play with national security’, Basescu said, adding that it was ‘the other face, the one of political interest’.’
“I have said all the time that Romania is safe”
President Traian Basescu stated also that Romania has no rational reasons to fear the conflict in Ukraine, yet drew attention that the irrational may function in this case, and our country must behave in its training as if problems may exist. ‘We must fear the irrational. I have said all the time that Romania is safe. As long as all the states act in accordance with international law Romania is in a state of complete safety’, said the head of state. He showed that one year ago he would have never believed that Ukraine could have been aggressed by Russia. ‘And yet, it has happened. Why? Because the irrational has functioned. The wish, the objective of a political leader as big as the Russian Federation to extend its territory unjustifiably, not on the basis of international law, inventing its own rights, the right to defend its minority living within the borders of another state’, explained President Basescu. ‘Romania must behave from a training point of view, not of inciting the population, exactly as if it were possible, because that is the point of the measures taken in Newport’, concluded President Basescu.

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