MAE requests clarifications regarding the references to Romania in Zelenskyi’s statement on North Bukovina, Ukrainian Ambassador claims turmoil caused by bad translation into English

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) stresses “the need for a proper understanding of history” and asked for clarifications regarding the recent statements made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said that “North Bukovina was occupied by the Romanians”.

In this regards, says the MAE release, Secretary of State Dan Neculaescu had on Thursday a discussion with the Ambassador of Ukraine in Bucharest, Oleksandr Bankov.

“The Romanian side requested clarifications regarding the references to Romania that have appeared in the recent public discourse of the President of Ukraine, expressing its surprise at them and emphasizing the need for a proper understanding of history,” the MAE document reads.

During the same meeting, the Romanian side “reiterated the special importance it gives to ensuring the rights of the people belonging to the Romanian minority in Ukraine, in accordance with the international rules and standards, including the full consideration of the Venice Commission recommendations”.

Senior official Neculaescu expressed preoccupation regarding the effects that the adoption, on 16 January, of the new Law of secondary education might have upon the right to education in their mother tongue of the Romanian minority’s members, as well as the Romanian side’s interest for the intensification of the dialogue with the Ukrainian side, not only within the bilateral joint Committee on the national minorities but also between the Ukrainian authorities and the Romanian minority in Ukraine so as to respond to their concerns.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for solidarity on his fellow nationals in a speech on Ukraine’s Unity Day in which, among other things, he maintains that “North Bukovina was occupied by the Romanians”, according to the address in English posted on the website of the Ukrainian Presidency, Agerpres informs.


Ukrainian Ambassador affirms Zelensky’s statement about North Bukovina, incorrectly translated into English


Ukrainian Ambassador in Bucharest Oleksandr Bankov affirms on Facebook that Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement, that Romania had occupied North Bukovina, was incorrectly translated from Ukrainian into English on the official website of the neighbouring country’s Presidency.

According to the diplomat, “the historical context at the end of 1918, the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the national movements in its former provinces created the situation when these historical provinces no longer had internationally recognized sovereignty, so their takeover by other neighbouring states “cannot be considered ‘occupation’.”

The Ambassador claims that President Zelensky “referred to the well-known historical events of 1918-1919 with one purpose, to demonstrate the need for national unity for the consolidation of the Ukrainian state, which at that time missed the chance for sovereignty and independence, but still continues to fight against Russian aggression.”

He adds that the mistakes in the English translation of the presidential speech published online have been corrected.

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