Romania’s foreign ministry has summoned Russia’s ambassador to Bucharest for a meeting at the ministry after he accused Romania’s royal family of “spreading NATO propaganda” and “fake news.”
The ministry announced Tuesday that it had “urgently” summoned Valery Kuzmin after he reacted angrily to a speech she made to ambassadors in Bucharest, including Kuzmin, about the geopolitical tensions in the region ahead of a meeting of NATO leaders in London on Dec. 3-4.
In her speech, Margareta, the eldest daughter of the late King Michael I, said: “I wonder if we are doing enough given the troubles facing us in and around the Black Sea,” speaking at Bucharest’s former Royal Palace.
“Let me remind you, all of Russia’s assaults on our security from the attack on Georgia in 2008, to the attack on Ukraine in 2014 and the Russian military intervention in the Middle East in 2015 happened around our part of the world, around what used to be called NATO’s southern flank,” she said.
“We should all remain faithful to our cardinal principle that European security is indivisible. That is the lesson we learned from the horrors of the past century.”
She also spoke about “aggression” of Russia when Moldova was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940 under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. In turn, Kuzmin compared Russia’s annexation of Crimea with Romania’s 1918 reunification with Transylvania, Bukovina and Moldova.
In a post on social media, Kuzmin referred to Margareta, the custodian of the Romanian crown, as “Mrs. Margareta” and suggested that Romania is submissive to the West, “receiving crumbs from the boyar’s table.”
“The custodian of the crown put on ‘the cloak’ of political strategist …(and made comments) based on fake news and NATO propaganda which is infiltrated in ordinary people’s minds every day.”
Commentators have criticized the ambassador for “overstepping diplomatic norms.” Kuzmin previously served as Russia’s ambassador to Moldova.
Romania has cool relations with Russia.