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Romanian Presidential adviser accuses Moscow Radio Station of interfering in Romanian politics

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Iulian Chifu, President Basescu’s adviser on security and foreign policy affairs stated that “Voice of Russia”, the public radio station in Moscow, has been used as a propaganda tool in 2012, aiming to mislead and to interfere with Romanian domestic politics, according to an analysis broadcast by Mediafax news agency on Sunday. Chifu claimed the radio station fueled the feud between President Traian Basescu and the Government.

“Indeed, we were witness to the fact that this Russian public radio station has become an instrument that is more and more frequently employed in creating pressure and in manipulating the Romanian public,” noted Chifu. “This is partially due to its being used by certain political actors during election time. Part of it can also be put down to the media seeing this phenomenon as something out of the ordinary and to its having catalyzed the public’s interest in it.”

Chifu suggested that this is a case of self-inflicted injury in as much as the Romanian press paid excessive attention to and engaged in intense debates over “profoundly inimical actions and interventions” disguised as news broadcasts. The Romanian Presidential adviser made sure to separate the analysis and opinion components of the Moscow radio station’s shows as unimpeachable under the principle of the freedom of expression.

“If analysis and opinions are free, just as with all other media […] interference with a state’s domestic affairs […] and the elements triggering scandals and conflicts, especially between the President and the Government are unacceptable”,  observed Chifu. “This is where the line has been heavily overstepped and I believe that the radio station’s managers and the Moscow authorities must realize it.”

President Basescu’s adviser concluded that this situation cannot continue and that whereas in 2012 it was still possible for the Russians to test the depth of these troubled waters, next year efforts must be put into building good diplomatic relationships by eliminating “the lack of respect and the forced representation of certain realities”.  Calling for a “step back in aggressiveness” and for the creation of an environment where negotiation is possible. Chifu said that a point should be reached where the quality of formal, document-based relationships between states should actually reflect reality.

Ioana Jelea, ioana.jelea@romania-insider.com