Russian ambassador irritated by Romania's conflict-readiness preparations
"Russia is not a threat," but given the support provided to Ukraine, the comments about the military service and preparing the population for war, and the hosting of "other troops" on its territory, Romania has to expect "some consequences," Russia's ambassador Valery Kuzmin said at a press conference on February 7.
The press conference comes several days after an interview given by the head of the Romanian Army, Vlad Gheorghita, who talked about the need to prepare the country's population for the effects of a military conflict and floated the idea of a voluntary military service aimed at boosting the country's aged reserve troops.
The head of the Romanian Army, by his statements, promotes "military hysteria," ambassador Kuzmin said, quoted by Europa Libera Romania.
"[Gheorghita] starts from the premise that someone threatens Romania from outside and quite transparently points the finger at Russia. Russia does not represent any threat to Romania. But as soon as Romania invites even more troops and declares itself concerned about military service, then surely some consequences must be foreseen. We talk openly about them, but in no case were we looking for war," said the ambassador.
The comment seems to include a hint to the permit recently issued by Romanian president Klaus Iohannis for NATO's quick reaction forces to deploy on the national territory in case the military situation in the region requires this.
Ambassador Kuzmin was also irritated by Romania's position on the Bucea massacre in Ukraine, for which Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu blamed Russia, and about Romania's constant comments about the "Romanian Treasure" sent to Russia for safekeeping during World War I and never received back. Besides some 120 tonnes of gold, the Treasure includes valuable documents.
It is, in fact, Romania that owes something to Russia, ambassador Kuzmin argued, citing former USSR president Leonid Brezhnev, who reportedly said that to Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu in the '60s, News.ro reported.
"Romania has a greater debt to Russia than Russia has to Romania. But we don't need this debt from you. We forgive you of this debt," said the Russian ambassador.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/George Calin)