Russian Embassy in Bucharest takes new stand on row over controversial donation, video coverage

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The row over the Russian Embassy’s donation for Brancusi’s national fundraising campaign is not over.

After several Romanian citizens returned the EUR 100 donation made by the embassy for the “Wisdom of the Earth” sculpture, the Russian Embassy posted new statements on Facebook, saying it regrets the emotional reaction and the language of hatred generated by its move and by the video clip accompanying the ad about the donation. The embassy underlined the importance of the freedom of opinion, veiledly hinting that, unlike Moscow, Bucharest lacks the availability for dialogue.

We remind readers that the clip posted be the embassy said that the Romanian and Russian armies “fought together in the WWI for Romania’s independence”, while during WWI, “the Romanian and Soviet armies fought together for Europe’s independence.”

“Understanding the sensibility of the Romanian public opinion regarding some chapters of the history, we relate “this language of hatred” to a first emotional reaction. By the way, such language is condemned both in the legislation of many EU countries and also in Russia. At the same time, we respect the Romanians’ right to freely express their opinion,” says the embassy’s new post.

“When any stance, even the one determined by good intentions, but which doesn’t correspond with your opinion, is immediately rejected as <propaganda>, then it’s difficult to expect a real understanding of the opponent and particularly to continue a productive dialogue. We are ready to continue dialogue,” Russia Embassy’s post further says.

The remarks come after the diplomatic mission announced that one more Romanian citizen, who introduced himself as “a private person who has nothing to do with the public institutions, mass media, intelligence services, and son on” returned EUR 100 “in acknowledgment of the embassy’s interest showed to the Romanian culture.”

The embassy says that will redirect all these reimbursements after its donation to the Wisdom of the Earth, yet warning that today is the last day of the public subscription for Brancusi’s statue, so in the future it will redirect potential money coming from Romanians to other charitable purposes.

Russia’s diplomatic mission also notes that it converted 200 Japanese yen and 200 South Korean won into “approximately RON 10” following protest in front of the embassy on Tuesday.

„We express our regret that our humanitarian action based only on friendly feelings to Romania and to the Romanian people stirred such a controversial reaction in the Romanian society and seldom extremely unfriendly to Russia and to its multinational people. As a response to the hand granted by a friend, we frequently hear rough curses and customized insults,” the embassy complains.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday replied to the Russian Embassy’s “modest donation” and controversial video clip. While saying that it appreciated the embassy’s donation, the Foreign Ministry criticized the video coverage.

“Association this action to a media message promoting Russian Federation’s own vision on some chapters of the bilateral relations history seems less explicable. The more it’s about a field where the most suitable to express is the joint committee of Romanian-Russian historians, whose goal is precisely debating the historical aspects in the view of enhancing the mutual trust,” says the MAE press release.

Further details on the row’s start available here.

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