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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 21, 1989

TELEGRAM FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN MOSCOW TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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    Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Romanian disapproval with Soviet mass media portrayal of events in Timisoara
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," December 21, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe, Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 297-298 https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111564
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21 December 1989, 7:35 am

Cde. Ion Stoica, Minister [of Foreign Affairs],
Cde. Constantin Oancea, Deputy Minister [of Foreign Affairs],
DRI

On 20 December 1989, during a discussion with G. N. Gorinovici, Director of the General Section for Socialist Countries in Europe, I expressed [the Romanian government's] deep indignation in regards with the inaccurate and tendentious way in which the Soviet mass media is presenting the alleged events taking place in Timisoara. I stressed that the stories made public by radio and television are based on private, unofficial sources, and not on truthful information. Many stories refer to the Hungarian press agency MTI, which is known for its antagonistic attitude towards our country. I mentioned that V. M. Kulistikov, Deputy Chief Editor of the publication Novoe Vremia, during an interview given to Radio Svoboda, expressed some opinions vis-a-vis Romania with are unacceptable. I brought to his [Gorinovici's] attention the fact that on 19 December, Soviet television found it necessary to air news regarding the events in Timisoara in particular, and in Romania in general, four separate occasions.
I argued that such stories do not contribute to the development of friendly relations between our two countries and that they cannot be interpreted in any other way but as an intervention in the internal affairs concerning [only] the Romanian government. I asked that the Soviet government take action to insure the cessation of this denigration campaign against our country and also to prevent possible public protests in front of our embassy. Gorinovici said that he will inform the leadership of the Soviet MFA. In regards with the problems raised during our discussion, he said that, in his opinion, no campaign of denigrating Romania is taking place in the Soviet Union. "The mass media had to inform the public of the situation", Gorinovici indicated, in order to "counter-balance the wealth of information reaching the Soviet Union through Western airwaves. Keeping silent on the subject would have only [served to] irritate the Soviet public." Following this statement, he recapitulated the well-known Soviet position with regards to the necessity of allowing a diversity of opinions and ideas be expressed in the context of informing the Soviet public about world events.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur

[Source: Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe, Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 297-298. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu.]

[1] Directia Relatii I—Directorate 1, Socialist Countries, Europe"