Ukrainian authorities have begun dredging the Bâstroe Canal at the mouth of the Danube in violation of existing international agreements. The Ukrainian naval authorities recently informed shipowners that the channel now has a depth of 7 meters, which allows the entry of large ships into the Bâstroe Channel. This has caused problems with the water flow in the Sulina channel on the Romanian side, affecting navigation in Romanian waters. Ukrainian work in the area is also having a negative impact on the fauna and flora in the Danube Delta. As the Danube Delta is regulated by international agreements, this unilateral action by the Zelensky regime is in direct violation of international law.
This is the latest in a series of aggressive moves that the nationalist regime in Kiev has taken ≈ against its neighbors, as well as ethnic minorities living in Ukraine, all under the guise of the war with Russia. In December, the Zelensky government adopted a law denying the rights of national minorities in Ukraine to use their native language, practice their religion, and educate their children in their native language.
Romanian authorities and political leaders have protested these moves, but Zelensky’s government, to date, has refused any dialogue on the issue. The Western security apparatus directing the war has ignored all abuses by the authorities in Kiev for fear of diminishing support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.
Several Romanian politicians have spoken out against the aggressive moves by the Ukrainian government. Alin Chirilă, a member of parliament from the Social Democrat Party (PSD) wrote on Monday: “Romania must react as firmly as possible to the illegal works done by Ukraine on the Bâstroe Canal. It's really outrageous what Ukraine is doing, after all the support received from our country! It is a defiance not only to Romania and the Romanians but to the entire European Union whose principles and treaties are violated! And it’s not the first! Remember the Law on Minorities which practically prohibits education in the mother tongue for the Romanian community in Ukraine. The war with the Russian Federation cannot be used as an excuse for these anti-Romanian actions! Romania must suspend any form of support for Ukraine until Kiev complies with international conventions regarding the Danube Delta. With such behaviors, Ukraine has no business in the European Union! Let them first learn to behave like a European state before asking to become a member of the European Union! In the EU, we respect our neighbors and honor our obligations under European and international conventions. Ukraine still hasn’t understood this!!!”
Chirilă was quickly admonished by party leader Marcel Ciolacu who admonished the deputy for ‘wrong thinking.’ Ciolacu said that “people have the right to have opinions” but that Chirilă “had the wrong opinion.” He was forced to take down the original post.
The uproar led Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who was in Warsaw for a meeting with NATO leaders, to comment on the matter. “There is a legitimate concern for the Danube Delta, but we must not mix the concern and the concrete measures for the preservation of the biosphere in the Danube Delta, for the preservation of biodiversity, we must not mix them with various current political approaches,” the Romanian President declared, echoing concerns among NATO and EU leaders that any criticism of Ukraine could undermine support for the war. “I have seen that here a whole series of politicians became inflamed… I do not think it is appropriate to attack the Ukrainians on the basis of unverified data. They don’t need to be scolded, they need support…. It’s really important to keep the population’s support for what Romania is doing, that is, for the support for Ukraine, for the strengthening of the Eastern Flank, for the strengthening of NATO, to preserve our values.”
Some Romanian civic organizations have recently tried to raise public awareness about Ukraine’s aggressive actions and violations of international law. Recently, the Pro Bassarabia and Bucovina Cultural Association published an open letter addressed to the Ukrainian Embassy in Bucharest enumerating concerns about the oppression of the Romanian minority in Ukraine after authorities refused any dialogue.