Fact Check: Romania Was NOT Promised 1 Billion Euros By EU To Speed Up Arms Manufacturing And Arm Ukraine

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: Romania Was NOT Promised 1 Billion Euros By EU To Speed Up Arms Manufacturing And Arm Ukraine No 1 Billion

Did Romania receive 1 billion euros from the European Commission in order to speed up arms manufacturing to arm Ukraine? No, that's not true: There is no 1 billion euros figure that was promised to Romania. The claim originates from a news article published by Active News, an online publication known for its false claims, which is the source of much disinformation related to the Ukraine war within the Romanian sphere.

The claim appeared in an April 14, 2023, TikTok video under the title "No thanks, I support the government" (translated using Google Translate):

Romania is preparing to manufacture assault weapons and ammunition for Ukraine

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Romanian billion.JPG

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Apr 19 06:30:37 2023 UTC)

The story relates to a visit that European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton made to Bucharest on April 12, 2023.

After meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, they announced in a joint statement that Romania's defense budget would increase from 2 to 2.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product, in keeping with the commitments NATO members make to invest in their own defense. According to Ciucă, this represents:

'a commitment of the European Union to strengthen our defense capabilities, to relaunch the defense industry in the context of the war in Ukraine, but at the same time it is a perspective that I discussed with the Commissioner regarding our ability to prepare and strengthen our resilience and capacities to face not only current challenges but also future ones.'

Nothing in the transcript says the EU has promised Romania 1 billion euros.

The recent Pentagon leaks disclosed that Romania is a strategic ally to Ukraine just as important as Poland. Romania plays a vital role in the transit of armament to Ukraine, intelligence monitoring and training of Ukrainian soldiers, according to the leaked documents.

Romania has been reluctant to publicly disclose the details of what this assistance to Ukraine actually entails, which has drawn criticism of the government from the Romanian press, as well as internationally. During an interview for the BBC last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu was grilled for not disclosing to the Romanian people what this aid to Kyiv actually contains.

ANCEX, Romania's department for export control, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is currently delaying publishing data on the destinations and values of arms exports for 2022, when the Ukraine war started.

The EU initially agreed to mobilize 500 million euros through the European Peace Facility to finance the supply of lethal and non-lethal material to the Ukrainian army, with additional tranches of 500 million euros added on March 23, 2022, April 13, 2022, May 13, 2022, July 19, 2022, October 17, 2022, and January 23, 2023, for a total of €3.6 billion, according to EU NEIGHBOURS east, a site that monitors EU activity.

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