CEPA STRATCOM PROGRAM
02 November 2017

Russian disinformation and anti-Western narratives in Romania

How to fight back?
CEPA hosted an experts discussion on Russian disinformation in Romania featuring insight from Romanian Ambassador George Maior, SNSPA Rector Remus Pricopie, CEPA Fellow Corina Rebegea, and CPD Executive Director Dan Sultanescu. The event was moderated by CEPA Fellow Donald N. Jensen and considered: what types of narratives and tools the Kremlin deploys in Romania; how can we track and evaluate the impact of Russian disinformation; what technologies and instruments are at our disposal for identifying and debunking fake narratives; and how do we field a common, regional approach to combating Russian-led disinformation? 

Russia’s use of hybrid warfare techniques against the West poses a new range of challenges to transatlantic security. Often missing in expert discussions on the complexities of combined security threats is Russia’s employment of targeted, politically-divisive narratives across Europe. While this danger holds true for all NATO allies, analysts and policymakers are increasingly looking for tools to evaluate the nature of the disinformation threat and to counteract its corrosive effects. Here, the case of Romania could provide useful insights.

Seemingly insulated by geography, language differences, and alliance structures, Romania might appear to be an unlikely target for Russia. Nevertheless, pro-Kremlin narratives have intensified in the wake of high-profile NATO exercises and an increased U.S. military presence in the country. Contentious narratives propagated throughout Romania advance the Kremlin’s geopolitical agenda, particularly among younger audiences whose media diets consist of online press and social networks.