Romanian Defense Minister and prominent Social Democrat politician Vasile Dîncu (61) resigned on Monday over comments he made months ago in support of pursuing peace with Russia.
Dîncu has announced his resignation on social media, but the move came as a major surprise, as the scandal surrounding some of his earlier comments seemed to have died down. In early October, the minister made a number of comments about the war in Ukraine that went against Bucharest’s official position of unbridled support for Ukraine’s war efforts.
In an interview, Dîncu said that the only chance of ending the conflict was for the countries of the world, NATO, and the United States to negotiate peace with Russia, because at the moment, the Ukrainian political establishment cannot afford to accept the unjust loss of territory.
In recent weeks, President Klaus Iohannis, who is also the commander of the country’s armed forces, has publicly criticized Dîncu’s position on several occasions. He has also underlined that Romania believes it is up to Ukraine to decide when it wants to start peace talks. Last week, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă had a face-to-face meeting with Dîncu, and it seemed that an agreement had been reached and the matter was slowly fading away.
However, it appears that Iohannis did not let the comments go and managed to remove Dîncu. Although Iohannis has denied this, Romanian press reports keep saying that the president is vying for the post of NATO secretary general once his current mandate is over.