The Ukrainian leader visited Romania on Tuesday to meet with President Klaus Iohannis and discuss bilateral ties
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky did not address the Romanian Parliament during his visit to the EU state on Tuesday. Local media reports suggested that the speech had been inexplicably canceled.
The news outlet G4media initially claimed that Zelensky’s speech, which was supposed to take place at 5pm on Tuesday before a joint plenary session of the two chambers of parliament, had been called off or postponed by parliamentary leaders, with some sources citing security concerns as the reason for the cancellation.
Alfred Simonis, the acting president of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, later told Agerpres that he did not know why Zelensky’s address had been canceled but noted that it wasn’t the lawmakers who ultimately planned the Ukrainian president’s speeches.
“We are not making President Zelensky’s program,” Simonis stressed, adding that the decision to cancel his appearance in parliament did not come from the Chamber of Deputies. “I cannot answer for a change made by Mr. Zelensky’s staff,” he said.
Nevertheless, Simonis insisted that whatever the reason for Zelensky’s change of plans was, it was not linked to any threats by “some extremists.”
The official appeared to be referring to statements made by Deputy Diana Sosoaca, who had told the Romanian Parliament on Tuesday that Zelensky “has no business in Romania” and accused the Ukrainian leader of being a Nazi.
She also brought out a map depicting the “real” Romania with lands “stolen” by Ukraine. “Return our territory, Mr. Zelensky,” Sosoaca demanded, adding that Kiev had been cracking down on Romanian nationals in Ukraine by banning the Romanian language, prohibiting Romanian churches, and “killing” Romanian children.
In a press briefing following a meeting with his Romanian counterpart, Zelensky told reporters that he never planned to address Romanian lawmakers. “I arrived on a visit to the people of Romania, to express our gratitude, and talk strategically with President Iohannis,” he was quoted as saying by the European Pravda news outlet.
The head of state added that he also intends to meet with the Romanian prime minister, parliamentary chamber heads, and lawmakers but did not have any speech ready. “Perhaps someone is against it – but I was not ready,” he said, noting that he would be “happy” to deliver it next time.
October 10, 2023 at 08:57PM