Romania's Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Mircea Geoana, who now runs in presidential elections due to take place later this month, has paid a private visit to Moscow on April 27, 2009, where he secretly met one of the aides of President Medvedev, political sources have told HotNews.ro. According to the sources, the meeting was allegedly mediated by Boris Golovin, a businessman with energy interests in Romania about whom the media has reported to be an ex-officer of GRU, the foreign military intelligence directorate of the Russian Federation army. Contacted by HotNews.ro, Golovin denied any links with the PSD. Initially, prominent Romanian politicians VIorel Hrebenciuc and Cozmin Gusa said they new nothing about the secret visit. After several hours, former Foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu confirmed that Geoana paid the visit but said he did not know whom the PSD leader met with, what the talks focused on or how long the visit was.
The starting point of the HotNews.ro research into the issue was a message posted by a HotNews.ro user on Tuesday signing as GRU. He addressed the message to Cristian Diaconescu, now a vicepresident of the PSD, and alleged that "information was circulating that Mircea Geoana paid a secret visit to Moscow on April 28, 2009. He left by a private plane, the visit was mediated by Boris Golovin, a former Russian spy with businesses in the energy sector in Romania, close to Viorel Hrebenciuc. The purpose was to obtain a meeting with Putin or with Medvedev for lobby and support. Geoana only met an aide at Kremline and it was nothing official, but took place somewhere close to Moscow. He obtained the promise he would be financially helped through all vectors of influence in Romania. As a Foreign minister, did you know of Mr Geoana's visit, be it secret or not, to Moscow? Does it seem correct to you that the second man in the state structures, who at the time of the visit to Moscow, April 27, was vicepresident of the CSAT [Supreme Defense Council of Romania], go stealthily to meetings with important Russian officials?"
HotNews.ro checked the information according to which Mircea Geoana paid a visit to Moscow on April 27. Converging sources confirmed the PSD leader left for Moscow on a Tiriac Air plane by the end of April and stayed at the Metropol Hotel. The PSD leader could not be contacted. People close to him denied that Mircea Geoana paid a private visit to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin or Dimitry Medvedev.
* Viorel Hrebenciuc: "No way, there was no visit. [PSD's presidential candidate aide Cozmin] Gusa is in charge with such things. It seems to me to ba a [presidential] campaign intoxication. I received an invitation from the [Russian] Senate speaker one or two weeks ago. And I told him we'd talk after the election, in January - February".
* Cozmin Gusa, the PSD candidate's aide: "Geoana in Moscow? If I were to answer you shortly, no. I don't know. And the visit I paid to Moscow and this one to Washington I paid by myself, based on personal relations. I don't know but I'll promise I'll check. In Moscow I met many people (...). We talked relationship-building, private things for now. Nothing to do with the PSD. And in the US I discussed the political part about fraud".
* Boris Golovin (loughing): "How am I linked to Mircea Geoana? I don't know of any meeting. Where do these rumors come from? I have nothing to do with it".
Mircea Geoana could not be contacted. His electoral campaign team recommended us to talk with former Foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu. Several hours after Viorel Hrebenciuc and Cozmin Gusa said they knew nothing about a private visit of the PSD leader, the former Foreign minister confirmed for HotNews.ro that on April 27 Mircea Geoana paid an unofficial visit to Moscow.
* Cristian Diaconescu: "Mr Geoana, as speaker of the Senate, contacted the Foreign ministry saying it was an informal, unofficial visit and we provided a visit file, that is a state evaluation of the bilateral relations between Romania and the Russian Federation. I do not know whom he met as it is an unofficial visit, state institutions are not questioning about the schedule, the agenda, the level of talks. As Mr Geoana was both Senate speaker and a member of the CSAT at the time, it was the Foreign Ministry's duty to provide this basis of information. (...) It was normal to provide a file of contacts, more so as it was happening in a period close to the events in the Moldova Republic in early April.
* Diaconescu: "We did not discuss about Mr Geoana's visit to Moscow on party line either. I don't know it relates to PSD or not, I did not talk to him, probably there weren't any aspects that should demand such a discussion and it would have been a lack of elegance on my behalf to ask about the details of the visit. (...)"
* Cozmin Gusa for his part returned with a phone call to present the statement of Mircea Geoana on the issue: "Yes, it's true that I paid a private visit to the date indicated by you, and prior to paying the visit I consulted with Mr Diaconescu, from whom you may learn details. The invitation received several days ago from my counterpart to visit Russia also comes as a result of that private visit and of meetings that I've had".
The only recent official visit that Mircea Geoana paid to Moscow took place in September 2008 as head of the foreign policy commission of the Senate. The delegation included Senators, the Senate defense commission head Cristian Diaconescu and Iulian Iancu, head of the industry and services commission in the House of Deputies.
Mircea Geoana said at the time that he believed a pragmatic relationship with a neighbor as important and in offensive as Russia was elementary and that denying the relationship and blocking dialogue with such an important country was totally wrong.
Who is Boris Golovin, who is alleged to have arranged the Moscow visit
- According to a 2006 investigation by the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism, Boris Golovin presents as a former member of the special forces of the army in the former Soviet Union (an ex-officer of the GRU). In Romania, however, Boris Golovin is the representative of Russian firm ZIOMAR Engineering COmpany, which is part of a consortium named EM Alliance-Atom. In these consortium, the Russian state through the TVEL Atomenergomash company holds 51%. EM Alliance-Atom is Russian giant active in the nuclear energy field
- According to Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei, Golovin was a colonet in Spetnatz troops and represents the interests of Russian moguls Oleg Depiraska and Igor Zyuzin in Romania.
- Golovin is associated with one of the administrators of the Global International 2000 company. According to Romanian business newspaper Business Standard, the company is one of the main providers of Russian coal and its clients include heating plants in Deva, Iasi and Suceava.