RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service Chisinau Bureau Chief Vasile Botnaru has been distinguished with the highest civilian honor bestowed by the president of Romania.
Romanian President Klaus Johannis signed several decrees decorating Moldovan public figures on April 21. Botnaru was conferred with the National Order for “Faithful Service” with the rank of Commander for his journalistic work. The distinction recognizes Botnaru’s contributions to strengthening community, language, and social ties across the Romania-Moldova border.
After graduating with a degree in journalism from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Botnaru worked as a photojournalist, editor, and political commentator for a variety of publications in the Soviet Union. When Moldova gained independence in 1992, Botnaru and two colleagues founded BASA-Press, Moldova’s first independent news agency. He also worked for the Romanian television channel Pro TV and as a correspondent for the Associated Press. Botnaru joined RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service as the Chisinau bureau chief in 2004. He is also the recipient of the 2009 Order of the Republic of Moldova award.
“I am delighted that Vasile Botnaru was among the very few Moldovans receiving this high honor from the president of Romania,” said Moldovan Service Director Oana Serafim. “It shows once more the impact of the Moldovan Service not only in Moldova, but also in the region.”
Several other RFE/RL journalists, including Serafim, have been recognized for their work by the Romanian president with this award in previous years.
RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service provides news and information in Romanian and Russian via Radio, TV, and web, and is the most popular international radio broadcaster in the country. The service continues to adapt to the changing political realities in the region to meet audience needs, most recently launching at 10-minute TV news program, Clear and Simple, which airs in both Romanian and Russian. In 2014 the service doubled its special programming to the separatist Transdniester region and programing in Russian in response to events in Ukraine.