This paper analyses Romania’s foreign policy during the first post-communist years, by employing a theoretical viewpoint based on ontological security and trauma. It uncovers the elite efforts to secure the post-totalitarian state’s identity and international course. Romania’s search for ontological security featured the articulation of narratives of victimhood, which were linked with its proclaimed western European identity. The Romanian identity narrative has long struggled between “the West” and “the East”, trying to cope with traumatic historical events. These discursive themes and ontological insecurities were crystallized in the controversy surrounding the Romanian-Soviet “Friendship Treaty” (1991). Key Romanian officials displayed different typical responses to cultural trauma and debated the state’s path to ontological security, which was reflected in the foreign policy positions.