72103 7/21/2006 8:35 06BUCHAREST1160 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXRO7190 RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHBM #1160/01 2020835 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 210835Z JUL 06 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4841 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001160
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE - WILLIAM SILKWORTH
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/20/2016 TAGS: NATO, PREL, RO SUBJECT: PDAS VOLKER'S POLITICAL DIRECTORS' MEETING WITH V10 + W. BALKANS
Classified By: DCM Mark Taplin for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: EUR PDAS Kurt Volker met with the political directors of the 10 new NATO allies for talks on NATO's future and broader regional issues on June 28 in Bucharest. These new NATO allies all shared a common vision for NATO's future focused on securing the entire Western Balkans within NATO, starting an Intensified Dialogue with Georgia as soon as possible, giving Ukraine a Membership Action Plan when merited on performance, and further engaging Moldova. The group agreed that the Istanbul Commitments should not be redefined, that Russia should be given a strong message at the G8 summit regarding its behavior in the region, and that the CFE Treaty remains the cornerstone of security in Europe. They also encouraged engaging Serbia before the end of the Kosovo Final Status Talks, supported the capabilities agenda, recommended energy security to be discussed at Riga, and suggested a NATO statement should North Korea launch a missile. Political Directors from the Western Balkans joined the third session of the meeting, where they all, including Serbia, emphasized that they are working towards NATO membership, and would welcome positive signals from NATO to help reinforce their efforts. End summary.
NATO's Transformation Summit in Riga
2. (C) EUR Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kurt Volker met with political directors from the ten Central and East European countries who recently joined NATO for talks on NATO's future on June 28 in Bucharest. During the first session of the talks, PDAS Volker laid out plans for NATO's November Riga summit regarding enhancing operations, capabilities, partnerships, and the enlargement process. He also mentioned the 2008 summit, which he hoped would focus still more on enlargement, and noted a German suggestion to host a 2009 summit to coincide with NATO,s 60th Anniversary.
3. (C) The new NATO allies responded favorably to PDAS Volker's agenda for the Riga summit, supporting the capabilities agenda. Hungary's representative commented that activating the NATO Response Force would be the most important NATO transformation. The group expressed some concern that the message of the Riga "Transformation" summit be adequately relayed to the public and transparent to the EU to reassure everyone of the preserved transatlantic essence of the alliance. Several representatives emphasized that the global partnership is meant for practical coordination, not creating membership in a "global NATO." The new allies shared a common vision for NATO's future that included an emphasis on securing the entire Western Balkans within NATO, starting an Intensified Dialogue with Georgia before the Riga Summit, giving Ukraine a Membership Action Plan when merited, and further engaging Moldova.
Countering Russian Assertiveness
4. (C) Lithuania's Zygimantas Pavilionis expressed strong concerns about Russian behavior in the region, including preparations for a possible "anschluss" annexing Belarus, high pressure aimed at replacing Georgia's leadership, and a heavy hand in Transnistria. The entire group agreed that NATO needed to send a strong message on enlargement to encourage democratic movements increasingly under pressure in the region. They also urged that the Istanbul Commitments should not be redefined (as Germany had recently suggested), that Russia should be given a strong message at the G8 summit regarding its behavior in the region, and that the CFE Treaty should remain in place as a cornerstone of security in Europe. All urged that Georgia be given an Intensified Dialogue immediately, which they characterized as a "small thing" for NATO, but a sign of crucial support to Georgia. Pavilionis said Russian President Putin clearly told Georgian President Saakashvili that Russia would not "solve the frozen conflicts" while Georgia "heads west." Lithuanian representatives were also eager to see the West intensify its relations with Moldova and ensure the OSCE's principles were not rewritten by Russia. Most of the new allies made specific requests that energy security be included on the agenda of the Riga Summit.
Engaging Serbia -- Key to Securing Balkans
5. (C) All of the new allies stressed the need to engage Serbia before the end of the Kosovo Final Status Talks. Slovakia's Ambassador Miroslav Lajcak, whom Volker congratulated for playing a crucial role in organizing the Montenegrin referendum - the first peaceful transformation of
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former Yugoslavia - argued, "We must not lose Serbia." Lajcak mentioned that the EU is preparing a comprehensive package for Serbia, urged EU members to give the proposal serious consideration, and suggested NATO offer Serbia conditional Partnership for Peace (PFP) membership. He also recommended no artificial barriers be placed on Montenegro's PfP membership as "denying Montenegro" would not "help Serbia." Czech's Martin Povejsil added, "We must prevent Serbia's isolation." Slovenia's Bogdan Benko urged incentives to be offered to Serbia by developing concrete actions and projects. Romania's Ovidiu Dranga suggested NATO "should be more flexible on Serbia."
NATO Statement if North Korea Launches Missile
6. (C) When Czech's Martin Povejsil raised the subject of North Korea, the V10 came to a quick consensus that NATO should issue a statement of concern should North Korea launch a missile. Povejsil added that such a statement would fit in with NATO's global partnership by showing necessary support to Japan and South Korea.
Eastern Europe Enhances Transatlantic Relationship
7. (C) Volker recognized the new allies, contribution to improving the transatlantic relationship between the EU and U.S. and the increasing depth and breadth of that relationship. He commented that some Central Europeans were beginning to take the lead in the EU on Cuba and had helped produced a more balanced view in advocating for democracy. He also commented on the EU's emerging more positive position on Venezuela, saying that it was very helpful that the EU's voice is heard so that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cannot just blame the U.S. to conceal his own actions. PDAS Volker also provided a brief overview of issues regarding Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. Hungary's Laszlo Szoke announced his country's future assumption of the lead role in Baglan, Afghanistan, and encouraged others to join the Hungarian mission. Estonia's Sander Soone cautioned that the common position on Russia's Istanbul commitments needed to be reconfirmed as some EU voices were casting doubt on the clarity of those commitments. He argued, "Host country consent is very basic" and means the "withdrawal of forces the host country doesn't want."
Western Balkans Start to Show Solidarity
8. (C) Political Directors from the Western Balkans joined the third session of the meeting, where they all, including Serbia, emphasized that they were working towards NATO membership, and would welcome positive signals from NATO to help reinforce their efforts. Serbia's Bratislav Djordjevic said Serbia's two foreign policy priorities were to enter NATO's PFP and conclude a stabilization agreement with the EU. He listed various reforms Serbia has been taking to reach those goals. The representatives from Croatia, Macedonia, and Albania sought definite signals at the Riga Summit on their NATO accessions based on each country's demonstrated hard work. Croatia's Damir Kusen also suggested Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro join the Adriatic Charter to further enhance regional cooperation toward Euro-Atlantic integration. He offered this in addition to PFP, which he also urged "not as a reward, but as a mechanism to prepare countries for membership." Several of the new allies commented on such emerging regional cooperation as the Adriatic Charter as a "good sign" for successfully securing the entire Balkans within Euro-Atlantic institutions.
EUR PDAS Volker has approved this cable. TAUBMAN