60894 4/18/2006 15:39 06BUCHAREST635 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN 06BUCHAREST436|06STATE48166 VZCZCXYZ0041 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0635 1081539 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 181539Z APR 06 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4194 INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 2191 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000635
STATE FOR EUR/NCE - WSILKWORTH; STATE ALSO FOR PM/RSAT - BLEE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/17/2016 TAGS: MARR, MASS, PGOV, PREL, RO, IS SUBJECT: ROMANIA: F-16 AIRCRAFT TRANSFER OFFER
REF: A. STATE 48166 (NOTAL) B. BUCHAREST 436
Classified By: CDA Mark Taplin for Reasons 1.4 (a), (b) and (d)
1. (C/NF) It is Embassy's understanding, further to discussions with senior MOD officials, that the GOR has not made up its mind regarding the procurement source of F-16 aircraft. Although President Basescu ruled out that possibility in a March conversation with the Ambassador (Ref B), it is still possible that the GOR might seek to obtain aircraft from Israel.
2. (C/NF) During the visit last week to Bucharest of Bruce Lemkin, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Air Force, a senior MOD official stated on several occasions that Romania "needs to look for the most cost-effective solution" regarding F-16 acquisition. While we think a formal GOR decision in favor of F-16 acquisition from Israel is unlikely, it would be premature to deny, at this time, the GOI retransfer request on that basis. Further, Post requests that the Department not release to the GOI at this time information regarding Basescu's comments about the acquisition, given that the GOR has not announced a final decision. TAPLIN