60899 4/18/2006 16:26 06BUCHAREST637 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 06SECSTATE59894 VZCZCXYZ0018 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0637 1081626 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 181626Z APR 06 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4197 INFO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0296 RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA PRIORITY 0069 RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 0619 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 4756 RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA 0863 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1910 RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 0774 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1185 RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0329 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0105 C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000637
STATE FOR EUR/NCE BILL SILKWORTH
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/18/2016 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, YI, EU, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIAN RESPONSE -- BRIEFING CAPITALS ON U.S. KOSOVO POLICY
REF: SECSTATE 59894
Classified By: CDA Mark Taplin, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) PolChief delivered reftel points April 18 to U.S. Kosovo Policy to MFA Director General for Expanded Europe Rasvan Rusu, a core architect of the Romanian MFA's Balkans policy. Rusu noted that Romanian President Basescu and FM Ungureanu would be traveling to Belgrade the same day, and he would ensure that both were fully apprised of the points prior to their meetings that afternoon. Among others, Basescu and Ungureanu were scheduled to meet with Serbian and Montenegrin President Marovic, Serbian President Tadic, Montenegrin President Vujanovic, and Serbian PM Kostunica. After Belgrade, Basescu would be traveling to Kosovo, although Rusu stressed the primary goal of that visit would be to meet with the detachment of Romanian gendarmes deployed as peacekeepers. Rusu noted that Ungureanu would separately be holding trilateral discussions with his Serbian and Montenegrin and Hungarian counterparts on April 19, as part of a regular dialogue on issues related to their common border region.
2. (C) Rusu described Bucharest's relationship with Belgrade as "vibrant and engaged," noting that the GOR shares the French view of Serbia as a backbone of the region. He commented that Romania sees full independence for Kosovo as "an inevitability" and that Romania would continue to "follow closely" the lead set by the Contact Group, the EU, and the U.S. At the same time, however, Rusu said Romania quietly encourages "flexibility on a time-frame for negotiations" and would not speak publicly about Kosovo independence until "the last possible moment." He noted some concerns within the GOR that the potential independence of Montenegro after the upcoming referendum, coupled with rapid movement on Kosovo, could "severely strain" Belgrade. He also noted Romanian worries that Russia would use Kosovo independence as a "misguided model" for resolving the frozen conflicts, including Transnistria which Romanian watches closely. He asked rhetorically whether some of the trappings of full independence for Kosovo -- such as full diplomatic representation at the UN or the adoption of a national anthem, etc. -- could be delayed as a way to ensure a "soft landing" despite the implementation of de facto statehood. Rusu underscored that Romania fully agrees with the premise that EU accession can be a potent and highly effective incentive for the Western Balkan states. To this effect, Romania, which is on target for joining the EU in January 2007, remained fully committed and prepared to help Belgrade and others in the Balkans on the path towards integration with NATO and the EU.
3. (C) Rusu expressed appreciation for the points and encouraged continued coordination as the status negotiations continue. As requested, he promised that the GOR would treat the information with the "fullest confidentiality."