Wikileaks - CCXII

Tuesday, 06 September, Year 3 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

35665 6/30/2005 13:24 05BUCHAREST1472 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BUCHAREST 001472





1. (C) SUMMARY. Department TDY PolOff officially observed the Romanian-organized Black Sea Border Security Initiative (BSBSI) tabletop exercise, held at the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Center in Bucharest from June 22-24. During the exercise, representatives from Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova exchanged information regarding how their respective nonproliferation infrastructures would respond to a mock WMD incident as described in a fictitious scenario, entitled "STYX 2005". The Romanians propose to follow-up "STYX 2005" with a real-time exercise in October. All delegations except Ukraine broadly participated - GOR officials advised PolOff in on-the-margins discussions that they viewed the Ukrainian role in BSBSI as problematic. Romania will concentrate its senior level outreach on Bulgaria, given that the strength of Sofia's commitment to BSBSI is uncertain. End Summary.

2. (U) The (fictitious) "STYX 2005" scenario involved the transit of two suspicious vehicles - a truck carrying Cesium which was conspicuously avoiding border crossings with radiation detection capabilities, and a boat rumored to carry nuclear material. Significantly, Interior Ministry official Dorin Grasu served as overall coordinator, indicating greater Interior Ministry ownership of BSBSI activities. Participants in the exercise were divided between a control group, responsible for governing scenario developments, and a working group, responsible for formulating governmental responses to scenario developments. Over the course of the exercise, the control group posed a total of eight events for the working groups to develop answers to. While all but one of the prepared responses were from national governments, there was a great deal of coordination between different governments represented in the working groups. On one occasion the Georgians and Bulgarians delivered a joint response.

3. (C) The one exception was the Ukrainian representative, Ivan Zaitsev, Interior Attache of the Ukrainian Embassy to Romania. In a private meeting with the Romanians prior to the beginning of the conference, Zaitsev made clear that he had no mandate from his government to answer questions put to him by the working group. The Romanians nevertheless granted him permission to ask questions of other delegations.

4. (U) Following the conclusion of the tabletop exercise, Romanian MFA nonproliferation chief Dan Neculaescu stated that the Romanians were proposing a follow-up exercise in October. In the follow-on exercise, they would run "STYX 2005" as a real-time operation. They proposed that a control group in Bucharest would govern scenario events and communicate them via e-mail to capitals, and that capitals would coordinate interagency responses to return to Bucharest. After this received preliminary agreement from the other BSBSI states, the Romanians pledged to forward further information regarding this concept to the other states in August. They further proposed that, following the October exercise, they convene a higher-level policy meeting to a.) incorporate lessons learned from "STYX 2005" into their respective governmental standard operating procedures, b.) evaluate the overall usefulness of "STYX 2005", and c.) propose future BSBSI activities. Romanian Interior Ministry official Dorin Grasu added that the purpose of the real-time operation and "STYX 2005" generally is to promote a new wave of regional nonproliferation cooperation, and expressed his hope that BSBSI could be a channel to develop cooperation between regional crisis centers.

5. (U) Ukrainian Embassy Interior Attache Zaitsev thanked the Romanians for allowing Ukraine to observe the tabletop exercise, and noted that, in order to ensure comprehensive Black Sea representation, Russia and Turkey should be invited to participate in the October exercise. Zaitsev also stated that he will write to the Ukrainian MFA, urging Ukraine to fully participate in October. Bulgarian MFA official Iasen Tomov agreed that it was useful, and stated that other regional states could be invited as well - particularly other Balkan states. Georgian Interior Ministry official Archil Pavlenishvili stated that joint training under BSBSI would also be a positive development. Moldovan Interior Ministry official Victor Nichifor agreed that it was useful, but noted that, for future conferences, more time should be allotted to allow the participants to prepare.

6. (C) TDY PolOff met separately with MFA Director General for Global Issues Stelian Stoian and MFA nonproliferation chief Dan Neculaescu. (COMMENT: While it has substantially evolved over its course, BSBSI was originally Stoian's concept. END COMMENT.) Stoian emphasized to PolOff that he understands the U.S. desire to maintain a low profile, but the importance of the U.S.-Romanian partnership needs to be underscored as well. He also pointed out that, despite USG urging to depoliticize BSBSI to the extent possible, it is occurring within a regional context. TDY PolOff responded that he also agreed that the U.S.-Romanian partnership has been critical to BSBSI's successes, but the U.S. viewed it as very important that the regional character of the initiative be preserved (i.e. it not be seen as directed by the U.S.) The U.S. provides technical support and assistance, but this needs to be organized by the region itself. In responding to Stoian's second point, TDY PolOff stated that he was familiar with other security issues in the Black Sea region (e.g. BlackSeaFor, Operation Black Sea Harmony, etc.) but the crucial difference between those initiatives and BSBSI is that regional MODs were largely peripheral to BSBSI. There is, for all intents and purposes, no military component. Unlike those initiatives, BSBSI is predominantly directed towards the region's Interior Ministries.

7. (C) TDY PolOff also noted that, given the apparent Ukrainian skepticism balanced with Moldovan and Georgian enthusiasm, Bulgarian support is crucial to the success of the initiative. While TDY PolOff noted that Romanian efforts to organize the "STYX 2005" tabletop exercise were quite good, the prospect of BSBSI success would be greatly enhanced should the Bulgarians organize a BSBSI activity as well. The decision by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry to cancel their participation in the exercise at the last minute raised questions regarding Bulgarian commitment. (NOTE: The Bulgarian representative, MFA security official Iasen Tomov, cited a deluge of last-minute taskings as the reason behind the Bulgarian cancellations. He also participated constructively, and to all appearances wholeheartedly, in conference proceedings. END NOTE.) Stoian agreed in principle to request Sofia to host a BSBSI activity, and possibly the evaluation meeting itself. Neculaescu also agreed to concentrate Romania's diplomatic outreach efforts to Bulgaria. TDY PolOff also met with Tomov privately, and asked Bulgaria TO consider organizing a BSBSI activity for 2006, as Bulgaria and Romania are the participant states with the most advanced nonproliferation infrastructure (i.e. legal, regulatory, and operational capability). TDY PolOff said the U.S. is willing to look at assisting if the Bulgarians provide us with concrete proposals.

8. (C) Neculaescu raised serious doubts regarding the Ukrainians. In a private meeting with TDY PolOff, Neculaescu expressed the GOR's assessment that, contrary to President Yushchenko's apparent political commitment to 'Westernize', the old-guard in the Ukrainian Civil Service is at best indifferent to and at worst actively sabotaging BSBSI. Neculaescu characterized Ukrainian Interior Ministry Attache as a "liar", and opined that when Zaitsev declared Ukraine would "100 percent" participate in the tabletop exercise in the May Preparatory Meeting, he was, in fact, lying. Neculaescu also expressed skepticism regarding Zaitsev's pledge to urge the Ukrainian MFA to fully participate in the October real-time exercise. TDY PolOff commented that it was curious that Zaitsev was alone in consistently asking the other delegations what the MOD role would be in conducting nonproliferation exercise activities, considering Zaitsev is allegedly the Interior Attache. Neculaescu replied that he thought it likely that Zaitsev was not who he claimed to be (i.e. Neculaescu implied Zaitsev is an intelligence officer.)

9. (C) Despite scanty Ukrainian participation in the tabletop exercise, Neculaescu opined that Zaitsev's call for full Turkish and Russian participation in the October real-time operation was in bad faith, and should be viewed as a solicitation of the Turkish and Russian interest rather than an interest in extending positive BSBSI cooperation. PolOff responded that, while he welcomed Turkey and Russia as observers, it would be best to delay full Turkish and Russian participation until at least the conclusion and evaluation of "STYX 2005". Neither Turkey nor Russia had been to the prior meetings, and organizing the logistics for five countries is sufficiently challenging for now. TDY PolOff said that, in principle, he saw no problem with Turkey and Russia becoming full participants should there be a follow-on BSBSI activity in 2006. TDY PolOff further commented that it might be useful having them as silent observers for the October exercise, in order to provide transparency (i.e. allay any doubts Turkey and Russia may have that BSBSI has a malign agenda) and to gauge their willingness to be constructive vice obstructive BSBSI participants.

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10. (C) All-in-all, the BSBSI "STYX 2005" tabletop exercise was a success. With the exception of Ukraine, the participant states seemed sincere in their desire to cooperate with each other in the field of nonproliferation, and seemed enthused by the conference. While the delegations could have coordinated their answers during the exercise itself more, the answers they gave were comprehensive and well-intentioned. This bodes well for the October real-time operation. It must be noted that the tabletop exercise was the dress rehearsal for October's main event - if four out of five BSBSI states (Ukraine excepted) are genuinely interested in incorporating the contacts and procedures derived from October into their national systems, BSBSI can be judged a success. Given Georgia's and Moldova's unremitting enthusiasm, the Romanians have to ensure that Bulgaria is a constructive participant in October. As BSBSI progresses, the question of whether and how to positively incorporate Turkey, Russia, and other Balkan states into BSBSI activities will move increasingly to the forefront.

11. (U) Participant list follows:

BULGARIA Mr. Iasen Tomov, MFA

GEORGIA Mr. Archil Pavlenishvili, Interior Ministry Mr. Lasha Vashakmadze, Interior Ministry Mr. Nicolos Iashvili, Georgian Embassy to Romania

MOLDOVA Mr. Alexandru Caraman, Intelligence and Security Service Mr. Igor Gorodetki, Special Intelligence Service Mr. Victor Nichifor, Interior Ministry

ROMANIA Mr. Dorin Grosu, Interior Ministry Mr. Dan Neculaescu, MFA Mr. Florian Baciu, National Commission for Nuclear Activity Control Ms. Dana Marca, MFA Mr. Victor Mircescu, MFA Mr. Alin Tanase, Interior Ministry Mr. Lucian Ivan, Interior Ministry Mr. Cristian Gandei Ms. Mirela Nenea, Special Intelligence Service Mr. Nicolae Neferoiu, Foreign Intelligence Service Mr. Aurel Stancu, National Authority for Border Customs Ms. Maria Andrei, Nuclear Agency Mr. Bogdan Dumitriu, Nuclear Agency Mr. Dragos Tocae, ANCEX Mr. Roman Ioan Fitera, ANCEX

UKRAINE Mr. Ivan Zaitsev, Ukrainian Embassy to Georgia

UNITED STATES (observer) Mr. John Conlon, U.S. Dept. of State

12. (U) TDY PolOff has copies of answers given by Georgian, Romanian, Moldovan, and Bulgarian representatives regarding the implementation of their national export control infrastructure. For USG personnel interested in copies of the "STYX 2005" tabletop exercise documentation, please contact EUR/PRA:John Conlon, Ph. (202) 647-6746, Fax: (202) 647-6039, E-Mail:conlonj"at" DELARE

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