81988 10/16/2006 11:54 06BUCHAREST1583 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL VZCZCXYZ0014 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #1583/01 2891154 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 161154Z OCT 06 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5353 INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 001583
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE - AARON JENSEN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/15/2016 TAGS: MNUC, MOPS, PARM, PREL, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIA INCREASES INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROLIFERATION SECURITY INITIATIVE
Classified By: DCM Mark A. Taplin for Reasons 1.4 (A) and (B).
1. (U) Summary. Romania has expanded its participation in Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) activities over the past year. Romania has strengthened domestic legislation and export controls, and improved interagency cooperation. Romania has focused on working with regional counterparts on parallel initiatives, including the Black Sea Basin Security Initiative (BSBSI) and Black Sea Harmony. Romanian authorities hope that under PSI aegis these initiatives will persuade Russia and Turkeyto broaden their regional cooperation. Romania wants tohost a large-scale joint interdiction exercise within the next two years. End Summary.
2. (U) Over the past year, Romania has made nonproliferation a priority in its policy agenda, creating the Export Control Agency (ANCEX), the Romanian Counterproliferation Group, and a separate counterproliferation division within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and soon one within the Ministry of Defense (MOD). The GOR had officially expressed its support for the PSI through the "Paris Declaration" in May 2004. Initially, Romania was only an observer at exercises such as the Poland- and Czech Republic- sponsored "Bohemian Guard," but the GOR's interest increased after attending the Regional Operational Experts Group (ROEG) in Hamburg in November 2005. Before the ROEG, the GOR restricted itself to the operational level. Afterwards Romanian officials aimed to increase their political profile, evidenced by the MFA's taking the reigns from the MOD for PSI coordination.
3. (U) In May 2006 The Turkish-sponsored "Anatolian Sun" exercise provided the first opportunity for Romania's higher profile involvement. MFA officials implied they pressured the Turkish government for an invitation, having learned of it at the ROEG. Despite time constraints that prevented the MOD from sending forces and equipment as hoped, the GOR sent representatives to participate in the exercise's operational side. MFA and MOD authorities indicated that, given budgetary constraints, future participation would hinge on the value added to regional efforts.
4. (C) The GOR has emerged as a principal actor in regional interdiction initiatives, such as he Black Sea Basin Security Initiative (BSBSI) and Black Sea Harmony. In 2004, the GOR founded the US-supported BSBSI to implement PSI principles at the regional level. The GOR organized the first exercise-- "Styx 2005" -- and, while characterized as a success, MFA and MOD interlocutors were frustrated by resistance from Russia, Turkey, and to a lesser extent Bulgaria. A common argument was that the exercise wasted time and resources because the Black Sea was not a likely thoroughfare for WMD materials. Romanian MFA officials responded that unlike narcotics or human trafficking, one successful shipment of WMD materials could be devastating. In 2004, the Turkish government initiated "Black Sea Harmony" to coordinate regional interdiction efforts. The MOD, the lead Romanian ministry for the operation, said that this would be the more successful regional arms control initiative given its NATO component and the absence of a "consensus" requirement. According to MOD officials, consensus decision-making has often stalemated previous initiatives involving Russia.
5. (C) Romanian officials concluded that both initiatives lacked regional cooperation because of the differences between national interdiction legislation and levels of democratic development in Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia. The GOR argued its neighbors would cooperate more fully if the U.S. and other PSI core members were more supportive, especially given that Russia is a PSI core state. While Romanian authorities recognized that PSI and BSBSI are distinct initiatives, they noted the shared goals and expressed hope that the two could be integrated.
Romania's PSI Vision
6. (C) The GOR wants to lessen the gap between the PSI core and like-minded states. Both the MFA and MOD are interested in a more institutionalized PSI and clearer protocols for multilateral cooperation, but only if the US agrees to move the PSI in this direction. Romania can live with the status quo, though MFA officials have hinted that while states have demonstrated their capabilities during exercises, it is now the time for more concrete action.
7. (U) The GOR is enthusiastic for a Romanian-sponsored PSI Exercise within the next two years. Officials envisioned a joint-interdiction Black Sea exercise involving all PSI member states; however, they are aware that this could be problematic given Russian sensitivities. The GOR would need U.S. logistical support and input in designing such an exercise.
8. (C) Comment. Romania's interest in PSI offers an opportunity to strengthen counterproliferation efforts in the Black Sea region, which remains a highly vulnerable route for WMD transit between Europe and the Middle East. The GOR has increased its PSI commitments over the past year, working both internally and regionally to strengthen its ability to implement PSI principles. Nonetheless, Romania faces resource restraints but will continue to make its regional interests a priority; Romania,s participation will likely remain limited. MFA and MOD interlocutors seem to hope that their PSI involvement would make their Black Sea regional ambitions more attractive to their regional partners. Absent greater finesse future Romanian-sponsored PSI exercises could be problematic as Romania becomes further entangled with their neighbors, Black Sea sensitivities. Taubman