142410 2/21/2008 15:08 08BUCHAREST141 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 08BUCHAREST130|08STATE16319 VZCZCXRO3812 OO RUEHAG RUEHROV DE RUEHBM #0141 0521508 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 211508Z FEB 08 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7945 INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES IMMEDIATE RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE IMMEDIATE 0368 RUEHPS/AMEMBASSY PRISTINA IMMEDIATE 0096 C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000141
STATE FOR EUR/NCE A.JENSEN AND EUR/SCE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2018 TAGS: PREL, UN, UNMIK, PGOV, YI, EU, KV, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIA: KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE DEMARCHE DELIVERED
REF: A. STATE 16319 B. BUCHAREST 00130
Classified By: Ambassador Nicholas Taubman: REASONS 1.4(b) and (d).
1. (C) EMBOFF delivered ref. a demarche on February 20 to MFA State Secretary for Europe Raduta Matache; FM Cioroianu was traveling in Israel at the time. Matache noted that Romania was not going to recognize Kosovo's independence, referring to public comments and commitments made by President Basescu, Prime Minister Tariceanu and the recent declaration by Parliament affirming this policy (reported in ref. b). That said, Matache noted that Romania shares all of the other objectives expressed by the USG. Romania is committed, she said, to stay fully engaged in Kosovo and to do what it can to promote peace, security and prosperity for both Kosovo and Serbia. Romania has positioned itself to help facilitate Serbia's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures and institutions, and hopes to play a calming role with Belgrade.
2. (C) Matache expounded on the reasoning behind the Basescu's decision to take this approach, reflecting that Romania has too much history and experience in the Balkans where borders were changed by outside powers (she mentioned Soviet Russia's moves on Moldova) to the region's detriment. She said Romania would maintain its commitments to KFOR and ESDP, but recognition of Kosovo cannot occur until there was a substantial change in the current political environment in Belgrade. Romania wants to assist with that transformation so that Belgrade can take positive steps towards resolving its relationship with Pristina. Matache noted Romania is Serbia's friend and neighbor, and will not abandon it as long as there was a friendly government in Belgrade. She pointed out that President Tadic would coming to Bucharest on February 21, to meet with Basescu, Tariceanu, and Parliament leaders, in a demonstration of that friendship. She said Romania could help Serbia weather the charged political atmosphere resulting from the turbulence triggered by the Kosovo independence announcement. She hoped Romania would help Tadic keep open the doors to NATO and the EU.
3. (C) Finally, Matache underscored that Romania's concerns were not/not related to the Hungarian minority or any issues involving Transylvania. She pointed out that the UDMR (the ethnic-Hungarian party) are good partners and work well with everyone in the government and Parliament. She said Romania is much more concerned about the implications of Kosovo's independence for Moldova and Russian-controlled Transniestra. She said that this point should not be forgotten. She added that it was important for Romania and the U.S. to keep open good channels of communication on all of these regional security issues.
4. (C) Comment: Matache was aware that Basescu's foreign affairs advisor Anca Ilinoiu spoke to the Ambassador earlier that afternoon about Tadic's trip to Bucharest. She believed that Serbia will eventually calm down and accept "the inevitable," but for now, tensions are a bit high in the region and someone (like Basescu) needs to be positioned to help improve the regional dialogue. While Basescu would like to be a prime interlocutor between Belgrade and Brussels, we remain skeptical as to his ability to influence events in Serbia. On the other hand, we are concerned that Basescu himself has limited his room to maneuver both regionally and domestically with his adamant opposition to recognizing Kosovo's independence. End Comment. TAUBMAN