Wikileaks - CXX

Friday, 02 September, Year 3 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

25788 1/24/2005 14:34 05BUCHAREST212 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 04STATE253728 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 03 BUCHAREST 000212




REF: A. A) 04 STATE 253728

B. B) 04 BUCHAREST 2700 C. C) 04 BUCHAREST 1832


1. (C) Summary. Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry officials met with Embassy officers January 19 to discuss the GOR's proposals for an "integrated approach for security cooperation in the Black Sea region." Romania envisages an expanded NATO role in the region and mirrors its proposed strategy for maritime security on the "four pillar" approach under discussion at USEUCOM. At the same time, the GOR counts on the U.S. to convince Turkey to "go along" with Romania's ideas. Romania will host a meeting with Turkey and Bulgaria January 24 to discuss possible joint strategies for Black Sea security. The GOR would also like a meeting between GOR and US officials in Washington, possibly in March, to discuss Black Sea issues. End Summary.

Seeking an "Integrated Approach" to Black Sea Security
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2. (C) MFA Director General of the Strategic Policies Directorate Cristian Istrate, MFA NATO Division Director Mirela Maghiar and two MOD representatives met with PolChief, Naval Attache and PolMilOff January 19 to discuss the GOR's views on enhancing security in the Black Sea region. Istrate began the discussion by remarking that President Traian Basescu emphasized in a January 18 speech (septel) the importance of the Black Sea region. Istrate stressed that the GOR seeks to help develop an "integrated approach to security in the Black Sea region" which will encompass "as much Western involvement as possible...with NATO and the EU taking a more prominent profile in the region."

"Three Dimensions"
3. (C) Istrate delivered an outline titled "A Basis for an Integrated Approach for Security Cooperation in the Black Sea Region. Building Synergy Among Various Initiatives," which the Romanians classified as confidential. Using the outline as a template for discussion, Istrate underscored that the GOR seeks U.S. input and feedback on how best to develop an integrated security approach in the Black Sea region. The GOR proposes an "integrated approach" that focuses on three "dimensions" in the following sequence: the "political dimension," the "operational dimension," and "security sector reform." Istrate said that the paper had been approved "at the highest levels" in the new Romanian government and would also be shared by Romanian ambassadors with U.S. interlocutors in Washington and at USNATO. Istrate emphasized that the paper represented "only the security" angle of the new government's emerging approach towards the Black Sea, which would "also address political and economic angles." Post will transmit the full text of the paper to Department, DOD, and USNATO septel.

"Four Pillars" and "Three Allies"
4. (C) The operational dimension - the area to which the outline devotes the most attention - comprises four focal points that mirror USEUCOM's discussions of a possible "four pillar" approach to the Black Sea: "maritime security," "land and air security," "border defense," and "civil emergency planning." Within the rubric of "maritime security," the GOR proposes the establishment of a "Black Sea Task Force" comprising "three allies," Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Istrate stated that Turkey and Bulgaria had been invited to participate in a meeting in Bucharest January 14 to discuss possible task force cooperation in connection with NATO command and information exchange structures. Turkey was unable to participate in the meeting because severe fog January 14 prevented the Turks from arriving in Bucharest; the meeting has been rescheduled for January 24.

5. (C) Addressing expected Turkish reticence to participate fully in the proposed Black Sea Task Force, Istrate stated that U.S. "encouragement" of Turkey could overcome their objections, opining that the "Turks do not want to be perceived as opposing NATO's role in the Black Sea." Istrate continued that the Turk's "cautious approach" reflects their desire to not "upset" Russia or "create stress with France and Germany."

6. (C) In addition to creation of a Black Sea Task Force to increase maritime security, the GOR's outline also proposes a heightened role for NATO in the region, including "information exchange and command support for the Black Sea Task Force" and joint patrolling in the Black Sea. The outline envisages a relatively limited role for BLACKSEAFOR "in preventing terrorism and WMD trafficking through the scope of the current agreement."

7. (C) Under the "pillar" of land and air security, the GOR proposes the establishment of a "Joint Interagency Task Force" (JIATF) modeled on the USG's JIATF. The JIATF would integrate law enforcement, customs and defense assets from participating states. The GOR's proposed border defense "pillar" envisages using the "Border Defense Initiative" (the "Black Sea Border Security Initiative" (BSBSI)) proposed by the GOR (Ref C). The "pillar" dealing with civil emergency planning proposes establishment of "common procedures and mechanisms of civil emergency planning."

Political and Security Sector Dimensions
8. (C) The GOR characterizes the "political dimension" as an area in which NATO can and should play a central role. Romania's specific proposals include "enhancing political debates in NATO on the security situation in the region" and establishment of a "Black Sea caucus" to build NATO awareness of and interest in the Black Sea region. Under the rubric of "security sector reform," the GOR proposes "full use" of Partnership for Peace (PfP) instruments. The GOR's suggested strategies include "providing assistance" to Black Sea partners that have launched or plan to launch Individual NATO Partnership Action Plans and encouraging Moldova to develop an Individual Partnership Action Plan. According to Istrate, the GOR would like to see Moldova move closer to NATO.

Romania Will "Resist Temptation" to Expand BLACKSEAFOR
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9. (C) When pressed for details about the relation, if not potential overlap, between Romania's proposed "integrated approach" and BLACKSEAFOR, Istrate acknowledged that both BLACKSEAFOR and Romania's Black Sea Border Security Initiative (BSBSI) could play a role in "preventing terrorism and WMD." In the GOR's view, BLACKSEAFOR must "stay within its limits" although an "anti-terrorism aspect, such as information exchange," detecting and monitoring could be appropriate. He stressed, however, that the BSBSI would, by definition, address law enforcement issues whereas BLACKSEAFOR has a different principle focus e.g. search and rescue, humanitarian operations. Istrate stated that Turkey seeks the extension of BLACKSEAFOR to include "constabulary" functions, notably "detection and monitoring" aimed at fighting terrorism and the establishment of a BLACKSEAFOR "permanent command center." Istrate opined that significantly extending BLACKSEAFOR's role would be "against the letter and spirit of BLACKSEAFOR." Pausing for a moment, Istrate insisted that Romania "will resist the temptation to turn BLACKSEAFOR into a regional military alliance," which he characterized as NATO's role.

10. (C) When asked for details about the status of the BSBSI, Istrate conceded that Romania has made little progress toward organizing the project and moving beyond the political stage. Istrate stated that the GOR's goal is to "continue to operationalize" the BSBI, but acknowledged that little has been done in this regard since the November 5 meeting at the State Department among Romanian Ambassador Ducaru, State and DOD officials in which USG interlocutors urged the GOR to effectively organize and staff the BSBSI (Ref C).

A March Meeting in Washington?
11. (C) Istrate emphasized that the GOR understands the importance of the cooperation of NATO allies in the Black Sea region, but underscored again that Romania would like the U.S. to encourage Turkey to cooperate fully in developing a joint NATO strategy. He stated that the GOR would welcome continuing dialogue with the U.S. on Black Sea issues and promised to provide Embassy a readout of the January 24 Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania meeting in Bucharest. Istrate suggested a meeting between and USG and GOR interlocutors at the office director or DAS level in Washington, possibly in mid-March, to discuss development of a joint strategy in the Black Sea region. PolChief promised to stay in touch with Istrate regarding possible scheduling of such a meeting.

12. (C) Comment. President Basescu's recent public discussion of the centrality of the Black Sea region to Romania's foreign policy priorities (Septel) may reflect increased high-level attention to the region. Nonetheless, the GOR has consistently sought U.S. guidance on Black Sea issues and told us that it favors an expansion of NATO's role in the region (Refs A and B). We anticipate that Romania will continue to consult closely with us regarding its proposals for the region. Indeed, its proposed implementation of a "four pillar" approach reflects discussion points raised by Embassy officers during a meeting with MFA officials last fall. The GOR recognizes that its proposals will have little weight with Turkey (or other littoral states) without U.S. backing. Although we welcome the GOR's enthusiasm for enhancing security in the Black Sea, we note that Romania has apparently yet to follow through on its proposed BSBSI, despite strong urging last fall from USG interlocutors to move the BSBSI from the conceptual to operational phase (Ref C). End Comment.

13. (U) Amembassy Bucharest's reporting telegrams are available on the Bucharest SIPRNet website: CROUC H

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