Wikileaks - CXXVIII

Saturday, 03 September, Year 3 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

27693 2/25/2005 15:30 05BUCHAREST477 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 05BUCHAREST229|05BUCHAREST308|05STATE24827 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 02 BUCHAREST 000477




Classified By: Political Section Chief Robert S. Gilchrist for Reasons 1.4 A, B and D

1. (C) Summary. The GOR will likely welcome active Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)-related cooperation on operational activities and exercises, especially to the extent that operations focus on the Black Sea region, which is a central focus of Romanian foreign policy concerns. The MFA provided us a readout on a recent BLACKSEAFOR meeting in Istanbul in which Russia and Turkey strongly supported expansion of BLACKSEAFOR's operational capacities. The GOR would welcome USG input on how best to respond to Russian and Turkish plans to expand the mandate and operational capacity of BLACKSEAFOR, given Romania's strong preference for U.S. and NATO leadership on Black Sea security issues. End Summary.

2. (C) PolMilOff discussed possible Romanian operational support for the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) during a February 22 meeting with MFA NATO Division Director Mirela Maghiar. (Ref A) During that meeting, we underscored that the USG would welcome Romania's participation in the development of Black Sea regional exercises to support the PSI and observed that conclusion of a bilateral ship boarding agreement would be an important additional step the GOR could take to prepare effectively for maritime interdiction cooperation. We also shared Ref A nonpaper with Maghiar, who promised to provide copies to senior MFA and MOD officials. (Post will also engage MOD to encourage active PSI-related operational cooperation - as well as MFA-MOD coordination on PSI issues.)

3. (C) Maghiar responded enthusiastically, observing that "this is a way to express support for PSI" and stressing that our demarche "comes at a good time" in light of increased Romanian interest in cooperation with the USG on Black Sea regional security issues. (Ref B) She promised that our nonpaper would receive "serious consideration" at a senior level and that a definitive response from the GOR should be forthcoming. Maghiar stated that our request for Romanian operational support for PSI would gibe with Romanian efforts to "operationalize" the Border Defense Initiative (BDI) for the Black Sea region, opining that the BDI would be one way to "support the goals of PSI on a regional level."

Expanding BLACKSEAFOR's Mission?
4. (C) In a February 18 meeting, Maghiar provided a readout of a February 2-4 "BLACKSEAFOR consultation" in Istanbul, which included representatives from Romania, Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia. Maghiar stated that Russia and Turkey have expressed strong support for an "operational focus" for BLACKSEAFOR, to include "gradual development of anti-terrorism activities." Maghiar stated that Russia "wants to boost naval capacities under the shield of BLACKSEAFOR...opposes BLACKSEAFOR cooperation with other multilateral programs...and is against participation of non-littoral states in BLACKSEAFOR activities." Maghiar said that while Turkey fully supports an expanded BLACKSEAFOR role it also seeks to "increase cooperation with NATO" - but " order to avoid conflict with Russia."

5. (C) Maghiar stated that Romania continues its efforts to form a "common approach" with NATO allies Bulgaria and Turkey on Black Sea issues, to include creation of a Black Sea Task Force. (Ref C) Romania (and Bulgaria) continue to oppose expanding BLACKSEAFOR as envisioned by Russia and Turkey. At the same time, Maghiar observed, the GOR "runs the risk of being isolated at a regional level by the Turkish and Russian condominium" in the Black Sea. Consequently, she continued, Romania (and Bulgaria) have expressed an interest in joining Operation Black Sea Harmony, which Turkey "wants to expand and eventually merge with BLACKSEAFOR." Maghiar summed up GOR concerns by observing that "we are searching for ways to stay inside the regional process (BLACKSEAFOR and Operation Black Sea Harmony) while keeping the door open for NATO" through a Black Sea Task Force comprised of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Maghiar concluded that the GOR would welcome USG "guidance and feedback" on how best to participate in BLACKSEAFOR.

6. (C) Comment. The GOR is likely to enthusiastically support PSI operational efforts in the Black Sea region. The GOR has publicly and unequivocally expressed support for the PSI and GOR interlocutors have consistently expressed a willingness to participate more fully in PSI activities. Romanian support will be even more forthcoming to the extent that PSI operational activities dovetail with the Border Defense Initiative, Romania's proposed Black Sea Border Security Initiative, and other efforts aimed at the Black Sea region. In Embassy's view, the GOR would welcome detailed, working level discussions on how it could support the PSI, to include conclusion of a bilateral ship boarding agreement. The GOR has consistently asked for USG input on how best to respond to Russian and Turkish overtures regarding expansion of BLACKSEAFOR. End Comment.

7. (U) Amembassy Bucharest's reporting telegrams are available on the Bucharest SIPRNet website: DELARE

Category: Breaking News
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