129327 11/8/2007 16:04 07BUCHAREST1266 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 07SECSTATE153634 VZCZCXYZ0026 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #1266/01 3121604 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 081604Z NOV 07 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7590 INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1213 C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 001266
STATE FOR INR/I
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2017 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, NATO, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIAN PREPARATIONS FOR NATO SUMMIT (C-RE7-02147)
REF: SECSTATE 153634
Classified By: DCM Mark Taplin for 1.4 (b) and (d)
Responses to query from Washington analysts are keyed to reftel questions:
Logistical and Security Preparations:
1. (C) The GOR has appointed Ambassador Victor Micula, the Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Ministry, as overall NATO Summit coordinator. He has assembled an interagency task force with a core group currently of around 25 individuals representing a range of agencies. These include specialists in IT/communications, media, security, protocol, procurement, legal issues, registry/credentials, transportation and other areas. According to Micula, this core team will increase to some 35 individuals at year's end, surging to a planned 250 individuals two weeks prior to the Summit date. In addition to the interagency task force, an operations center has been established at the summit site--the Parliament Palace--by the Service for Protection and Guarding (SPP). The center is a senior interagency cell with decisionmaking authority representing the MOD, MFA, Interior, Police/Gendarmes, and Security Services. The command center provides real-time video surveillance coverage of major Bucharest streets from the airports to the Parliament Palace, and can coordinate information from telecommunications, GPS tracking, and other sources as well. A second command and control cell has been established nearby to monitor and track all utilities (electricity, gas, water) and other critical infrastructure.
2. (C) The Summit Conference site is reputedly the second largest building in the world, measuring some 350,000 square meters; it is 12 stories tall, with 8 underground levels, with some 1100 rooms. It was designed by then-President Ceaucescu to house his entire government, and therefore the security and command/control arrangements are both robust and well-integrated into the design of the building and surrounding streets.
Primary Areas of Concern:
3. (C) Transportation and hotel accommodations are high on the list of concerns for both the host and NATO member states. The GOR is cognizant of the need to build extra capacity rather than to draw on the existing rental vehicle resources. Their stated aim is to assemble a fleet of some 3000 vehicles to support the summit. To this end, they have instituted a policy of not retiring current vehicles from GOR fleets while continuing with replacement cycles, so that old vehicles will be retired only after the summit. In addition, the GOR has negotiated with BMW, Mercedes Benz, Ford, and Audi/VW to bring additional vehicles to Romania on loan, including armored vehicles from BMW and Mercedes. A cadre of cleared drivers with a knowledge of English and French are also a requirement, and the GOR plans to draw on the military, interior ministry, and security services to provide drivers. Micula told Embassy personnel that he plans to build in a reserve of around ten percent to deal with contingencies including illnesses, accidents, and no-shows. Drivers will also be trained/screened for their abilities to handle high-speed motorcades and other VIP support requirements.
4. (C) Business-class hotel accommodations will be in short supply, especially in the secure areas within the summit security perimeter. The MFA has contracted for a "cartel" arrangement with one travel agency, Vacanta, being designated the single point of contact for negotiating rooms. This has provoked severe criticism from NATO member states, the NATO international staff, and from other institutions involved in the summit, as hotels have increased their prices on average 60 percent, with single rooms being offered for as much as 1000 euros per night. Post is working closely with A/PTS and USNATO to ensure the best available options for the USG.
5. (C) Another area of concern is the budgeting process. The 2008 budget has not been submitted/approved by parliament, and will likely not be addressed until after the November 25 European Parliament election, hampering summit procurement efforts. The Democratic Party (PD) has indicated that it will almost certainly oppose the government budget package when comes to parliament. Ambassador Micula indicated that one of his concerns with the budget is that the Interior Ministry has submitted requirements for anti-riot gear (including water cannons) that were unrelated to the NATO summit. In addition, Micula claimed that delays from the NATO International Staff in providing plans for the summit (and continuing debate over just what events will comprise the summit program) have also complicated getting a detailed budget to the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister in a timely manner. Micula added, however, that the GOR is now operating under the assumption that some events still not agreed to by the Alliance (an EAPC event, for example) will take place, in order to provide for this contingency.
6. (C) Finally, the fact that Ambassador Micula is double-hatted as both summit coordinator and as Romania's primary negotiator for CFE and other arms control matters is an area of concern. Micula has told poloffs that his original intention was to enlist an experienced high-level political figure (a former State Secretary, for example) was not possible given the rivalries between the President, Prime Minister, and Defense and Foreign Ministers, hence his decision to assemble a "technocratic" staff that can better operate under the political radar. His staff, however, is relatively junior and generally lacks experience. We have urged senior officials in the Presidency and the PM's office to appoint a strong deputy to Micula -- perhaps a ranking officer from the Ministry of Defense -- who could focus full-time on the all-important organization and logistics of the summit.
Requests to NATO for Summit Support:
7. (C) We understand that the Romanian NATO Permrep, Ambassador Ducaru, has raised within the NAC a request for air policing, combat air patrols, and aerial surveillance (AWACS) aircraft. The Romanian military has informally requested USG supply fighter aircraft for the duration of the summit, but we have responded that this needs to be handled through NATO channels, not on a bilateral basis. USAFE Ramstein is aware of Romania's NATO requirements, and a project officer has been assigned. We do not expect the Romanians to request helicopter support from NATO as they have their own indigenous helicopter assets, the IAR 330 (Puma class), which have been deployed in the Western Balkans. Similarly, Romanian counter-terrorist assets, including US-trained special forces, are first-rate.
Romania's Policy for Handling Rogue Aircraft:
8. (C) Romania will utilize its existing MAOC to provide command and control of its airspace. The air operations center is a well-established facility that has been tested in terms of interoperability with AWACS and other NATO assets. However, Romanian authorities have yet to work out airspace control issues on a regional basis, especially with neighboring states including Hungary and Bulgaria, and Embassy DAO has been active in encouraging the Romanians to do so. This is significant as it takes less than a half hour to cross Romanian airspace.
Other Security Measures:
9. (C) As noted, the SPP (not the Ministry of Interior, as suggested in reftel query) will be coordinating the summit security arrangements, with the SPP Director (with the rank of Deputy Minister) reporting directly to the President. Romanian security assets are robust, well-funded, and capable.
Resources from the Armed Forces
10. (C) At present, the NATO Summit Task force has specifically identified the military role in providing air cover and other security detail to the summit as needed. In addition, the military will be tapped to provide drivers and other manpower in support of the summit. We understand, too, that the Media Operations section of the summit task force will include detailees from the MOD.
Foreign CI Efforts
11. (C) This will be reported through separate channels. GOR contacts have noted heightened activities by Russian, Chinese, and Iranian intelligence services. TAUBMAN