110790 6/4/2007 16:06 07BUCHAREST656 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 07BUCHAREST628|07STATE75293|07USOSCE232 VZCZCXYZ0002 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0656 1551606 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 041606Z JUN 07 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6783 INFO RUCNCFE/CONVENTIONAL ARMED FORCES IN EUROPE IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000656
STATE FOR EUR/RPM LAURENDEAU
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2017 TAGS: KCFE, PREL, PARM, OSCE, RU, RO SUBJECT: CFE: ROMANIA'S VIEWS ON JUNE 12 EXTRAORDINARY CONFERENCE
REF: A. STATE 75293 B. USOSCE 232 C. BUCHAREST 628
Classified By: POL Counsellor Ted Tanoue for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Polmiloff discussed contents of ref a on June 1 with HLTF Rep and Director for Non-Proliferation, Arms Control, and Combating Terrorism, Mihaela Vasiu and with CFE action officer Dana Marca, and followed up on June 4 after they had an opportunity to consult with GOR inter-agency contacts. The view in the MFA is that the Russians intend to withdraw completely from CFE, or else Moscow would not have gone to the trouble of requesting an extraordinary conference to exchange well-known arguments and positions. Since the MFA knows that the Russian case is unfounded, it concluded that Russia wants to achieve some other objectives, like breaking the consensus on NATO,s common position on the Istanbul Commitments.
2. (C) Our MFA interlocutors stressed that the CFE Treaty is the cornerstone for European security, especially for the former Warsaw Pact states. Russian complaints over the NATO Baltic state,s absence from the Treaty are not compelling, nor are they incidental to Russia,s reaction to the interface between NATO and CFE. On the other hand, because the Baltic countries are contiguous to Russia, Moscow actually has more options in dealing with them than in the greater Black Sea-Caucasus region. While the absence of the Baltic States from the CFE Treaty is more of an addendum, Russia appears to be reacting more assertively to the evolving U.S. presence in the former Warsaw Pact members within NATO, whether that includes Missile Defense (in Poland and Czech Republic) or JTF-East (in Romania and Bulgaria). The details are less important than the political context of how the relationship between the US and Russia has changed (Kosovo, Black Sea bases, ABM Treaty, frozen conflicts, etc.).
3. (C) Our interlocutors also noted that continued adherence to the CFE Treaty impacts Russia,s military presence (and thus its leverage and interests) in Moldova and Georgia for example, and complicates Russia,s ability to pressure those states (possibly with an eye towards Ukraine) for greater political concessions, including on their aspirations for NATO membership. Moscow views the current Treaty as having apparently handcuffed Russian options in the southern flank to such an extent that Russia has calculated that no CFE treaty is preferable to fulfillment of the Istanbul commitments. Otherwise, the call for an extraordinary conference makes no sense, because Russia cannot expect now to get out of NATO any more concessions on implementing the adapted CFE Treaty than it could have earlier.
4. (C) Comment: Our MFA interlocutors concluded that the move to hold a CFE extraordinary conference can be viewed either as an attempt to break the NATO common position on Istanbul and/or clear a path for Russia to use intimidation and scare tactics to stop eastern expansion by NATO. In either case, Romania is concerned that the results of the extraordinary conference will benefit Russia,s interests over NATO's. They have argued that changing the calculus for the Extraordinary Conference is essential if Allies do not want to appear either weak or non-committed to the Common Position and the Istanbul Commitments, and that there can be no suggestion that NATO might bargain away Moldova or Georgia in exchange for continued Russian adherence to the CFE Treaty. Finally, while they acknowledge that Allies might discuss the possibility of holding a separate discussion with Russia to address the range of their security issues with NATO, this should not occur in the CFE framework. Their bottom line position is that CFE itself must remain sacrosanct. End Comment. TAUBMAN