213510 6/23/2009 11:17 09BUCHAREST432 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 09STATE57920 VZCZCXRO6649 OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR DE RUEHBM #0432/01 1741117 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 231117Z JUN 09 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9656 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RHFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEHVN/USMISSION USOSCE IMMEDIATE 0346 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000432
STATE FOR EUR/CE A.SCHEIBE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2019 TAGS: OSCE, PREL, EU, NATO, PGOV, RO SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER DIACONESCU ON CORFU MINISTERIAL
REF: STATE 57920
Classified By: Charge d'affaires, a.i., Jeri Guthrie-Corn; Reasons 1.4( b) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: In a June 17 discussion with the Charge, Romanian FM Cristian Diaconescu shared concerns that the Corfu Informal Ministerial runs the risks of moving too fast and of not providing equitable hearings for all states. While Romania agrees with the U.S. demarche (reftel) on Corfu, this may not be enough for some OSCE member states. He noted that Russia is actively engaged in stopping a broader dialogue among EU member states, and that Moscow has shown no interest in a real discussion about security issues in the Black Sea region. Diaconescu was apparently under instructions from President Basescu. End Summary. 2. (C) Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu met with Charge and POLMILOFF on June 17 to discuss the upcoming Corfu Informal Ministerial. Diaconescu was accompanied by MFA Senior Advisor Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, OSCE and Non-proliferation Affairs Director Nineta Barbulescu, and Acting Director for USA and Canada Cristian Urse. Diaconescu expressed concerns about Russia's willingness to discuss cooperation at Corfu in light of events in Moldova and Georgia. He characterized recent Romanian discussions in Moscow as "unproductive." He also acknowledged that there was an absence of a coherent approach to the Corfu Ministerial within the EU. Diaconescu criticized the Greek OSCE Chairman-in-Office for moving forward with the Corfu Conference as a "fait accompli" that did not accommodate EU or NATO preliminary discussions. Diaconescu expressed concern that some members in the EU are too eager to move forward on finding ways to address Russian demands. 3. (C) As an example of what he perceived as over-eagerness, Diaconescu described the trilateral discussions held on June 8 between Romania, Italy and Serbia, in which Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic proposed, and Italian Foreign Minister Frattini accepted without hesitation, inviting Russia (along with the U.S.) to a proposed EU/Western Balkans Summit in 2010. (Note: Post e-mailed the Joint Statement by the three foreign ministers to EUR/CE). Diaconescu also noted that Jeremic and Frattini were advocating including Russia in U.S.-EU energy discussions in general. Diaconescu expressed concern that there were others within the EU who seem to want to move forward with Russia quickly without consideration for coordination among the member states. This would be a strange message to send in view of the upcoming August anniversary of Russia's attack on Georgia, he noted. Diaconescu also described Jeremic as a bit unpredictable and parenthetically pointed out that Serbian President Tadic was more balanced. 4. (C) For the Corfu Conference, Diaconescu said Romania supports the current security architecture in Europe, including the institutions (NATO, OSCE, COE, EU, etc.). He said it is incomprehensible that better institutions could be negotiated in the post-Cold War period, and that attempts to take a zero-sum approach to security are counterproductive. He supported the current institutions as providing for all to share their respective points of view on European security, and said that Allies need to set the tone early in support of these fundamental principles or else Corfu will reach a "dead end." Diaconescu noted that within the EU, progress on discussions of regional issues was being blocked by Russian bilateral talks with some countries. He said it was difficult for Romania to determine on what grounds a discussion with Russia would help meet Romania's security interests in the Black Sea area, specifically mentioning Moldova (Transnistria), Ukraine (Crimea) and Georgia. Diaconescu described the current approach as reactive, and argued for a more positive, forward-leaning approach to the security discussion. He argued that European institutions are still developing, and that "we" need to enhance them and strengthen the dialogue, not dilute them as Russia apparently wants to do. He pointed to the NATO-Russia Council as a "breakthrough" for engaging Russia, but it should not move towards a rotating chairmanship that would take it down the wrong track. He said if CFE or Euro-Atlantic structures are not fulfilling the need, we should look for ways to improve them, not attack them. Russia, he pointed out, has given Allies a "fait accompli" by its actions; those that want to fix the security discussion with Russia need to take into account the interest of the European border states, otherwise they become hostage to the larger process. 5. (C) Diaconescu said equal footing among the participating states is an important core to democratic processes. We can offer the Russians a dialogue, but we must avoid hasty or precipitous decisions. He noted that Romania recognized
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there were important bilateral issues that the U.S. and Russia must discuss, such as START. However, like others in the region, Romania was concerned with the aggressive rhetoric coming out of Moscow; it is not apparent that Russia is ready for a dialogue among equals in the "eastern neighborhood." The Charge noted that there were areas of cooperation with Russia, such as the upcoming removal of the last quantity of Romanian highly enriched uranium, that are supported by U.S., Romanian, and Russian efforts. This is an example of a concrete result of cooperation that is not a zero-sum game. Diaconescu acknowledged that there were specific issues that yielded progress, and said these could create some opportunities in the region, but Russia would need also to clarify its objections to having a more open discussion. 6. (C) The themes put forward by Diaconescu were consistent with what we have discussed previously with MFA Director General for Strategic Policy Calin Stoica, and in our June 15 discussion with Director for OSCE Barbulescu over the reftel points. However, Stoica noted to POLMILOFF on June 19 that while Romania was in full agreement with the U.S. approach to Corfu, he was alarmed at the direction taken by the Greek Chairman's June 17 paper, "The Present and Future of European Security." Stoica said it appears to be the "camel's nose under the tent" in that it refers to the "Corfu Process;" this is hardly the "informal exchange of views" originally envisioned for the Informal Ministerial Conference. "We have yet to sort out the terms of what will be discussed; much less can we agree to a process that suggests an end state, presumably in Athens," Stoica declared. 7. (C) In our discussions with Barbulescu, she pointed out that the various components of the European security architecture itself include the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter, CFE, Open Skies and the Vienna Document, all of which are fashioned from the same fundamental principles and thus cannot be deconstructed without damaging the core concept of comprehensive security. Furthermore, she observed, the security of states can only be a reflection of the security for people, meaning that human rights, economic and environmental dimensions must be at the foundation of the discussion. While the OSCE is the right venue for this, it is not clear that Russia is committed in the same way as other member states, she said. She further argued that the Medvedev proposal had a "nihilistic character." It is not productive to attempt to maintain an "ad hoc discussion of new legal commitments to European security without risking the predictability among the political and legal rules that is central to a good security environment." She said Romania wants to be able to foresee security developments, especially if it leads to improving security for all states. But no one state should be able to dictate what that means, she emphasized. Furthermore, she said that there would be no way Romania could ratify any new security treaty prior to the fulfillment of the Istanbul Commitments. Finally, Barbulescu questioned how the process of fairness will be maintained at Corfu, when all states will want to put forward their national views. In order for anything to be "workable" the interests of all involved must be taken into account. 8. (C) Comment: Diaconescu was likely under instructions from President Basescu to raise the Corfu Informal Ministerial Conference with the Charge directly in order to underscore the level of attention this has in Romania. Stoica confirmed this with POLMILOFF. In fact, this is one of the few areas where all Romanian political parties are in complete agreement over the upcoming exchange of views, remarkable in Romania for a presidential election year. Romania clearly wants a discussion, but no rash and sudden moves--least of all "decisions or declarations" that are not fully discussed and agreed to among NATO allies. End Comment. GUTHRIE-CORN