200049 4/1/2009 10:29 09BUCHAREST222 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 09STATE28929|09STATE29482 VZCZCXRO6226 OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHBM #0222 0911029 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 011029Z APR 09 ZDK FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9385 INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES IMMEDIATE RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 0286 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0054 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 0069 C O N F I D E N T I A L BUCHAREST 000222
STATE FOR EUR/CE AARON SCHEIBE, SCA/A TOM REOTT, EUR/RPM AARON COPE, AND EUR/ERA DANIEL WEISFIELD
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/01/2019 TAGS: NATO, PREL, MOPS, MARR, AF, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIA: AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN DELIVERABLES
REF: A. STATE 29482 B. STATE 28929
Classified By: Charge d'affaires a.i., Jeri Guthrie-Corn; Reasons 1.4(b ) and (d).
1. (C) POLMILOFF delivered ref b demarche to MFA Security Policy Director Daniel Ionita on 26 March, and followed up in the context of the Strategic Review (ref a) with Ionita and Director General for Strategic Policy Calin Stoica on 27 March.
2. (C) Ionita and Stoica were very appreciative of the U.S. points. Ionita said that they were timely and would help substantially Romania in settling its own position for the Summits. Ionita noted that Romania was leaning towards the French approach on Gendarmes. Expectations are that the EU would be interested in finding the best variable geometry for NATO to work something out within the framework of ESDP. Stoica also expressed appreciation for the same reasons.
3. (C) On the other hand, during an early March conversation on Afghanistan at the Ministry of National Defense (MND) with Director General for Defense Policy Dragos Ghercioiu, he indicated that MND was inclined to have the Gendarmes attached to NATO, since that would relieve Romanian units of increased force protection burdens. The MND would like to have Romanian Gendarmes deployed in areas where Romanian forces are active (e.g., TF Zabul). That said, both MFA and MND expressed frustration because the Ministry of Interior was resisting a policy decision that would deploy its Gendarmes to Afghanistan. Interior Ministry sources have told us that the severe 40 percent cut in its budget meant that Gendarmes and Police officers would have to forego U.S.-assisted training under GPOI for example, and in fact the Ministry of Interior was having difficulties providing uniforms for some of their officers.
4. (C) Comment: Our demarche caught the GOR still sorting out its policy position. Besides the apparent differences between Foreign and Defense Ministries, President Basescu went on record March 31 at the Parliamentary celebration of five years of Romania,s NATO membership, stating that Romanian military forces need to be given the resources they need to successfully accomplish their missions. Whether Basescu,s message resonates through the Interior Ministry which is held by Basescu,s erstwhile partners in the Democratic Socialist Party (PSD) remains to be seen. The PSD is more inclined to focus scarce resources on domestic issues over military spending and increasing the burden of Romania's international commitments. This could become an early political battle in this Romanian presidential election year. The PSD President, Senate President Mircea Geoana, went on record at the same session that 2009 would see the end of Romania,s mission in Iraq, for example; the first time that statement has been made since the 2008 disastrous comments made by then-Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu. In the end, expect the Romanians to join consensus at NATO. End Comment. GUTHRIE-CORN