195306 3/5/2009 5:46 09BUCHAREST147 Embassy Bucharest CONFIDENTIAL 09STATE19708 VZCZCXRO0136 RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHBM #0147/01 0640546 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 050546Z MAR 09 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9284 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000147
STATE FOR EUR/CE AARON SCHEIBE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2019 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ENRG, RO SUBJECT: MFA DIRECTOR GENERAL FOR STRATEGIC POLICY ON BLACK SEA ISSUES
REF: STATE 19708
Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES a.i. Jeri Guthrie-Corn; Reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: POLMILOFF met with MFA Director General for Strategic Policy Calin Stoica on February 27 to discuss Black Sea strategy issues, including Romania's interest in the proposed Black Sea Defense Ministerial (BSDM). Stoica noted that Black Sea littoral states have not yet reached a common understanding on BSDM. He reported that Georgia raised BSDM with him, and that Georgia would be represented at BSDM at the local ambassadorial level only. Romanians have not decided yet what they will do, but they do not like the attempt to put a &political chapeau8 over the BSDM, and in fact offered alternative Terms of Reference that would downgrade discussions to &expert level8 only. Romanians on principle are against the institutionalization of BlackSeaFor, and would not support OBSH language that excludes reference to other institutions (NATO, EU, OSCE). He said Romania could agree to BlackSeaFor activities that implement what is in the founding agreement (e.g. SAR, Port Calls, Humanitarian Ops, Training/Capacity building), but not beyond that. He was suspicious that Russia was hoping to plant surreptitiously a seed for a new European Security Architecture first in the Black Sea, which would also be consistent with Russia's zero-sum-view of the world. Stoica expressed some concern that Russia's Black Sea interests appeared to be getting a good hearing in Ankara. Finally Stoica provided a quick update on Black Sea energy issues: Nabucco and White Stream. End Summary.
Black Sea Defense Ministerial
2. (C) In a discussion of Black Sea Defense Ministerial issues with MFA Director General for Strategic Affairs Calin Stoica, he described how his Russian counterpart Anatoly Antonov, with whom he had recently met, was trying to identify and amplify perceived nuanced differences in national positions between Romania and other Black Sea littoral states. Stoica said Antonov, for instance, would say things like, &Georgia has no problems with the BSDM, and neither should Romania.8 Fortunately, Stoica noted, Georgia had already raised its BSDM concerns with Romania and said it was planning to send its Ambassador to Turkey to attend the planned BSDM in Ankara. Stoica said he had proposed new &Terms of Reference8 for the BSDM to keep the event at the &expert level,8 but Romania has yet to get a reaction. In Stoica's view, the BSDM was simply another attempt by Moscow and Ankara to exclude others from discussing Black Sea security issues that should be conducted within a broader European framework. Moscow on the other hand was looking to promote its interests, including pressure for a summit to discuss Medvedev's European Security Architecture proposal, in order to present Moscow's efforts as Â¬ solely Russian initiatives.8 Stoica noted the difference is between a Russia trying not to appear isolated and one attempting to divide allies.
Black Sea Energy Issues
3. (C) Stoica shared his views on the most recent Inter-Governmental Committee negotiations on Nabucco, which he had recently attended. He said that Turkey seemed fairly positive during the discussions, but it remained to be seen what would come from them. Turkey was attempting to link the IGC agreement to the Project Support Agreements (PSA) ) either as an annex or footnote. Stoica pointed out that the linkage would be unacceptable to Romania because the two agreements served different purposes and have different legal standings, particularly since the Support Agreements were more akin to a private contract. Nonetheless, Stoica said Turkey at a minimum would like to have the two agreements signed simultaneously. Considering that the PSAs were in early draft, he thought the Turkish idea too ambitious at this stage.
4. (C) Stoica also said he introduced new language into the IGC draft to remove specific reference to Iran as a designated point of entryQr Nabucco. Stoica's formulation referred only to the &entry point on the eastern border of Turkey," with the understanding that the arrangement with Georgia was much further along than any potential arrangement with Iran. He pointed out that there were still many issues to resolve with Iran before there could be sufficient confidence to seek out a Nabucco project entry point with that nation. Stoica would have the agreement incorporate more open language that provided for State Parties to agree on additional entry points at the eastern border after the
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initial stage. He said Romania would aim for early May to initial the Inter-Government Agreement on Nabucco, but that it would take significantly longer to reach agreement on the PSA due to the different complexities between government and private contracts. He told the IGC that Romania would need at least 45 days to approve the PSA, and another 45 days to ratify the document.
5. (C) Finally, Stoica raised (informally) growing Georgian interest in White Stream. He said Georgians seemed ready to move forward on beginning an initial feasibility study. Stoica expressed his personal concern that signaling a readiness to explore White SQam could send the wrong signals to the Nabucco process and create considerable delays trying to sort out everyone's priorities. He said he would prefer that Romania not sign an MOU on White Stream until after Nabucco was initialed to move forward. He thought one formula might be for Romania to make a public statement on White Stream after the Inter-Governmental process on Nabucco was concluded. On the other hand, he saw no real danger in Romania and Georgia working out a bilateral MOU that would capture White Stream without getting too specific in advance.
6. (C) COMMENT: Stoica was skeptical about Turkey's way ahead on Black Sea strategies for political and energy security issues. While Russia has been predictable, Stoica recognized that the Turkish MFA was dealing with some internal issues ) likely between TGS and the MFA ) that still need sorting. He noted for example that Turkey's MFA was willing to capture the NATO, OSCE and EU institutional interests in the Black Sea within the framework of Operation Black Sea Harmony, but BlackSeaFor initiatives were deferential to Moscow's more parochial approach. It was clear that he had more to reflect on in this area, and perhaps will seek guidance from up the chain, including from Cotroceni, before Romania can decide not only how to interpret these nuances, but also how to move forward with its own Black Sea Strategy, including the Black Sea Forum for Regional Cooperation. The one point that Stoica made clear was that Romania would continue to press for processes that are not exclusive of the broader European and Euro-Atlantic context. END COMMENT. GUTHRIE-CORN