05BUCHAREST1350 / 2005-06-13 11:12:00
Embassy Bucharest
                UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001350 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE - WILLIAM SILKWORTH 
 
E.O. 12958, AS AMENDED: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PARM, MOPS, MD, RO, NATO 
SUBJECT: ROMANIA SEEKS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR PFP PROJECT IN 
MOLDOVA 
 
REF: USNATO 394 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY 
 
1. (SBU)  Summary.  The GOR seeks financial support from the 
USG for participation as a "co-lead country" in a NATO 
Partnership for Peace (PfP) trust fund project in the 
Republic of Moldova to destroy chemicals and pesticides. 
Post includes a nonpaper that outlines the GOR request.  End 
Summary. 
 
2. (SBU)  MFA Strategic Policy Director General Cristian 
Istrate and NATO Division Director Mirela Maghiar told 
PolChief and PolOff June 9 that the GOR is close to making a 
positive decision to assume the role of a "co-lead nation," 
along with Belgium, for the first phase of a Partnership for 
Peace (PfP) trust fund project aimed at destroying obsolete 
pesticides and dangerous chemicals stored on military bases 
in Moldova.  The MFA interlocutors expressed strong support 
for this project, but stated that severe financial 
limitations compel the GOR to seek funding support for the 
project.  They asked if the USG would be willing to provide 
"some financial support" for GOR engagement in the PfP.  We 
promised to raise this matter through appropriate USG 
channels and also urged the MFA to discuss their request 
with USMISSION NATO. 
 
3.  (SBU)  Maghiar provided a nonpaper (set forth in 
paragraph 4) that outlines the GOR position.  When asked for 
clarification about the potential level of GOR support as 
well as the level of support sought by the GOR, Maghiar 
replied, in an email, that the GOR is "considering" a 
"contribution of 150,000 euros and this proposal has been 
submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.  It does not 
depend on other allies' contribution, but will not be enough 
to start the first phase.  All allied contributions so far 
(including ours) do not match the total sum needed for the 
first phase and that is why additional pledges would be 
beneficial. Unfortunately, due to different budgetary 
constraints, including the floods, will not allow us to 
contribute more."  (Note: Catastrophic flooding causing 
extensive losses of housing and major infrastructure damages 
this spring in western Romania has severely stretched the 
GOR's already-limited resources.  End Note.) 
 
4.  (U) The text of the GOR nonpaper follows: 
 
PfP TRUST FUND FOR R. MOLDOVA 
- Romania is very much interested in the preservation of the 
only PfP Trust Fund project in R. Moldova.  The PfP project 
aims at destroying over 2000 tons of obsolete pesticides and 
dangerous chemicals improperly deposited in over 350 
military bases, under military supervision, some of them in 
the proximity of our common border. 
- Guarding and monitoring these storage facilities place an 
additional burden to the R. Moldova's military forces as it 
requires a considerable number of military personnel. At 
least 800 military personnel out of a total of 6,800 are 
engaged in this undertaking.  This commitment has a negative 
impact both on the speed of the military reforms and the 
limited financial resources of R. Moldova's Ministry of 
Defense. 
- Seen in the wider context of Moldova's defense reform, the 
re-packing and centralization of the stockpile and the 
subsequent release of military personnel currently engaged 
in guarding the excess sites, would have an encouraging 
effect with regard to the eventual reduction and 
restructuring of the armed forces in R. Moldova. 
- Moreover, as a result of their improper storage these 
dangerous substances can leak at any time in the ground or 
in the water flows in their proximity, presenting a clear 
thereat to the health of the local communities and their 
economic activities and last but not least, serious 
environmental problems. 
- The authorities in Chisinau are paying a special attention 
to this project.  The issue was high on President Voronin's 
agenda during his recent talks with Mr. Jean Fournet, 
Assistant to the Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, on 
April 4, 2005 in Chisinau. Also, the leadership in Chisinau 
addressed Mr. Guenther Altenburg, Assistant Secretary 
General for Political Affairs in writing several times on 
this issue. 
- The feasibility study made by the NATO Maintenance and 
Supply Agency, with the financial support provided by the 
United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway- 
proposes a step-by-step approach - re-packing, 
centralization and destruction of Moldova's stockpile. The 
proposed project would be executed in four phases. The first 
phase of the project involves repacking and centralization 
of the stockpile in 28 centralized sites and amounts to 
962,850 EUROS.  Up to now, the total pledges of the allies 
amounts to 195,000 euros. 
- According to the NAMSA regulations, unless all the money 
required by the launching of the first phase is gathered, 
the project will be abandoned, and reopened only when all 
financial conditions are met. 
- Romania is in a very advanced process of generating a 
political decision on taking over the role of co-lead nation 
country, along with Belgium, for the first phase of the 
project, and in committing a financial contribution. We are 
also trying to identify financial ways to finance the next 
phases of the project through UN and the OSCE, although, 
from the research we did so far, it seems that the chances 
for positive results are really slim. 
- Through its broad positive implications - not only on the 
military reform but also on the health and the economic 
activities of the local communities - the implementation of 
the project could have a great impact on the NATO's image 
(also by dismissing the "bad guy" image of NATO, which was 
promoted by the old Soviet propaganda) and the level of 
support within the public opinion in the Republic of 
Moldova. 
 
- Abandoning of the project would not be advisable, 
especially now, when the R. Moldova is being imposed 
economic sanctions by Moscow, who wants to punish the 
current leadership in Chisinau for its new orientation 
towards the West. 
 
- In this context of an increased interest of R. Moldova for 
cooperation with NATO (R. Moldova has officially requested 
the IPAP on June 7), we have also to avoid the feelings of 
marginalization by the Alliance which might arise in 
Chisinau, if the only PfP Trust Fund project in Moldova is 
cancelled, while Ukraine and Georgia will continue to 
benefit from consistent contributions by NATO allies for 
their PfP Trust Funds projects. Therefore, any additional 
contributions by allies to the PfP Trust Fund for R. Moldova 
would be critical for launching the first phase of this 
project. 
 
End Text of GOR Nonpaper 
 
5.  (SBU)  Comment.  The GOR's enthusiasm for this project 
reflects, in part, President Traian Basescu's increased 
foreign policy focus on Moldova since he took office late 
last year.  It also reflects the GOR's ongoing efforts to, 
in the words of several MFA interlocutors, serve as a 
"motor" for regional stability and development of democratic 
institutions.  Finally, the GOR's proposed engagement in 
this project reflects Romania's longstanding commitment to 
supporting NATO programs and activities, including the 
Partnership for Peace.  End Comment. 
 
6.  (U) Amembassy Bucharest's reporting telegrams are 
available on the Bucharest SIPRNET Website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest . 
 
DELARE 

            
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