05BUCHAREST477 / 2005-02-25 15:30:00
Embassy Bucharest
                C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000477 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2015 
TAGS: MARR, MASS, MNUC, PARM, PGOV, PREL, PINS, TU, GG, RS, BU, UP, RO, NATO 
SUBJECT: ROMANIAN ENTHUSIASM FOR PSI OPERATIONAL SUPPORT - 
AND CONTINUED CONCERNS ABOUT BLACKSEAFOR EXPANSION 
 
REF: A. STATE 24827 
     B. BUCHAREST 229 
     C. BUCHAREST 308 (AND PREVIOUS) 
 
Classified By: Political Section Chief Robert S. Gilchrist for Reasons 
1.4 A, B and D 
 
1. (C) Summary.  The GOR will likely welcome active 
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)-related cooperation 
on operational activities and exercises, especially to the 
extent that operations focus on the Black Sea region, which 
is a central focus of Romanian foreign policy concerns.  The 
MFA provided us a readout on a recent BLACKSEAFOR meeting in 
Istanbul in which Russia and Turkey strongly supported 
expansion of BLACKSEAFOR's operational capacities.  The GOR 
would welcome USG input on how best to respond to Russian and 
Turkish plans to expand the mandate and operational capacity 
of BLACKSEAFOR, given Romania's strong preference for U.S. 
and NATO leadership on Black Sea security issues.  End 
Summary. 
 
2. (C) PolMilOff discussed possible Romanian operational 
support for the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) 
during a February 22 meeting with MFA NATO Division Director 
Mirela Maghiar. (Ref A)  During that meeting, we underscored 
that the USG would welcome Romania's participation in the 
development of Black Sea regional exercises to support the 
PSI and observed that conclusion of a bilateral ship boarding 
agreement would be an important additional step the GOR could 
take to prepare effectively for maritime interdiction 
cooperation.  We also shared Ref A nonpaper with Maghiar, who 
promised to provide copies to senior MFA and MOD officials. 
(Post will also engage MOD to encourage active PSI-related 
operational cooperation - as well as MFA-MOD coordination on 
PSI issues.) 
 
3.  (C)  Maghiar responded enthusiastically, observing that 
"this is a way to express support for PSI" and stressing that 
our demarche "comes at a good time" in light of increased 
Romanian interest in cooperation with the USG on Black Sea 
regional security issues.  (Ref B)  She promised that our 
nonpaper would receive "serious consideration" at a senior 
level and that a definitive response from the GOR should be 
forthcoming.  Maghiar stated that our request for Romanian 
operational support for PSI would gibe with Romanian efforts 
to "operationalize" the Border Defense Initiative (BDI) for 
the Black Sea region, opining that the BDI would be one way 
to "support the goals of PSI on a regional level." 
 
Expanding BLACKSEAFOR's Mission? 
-------------------------------- 
4.  (C) In a February 18 meeting, Maghiar provided a readout 
of a February 2-4 "BLACKSEAFOR consultation" in Istanbul, 
which included representatives from Romania, Russia, Turkey, 
Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia.  Maghiar stated that Russia 
and Turkey have expressed strong support for an "operational 
focus" for BLACKSEAFOR, to include "gradual development of 
anti-terrorism activities."  Maghiar stated that Russia 
"wants to boost naval capacities under the shield of 
BLACKSEAFOR...opposes BLACKSEAFOR cooperation with other 
multilateral programs...and is against participation of 
non-littoral states in BLACKSEAFOR activities."  Maghiar said 
that while Turkey fully supports an expanded BLACKSEAFOR role 
it also seeks to "increase cooperation with NATO" - but 
"gradually...in order to avoid conflict with Russia." 
 
5.  (C) Maghiar stated that Romania continues its efforts to 
form a "common approach" with NATO allies Bulgaria and Turkey 
on Black Sea issues, to include creation of a Black Sea Task 
Force. (Ref C)  Romania (and Bulgaria) continue to oppose 
expanding BLACKSEAFOR as envisioned by Russia and Turkey.  At 
the same time, Maghiar observed, the GOR "runs the risk of 
being isolated at a regional level by the Turkish and Russian 
condominium" in the Black Sea. Consequently, she continued, 
Romania (and Bulgaria) have expressed an interest in joining 
Operation Black Sea Harmony, which Turkey "wants to expand 
and eventually merge with BLACKSEAFOR."  Maghiar summed up 
GOR concerns by observing that "we are searching for ways to 
stay inside the regional process (BLACKSEAFOR and Operation 
Black Sea Harmony) while keeping the door open for NATO" 
through a Black Sea Task Force comprised of Romania, Bulgaria 
and Turkey.  Maghiar concluded that the GOR would welcome USG 
"guidance and feedback" on how best to participate in 
BLACKSEAFOR. 
 
6.  (C) Comment.  The GOR is likely to enthusiastically 
support PSI operational efforts in the Black Sea region.  The 
GOR has publicly and unequivocally expressed support for the 
PSI and GOR interlocutors have consistently expressed a 
willingness to participate more fully in PSI activities. 
Romanian support will be even more forthcoming to the extent 
that PSI operational activities dovetail with the Border 
Defense Initiative, Romania's proposed Black Sea Border 
Security Initiative, and other efforts aimed at the Black Sea 
region.  In Embassy's view, the GOR would welcome detailed, 
working level discussions on how it could support the PSI, to 
include conclusion of a bilateral ship boarding agreement. 
The GOR has consistently asked for USG input on how best to 
respond to Russian and Turkish overtures regarding expansion 
of BLACKSEAFOR.  End Comment. 
 
7. (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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