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Cablegate: Moldova and Romania Resume Talks On Border Issues

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RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBW RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHCH #0556 1491242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281242Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY CHISINAU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6712
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CHISINAU 000556

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/UMB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PBTS PREL PGOV MD RO
SUBJECT: MOLDOVA AND ROMANIA RESUME TALKS ON BORDER ISSUES

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please Protect Accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: Moldova and Romania resumed talks on the Border
and Framework Treaties on May 14-15. These discussions are
influenced by debates over the Local Border Traffic Convention
proposed by Romania, which would establish a visa-free travel regime
for residents of a 30-km zone along the border. The Government of
Moldova proposed a simultaneous signing of the Border Treaty and the
Local Traffic Convention. The Romanian Government sees no connection
between the two documents. End Summary.

Negotiations Resume on Border Treaty
------------------------------------

2. (SBU) A new round of Moldovan-Romanian border-related talks took
place in Bucharest on May 14-15. New developments in the dispute
over the State Border Treaty and the Framework Treaty occurred after
Romanians suggested in March to the Moldovans that they sign the
Local Border Traffic Convention (Accord) to establish a visa-free
travel regime for residents of a 30 km zone along the border.
(Note: The Convention is a framework document recommended by the EU
to its members situated at external EU borders.)

Border Treaty versus Local Traffic Convention
---------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Even before the May 14-15 talks, Moldovan Foreign Minister
Stratan stressed that it was impossible to sign the Convention,
which explicitly refers to state borders, given the absence of a
bilateral treaty which would define the border. Stratan reiterated
Moldova's appeal to Romania to resume work on the two treaties and
expressed readiness to sign the Convention simultaneously with the
Border Treaty. The resumption of talks on May 14-15 was followed by
contradictory assessments of the results of the talks made by the
two sides. The Romanian MFA stated that the issue of the Convention
had not been addressed at the talks, while the Moldovan MFA stated
that it had been.

4. (SBU) Comment: The Government of Moldova is interested in
signing the Border Treaty, and the Local Traffic Border Convention
offers a good opportunity to raise again the whole range of
Moldova-Romania border issues. Romania prefers to address the
issues separately. Resumption of dialogue is a positive
development. However, the sides will have to demonstrate
flexibility to reach common ground, which will be difficult given
the upcoming presidential elections in Romania and parliamentary
elections in Moldova. End comment.

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