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Cablegate: Romania Seeks Financial Support for Pfp Project In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

131112Z Jun 05

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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