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Cablegate: Bsec: Romanian Chairmanship's Vision Of

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




E.O. 12958: N/A


D. STATE 43828

1. (SBU) Summary: Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)
Executive Manager Stefana Greavu and Project Coordinator
Konstantinos Zaimis reviewed possible areas of cooperation
with the U.S. in separate meetings with us on December 8.
Greavu outlined Romania's priorities for its
Chairmanship-in-office, together with a number of particular
topics it views as appropriate for cooperation with the U.S.,
including security, regional energy, trade and transport,
emergency assistance and good governance issues. Noting that
Romania's six-month term will expire in April, she stressed
that Romania has effectively utilized the "troika approach"
to ensure project continuity under the subsequent Russian
chairmanship. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Greavu, a Romanian national, had just returned from
consultations in Bucharest to review Romania's plans for its
six-month BSEC Chairmanship. She noted that her
consultations had been curtailed because the Ministry was
focused on Secretary Rice's visit to Romania, which occurred
at the same time, but that Ministry officials had shared with
her the text of an aide memoire prepared by the Romanian MFA,
which outlined Romania's priorities, together with areas
where it believes BSEC and the U.S. can cooperate fruitfully.
She in turn shared that document with us. The priorities
identified by Romania include: developing a partnership
relation between BSEC and the EU, launching a reflection
process on BSEC's future, consolidating the security and
stability dimension within BSEC, consolidating democratic
processes and economic reforms in Eastern European and
Caucasian countries, pursuing various development projects
and developing trade exchanges among Black Sea states, and
enhancing BSEC collaboration with other regional

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3. (SBU) In the paper, Romania identified six possible fields
of "cooperation of mutual interest" with the U.S. In
response to our question about how these areas might be
impacted by the transfer of BSEC's chair to Russia in April,
she stressed that the country has for the first time
effectively implemented the organization,s "Troika"
principle (grouping present, past, and future chairs),
offering hope that there will be continuity between the
Romanian chairmanship and the April-October Russian
chairmanship. She noted that areas suggested by Romania for
cooperation with the U.S. include:

-- Security issues, namely "soft security measures" for
combatting crime, including particularly acts of terrorism,
narcotics trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering and
other economic fraud, smuggling, illegal migration and human
trafficking, counterfeiting, corruption, ecological crime,
high-tech crime and maritime crime. The paper suggests
enhancing cooperation with the Bucharest SECI Center for
Combating Trans-border Crime (which Greavu noted had sparked
some concern in U.S. circles in the past), with a medium term
goal of building a "fusion center" to counter illicit
activities in the Black Sea Region.

-- Regional Energy market, energy transportation, and energy
security (through relevant working groups and the BSEC
Business Council). Concrete measures include a possible
international conference on the energy issue, with the
participation of local Amchams, with the goal of establishing
a "regulatory forum" for the energy market in the Black Sea
area, as well as U.S. support for a "Bucharest Regional
Energy Stock Exchange."

-- Trade and Transportation facilitation (through relevant
working groups as well as the Black Sea Trade and Development
Bank). Suggested measures include financing of projects on
alternative transport routes, USAID organization of seminars
on relevant topics, and support for a follow-on "Trade and
Transport Facilitation in Southeast Europe (TTFSE) conference.

-- Environmental Protection (through the environmental
working group). Possible common seminar with Turkish
participation on ways to prevent oil pollution from
transiting tankers, and organization of a meeting of U.S. and
BSEC experts on environmental issues. (The paper notes that
UNDP is financing USD 6 million in environmental projects for
representatives of the Black Sea Convention.)

-- Good governance and education (including student exchange,
training, human resources), through a working group that will
soon be formed and through the International Center for Black
Sea Studies (ICBSS). Suggestions include a scholarship fund
financed by the U.S. for students interested in studying in
the oil and gas fields, and involvement of CSIS- Euro
Atlantic Action Commission in the organization of seminars
and conferences.

-- Emergency Assistance (through working group). Romania
suggests exploring organizing training or mini-conferences on
better cooperation and inter-operability of civil assistance
services, and providing assistance through exploratory
missions and logistic support to combat avian flu.

4. (SBU) In a separate session, Konstantinos Zaimis, BSEC's
project coordinator, outlined for us the organization's newly
started project fund, which provides "seed money" to useful
projects that have the support of at least three BSEC
members. The fund provides small grants of USD 15,000 to
these projects, but the organization is interested in working
with other donors to multiply the benefits of the projects.
He noted that the first three projects that the fund has
supported will soon be completed; other new ideas are
currently in the pipeline.

5. (SBU) Comment: Many of Romania's suggestions would require
the commitment of significant U.S. resources, something the
U.S. made clear was not on the horizon in the specific
context of its BSEC observership request. To the extent,
however, that BSEC's priorities tie in with the priorities of
already existing U.S. programs and activities, Romania's
suggestions may be worth exploring. Post understands, for
instance, that USAID representatives will take part in next
week's BSEC conference on electricity transmission networks.
End Comment.

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