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Cablegate: Romania Seeks Nato Clearinghouse for Moldova

VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBM #1589/01 2891352
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161352Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5362
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY 1188
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BUCHAREST 001589

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR MO NATO PREL RO
SUBJECT: ROMANIA SEEKS NATO CLEARINGHOUSE FOR MOLDOVA
INDIVIDUAL PARTNERSHIP ACTION PLAN


1. During an October 4 courtesy call by D/PolChief,
Romania's MFA Deputy Director for NATO Geta Medeleanu
requested US support for setting up a NATO clearinghouse
mechanism to help Moldova through implementation of its
Individual Partnership Action Plan. Medeleanu said that the
non-paper (para 3 below), was distributed to NATO capitals,
but the MFA was hoping for maximum coverage. Bucharest
continues to support strengthening Euro-Atlantic linkages
with Chisinau, and believes that a NATO clearinghouse
mechanism would be a vital part to more frequent and
effective engagement. The recent referendum in Transnistria
has unsettled the region somewhat, thus looking for ways to
reaffirm concretely ongoing Trans-Atlantic interests is
fundamental to everyone's interest.

2. Comment: While Bucharest seeks to establish its bona
fides as the NATO regional branch office on the Black Sea, it
also hopes to use NATO cover to play big brother to Moldova.
Though Romania would not mind becoming the de facto
Easternmost gatekeeper for the alliance, it is doubtful that
Bucharest will successfully convince other Allies that it
should hold the key for Moldova's aspirations. End Comment.

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3. Begin non-paper:

Setting up a Clearinghouse mechanism for Republic Moldova to
support the implementation of the Individual Partnership
Action Plan (IPAP) NATO-R. Moldova

1. The Rationale

On May 19,2006, the NAC approved the Individual Partnership
Action Plan NATO-R. Moldova, which marks the beginning of a
new stage of cooperation and a major step forward in the
relationship between R. Moldova and the Alliance. Along with
the EU-R. Moldova Plan, the IPAP can catalyze the domestic
reforms, including the defense and security sectors-related
reforms, thus contributing to putting the country on a firm
course towards the Euro-Atlantic community.

Taking into consideration the difficulties encountered by
other PfP countries in meeting the objectives included in
IPAP and the lack of experience of the Moldovan experts in
dealing with this instrument, it is fairly predictable that
R. Moldova will need as much assistance and guidance as
possible to overcome the challenges in the process of
carrying out the activities included in the IPAP matrix.

Against this background, taking into consideration the
significant support pledged by the allies during the IPAP
presentation at NATO Headquarters, Romania believes that a
&clearing house mechanism8 dedicated to R. Moldova would be
an instrumental mechanism in support of the implementation of
the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP).

2. The Concept

The clearinghouse for R. Moldova would be an informal
framework of cooperation opened to voluntary contribution and
participation from interested allies and PfP countries which
can offer concrete support and assistance to R. Moldova.

The mechanism would include two conferences per year, with
participation of experts from ministries of defense and other
institutions involved in other areas of security sector
reform, of interest for the Moldovan side. Including, for
example, experts from ministries of interior could prove
beneficial for harmonizing R. Moldova,s defense and security
sector reform.

Beyond provision of assistance, the clearinghouse mechanism
could facilitate exchange of experience between R. Moldova
and the participant countries in the above-mentioned areas of
reform

The clearinghouse mechanism would be chaired by two or more
participant states, which will coordinate closely with R.
Moldova on an ongoing basis in organizing the
mechanism)related events.

Experts from the International Secretariat have voiced
initial support for the set up of a clearinghouse mechanism
for R. Moldova, separate from the current ones existing for
South East Europe or South Caucasus. A separate mechanism
would help donors focus on R. Moldova,s special assistance
needs and objectives in relation with NATO, which are
different from the needs and aims of the countries in South
Caucasus (i.e. Georgia) or South East Europe.

In discussions with Romanian representatives, officials in
Chisinau endorsed the setting up of a separate clearing house
mechanism for R. Moldova, to be coordinated by Romanian, as
Contact Point Embassy, together with one or two other allies
interested to offer and generate financial assistance for the
process of IPAP,s implementation.

3. Benefits

This would be a win-win solution, with significant results in
terms of progress in IPAP,s implementation and optimal
harmonization between assistance offers and concrete needs of
R.Moldova.

The clearinghouse mechanism will benefit both allies and R.
Moldova as it will:

- contribute in a decisive manner to the IPAP
implementation by supporting the defense and security sector
reforms in R. Moldova;
- help R. Moldova to identify and prioritize its most
urgent assistance needs;
- avoid duplication of offers;
- contribute to the harmonization of assistance
contributions offered on a bilateral basis by the potential
allied and Western PfP donors with R. Moldova,s needs;
- rationalize the financial efforts and contributions of
the donors and ensure the coherence, transparency, and the
consistence of the assistance process;
- signal support from NATO community for Moldova,s
interest to intensify political dialogue with practical
cooperation with the Alliance and acknowledgement of the4 new
level of cooperation with NATO
- encourage authorities in Chisinau to carry out
difficult internal reforms and boost public opinion support
and visibility for NATO in R. Moldova.

4. Way Ahead

As the clearinghouse is a process based on voluntary
contributions, the set up of the mechanism depends upon the
level of interest of the potential donor countries.

Consequently, Romania has launched a process of broad
consultation with the International Staff, Allied Countries
) including allies which currently coordinate clearing house
mechanisms ) and selected PfP countries ) Switzerland,
Finland, Austria, Sweden ) to determine the level of
interest in taking part in a clearing house mechanism for R.
Moldova.

Between October 15-17, a NATO experts team will visit
Chisinau to assess the progress achieved by R. Moldova in
implementing IPAP. Provided that a critical mass of
interested contributors can be gathered by that time, a first
exploratory meeting with representatives from allied
embassies interested to get involved in the clearing house
mechanism could be organized during the visit of the NATO
experts team in Chisinau. Through its NATO CPE, Romania will
inform the allied and PfP countries, which are not currently
represented in Chisinau, but are interested to take part in
the Clearing house Mechanism, about the results of the
discussion.

Romania stands ready to provide further details, if
necessary, and would very much appreciate a timely feedback.
End non-paper.
Taubman

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