Cablegate: Blue Lantern: Possible Unauthorized Export of U.S.
DE RUEHBM #0890/01 2150648
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030648Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7098
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000890
STATE FOR PM/DDTC -- BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR: ROMERO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KOMC ETTC RO
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN: POSSIBLE UNAUTHORIZED EXPORT OF U.S.
ORIGIN FIREARMS TECHNOLOGY - RESPONSE
REF: A. STATE 56715
B. ROMERO-ELLIS EMAIL 05/16/07 - ADDITIONAL
C. ELLIS-ROMERO EMAIL 05/15/07 - PRELIMINARY RESPONSE
1. (SBU) This message is in response to question of possible
unauthorized export of U.S. origin firearms technology
between Romarm Cugir and two U.S. companies, Century Arms and
Tennessee Guns (refs). At issue was the possible transfer of
U.S. hardware or technical data without authorization for the
production of AK-type (Kalashnikov-styled) sniper rifles in
violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations
2. (SBU) Polmiloff discussed with Conventional Arms Director
Paul Pasnicu and Deputy Director Gicu Pop of the MFA Export
Control Agency (ANCEX) on 14 May, the points in reftel and
the relationship of Fabrica de Arme Cugir (FAC) to ROMARM,
MOD etc. According to ANCEX, under Romanian law, FAC
cannot/does not have a license for commercial production for
export/import. Those licenses are only issued to ROMARM and
not subsidiaries like FAC. They said that because of the
licensing requirements, FAC could not/not have a separate
agreement with either Century Arms or Tennessee Guns. If
such an arrangement came to light then FAC could lose its
production license for ROMARM.
3. (SBU) Pasincu and Pop reviewed with polmiloff all of the
import licenses associated with Century Arms and Tennessee
Guns over the past year. The files revealed that there was
an 2006 import license for ROMARM involving conversion of 2 x
Vz-58s assault rifles of 7.62mmx39 mm caliber from Century
Arms (note: the Vz-58 resembles an AK-47 but uses a
completely different internal mechanisms of Czech origin. end
note.); for conversion of 2 x wz88 Tantals of 5.45mm x 39.5
caliber (AK-74-inspired Polish origin assault rifle); and 8 x
Galil SARs 5.56mm (Israeli origin). There was one export to
Tennessee Arms from Armexim (not FAC), but that export was
accompanied by the BATF certification and delivery
verification documentation. There were no relevant licenses
on file for import or export of any AK-47-styled sniper
rifles. Pasincu and Pop noted that these conversions
typically refer to changing from full-automatic to semi-auto
for export purposes. But they also pointed out that there
would be no reason for either ROMARM or FAC to import any
technical data or hardware from the U.S. to manufacture or
otherwise service any AK-type rifles because Romania has been
manufacturing Kalashnikovs since 1960, and would have no
reason to import any related materials or specifications from
the U.S. ROMARM Director General Ioan Garbacea did not
respond to our inquiry on this matter.
4. (SBU) Specific responses keyed to questions:
Does Romarm Cugir presently have contracts with Century Arms
and Tennessee Guns for the manufacture of AK-type sniper
rifles? ANSWER IS NO.
How long has the contract been active? ANSWER IS N/A.
What are the specific services being provided by your firm?
ANSWER IS FAC OFFERS FOR EXPORT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF
MILITARY TECHNICAL REQUIRMENTS INCLUDING COMPUTER DESIGN (CAD
AND CAM) AND CONVERSION FROM PRINTED SUPPORT TO COMPUTER
FORMAT; MECHANICAL MACHINING AND PROCESSING CAPABILITIES.
What other, if any, similar contracts does Romarm Cugir
maintain with other U.S. companies? ANSWER IS N/A.
Has, either Century Arms or Tennessee Guns, provided
technical data and/or hardware in support of the agreements?
ANSWER IS NO.
Can you please specify any and all technical data or hardware
provided by both companies? ANSWER IS N/A.
Does the MFA (ANCEX) have record of any imports (hardware or
technical data) from Century Arms and Tennessee Guns to
Romarm Cugir in support of a manufacturing agreement for the
production of AK-type rifles? ANSWER IS NO.
Can you please specify the commodity imported from the U.S.?
CONVERSION OF KALASHNIKOV-TYPE RIFLES TO SEMI-AUTOMATIC.
5. (SBU) Comment: Mission believes that there is no
evidence of a transfer of U.S.-origin technical data or
hardware for the manufacture of AK-type (Kalashnikov-styled)
rifles of any type to ROMARM or its subsidiaries. We also
note that Romanian-origin AK-type rifles are readily
obtainable on the U.S. market, however there is no evidence
in Romania to suggest that the manufacture of these weapons
or production of their components in Romania rely on transfer
of data or hardware from the U.S. in contravention of U.S.
law. End Comment.