WikiLeaks: Romania extremely interested in Nabucco, White Stream also acceptable

The 2008 Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Viorel Palasca, said the Romanian Government was a firm supporter of the Nabucco project and would not pursue any other competing endeavours, such as South Stream, according to a telegram sent by the US Embassy in Bucharest which not dated, not classified but which carries the mention ‘sensitive’, informs. During a meeting with the US Deputy assisting secretary Matthew Bryza, on April 2, 2008, Palasaca discussed ways to bring Azerbaijani, Turkmen and possibly Kazakhstani gas through Nabucco. Palasca took active steps with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to encourage the two states to provide enough gas to Nabucco. On the other hand, the official admitted, in private, that Romania might also be interested by the White Stream (the Georgia-Ukraine-EU gas pipeline), especially with Ukraine as part of NATO. The Romanians expressed a certain concern about the fact that China could enter into an agreement on the Azerbaijani has if the Nabucco projects does not make headway.

On the other hand, during his meeting with PM Tariceanu’s head of chancellery, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu and the Romanian Ambassador to the US, Adrian Vierita, on April 13, Matthew Bryza talked about Romania’s frustration about the EU’s reservations in connection with a strategic energy security philosophy. Constantinescu sought reassurance that energy security was a serious matter from the US’ point of view to justify talks between the Romanian PM and President Bush. Constantinescu started by saying that Romania felt frustration about the fact that other EU member states were focusing on various energy projects, which dilutes the ability of the EU to form a common front against Gazprom’s aggressive approach in Europe. Taking into account alternative strategies should Nabucco never materialize, Constantinescu said the White Stream would make an acceptable option as far as Romania was concerned.
On a different note, a 2009 cablegram reveals Romania’s fears about Turkey and Russia’s initiatives to exclude any other options than their own with regard to the matter of Black Sea security. The cable also refers to energy security options available in the Black Sea region. Calin Stoica. Director General for Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared his view on talks within the Inter-Governmental Committee on Nabucco. He said Turkey had appeared to have a rather positive attitude in the course of the debates, but it was still to be seen what would come next.

An official of the American Embassy in Bucharest, Polmiloff, talked to Stoica about things pertaining to the Black Sea strategy, including Romania’s interest in the proposed Black Sea Defence Ministerial. Stoica noted that the Black Sea countries had failed to come to an agreement on the Black Sea Defence Ministerial. Romanians were, in principle, against the institutionalization of BlackSeaFor and would not back any formulations of the Black Sea Harmony Operation that would exclude reference to other institutions (North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Union or the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe).

Stoica suspected that Russia was trying to secretly saw the seeds of new European security architecture, starting with the Black Sea. Stoica expressed a relative concern about the fact that Russian interests in the Black Sea seemed to be listened to in Ankara.

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