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Author Topic: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA  (Read 962 times)

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Offline SeekLoad

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AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« on: July 11, 2014, 04:47:18 pm »
AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
Romania's main clients for arms export

http://www.actmedia.eu/2009/12/15/top+story/romania%92s+main+clients+for+arms+export+/24679
Date: 15-12-2009

Romania sold, over the first six months of the year arms and military products worth over 43 million euro, the most important customers being the countries in the Middle East ( 11.5 million), the US ( 10.5 million), Georgia ( 1.8 million) according to a report of ANCEX quoted by NewsIn. According to annual obligations, the National Authority for Control of Exports (ANCEX )presented the European Union a report regarding Romania's exports of arms and ammunition for the first quarter of 2009. Thus, the data offered to EU it is clear that the Romanian companies of arms sold, for the first quarter, arms and ammunition worth 18,889,973 euro, while during the second quarter the value of exports was 24,263,431 euro. . Thus, according to ANCEX documents, Romania offered,during the same period, 268 export licences for arms and ammunition worth 95.86 million euro - 49,14 million euro for Q1 and 46.71 million euro for Q2. Licences are granted for a maximum sum where exports should fit and exporters should confirm to. The ANCEX report does not contain the data regarding the companies which made these exports or the producers. At the same time, during the above-mentioned period there is no mention of an agreement refusal for an export licence. Similar to 2008, at the top of countries which received arms and ammunition from Romania are the countries in the Middle East - Israel, Egypte, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Oman as well as the United States, Afganistan, Pakistan and India. From Europe, the most important contracts signed by Romania are those with Georgia, while the African continent has as main destinations Burkina Faso, Gabon and Ethiopia.

The US bought tens of thousand of various weapons from Romania Over the first part of the year, the US intensified its commercial relations with Romania as regards arms trade, so that they ordered products worth 10.5 million euro, while during 2008 the value of the order was only 11,5 million euro. At the same time, the ANCEX report shows that Romania offered during quarter I 46 export licences for the US worth over 20 million euro. Thus, the American army bought from Romania 35,211 submachine guns, 26,000 assault rifles, 3,801 shotguns, 7 carbines, 10 light machine guns as well as accessories for submanchine guns, grenade launchers,.etc. Israel, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates - the most important customers in the Middle East Israel signed, over the first semester of 2009 contracts worth 4.6 million euro with Romanian companies which got 47 export licenses worth approximately 13 million euro. The most wanted military products by the Israeli were accessories for small weapons, parts for missiles air-air, parts for land military vehicles, electronic parts for automatic data programmers, equipments for image creation, electric cables with connectors. At the same time, Romania sold containers for missile launchers, night vision equipment or equipment for software simulator production. In Iraq, over the first part of the year, Romania did not send any military products but offered export licence worth 12,587,811 euro for military machines with crane and platform. In the Middle East, other countries showed their interest to sign contracts with Romania such as the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan and Egypte. According to ANCEX the Arab Emirates received spare parts for military helicopters worth over 5.1 million euro, in Oman there were sent installations and equipments for military aircraft worth 1.8 million euro, while Egypte bought engine aggregate for fight military aircraft worth 500,000 euro. Contracts with Romania were also signed by Jordan - 421,068 euro for anti-tank and Oman with 53,234 euro for spare parts for military helicopter. Romania sells arms in Afghanistan and Pakistan As the war in Afghanistan is underway, the Romanian arms companies sold, over the first part of the year arms and ammunition to this country worth 5,5 million euros. The ANCEX report showed that Romania offered 13 licenses worth 8 million euro. Thus, the Afghans bought submachine rifles ( 15,800 pieces) as well as ammunition for small weapons, normal ammunition and shotguns or spare parts for military transport helicopters. At the same time, in Pakistan, the neighbouring country there were sold military products worth 600,000 euro, being spare parts for military helicopters. According to ANCEX statistics, other destinations for the Romanian arms in Asia were India - an export license for the first quarter worth 11,614,622 euro to improve an engine for fight military aircraft, Viet-nam - one license for 3,035,126 euro for military aircraft for training and spare parts ( 10 pieces) and South Koreea who bought products worth 57,930 euro - anti-tanks grenade thrower ( 2 pieces). Georgia bought arms in 2009 as well from Romania Georgia which in 2008 was at war spent over the first part of the year almost 1.8 million euro to buy from Romania ammunition for small weapons and shotgun ammunition. The Romanian companies obtained four export licenses in Georgia worth over 8 million euro for : grenade thrower with accessories (677 pieces) ammunition for small weapons. During the conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008, the Russian media criticized the fact that Romania offered Georgia arms, but the Romanian authorities showed that exports were legal, Georgia not being a country under embargo. This year, after one year since the conflict, Russia accused the United States and Ukraine for providing arms to Georgia thus preparing for a new conflict. Russia does not have information which shows that Romania provided arms to Georgia, the ambassador of Russia to Romania, Alexander Churilin said. At the same time, the ANCEX report showed that Romania sold military products of 582,035 euro in Azerbaidjan, country which had an open conflict with Armenia, the relations between the two countries being tensed. The Asers showed their interest to buy from Romania rifles, snipers, grenade thrower, sight launchers, equipment for mechanical components worth 722,051 euro as well as equipment for mechanical components worth 358,018 euro with export licenses. In the countries of the European Union, Romania sold arms and ammunition worth 3.5 million euro. The most important customer was the UK which spent 1,475,037 euro for shotguns ( 34), rifles (100), submachine guns ( 100) snipers, parachutes, accessories for parachutes, components for maritime aircraft, 192,471 euro given for hunting guns, accessories for rifles, parachutes for military aircraft compenents. Other important customers of Romania in the EU were : Belgium ( almost 799,000 euro) the Netherlands ( 769,498 euro) Croatia ( almost 375,000 euro) or Italy ( 337,000euro). Gabon and Burkina Faso the best customers in Africa In Africa Romanian exports were directed to five countries, worth less than two million euro. Thus Gabon has an export license worth 1,060,231 euro for military helicopter and Burkina Faso got missiles for missiles throwers of almost 700,000 euro, while Ethiopia, South Africa or Mauritania exported products of almost 50,000 euro worth.

/ Robert Reinfrank
STRATFOR
Austin, Texas
W: +1 512 744-4110
C: +1 310 614-1156
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 08:16:41 pm by SeekLoad »
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 04:49:31 pm »
AWLC to AnonymousRomania


Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Jeri Guthrie-Corn for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
SUMMARY
1. (C)

Romania needs the stability of an IMF agreement to finance the private external debt gap, protect foreign exchange reserves, and advance structural reforms in a difficult political environment, officials told DAS Judy Garber and U.S. Treasury visitors in meetings March 10-11. Still, Romanian officials insisted that the domestic banking sector remains relatively sound and played down fears that potential troubles at parent banks in Western Europe would force these banks to pull capital from local subsidiaries. The Government of Romania (GOR) now expects 2009 economic growth to range from minus 0.5 to plus 0.5 percent, and acknowledges that the budget just passed by Parliament will require major revisions as growth and revenues slow. Even so, officials do not favor a "regional approach" which treats Eastern Europe as a bloc, and said that international financial institutions (IFIs), the EU, and investors should judge each country on the basis of its own fundamentals. End summary. "WE DON'T NEED A REGIONAL APPROACH TO THE CRISIS"

2. (C)
The Charge d'Affaires and visiting DAS Judy Garber, along with Jeffrey Baker and Lukas Kohler of U.S. Treasury's Office of Europe and Eurasia, met with National Bank of Romania (BNR) Governor Mugur Isarescu and Minister of Finance Gheorghe Pogea on March 10-11 to discuss the macroeconomic situation in Romania and to convey some of the USG's concerns expressed in reftel. Baker and Kohler also met separately with other officials from BNR, MOF, private banks, and resident representatives of the IMF, World Bank, and EBRD. Governor Isarescu explained that the financial crisis, beginning last fall, did not have a direct impact on Romania's financial sector, but that the real economy has been hit by an escalating series of secondary effects since then: exchange rate depreciation; drying up of credit (with Western banks shifting quickly from a posture of "aggressive generosity" to "aggressive pessimism"); a drop in production, especially in industries closely integrated with the rest of Europe; and a sharp decline in real estate prices. These economic shocks are increasingly being felt through rising unemployment, lower personal and corporate incomes, and declining revenue flows into GOR coffers.

3. (C)
Isarescu noted that Romania's external public debt as a percentage of GDP is low, but private external debt (at more than 24 billion euros) is substantial. Of this, credit lines from mother banks to subsidiaries represents 40 percent -- and Isarescu went to pains to emphasize that parent banks have made "firm guarantees" to BNR to renew the large majority of this credit -- but covering the other 60 percent of non-bank sector debts is BNR's biggest concern and would be the focus of an IMF program. Isarescu personally believes Romania will still eke out slightly positive growth in 2009, though this will depend heavily on government revenues and spending; the "best case" scenario is to "hold the line" this year without a visible decrease in living standards. When asked about calls for a "regional approach" by the EU and IFIs to Eastern Europe, particularly given the risk of regional contagion, Isarescu was skeptical. Romania doesn't need to be "rescued" with the whole region but rather to be judged fairly on the basis of its own fundamentals, Isarescu replied. 4. (C) Finance Minister Pogea echoed Isarescu's theme, saying that while coordination with other EU member states to confront the crisis is a top priority, Romania does not need a "one size fits all" regional approach; the GOR simply asks that other governments avoid protectionism and take measures to ensure the stability of their banks with operations in Romania. "Beyond that, we will take our own measures," he insisted, pointing out that the impending arrival of an IMF negotiating team was at Romania's behest. Pogea described his frustration, just two months into office, of grappling with the runaway spending and substantial arrears left by the previous government; paying off those arrears and then bringing spending under control is the new GOR's biggest fiscal challenge.

BUCHAREST 00000180 002 OF 003
5. (C)
After describing interim measures the GOR is taking to shore up social safety nets, Pogea acknowledged that the recently-passed budget will have to be revised downward very soon, and that public sector wages and benefits will be a major target. (Pogea noted that public sector personnel costs have risen by three percent of GDP in four years, while government productivity hasn't risen at all.) Under the auspices of an IMF program, the GOR will undertake structural reforms to streamline its budget and spending processes and simplify the tax code, changes which would be needed even if there were no crisis, he said. Pogea believes 2009 growth will hover near zero but will be "nothing even close" to the negative three or four percent the IMF and some others are forecasting, he concluded.

BANKING SYSTEM RESILIENT, BUT DEBT FINANCING A CHALLENGE
6. (C)
BNR recognizes that problems with mother banks in Austria, Greece, and elsewhere could pose trouble for Romania, but the Central Bank's tough supervision and monitoring regime provides the necessary oversight to ensure the overall health of the domestic system, BNR Director of Supervision Nicolae Cinteza told the U.S. Treasury visitors on March 9. Cinteza pointed out that he has existing statutory authority to compel any local bank to increase its share capital, and has the power to suspend the voting rights of the majority shareholders if they fail to comply. The BNR believes that this measure, as well as the high foreign currency reserve requirements, makes it unlikely that a foreign shareholder will ever find it in their best interest to withdraw entirely from the market. Commercial bankers reaffirmed this message in separate meetings, saying that their banks were sufficiently capitalized and that they did not expect parent bank turmoil to cause them to stop operating locally.

7. (C)
Overall GOR and commercial bank forecasts are neutral or borderline negative. MOF Director of Macro-Economic Analysis and Policy Dorin Mantescu provided growth forecasts for next year closer to the consensus forecast (negative 0.5 percent to zero growth in 2009) than the MOF had provided previously. Pressures on the debt market are also expected to continue according to the Director of Treasury and Public Debt, Stefan Nanu, despite efforts to front-load government borrowing in the first half of the year. Expecting a government deficit of 5 billion RON (1.5 billion USD), Nanu believes the GOR will be able to borrow this amount on the local market, but acknowledges the increasing interest burden caused by banks' preference for shorter-term debt at relatively high interest rates. (Note: The MOF auctioned 2 billion RON in six month treasury bills on March 16th with an average yield of 11.49 percent. End Note.)

8. (C)
Of the major banks, Chief Economist Lucian Anghel of BCR-Erste was closest to the Ministry of Finance's estimates, predicting growth of 2-3 percent above the euro-zone, but acknowledging that this might very well mean that Romania's growth is mildly negative for the year. BRD-Societe General, another major bank on the local market, however, believes that growth will be positive for the year at 1-2 percent. The BRD Chief Economist, Florian Libocor, is strongly of the opinion that Romania is being unfairly lumped together with other countries, and expects macroeconomic performance for Romania in 2009 to be substantially better than others in the EU.

IMF, BANKS AGREE AN ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NEEDED
9. (C)
The local IMF representative, Juan Fernandez-Ansola, told the Treasury visitors that he fully expects an agreement to be reached before the IMF team currently in country departs. Preparatory discussions involving the BNR and the MOF were recently held in Washington. An agreement will ultimately depend on Romania's adopting what the IMF considers a "realistic" macroeconomic outlook for 2009 and the budget and revenue projections to match. This will likely result in a larger fiscal deficit than the GOR would like, but Fernandez-Ansola noted that the GOR must end the current practice of multiple budget rectifications (to adjust for revenue changes) throughout the year if they hope to benefit from an IMF program. BRD and BCR were both in agreement that an IMF program was probably advisable at this point, although they did evince some frustration that Romania has been driven to it by the court of market opinion, rather than a hard-headed look at economic fundamentals. The BUCHAREST 00000180 003 OF 003 difficulty is going to be selling a package politically, after so many political leaders (including President Basescu) staked out a strong position opposing recourse to the IMF, contacts said. According to Fernandez-Ansola, BNR Governor Isarescu has convincingly made the case for an IMF program directly to Basescu and Prime Minister Boc, both of whom have become much more open toward an IMF program in their public statements in recent weeks.

COMMENT
10. (C)

While internal GOR consensus has converged toward the need for an IMF program -- a major shift in position in just the last two months -- there are still potential roadblocks ahead. The Government could yet face significant opposition from public sector unions, which have vowed protests and work stoppages beginning next week if officials attempt major cuts in wages, benefits, or positions, even if "mandated" under an IMF rubric. This is a problem largely of the politicians' own making, since officials from PM Boc and PSD leader Mircea Geoana on down all fell over themselves to make sweetheart promises to core constituencies in the late 2008 parliamentary election campaign; they now find they must not only renege on most of those promises of big increases, but may have to impose further cuts. Public sector employees have been left with a substantial perception gap between what they believe they deserve and what the GOR can actually afford. Geoana's and the PSD's roles as potential spoilers are another factor; statements by Geoana suggest he is already positioning himself as champion of the downtrodden against Basescu and the PD-L if IMF-mandated austerity measures spark popular resentment. This could well become one of the defining themes of the fall presidential election campaign.

Comment continued
11. (C)

In the meetings with Isarescu and Pogea, as well as other recent conversations with interlocutors, post detects little sense that Romania believes big EU members should be doing more in terms of stimulus measures or that a regional rescue package for Eastern Europe is warranted. Indeed, in the wake of calls over the last couple of months for such an approach from Hungarian and Austrian leaders, Romania has been conspicuously silent. Romanian officials fear that a regional approach will not take proper account of their particular situation, just as they believe that talk of a regional contagion unfairly lumps Romania with other countries (Hungary, Baltics, Ukraine) where the situation appears worse. There may still be an element of denial at work here, but Romanian sentiment seems to be that persistent talk of the need to address a "regional" problem may contribute to spreading the very illness that such medicine is ostensibly intended to prevent.

End Comment.

/ GUTHRIE-CORN
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 08:13:47 pm by SeekLoad »
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 04:56:30 pm »
AWLC to AR
LIST #1 (of murdered people)


November 23, 2006:
Former Federal Security Service agent and harsh Kremlin critic Aleksandr Litvinenko dies in London of a mysterious poisoning.

October 19, 2006:
Dmitry Fotyanov, a mayoral candidate in the Far East city of Dalnegorsk, is gunned down as he left his campaign headquarters. The killing came just a week before a scheduled runoff election in the Primorsky Krai city.

October 15, 2006:
Aleksandr Semyonov, a member of the Irbit city council who had spent 10 years in prison, is found dead with gunshot wounds in his back. Also, Anatoly Voronin, the head of ITAR-TASS's property management department, is found dead in his apartment. According to Moscow prosecutors, his body bore traces of violent death, including "multiple knife wounds."

October 7, 2006:
Prominent journalist and critic of the Kremlin's policy in Chechnya Anna Politkovskaya is shot dead in her apartment building. Former Soviet President Gorbachev calls her slaying "a true political homicide, a vendetta."

September 14, 2006:
Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov is gunned down in Moscow. Kozlov played a leading role in efforts to stamp out money laundering in Russian banks.

October 16, 2005:
Aleksandr Slesarev, former owner of two Russian banks, is shot dead with his wife and daughter outside of Moscow. "The murder may be linked with the revocation of a banking license and unfulfilled banking liabilities," a police representative said at the time.

March 17, 2005:
Anatoly Chubais , head of the state-controlled electricity monopoly and architect of Russia's controversial privatization in the early 1990s, survives an explosion near his car and a gun attack.

July 9, 2004:
Paul Klebnikov , a U.S. citizen and editor of the Russian-language version of Forbes magazine, is gunned down outside his Moscow office. Klebnikov had written at length about corruption, and Forbes had published a list of Russia's richest people.

March 2, 2004:
Novosibirsk Deputy Mayor Valery Maryasov, the official responsible for privatization in the Siberian city, is shot dead in his apartment building.

October 12, 2003:
Controversial businessman Andrei Andreyev, locked in court battle with Kremlin-connected aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, narrowly survives gun attack. Case unsolved.

July 3, 2003:
Yury Shchekochikhin, liberal lawmaker and investigative journalist, dies of a mysterious allergic reaction. Many believe it was a case of deliberate poisoning, but the incident was never investigated as a murder.

June 7, 2003:
Sergei Shchitko, the commercial director of the RATEP defense plant, is found shot to death in his car in Serpukhov, a small city near about 90 kilometers south of Moscow.

June 6, 2003:
Igor Klimov, the acting general director of defense contractor Almaz-Antei, is shot dead outside his home in downtown Moscow.

April 17, 2003:
Sergei Yushenkov, veteran liberal politician and leader of a staunchly anti-Kremlin party, is shot dead.

March 14, 2003:
Promeksimbank Vice President Andrei Ivanov is killed in Moscow.

November 6, 2002:
Promyshlenno-stroitelnyi Bank Director Leonid Davidenko is killed in St. Petersburg.

October 18, 2002:
Magadan Oblast Governor Valentin Tsvetkov is shot dead in central Moscow. He had been trying to crack down on rampant crime in his Pacific region's gold and oil industries.

June 3, 2002:
Alfavit financial group Chairman Pavel Shcherbakov is killed in Moscow.

May 21, 2002:
Major-General Vitaly Gamov, commander of border guards on the Far Eastern Sakhalin Island, dies in an arson attack on his apartment. The attack is believed to have been motivated by his attempts to clamp down on illegal seafood smuggling.

June 29, 2000:
Akademkhimbank Chairman Sergei Ponamarev is killed in Moscow.

December 30, 1999:
Businessman Mikhail Dakhya is killed by a sniper in central St Petersburg. Dakhya was in the timber business in Novgorod Oblast.

November 17, 1999:
Intersvyazbank Chairman Sergei Belov is killed in Moscow.

November 20, 1998:
Galina Starovoitova was gunned down in the entrance to her St. Petersburg apartment building in November 1998 (AFP file photo)
Galina Starovoitova , a leading liberal State Duma deputy and human rights campaigner, is shot dead by gunmen at her apartment building in St Petersburg. Her aide, Ruslan Linkov, is seriously injured.

August 1998:
Aleksandr Shkadov, chief executive of Russia's biggest diamond-processing plant, Kristall, is shot dead in an apparent contract killing in Smolensk.

August 3, 1998:
Promstriogaz bank President Yury Bezruchenko is killed in Moscow.

July 3, 1998:
Lev Rokhlin , State Duma deputy and Defense Committee chairman, is shot dead near Moscow. He was involved in controversial efforts to reform the military. Rokhlin's widow was accused of the crime but maintained her innocence.

June 8, 1998:
"Sovetskaya Kalmykia Segodnya" Editor in Chief Larissa Yudina is killed after being beaten and stabbed. She was a vocal critic of Kalmykia President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and members of his inner circle are later implicated in the killing.

February 6, 1998:
New Moscow bank Chairman Dmitry Levchenko is killed in Moscow.

August 19, 1997:
St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Mikhail Manevich, who oversaw the city's privatization program, is shot dead by a sniper while driving on Nevsky Prospekt.

June 17, 1997:
Larisa Nechayeva, director of Russia's top soccer club Spartak Moscow, is shot dead near Moscow in a contract killing.

April 22, 1997:
Valentin Sych, head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, is shot dead in a contract killing outside Moscow. The former head of the league was charged with his murder.

January 14, 1997:
Kutuzovsky bank Chairman Yury Repin is killed in Moscow.

November 3, 1996:
Paul Tatum, U.S. businessman who co-owned one of Moscow's most prestigious hotels, is shot dead with a submachine gun at Moscow subway underpass. Tatum was involved in long-running dispute with Russian partners over control of hotel.

June 13, 1996:
Vladimir Oberderfer, a regional representative of nationalist presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky is shot dead in the Siberian mining city Novokuznetsk. Novokuznetsk police said the likely motive lay in Oberderfer's activities as an owner of a trading business, rather than politics.

June 13, 1996:
Viktor Mosalov, mayor of Zhukovsky in Moscow Oblast, is shot three times in the head Local police ruled out a political motive and said local officials are ''more economic than political leaders."

June 6, 1996:
Valery Shantsev, candidate for the post of deputy mayor of Moscow, was seriously wounded when a bomb exploded as he was leaving his apartment building.


November 28, 1995:
Moscow police secure a murder scene (epa file photo).
State Duma Deputy Sergei Markidonov of the Stability faction, is shot in the head during a campaign trip to Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky in Chita Oblast.

October 17, 1995:
Mosstroibank President Mikhail Zhuravlyov is killed in Moscow.

August 5, 1995:
Russian Business Roundtable head and Rosbiznesbank Chairman Ivan Kivelidi is poisoned to death. Kivelidi had been openly critical of Russian police for failing to protect businesspeople or investigate their murders, especially in the wake of the July 21 killing of banker Oleg Kantor.

July 20, 1995:
Yugorsky bank Chairman Oleg Kantor is killed by being repeatedly stabbed at his country house outside of Moscow. Yugorsky bank was heavily involved in the oil and gas sectors.

April 1995:
Sergei Kushnaryov, a founding member of Russia's Agrarian Party, is stabbed to death in a suspected contract killing.

March 1995:
Alla Gnezdilova, a judge, is murdered in Birobidzhan, the capital of Russia's far eastern Jewish Autonomous Region, in an apparent contract killing.

March 1, 1995:
Russian Public Television head Vladislav Listyev is shot in the heart by an unknown gunman outside his Moscow home. The attack is linked to opponents of an advertising ban he had proposed for the television channel.

November 5, 1994:
State Duma Deputy Valentin Martemyanov of the Communist Party, dies of wounds suffered during a vicious beating in Moscow several days earlier. The killing is never explained.

April 26, 1994:
State Duma Deputy Andrei Aizderdis of the New Regional Policy faction, is shot to death with a hunting rifle outside his Moscow home.

February 2, 1994:
State Duma Deputy Sergei Skorochkin of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party is killed in Moscow, his body hand-cuffed to railway tracks.

October 17, 1994:
Investigative journalist Dmitry Kholodov, who specialized on corruption in the Defense Ministry, is killed when a briefcase he picked up at a Moscow train station after an anonymous tip blows up in his office.




LIST #2 (of murdered people)

Gaji Abashilov - 21 March 2008
Abashilov was a Russian journalist and chief of Dagestan's outlet of state-owned VGTRK media company. He was assassinated in Makhachkala on 21 March 2008 at 19:45 local time.
[1]Gaji Abashilov was born in the Gunib district of Dagestan, graduated Dagestan State University (foreign languages faculty). In 1975-91 he was employed in local Komsomolstructures, in late 80s he led Dagestani VLKSM Commetee. In 1991-2006 hewas chief editor of "Molodezh' Dagestana" (Molodezh' Dagestana, Youths of Dagestan).In 1999 he was elected a member of local legislature, then was appointed deputy head of republican Ministry of information. In January 2007 he became a chief of TV company "Dagestan", local outlet of VGTRK.Gaji Abashilov was assasinated in the evening of March 21; his car was fired on in the central part of Makhachkala. In the early hours of the same day another Dagestani journalist, Ilyas Shurpayev, who had worked for years in the republic as a correspondent of NTV and Channel One was found strangled.

Leonid Rozhetskin - March 16, 2008
Rozhetskin is an international financier and lawyer credited with bringingsignificant financial and legal advances to modern Russia. He currently co-owns L+E Productions, a movie production company in Los Angeles, California.On March 16, 2008 Rozhetskin disappeared from his house in Jurmala, Latvia

Arkady "Badri" Patarkatsishvili - Feb 12 2008
Patarkatsishvili was a wealthy Georgian Jewish businessman, who was also extensively involved in politics. He contested the 2008 Georgian presidential election and came third with 7.1% of the votes. Patarkatsishvili, aged 52, collapsed and passed away at Downside Manor, his country mansion in Leatherhead, Surrey, England on February 12, 2008at 10.45 pm. The South East Coast Ambulance Service staff tried to resuscitate the businessman but were unsuccessful and the Georigan oligarch was finally announced dead at 10.52 pm. Died of a heart attack in his mansion according to the press reports and releases. No indication of foul play, but many site the number of compounds used by the FSB that can cause heart attacks with little trace.

Yevgeny Chivilikhin - Feb 7, 2008
A prominent Moscow businessman was shot dead overnight in what police believed was a contract killing, Russian media reported on Thursday. Yevgeny Chivilikhin, president of the Moscow Markets and Fairs Guild, died from several wounds to the head after being ambushed by an unknown gunman at the entrance to his house in central area of the Russian capital. In 2006, Chivilikhin escaped unhurt when a bomb exploded near his house.

Oleg Zhukovsky - Dec. 2007
Authorities opened a murder investigation Friday into the death of a senior executive at state-run bank VTB, who was found dead with his legs bound, in a swimming pool at his luxury dacha outside Moscow. The body of Oleg Zhukovsky, a VTB managing director who handled accounts in the notoriously murky timber industry, was discovered Thursday in the pool at his dacha in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region, Oleg Krasnoshchyokov, a duty officer with the Odintsovo police department, said Friday. Zhukovsky's arms and legs had been tied up and a plastic bag was tied around his head, Krasnoshchyokov said.

Ivan Ivanovich Safronov - March 2, 2007
Safronov was a Russian journalist and columnist who covered military affairs for the daily newspaper Kommersant. He died after falling from the fifth floor of his Moscow apartment building. His apartment was on the third floor. There are speculations that he may have been killed for his critical reporting. The Taganka District prosecutor's office in Moscow has initiated a criminal investigation into Safronov's death.

IVAN SAFRONOV - March 2007
Ivan Safronov, a veteran military correspondent for the Kommersant newspaper, died in a mysterious fall from the fifth floor of his Moscow apartment building on 5 March 2007. At the time of his death, Safronov, a former colonel in the Russian armed forces, had been investigating alleged Russian plans to sell weapons and military aircraft to Iran and Syria via Belarus, as well as working on another article on the proposed sale of tactical missiles to Syria. Prosecutors initially suggested that suicide was the most likely explanation, although Safronov's colleagues at hisnewspaper as well as a number of other journalists said this was highly unlikely. The investigation into his death is ongoing.

ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA - October 2006
Anna Politkovskaya, a renowned journalist and Kremlin critic best known for her reporting of atrocities in Chechnya and corruption amongst Russian officials, was shot dead in the stairwell of her Moscow apartment block on 7 October 2006. The 48-year-old, who enjoyed a higher profile abroad than in Russia itself, had been employed by the twice-weekly Novaya Gazeta newspaper as an investigative reporter since 1999, following a five-year stint at another liberal-minded newspaper, Obshchaya Gazeta. Her final article, which she was still writing at the time of her death, focused on the use of torture by the authorities in Chechnya. The investigation into her death is ongoing.

ANDREY KOZLOV - September 2006
Andrey Kozlov, first deputy chairman at the Central Bank of Russia, died in hospital on 14 September 2006, hours after being shot by two unidentified gunmen in a Moscow street. His driver was killed in the same attack. Kozlov built his reputation in Russian banking by spearheading a drive against white-collar crime. Under his supervision, the CBR revoked the licences of a number of banks suspected of involvement in moneylaundering and other criminal activity. Aleksey Frenkel, a senior executive at two of the banks to lose their licences, was arrested inJanuary 2007 and charged with ordering Kozlov's killing. He denies anyinvolvement. Police have also arrested several others they believe carried out the murder itself.

ALEKSANDR SLESAREV - October 2005
Banker Aleksandr Slesarev, his wife and his daughter were killed in a drive-by shooting on a road near Moscow on 16 October 2005. Slesarev was the former owner of Sodbiznesbank, which had its banking licence revoked by the Central Bank of Russia in May 2004 on suspicion of money laundering, charges it denied. This move led to a crisis in Russian banking, with other lending institutions fearing they would meet the same fate. Another bank owned by Slesarev, Kredittrast, was declared bankrupt in August 2004. Slesarev's killers have never been caught.

ANATOLIY TROFIMOV - April 2005
Gen Anatoliy Trofimov, formerly deputy head of Russia's Federal Security Service, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Moscow on 10 April 2005. His wife sustained serious injuries in the attack and died a few hours later. Trofimov, who was appointed as deputy FSB chief and Moscow security chief by then President Boris Yeltsin in January 1995, was sacked just over two years later for "gross violations and flaws in his work". Investigators initially said the most likely explanation for Trofimov's murder was a contract killing relating to his business dealings, but the crime remains unsolved.

PAUL KLEBNIKOV - July 2004
Paul Klebnikov, the 41-year-old editor-in-chief of the Forbes business magazine's Russian edition, was shot dead as he left his Moscow office on 9 July 2004. A US citizen of Russian descent, Klebnikov joined Forbes in 1989 before launching its Russian edition in April 2004. An outspoken critic of Russia's oligarchs, he also published a best-selling book inwhich he was highly critical of the exiled business tycoon, Boris Berezovskiy. In May 2006, a Moscow court cleared three men of murdering Klebnikov on the orders of a former Chechen rebel leader, but six months later the Russian Supreme Court overturned the ruling and ordered a new trial. Proceedings in this new trial are currently suspended after one of the defendants disappeared and was placed on the federal wanted list.

YURIY SHCHEKOCHIKHIN - July 2003
Yuriy Shchekochikhin, an opposition MP and deputy editor of the twice-weekly Novaya Gazeta newspaper, died in a Moscow hospital on 3 July 2003 after contracting an unexplained illness. The 53-year-old was best known for his reporting of organized crime and corruption, and at the time of his death was investigating the alleged involvement of the Russian security services in a series of bombings in residential areas of Moscow in 1999. He was also a fierce critic of Russian government policy in Chechnya and a prominent member of the Memorial human rights group. Shchekochikhin's family, friends and colleagues suggested he may have been poisoned, possibly with a radioactive substance, as punishment for one of his exposes. But his family is said to have failed to secure access to medical records.

IGOR KLIMOV - June 2003
Igor Klimov, acting director-general of Almaz-Antey, Russia's largest manufacturer of antiaircraft missiles, was shot dead near his home in central Moscow on 6 June 2003 by unidentified gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms. Klimov, a former intelligence officer, had only taken charge of the company in February, and his death came just weeks before a permanentchief executive was due to be appointed. Hours after Klimov was shot,gunmen also killed Sergey Shchitko, commercial director of one of Almaz-Antey's subsidiaries. In October 2005, a Moscow court convicted five men of carrying out Klimov's murder and handed them prison sentences ranging from 22 years to life. Two other men were arrested in May 2006 and charged with masterminding the killing - they are due to go on trial in June 2007.

SERGEY YUSHENKOV - April 2003
Veteran liberal MP Sergey Yushenkov was shot dead outside his home in a Moscow suburb on 17 April 2003, just hours after registering his new party, Liberal Russia. A member of parliament since 1990, Yushenkov was well known to Russians for his liberal views and his opposition to many areas of government policy. After Vladimir Putin became president in 2000, Yushenkov and his associates founded Liberal Russia, but differences among its leaders forced the movement to split into two factions. Just under a year after Yushenkov was killed, a Moscow court convicted a member of the rival Liberal Russia faction, Mikhail Kodanev, of ordering the murder and sent him to prison for 20 years. Another man was convicted of carrying out the attack and was given the same sentence. However, Kodanev's associate, exiled tycoon Boris Berezovskiy, said the Russian authorities were behind the crime.

VALENTIN TSVETKOV - October 2002
Valentin Tsvetkov, governor of the gold-rich Magadan Region in Russia's Far East, was gunned down in one of Moscow's busiest shopping streets during rush hour on the morning of 18 October 2002. It was the first time in the history of post-Soviet Russia that a regional governor had been murdered. The killing was thought to be related to Tsvetkov's attempts to establish control over the region's principal industries of gold mining, oil and fishing. In July 2006 Spanish police detained two Russian men as prime suspects in the case, but they are yet to face trial.

VLADIMIR GOLOVLEV - August 2002
Vladimir Golovlev, an MP and one of the leaders of the small opposition party Liberal Russia, was shot dead on 21 August 2002 while walking his dog near his Moscow home.
The killing came just months after Golovlev had switched to Liberal Russia, founded by the exiled tycoon Boris Berezovskiy, from the Union of Right Forces (SPS). While still a member of SPS, Golovlev was stripped of this parliamentary immunity so that prosecutors could press corruption charges against him in connection with property dealings in Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals. No-one has ever been convicted of his murder.

VITALIY GAMOV - May 2002
Maj-Gen Vitaliy Gamov, commander of the border guards on the Far Eastern island of Sakhalin, died in a Japanese hospital on 28 May 2002, one week after an arson attack on his apartment on Sakhalin. Gamov's wife, Larisa, suffered severe burns in the attack but survived. The attack was seen as retribution for the general's attempts to clamp down on illegal fishing. In December 2006, a court on Sakhalin sentenced three people to four years in prison for the attack. One of those convicted had been the subject of a manhunt until an investigator's wife spotted his name in the credits of atelevision show. However, prosecutors have not pressed murder charges against anyone.

GALINA STAROVOYTOVA - November 1998
Galina Starovoytova, a respected MP and prominent member of the Russian opposition, was shot dead outside her apartment in St Petersburg. Starovoytova, who enjoyed great respect outside Russia for her commitment to human rights and was seen by her admirers as a champion of democracy, at one time advised President Boris Yeltsin on interethnic relations and human rights. In June 2005, a court sentenced two men, Yuriy Kolchin and Vitaliy Akishin, to 20 and 23 years respectively for Starovoytova's murder. Four other defendants were acquitted.

ALEKSANDR SHKADOV - August 1998
Aleksandr Shkadov, one of the highest-ranking executives in the Russian diamond industry, was shot dead near his home in the town of Smolensk on 1 August 1998. Shkadov was managing director of Kristall, Russia's largest diamond processing factory, and president of the Russian Association of Diamond Processors. The crime remains unsolved.

LEV ROKHLIN - July 1998
Lev Rokhlin, a former Russian army general and MP, was shot dead at his country home near Moscow on 3 July 1998. Rokhlin, who was 51 at the time, had previously commanded the Russian forces which recaptured the Chechen capital of Groznyy from rebels in 1995. Subsequently, however, he condemned Russian army conduct in the republic and was involved in controversial efforts to reform the military. Two years after Rokhlin's death, his widow, Tamara, was found guilty of his murder, but the Supreme Court overturned the verdict two years into her prison sentence. The case went to a retrial, and, in November 2005, Rokhlina was convicted for a second time and given a suspended four-year sentence.

MIKHAIL MANEVICH - August 1997
Mikhail Manevich, deputy governor of St Petersburg and the head of the city's privatization committee, was shot dead in his official car on his way to work, apparently by a sniper. His wife, who was also in the car, escaped with minor injuries. The 36-year-old had been deputy governor for a year, and was also heavily involved in drawing up privatization legislation and plans for a national housing and public utilities programme. In the 10 years since Manevich's murder, investigators have questioned more than 2,000 witnesses, but, despite naming a number of suspects, they are yet to press charges.

YURIY POLYAKOV - December 1996
Yuriy Polyakov, an MP from the left-leaning Power to the People faction (Narodovlastiye), was abducted in Krasnodar Region in southern Russia on December 1996. He was last seen alive leaving the offices of the state-owned farm which he managed, heading for his family home a few hundred metres away. Investigators suggested Polyakov's abduction may have been linked to his business interests. His body was never found, but police pronounced him presumed dead two years later and his kidnappers have never been caught.

PAUL TATUM - November 1996
US businessman and hotelier Paul Tatum was shot dead in a Moscow underpass in 1996. At the time he was embroiled in a long-running dispute with the Chechen-born businessman Umar Dzhabrailov and other local partners over ownership of Moscow's Radisson Slavyanskaya hotel. Dzhabrailov was questioned by police following Tatum's murder but he has dismissed all accusations of involvement in any sort of crime. Tatum's killers have never been caught.

ANATOLIY STEPANOV - May 1996
Anatoliy Stepanov, a deputy justice minister, was found dead at the entrance to his Moscow apartment block on 23 May 1996. Police initially claimed Stepanov had been shot dead but later they said he was probably killed by a blow to the head with a blunt, heavy instrument. Investigators suggested he was killed by an acquaintance, but no-one has ever been charged with his murder. Stepanov had been in his post almost three years and was in charge of monitoring lawyers.

SERGEY MARKIDONOV - November 1995
Sergey Markidonov, an MP from the small Stability group, was shot dead by his bodyguard in his Siberian constituency on 26 November 1995. The bodyguard, who was drunk, committed suicide immediately afterwards. The 34-year-old Markidonov was on the campaign trail at the time, in preparation for the following month's parliamentary elections.

VLADISLAV LISTYEV - March 1995
Vladislav Listyev, director-general of Russian Public Television, Russia's only fully national TV network at the time, was shot dead by the entrance to his Moscow apartment block on 1 March 1995. Listyev, who was 38 at the time, was one of Russia's favourite television presenters, and had helped to devise a range of highly popular and innovative programmes in the years before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His death was mourned across Russia and provoked a huge public outcry. Despite a lengthy investigation, the crime remains unsolved.

SERGEY SKOROCHKIN - February 1995
Sergey Skorochkin, an MP from Vladimir Zhirinovskiy's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, was kidnapped in Moscow Region on 1 February 2005 and found dead in a nearby forest shortly afterwards. There was some suggestion the killing was linked to Skorochkin's business interests. The case was brought to trial on several occasions and although the defendants were acquitted, on each occasion the Supreme Court ordered retrials. The case was closed in 2005 under the statute of limitations, 10 years after the murder took place.

VALENTIN MARTEMYANOV - November 1994
Communist MP Valentin Martemyanov was beaten up and robbed in the street near his Moscow home on 1 November 1994 and died four days later of his injuries. Some of Martemyanov's political associates linked his death to his efforts to recover party property, but others believe robbery was the primary motivation. The killers have never been traced.

DMITRIY KHOLODOV - October 1994
Dmitriy Kholodov, a reporter for the popular Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper, died on 17 October 1994 when a briefcase he had been told topick up at a railway station exploded in the newspaper's Moscow offices. At the time the 27-year-old was investigating corruption in the Russian military. Six years later a court found six men, for of them former army officers, not guilty of murdering Kholodov. A retrial at a military court in 2002 resulted in a similar verdict. In 2005 Russia's Supreme Court upheld those rulings.

ANDREY AYDZERDIS - April 1994
Russian MP and businessman Andrey Aydzerdis was shot dead in a Moscow suburb on 26 April 1994. It was the first time a member of the Russian parliament had been assassinated and the killing was widely covered in the media. Aydzerdis, a member of the New Regional Policy faction, was chairman of a bank and owned a newspaper which had published the names of hundreds of individuals alleged to be involved in organized crime. Police linked the murder to his business interests.

NIKOLAY LIKHACHEV - December 1993
Nikolay Likhachev, one of Russia's leading bankers, was shot dead by gunmen near his Moscow home on 2 December 1993. Likhachev, chairman of a major commercial bank, Rosselkhozbank, had worked in the Soviet and Russian banking systems since the 1970s. Russian banks observed a day of mourning several days after his death.
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 04:58:22 pm »
AWLC to AR:
Embassy Bucharest's submission for the annual Trafficking in Persons report follows below with answers keyed to reftel.

1. (SBU) OVERVIEW:
A. Romania is a country of origin and transit for trafficking in persons (TIP). While the majority of TIP cases pertain to international trafficking between Romania and Western Europe, there are cases of domestic trafficking as well. Victims - primarily women and children - are trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, labor exploitation and forced mendicancy. The total number of victims identified by the Government of Romania (GOR) in 2006 was 2285. Out of the 2285 identified victims, 316 were minors, 542 men and 1427 women. Types of exploitation: - 1451 sexual exploitation; - 624 labor exploitation; - 183 begging; - 27 other forms. In 2006, 12% of the identified TIP victims were victims of internal trafficking. This is the first time that the GOR has officially recorded the number of victims exploited within Romania,s borders. In 2006, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 137 victims. IOM figures indicate that the average age of the victims they assisted was 22 years old; approximately 15% of the victims they assisted were minors under the age of 18. The distribution of trafficked victims by age is as follows: one victim under the age of 14; 19 victims between the ages of 15-17; 56 victims between the ages of 18-20; 48 victims between the ages of 21-29; and 13 victims over the age of 30. Eight of these victims were citizens of the Republic of Moldova; two of them were identified in Romania, and the remainder were repatriated through IOM Romania from other countries. Of the 137 victims assisted by IOM, 44 were repatriated from Italy and 33 were repatriated from Spain. In previous years, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia were the destination countries for a high number of victims, but that number has been reduced significantly in recent years. The increase in trafficking victims destined for Italy and Spain parallels the increase in overall migration of young Romanians who travel to these countries for low-wage jobs. For 2006, the available sources of information concerning TIP cases were: the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (DGCCO) within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, which provides data regarding identified victims of trafficking during their specific operations, including those who are identified by border police; and the General Prosecutors Office and Ministry of Justice regarding the number of prosecuted and trialed cases, including the number of arrested and convicted persons. The number of assisted victims of trafficking was provided by local and international nongovernmental organizations, regional branches of the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (ANITP), local authorities and state run shelters. The TIP National Data Base, which has been operational within the framework of ANITP since December, 2006, allows for better identification of the victims and a faster response to their needs. Based on its data, the first Evaluation Report will be presented to the public in July-August, 2007. A list of indicators (containing various data about trafficking, victim assistance and social reintegration) was agreed upon by ANITP, Police, Border Police, Gendarmerie and other agencies, as well as by NGOs and provides the basis for further reports to the National Data Base. The Resource Centre (RC), which is a dedicated unit within the GDCOC, found that women between the ages of 18 and 25 are more likely to become victims of trafficking for sexual purposes than any other age group or gender. Children are more likely to become victims of trafficking if they came from State Centers, single-parent homes and/or a dysfunctional family environment (e.g. families with financial difficulties, abuse, or alcoholism). Victims are sometimes approached by family &friends8 or other persons of influence, and are promised &good8 jobs. In the case of child victims, parents are typically assured that their children would have a better life and/or receive money in exchange for their children. The victims are moved outside of Romania under the guise of &organized tourism.8 In most cases victims travel legally. However, there are cases where false documents are used or the victim travels across the border illegally. Although no statistics from GOR or other sources exist regarding TIP and the Roma community, Roma leaders recognize that some Roma are victims of TIP, underscoring that the poverty and social instability in a number of Roma communities makes Roma particularly vulnerable to trafficking. B. The profile of traffickers is broad and varied. In some cases traffickers belong to internationally organized groups, which can also be specialized in other crimes such is drugs, guns, etc.; however in the majority of cases, traffickers come from small groups with loose structures, including family members or other individuals that are often known to the victims. Some victims may at some point become traffickers, particularly recruiters, as they see no other opportunities in life. The number of victims identified by the GOR likely does not reflect the total number of victims of TIP-related crimes. Many victims are reluctant to identify themselves, primarily because of the social stigma associated with TIP activities. There is also a general distrust among TIP victims of government officials and their readiness to assist them. Many victims either seek no assistance or prefer to take advantage of other options rather than accept government assistance. A Program of National Interest for victim assistance was proposed by the ANITP in the last Quarter of 2006 to make Governmental funds available for NGOs in order to ensure a better quality of the services for TIP victims. It was approved by Minister of Administration and Interior with this view and around 800,000 RON (more than 300,000 USD) should be available no later than June, 2007. Following the passage of Law no. 1584/2005, ANITP became fully operational in May 2006, and created 8 regional centers ) 4 of them in their own offices (Iasi, Galati, Constanta, Timisoara), or hosted by police units (Pitesti, Craiova, Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest). In order to improve anti-trafficking efforts, passage of Law no. 1083/2006 extended the number of the regional centers from 8 to 15, with three staff members for each (an increase from the previously required two staff members.) Between September and December 2006, the newly existing staff in the regional centers had already made an impact in anti-trafficking efforts by identifying a total of 79 victims. In order to provide more support to the victims who testify against traffickers and avoid their stepping back because of traffickers influence, ANITP, in collaboration with the GDCOC and Ministry of Justice, launched in November 2006 the Victim/Witness Coordination Program in the southern and eastern regions of the country. Approximately 26 victims were included in the initial phase of the program. This program will be highlighted at the end of this report as a &best practice.8 C. The GOR has made progress in addressing the limitations they have in their ability to combat TIP. The ANITP representatives in the regional centers have improved the referral mechanisms in their respective regions, however a central referral system that covers the entire country is still lacking. Funding for anti-TIP activities has increased in 2006 and the ANITP now has a provision in place to provide more than 300,000 USD to NGOs who are involved in TIP issues. The level of cooperation that exists between ANITP and the NGOs has improved, in that ANITP has increased its reach to the NGO community in order to address the TIP problem. ANITP currently is working hard to improve cooperation and overcome the bureaucratic obstacles that exist between the national and local governments. D. The GOR monitors Anti-Trafficking efforts through the ANITP and in 2006 has improved its ability to gather statistics regarding TIP. The GOR has been very forthcoming in sharing these statistics with NGOs, other governments and international organizations.

2. (SBU) PREVENTION:
A. The Romanian government recognizes that trafficking in persons is a serious problem. In 2006, the President of Romania identified human trafficking as one of the more important issues that needed to be addressed by the government. The GOR,s commitment to anti-trafficking was demonstrated through increased authorities for ANITP (and increased funding) throughout the course of 2006. The GOR is also very active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Bucharest-based regional anti-crime center, and throughout 2006 a Romanian official headed the Task Force on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings within SECI. SECI is a regional model for sharing of law enforcement information, including about TIP, and its TIP task force is one of SECI's most successful endeavors. B. ANITP is the governmental agency that leads the efforts of all other agencies involved in anti-trafficking. The director of ANITP is the chairman of the Inter-ministerial Working Group (IWG) on Human Trafficking. Other government agencies involved in anti-TIP activities include: the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI), the General Inspectorate of Border Police(GIBP), General Prosecutor,s Office (GPO), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Labor and Social Solidarity (MLSS), Ministry of Education and Research (MER), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Human Rights Department), National Authority for Child Protection (NACP), Ministry of Public Administration (MPA), Ministry of European Integration, National Office for Refugees, Ministry of Culture and Religion, National Audio-Visual Council, National Authority for the Labor Force, Ministry of Youth, Agency for Student Camps and Tourism and the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoptions. All of these agencies are members of the IWG. C. The GOR partnered with several different NGOs to produce anti-trafficking campaigns. There have been several information and education campaigns both at the national and at the local level in which the government has been either the initiator or a key partner to international organizations or NGOs. Some campaigns were financed by the government, while others were financed by international donors through NGOs. Campaigns developed in 2006: - 2 EXIT campaigns developed in partnership with MTV Great Britain, ADPARE and the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons (in Cluj and Constansa). In those campaigns 13.000 young people participated between the ages of 16 and 25 and were distributed fliers and CDs; - Romania was part of the European effort for preventing TIP during the World Cup 2006, Germany, by promoting, in partnership with AIDROM, &Don,t pass on human beings8 campaign; - A national campaign developed by the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons, with the financial support from the US Embassy, &Be careful, you will pay8 was launched in December 2006 and addressed young people between the ages of 16 and 25. This campaign also promoted the Agency,s toll-free phone number 0 800 800 678; - The National Authority for Protection of Children Rights continued the public education campaign regarding the rights of the child &THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD ARE LAW,8 which ran throughout 2006; - Between July 20 and December 7 2006 the Office for Labor Force Migration and Labor Abroad Department developed an information campaign, &Choose legal labor force migration!8 - The Ministry of Education and Research included the problem of trafficking in persons in the Counseling and Orientation school programs in the gymnasium, high-school and in arts and crafts schools. - The National Program of Education for Democratic Citizenship (NPEDC) directly targeted the trafficking phenomenon, having distinct chapters for the prevention and countering the trafficking in persons, for the whole pre-university educational system. - The Ministry of Education and Research has developed government-NGO partnerships; there are collaboration protocols signed among the county school inspectorates, the governmental and non-governmental institutions in order to ensure the diversification and the improvement of the prevention activities, effectiveness. - Within the campaign &Be careful, you will pay!8 the Roma population was included in the target group and prevention materials were translated into the Romany language. D. The Ministry of Labor, Social Solidarity and Family (MLSSF), together with the National Employment Agency, the National Agency for Family Protection and the National Agency for Equal Opportunities, apply specific measures in order to socially integrate persons, especially women, who belong to low-developed areas and who find themselves in trafficking situations. MLSSF has adopted a set of specific measures to combat TIP, which focus on improving the economic and social status of persons who are at risk of being trafficked, as well as provide potential victims with a better understanding of the legal procedures for employment abroad. In this regard, the GOR has signed a series of bilateral agreements with other European countries in order to bring the work force movement under regulation. The National Anti-Poverty and Promoting Social Inclusion Plan also set a strategy to promote &social inclusion,8 with the following specific objectives: to increase employment opportunities and combat all forms of discrimination against women, to promote equal opportunities in all fields and all situations. E. The relationships between government officials and NGOs concerned with trafficking improved in 2006. There is particularly good cooperation at the working level that is often driven by a growing network of personal contacts. At the national level, NGOs and international organizations participate in the IWG meetings. NGOs report that their presence in these meetings is useful at the level of information exchange, but their power in influencing policy is limited. A few counties reported that they created similar working-level multi-agency teams comprised of representatives of civil society and various governmental institutions involved in anti-trafficking activities at the local level. These multi-agency teams meet on a regular basis and have had some positive results, but these are isolated examples. There are still improvements that can be made at the county-level, which the ANITP began to address in 2006. F. The GOR monitors its borders through the General Inspectorate of Border Police (GIBP). The GIBP monitors immigration and immigration patterns and uses this analysis to prevent trafficking from occurring. Analysis in 2006 showed a reduction in trafficking across the western border into Hungary and Serbia. The GOR continued to work closely with European partners to help strengthen Romania,s borders. G. Coordination on TIP issues among the government, international organizations and NGOs occurs within the framework of the IWG, which is made up of various governmental ministry representatives and international organizations and is coordinated by the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI). NGOs and US Embassy representatives are invited to all IWG meetings. In December 2005, the Romanian government passed a law establishing the National Agency for the Prevention of TIP and for Monitoring the Protection of TIP Victims. The GOR has a specialized investigative and prosecutorial unit for public corruption based on the task force model. The government formed an inter-ministerial council at the end of 2005 that meets regularly to coordinate the fight against corruption. The Minister of Justice acts as the council's coordinator, and invites NGO representatives and journalists to the council's meetings. This council oversees implementation of the 2005-2007 National Anticorruption Strategy, which aims to prosecute high-level corruption, increase transparency in public administration, prevent corrupt business practices, and increase the integrity of the judiciary. H. A five year National Action Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted in 2001. National agencies responsible for the implementation of the Plan include: MAI-GDCOC, MOJ, MOF, MFA, NACP, MLSS, MPA and MER. NGOs were consulted in the process of adopting the decision, and are intended to act as partners during all phases of implementation. The National Action Plan was widely disseminated through seminars and training sessions. In 2004, the government adopted a separate National Action Plan on the Prevention of Trafficking in Children. The Ministry of Administration and Interior working in conjunction with UNICEF developed a draft anti-trafficking strategy for 2006-2010 accompanied by a detailed action plan for 2006-2008. A final form of the strategy and action plan was endorsed by each ministry and then adopted by the government in December 2006.

3. (SBU) INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:
A. Law no. 678/2001 specifically prohibits trafficking, and seeks to protect and assist trafficked victims. Article 2 of the law specifically covers both trafficking for sexual exploitation and trafficking for non-sexual purposes (e.g. forced labor). Moreover, the law sets forth prosecution measures and punishments for traffickers. Law no. 39/2003 for Combating Organized Crime specifically defines TIP as a serious crime, and includes TIP offenses. Article 2 of the law defines an organized criminal group as follows: &a structured group formed of three or more persons that exist for a period of time and acts in a coordinated manner for the purpose of committing one or more grave offenses, in order to obtain directly or indirectly a financial benefit or other material benefit.8 The GOR does use other laws in the prosecution of trafficking cases, especially laws prohibiting pimping. All of these laws taken together cover the full scope of trafficking offenses. TIP victims have the right to seek a civil remedy and this can occur simultaneously with the criminal proceeding, at the conclusion of the criminal proceeding or can occur completely separate from the criminal case. B. Violations of Article 12 of Law no. 678/2001 carry sentences of three to twelve years and raise the sentence to five to fifteen years for aggravating circumstances. The sentence provided in Article 13 paragraph 1 is from five to fifteen years if the victims are below the age of 18. The same article carries terms of seven to eighteen years in case of trafficking of minors under certain aggravating characteristics such as kidnapping while armed, by a group of persons, or causing bodily injury. If the kidnapping results in the death or suicide of the victim, the sentence goes from fifteen to 25 years. Law 678/2001 defines trafficking in two articles (12 and 13) and several paragraphs that interact to provide a complex set of sentences ranging from three years (at a minimum) to 25 (at a maximum). The sentence is dependent on factors such as: number of perpetrators, age of the victim, and severity of damage caused to the victim, kidnapping or fraud, and if violence or threats were used. C. The same penalties awarded in sexual exploitation cases are also applied for labor trafficking offenses. D. Article 197, which covers ****, carries a sentence of three to 10 years, with the penalty raised to five to 15 years if the act involves any of the following: two or more participants; is conducted by the guardian of the **** victim; or if severe injuries result. The penalties go to 10 to 20 years if the victim is under 14. If the victim dies or commits suicide, the sentence increases to 15 to 25 years. These penalties overall are comparable to penalties for sex trafficking, as sentences for both range from three to 25 years. E. In Romania, prostitution activities are criminalized, to include the activities of brothel owners and pimps. However, there is no law to punish the client, with the exception that if the prostitute was a minor and the client admitted knowing that fact before the act, the client can be prosecuted for sexual acts with a minor. F. Between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006, the courts rendered final convictions against 187 persons for committing the offence of trafficking in persons. Out of these: - 5 persons were sentenced to 6-12 months imprisonment - 88 persons were sentenced to 1-5 years imprisonment - 64 persons were sentenced to 5-10 years imprisonment - 7 persons were sentenced to 10-15 years imprisonment - 11 persons were sentenced to a penalty for which the execution was conditionally suspended - 10 persons (1 being a minor) were sentenced to a penalty for which the execution was suspended under observation - 2 persons were sentenced to a penalty for which the court pronounced the execution at the working place. Under the Romanian Penal Code, an individual serving prison time for a TIP offense can be released early from prison if two thirds of the sentence has been served and the individual has demonstrated significant moral rehabilitation. The Romanian legal system does not provide for plea bargains or fines - only imprisonment sanctions are given for TIP offenses. The legal framework encourages the traffickers to collaborate within the criminal proceedings. Article 20 from Law no. 678/2001 provides: &The person who committed one of the offences provided by this law and during the criminal lawsuit denounces and helps for identification of the other participant to the crime, shall benefit by reducing his own penalty with a half.8 In 2006, the Government indicted 780 defendants in 183 files for committing TIP offenses. Labor recruiters are prosecuted under Law no. 678/2001. G. There is no indication that human trafficking in Romania is being conducted by large organized crime syndicates or other large international groups; much of the trafficking is conducted via small trafficking networks that maintain contact with other small criminal groups for this purpose. Employment, travel and tourism agencies have been identified as fronts for some traffickers; however these were not common sources of trafficking. There is no indication that government officials are involved in trafficking activities. With respect to the way in which the profits are directed, there is no indication that they are destined for the financing of various armed groups, terrorist organizations or for bribing Romanian officials. H. The GOR actively investigates TIP cases using a number of methods, to include electronic surveillance and undercover operations. The government also uses mitigated punishment and/or immunity to encourage suspects to cooperate in TIP investigations. I. Before a TIP case is taken to trial, the prosecutor who leads the criminal investigation in a TIP case is the one to establish the working team composed of judiciary police officers, specialized in countering trafficking in persons, border police officers, etc The monitoring activity aims at getting evidence regarding the traffickers, modus operandi any other pertinent information and the information is analyzed. The documentation on the criminal activity also involves audio-video operative surveillance measures, authorized by judges according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, of Law no. 678/2001 on the prevention and countering of trafficking in persons, or of Law. No. 39/2003 regarding the prevention and countering of organized crime, as well as the placement of undercover investigators/collaborators. J. In 2006, Romanian prosecutors collaborated with their counterparts from other countries in 61 investigations regarding TIP offenses, out of which in 28 cases were initiated by foreign judicial authorities and 33 were initiated by the Romanian prosecutors. Also, GDCOC and the Border Police have in many cases worked with officers from other European Union countries. K. The Romanian government extradites persons who are charged with trafficking in other countries, if the legal conditions for extradition are fulfilled. In 2006 there was 1 case of this kind, concerning a Greek citizen, whose extradition from Romania was granted to the Greek authorities. Art. 19 from the Romanian Constitution provides: (1) No Romanian citizen shall be extradited or expelled from Romania. (2) By exemption from the provision of para. (1), Romanian citizens can be extradited based on the international agreements Romania is a party to according to the law and on a mutual basis. (3) Aliens and stateless persons may be extradited only in compliance with an international convention or in terms of reciprocity. (4) Expulsion or extradition shall be ruled by the court. L. There is no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of TIP. In 2006, the Anti-corruption National Directorate did not send to court any governmental official for his/her involvement under various forms in trafficking in persons. There were government officials suspected of issuing identification documents that could have facilitated activities related to trafficking, but no direct correlation has been made. M. Not applicable. N. Romania does not have an identified child sex tourism problem, although the media have reported some incidents of sexual abuse of children by foreign nationals visiting Romania. Romania,s child sexual abuse laws have extra-territorial coverage. In the past, foreign   p o r n s   were arrested and prosecuted in Romania for child sex offenses. In 2006 there were no cases of foreign   p o r n s   extradited to their origin country. The National Authority for Protection of Children Rights in cooperation with MAI, Romanian Hotel Industry Federation, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Tourism and NGO-s made the project &Intersectorial collaboration between public and private for prevention of trafficking and sexual exploitation in hotel industry and tourism8. A conduct code for protection of children against sexual exploitation in tourism industry were expanded and promoted within this project. O. The Romanian government has signed and ratified the following international instruments: - ILO Convention 182 (Law 203/2000) - ILO Convention 29 (Decree 213/1957) - ILO Convention 105 (Law 140/1998) - Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child   p o r n o g r a p h y    (Law 470/2001) - Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Law 565/2002)

4. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
A. Under the provision of Law no. 678/2001, victims of trafficking shall receive special physical, legal and social protection and assistance. They are also entitled to physical, psychological and social recovery. Upon request, TIP victims can receive temporary accommodation in governmental shelters for ten days. The accommodation time can be extended by three months or for the entire duration of the criminal procedure, upon the request of the criminal investigation authority. Victims of trafficking are also covered under the Protection of Crime Victims Law, which entered into force in January 2005. The law specifies that Romanian authorities offer: information regarding victims, rights; psychological aid; legal aid; and financial compensation funded by the GOR. However, there is no clear mechanism that stipulates how these provisions are to be applied in practice. Whether or not a victim receives these benefits is dependent upon the service provider,s knowledge of the law and a laborious bureaucratic process for fulfilling requests. In 2006, governmental reports mentioned at least nine operational state shelters for adult victims of trafficking, each providing access to legal, medical and psychological services to varying degrees. However, the status of the shelters is continuously changing, as some shelters close down and new shelters open. Keeping the shelters functioning proved to be a challenge for county authorities, who have limited resources for addressing many competing social needs. Like the shelters, the degree of services provided by the non-residential centers is not uniform. There is no available data regarding the number of victims assisted by the non-residential service centers. In 2006, 476 victims of trafficking were assisted. This is a significant increase compared to 2005, when only 175 victims were assisted. This indicates that aid provided by the GOR is reaching more victims than before. Most of the assistance provided in 2006 was in the form of social/legal assistance. Legal aid and financial assistance is given to victims of TIP, as well as to spouses, children and/or others if the victim is deceased. B. According to the law, NGOs that provide services to TIP victims have priority in getting subsidies from the government. NGOs also receive support from the government for short-term activities, such as training of governmental employees, prevention activities, and for addressing specific needs of victims, such as issuing the identification documents, assistance for finding employment, etc. In 2006, governmental cooperation with NGOs has become more consistent. C. The National Authority for Protection of Child Rights set up an identification system for minor victims of trafficking. Some law enforcement agencies have procedures for identifying victims of trafficking; however there are no national identification standards. There is no systematic screening or effective referral process to transfer victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by law enforcement to NGOs. Rather the referral process is informal and dependent upon whether authorities involved have direct contact with NGOs that provide assistance to the victims. D. According to Romanian law, modified in 2005, victims of trafficking who are arrested for prostitution or begging cannot be prosecuted for these offenses. Normally, victims that come from other countries are identified prior to their repatriation; there are sometimes delays in identifying internal victims. Children are always considered victims in relation to trafficking and they are the beneficiaries of support and protection according to the Romanian laws. E. Contained in Romanian legislation are special provisions that provide benefits and protections for victims that assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses. Many victims do not take advantage of these benefits and are often hesitant to provide information against perpetrators of trafficking because the victims have little trust that Romanian authorities will follow through on their commitments. Prosecutors responsible for TIP cases usually keep an objective viewpoint when investigating TIP cases and are required to remain unbiased when investigating whether a crime took place. For this reason, TIP victims who provide critical information in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses normally do not have an advocate when providing information. Victims are able to file civil suits against their traffickers as part of the criminal process or as a separate civil action. There are no legal impediments to a victim seeking legal redress but the Romanian legal system is slow-moving and often victims are not able to remain in the location when the investigation/trial is taking place. There is nothing preventing witnesses from leaving the country, and foreigners who are victims of trafficking are repatriated at the expense of the Romanian government. The repatriations are often as dictated by bilateral treaties which Romania has with neighboring and western European countries. Foreign citizens who are victims of trafficking have the right to wait 90 days to decide if the would like to cooperate in a criminal proceeding. The victim witness coordination program that is outlined in the &best practice8 section of this report has begun to address this issue. F. The GOR has both formal and informal measures for protecting victims and witnesses of trafficking offenses. The formal system includes assistance in changing the witness,s identity and residence. This is a specialized system that requires a prosecutors, request and an assessment based upon criteria used by the witness protection unit. Although these measures have been used to protect witnesses in TIP cases in the past, they were not used to protect any TIP victims in 2006. In addition, the victim can invoke less formal judicial procedures to assist in protecting their identity and reduce their contact with the defendant and defendant,s associates while testifying in court. TIP investigators in several counties describe taking a personal interest in ensuring the protection of TIP victims. At the same time, individual TIP victims have continued to complain about being contacted or harassed by traffickers and their associates. The GOR provides shelter services for both adult and juvenile victims of TIP offenses. There are currently nine operational state-sponsored TIP shelters for adult victims. The state facilities are emergency shelters and are not designed for long-term rehabilitation. Despite this, they offer a full range of medical, psychological, and educational services along with social services and employment assistance through staff that are most commonly affiliated with broader social service programs for children. Since the state shelters are administered through local officials, their facilities, services, and relationship to other service providers vary. Upon the request of the prosecutor, victims are entitled to remain in the shelter throughout the investigation and trial. Police and prosecutors have a statutory obligation to inform victims of the right to go to a state shelter and to have access to other services. In practice, investigators report that a majority of victims do not want to go to a state shelter. The interpretation of applicable privacy rules often prevents law enforcement from placing the victim in a state shelter without the victim,s approval. The best scenario for a trafficking victim who is interested in long-term assistance would be to be placed with one of the NGOs that support TIP victims who are in a better position to provide long-term care for the victim. Minors who are victims of trafficking have a series of possible care facilities which include: emergency centers, transit centers, the victim,s family with the support of social services, foster care, or placement centers. If a child is identified as a victim of trafficking he/she would not be placed in a juvenile justice detention center. In 2006, the Romanian Ministry of Justice1 changed existing law to make it easier for TIP victims to testify in court cases using video testimony. G. Specialized training for GOR officials continued in 2006. The National Authority for Protection of Child Rights has developed partnerships for specialized training from international organizations to include: ICMPD, International Migration Organization, UNICEF, ILO and local NGOs. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages its embassies to foster contacts with NGOs and international organizations that are involved in TIP issues. The training received by MFA officers prior to their assignment has some applicability in assisting TIP victims, but, specific training for MFA officers on TIP issues is limited. Romania,s diplomatic missions have relationships with different NGOs, specialized in providing assistance for trafficked victims, especially with IOM (International Organization for Migration) for assistance in the voluntary return of trafficked victims. H. The Romanian government does provide assistance to TIP victims who are repatriated. The victims are repatriated at the cost of the government and, if they are identified as a TIP victim, they are eligible to receive the same benefits as internal victims. These benefits were described above in section A. I. In 2006, laws were proposed to increase funding for NGOs. The Romanian government cooperates with the following international organizations and NGOs that work on TIP issues: IOs: UNICEF, UNHCR, ANAEM France, IOM, International Labor Organization. NGOs: Red Cross - Romania - information education campaigns to prevent child trafficking. Salvati Copii (Save the Children) - Activities aiming to prevent trafficking and sexual exploitation in the hotel and tourism industries. A group of experts developed a code of conduct for hotels and tourism industries. Information materials were produced and distributed in hotels and through the tourism agencies. - Social assistance and counseling for child victims of trafficking. - Training for border police, police and social workers on interviewing children victims of trafficking. Caritas - anti-TIP and anti-drug information education campaigns in schools. AIDRom - Prevention and training activities for governmental and non-governmental representatives to acquire the necessary skills for identifying and solving potential situations that could lead to trafficking and to establish a network of local contacts involved in similar anti-TIP activities. Young Generation - shelter, social assistance and counseling to victims of trafficking Social Alternatives - prevention activities, anti-trafficking newsletter, psychological assistance to victims of trafficking Reaching Out - long-term reintegration services to victims of trafficking, social assistance, counseling and shelter Adpare - shelter, counseling, reintegration services for victims and also prevention activities including peer education program in Bucharest schools Betania - social assistance and counseling Conexiuni - social assistance and counseling Romanian Orthodox Church - BANITP Metropolitan See - shelter, counseling and reintegration services.

5. (SBU) NOMINATION OF HEROES AND BEST PRACTICES
A. TIP Heroes: Post did not nominate anyone this year as a TIP hero. B. Best Practice: One of the biggest challenges in prosecuting TIP cases is how to maintain the cooperation of the victims throughout the trial process. In Romania, trials are often very long and require the victims to be present in the courtroom on multiple occasions. Furthermore, in the Romanian judicial system prosecutors take on the role of independent magistrates and therefore are not able to identify themselves with the victims. The ANITP in 2006 recognized the importance of improving this process and decided to use its infrastructure and resources to help victims better understand the judicial process and make them as comfortable as possible for the duration of the trial. In its latest action plan, the ANITP made victim-witness coordination a high and began working with the Embassy,s RLA office to move forward. The first step was to develop a system of coordinators who would facilitate contact between the victims and the courts.

The coordinators in the system have four responsibilities:
(1) to maintain updated contact information for the victim and to provide the victim with information about the status of the case;
(2) to provide the victim with general information about the court system in order to demystify the trial process and make it less intimidating;
(3) to provide the victim with logistical assistance in getting to court; and
(4) to provide the victim with information about services available in their region. 6. (U) Embassy POC is Philip Knecht, at 011-40-21-200-3435, Fax 011-40-21-200-3442.

The following Embassy personnel spent the approximate time indicated in the preparation of this report:
PolOff Phil Knecht, grade, FS-04, 80 hours;
Radu Pop, Political Specialist, 50 hours;
DOJ Legal Attach, Tim Ohms, 6 hours;
DOJ Legal Assistant, Monica Custura, 6 hours,
Political Chief, Theodore Tanoue, grade FS-02, 6 hours;
DCM, Mark Taplin, grade FE-MC, 30 minutes.
Region 7. (U) Amembassy Bucharest,s reporting telegrams are available on the Bucharest SIPRNET Website: www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest.


/ TAPLIN
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 05:15:05 pm »
AWLC to AR:


- 1. (C) SUMMARY
With concerns growing that it is being out-maneuvered, the Government of Romania (GOR) has stepped up its energy diplomacy over recent weeks in an effort to parry perceived advances for Russia's "South Stream" natural gas pipeline project. While neighboring countries rushed to conclude agreements with Gazprom, Romanian emissaries met with officials in Ashgabat to promote shipments of Turkmen gas westward via the Caucasus, Bucharest played host to Turkey's President Abdulah Gul and the Emir of Qatar, and Romania signed an energy cooperation agreement with Azerbaijan. Romania has been a steadfast proponent of the Nabucco gas pipeline and a Southern Corridor Strategy to bring Caspian Basin gas to Europe by means of a route independent of Russia. However, South Stream's recent public relations successes have produced varying reactions among the Romanian political elite. President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu have redoubled their efforts to promote diversification of supplies, while devoting greater attention to complementary projects such as an LNG facility at Constanta (see reftel A). Others, including Minister of Economy and Finance Varujan Vosganian and the opposition PSD's Ovidiu Sincai Social Democratic Institute, have expressed fears that Romania is in an increasingly isolated position and should pursue stronger relations with Russia.

- 2. (C) END SUMMARY. ENERGY DIPLOMACY IN CENTRAL ASIA
Viorel Palasca, Romania's State Secretary for Energy at the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), led an official delegation to Ashgabat February 18-22 with the goal of gauging Turkmenistan's readiness to supply natural gas to Europe. Palasca met with Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov, Minister of Industry and Energy Saparmurad Nuriyev, and other officials. While the Turkmen continued to state that their national policy is to sell gas at the border, they did make clear that Turkmenistan has additional gas reserves to export above its current contracted amounts. In a post-trip readout with econoffs February 29, Palasca shared his impression that, once the Nabucco project shows concrete progress, Turkmenistan might reconsider its policy and sell natural gas to the EU at market prices rather than to Russia at the current $130 per 1,000 cubic meters. Palasca stressed to the Turkmen that, by supplying gas to Nabucco, Turkmenistan could become an important commercial partner to the EU. 3. (C) Following up on a January 23 discussion with USTDA's Dan Stein, Palasca encouraged the Turkmen to work with Azerbaijan to construct a short under-sea connection from its offshore fields to Azerbaijan's own network, sidestepping the debate over littoral states' rights. Palasca reported that Turkmen officials took note of his suggestion, but did not respond substantively.

- 4. (C) ROMANIAN LEADERSHIP LOBBIES TURKS
Shortly after Palasca's trip, Bucharest played host the first week of March to a visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who met with both the President and Prime Minister. PM Tariceanu, who devoted more than half the meeting to energy issues, assured Gul of Romania's strong support for Turkey's desire to join the European Union. According to a senior PM advisor who was present and who characterized the meeting to emboffs, the GOR feels it is making progress in its energy relationship with Turkey, and that Romania's consistent support for Turkey's aspirations in Brussels is a key component of that strategy. BUCHAREST 00000216 002 OF 004 5. (C) Tariceanu stressed the importance of the Nabucco pipeline project to Romania and urged Turkey to conclude an agreement with Azerbaijan on transit issues. Romania has been a proponent of expanding the Nabucco consortium. According to the PM's advisor, the PM encouraged Turkey to seriously entertain Gaz de France's hopes to join the project as a seventh partner, reinforcing a sentiment last raised during French President Nicholas Sarkozy's early-February visit. Tariceanu picked up on the Embassy's points, conveyed in a February 14 meeting with the Ambassador, to urge Gul to find a political solution to Azeri gas transit issues lest a deal be delayed by more narrow-minded commercial interests. Gul responded by underlining Turkey's dedication to the project, but was non-committal as to reaching a political decision with Azeri President Ilham Alyiev on gas transit. 6. (C) Tariceanu then raised Romania's plans to develop the Black Sea port of Constanta as an important regional commercial hub, including a proposed LNG terminal within the port facilities. Gul responded that LNG shipments should not be a problem, particularly for Romanian-flagged vessels, but noted that the straits were highly congested already. According to the advisor, Gul seemed favorably inclined to a positive-discrimination approach towards Romanian LNG shipments and the development of Constanta. He further suggested the re-institution of an Istanbul-Constanta container line that would feed into the Danube transportation network. The PM and Gul had a significant discussion on the undersea Romania-Turkey electricity cable under development by Switzerland's ABB. The GOR sees this project as the leading edge of an improved energy relationship with Turkey. Gul promised to complete necessary legislative changes to PPP regulations to make the project possible (NB. The PM's advisor told econoff that Gul had not been prepared for the LNG question, as Tariceanu decided to raise it after the two sides had exchanged their discussion topics. He noted with satisfaction that this was the first time the PM had identified and asserted Romania's specific economic and development interests with Turkey, and that the reception was positive.)

- 7. (C) GOR PURSUING DEEPER TIES WITH AZERBAIJAN
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Palasca signed an Energy Cooperation Agreement in Bucharest on March 12 with his Azeri counterpart, Natig Aliyev. The MEF highlighted the strategic importance of the Agreement for Romania's access to Caspian oil and gas. In an interview with Romanian newspaper Adevarul, Minister Aliyev stated the Azeri side will study different methods of supplying natural gas directly to Romania. "To supply gas, we need pipelines. We could also supply LNG, but this requires capacities that Azerbaijan does not have for now," he said, adding however that LNG should remain on the agenda and be part of ongoing bilateral discussions. Aliyev pointed out that South Stream will strengthen Gazprom's monopolistic power. He said he did not see Iran connected to Nabucco. Aliyev suggested that Azerbaijan is not only interested in supplying gas to Nabucco, but could be interested in participating as a partner in Nabucco and in the Pan European Oil Pipeline (PEOP) as well. (Note: PEOP is a Bosporus Bypass oil pipeline project that would connect the port of Constanta to Trieste in Italy.) Palasca told Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei that, "should Azerbaijan want to participate in Nabucco through a commercial entity (i.e. SOCAR), Romania would give full support for its candidacy since Azerbaijan would bring long term natural gas supplies."

- 8. (C) ANXIETY RISING OVER SOUTH STREAM
In the meeting with econoffs, State Secretary Palasca twice expressed concern over movements by Nabucco partner countries (Bulgaria, Hungary) to sign on to Gazprom's South Stream project. Palasca stressed that Romania stands by its position that energy security cannot be achieved by two pipelines drawing on the same source of gas, but rather from BUCHAREST 00000216 003 OF 004 diversifying sources of supply. Palasca urged continued USG support in pushing the governments of Bulgaria and Hungary, and the European Commission more broadly, to stay committed to Nabucco. On the positive side, Palasca felt that Bulgaria and Hungary's flirtation with South Stream may spur Turkey to a more active role on Nabucco. 9. (C) Palasca stated that the GOR clearly recognizes the pivotal role of Azerbaijan in realizing the pipeline and is looking for ways to nudge Baku toward a solid commitment both to export its own reserves and to facilitate transit of Turkmen and Kazakh gas. According to Palasca, his Ministry has recommended to the Cabinet that Romania actively increase its commercial ties with Azerbaijan. However, Palasca felt Romania could not advocate unilaterally for Azeri's state oil and gas company SOCAR to be added to the Nabucco consortium. Palasca said that existing consortium members have not formally discussed this possibility and SOCAR has reportedly not approached member countries to express interest in joining.

- 10. (C) IS LNG A SOLUTION?
Meanwhile, the GOR is moving forward on the proposed LPG/LNG terminal at the port of Constanta. The Cabinet approved a memorandum recommending the GOR pursue the project on March 5, and Minister Vosganian signed a letter of support for a proposed USTDA-financed feasibility study on March 12. A U.S. consortium of gas suppliers and distributors led by ETG Global submitted a feasibility study grant application on February 15 (see reftel A), and a USTDA definitional mission has been scheduled for the week of April 14. State-owned natural gas producer Romgaz has been identified as the beneficiary of the study and will contribute by providing specialists and logistical assistance. 11. (C) One potential delaying factor for the study will be the lack of a defined role for the ETG/UGI group after the study's conclusion. The GOR understands that it will be the legal beneficiary of the study, and the likely partner, Romgaz, has so far been reluctant to commit to a relationship with the American study implementers. Palasca was likewise non-committal, saying that upon completion of the feasibility study Romania will decide which companies will be part of the project. He took note of econoff's clarification that the study must be conducted by a U.S. partner in order to receive USTDA financing, and that ETG/UGI Group's potential role as partner will depend on whether it can reach an agreement with Romgaz on participation in project implementation. In the absence of a U.S. partner, USTDA will not be involved.

- 12. (C) SOME FEAR BEING LEFT IN THE COLD
While much of Romania's political elite remains committed to supply diversification as the best means of enhancing Romania's energy security, a significant minority have been vocal in their calls for improved relations with Moscow. One of the loudest dissenting voices has been Minister Vosganian, a stalwart of the PM's Liberal Party and a member of Romania's ethnic Armenian minority. Vosganian, the former Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, assumed leadership of the combined Ministries of Economy and Finance in April 2007. While Vosganian initially sought a more active role as minister on the energy front (he traveled twice to Moscow and once to Baku in 2007), government insiders have said he has shown much more interest of late in budgetary matters, leaving international energy issues to State Secretary Palasca. (NB: Palasca has taken a thoughtful, professional approach to his portfolio. Interlocutors in both the Presidency and the PM's office have expressed confidence in his approach.) Most observers agree that Vosganian's combined portfolio is unwieldy and difficult for even the most skilled manager to coordinate ) and Vosganian is not widely considered a skilled manager.

13. (C)
Still, Vosganian continues to advocate for stronger BUCHAREST 00000216 004 OF 004 ties with Moscow, and has publicly downplayed the fact that Romania pays among the highest prices for Russian gas imports in Europe. In a February 28 press conference on energy pricing, Vosganian sought to deflect criticism of growing domestic energy prices by juxtaposing Romania's import price (USD 370 per 1000 cubic meters) with the price the United Kingdom pays for imported LNG (reportedly USD 407 per 1000 cubic meters). He has also been a constant critic of President Basescu's more assertive stance towards Russia, often criticizing the President for standing in the way of better relations with Moscow. While Vosganian reportedly continues to be a behind-the-scenes critic of Nabucco, his public position has been that the project might provide Romania leverage to negotiate better import terms from Gazprom.

14. (C)
The opposition Social Democrats (PSD) had remained largely silent on the issue of energy security until earlier this year, with criticism mainly limited to warnings by party leader Mircea Geoana that Basescu's approach toward Russia was unnecessarily bombastic (Basescu has famously declared Gazprom to be a more effective strategic tool for Russian than was the Red Army). Iulian Iancu, chair of the Chamber of Deputies' Industry and Services Committee and the PSD's leading light on energy, told econoffs in a recent meeting that he shares concerns that Russia is using its energy might to manipulate political events in the region. However, Gazprom's recent agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary have spurred the PSD to more vocal criticism that Romania is being outmaneuvered and risks becoming "a blank spot" on the European energy map. The PSD's "Ovidiu Sincai" Social Democratic Institute went so far as torelease a report on March 10 criticizing President Basescu's declared "Washington-London-Bucharest" axis and suggesting a "Moscow-Bucharest" axis in its place.

- 15. (C) COMMENT
With neighbors on their southern and western borders rushing to sign agreements with Gazprom this year, the leadership in Bucharest must be pondering the old adage that Romania's best neighbor is the Black Sea. President Basescu and Prime Minister Tariceanu, two men who rarely agree on anything, have remained steadfastly committed to an energy security strategy founded on pursuing alternate means of supply. However, Gazprom's recent public successes in the region, whether real or ephemeral, have raised the level of anxiety over whether Romania will be left out of the picture as new energy networks develop around it. The GOR has welcomed recent news of larger reserves in Azerbaijan (see reftel B) and views German partner RWE's new membership in the Nabucco consortium as a sign of the project's commercial potential. Having so far refused to be wooed by Gazprom's South Stream overtures, Bucharest is anxious for signs of progress on Nabucco and is doing its best to prod the process along. Still, GOR officials remain very sensitive to U.S. signals on the energy front. They will be watching us closely for any signs of a wavering USG commitment to the Southern Corridor strategy.

/ TAUBMAN
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 05:15:47 pm »
AWLC to AR

1. (C) Summary:
Though the fundamentals of Romania's foreign policy have not changed under the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Emil Boc, the combination of Russia's August 2008 incursion into Georgian territory, followed by another disconcerting Russian action in the region (the January natural gas cut-off), and the economic downturn have fostered a new sense of urgency and anxiety for Romania's national security interests. The Romanian sense of the "known unknowns" - a unique phrase that resonated well in the Foreign Ministry - is compounded by the political transition in the United States and growing economic insecurity. Romania paradoxically wants both regional stability and a change in regional relationships. This means, first and foremost, continued broadening and deepening of the U.S.-Romanian Strategic Partnership including a pledge to fulfill all international commitments. Romania continues to adjust its policies in the Black Sea region (through the Caucasus to the Caspian Sea) to encourage a process of integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Romania also seeks to explore ways to strengthen positive, historical relationships with Middle Eastern states and other "non-aligned" states. There is no shortage of challenges for Romania in any of these areas. While personalities, infrastructural and cultural impediments, and organizational inefficiencies are the main culprits behind Romania's foreign policy challenges, these are usually offset by Romania's good will and intentions. The lack of resources, including absorptive capacity, is not only an obvious controlling factor, but also more frequently the source of Romania's conduct. End Summary. Identity and the U.S.-Romanian Strategic Partnership

2. (C)
Romanian foreign policy has not changed fundamentally in the shift from former Prime Minister Tariceanu to the 2009 government of Prime Minister Emil Boc. The 2008 elections that brought Boc in with the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L) and Social Democratic Party (PSD) coalition have shifted the deck-chairs, but the direction is the same. The replacement of Tariceanu by the low-key Emil Boc gives former ship captain President Basescu greater leeway at the helm of foreign affairs and national security policy. However, PSD head (and Senate President) Mircea Geoana and even Chamber of Deputies head Roberta Anastase have indicated that they, too, want to put their mark on Romanian foreign policy decisions. Established over ten years ago by then-Presidents Clinton and Constantinescu (from the now-defunct Peasant Party), the Romanian Government and political elites understand and appreciate the material benefits of their Strategic Partnership with the U.S. (SP) that continue to accrue to Romania, even if the nuances are missed by the general population. The PSD continues to view itself as a champion of trans-Atlanticism and tries to claim credit for bringing Romania into NATO. While somewhat more EU-Centric, senior members within the National Liberal Party (PNL) Tariceanu government and the Boc government fully support the transformational nature of the SP, especially in the military, security and intelligence services. The PD-L, the PSD, and the PNL value a broadening of the SP, to include a more intensive non-security-related relationship, especially in terms of private sector investment and closer collaboration on foreign affairs.

3. (C)
U.S. demarches and notifications to the MFA following major announcements or press-staging events in Washington or elsewhere consistently engender moments of disappointment. At times we inadvertently generate derision about the ""strategic partnership" in the Romanian press when it becomes apparent that on some issues of national importance to Romania (e.g., Western Balkans, Black Sea, Iraq or Afghanistan, Middle East, etc.) there was limited or "fait accompli" previewing with Bucharest before news breaks from inside the Beltway. A classic example is the embargoed Human Rights Report. The MFA pleaded for a pre-release copy of the report, citing the "strategic partnership" as the reason for special dispensation to prepare for the inevitable political/media attacks, whether fair or not. While some of the media's vitriol aims to ridicule Basescu's infamous Bucharest-London-Washington "Axis" comments from the 2004 presidential campaign, there is still an element of hopefulness in a U.S.-Romanian "special relationship" that is simultaneously naive and endearing. Nonetheless, former Foreign Minister (and PSD member of the European Parliament) Adrian Severin referred to Romanians, trans-Atlantic BUCHAREST 00000272 002 OF 004 instincts as "genetically coded." His argument was that Romania's geo-strategic vulnerabilities (trapped by Hapsburg, Ottoman, Czarist and then Soviet Russian dynasties) over the centuries fostered a penchant among Romanians to look beyond "European" prescriptions about their national identity.

4. (C)
At a February conference on "Cultural Identity and the Security Dimension", National Security Advisor Iulian Fota argued Romanians were unsure of not only who they are, but also who they wanted to be. He said that Romania needs a national dialogue on identity because, "before you know where you are going, you should know first who you are." He very much sees Romania's transformation both within the EU and in NATO as a work in progress. University of Bucharest Sociologist Dan Dungaciu made a similar argument, but added that there is a growing political generation gap in Romania between those who are nostalgic for Ceaucescu-like controls, those who reject any attempt to look for benefits from the Ceaucescu era, and those -- mainly young people -- who either are scrambling to get out of Romania, rebelling against their elders, or biding their time under the current rules of the game. Dungaciu described a Romania that is still trying to find where it fits in Europe. This "identity" issue is one reason why other observers, like Severin, ascribe a "Trans-Atlantic gene" to Romanians; Romanians look to the U.S. because history and geography has not offered up anything better! Black Sea Strategy

5. (C)
Since the launching of the Basescu-inspired Black Sea Forum on Cooperation and Partnership in 2006, Romania has adjusted its engagement on Black Sea security issues to parallel U.S. policy emphasis on "soft power." Turkey,s visceral reactions to any Russian mention of Black Sea security in a multinational forum make Bucharest,s stance imperative. Following NATO's Bucharest Summit, when MFA Political Director Stefan Tinca briefed Alliance embassies on priorities, the Turkish DCM challenged every Black Sea point Tinca raised even after Tinca pointed out that Ankara and Bucharest had negotiated the Black Sea language together. Romania since has moderated its tone in a conscious attempt to squash irritants in its relations among the Black Sea littoral states, including the removal of the Black Sea Forum link from the MFA's webpage. It has not been enough to build the more cooperative, collaborative, and inclusive experience Romania needs in order to promote a Black Sea regional identity. The MFA is currently reviewing its Black Sea strategy.

6. (C)
In most Romanian assessments of the challenges to its national security interests, Russia looms omnipresently. The Russian role in Moldova/Transnistria, Russia's suspension of activities under the CFE treaty, and the August 2008 move into Georgia are seen as part of a Russian tapestry to block Romania's efforts to diversify gas supplies away from Russian sources, better regional balance throughout the region (Caspian Sea inclusive), and most importantly shift the NATO and EU frontiers further eastward. The Russian move against Georgia seriously reversed the more positive momentum that Romania was counting on after the 2008 NATO Summit. Romania appreciates somewhat better than others the importance of the process of NATO integration as the best way to accelerate towards eventual EU membership. EU membership for Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey are foremost in Romania's Black Sea strategy because the process of integration into the EU would also compel reconciliation of a wide range of unresolved bilateral issues with (mainly) Ukraine and Turkey, further entice Moldova away from Russia, and open up a more secure and stable commercial corridor not only through the southern Caucasus but also towards the Middle East. The August events in Georgia have forced Bucharest to recalculate where Russia may move next to create obstructions in Romania's Black Sea security space. Though there is a general cultural obsession with Moldova, Ukraine-Russia relations are much more prominent in Romania,s calculations.

7. (C)
That is not to understate Romania's feelings about Moldova. Over the past year, Romania -- especially President Basescu -- has learned to moderate reactions to what are viewed as President Voronin's efforts to provoke Romanian nationalism as a threat to Moldova's sovereignty. The Moldovans have expelled Romanian journalists, diplomats including the ambassador, students and Orthodox priests on various pretenses. Romania's instinct to strike back has been superceded by the larger strategic goal of trying to get the EU more fully focused and engaged in Moldovan issues. As BUCHAREST 00000272 003 OF 004 MFA Coordinator for Moldovan Cooperation Constantin Matache put it, "when Romania alone reacts negatively, Romania loses; we may have the border but we need to make this an EU, not a Romanian, concern." Moldovan expert and university professor Dan Dungaciu stated it more explicitly that the EU must get more involved in concrete ways, otherwise it will continue to lose Moldovans' hearts and minds because the average Moldovan only sees Russia as Moldova's benefactor and defender. Romania is concerned about both Voronin's control over Moldova and the Russian propensity to turn Moldova into a Black Sea pawn. Nonetheless, Romania will remain fully committed to a peaceful, stable, and sovereign Moldova (as an EU member state, Romania really has no choice), and believes stronger association between Chisinau and Brussels is the only, if not the best, way to get there. Moldova will continue to be a test of Romanian resolve to get the EU to develop a more strategic view of the Black Sea. Too important to fail.

8. (C)
When the story broke in early March about the espionage case involving a Romanian NCO and a retired, former-Bulgarian Defense Attache Marinov Zikolov, MFA Director General for Bilateral Affairs Zidaru privately expressed deep disappointment that a Ukrainian parliamentarian acknowledged to the press a link between the spy case and Romania's request that Ukraine withdraw its military attach and a counselor. The MFA wanted to keep the link out of the press out of fear that the publicity would have a negative impact on Ukraine's NATO aspirations. Zidaru emphasized that no one was declared "persona non grata." But as soon as the story broke, there was wide press speculation that Russian diplomats in Romania were also asked to leave, raising the political tempo and fueling more press speculation about the extent of the scandal. Nonetheless, Zidaru underscored that the case was "low level," no damage to Romanian national security had occurred, and thus the scandal had no substantive impact on Romania,s policy towards Ukraine.

9. (C)
Though rumors are a major part of Romanian political life, and Romanians frequently link unrelated events in their propensity for conspiracy-think, just because they are paranoid does not mean they lack real adversaries. Romania's Balkan-like tendencies can lead others to try to see a strategy in what might just be unfortunately timed coincidences. From Ukraine,s vantage point, a series of "setbacks" led to such a conclusion: a recent International Court of Justice ruling on the Black Sea maritime delineation favoring Romania over Ukraine; postponement of President Basescu's visit to Ukraine because "not all of the preparations were completed in time" for his early March visit; delays over the completion of negotiations for a simplified Romania-Ukraine border crossing regime (Ukraine accused Romania of submitting some last minute amendments such as adding additional consular offices to what Kiev claims were "already agreed provisions"); all capped by the spy scandal. Coming right after a shut-off of natural gas supplies that Romania blamed at least partially on Ukraine, the perception is that this strategic relationship is not as solid as it could be. That said, the MFA felt compelled to reassure us that Romania continued to support fully Ukraine's prospects for membership in NATO and the EU, noting bilateral hiccups were insignificant compared to the need for Ukraine to integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures.

10. (C)
A more complicated challenge for Romania is maintaining good relations with Turkey. In spite of the bloodied history with the Ottomans, Romania today prides itself on a strong political, economic and social relationship with Turkey and is fully committed to Turkey joining the EU. Both countries also are fully committed to preserving the CFE "flank regime" that establishes a special subset of limitations on Russian forces in their North Caucasus Military District -- a vital Confidence and Security Building Mechanism for both the Black Sea and Southern Caucasus.

11. (C)
Nonetheless there are still differences that inhibit Romania and Turkey from developing a fuller collaborative process in the Black Sea region. While Romania wants a more inclusive political regime that would strengthen both the voice of the smaller states and the influence of European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, it sees Ankara as more cautious regarding potential Russian reactions and concerned with the impact on Turkish management of the complicated access through the Bosporus Straits, or greater maritime activity in BUCHAREST 00000272 004 OF 004 the Sea itself. In that regard, Turkey is not at all shy about expressing its displeasure in Bucharest at Romania's eagerness for a larger NATO (and U.S.) presence in the Black Sea. Romania sees the issue as one of the essential components of a comprehensive energy security policy, especially given the need to diversify sources of supply away from pipelines carrying Russian gas across Turkey. Strong reservations from Ankara on Black Sea security issues beyond Operation Black Sea Harmony and BlackSeaFor factor very much into Romanian frustration on development of better energy routes from the Caucasus to the rest of Europe--a trade issue that gives advantage to Romania,s strategic location on the Sea and access to the Danube. Nonetheless Romania is on track to sign soon all of the protocols for its full participation in Operation Black Sea Harmony, a significant forward step in Turkish-Romanian Black Sea security relations. The Romanians have a proverb that describes their situation perfectly, "a goat must graze where it is leashed."

12. (C)
The political transformation of the Western Balkans continues to be a vital national security interest for Romania. The MFA is aware that not only is the work far from finished, but there is a serious risk of political regression and ethnic divergence. Romania holds a rather legalistic view of Kosovo,s independence, which they will only ever recognize if Serbia does. For Romania, there can be no internationally recognized imposition of special collective rights for a group; only individual human rights, as enshrined in the Declaration, carry legal weight. Romania denies international recognition of secession on the basis of collective rights and without the consent of the losing sovereign state. (Note: This legal view has everything to do with the ethnic Hungarian minority located in two counties in the center of Romania. End note). This view applies as much to Serbia-Kosovo as it does to Republika Srpska-Bosnia and Hercegovina. Romania does not believe the further fragmentation of the former Yugoslavia is in anyone's interest and risks becoming a prelude for further fragmentation, when the goal should be integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. Romania knows it is in a minority position on this point among EU members, and it wants to stay fully engaged in the multinational processes to encourage inter-ethnic and inter-state reconciliation for the region, provided it does not need to compromise its legal principles. Not only does this position accommodate Romania's domestic concerns regarding Transylvania, but it also avoids an internal political debate over autonomy and the impact this could have on relations with Hungary, or the dangers associated with Transnistria in the Republic of Moldova.

13. (C)
While Romania,s economy was growing on average at an impressive seven percent pace over the past few years it could afford to dream big. The momentum obtained from joining NATO and the EU did render more sophisticated ambitions, including successfully hosting the 2007 Francophone Summit and the 2008 NATO Summit; modernizing its military procurements to better meet current operational requirements for NATO interoperability; sustaining or in some instances expanding its security commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, or in the Western Balkans; having a more proactive diplomacy in the Middle East and Central Asia, to trying to build a Black Sea regional identity. That momentum is now gone. The combination of Russian actions in Georgia and the global financial downturn has put most of Romania's international ambitions on hold for now. Unavoidable budget reductions and delay in meeting its strategic procurement schedule will negatively impact Romania's confidence in its ability to maintain its foreign and domestic commitments. In this Romanian presidential election year, the need to focus on domestic concerns will make the lack of resources the centerpiece for Romania,s ability to do less with less.


/ GUTHRIE-CORN
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 07:23:22 pm by SeekLoad »
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 05:16:54 pm »
AWLC to AR

1. Following is Embassy Bucharest's submission for the 2009 Investment Climate Statement.
A. OPENNESS TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT ENCOURAGING INVESTMENT Romania actively seeks direct foreign investment. The Agency for Foreign Investment (ARIS), created in 2004, is designed to advertise the country as a good investment destination and to improve aspects of the business climate. Romania's marketplace of 21.6 million consumers, a well-educated workforce, geographic location, and abundant natural resources make it an increasingly attractive destination for investment. To date, favored areas for American investment include IT and telecommunications, services, manufacturing, and consumer products. Romania has taken steps to strengthen tax administration, enhance transparency, and create legal means to resolve contract disputes expeditiously. Mergers and acquisitions are subject to review by the Competition Council. Romania's accession to the European Union on January 1, 2007 has helped solidify institutional reform. However, judicial and legislative unpredictability continues to affect the investment climate. Prospective U.S. investors should exercise careful due diligence, including consultation with competent legal counsel, when considering any investment. U.S. companies establish a local presence in the Romanian market in several forms. Many form distribution agreements with a local Romanian firm who brings experience, expertise and access to the partnership. Other firms cover Romania from a distributor or sales representative in the region. Still other American companies choose Romania as a base of manufacturing or distribution and establish a subsidiary. The choice of strategy depends on the industry, the nature of the customer (government buyer or retail trade), and the business case. Companies that rely on regular access to the Government of Romania, or have a significant service component, generally seek to establish a subsidiary, sometimes through acquisitions. Investments that involve the public authorities (central government ministries, county governments, and city administrations) are generally more complicated than investments or joint ventures with private Romanian companies. Large deals involving the government - particularly public-private partnerships and privatizations of key state-owned enterprises - can become stymied by vested political and economic interests or bogged down due to a lack of coordination among governmental ministries. Investors have generally encountered greater success with less complex deals involving small- to medium-sized private and state enterprises.

EU ACCESSION
Romania became a member of the European Union on January 1, 2007. The country has worked assiduously to create a legal framework consistent with a market economy and investment promotion, and has largely concluded its efforts to enact EU-compatible legislation. At the same time, implementation of these regulations sometimes lags. The U.S. Department of Commerce recognized Romania as a market economy for anti-dumping investigation purposes beginning in March 2003. LEGAL FRAMEWORK Romania's legal framework for foreign investment is encompassed within a substantial body of law, largely enacted in the late 1990s and subject to frequent revision since. Investors are strongly encouraged to engage local counsel to navigate through the various laws, decrees, and regulations. This body of legislation and regulation provides national treatment for foreign investors, guarantees free access to domestic markets, and allows foreign investors to participate in privatizations. There is no limit on foreign participation in commercial enterprises. Foreign investors are entitled to establish wholly foreign-owned enterprises in Romania (although joint ventures are more typical) and to convert and repatriate 100 percent of after-tax profits. Foreign firms are allowed to participate in the management and administration of the investment, as well as to assign their contractual obligations and rights to other Romanian or foreign investors.

Foreign investors may engage in business activities in Romania by any of the following methods: BUCHAREST 00000024 002 OF 011
- Setting up new commercial companies, subsidiaries or branches, either wholly owned or in partnership with Romanian natural or legal persons;
- Participating in the increase of capital of an existing company or the acquisition of shares, bonds, or other securities of such companies;
- Acquiring concessions, leases or agreements to manage economic activities, public services, or the production of subsidiaries belonging to commercial companies or state-owned public corporations;
- Acquiring ownership rights over non-residential real estate improvements, including land, via establishment of a Romanian company;
- Acquiring industrial or other intellectual property rights;
- Concluding exploration and production-sharing agreements related to the development of natural resources. Foreign investor participation can take the form of: foreign capital, equipment, means of transport, spare parts and other goods, services, intellectual property rights, technical know-how and management expertise, or proceeds and profits from other businesses carried out in Romania. Foreign investment must comply with environmental protection, national security, defense, public order, and public health interests and regulations. There have been few hostile take-over attempts reported in Romania, and as a result Romanian law has not focused on limiting potential mergers or acquisitions. There are no Romanian laws prohibiting or restricting private firms' free association with foreign investors.

PRIVATIZATION
The State Asset Resolution Authority (AVAS) is charged with privatizing state-owned industrial and energy assets and managing these assets in the interim period before a privatization is finalized. The law on privatization permits the responsible authority to hire an agent to handle the entire privatization process, though ultimate decision-making authority remains with the government. Major energy sector privatization was largely stalled in 2008, although the state-owned hydro power producer, Hidroelectrica, is making progress in selling off micro hydropower plants. The company sold 33 micro hydro power plants, worth 39 million Euros, to foreign and Romanian investors in 2008. Prospective investors are strongly advised to conduct thorough due diligence before any acquisition, particularly of state-owned assets. Some firms have found it advantageous to purchase industrial assets through AVAS' budget arrears recovery process rather than through direct privatization. When utilized, this method may avoid assuming historical debt or encumbering labor agreements. As a member of the European Union, Romania is required to notify the European Commission's General Directorate for Competition regarding significant privatizations and related state aid. Prospective investors should ascertain whether such an obligation exists, and ensure compliance by relevant government entities. GOR failure to notify the European Commission properly has resulted in delays and complications in some past privatizations. Some investors have also experienced problems due to the occasional failure of GOR entities to fully honor contractual obligations following conclusion of privatization agreements. Romanian law allows for the inclusion of confidential clauses in privatization and public-private partnership contracts to protect business proprietary and other information. However, in certain high-profile privatizations, Parliamentary action has compelled the opening up of such provisions.

PROPERTY AND CONTRACTURAL RIGHTS
Property and contractual rights are recognized, but enforcement through the judicial process can be difficult, costly, and lengthy. Foreign companies engaged in trade or investment in Romania often express concern regarding Romanian courts' lack of expertise in commercial issues. Judges generally have little experience in the functioning of a market economy, international business methods, intellectual property rights, or the application of Romanian commercial and competition laws. Even when court judgments are favorable, enforcement of judgments is inconsistent and can require further lengthy appeals.



B. CONVERSION AND TRANSFER POLICIES
Romanian legislation does not restrict the conversion or transfer of funds associated with direct investment. All profits made by BUCHAREST 00000024 003 OF 011 foreign investors in Romania may be converted into another currency and transferred abroad at the market exchange rate after payment of taxes. Romania's national currency, the Leu, is freely convertible on current-account transactions, in accordance with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Article VII. Proceeds from the sale of shares, bonds, or other securities, as well as from the conclusion of an investment, can also be repatriated. There is no limitation on the inflow or outflow of funds for remittances of profits, debt service, capital gains, returns on intellectual property, or imported inputs. In 1997, the Romanian government implemented new regulations that liberalized foreign exchange markets. The inter-bank electronic settlement system became fully operational in 2006, eliminating past procedural delays in processing capital outflows. Commission fees for real-time electronic banking settlements have gradually been reduced. Capital inflows are free from restraint. Previous restrictions on the opening of Leu deposits by non-residents have been lifted. Romania concluded capital account liberalization in September 2006 with the decision to permit non-residents and residents abroad to purchase derivatives, treasury bills and other monetary instruments.



C. EXPROPRIATION AND COMPENSATION
The law on direct investment includes a guarantee against nationalization and expropriation or other equivalent actions. The law allows investors to select the court or arbitration body of their choice to settle potential litigation. Five cases against Romania are pending with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Several cases involving property nationalized during the communist era also remain unresolved.



D. DISPUTE SETTLEMENT ARBITRATION
Romania recognizes the importance of arbitration in the settlement of commercial disputes. Many agreements involving international companies and Romanian counterparts provide for the resolution of disputes through third-party arbitration. Romania is a signatory to the New York Convention of 1958 regarding the recognition and execution of foreign arbitration awards. Romania is also a party to the European convention on international commercial arbitration concluded in Geneva in 1961 and is a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Romanian law and practice recognize applications to other internationally-known arbitration institutions, such as the ICC Paris Court of Arbitration and the Vienna United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Romania also has an International Commerce Arbitration Court administered by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania. Arbitration awards are enforceable through Romanian courts under circumstances similar to those in other Western countries, although legal proceedings can be protracted. MEDIATION: Mediation as a tool to resolve disputes is becoming more common in Romania. Mediation became a legal profession in 2006 when the Romanian Parliament passed legislation recognizing it and establishing a certifying body, The Mediation Council, to set standards and practices. The professional association, The Union of Mediation Centers in Romanian, is the umbrella organization for mediators throughout the county. There are recognized mediation centers in every county capital where court-sanctioned and private mediation is available. There is no court-ordered mediation but judges can encourage litigants to use mediation to resolve their cases. If litigants opt for mediation, upon completion of the mediation process, they must present their proposed resolution to the judge who must approve the agreement. The Union of Mediation Centers is a member of the European Mediation Network Initiative and is recognized by the European Union and other regional bodies. BANKRUPTCY Romania's bankruptcy law contains provisions for liquidation and reorganization that are generally consistent with Western legal BUCHAREST 00000024 004 OF 011 standards. These laws usually emphasize enterprise restructuring and job preservation. Legal and economic education and the training of judges and lawyers lag behind law-making, which often results in inconsistent outcomes. To mitigate the time and financial costs of bankruptcies, Romanian legislation provides for administrative liquidation as an alternative to bankruptcy. However, investors and creditors have complained that the liquidators sometimes lack the incentive to expedite liquidation proceedings, and that, in some cases, their decisions have served vested outside interests. Both state-owned and private companies tend to opt for judicial reorganization to avoid bankruptcy.



E. PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS/INCENTIVES INCENTIVES
Currently, customs and tax incentives are available for investors in six free trade zones and 36 regions of the country designated as economically disadvantaged. State aid is available for investments in free trade zones under EU regional development assistance rules. Large companies may receive aid equivalent to up to 50 percent of their eligible costs (limited to 40 percent in Bucharest and surrounding Ilfov county), while small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may receive assistance with up to 65 percent of their eligible costs. Prospective investors are advised to investigate thoroughly the current status of fiscal incentives. In 2007 Romania adopted European Union regulations on regional investment aid and instituted state aid schemes for large investments. To benefit from state aid under these schemes, the applicant must secure financing for at least 25 percent of the eligible costs, either through its own resources or by external financing, in a form which is free of any public support. The applicant must document this financing in strict accordance with Ministry of Finance guidelines. In practice, unfortunately, GOR budget constraints and a less than fully transparent application process have limited access to these forms of state aid. To reduce initial startup costs, a system of industrial parks and technological parks is being created. Tax incentives are available under the law for the industrial park operator, while companies that establish themselves in the park benefit from access to utility hookups and infrastructure, and to potential local tax rebates under regional development aid schemes. According to the Agency for Foreign Investment, there were 54 industrial parks throughout Romania as of December 2008. As a member of the European Union, Romania must receive European Commission approval for any state aid it grants which is not covered by the EU's block exemption regulations. The Romanian Competition Council acts as a clearinghouse for the exchange of information between the Romanian authorities and the European Commission. Specifically, the Council screens the state aid notifications and provides an initial opinion to the state aid grantor as to whether the request is consistent with EU directives, allowing for an opportunity to revise or withdraw a request before it is submitted to the Commission. Even after submission, the Council retains jurisdiction over competition and antitrust matters. The failure of state aid grantors to notify the Commission properly on aid associated with privatizations has resulted in the Commission launching formal investigations into several privatizations. Investors should ensure that government entities with which they work fully understand and fulfill their duty to notify competition authorities. Investors may wish to consult with EU and Romanian competition authorities in advance to ensure a proper understanding of notification requirements.

TAX SYSTEM
Since 1999, Romania has revised its tax system to bring it closer both to EU models and to the recommendations of the World Bank and IMF. In 2004, Romania adopted a flat tax of 16 percent on personal income and corporate profits, and simplified the tax code. The government has also reformed the tax code to encourage economic growth and foreign investment. It reduced employers' payroll taxes by two percent in 2007 and by an additional six percent in three stages in 2008. However, even after these cuts, Romania's aggregate 39.85 percent payroll tax (at the end of 2008) remains a burden, leading some parties to support efforts to reduce it by an additional two percent in 2009. Romania has a 19 percent value added tax (VAT). Investors should be aware that, due to budget constraints, the GOR has occasionally withheld VAT reimbursements due to foreign companies for extended periods. The country is fully integrated into EU customs and excise tax systems, and is scheduled to be fully integrated into EU VAT transfer systems by 2009. The new coalition government, which took office in late December 2008, has announced that it will keep the flat tax unchanged. BUCHAREST 00000024 005 OF 011 TARIFF PREFERENCES Upon EU accession, Romania implemented the EU Common Customs Tariff, the Generalized Preference Scheme, EU commercial safeguards, preference agreements and cooperation agreements concluded by the EU with third countries, as well as other EU commercial commitments vis-`-vis the WTO.



F. RIGHT TO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP; ESTABLISHING FIRMS
The Romanian Constitution, adopted in December 1991 and revised in 2003, guarantees the right to ownership of private property. Mineral and air rights, and similar rights are excluded from private ownership. Under the revised Constitution, foreign citizens can gain land ownership through inheritance. With EU accession, citizens of EU member states can now own land in Romania subject to reciprocity in their home country. Companies having foreign capital may acquire land or property necessary for fulfilling or developing the company's corporate goals. If the company is dissolved or liquidated, the land must be sold within one year of the company's closure and may only be legally sold to a buyer(s) with the legal right to purchase such assets. For a transition period of seven years after Romania's accession to the EU, foreign investors cannot purchase agricultural land or forests and forestry land (except for farmers acting as commercial entities). Investors can purchase shares in agricultural companies that can lease land in the public domain from the State Land Agency.



G. PROTECTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS MORTGAGES
In early 2006, the Parliament passed a legislative package that regulates the establishment of specialized mortgage banks, including the possibility of transforming existing non-banking mortgage credit institutions into specialized mortgage banks. The law also makes possible a secondary mortgage market by regulating mortgage bond issuance mechanisms. Currently, mortgage lending is offered by commercial banks, specialized mortgage banks, and non-bank mortgage credit institutions. With the 2006 privatization of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), Romania's mortgage market is almost entirely private (the state-owned National Savings Bank, or CEC, also offers mortgage loans). The primary market demonstrated robust growth until the third quarter of 2008, when credit tightened in response to the international financial crisis and the implementation of much stricter national regulations on borrower qualifications. Standard bank loans currently charge interest of around 15 percent APY on Leu loans for an initial fixed term (of one, two, or five years), followed by a variable interest rate for the life of the loan. Variable rates are typically pegged to the six-month ROBOR (Romanian inter-bank) rate (currently around 16.3 percent) plus a fixed spread. Euro-denominated loans currently offer interest rates of approximately seven percent APY for the first two years, with subsequent variable rates linked to the six-month EURIBOR (European inter-bank) rate. Due to the financial crisis, however, many banks have restricted euro-denominated lending.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Romania is a signatory to international conventions concerning intellectual property rights (IPR), including TRIPS, and has enacted legislation protecting patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Romania signed the Internet Convention to protect online authorship. While the IPR legal framework is generally good, enforcement in some areas remains weak and ineffectual. The flagrant trade of retail pirated goods has largely been eliminated, but personal use of pirated products and software remains high. The recording, video, and software industries have expressed concerns over increasing levels of Internet-based piracy of electronic media. Romania has passed border IPR control enforcement provisions as required under the WTO, yet judicial enforcement is lax.

PATENTS
Romania is a party to the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property and subscribes to all of its amendments. Romanian patent legislation generally meets international standards, with foreign investors accorded equal treatment with Romanian citizens under the law. Patents are valid for 20 years. Romania has been a member of the European Patent Protection Convention since 2002. TRADEMARKS BUCHAREST 00000024 006 OF 011 In 1998, Romania passed a law on trademarks and geographic indicators which is generally consistent with international standards. Areas that require improvement are in administrative procedures and sanctions. Romania is a signatory to the Madrid Agreement relating to the international registration of trademarks and the Geneva Treaty on Trademarks. Trademark registrations are valid for ten years from the date of application and renewable for similar periods. In 2007, Romania ratified the Singapore Treaty on trademarks registration. COPYRIGHTS Romania is a member of the Bern Convention on Copyrights. Its 1996 law on the protection of copyrights and neighboring rights is among the most modern in this field. The Romanian Parliament ratified the latest versions of the Bern and Rome conventions. The Romanian Copyright Office (ORDA) was established in 1997 and ostensibly oversees copyright enforcement. However, copyright law enforcement is often a low priority for Romanian prosecutors and judges. Some magistrates still tend to view copyright piracy as a "victimless crime," particularly if affected copyright holders are not Romanian citizens. This attitude, coupled with a lack of resources, has resulted in weak enforcement of copyright law. Copyright infringement in software, music, and video is prevalent throughout Romania. Although they have declined over the past few years, piracy rates remained high over the last year largely due to widespread cyber-piracy. The latest industry estimates of piracy rates by sector are: 68 percent of business software, 89 percent of entertainment software, 65 percent of music, and 55 percent of video.

SEMICONDUCTOR CHIP LAYOUT DESIGN
Romanian law protects semiconductor chip layout design. In order to benefit, designs must be registered with the Romanian Trademark Office. Romania is a signatory to the Washington Treaty.



H. TRANSPARENCY OF THE REGULATORY SYSTEM
Cumbersome and non-transparent bureaucratic procedures are a major problem in Romania. Foreign investors point to the excessive time it takes to secure necessary zoning permits, environmental approvals, property titles, licenses, and utility hook-ups. Romania enacted a "Silent Approval" Law in 2003 to reduce bureaucratic delays, but it has yet to be universally enforced or recognized. Furthermore, regulations change frequently, often without advance notice, and are often vaguely worded and poorly explained. These changes, which can significantly add to the costs of doing business, can complicate investors' business plans. Romanian law requires consultations and a 30-day comment period on legislation affecting the business environment (the Sunshine Law). However, not all ministries adhere to this requirement. State aid legislation and EU state aid regulations (directly applicable to Romania after January 1, 2007) aim to limit state aid in any form, such as direct state subsidies, debt rescheduling schemes, debt for equity swaps, or discounted land prices. As noted above, the European Commission must be notified of and approve state aid granted by Romania above a certain monetary threshold that does not correspond to pre-approved categories of aid.



I. EFFICIENT CAPITAL MARKET AND PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT CAPITAL MARKETS
Romania seeks to develop efficient capital markets. The National Securities Commission (CNVM) is charged with regulating the securities market in order to protect investors. The process provides for the registration and licensing of brokers and financial intermediaries, filing and approval of prospectuses, and approval of market mechanisms. On November 20, 1995, the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) conducted its first transactions after a hiatus of 50 years. The BVB operates a three-tier system that, at present, lists a total of 67 companies, with 20 companies in the highest tier. The official index, BET, is based on a basket of the 10 most active stocks listed on the first tier. The BVB also has a RASDAQ (OTC) market segment that currently lists 1,763 different stocks. The BVB additionally allows trades in corporate, municipal bonds, and international bonds. Beginning in 2007, the BVB opened derivatives trading. Despite lower trading fees and a diversified securities listing, the situation on the international capital and financial markets has adversely affected the Romanian capital market. Country funds, hedge funds and venture capital funds continue to participate in the BUCHAREST 00000024 007 OF 011 capital markets, yet on a decreasing scale. Minority shareholders have the right to participate in any capital increase. The Romanian capital market regulation is now EU-consistent, with accounting regulations reflecting EC Directives IV and VII.

BANKING SECTOR
In 2006, the GOR concluded the privatization of Romania's largest bank, Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), to Erste Bank of Austria. After BCR, of the 42 banks and credit cooperative unions operating in Romania, the French-owned Romanian Bank for Development (BRD-Societe Generale) is the second largest bank with 15 percent market share, followed by Austrian-owned Volksbank (6.31 percent) and Raiffeisen Bank (6.11 percent). Other large banks include the domestically-owned Banca Transilvania (5.54 percent) and Italian UniCredit Tiriac (5.4 percent). According to the Romanian Central Bank, overdue and legally disputed loans now amount to 0.24% of total attracted and borrowed sources, this accounts for 0.22 percent of total banking assets and 2.36 percent of the banks' own capital. The GOR actively encourages foreign investment in the banking sector, and there are no restrictions on mergers and acquisitions. The only remaining state-owned bank is the National Savings Bank (CEC), with a market share of 4.39 percent. While Romania's Central Bank must approve the operation of all new non-EU banking entities in the country, those banks and non-banking financial institutions with existing operating approval in other EU countries need merely notify the Central Bank of plans to provide local services.



J. POLITICAL VIOLENCE
There have been no reported incidents in Romania involving politically motivated damage to foreign investments (projects and/or installations). Major civil disturbances are not expected to occur in Romania in the near future.



K. CORRUPTION
Despite some improvements, corruption remains a serious problem. Romania and Bulgaria had the lowest rankings among EU member states in Transparency International's (TI) 2008 Corruption Perception Index. TI's 2007 report on judicial corruption pointed to poor judicial decision making and weak ethical values. U.S. investors have complained of government and business corruption in Romania, with the customs service, municipal zoning offices and local financial authorities most frequently named. In some cases, demands for payoffs by low- to mid-level officials reach the point of harassment. Romanian law and regulations contain provisions intended to prevent corruption, but enforcement is generally weak. Corruption is currently punishable under a variety of statutes in the penal code. Prison sentences are sometimes imposed, but powerful and influential individuals have often evaded prosecution or conviction. Under pressure from the European Union, the Government of Romania is attempting to prosecute several high-level political officials from previous governments, including a former Prime Minister. The government announced a National Anti-Corruption Plan and passed an anti-corruption law in April 2003. The plan contains an impressive list of measures and commitments that constitute key benchmarks for judging the government's commitment to combat corruption. A national strategy to combat corruption in local public administration was adopted in June 2008. However, the implementation of these measures and commitments has lagged. A money laundering law was passed in February 1999 and a new criminal code came into effect in 2003. With U.S. help, the Romanian government established a new institution in September 2002 - the National Anti-Corruption Prosecutors' Office (DNA) - staffed by prosecutors and police to combat corruption. In the first half of 2008, Romania also established the National Integrity Agency, which is designed to monitor financial asset flows, limit conflicts of interest, and sanction unjustified increases in the personal assets of politicians and public sector employees. Romania is a member country of the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative (SECI), and it has signed and ratified the Agreement on Cooperation to Prevent and Combat Trans-border Crime of May 1999. Bucharest hosts the SECI Regional Center for Combating Corruption BUCHAREST 00000024 008 OF 011 and Organized Crime, and Romania is one of the three members of the Joint Cooperation Committee. In March 2002, to reduce corrupt practices in public procurement, the GOR inaugurated a web-based e-procurement system which can be accessed at http://www.e-licitatie.ro/.

Initiated with seed money from USAID, the system is a transparent listing of ongoing auctions and closed auctions, with the name of the winners and the closing prices made available to the public. The use of "e-licitatie" has increased government efficiency, reduced government vulnerability to corruption, and improved fiscal responsibility in government procurement. E-procurement has increased from 159 government clients and 600 suppliers in its initial months to 11,130 state entities and 12,885 suppliers. Initially used solely for basic, standard products, the program is also now applied to more complex projects. The public procurement legislation, passed in 2006 and repeatedly amended since, establishes ex-ante controls on public procurement processes, stricter rules on eligible participants, and an appeals mechanism for complaints against the process. The National Agency for Public Procurement has general oversight over procurements and can draft legislation, but procurement decisions remain with the procuring entities. COURT SYSTEM The Romanian judicial system suffers from corruption, inefficiency, lack of expertise, and excessive workloads. Divergent and often contradictory rulings are not uncommon, complicating normal commercial activities. Companies routinely complain that commercial disputes take too long to resolve through the court system and, once a verdict is reached, court orders may not be enforced. Errors in court procedures, whether peripheral to the outcome or not, may result in complete retrials, further delaying verdicts. Courts are overburdened and the number of magistrates and judges is too small. Litigants in virtually all cases have a right to two appeals, contributing to clogs in court dockets throughout the system and lengthy delays. Final judgments are not binding until all appeals are exhausted. Clerks, attorneys and judges reportedly remain susceptible to bribes or other "extra-judicial" payments, most commonly to "speed up" litigation, to assure a particular judge is assigned to a case, or to create intentional procedural errors leading to retrial.

CYBER CRIME
Romania has one of the world's highest occurrences of internet fraud. The problem is illustrated by a growing stream of complaints, some of which involve U.S. companies and their customers being defrauded of millions of dollars. The most common problems result from the use of stolen credit card numbers for the purchase of goods online, fraudulent use of on-line auction platforms such as eBay, as well as sophisticated phishing schemes to defraud customers of legitimate e-commerce companies. Romanian hackers also have gained notoriety for hacking into U.S. companies' servers and stealing proprietary information, including customer credit card data. There have been cases where Romanian hackers have offered to sell the means by which they hacked the company's server back to the victimized U.S. company. On other occasions, hackers have attempted blackmail by threatening to release sensitive data or the means to hack the system unless a specific amount of money is paid. An e-commerce law that defines and punishes cyber crime came into force in July 2002. Law enforcement efforts are still not commensurate with the scale of the problem, but enforcement activities have notably increased, thanks in part to substantial assistance U.S. law enforcement agencies have provided to the Romanian authorities. Several recent investigations into cyber crime, and successful arrests by Romanian authorities, may serve as a deterrent to new cyber criminals.



L. BILATERAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS
The U.S.-Romanian Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) on the reciprocal encouragement and protection of investment (signed May 1992, ratified by the U.S. in 1994) guarantees national treatment for U.S. and Romanian investors. It provides a dispute resolution mechanism, liberal capital transfer, prompt and adequate compensation in the event of an expropriation, and the avoidance of trade-distorting performance requirements. The U.S. government negotiated an agreement with the EU and eight accession countries, including Romania, to cover any possible inconsistencies between the pre-existing BITs and the countries' future EU obligations. This revised BIT was ratified by the U.S. Senate and Romanian Parliament BUCHAREST 00000024 009 OF 011 in 2004, and went into effect on February 9, 2007. Other bilateral trade agreements with third countries were terminated upon Romania's EU accession.



M. OPIC AND OTHER INVESTMENT INSURANCE PROGRAMS
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) began operations in Romania in late 1992, following the signing of an investment incentive agreement in June 1992, and continues to actively finance projects in Romania. Romania has been a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) since 1992. N. LABOR Romania has traditionally offered a large, skilled labor force at comparatively low wage rates in most sectors, although the labor pool is tightening. The university system is generally regarded as good, particularly in technical fields, though foreign and Romanian business leaders have urged reform of outdated higher education curricula to better meet the needs of a modern, innovation-driven market. The quality of work of Romanian craftsmen, engineers, and software designers is well regarded by foreign managers. With appropriate on-the-job training, local labor performs well with new technologies and more exacting quality requirements. However, labor shortages have appeared in certain sectors, resulting in strong upward pressure on wages. Before the onset of the global economic downturn, analysts estimated that as many as 600,000 additional skilled workers would be needed in the construction industry alone. Outward labor migration and the number of students graduating without the practical skills needed in the modern workplace are considered the main causes for this trend. However, slowing growth and recession in western European countries is expected to alleviate domestic labor market shortages somewhat as some Romanian workers return from abroad. Since the revolution of December 1989, labor-management relations have occasionally been tense as a result of economic restructuring efforts and personnel layoffs. In September 2008, unemployment officially stood at 3.9 percent, down from 4.0 percent at the end of 2007. Trade unions, much better organized than employers' associations, are vocal defenders of their prerogatives. The national minimum wage was recently set at RON 540 per month (about USD $180) after extensive negotiations between unions, employers associations, and government representatives. This is scheduled to increase to RON 600 (about USD $200) on January 1, 2009, provided certain favorable economic targets are reached. The government adheres to the ILO convention protecting worker rights. According to Eurostat, Romania's minimum wage (as adjusted for purchasing power parity) of 232 points is among the lowest of all the 27 EU states, placing the country in the next to last place, ahead of Bulgaria. However, also according to Eurostat, Romania registered the biggest growth of the minimum salary in real terms, of 12.2 percent, from 2000-2008. Employers considered the Labor Code passed in 2003 to be overly rigid for a market economy, as it made it harder for employers to dismiss employees for poor performance. In June 2005, the GOR approved several amendments to the Code which foreign investors consider to be an improvement, although it still tilts in favor of trade unions and retains provisions restricting labor flexibility. Payroll taxes remain steep despite recently enacted reductions. As a result, an estimated 25-30 percent of the labor force works in the "underground economy" as "independent contractors" where their salaries are neither recorded nor taxed. Even for registered workers, under-reporting of actual salaries is common. Current law makes it very costly to locate non-EU citizen expatriate staff in Romania. Foreign companies often resort to expensive staff rotations, special consulting contracts, and non-cash benefits. Work permits are now issued for a maximum one-year period (except for seasonal work) for a fee of 200 euros (payable in the RON equivalent at the daily exchange rate). These permits are automatically renewable with a valid individual work contract. Starting in 2008, 14 county offices of the Romanian Immigration Authority will be authorized to issue work permits for foreign citizens in an attempt to decentralize this activity. After January 1, 2007, foreigners from EU countries that did not impose restrictions on Romanian citizens can work in Romania without work permits. Although several companies began importing workers, mainly from Turkey, China, India, Pakistan or Moldova, most Romanian businesses are still reluctant to bring in large numbers of foreign workers. The Government plans to raise the number of annual work permits allowed from 10,000 to 15,000. BUCHAREST 00000024 010 OF 011



O. FREE TRADE ZONES
Free Trade Zones (FTZs) received legal authority in Romania in 1992. General provisions include unrestricted entry and re-export of goods and an exemption from customs duties. The law further permits the leasing or transfer of buildings or lands for terms of up to 50 years to corporations or natural persons, regardless of nationality. Currently there are six FTZs, primarily located on the Danube River or close to the Black Sea: Sulina, Constanta-Sud Agigea, Galati, Braila, Curtici-Arad, and Giurgiu. The Administrator of each FTZ is responsible for all commercial activities performed within the zone. FTZs are under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation.



P. FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT STATISTICS
Romania has been an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), and is currently the number one destination in Southeastern Europe. However, Romania did not become a significant target of FDI until the start of this decade, due to earlier delays in economic reforms. According to data provided by the Romanian Trade Registry, the cumulative net stock of FDI for the period from January 1990 through September 2008 totaled $28.36 billion, representing 18.9 percent of GDP. FDI in 2007 amounted to $3.3 billion (2.0 percent of GDP). Since Romanian capital exports were largely prohibited prior to capital account liberalization in 2006, the total January-June 2008 Romanian direct investments abroad were $841.5 million. Major sectors for foreign investment include: -- Automobile and automotive components (Renault, Daimler Benz, Ford, Siemens, Continental, Alcoa, Delphi Packard, Johnson Controls, Honeywell Garrett, Michelin, Pirelli);
- Banking and finance (Citibank, Societe Generale, AIG, ING, Generali, Volksbank, Raiffeisen, Erste Bank, Unicredit, National Bank of Greece, Royal Bank of Scotland, Intesa Sanpaolo, Millenium Bank, GE Money);
- Information Technology (Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco Systems, IBM)
- Telecommunications (France Telecom, OTE, Telesystem International Wireless Services, Airtouch-Vodafone);
- Hotels (Hilton, Marriott, Best Western, Howard Johnson, Sofitel, Crowne Plaza, Accor, Ramada, Radisson);
- Manufacturing (Timken, General Electric, LNM, Marco, Flextronics, Holcim, Lafarge, Heidelberg);
- Consumer products (Procter and   s h i t   , Unilever, Henkel, Coca-Cola, Parmalat, Danone);
- Retail chains (Metro, Delhaize, Carrefour, Cora, Billa, Selgros, Auchan, Kaufland). Officially, the value of U.S. direct investment in Romania as of September 2008 was $1,055.8 million. The U.S. is the seventh-ranked foreign investor nation after the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, and Cyprus. U.S.-source FDI represented 3.7 percent of Romania's total. However, official statistics do not fully account for the tendency of U.S. firms to invest through foreign, especially European-based, subsidiaries, meaning the actual amount is higher. Romanian statistics also over-emphasize physical capital-intensive investments, such as brownfield investments, while de-emphasizing the impact of foreign investment in services and technology. American investment has mainly been in the telecommunications, mechanized agricultural, and consumer product sectors.

Significant U.S. direct investors (including investments made through branches or representative offices) include:
- - Advent Central and Eastern Europe "investment fund"
- - AIG "general insurance"
- - AIG "life insurance"
- - AIG "New Europe Fund"
- - AIG "investment fund"
- - Alcoa "automotive, aluminum processing"
- - Bunge "food"
- - Citibank "banking"
- - Coca-Cola "beverage and food"
- - Cooper Cameron "gas field equipment manufacturer"
- - Delphi Packard "automotive"
- - General Electric "aircraft components"
- - GE Money "non-banking financial services"
- - Hewlett Packard
- - IT&C equipment, services
- - Hoeganess "iron powder for automotive"
- - Honeywell Garrett "automotive"
- - IBM "IT equipment"
- - Johnson Controls "automotive"
- - Kodak "film processing"
- - McDonald's "food"
- - Microsoft "software services BUCHAREST 00000024 011 OF 011"
- - New Century Holding "investment fund"
- - Office Depot "office and business supplies"
- - Oracle "IT services, consulting"
- - Philip Morris "tobacco products"
- - Procter and   S h i t  "consumer products"
- - Qualcomm "telecommunications"
- - Sigma Bleyzer "investment fund"
- - Flextronics "contract manufacturing (ICT)"
- - Timken "industrial bearings"
- - UPC "cable television operator"
- - Visa "financial services"
- - Washington International Group "engineering In addition to these companies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) remains the single largest investor (debt plus equity) in Romania with some - $5.1 billion invested. The U.S. is a 10 percent shareholder in the EBRD. Romania's biggest investors are: - Holland - $6.08 billion (21.5 percent of total FDI): ICT, banking, insurance, consumer products, food; - Austria - $3.82 billion (13.5 percent): banking, insurance, construction materials, etc. - Germany - $3.26 billion (11.5 percent): insurance, food, machine construction, chemicals, cement, banking; - France - $2.60 billion (9.2 percent): food, ICT, automotive, manufacturing, cement, agriculture, banking, hypermarkets; - Italy - $1.38 billion (4.9 percent): footwear, textiles, food, banking, insurance; - Cyprus - $1.32 billion (4.7 percent): banking, retail, services; - U.S. - $ $1.05 billion(3.7 percent)":

ICT, automotive, banking, insurance, hospitality, manufacturing, consumer products.
- Web Resources Romanian Government http://www.guv.ro/
- Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments http://www.arisinvest.ro/
- The Authority for State Assets Recovery http://www.avas.gov.ro/
- Ministry of Public Finance http://www.mfinante.ro/
- Ministry of Economy http://www.minind.ro/
- International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes http://www.worldbank.org/icsid
- Romanian Copyright Office http://www.orda.ro/
- Ministry of Communications and Information Technology http://www.mcti.ro/
- National Securities Commission http://www.cnvmr.ro/
- Bucharest Stock Exchange http://www.bvb.ro/
- National Bank of Romania http://www.bnro.ro/
- National Anti-Corruption Prosecutors' Office http://www.pna.ro/
- Romanian Government's Web-Based e-Procurement System http://www.e-licitatie.ro/
- Overseas Private Investment Corporation http://www.opic.gov/
- Ministry of Labor, Social Solidarity and Family http://www.mmuncii.ro/



/ GUTHRIE-CORN
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 07:38:12 pm by SeekLoad »
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 05:17:23 pm »
AWLC to AR
Romania Spy Chief Probed Over Elections
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/24301/
Bucharest | 10 December 2009 |

A parliamentary committee has questioned the chief of one of Romania's secret services over allegations that his agency was involved in alleged fraud in Sunday's presidential elections. The opposition Social Democrats alledge that Marcel Opris provided a software to the Liberal Democrats, who support President Traian Basescu, that enabled them to access voting figures data.

Opris has denied the allegations and on Thursday called them "a grave attack on the agency", which monitors all telecommunication networks for the president, government, parliament and top judges, according to media. Romania's opposition is contesting the outcome Sunday's presidential run-off elections, claiming fraud, and has filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court. Basescu narrowly defeated the opposition leader Mircea Geoana in Sunday's presidential runoff. The vote gave Basescu 50.3 per cent against Geoana's 49.7 per cent. The poll outcome was a reversal of earlier exit polls Sunday night that showed Geoana in the lead, again by less than one per cent. The Constitutional Court on Thursday started legal procedures. A Constitutional Court judge said that it will take "one to three days to reach a conclusion and communicate it". Geoana has said he will respect the court ruling but has refused to work with Basescu afterwards. Social Democrats claim there was a suspiciously high number of voided ballot papers, and accused Basescu of organising "massive electoral tourism" by transporting people between polling stations to vote several times in different locations. The claims, together with Basescu's victory, will undoubtedly prolong Romania's political crisis and affect its relations with its creditors. Traian Basescu has been unable to oversee the appointment of a new government since October, when the government headed by current caretaker Prime Minister Emic Boc, collapsed. Opposition parties in parliament have refused to approve Basescu's two subsequent nominations for the role of prime minister. The political impasse prompted the International Monetary Fund to suspend the disbursement of further tranches of a EUR20 billion loan, which is dependent on the government pushing through unpopular budget cuts, and cutting the size of state administration.

/ Robert Reinfrank
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 05:18:45 pm »
AWLC to AR
Hello Anya

The Parliamentary Assembly in the Council of Europe adopted recommendation promoted by UDMR (the Democrat Union of Hungarians in Romania) deputy    G y f u c k    Frunda, supporting the territorial autonomy of national minorities in states represented in the Council of Europe. Using debate on the concept of nation as veil, the promotion of such autonomy in Recommendation 1735 of the Parliamentary Assembly serves the UDMR initiative to promote new law on national minorities' status. While in front of the Parliamentary Assembly in January 25, Romanian president Traian Basescu was asked about cultural autonomy by Hungarian deputy Zsolt Nemeth. The head of state answered there was no European model on such system to protect minorities and added Romania had a very modern such system, allowing for the use of mother tongues in administration and Justice. In January 26, the Parliamentary Assembly voted for the Hungarian proposal and turned it into recommendation. The US Ambassador in Bucharest has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry office today on the marine shooter Van Goethem trail, says press release from the ministry. Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu has expressed Romanian authorities' deep concern about the verdict. The US Ambassador has also been informed about Romanian authorities' efforts to find means to request US authorities to reanalyze the context leading to decision reached by the military court in Quantico. The Romanian Foreign Ministry will continue to use the Romanian Embassy in Washington and the open dialog with the US Embassy in Bucharest, as well as collaboration with Romanian institutions entitled to it, in order to get explanations on the contents of the decision reached by the US military court and to find solution to have Teo Peter's family start civil lawsuit. If they reach means to have the latter family start juridical action, the Foreign Ministry will provide full assistance. Romanian President Traian Basescu says the US court's decision is unacceptable. He says 22 million Romanians saw what happened to Teo Peter, but they were not considered "true evidence" for US courts. Basescu announces he will tell US authorities about what every Romanian felt. Asked about intention to start action about the decision on VanGoethem, president Basescu answers it has already started. Mediafax cites Basescu: "It seems to me that, apart from a decision not in keeping with what happened in Romania, we can interpret it as disdain and I will not tolerate it."
I am waiting your questions.

Talk with you soon.

/ Paula Nistor
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Re: AWLC to ANONYMOUS ROMANIA
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 05:19:25 pm »
AWLC to AR
Hi Anya


Yesterday president Traian Basescu wanted to give explanations in an aggressive manner. He phoned Realitatea TV station to say he had never stated he had allowed CIA or other US agency to have their planes land onnMihail Kogalniceanu base. He said it was a mistake belonging to Washington Post daily. The latter had released an interview about it with the head of the Romanian state, made two weeks ago. Basescu said it was not the attribution of the president of Romania to permit flights. He explained: "I have never said I allowed for CIA flights. This is what the journalist understood, what he wanted to publish. I said that planes belonging to the US landed on Kogalniceanu airport, whether they were military or transfer planes, planes transporting CIA officers. We could not identify them, because we have no means to identify a plane's indicative." The president quoted from the transcription of his interview to Washington Post. When asked if he had permitted such flights, his answer was that he had never denied such fact, but he denied any statement saying within this cooperation with Romania human rights were disobeyed. The president mentioned in Romania there was a center for anti-terrorist monitoring, along with various US institutions. The president's anger with what Washington Post published reached journalists. He said he felt like phoning Realitatea TV for false statements released on a Romanian TV channel were taken and distributed much more seriously than in an Washington Post article.

Talk with you soon.

/ Paula Nistor
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 06:54:13 pm by SeekLoad »
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