Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NATO Summit in Bucharest

The NATO Summit will start tomorrow in Bucharest with a small working dinner, will host about 50 heads of state and government and will end on April 4 with the reunion of the NATO-Russia Council. The state secretary responsible for the NATO Summit, Victor Micula, explained that four floors of the House of Parliament will be used for the official conferences while other five for the press center.

In the conference area, there will be set up an office for each delegation of the NATO member countries, a business center area with 20 computers and one area for bilateral meetings, Romanian news agency NewsIn informs.

Currently, organizers have 460 cars for the transportation of high-profile guests, of which 69 are special armoured S-class Mercedes and 370 are Ford. Of these, almost 70 are Transit Ford, with eight seats. For the official convoys there are 12 transportation scenarios and for the press, 15. The special press delegations will be transported by 440 mini-buses and 150 police cars will assure their safety. For example the president Bush's suite will have about 35 cars, including two special armoured Chrysler cars.

Up to now, 2000 hotel rooms were reserved and another 210 rooms are kept as backup, Foreign Affairs Ministry officials declared. Press representatives will receive their accreditation at the House of Parliament from eight designated offices.

The principal issue will be the consideration of the candidacies for membership of Albania, Croatia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM, or the Republic of Macedonia). These candidate states are small, with correspondingly small militaries, and their inclusion in the alliance cannot be considered strategic in a military sense. However, it is possible that they could play an important role in the stabilization of southeastern Europe. At Bucharest NATO will also consider whether to offer a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine.

Discussing the NATO enlargement process, President Traian Basescu declared for TVR, that, for the first time in history, Romania wants to be surrounded by all other allied countries.
According to the Romanian leader, the three major issues on the Bucharest Summit agenda are NATO enlargement, Afghanistan and the Western Balkans and the threat defense system of the 21st century.
President Traian Basescu said that, alongside inviting Croatia, Albania and Macedonia and including Georgia and Ukraine in MAP, "a global solution for the region" is required.
In the president’s point of view, Bosnia - Hertzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia must "upgrade" their relationships with the Alliance at Bucharest.
"We add our support for Bosnia – Hertzegovina to pursue the transition from the Partnership for Peace to the intensified dialogue, and Montenegro to directly pursue the intensified dialogue with NATO. We continue to support Serbia, which did not ask and did not want to participate at the Bucharest Summit, to be awarded the status of a country in ongoing intensified dialogue with NATO, that might be put into practice if Serbia requires it", Basescu said.

United States' President George W.Bush has already arrived in Bucharest, together with his wife, Laura, to take part in the NATO Summit due on April 2-4. Bush was welcomed by Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu, presidential advisor Mihai Stanisoara and U.S. ambassador to Romania Nicholas Taubman. He will stay at Marriott Hotel, which is now the most secured point in the world.
Early on Wednesday, President Bush will deliver an address to the Trans-Atlantic Forum staged by the German Marshall Fund with the support of the Romanian Foreign Ministry and Chatham House, hosted by the CEC Savings Bank Palace. After that, Bush will meet Romanian President Traian Basescu in the Black Sea resort of Neptun on Wednesday. Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu is likely to have a meeting with the White House leader on Friday, April 4, on the last day of the NATO Summit.

The simultaneous decision of the other NATO countries to increase their troops from Afghanistan, deciding upon a schedule according to which the Afghan army would take over progressively and the increase of the international support for development are the three conditions that France is asking to their alleys in order to send new French troops to Afghanistan, declared on Tuesday the French Prime-Minister Fillon. Moreover the Afghan army should be taking over the control on the region of the capital Kabul starting with the next summer, declared the French Prime-Minister for France Inter, referring to the area where most of the 1.600 French soldiers are located, that are part of ISAF troops (International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan) which is under NATO command.
The chief of the chamber in Paris refused to mention the number of militaries that the country plans to send to Afghanistan, asserting that the President Nicolas Sarkozy will therefore make an announcement at the summit in Bucharest.

Bucharest officials will also receive seven presidents from the Community of Independent States. All GUAM states presidents will arrive in Bucharest: Georgia – Mikhail Saakasvili, Ukraine – Viktor Yushcenko, Azerbaijan – Aliev, Moldova – Vladimir Voronin, including Vladimir Putin. Other participants from the area include Turkmen president Berdymuhamedov and Uzbekistan president Karimov.
Vladimir Voronin even promised to have the Transdniester problem solved during this summit and promised Moldovans that the Republic will be whole again.

Russia may get closer to the US. Some rumors were heard, claiming that Putin will ask Bush to agree to build a 103 kilometers-long tunnel connecting Russia and the US, underneath the Bering sea, Jurnalul National informs.
First US must accept Putin's conditions to stop the NATO enlargement process and the anti-rocket shield.

The special corridor between the Otopeni airport and the Parliament was shut and reserved only for the NATO summit participants. The circulation is temporarily allowed on the Bucharest - Ploiesti road, on the Bucharest exiting lane, under Police surveillance and in accordance with the schedule of delegations and traffic agglomeration.
On the same day the leaders of the world start arriving in Bucharest and after a week with no other news than the ones referring to the NATO summit, Romanians left Bucharest for a small vacation.
A series of public service employees, as well as all the students in Bucharest will have a short holiday during the NATO Summit in Bucharest, between April 2 and 4. Medical services, local administration and public safety services will still have to work.
Interior Minister state secretary Victor Paul Dobre says that the free days will be recovered in April (12 and 19) and May (on the 10th).
Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu appealed to Bucharest inhabitants to understand and respect the traffic restrictions imposed throughout the summit.

"Madness starts today in Bucharest", Romania Libera reminds, starting the countdown to April 2, 24:00h, when the summit officially ends.

According to HotNews.ro, many people complained about the poor functioning of the mobile telephony services at the same moment US president George W. Bush arrived in Romania. In dozens offices in Bucharest, the Internet connections failed. Mobile telephony providers previously warned their clients that difficulties may appear during the NATO summit. I can barely write this because my Internet connection makes "flip-flop".

According to Washington Post: "From sealing off streets and lining up snipers to catching stray dogs, Romania has beefed up security in the capital Bucharest for next week's NATO summit of world leaders.
Fighter jets and warships are on standby in Romania and neighboring Bulgaria, both NATO's newest members. Authorities have brought in chemical and biological warfare experts, divers and thousands of additional personnel.
Some sectors of Bucharest have prohibited the sale of alcohol during the summit. Trash cans have been dismantled and sewers sealed along official summit routes."

Extreme security measures, with people who risk being shot in case, let's say, they step out on the balcony to get a cold beer, with hellish traffic and paranoid scenarios. What to expect from this summit? Anything ranging from Romania becoming a second Nazi Germany (if one reads the Russian newspapers) to building an over 100 kilometers-long tunnel from Russia to the US.

Gandul finds it fit to put aside the politics involved in the Summit and focuses on the 30,000 intelligence officers from everywhere in the world who arrived in Bucharest in order to ensure the security during the summit. "Eyes in the skies", underground monitoring and ground checks take place everywhere. Curios old men are advised to stay away from their windows and balconies, for fear one of the snipers around may have a too eager finger on the trigger.

The owners of apartments near the security corridor can't open their windows between 2-4 April. People can cross this corridor only in special places and under the surveillance of a security office. Crossing the road in other places might get you in a police station. Today there were arrested about 10 members of the antiglobalisation movements. Romanian police is accused of human rights violations because many anitglobalisation rebels couldn't cross Romanian borders. Pity for them because they paid more than 100 euros to visit Roamania in these 3 days. Weather is rainy so they could't do anything outside. This will be a closed-doors summit.
The anti-NATO websites protested against the Romanian Border Police: AntiNATO
The http://contra-doxa.com/ has been banned in Romania.

Here is the anti-nato week info: Gipfelsoli

The 3,500 journalists that will cover the NATO Summit in Bucharest will have 950 offices and 50 computers made available. Organizers say there is no need for more computers, since many of the 3,500 accreditations are for the technical crews and, even more, out of the rest of journalists, many will use their own laptops. Another problem yet to be solved is putting up smoking areas.

Except for computers, journalists will have access to wired telephony and printers. Journalists who do not use their own modem may connect to the existing wireless and cable networks. Cash machines and large LCD screens are already in place in areas where the press will use the offices. 16 rooms were prepared for press conferences. The most important briefings will take place in three rooms - C.A. Rosetti, Nicolae Iorga and Iuliu Maniu - where translation services are also available. Romanian public station TVR and Eurovision Broadcasting Union have exclusive contracts and will provide the other TV stations with live feeds.

The official website: SummitNATO, SecurityNews
The pdf map of the security corridor and hotels

This is the special corridor. Watch this and you might see the officials that are coming from the airport:

Mobotix live webcam

These are the Romanian forces that keep Bucharest "under siege":

Romanian Police Motor Squad:

The Gendarmes:

A gendarme on guard:

Romanian Secret Service Anti-Tero Squad:

Boulevard Kiseleff is the main road of the special corridor:

Special Armoured Mercedes Limousine:

Helicopters are watching in air:

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