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World > Europe > Romania > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Romania - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-ROMANIAN RELATIONS
Cold during the early post-war period, U.S. bilateral relations with Romania began to improve in the early 1960s with the signing of an agreement providing for partial settlement of American property claims. Cultural, scientific, and educational exchanges were initiated, and in 1964 the legations of both nations were promoted to full embassies.

Responding to Ceausescus calculated distancing of Romania from Soviet foreign policy, particularly Romanias continued diplomatic relations with Israel and denunciation of the 1968 Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia, President Nixon paid an official visit to Romania in August 1969. Despite political differences, high-level contacts continued between U.S. and Romanian leaders throughout the decade of the 1970s, culminating in the 1978 state visit to Washington by President and Mrs. Ceausescu.

In 1972, a consular convention to facilitate protection of citizens and their property in both countries was signed. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) facilities were granted, and Romania became eligible for U.S. Export-Import Bank credits.

A trade agreement signed in April 1975 accorded most favored nation (MFN) status to Romania under section 402 of the Trade Reform Act of 1974 (the Jackson-Vanik amendment that links MFN to a countrys performance on emigration). This status was renewed yearly after congressional review of a presidential determination that Romania was making progress toward freedom of emigration.

In the mid-1980s, criticism of Romanias deteriorating human rights record, particularly regarding mistreatment of religious and ethnic minorities, spurred attempts by Congress to withdraw MFN status. In 1988, to preempt congressional action, Ceausescu renounced MFN treatment, calling Jackson-Vanik and other human rights requirements unacceptable interference in Romanian sovereignty.

After welcoming the revolution of December 1989 with a visit by Secretary of State Baker in February 1990, the U.S. Government expressed concern that opposition parties had faced discriminatory treatment in the May 1990 elections, when the National Salvation Front won a sweeping victory. The slow progress of subsequent political and economic reform increased that concern, and relations with Romania cooled sharply after the June 1990 intervention of the miners in University Square. Anxious to cultivate better relations with the U.S. and Europe, and disappointed at the poor results from its gradualist economic reform strategy, the Stolojan government undertook some economic reforms and conducted free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections in September 1992. Encouraged by the conduct of local elections in February 1992, Deputy Secretary of State Eagleburger paid a visit in May 1992. Congress restored MFN in November 1993 in recognition of Romanias progress in instituting political and economic reform. In 1996, the U.S. Congress voted to extend permanent MFN graduation to Romania.

As Romanias policies became unequivocally pro-Western, the United States moved to deepen relations. President Clinton visited Bucharest in 1997. The two countries initiated cooperation on shared goals, including economic and political development, defense reform, and non-traditional threats (such as trans-border crime and non-proliferation).

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Romania has been fully supportive of the U.S. in the Global War on Terror. Romania was invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in November 2002 and formally joined NATO on March 29, 2004 after depositing its instruments of treaty ratification in Washington, DC. President Bush helped commemorate Romania?s NATO accession when he visited Bucharest in November 2002. On that occasion he congratulated the Romanian people on building democratic institutions and a market economy following the fall of communism.

In March 2005, President Traian Basescu made his first official visit Washington to meet with President Bush, Secretary of State Rice, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and other senior U.S. officials. In December 2005, Secretary Rice visited Bucharest to meet with President Basescu and to sign a bilateral defense cooperation agreement that will allow for the joint use of Romanian military facilities by U.S. troops.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Nicholas Frank Taubman
Deputy Chief of Mission--Mark A. Taplin
Public Affairs Officer--Judith Moon
Consul General--Bryan Dalton
Political Section Chief--Theodore Tanoue
Economic Affairs Section Head--John R. Rodgers
Defense Attache--Colonel Barbara Kuennecke
Commercial Section Head--Cynthia Biggs
Management Counselor-- Jennifer Bonner
USAID Mission Director--Deborah Mosel
Peace Corps Director--Jim Ekstrom
Principal Officer, U.S. Embassy Branch Office, Cluj-Napoca--Lisa Heilbronn

The U.S. Embassy in Romania is located at Strada Tudor Arghezi 7-9, Bucharest (tel. 40-21 200-3300, fax 40-21 200-3442, consular fax 40-21 200-3381).

A U.S. embassy Branch Office was opened in Cluj-Napoca in January 1994 (tel. 40-264 439-118, fax 40-264-593-868).


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Notes and Commentary
People
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Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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