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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 06, 1978

TELEGRAM FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN VIENNA TO DEPUTY MINISTER VASILE GLIGA, 'REGARDING THE IAEA'

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    The United States Congress approved a document that forbids the use of US financial contributions for the IAEA Technical Assistance department.
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Vienna to Deputy Minister Vasile Gliga, 'Regarding the IAEA'," December 06, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Folder 3496/1978. Translated by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134931
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Telegram 083.517

From Romanian Embassy in Vienna,

To comrade Vasile Gliga, Deputy Minister.

Date: December 6, 1978

Classification: Secret

Regarding the IAEA:

In November, the US representative to the IAEA informed the Director General of the organization that the US Congress has recently approved a document that forbids the use of the financial contribution made by the United States to the IAEA budget to cover some of the organization’s technical assistance expenses and salaries of the employees from the Technical Assistance department.

The US representative asked the Director General to inform him, before November 29, whether he accepts this provision or not.

Considering the fact that blocking the US’s share - approximately a quarter of the budget -  would lead to a crisis within the IAEA, and being unable to accept the constraint which is against the usual practices and procedures of the Agency and other international organizations, the Director General decided not to give any response.

During the talks, the American ambassador said that, at the relevant departments’ initiative, President Carter began taking measures to cancel the act signed by Congress, a decision in this respect should be taken during the first months of next year.

America’s Permanent Mission believes that the financial resources the Agency still possesses allow it to pay the salaries of all IAEA employees until that point.

The change that occurred in America’s position strengthened the feeling of uncertainty among permanent officers and employees with long-term contracts, who represent the core of the organization’s activity.

The permanent missions of the developing countries see the provision as a new show of force undertaken by the United States, meant to show the extent to which the IAEA depends on US’s financial aid, and therefore compel the Group of 77 to adopt a more moderate approach; the G-77 members are taking an increasingly active and form position on balancing and matching the Agency’s activities and funds for assistance with those for safeguards.

At the same time, the idea prevails that the IAEA is too important for promoting America’s nonproliferation and safeguards policies for the US to push the organization into crisis, and it is expected that the current difficulties will be overcome through a mutual understanding, which will include the consolidation of the US position within the Agency.

Octavian Groza