Monthly Archives: November 2004

04MOSCOW14726, RUSSIA-YEMEN: RESPONSE TO THERMOBARIC WEAPONS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04MOSCOW14726 2004-11-26 13:06 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Moscow

O 261306Z NOV 04
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5263
INFO AMEMBASSY SANAA 
AMEMBASSY SOFIA 
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
DIA WASHDC
CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
CIA WASHDC
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 
SECDEF WASHDC

S E C R E T MOSCOW 014726 
 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/PRA, EUR/RUS, NP/ECNP, INR/SPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2014 
TAGS: ETTC KSTC PARM PREL PTER YM RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA-YEMEN: RESPONSE TO THERMOBARIC WEAPONS 
DEMARCHE 
 
REF: A. STATE 188657 
     B. MOSCOW 12002 
     C. 03 MOSCOW 19214 
 
Classified By: A/POL Bruce Donahue.  Reasons 1.4 (a), (b), (d), (e) and 
 (g). 
 
1.  (S) SUMMARY: On November 22 Igor Matveyev, of the MFA's 
Military and Technology Cooperation Division, provided a 
response to our demarche (reftels) requesting that the GOR 
not transfer thermobaric weapons to Yemen.  Matveyev would 
not say whether the GOR had made a decision on the matter or 
if the transfer had taken place.  A non-paper provided by 
Matveyev states that the GOR considers the Yemeni loss of 
control of SA-7 MANPADS used in terrorist attacks in Kenya 
and Saudi Arabia to have been the result of events related to 
Yemen's civil war, and amounted to "force majeure." 
According to the MFA, the GOR was pressuring its Yemeni 
partners not to allow similar losses in the future.  Matveyev 
invited the U.S. to provide additional information on Yemeni 
violations of end use certificate requirements or other 
diversions of weapons.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (S) On November 22 we received from Igor Matveyev of the 
MFA's Arms Control and Technology Division a non-paper in 
response to our September 7 request that the GOR not permit 
the transfer of thermobaric weapons to Yemen.  (NOTE: A copy 
of the non-paper has been sent as a .pdf file to EUR/PRA. 
END NOTE.)  Matveyev would not say whether the GOR had made a 
decision on whether to transfer thermobaric weapons to Yemen. 
 He said the GOR strictly follows its national laws in 
pursuing military-technical cooperation with countries such 
as Yemen, and Russia's national laws are in accordance with 
international arms control and non-proliferation agreements. 
Matveyev said that the GOR had looked into the Yemeni loss of 
SA-7s during the civil war in that country, and, calling it 
the result of "force majeure," the GOR considered it to have 
been unexpected, unpredictable and unpreventable. 
 
3.  (S) He added that the GOR was working to persuade its 
Yemeni partners to prevent a similar loss of control over its 
weapons from happening again.  When questioned on this point, 
Matveyev told us that at the working level  the Russians have 
made clear they would stop cooperation with the Yemenis if 
Russian end user requirements were not met.  Transfers to 
Yemen would be secured with end user certificates 
guaranteeing that any products received from Russia would not 
be used improperly.  In response to our inquiries, Matveyev 
said end user certificates might contain terms permitting 
inspections by the Russian side.  Separately, the GOR was 
establishing an additional legislative basis for permitting 
the conduct of inspections in recipient countries to 
determine whether end user requirements were being followed. 
Matveyev asserted that this legislation would assist in 
persuading possible recipients of military-technical 
cooperation to accept inspections by authorities from the 
Ministry of Defense and the Federal Service for 
Military-Technical Cooperation.  When pressed on the status 
of the legislation, Matveyev indicated it had not been 
submitted to the Duma, but would be made public when enacted. 
 
4.  (S) Towards the end of the meeting, Matveyev stressed the 
GOR interest in preventing the diversion of Russian weapons 
into terrorists hands.  He also invited the U.S to provide 
information on Yemeni violations of end user certificates, 
specific incidents showing that stockpiles were not secure, 
or other confirmed examples of Yemeni authorities losing 
control over weapons.  When asked, he said the GOR had no 
timetable or deadline for receiving such information. 
Without concrete information, however, he said there was no 
reason to prevent the transfer.  After all, he argued, Yemen 
had the right to defend itself and the transfer was 
permissible under Russian and international law. 
 
5.  (S) COMMENT:  Although Matveyev would not say whether the 
GOR had made a decision on this transfer, his invitation for 
us to provide specific information on Yemen's record of 
compliance with end user controls suggests that no final 
decision has yet been made.  The GOR had no qualms about 
letting us know in December 2003 that it had decided to sell 
thermobaric rockets to Sudan despite our demarches against 
that sale (ref C). 
 
 
BEYRLE

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