Monthly Archives: February 2006

06MOSCOW1840, RUSSIAN DFM SALTANOV ON HAMAS VISIT TO MOSCOW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1840 2006-02-27 16:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0340
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DE RUEHMO #1840 0581606
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O 271606Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1261
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001840 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/27/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN DFM SALTANOV ON HAMAS VISIT TO MOSCOW 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 1638 
 
     B. MOSCOW 1323 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons: 1.4(B/D). 
 
1. (C)  On February 27 the Ambassador called on Deputy 
Foreign Minister Aleksandr Saltanov to discuss the upcoming 
Hamas visit to Moscow and to underline the importance of 
coordination.  Saltanov confirmed that the Hamas delegation, 
headed by Khalid Meshal and composed of Hamas outsiders, is 
set to arrive March 3.  Scheduled for later that afternoon 
(after Friday prayers), the discussions will be led by 
Saltanov from the Russian side.  A brief call on FM Lavrov is 
likely, but there is no plan for Meshal to visit the Kremlin 
or meet with Putin, Saltanov said.  Though their schedule is 
not finalized, Hamas may also meet with Duma deputies and 
local Muslim leaders.  If there are positive indications, he 
said, talks may continue on March 4.  Any press statement 
"will depend" on the atmosphere and progress of the talks. 
 
2. (C)  Russia has "no illusions," Saltanov said, and 
expectations of a concrete outcome are low.  The GOR intends 
to press the Quartet agenda agreed in London, anticipates 
"difficult" discussions, and views this visit as a chance to 
"talk sense" to Hamas.  The prospect of Hamas' disarmament or 
recognition of Israel, Saltanov said, is unrealistic at this 
juncture.  Instead, the GOR will focus on getting Hamas to 
acknowledge agreements undertaken by the Palestinian 
Authority (e.g., UNSC resolutions 1397 and 1515) and, 
possibly, buy into the Road Map. 
 
3. (C)  Saltanov underscored Russia's unconditional support 
for Abu Mazen as the keystone for progress on the Road Map 
and normalization in Israeli-Palestinian relations.  In that 
vein, the GOR has pledged $10 million in support of the 
Palestinian Authority and agreed to coordinate next steps 
with Quartet Special Envoy Wolfensohn to ensure consistency 
within the Quartet and avoid funds diversion to extremists. 
The Ambassador welcomed Russia's willingness to work with 
Wolfensohn, and noted our continuing support for Abu Mazen as 
well as our continuing commitment to address Palestinian 
humanitarian needs through aid to UNRWA and NGOs.  In terms 
of equipment, Saltanov said the GOR is still exploring ways 
to provide two civilian helicopters to the PA for exclusive 
use by Abu Mazen, but the possible delivery of 50 APCs 
remains on hold pending Israeli approval. 
 
4. (C)  Mindful of the possible impact of the Hamas talks on 
Israel's upcoming elections, the Russians are in frequent 
contact with the GOI, Saltanov said, and will reach out to 
A/PM Olmert after Hamas' departure.  He expressed genuine 
sympathy for Olmert, calling him a capable interlocutor, and 
said the GOR is mindful of the sensitivity of the 
pre-election period in Israel. 
 
5. (C)  Saltanov said he believes President Putin intends to 
call President Bush after the Hamas visit.  Saltanov added 
that he was aware of tentative plans for a Quartet 
Ministerial phone call on February 28, but thought FM 
Lavrov's schedule might preclude that (Lavrov travels to 
Budapest tomorrow with Putin).  Ambassador urged Saltanov to 
persuade Lavrov to do a Quartet call prior to the Hamas 
visit, as a way of underscoring Quartet unity and consulting 
again before the Hamas delegation arrived.  Saltanov said he 
understood, and would recommend that Lavrov follow through 
with a pre-visit call, as well as a post-visit debrief. 
 
6. (C)  Saltanov also noted that Aleksandr Kalugin will 
shortly be replaced by Sergey Yakovlev, until recently 
Russia's Ambassador in the UAE, as Russian Special Envoy to 
the Middle East. 
 
BURNS

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06MOSCOW1637, HAMAS VISIT TO MOSCOW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1637 2006-02-20 10:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

O 201007Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1026
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L  MOSCOW 001637 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2014 
TAGS: PREL RS
SUBJECT: HAMAS VISIT TO MOSCOW 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 1323 
     B. MOSCOW 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affiars 
Kirk Augustine, for reasons 1.4 (B & D) 
 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY.  A/DCM met February 17 with MFA Middle East 
and North Africa Director Sergey Vershinin to follow up on 
earlier discussion (reftel) on the forthcoming visit of a 
Hamas delegation to Russia, which will take place March 3. 
.... 
 
END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C)  Timing and Level.  Vershinin noted that an MFA 
announcement had said the Hamas visit would take place "at 
the beginning of March," but he could not yet provide a 
specific date.  He was confident, howevere, that it would 
take place before FM Lavrov's March 6-7 visit to Washington. 
(Note.  In a separate telcon, Russian Middle East envoy 
Aleksandr Kalugin told Ambassador the Hamas visit was now 
expected to take place March 3.  End Note)  A final decision 
had not yet been taken, Vershinin said, about the level at 
which the Hamas delegation would be received, but he expected 
the "substantive" discussions to be led on the Russian side 
by DFM Saltanov.  (Comment.  We expect FM Lavrov will also 
meet with the Hamas delegation, especially in light of the 
February 16 meeting of Turkish FM Gul with a Hamas delegation 
led by Khaled Mashaal.  End Comment) 
 
3. (C)  Purpose.  Vershinin said Russia would use the visit 
to present Quartet views to Hamas unequivocally, and would 
inform the U.S. shortly thereafter of the results of the 
discussions.  He repeatedly stressed the GOR's desire to 
bring about acceptance by Hamas of a "continuity of 
Palestinian obligations."  Although the Russian mission in 
Ramallah had had some contacts with Hamas members holding 
positions in the Palestinian Authority, such meetings had 
dealt with them as local government officials, not as Hamas 
representatives.  The Moscow visit would provide the first 
contact between Russia and Hamas "at a decision-making 
level."  Asked whether Russia had consulted with Palestinian 
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) about the Hamas 
visit, Vershinin said only that Abu Mazen was "positive" 
about the visit. 
 
4. (C)  Russia did not conceive the forthcoming discussions 
as "negotiations," but rather as an opportunity to influence 
internal Hamas thinking towards accepting the continuity of 
Palestinian obligations.  He believed there had already been 
"many contradictions" in Hamas' approach, and it was now 
confronting a new reality that would inevitably put more 
stress on a disparate membership.  Many Hamas members were 
"pragmatists who do not live in the sky."  Asked whether the 
GOR had considered how it would react if initial meetings 
with Hamas led to no evolution in its positions, Vershinin 
said Russia was taking a "realistic" approach.  Hamas would, 
at best, not change "overnight."  The meeting in Moscow was 
not a one-off event from which immediate results were 
expected, but rather the start of a process. 
 
5. (C)  Assistance.  A/DCM noted a February 13 interview with 
Russian UN Permrep Denisov, who had said that "any ban on the 
provision of international financial assistance to the 
Palestinians would be counterproductive," and asked how such 
statements related to the Quartet's agreement that future 
assistance to any new (Palestinian) government would be 
reviewed by donors" against its commitment to nonviolence, 
recognition of Israel and acceptance of prior Palestinian 
obligations.  Vershinin said it was not clear yet what the 
composition or policies of the new Palestinian government 
would be.  It would be up to every donor to review those 
developments and to determine whether it would stop or reduce 
its assistance, or differentiate in its humanitarian, 
financial and military assistance.  This was a subject for 
discussion within the Quartet. 
 
6. (C)  Vershinin acknowledged the February 16 public 
statement of Yuriy Baluyevskiy, Chief of the Russian General 
Staff, who had said that delivery of military goods would be 
put on hold until the new Palestinian government was 
constituted, after which decisions would be made.  Vershinin 
agreed that the provision of any military assistance would 
"depend on the evolution of the situation" -- and, he added, 
the views of the Israeli government.  Russia would not 
provide assistance that would undermine Israel's security. 
(Note.  Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister 
Sergey Ivanov told the press February 17 that "any supply of 
(military) technology to the Palestinians can be implemented 
only with Israel's agreement and through its territory."  End 
Note) 
 
7. (C)  Comment.  Like other GOR officials, Vershinin 
insisted that Putin's invitation to Hamas was consistent with 
Quartet undertakings and was intended to promote them.  He 
also stressed that the GOR wants to consult closely with the 
U.S. as the process goes forward.  Referring to the 
Secretary's forthcoming visit to the Middle East, he said it 
would be important for Moscow to have a clear understanding 
of the results of her discussions as the Hamas visit and 
Lavrov's subsequent trip to Washington approach. 
 
 
BURNS

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06MOSCOW1635, GEORGIA-RUSSIA: AMBASSADOR PRESSES DFM KARASIN FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1635 2006-02-18 06:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1944
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1635/01 0490655
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 180655Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1021
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001635 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2016 
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS GG RS
SUBJECT: GEORGIA-RUSSIA: AMBASSADOR PRESSES DFM KARASIN FOR 
CONSTRUCTIVE RUSSIAN STEPS 
 
REF: A) TEFFT/BURNS TELCON 2/17 B) MOSCOW 1536 C) 
 
     TBILISI 329 D) TBILISI 283 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reason 1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY.  Ambassador on February 17 outlined to DFM 
Karasin ongoing U.S. efforts to encourage Georgian restraint 
on South Ossetia, and urged Russia to act constructively. 
Ambassador expressed appreciation for FM Lavrov's recent 
message to the Secretary, and said he expected a formal reply 
shortly.  Karasin acknowledged U.S. efforts with the 
Georgians and called for continued cooperation between the 
U.S. and Russia.  Ambassador stressed the need for 
communication:  a JCC meeting and a successful visit by 
Georgian PM Noghaideli.  Karasin stuck to Russia's insistence 
on a meeting in Moscow (perhaps not of the JCC per se) as a 
preparation for the PM's visit -- which he said was still 
"firmly" on the calendar.  Ambassador stressed that Russia 
should reciprocate Georgian confidence-building measures, 
both to strengthen the hand of moderates in Tbilisi and also 
to boost America's credibility in influencing the Georgians. 
Ambassador and Karasin also discussed Black Sea Fleet 
negotiations with Ukraine and elections in Belarus.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
U.S. Position 
------------- 
 
2. (C)  Ambassador outlined ongoing U.S. efforts with Georgia 
and pushed DFM Karasin for similar restraint and constructive 
Russian steps.  He noted that he expected to be able to 
convey a reply from the Secretary to FM Lavrov's recent 
message shortly, but wanted in the meantime to review our 
main concerns.  He added that we are concerned that emotions 
are running high on all sides of the South Ossetia issue.  We 
needed to strengthen the moderate voices in Tbilisi, and to 
do so it was important to get the parties to engage in the 
JCC that had been scheduled for Vienna.  We understood that 
Russia now wanted to change the venue to Moscow, and possibly 
to lower the level to that of deputy Co-Chairs, but we also 
understood that the Georgians are not interested in either 
variant.  We hoped that Moscow would reconsider its 
insistence on a Moscow JCC.  If it turned out to be premature 
to hold a JCC it might unfortunately make more sense to take 
some time out.  We very much hoped, though, that Georgian PM 
Noghaideli's visit would take place.  Noghaideli's was one of 
the moderate voices that needed to be strengthened, and the 
visit could do some good. 
 
3. (C)  Ambassador said the U.S. and Europeans had pushed 
Georgia hard on unilateral confidence-building measures in 
demilitarization.  The Georgians had agreed to take many of 
these CBMs.  We urged Russia to consider steps of its own, 
for example withdrawing forces and equipment unlawfully 
present in the Zone of Conflict, and allowing international 
monitoring of the Roki Tunnel.  Such moves would contribute 
to easing tensions and would strengthen some voices in 
Georgia that needed to show moderation was an effective 
strategy.  It also added to U.S. credibility when we urged 
moderation on the Georgians. 
 
Russian Response 
---------------- 
 
4. (C)  Karasin replied that Lavrov greatly appreciated his 
communication with the Secretary and highly valued the level 
of mutual trust they have developed, which had shown results. 
 Russia perceived the effects of U.S. influence on the 
Georgian leadership, which has had concrete results.  The 
Resolution adopted by the Georgian Parliament on February 15 
was qualitatively different from the one adopted in October 
of last year -- softer in tone, and not as categorical. 
Russia knew of Ambassador Tefft's work in Tbilisi, and the 
close cooperation of Ambassador Kenyaikin (who was sitting 
next to Karasin) with DAS Bryza. 
 
5. (C)  With regard to the JCC, Karasin said, the situation 
was "interesting."  Public opinion and the mood of Russia's 
political class had changed qualitatively following the 
Georgian resolution.  In such a climate, he said, "We cannot 
go far from the centers of decisionmaking."  Vienna is not 
the place to hold such a meeting.  This was discussed 
February 16 with Georgian State Minister Khaindrava, and the 
proposal was being considered in Tbilisi.  Russia had not yet 
received an answer from Georgia.  Moscow would provide a 
better nurturing of the political atmosphere than anywhere in 
Europe.  Kenyaikin added that given the new situation, the 
Russians would have to convene a meeting in Moscow anyway, 
even if the Georgians absented themselves and only the North 
and South Ossetians attended.  Karasin said that a possible 
solution might be a "consultation" with the JCC Co-Chairs -- 
 
MOSCOW 00001635  002 OF 003 
 
 
not a meeting of the JCC itself -- in Moscow as one part of 
the preparations for the Noghaideli visit. 
 
6. (C)  As to the Noghaideli visit, Karasin said, it was 
still "firmly" on the calendar -- though of course a week was 
a long time in Georgian politics.  If a m
eeting of JCC chairs 
took place first, the visit would flow more naturally and 
have a greater chance of success, he added.  Karasin's 
presentation was punctuated by a long discursus from 
Kenyaikin on the "consistently hardening position" of Georgia 
over the last year and a half, and the "consistently more 
open position" of Kokoity during that time. 
 
Stressing the Fundamentals 
-------------------------- 
 
7. (C)  Ambassador answered Karasin's points by stressing 
that there are two separate but related issues:  one is the 
issue of process and venue, and the other was finding modest, 
concrete steps that would help defuse tensions and promote a 
settlement.  CBMs from the Russian side would encourage 
Georgia to set aside its suspicions of Moscow.  Kenyaikin 
engaged in another discursus on an "un-noticed" CBM already 
in effect, the process of mutual inspections.  Both sides 
have allowed inspections of their deployments, and when one 
excess "Zenit" air defense system was found in the South 
Ossetian holdings, it was withdrawn.  The Georgians were 
looking for CBMs such as the removal of trenches.  Kenyaikin 
was sure that talks with Kokoity would be productive. 
Kenyaikin looked forward to meeting in Tskhinvali with 
Ambassadors to Georgia from the U.S., UK, France and Germany 
-- after the JCC meeting. 
 
8. (C)  Karasin finished the Russian response by saying that 
a gradual, step-by-step approach was the best, despite 
Georgian desire to accomplish everything at once.  A meeting 
in Moscow, he said, would be one important step.  Ambassador 
said the U.S. will continue its dialogue with Georgia, and 
repeated our hope that PM Noghaideli would have a successful 
visit and that Russia would implement its own CBMs. 
 
9. (C) Later on February 17, Ambassador reviewed the same 
points with Russian Security Council Deputy Nikolay Spasskiy. 
 Ambassador also discussed state of play with German, UK, and 
French Ambassadors, urging them also to weigh in with the GOR. 
 
Black Sea Fleet 
--------------- 
 
10. (C)  Ambassador asked Karasin for a readout on the Black 
Sea Fleet talks in Ukraine February 14.  Karasin said they 
had been timely and useful.  The last such meeting had been 
two and a half years before.  All basic issues had been 
settled back in 1997, but a number of secondary issues had 
built up since then, such as how the personnel would live, 
how weaponry would be moved, and standards for inventories. 
They set up five working groups that would start work in 
March.  The work had been professional, and had removed 
"nervousness and emotionality:  slowly, common sense is 
coming to the surface."  Karasin ventured a few observations 
on the upcoming Rada elections -- that the Party of Regions 
seems a little ahead, but that the electorate is very 
changeable. 
 
Belarus Elections 
----------------- 
 
11. (C)  Ambassador asked about the elections in Belarus, 
noting that A/S Fried had still not been allowed to visit. 
Karasin regretted this, because it would have been 
interesting both for the Belarusians and Americans.  He had 
himself been surprised to find that Belarus was not the 
"horrible totalitarian regime" it had been billed as, and he 
thought that when things quieted down after the elections, 
Lukashenka would lead the political process in the "right 
direction."  Ambassador noted that that would show instincts 
that Lukashenka has concealed very effectively so far. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
12. (C)  Karasin gave no indication that the Russians will go 
to Vienna for the next JCC meeting, at least not in February. 
 They seem dug in on this.  Our best course, it appears from 
here, is to allow the JCC to take some time out (which would 
have no material effect on the peace process) and push 
hardest to ensure that the Noghaideli visit goes through.  We 
have to recognize that the warnings about provocative 
confrontations on the ground could take material shape at any 
time, and we should continue to press the Georgians as hard 
as we can not to rise to the bait.  In the meantime, we will 
 
MOSCOW 00001635  003 OF 003 
 
 
keep pushing here for Russia to show that it too is capable 
of acting responsibly. 
BURNS

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06MOSCOW1536, RUSSIA-GEORGIA: HARD RUSSIAN LINE ON SOUTH OSSETIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1536 2006-02-16 18:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0052
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1536/01 0471806
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161806Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0861
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001536 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2016 
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: RUSSIA-GEORGIA:  HARD RUSSIAN LINE ON SOUTH OSSETIA 
 
REF: TBILISI 282 
 
Classified By: Acting DCM Kirk Augustine.  Reason 1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY.  Both the Russians (4th CIS Department 
Director Kelin) and Georgians (State Minister for Conflict 
Resolution Khaindrava) gave us separate readouts of their 
February 16 talks in Moscow.  The talks focused on South 
Ossetia in the wake of the Georgian Parliamentary resolution 
calling for a replacement of the Russian Peacekeeping Force. 
Kelin called for an immediate JCC meeting, but not in Vienna. 
 Khaindrava told us the Russians had demanded that the JCC 
meet in Moscow; he had refused.  Kelin warned that armed 
confrontations are an imminent threat and said the atmosphere 
is not right for unilateral Russian gestures on 
demilitarization, including with regard to the enclave of 12 
Georgian villages north of Tskhinvali.  Khaindrava said 
Georgia has started undertaking all ten demilitarization 
measures recommended by the Quad ambassadors in Tbilisi, and 
warned that Russia is working to build a road that will deny 
the Georgian villages access to Georgian-controlled 
territory.  We pressed the Russians hard to reciprocate 
Georgian gestures, but there appeared to be little appetite 
to do so; we also pressed Khaindrava to moderate Georgian 
rhetoric, and he restrained comments he made to the press in 
our presence.  End summary. 
 
The Next JCC 
------------ 
 
2. (C)  A/DCM called on Kelin February 16 to note the 
restraint in the resolution Georgia's Parliament adopted 
February 15.  He said we had been working hard with the 
Georgians.  He noted that the tone of the Russian MFA 
statement had been relatively restrained.  Kelin replied that 
the Georgian resolution could be interpreted in different 
ways.  Moderates could point out that it set no deadline. 
Hardliners (such as Georgia's Minister of Defense) could 
point to its demand to the GOG to eliminate the Russian 
peacekeepers.  Russia envisaged a meeting of the Joint 
Control Commission (JCC) as soon as possible, but not in 
Vienna as previously planned; it should rather take place 
"much closer to the scene." Asked whether that meant Moscow, 
he said he would not exclude Moscow or any other site.  The 
matter was "under discussion" among the parties. 
 
3.  (C)  In a subsequent conversation with poloff, Khaindrava 
said the Russians had demanded that the JCC take place in 
Moscow so that FM Lavrov could preside over it.  Noting that 
both the Russians and South Ossetians had previously agreed 
to Vienna, Khaindrava said he had categorically rejected that 
proposed change.  His analysis was that Russia wanted to show 
that it was in control of the process.  During our 
conversation, Khaindrava received calls from Tbilisi 
(including from PM Noghaideli) and tried to get the GOG to 
enlist the support of the OSCE Mission to oppose the change 
of JCC venue. 
 
Demilitarization 
---------------- 
 
4. (C)  Kelin said that Khaindrava had concentrated on 
demilitarization, and in particular the outer (South 
Ossetian) trenches surrounding an enclave of 12 Georgian 
villages north of Tskhinvali.  Kelin said the current 
atmosphere did not allow progress on this issue.  To Russia, 
demilitarization meant in the first instance the withdrawal 
of Georgian MPs who were illegally in the zone of conflict, 
and the elimination of unofficial armed formations supporting 
the Georgian cause.  A/DCM asked who would be responsible for 
civil order if the Georgian MPs were withdrawn; Kelin replied 
that the PKF was mandated to carry out that task.  A/DCM 
asked whether Russia would respond to unilateral Georgian 
demilitarization with any steps of its own, noting that there 
had been talk of having international observers monitor the 
Roki Tunnel and a withdrawal of Russian personnel and 
equipment that did not belong in the zone of conflict.  Would 
Russia help respond to Georgian moves to encourage a positive 
dynamic? 
 
5. (C)  Kelin said he did not believe the time was right to 
discuss such moves.  The main effort had to be to avoid 
confrontations on the ground.  Georgia was on the verge of 
increasing the staff of its peacekeepers (their 600-person 
battalion was now only half-staffed), and it had a brigade 
deployed nearby in Gori.  Kelin said we should bear in mind 
that there was disagreement in Tbilisi between those who 
favor a "mild" approach and those who favored more radical 
action.  He said Khaindrava had asked the Russians to take 
some steps so he could report back to the GOG that Russia had 
made some moves, and therefore the peacekeepers could stay. 
Kelin did not believe that any drawdown of Russian forces 
 
MOSCOW 00001536  002 OF 003 
 
 
could be made in light of current tensions, including recent 
"provocative" incidents staged by Georgian forces. 
 
6. (C)  A/DCM pressed Kelin on whether there were not Russian 
forces and equipment present in the zone of conflict beyond 
what was allowed for the PKF.  Could there be no withdrawals 

of such forces and equipment if the Georgians first took 
confidence-building steps? Kelin responded only that Russia 
had just received an appeal from the South Ossetian 
"Parliament" to remain.  With regard to the Roki Tunnel, that 
was an economic issue that should be discussed along with 
other economic CBMs when there was a "normal climate."  He 
noted that the issue was the placement of border and customs 
posts, and the late Georgian PM Zhvania had agreed to place 
those south of Tskhinvali.  Kelin stated several times that 
the threat of armed confrontation on the ground was immediate 
and had first priority.  As to a peace plan, he regretted 
that the support for a peace process in South Ossetia by the 
U.S. Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister at 
Ljubljana, and the endorsement of that support by the OSCE 
Ministerial, was interpreted by some to mean support for a 
particular peace proposal (i.e., Saakashvili's plan).  The 
JCC would need to develop a workplan drawing from both 
Saakashvili's and Kokoity's plans. 
 
7. (C)  On those issues Khaindrava told us that Georgia has 
already started implementing all ten of the demilitarization 
CBMs proposed by the Quad Ambassadors in Tbilisi.  One of 
those was filling out Georgia's quota of the PKF battalion. 
Khaindrava noted that with so many of Georgia's troops 
deployed to Iraq, Georgia would be able to raise its PKF 
staffing only to 400 (of the 600 allowed).  With regard to 
the enclave villages, Khaindrava said Russia was hard at work 
building a road west of the villages, "with money provided by 
Luzhkov," that would, if controlled by Ossetians, allow the 
villagers to be denied access to the rest of Georgia. 
Nonetheless, Georgia would carry out all ten demilitarization 
recommendations.  Asked whether Georgia had made an 
announcement to that effect, Khaindrava replied, "No.  We 
will announce them after we have carried them out." 
 
Avoiding Confrontations, Provocations 
------------------------------------- 
 
8. (C)  A/DCM noted to Kelin the emphasis the Russian 
statement had put on preserving "existing mechanisms," and 
asked whether there were specific steps that Russia was 
looking for from Georgia now to improve the atmosphere. 
Kelin replied that the JCC would establish what needed to be 
done.  A/DCM said we believed the efforts of Ambassador Tefft 
and other USG officials had had an effect in moderating the 
parliamentary resolution and restraining Georgian rhetoric. 
We had found our dialogues with Special Envoy Kenyaikin 
useful.  Kelin said Russia appreciated the U.S. and European 
efforts, but was not convinced that the excesses had in fact 
been reined in.  There had been serious provocations on the 
ground.  "Our people will not stand idle if there is an 
outbreak of violence."  He hoped that the U.S. would warn the 
Georgian side of the dangers of the situation.  A/DCM 
reiterated that we were urging moderation to all parties, but 
we understood the Georgian sense of frustration with the lack 
of progress on ending the conflict.  Russia needed to 
identify those forces within the Georgian government who 
favored a constructive resolution and provide them arguments 
they could use to oppose more militant approaches.  The U.S. 
would continue to do everything possible to tone down the 
rhetoric and encourage a peaceful resolution. 
 
9. (C)  Poloff later reiterated the need for restraint to 
Khaindrava, and when he received a call from a Russian press 
agency he answered it, in our presence, in an extremely 
restrained way.  He said he expected that there would be 
provocations -- specifically, that the Ossetians would start 
to demarcate their border with electric wire.  Georgia could 
not stand idly by if there were attacks on Georgian citizens 
in the enclave within South Ossetia, but other than that he 
would work to see that Georgia was not lured into reacting to 
provocations.  His final analysis, though, was that the 
Russians would do anything to protect the status quo. 
 
Further Talks? 
-------------- 
 
10. (C)  Khaindrava said he was scheduled to meet DFM Karasin 
February 17, but doubted the meeting would take place after 
his refusal to accept a Moscow venue for the JCC.  Likewise, 
he said the Russians had told him that PM Noghaideli's visit 
to Moscow, scheduled for February 27, would be doubtful if 
the JCC meeting did not take place in Moscow. 
 
11. (C)  When A/DCM asked Kelin about the current 
responsibilities of MFA envoys dealing with Georgia, Kelin 
 
MOSCOW 00001536  003 OF 003 
 
 
confirmed that Special Envoy Kenyaikin had taken over 
Ambassador Savolskiy's portfolio of military negotiations 
(including some with Ukraine) and supervising special 
ambassadors.  He also confirmed that Ambassador Lev Mironov, 
who suffered a stroke during the Ljubljana OSCE Ministerial, 
had returned to Moscow but remained in a medicial institute. 
The process of nominating successors to realign all relevant 
responsibilities, he said, was not complete.  Khaindrava said 
he had been introduced to Kenyaikin's successor, but "forgot 
his name."  (He promised to get us the name on February 17.) 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
12. (C)  We read the Russian move to change the venue of the 
JCC as being in the first instance a reaction to the "threat" 
that the composition of the JCC -- or the PKF -- might be 
changed to include more westerners.  Kelin's warnings about 
the immediate danger of armed confrontations appeared 
intended to justify the need to maintain current Russian 
force levels.  In its demand to host the next JCC meeting in 
Moscow, Russia is performing a bit of diplomatic ju jitsu to 
use the force of Georgia's parliamentary resolution against 
Georgia itself, and ideally to come out of it with even 
greater Russian control over the process.  We would recommend 
the the U.S. remind the Moscow that there was substanial 
debate about the venue for the JCC meeting, and Vienna was 
chosen as a result of delicate negotiations led by Russia 
itself.  Russia and Georgia should concentrate on the issues 
at hand:  demilitarization, renunciation of the use of force, 
economic rehabilitation, and a workplan over which both 
Georgians and Ossetians can take ownership. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW1445, SPRING STATE DUMA SESSION OFF TO SLOW START

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1445 2006-02-15 12:03 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8122
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1445/01 0461203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151203Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0742
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001445 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV EAGR EFIN ENRG ETRD PREL PHUM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: SPRING STATE DUMA SESSION OFF TO SLOW START 
 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The spring semester of the Russian State 
Duma, which began on January 11 and will run through 
mid-June, got off to a slow start.  Deputies are burdened 
with almost 600 draft laws, with 52 designated as priority 
bills focusing on water and forestry regulation, 
transportation safety, use of personal information, and 
export controls.  However, in January, only 76 of the 111 
bills planned for consideration were addressed.  Upcoming 
bills that may stir controversy and delay the legislative 
process even further include those dealing with subsoil 
resources, counterterrorism, tax administration, entry 
regulations for foreigners, and protection of information. 
END SUMMARY. 
. 
GRYZLOV,S PRIORITIES 
-------------------- 
 
2. (U) The Duma began its spring session on January 11.  In 
remarks before the first plenary meeting, State Duma Speaker 
Boris Gryzlov encouraged deputies to finish the process of 
adopting laws passed in their first readings in the fall 
session and to focus on approving amendments and implementing 
legislation for laws already enacted.  He cited the example 
of the Housing Code, which was passed last year but which 
still lacked implementing legislation.  He stressed that the 
session would be "difficult and intensive" and that 
parliamentarians would have to work responsibly and with 
discipline.  Gryzlov said the Duma had a responsibility to 
use its parliamentary powers to monitor implementation of 
important laws passed in 2005 and coming into force in 2006, 
including those concerning social policy, special economic 
zones, NGOs, and strengthened state control over the 
distribution of alcoholic drinks.  He urged that the Duma be 
especially attentive to monitoring implementation of the 
federal budget and encouraged deputies to take the initiative 
in discussing options for improving the tax system.  The main 
aims should be decreasing the tax burden on manufacturers and 
improving tax collection efforts, Gryzlov added. 
. 
INITIAL RESULTS DISAPPOINTING 
----------------------------- 
 
3. (U) Despite Gryzlov's exhortations, the Duma leadership 
was disappointed by January's legislative accomplishments. 
Summarizing them, First Deputy Duma Chairman Lyubov Sliska 
mentioned that consideration of 35 bills scheduled for 
January (37% of the total 111 planned for the month) had been 
postponed.  In her opinion, the slow tempo of the deputies' 
work was unacceptable so soon into the spring session. 
However, she also directed criticism at the Government, 
pointing out that the Duma Council was still waiting for 
official opinions by the Government for over 80 bills sent to 
it more than two months ago.  "This situation is seriously 
hampering the legislative process, because it is not possible 
to submit a bill for consideration without the Government's 
official opinion," she said.  She encouraged the deputies and 
the Government to coordinate more effectively and be more 
diligent in introducing bills to the Duma Council and plenary 
sessions. 
. 
LEGISLATIVE GOALS FOR SPRING 2006 
--------------------------------- 
 
4. (U) Apart from the opening session, the Duma has met in 
six plenary sessions.  During those sessions, deputies passed 
the bill on "Advertising" in the second reading, as well as 
amendments to laws on "Joint-Stock Companies" and "Banks and 
Banking Activity."  High priority bills currently under 
consideration include a draft on the Water Code and 
amendments to the Tax Code that would, among other things, 
increase the tax rate for gambling businesses operating slot 
machines.  In the second half of February the Duma plans to 
consider amendments to the law on "Trademarks, Service Marks, 
and Appellations of Origin," which will exclude the clause on 
reciprocal protection of specific appellations of origin 
registered in foreign countries in order to make Russian 
legislation consistent with WTO agreements on the trade 
aspects of intellectual property rights. 
 
5. (U) The Duma agenda also includes bills concerning 
implementation of President Putin's four National Projects 
(health care, education, housing construction, and the 
agro-industrial sector).  In addition, deputies will consider: 
 
-- changes to the Criminal, Criminal-Procedural, and 
Administrative Codes; 
-- amendments to the law on local self-government; 
-- amendments to the law on "Practicing Law and the Legal 
Profession"; 
-- amendments to the law on the "Fishing Industry and 
Preserving Aquatic-Organic Resources"; 
 
MOSCOW 00001445  002 OF 003 
 
 
-- a bill on the "Use of Personal Information"; 
-- a bill on "Regulation of Export Controls"; 
-- ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption; and 
-- adoption of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization 
Charter. &#x
000A;. 
POTENTIALLY TROUBLESOME BILLS 
----------------------------- 
 
6. (U) One of the most criticized pieces of legislation 
during the fall session -- a counterterrorism bill that would 
give security services sweeping new powers to declare a state 
of emergency if they believed there was a "terrorist danger" 
-- will come up for a second reading in late February or 
early March.  The bill was drafted by the Federal Security 
Service, the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor General's 
Office, and the Justice Ministry, and was approved in a first 
reading December 17, 2004.  It was drawn up in response to 
the 2004 Beslan school massacre, but is widely seen by human 
rights activists as an attack on civil liberties and an 
attempt to increase the powers of Kremlin officials. 
 
7. (U) In addition, the Duma plans to revise two laws 
concerning foreigners in Russia -- "Entry and Departure 
Procedures for Foreign Citizens" and the "Legal Status of 
Foreign Citizens in the RF."  The Committee for 
Constitutional Legislation, headed by Vladimir Pligin, 
drafted both measures.  About 100 amendments to the laws were 
passed in the first reading last April which, if enacted, 
would considerably expand the number of reasons for denying 
entry into Russia, as well as grant bureaucrats considerable 
leeway in making decisions on entry requests.  For example, a 
visa application could be denied if an applicant was believed 
to have committed "unfriendly actions" that "harmed the 
international image of Russia," or if he/she used "insulting 
language when referring to Russian national symbols, state 
leaders, state power structures, or historical, cultural, 
spiritual, and public values."  The current draft does not 
clearly define these terms.  The amendments would also deny 
entry to foreigners who "have caused Russia considerable 
material damage" or who "are considered dangerous," including 
those afflicted with an infectious disease.  On a more 
positive note, the Federal Migration Service intends to 
introduce a bill at the end of March that would allow 
foreigners to send registration papers by registered mail 
within three days of their arrival instead of applying for 
and obtaining registration documents in person.  A post 
office receipt would then serve as confirmation of 
registration.  Foreigners who fail to register would face 
fines and perhaps other penalties when they try to leave the 
country. 
 
8. (U) Another bill on the agenda is the revised text of the 
law on "Information, Information Technologies, and Protection 
of Information" that was initiated by the government and 
passed in its first reading last November.  According to 
independent Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov, the government 
could use such a law to assert control over the Internet. 
 
9. (U) According to the head of the Federation Council's 
Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, 
Viktor Orlov, the bill on "Subsoil Resources," which has been 
in the works since 2001, is unlikely to be approved by the 
summer and the government may even hold off on it for two to 
three years, introducing instead amendments to the existing 
legislation.  He said the current draft should regulate the 
distribution of mining licenses and stimulate more effective 
use of subsoil resources.  In its present form, Orlov said, 
the bill addressed only a fraction of the factors that hold 
back development and investment in subsoil exploration and 
mining.  Based on conversations with our energy sector 
contacts, the most problematic part of the bill pertains to 
language that would limit foreign company participation to a 
minority stake in "strategic" reserves.  Nevertheless, U.S. 
oil companies tell us that passage of the bill would add a 
measure of predictability to an otherwise very uncertain 
energy investment climate. 
 
10. (U) On February 22, the Duma plans to consider in a first 
reading draft amendments to the law on "Medicines" aimed at 
preventing unsanctioned use of confidential information 
presented to state authorities or other unscrupulous use of 
such data.  A second reading of additional amendments to the 
same law is scheduled for May.  These do not promote trade as 
they effectively ban the use of trademarks of 
pharmaceuticals, impose non-market pricing regulations, limit 
funding mechanisms for clinical trials, restrict import 
channels, and empower the government drug registration agency 
to cancel registration or require re-registration of drugs 
based on subjective grounds. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001445  003 OF 003 
 
 
11. (U) In March deputies will discuss in the second and 
third readings a draft law intended to improve tax 
administration.  However, in spite of Putin's public call to 
"stop the tax terror," the draft approved in the first 
reading last year could potentially worsen the situation for 
taxpayers.  In particular, it would extend field tax 
inspections up to fifteen months and not establish a limit to 
the number of documents tax inspectors could require during 
inspections.  Deputies, together with businesspeople, drafted 
over a thousand amendments for the second reading, including 
provisions making tax officials criminally and/or 
administratively liable for abuse of office.  However, it 
remains unclear whether the pro-business amendments will get 
much of a hearing -- similar discussions in April-May 2005 
resulted in submission of a version drafted by the Finance 
Ministry that was approved in the first reading. 
 
12. (U) The second reading of Russia's revamped competition 
law is expected in March.  The current version has been 
reworked extensively since the Duma,s first reading last 
year; however, no details are available yet.  Officials are 
optimistic that the law will be adopted during the spring 
session but admit that the final reading may, in fact, drag 
into the fall session. 
. 
OPPOSITION NOT GIVING UP 
------------------------ 
 
13. (U) The opposition is gearing up to submit its own bills 
for the spring session, as well as offer its vision 
concerning the four National Projects.  Communists plan to 
submit an alternative bill for the national project on 
education and are working on legislation to increase child 
benefits and introduce a graduated income tax.  According to 
the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), four national projects 
are not enough -- party leader Vladimir Zhirinovskiy wants to 
propose additional projects on roads, on culture and science, 
and on reducing bureaucratization of the economy.  The LDPR 
also intends to introduce legislation to prevent the spread 
of avian flu in Russia and to push for establishment of a 
parliamentary commission that would make recommendations to 
Gazprom and the government concerning regulation of gas 
prices and exports. 
 
14. (U) The Rodina faction led by Sergey Baburin intends to 
propose two bills.  One
would provide state subsidies to 
young families, which would cost approximately 819 million 
rubles (USD 29 million).  The other would propose that Russia 
return to the Julian calendar, which Baburin claims would be 
more economically effective since it would add 13 working 
days to the year. 
. 
GOVERNMENT HOUR SPEAKERS 
------------------------ 
 
15. (U) For the first time, the Duma has scheduled in advance 
all speakers for its weekly "Government Hour."  (In the past, 
speakers -- usually the prime minister or one of his cabinet 
ministers -- were requested a week in advance to report on 
issues they oversee.)  For example, Finance Minister Aleksey 
Kudrin will appear on March 22 to discuss implementation of 
the new benefits law, and Deputy Prime Minister and Defense 
Minister Sergey Ivanov will speak about plans for building up 
Russia's armed forces on May 24.  The last Cabinet members to 
appear before the Duma will be Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov 
and Minister for Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko, who 
will speak on June 7 and 14, respectively. 
. 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
16. (SBU) The Duma has before it an ambitious legislative 
agenda, including a handful of bills that will likely spark 
controversy, such as the subsoil bill and draft legislation 
regulating the entry of foreigners into Russia.  Whether the 
Duma will be able to make up for January's sluggish pace 
remains to be seen.  As for the outnumbered opposition's 
proposals, it is unlikely that they will make it onto such an 
ambitious agenda, especially given the dominant position and 
influence of the majority United Russia (YR) party. 
Meanwhile, YR will continue to coordinate its moves closely 
with the Presidential Administration and government.  As the 
Duma heads into the second half of its four-year term, we 
expect YR will continue to faithfully carry out Kremlin and 
government legislative initiatives relatively efficiently and 
without much debate, while the opposition minority, 
particularly independent deputies, will have little or no 
opportunity to push their own initiatives. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW1435, GEORGIA-RUSSIA: EXPECT SHARP RUSSIAN REACTION TO

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1435 2006-02-14 15:32 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6875
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1435/01 0451532
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 141532Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0727
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001435 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ENRG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA-RUSSIA:  EXPECT SHARP RUSSIAN REACTION TO 
GEORGIAN DEMAND TO WITHDRAW PKF 
 
REF: BRYZA/BURNS E-MAIL OF FEBRUARY 14 
 
Classified By: A/DCM Kirk Augustine.  Reason 1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY.  In the absence of DFM Karasin from Moscow, 
A/DCM spoke with MFA 4th CIS Department Director Andrey Kelin 
to emphasize the efforts the USG has been making to moderate 
Georgian parliamentary action on CIS peacekeepers in South 
Ossetia (per ref e-mail request).  Kelin took careful note of 
the information, said the GOR was receiving "different 
versions" of what action the Georgian parliament would take 
on February 15, and would follow developments closely.  He 
added that the Georgians had been clearly warned about the 
negative consequences of "provocative" actions.  In a 
separate conversation earlier on February 14, MFA Georgia 
Office Director Grigoryev stressed to poloff that the 
Russians would likely come out with a strongly negative 
reaction to what they expect to be in the resolution.  The 
planned February 27-28 visit of PM Noghaideli would be in 
jeopardy.  We stressed that the U.S. has been working hard 
with the Georgians to give the GOG maximum flexibility. 
Grigoryev asked whether the Georgians had any ideas for 
moving forward beyond the resolution.  If the Russians 
themselves have any ideas, neither Kelin nor Kelin shared 
them.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (C)  A/DCM spoke late on February 14 with 4th CIS 
Department Director Kelin, informing him of the efforts 
Ambassador Tefft had been making in Tbilisi to moderate 
Georgian actions.  He noted in particular (per ref e-mail) 
that Amb. Tefft had been pushing for the resolution to give 
the government time and to tie any decision to the South 
Ossetian peace plan, to make a statement on the non-use of 
force, to make a statement on the need to reconcile the 
Georgian and Kokoity's peace plans, and to undertake 
unilateral steps on demilitarization.  A/DCM added that Amb. 
Tefft had been told February 14 that the resolution would not 
call for the immediate removal of the CIS peacekeepers and 
would give the Georgian government time to find a resolution 
to the problem.  A/DCM urged that the GOR avoid 
over-reactions to whatever parliamentary action is taken. 
 
3. (C)  Kelin expressed appreciation for the U.S. efforts, 
which he carefully noted.  He said the GOR would await 
developments in the parliament and especially the reaction of 
the Georgian government.  He noted that he had recently 
returned from Tbilisi, where he had clearly warned his 
Georgian interlocutors about the potential consequences of 
any rash or "provocative" actions.  The GOR was receiving 
"different versions" from Georgian political figures about 
the likely actions of the parliament and government, and it 
could not confirm that no call would be made for the 
immediate removal of CIS peacekeepers from South Ossetia. 
 
4. (C)  In a separate meeting earlier on February 14 (prior 
to the receipt of ref e-mail), a gloomy MFA Georgia Office 
Director Grigoryev told poloff that the Georgian 
parliamentary resolution would surely pass February 15. 
"Then what?" he asked.  "Do the Georgians have a plan beyond 
the resolution?  What do they expect to happen, even if the 
deadline is extended a month?"  Poloff briefed him on U.S. 
efforts with the Georgians to ensure that parliamentary 
action give maximum flexibility to the GOG.  We noted that we 
had pressed the Georgians on ideas discussed by DAS Bryza and 
Russian envoy Kenyaikin in Brussels February 6, including 
statements on the non-use of force, work on demilitarization, 
and progress on a workplan on which both the Georgians and 
South Ossetians can take ownership.  We said Ambassador Tefft 
and other Western Ambassadors had met with DefMin Okruashvili 
and later with President Saakashvili on those issues.  We 
noted that the Georgians had been asking for some sign of 
progress to show that this "frozen conflict" was not, in 
fact, frozen. 
 
5. (C)  Asked about the likely GOR reaction to the expected 
February 15 Georgian parliamentary action, Grigoryev stressed 
that "it would not be positive."  He said Georgian State 
Minister Khaindrava had asked to visit Moscow February 16 and 
would meet with DFM Karasin.  The JCC in Vienna was expected 
to go ahead February 21.  However, the planned visit of PM 
Noghaideli to Moscow on February 27-28 might be in jeopardy, 
though the MFA would recommend that it go ahead as planned. 
There were "certain forces in Moscow," he noted, who wanted 
Russia to "slam the door" and stop all talks with the 
Georgians.  The MFA would resist those forces, though their 
influence might at least limit the agenda for Noghaideli's 
visit. 
 
6. (C)  Grigoryev said that recemt statements by Georgian 
President Saakashvili had "been the last straw" in poisoning 
the atmosphere between Russia and Georgia.  Asked about the 
 
MOSCOW 00001435  002 OF 002 
 
 
exchange of insults between Alksnis and Khaindrava, Grigoryev 
said he had no devotion to Alksnis, and Khaindrava's 
statements were clearly directed at the segment of Russian 
opinion that Alksnis represented.  Asked about t
he 
implication in FonMin Lavrov's oral message to Secretary Rice 
that the Georgians were responsible for the January 
explosions in the Russian gas and electricity lines feeding 
Georgia, Grigoryev noted only that it was a closed message 
and not meant for the Georgians.  Poloff urged that the 
Russians be restrained in all their public statements. 
Grigoryev reiterated that the Russian government had tried to 
be restrained in the last few days, but he expected the 
Georgian parliamentary action of February 15 would only 
worsen the atmosphere. 
 
7. (C)  Comment.  All that the Russians appear able to see in 
the Georgian Parliament's expected action, it appears, is the 
latest in what they regard as a series of Georgian insults to 
Russia, and they are prepared for the worst.  If the 
resolution comes out better than they expect, they will be 
pleasantly surprised, but it will probably be up to the 
Georgians -- starting with Khaindrava on February 16 -- to 
re-focus the GOR on concrete issues, rather than on 
resentment for perceived past wrongs.  If the GOR has any 
concrete plans to turn the situation in a positive direction, 
neither Kelin not Grigoryev hinted at their existence. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW1433, MOSCOW DEFERS TO GRULAC CONSENSUS ON NEXT UNSC REP

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1433 2006-02-14 14:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6709
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1433 0451421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141421Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0723
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0203
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA PRIORITY 0034

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001433 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV UN UNSC GT VE RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW DEFERS TO GRULAC CONSENSUS ON NEXT UNSC REP 
 
REF: STATE 20173 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons: 1.4(B/D). 
 
(C)  The Ambassador delivered reftel demarche to DFM Sergey 
Kislyak on February 8.  Poloff double-tracked the same points 
with MFA UN Political Affairs Section Chief Vladimir 
Safronkov.  Kislyak noted that the GOR had already been 
approached by both Venezuela and Guatemala regarding the 
GRULAC's 2007-2008 UNSC representation.  The Russian 
position, Kislyak said, is generally to support the regional 
group's consensus candidate.  Safronkov echoed the same view 
and added that the MFA had referred both countries back to 
their regional group without expressing support for either. 
 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW1431, RUSSIA MOVING SLOWLY ON DIVERSITY CONVENTION

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #06MOSCOW1431.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1431 2006-02-14 13:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6650
PP RUEHFL RUEHKN RUEHMJ RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHQU
DE RUEHMO #1431 0451347
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141347Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0721
INFO RUCNSCO/UNESCO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001431 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ETRD SCUL UNESCO RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA MOVING SLOWLY ON DIVERSITY CONVENTION 
 
REF: STATE 19851 
 
Classified By: A/POL Bruce Donahue.  Reasons: 1.4(B/D). 
 
(C)  On February 13 poloff delivered reftel demarche to MFA 
UNESCO Section Chief Nina Sopkova.  Sopkova characterized the 
GOR's position on the Convention on the Protection and 
Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as 
"cautious."  She said that the convention would be ratified 
only after careful study and that it is not yet on the Duma's 
legislative docket.  Sopkova added that Russia will not be 
among the first countries to ratify the convention. 
 
BURNS

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06MOSCOW1388, FSB OPERATION IN STAVROPOL DISTRICT: ANOTHER

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1388 2006-02-14 09:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6227
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1388 0450906
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 140906Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0674
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001388 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2016 
TAGS: PTER MOPS PINR PGOV RS
SUBJECT: FSB OPERATION IN STAVROPOL DISTRICT:  ANOTHER 
ETHNIC GROUP PRODUCES EXTREMISTS 
 
Classified By: Acting PolMinCouns Bruce Donahue.  Reason 1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (U) Press February 13-14 reported an FSB operation against 
an "extremist Islamist" cell in the town of Tukuy-Mekteb, in 
Russia's Stavropol Kray.  Tukuy-Mekteb lies along a regional 
road about 15 km west of the Dagestani Border and 45 km north 
of the border with Chechnya.  Initial reports said twelve 
extremists and a smaller number of security forces were 
killed.  "Kommersant" reported February 14, however, that 
only eight bodies of extremists have been found so far. 
 
2.  (U) About 50-60,000 ethnic Nogays live in Russia, 
remnants of the once-great Nogay Horde of the Mongol Khans. 
They are divided among Stavropol Kray, Dagestan (the part of 
Dagestan closest to Tukuy-Mekteb is called the "Nogay 
Steppe") and Chechnya.  Of the 10,000 Nogays who inhabited 
Chechnya before 1994, about half remain there.  The rest 
moved to Dagestan or Stavropol to escape the fighting. 
 
3. (U)  The Stavropol Kray Prosecutor has identified seven of 
the eight bodies, according to "Kommersant."  Five were from 
Tukuy-Mekteb itself, although a relative of one was 
implicated in a suicide truck bombing in Groznyy in 2003. 
The other two were identified as native to Chechnya. 
 
4. (C) A GOR source clarified that all cell members were 
Nogays.  It is unclear whether the natives of Chechnya were 
still living there or were among those who had moved in the 
1990s.  The source asserted that the group members appear to 
have received training in Chechnya and were well-armed. 
 
5. (C) Comment:  The operation highlights the spread of 
armed, anti-Russian religious extremists to new sets of 
ethnic groups in the North Caucasus.  It is difficult to 
generalize about the political views of the complex Caucasian 
clans and sub-clans, with their internal rivalries and feuds, 
and the Nogays are no exception.  But it does appear that 
Nogays showed little or no sympathy for Dudayev's separatism 
during the first Chechen war (1994-96), and those in Chechnya 
tended to side with Federal Russian authorities.  The spread 
of Jihadist Islam appears to have undermined that orientation. 
BURNS

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06MOSCOW1324, PRESSING RUSSIA FOR RESTRAINT ON GEORGIA

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To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #06MOSCOW1324.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW1324 2006-02-11 14:37 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4771
OO RUEHCD RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1324/01 0421437
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 111437Z FEB 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0553
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNOSC/OSCE POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001324 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/11/2016 
TAGS: PREL MASS PBTS GG RS
SUBJECT: PRESSING RUSSIA FOR RESTRAINT ON GEORGIA 
 
REF: A. DAS BRYZA 2/10 E-MAIL 
     B. MOSCOW 1045 
 
MOSCOW 00001324  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons:  1.4(B & D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  In a February 9 meeting with Chief of 
Defense General Baluyevskiy, Ambassador Burns urged that 
Russia exercise restraint in its dealings with Georgia. 
Baluyevksiy was blunt in complaining about Georgian demands 
to withdraw peacekeepers from Georgia and charged Tbilisi 
with interference in the implementation of the May 2005 
military withdrawal agreement. 
 
-- Ambassador updated DFM Karasin February 10 on U.S. efforts 
to work with the Georgian leadership to ease tensions, and 
pressed again for Russian restraint.  Karasin repeated 
concerns about possible Georgian Parliament action, but 
acknowledged U.S. efforts and previewed the oral message that 
FM Lavrov planned to send Secretary Rice. 
 
-- During February 9 consultations, DFM Grushko told PDAS 
Volker that the Kosovo settlement would inevitably set a 
precedent for the resolution of Georgia's separatist 
conflicts.  PDAS Volker explained why the U.S. viewed Kosovo 
as a unique situation. 
 
-- MFA 4th CIS Department (Caucasus) Director Kelin provided 
a readout of his February 6-7 talks in Tbilisi -- his message 
was that Russia did not seek to aggravate the situation in 
South Ossetia, but had no intention of withdrawing its 
peacekeepers. 
 
-- DFM Grushko said Moscow was planning on hosting Georgian 
PM Noghaideli at the end of the month and hoped to avoid 
violent incidents in the interim.  He dismissed any role for 
outside peacekeepers or mediators in the South Ossetian 
conflict.  Volker said the U.S. was ready to be helpful -- 
through the OSCE or directly -- to encourage a political 
resolution and urged that Russia continue to engage with 
Georgia on concrete, positive steps for a settlement. 
 
End Summary. 
. 
BALUYEVSKIY AND KARASIN:  GEORGIANS MAKING RASH DEMANDS 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
2.  (C)  Ambassador Burns met February 9 with General of the 
Army Yuriy Baluyevskiy, Russia's Chief of Defense, to discuss 
military cooperation and regional conflicts (septel).  In the 
meeting, Baluyevskiy was blunt in charging the Georgian 
leadership with making "irrational" demands and interfering 
with the implementation of the May 2005 agreement to withdraw 
Russian forces from Georgia.  Turning to Russian peacekeepers 
serving in South Ossetia, he complained about Georgian 
demands to withdraw the forces.  The Ambassador urged that 
Russia exercise restraint and work to maintain stability, 
noting that we had the same message for the Georgians. 
Baluyevskiy argued that independence for Kosovo would have a 
direct bearing on the Abkhaz and South Ossetia conflicts. 
 
3.  (C)  In a separate conversation on February 10, the 
Ambassador updated DFM Grigoriy Karasin on U.S. efforts to 
work with the Georgian leadership to ease tensions, and 
pressed again for Russian restraint.  Karasin repeated 
concerns about possible Georgian Parliament action, but 
acknowledged U.S. efforts and previewed the oral message that 
FM Lavrov planned to send Secretary Rice (ref a).  The 
Ambassador strongly encouraged Karasin to take maximum 
advantage of upcoming visits to Moscow by Georgian State 
Minister for Separatist Conflicts Khaindrava and PM 
Noghaideli. 
. 
GRUSHKO:  KOSOVO AS PRECEDENT 
----------------------------- 
 
4.  (C)  During February 9 consultations in Moscow with DFM 
Aleksandr Grushko (other topics septel), PDAS Kurt Volker 
emphasized the importance of continued, direct engagement 
between Moscow and Tbilisi.  The U.S. was concerned that 
Moscow's views on Georgia's territorial integrity had 
shifted, particularly in light of disagreements in the UN 
Security Council over the UNOMIG mandate rollover and 
high-level statements about the precedential value of a 
Kosovo settlement.  Volker explained why the U.S. viewed 
Kosovo as unique; attempts to equate the resolution of that 
situation with other frozen conflicts had serious, 
far-reaching implications.  Regarding Abkhazia and South 
Ossetia, Volker said, the U.S. was encouraging Georgia to 
engage constructively with Russia, to focus on political 
rather than military solutions, and to step up political and 
economic reforms supporting a settlement. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001324  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
5.  (C)  DFM Grushko claimed Russia had not changed it basic 
position on Kosovo, but said it was obvious "in real life" 
that the resolution of Kosovo would set a precedent.  It 
would be difficult to argue that Kosovo was unique; Russia's 
policy in this case was reflected in President Putin's 
January 31 press conference statement.  (NOTE:  Putin asked 
rhetorically in the press conference why South Ossetia and 
Abkhazia could not be independent if Kosovo was given 
independence). 
 
6.  (C)  As to the deletion of references to the Boden paper 
in the UNOMIG renewal, Grushko argued that the Abkhaz had 
never accepted the paper.  MFA 4th CIS Department (Caucasus) 
Director Andrey Kelin added that Russia supported Georgia's 
territorial integrity (Comment:  Without further defining 
that term).  He noted that the February Friends of Georgia 
meeting in Geneva had referred to the Boden paper, but had 
recalled as well other settlement proposals (such as the plan 
put forward by former PM and FM Yevgeniy Primakov).  Grushko 
urged that instead of pursuing "fruitless" arguments over 
final status issues, Tbilisi should follow through on 
Saakashvili's three-step UNGA proposal to build trust with 
the Abkhaz.  Abkhaz "President" Bagasph was under political 
pressure from the Abkhaz people as well because he was seen 
as too accommodating; Georgia needed to provide security 
guarantees and work on economic joint projects to build ties. 
 
. 
KELIN IN TBILISI:  MAKING IT TO THE END OF FEBRUARY 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
7.  (C)  Director Kelin briefed on his February 6-7 talks in 
Tbilisi with the Georgian government, characterizing his trip 
as being prompted by the "artificial" situation created by 
Georgian legislation mandating parliamentary review of the 
status of Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia.  Kelin 
spelled out Moscow's message:  Russia does not want to 
aggravate the situation, but Moscow will not withdraw Russian 
forces from the conflict zone and "abandon" the South 
Ossetians -- this would lead to fighting.  Russia assumed the 
Georgian Parliament --  perhaps after some delays -- would 
demand the withdrawal of the Russians.  The key question for 
Moscow would be how Saakashvili would handle this demand. 
Georgia could choose to use violence to try to achieve its 
aims or could pursue the path of discussion and negotiation. 
 
8.  (C)  Kelin said he found at least some interlocutors in 
Georgia who were prepared to pursue a political path, 
particularly State Minister for Separatist Conflicts Minister 
Khaindrava.  Khaindrava was prepared to attend a proposed 
February 21 JCC meeting in Vienna to discuss elements of the 
Saakashvili and Kokoity proposals on South Ossetia.  Russia 
was planning to host Georgian PM Noghaideli in Moscow 
February 27-28 to continue discussions on South Ossetia and 
perhaps initial a technical agreement implementing Russia's 
decision to withdraw it forces from some Georgian bases. 
Kelin said there were opportunities to make progress if the 
parties could avoid violence until the end of February. 
Georgia and Russia had agreed to maintain silence and avoid 
provocations until then, but this would be difficult, Kelin 
stressed, if Georgia continued to take steps like the 
February 8 arrest of Russian peacekeepers for visa violations. 
. 
MFA:  NO TO OUTSIDE PEACEKEEPERS OR MEDIATORS 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
9.  (C)  DFM Grushko said the Russian peacekeepers were in 
South Ossetia to carry out a mandated task of keeping the 
peace -- they were not present to bring about a political 
settlement.  He dismissed what he called Tbilisi's argument 
that the replacement of Russian peacekeepers with others 
would lead to peace and reunification.  Grushko said Russia 
had a "very negative" view of a multinational peacekeeping 
force in Georgia, arguing that what was needed was a 
political solution, not a change of peacekeepers.  Kelin was 
similarly dismissive about suggestions that other OSCE 
members, including the U.S., become involved in the JCC 
process, arguing that it would be unhelpful and that Georgia 
and South Ossetia needed to resolve their problems directly. 
Volker noted that Russian actions -- issuing passports and 
allowing Russians to serve in the South Ossetian 
administration -- created a direct role for Russia that had 
to be taken into account.  He said the U.S. was ready to be 
helpful -- through the OSCE or directly -- to encourage a 
political settlement. 
 
10.  (C)  Grushko reiterated Kelin's hopes that violence 
could be avoided before PM Noghaideli was scheduled to arrive 
in late-February.  He agreed that "reasonable" Georgians 
wanted to pursue a political solution, but said that while 
Georgians might want to live in a unified stated, Georgia was 
doing little to make unification attractive to separatists. 
 
MOSCOW 00001324  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
Volker disagreed, noting that Georgia was focused on 
political and economic reform and integration into 
Euro-Atlantic institutions.  He stressed the importance of 
Russia's direct engagement with the Georgians, focusing on 
concrete steps for a settlement and avoiding unilateral 
actions. 
 
11.  (C)  PDAS Volker did not have the opportunity to clear 
this message. 
BURNS

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