Monthly Archives: March 2006

06MOSCOW3389, GOR PLANS TO TAKE NO ACTION AS A RESULT OF

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. #06MOSCOW3389.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3389 2006-03-31 13:52 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0015
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3389 0901352
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311352Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3390
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0212

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003389 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR IO/PSC:PARKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/31/2016 
TAGS: PREL KFIN IZ RS
SUBJECT: GOR PLANS TO TAKE NO ACTION AS A RESULT OF 
OIL-FOR-FOOD INQUIRY 
 
REF: STATE 40595 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Kirk Augustine. 
  For Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (C)  The Russian Government does not intend to take any 
steps as a result of the findings of the Independent Inquiry 
Committee (IIC) which investigated the UN's Oil-for-Food 
(OFF) Program.  Despite the IIC's findings that the GOR 
itself and Russian business firms, political parties and 
politicians were far and away the largest recipients of oil 
vouchers allocated under Saddam's scheme to influence 
decision makers, the MFA told us on March 31 that no legal 
action would be taken to look into any of the IIC's 
allegations.  MFA UN Political Affairs Section Chief Vladimir 
Safronkov said that the Russian Government had rejected the 
authenticity of many of the documents presented by the 
Committee which indicated high-level official corruption. 
Safronkov also told us that the MFA had contacted some of the 
companies named in the IIC report, and they had likewise 
denied any culpability and challenged the evidence presented 
by the IIC. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  Safronkov's comment echoes FM Lavrov's 
October 28, 2005 statement that the Committee had not 
clarified the authenticity of challenged documents to the 
satisfaction of the Foreign Ministry, and that many of them 
appeared to be forged.  The GOR has never been particularly 
cooperative with the Volcker Committee, and most Russia firms 
refused to turn over any documents.  The IIC final report 
drew across-the-board denials from the wide range of Russian 
officials and companies accused of corruption and fraud. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

Advertisements

06MOSCOW3388, RUSSIAN DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION LEADER BORIS NEMTSOV

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. #06MOSCOW3388.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3388 2006-03-31 13:51 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8818
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3388/01 0901351
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311351Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3388
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003388 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/31/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION LEADER BORIS NEMTSOV 
GETS PERSONAL 
 
REF: MOSCOW 1083 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Daniel A. Russell. Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (C) In a March 27 meeting with the Ambassador, democratic 
opposition leader Boris Nemtsov: 
 
-- Strongly condemned the falsified election results in 
Belarus, where the people faced a "catastrophic situation"; 
 
-- Suggested that negotiations to form a new government in 
Ukraine would be prolonged and contentious; 
 
-- Noted that talks to unite Russia's democratic opposition 
continued, but that liberals needed new leadership to attract 
popular support and enhance their overall position; and 
 
-- Interspersed his comments with a range of personal views 
concerning various local and regional leaders.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (SBU) Ambassador met with Boris Nemtsov on March 27. 
Nemtsov, a former Governor of Nizhniy Novgorod and Deputy 
Prime Minister during the Yeltsin era, has long been 
associated with liberal economic policies and democratic 
politics.  Most recently, he was appointed by the Union of 
Right Forces (SPS) to serve as that party's representative on 
a committee charged with uniting the country's democratic 
opposition forces.  He has also served as an advisor to 
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko following the 2004 
Orange Revolution and has been an outspoken supporter of 
Belarus opposition leader Aleksandr Milinkevich. 
. 
--------------------------------------------- - 
BELARUS ELECTIONS A CATASTROPHE FOR THE PEOPLE 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
3.  (C) Nemtsov roundly condemned the current situation in 
Belarus.  The March 19 elections had been falsified and, 
subsequently, protesters had been beaten and arrested.  He 
welcomed official statements by the U.S. and EU condemning 
these events but, overall, Nemtsov concluded that a popular 
revolution along the lines of the Orange Revolution in 
Ukraine was unlikely.  The opposition was neither as well 
organized nor as effective as the forces that brought Viktor 
Yushchenko to power in Kiev.  As a result, the people of 
Belarus faced a "catastrophic situation." 
 
4.  (C) Referring to possible implications for the 
relationship between Belarus and Russia, Nemtsov did not 
believe there would be any significant change in direction, 
including in the continuing negotiations to establish a Union 
State.  Moscow had congratulated Aleksandr Lukashenko almost 
immediately after the polls closed and would continue to 
defend the embattled regime against criticism from the West. 
Nemtsov claimed that President Putin did not personally like 
Lukashenko (he likened the relationship to the World War 
II-era ties between Hitler and Mussolini), but the two 
leaders needed each other.  In any case, Nemtsov thought 
Putin's recent tilt toward support for "dictators" and 
populist politicians of various types in Belarus and Central 
Asia was not worthy of a G-8 leader.  At the same time, 
Nemtsov warned that Lukashenko, who was "worse than 
Milosevic," maintained considerable popular support in both 
Belarus and Russia which, along with his political 
connections, could conceivably propel him to the presidency 
of a future Russia-Belarus Union State. 
. 
------------------------------------- 
ARDUOUS POWER NEGOTIATIONS IN UKRAINE 
------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Turning to the situation in Ukraine following the 
March 26 parliamentary elections, Nemtsov characterized the 
majority of Ukrainian politicians, including Viktor 
Yanukovych and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as 
either "criminal or corrupt."  The major difference among 
them was one of degree rather than quality.  Nemtsov said 
that while Yushchenko was well-intentioned, he was never able 
to overcome the entrenched business interests, deep-seated 
corruption, or continuing GOR opposition that ultimately 
rendered U.S. and Western praise for the "Orange Revolution" 
premature.  Nemtsov said Putin, in particular, had never 
gotten over Yanukovych's defeat in 2004. 
 
6.  (C) Nemtsov predicted that the negotiations to establish 
a new government would be prolonged and arduous.  He thought 
Tymoshenko had been a "catastrophe" when she had been PM last 
year but conceded that her second-place finish strengthened 
her hand and might allow her to regain her former position. 
A repeat of the Tymoshenko Government would be another 
"catastrophe."  In the meantime, Nemtsov speculated that 
 
MOSCOW 00003388  002 OF 002 
 
 
Yanukovych might have the strongest hand.  In addition to his 
party's first-place finish in the elections, Yanukovych might 
be able to exploit differences between Yushchenko and 
Tymoshenko, including Yushchenko's evident unwillingness to 
see Tymoshenko become PM again. 
 
7.  (C) Regardless of who took over the government helm in 
Kiev, Nemtsov said the new PM would have to pay more 
attention to Moscow.  In this respect, he said Yanukovych was 
harder to predict.  Clearly
supported by Moscow, Yanukovych 
nevertheless had promised during the campaign to keep the 
country on its pro-Western course.  Nemtsov was unsure of the 
extent to which policy would change -- or not -- as a result, 
although he mentioned that relations with Poland could become 
more complicated.  He was certain, however, that the 
country's plans to join NATO would slow since most Ukrainians 
(not only those in the eastern part of the country) were not 
enthusiastic about joining the Alliance. 
. 
----------------------------- 
DEMOCRATS NEED NEW LEADERSHIP 
----------------------------- 
 
8.  (C) Asked about prospects for uniting Russia's democratic 
opposition forces, Nemtsov said discussions were continuing 
with the main political players, but a genuine coalition was 
still out of reach.  He singled out Yabloko's Grigoriy 
Yavlinskiy as one of the main obstacles.  Although Yavlinskiy 
agreed in principle that unity, or at least closer 
cooperation on joint lists, would be desirable, the Yabloko 
leader was still reluctant to make meaningful concessions for 
the sake of a broader coalition.  Nemtsov surmised that 
Yavlinskiy had not abandoned his personal goal of becoming 
president.  A lack of financial support was also an obstacle, 
especially for smaller parties like Vladimir Ryzhkov's 
Republican Party. 
 
9.  (C) In the meantime, Nemtsov said the democrats needed an 
infusion of new leadership, along with a new message, that 
would spark public interest.  Former Prime Minister Mikhail 
Kasyanov was the only option for the time being, but Nemtsov 
said he was relatively weak and had not yet been able to cast 
aside a "very negative image" as a corrupt politician. 
Nemtsov alleged that Kasyanov had been involved in numerous 
cases of bribe-taking and official corruption; the widely 
reported case of his dacha was just the tip of the iceberg. 
. 
----------------------------------- 
A LITTLE BIT OF COLOR FOR EVERYBODY 
----------------------------------- 
 
10.  (C) Over the course of our conversation, Nemtsov 
commented on various personalities.  Among other things, 
Nemtsov: 
 
-- Claimed there were only four honest politicians in the 
country -- Communist Party leader Gennadiy Zyuganov, Our 
Choice leader Irina Khakamada, Yabloko's Yavlinskiy, and 
himself.  With the exception of Zyuganov, the other three 
have been close associates of Nemtsov over the years.  Among 
the most corrupt are recently deposed Rodina Party President 
Dmitriy Rogozin, Rodina faction leader Sergey Glazyev, and 
Kasyanov. 
 
-- Said Putin feared being overthrown or assassinated, 
especially on the orders of Chechen separatists or exiled 
business leader Boris Berezovskiy, whom Putin had personally 
tried to convince British PM Tony Blair last October to 
extradite to Russia. 
 
-- Maintained close ties with Vladislav Surkov, Deputy Head 
of the Presidential Administration, including during the 
money laundering raids against Neftyanoy Bank, Nemtsov's 
former bank, last December.  He claimed that Surkov had 
warned him in advance that the raid was "political," which 
was one of the factors that had prompted Nemtsov to resign 
from the bank's board. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3362, P-5 HOLD UN CONSULTATIONS MARCH 2 IN MOSCOW

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. #06MOSCOW3362.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3362 2006-03-31 12:31 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3362/01 0901231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311231Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3353
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003362 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/31/2016 
TAGS: PREL UNSC RS
SUBJECT: P-5 HOLD UN CONSULTATIONS MARCH 2 IN MOSCOW 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Kirk Augustine. 
  For Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  Russia hosted a meeting of P-5 IO Directors 
March 2 in Moscow to discuss UN Security Council and 
management reforms, the proposed Human Rights Council, the 
Peacebuilding Commission, and other issues related to 
implementation of the World Summit Outcome Document, as well 
as appointment of a new Secretary General and revitalization 
of the UNSC Military Staff Committee.  The group also 
reviewed UN Security Council action in the Middle East, Iran, 
Iraq, Kosovo, Syria/Lebanon, Cyprus, and Africa.  End 
Summary. 
 
2. (C) Assistant Secretary Kristen Silverberg represented the 
United States.  Russian MFA International Organizations 
Department Director Aleksandr Konuzin represented the Russian 
side and served as host.  Stephen Pattison, Director for 
International Security in the Foreign Office, represented the 
UK.  The French representative was Sylvie Bermann, Director 
of the French MFA's Department of United Nations and 
International Organizations.  China was represented by newly 
appointed MFA International Organizations and Conferences 
Department Director Wu Hailun.  After consultations with 
Konuzin, the group met briefly with Russian Deputy Foreign 
Minister Aleksandr Yakovenko. 
. 
REGULARIZING P-5 MEETINGS 
------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Russia's Konuzin began by noting the importance of a 
P-5 meeting to assess progress following the 2005 World 
Summit.  He suggested regularizing such consultations at the 
policy level, with one meeting per year in New York during 
the UNGA and another in February to assess UNGA outcomes. 
A/S Silverberg welcomed the idea and offered to host the next 
session in New York during this year's UNGA.  France's 
Bermann also agreed and proposed holding the subsequent 
session in Paris next February. 
. 
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 
-------------------- 
 
4. (C) Konuzin said Russia was prepared to be flexible 
concerning the draft Human Rights Council text, but harbored 
a number of concerns.  Russia did not support a mandatory 
five-year review of the Council, but felt that after five 
years the UN could decide whether a review was required. 
Russia opposed a two-term limit on membership as contrary to 
the UN's universality principle, and was prepared to put this 
point to a vote if it were included in the text.  Konuzin 
said Russia opposed country-specific resolutions, and was 
also uncomfortable with the provision for suspension of 
members, since the basis for it was unclear.  Russia was 
flexible on the number of sessions the Council should hold; 
the idea of having three sessions within a ten-week period 
was acceptable.  Special sessions were also acceptable, in 
Russia's view, but should require more than a one-third vote. 
 While changing the format of the UN's human rights body was 
important, Konuzin argued, it must be accompanied by changes 
in the substance of the body's work. 
 
5. (C) China believed that human rights reform was needed to 
end politicization of the issue in the UN context, Wu said. 
The new draft resolution on the Council should be further 
improved, Wu argued, although China would accept that 
resolution if it enjoyed consensus.  It was particularly 
important for the P-5 itself to reach consensus as soon as 
possible.  China would accept holding a Human Rights 
Commission session this year, and was flexible on its format. 
 France's Bermann said the current proposal regarding the 
Human Rights Council was a compromise and needed further 
improvement.  It was essential to be able to suspend Council 
members if they did not respect human rights.  She urged 
avoiding a vote on the HRC at all costs for the moment, as it 
was more important to broaden support around one position. 
UNGA President Eliasson's formulation on membership was not 
acceptable, and the issue still needed to be properly 
addressed. 
 
6. (C) A/S Silverberg noted that Secretary Rice had called 
SYG Annan to underscore that the U.S. did not support the 
current proposal regarding the Human Rights Council.  The 
U.S. would not compromise further on the important principle 
that members of the HRC share a good-faith commitment to 
human rights.  The U.S. supported changes to the text to 
exclude countries under UNSC sanctions from HRC membership, 
and establish a two-thirds vote requirement for election to 
membership.  The U.S. was open-minded whether to engage in 
member state negotiations or delay consideration of the 
proposal, A/S Silverberg said, but was prepared to call for a 
vote and vote no. 
. 
SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM 
----------------------- 
 
7. (C) Konuzin said Russia believed any decision on Council 
reform should be based on the maximum possible agreement 
among member states, which he interpreted to mean "much more 
than two-thirds."  In any case, he said, now was not a good 
time to vote on a Council reform resolution since it would 
only be divisive.  Noting that Japan had not joined the other 
G-4 countries in sponsoring this year's UNGA resolution on 

Council expansion, Konuzin asked whetherQhis was a strategic 
or tactical maneuver by the Japanese.  He said Russia had 
"suspicions," but was not asked to elaborate.  Konuzin said 
he was unclear on the specific elements of Japan,s proposal, 
but asserted that Russia could not agree to the kind of 
elections foreseen by the Japanese because it would create an 
"uncontrollable situation" and the process would become 
"ridiculous." 
 
8. (C) Bermann said reform of the Security Council was 
essential to fully reform the UN.  The HRC and management 
reform should come first but the P-5 should continue to work 
on the issue.  France thought the G-4 plan was "fair and 
equitable," but the Japanese plan would be very difficult to 
implement.  A/S Silverberg stated the U.S. favored modest 
Security Council expansion, and believed Japan had the 
qualifications to be a valuable member of that body.  She 
noted the U.S. had concerns with Japan,s "Option C," and 
remained opposed to the G-4 plan.  Wu argued further 
consultation was needed on Security Council reform, but it 
was essential to avoid holding "forced" votes that would 
damage solidarity among UN members.  The P-5 should encourage 
"democratic dialogue and consultation" and not take action 
that surprised other members. 
. 
MANAGEMENT REFORM 
----------------- 
 
9. (C) Konuzin stressed the importance of management reform 
but noted that it should not be allowed to change the nature 
of the UN as an organization of member states.  Russia was 
flexible with regard to giving the SYG more authority, and 
"reasonably flexible" on budgetary and staffing issues, but 
believed new mechanisms should be laid out to foster 
efficiency and accountability, and should not take away the 
oversight authority of the Member States.  Russia opposed 
voting on budget packages, believing each programmatic 
element of the budget should be considered separately. 
Russia favors mandate review, but understands G77 
sensitivities in the matter and believed it was important to 
work with those countries.  Konuzin said Russia did not favor 
linking progress on reform with consideration of the current 
UN budget.  Russia needed more information on the financial 
implications of changes to the contracting system but 
stressed that in any case, the issue needed additional 
consideration in the Fifth Committee.  The Russians were 
reluctant to establish a strong Deputy SYG, since that would 
not be in line with the UN Charter.  The system under which a 
SYG is elected and is allowed to fill all his functions 
should be preserved, Konuzin argued. 
 
10. (C) Wu said China believed Secretariat reform should 
preserve the nature of the UN as a body of governments. 
Internal management of the Secretariat needed to be 
strengthened.  Wu argued that it was essential for the P-5 
countries to remain in close touch on management reform to 
avoid surprising one another. 
 
11. (C) A/S Silverberg agreed with Konuzin's point that 
decisions on mandates must be made by member states.  Concern 
about specific mandate proposals might be eased when their 
details were laid out, A/S Silverberg said.  The U.S. was not 
supporting this effort primarily as a cost saving exercise, 
but believed change was vital so that funds would be devoted 
to priority areas. 
 
12. (C) Pattison argued that management reform was too 
important to leave to the Fifth Committee.  He said the issue 
did not involve an attempt by the P-5 to gain more power but 
was a real effort to make the UN work better.  Pattison saw 
the SYG paper on system coherence as important, particularly 
because of the inefficiencies caused by competition among UN 
agencies.  Bermann believed it essential to persuade G-77 
countries that management reform was in their interests. 
. 
REVITALIZATION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 
-------------------------------------- 
 
13. (C) Konuzin argued that the Security Council was a victim 
of its own success, which led elected members to bring issues 
to the Council that did not belong there, under the guise 
that they were related to conflicts ("(blank) and conflict"). 
 He felt "proud" that the P-5 have resisted this trend. 
Konuzin then added he understood the U.S. reasons for calling 
Council meetings on PKO management issues, but the Council 
"should be cautious about this kind of thing."  Konuzin put 
forth an "idea" that "instead of being on the defensive," the 
P-5 should make proposals for GA revitalization by looking at 
the Security Council agenda for issues that could be given to 
the GA, and by encouraging the GA President to hold more 
discussions on political issues.  A/S Silverberg responded 
that the U.S. believed PKO-related matters such as sexual 
exploitation and procurement scandals were well within the 
Council,s mandate.  For the U.S., adequate Council oversight 
was key to responding to domestic issues concerning the 
justification of PKO expenditures. 
 
14. (C) Wu stressed that clear divisions existed between the 
roles and responsibilities of the Security Council and the 
General Assembly, and these should be respected to avoid 
duplication.  The Security Council's authority must be 
maintained, but the roles of other countries must also be 
taken into account.  Above all, Wu argued, the interests of 
developing countries must be kept in mind. 
. 
PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION 
-------------------------- 
 
15. (C) Bermann said the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) 
represents the result of lessons learned about coordination 
on institution building.  The PBC needs to be well-funded and 
have links to the IFIs.  The Council needed to ensure that 
the PBC begins its work with a success that would establish 
its bona fides.  This means not taking on too much at once, 
perhaps only one or two countries.  Haiti might be too 
difficult but Burundi might provide better chances for 
success.  Wu said the P-5 should be flexible regarding the 
rules of election to the PBC, and should give due 
consideration to the views of Asian countries. 
 
16. (C) A/S Silverberg noted that it was important to have 
moderate expectations about the Commission.  The PBC needs to 
show early success by taking on manageable countries such as 
Burundi or perhaps Liberia.  Pattison offered Sierra Leone as 
another possibility for initial PBC action.  Konuzin noted 
that Guinea-Bissau had been raised as a possible focus for 
the PBC, but agreed Burundi might be more appropriate, 
although its government was showing signs of reluctance. 
. 
OTHER OUTCOME DOCUMENT ISSUES 
----------------------------- 
 
17. (C) Russia's Konuzin expressed satisfaction that the 
World Summit Outcome Document would help strengthen the UN. 
The Document had emerged as the common denominator of 
discussions in New York, and though it did not fully reflect 
the views of any s
ingle member state, it was acceptable to 
almost all of them.  Wu said the Outcome Document was of 
prime importance but should be implemented step-by-step 
beginning with easy issues.  Work on counterterrorism at the 
UN must take into account the concerns of developing 
countries.  China favors a high-level counterterrorism 
conference and enhanced consultations on the draft 
Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). 
The UN should agree "as soon as possible" on a definition of 
terrorism in the CCIT.  UK's Pattison said it was time to 
redevelop the "habit" of P-5 consultation.  He agreed with 
the Chinese point on defining terrorism.  Pattison said the 
UK considered the Duty to Protect a very important element of 
the Summit outcome, as it was becoming increasingly central 
to the Security Council,s work.  More broadly, Pattison 
continued, the Outcome Document reflected the evolving nature 
of conflicts and a corresponding extension of the Security 
Council,s agenda.  Whereas once the Council had focused on 
relations between states, it now focused on intrastate 
conflicts, Pattison argued, which made non-traditional issues 
such as women's concerns relevant to the Council,s work. 
. 
SYG APPOINTMENT 
--------------- 
 
18. (C) China's Wu presented four points: the new SYG should 
be capable; the UN should follow the accepted principle of 
regional rotation, under which it was Asia,s turn -- the P-5 
should agree that Asian candidates would "have priority"; 
September/October was a good time frame for making a 
selection; and P-5 unity was important since the P-5 have 
"special responsibilities" in the selection process. 
Acknowledging current disagreements among the P-5, he said 
P-5 members should at minimum try to find an Asian who would 
be acceptable.  Konuzin agreed on the need to respect the 
tradition of regional rotation.  When SYG Annan had been 
chosen, the African and Asian blocs had agreed that Asia 
would provide the next SYG.  Those two blocs contained some 
100 countries, and while not all might agree to an Asian SYG 
now, the majority no doubt did.  In Konuzin's view, this 
served as an additional argument for choosing an Asian SYG. 
A/S Silverberg reiterated that the U.S. does not accept the 
rotation principle.  She asked about unity within the Asian 
bloc on the issue.  Wu replied that all Asian countries 
favored an Asian SYG, and that the ASEAN countries agreed 
that an ASEAN candidate should be selected. 
 
19. (C) Pattison raised the possibility of establishing 
criteria for choosing the next SYG, which would give a sense 
the selection process was being conducted with maximum 
transparency.  Criteria might include experience in running a 
large organization, a prominent international profile, and 
experience in international affairs.  Bermann echoed 
Pattison's view on the desirability of demonstrating 
transparency in the selection process, and suggested looking 
at procedures used by the WTO or other comparable models. 
 
20. (C) A/S Silverberg noted that although she agreed with 
Pattison,s criteria, intangible factors inevitably came into 
play, and any criteria would be at a level of generality that 
would make them unlikely to be useful.  She also stressed 
that setting criteria could have unintended future 
consequences.  Konuzin shared A/S Silverberg's concerns about 
specific criteria.  If the P-5 agreed to criteria, other 
groups might put forth their own, less desirable criteria, he 
continued.  The key was to avoid deadlocks, and the P-5 
should work to reach internal agreement. 
 
21. (C) On the question of timing for SYG selection, Konuzin 
dismissed concern that reaching consensus too early would 
make SYG Annan a lame duck.  Wu argued for a 
September-October time frame to choose the new SYG.  Konuzin 
responded that this would only ensure that the next UNGA 
session would be preoccupied with the succession issue and 
would make no progress in other areas.  Konuzin urged maximum 
flexibility on timing, but said that as soon as general 
agreement emerged about a successor to Annan, a vote should 
be taken quickly to avoid additional candidacies. 
. 
MILITARY STAFF COMMITTEE (MSC) REVITALIZATION 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
22. (C) A/S Silverberg laid out U.S. arguments for 
revitalizing the MSC:  The Department of Peacekeeping 
Operations (DPKO) presents UN members with too few options 
and frequently fails to adequately justify its requests.  For 
this reason, outside military advice would be beneficial. 
A/S Silverberg added that Congress, and no doubt other 
legislatures, often question funding for UN peacekeeping 
operations, and a revitalized MSC would help address those 
concerns.  She urged close P-5 consultation and said the U.S. 
would welcome participation of member states outside the P-5. 
 Bermann said France agreed with the U.S. concerns but not 
with institutionalizing the MSC.  She questioned the need to 
create another layer of decision-making and questioned the 
value of input from member states outside the P-5, even if 
they had military expertise.  Pattison said that while DPKO 
sometimes produced useful advice, it could be improved, 
however the MSC was not necessarily the answer.  Konuzin 
expressed enthusiasm for the U.S. initiative and welcomed 
that it had been initially raised in the P-5 context. 
Agreeing with Pattison that the DPKO sometimes offered useful 
advice, Konuzin said that in other cases, such as on the 
Democratic Republic of Congo, DPKO's advice had been flawed. 
More cooperation with troop contributing countries would be 
beneficial, Konuzin argued.  Wu said the MSC reflects the 
P-5's special responsibility, and China could accept P-5 
consensus on a revitalized MSC. 
. 
MIDDLE EAST/CYPRUS 
------------------ 
 
23. (C) Referring to the then-upcoming Hamas delegation visit 
to Moscow, Konuzin assured his P-5 counterparts that 
Russia,s message would be fully consistent with Quartet 
principles.  A/S Silverberg noted the U.S. does not meet with 
Hamas, and urges others to avoid meeting with them as well, 
then underscored that it was essential not to move the 
Quartet goal posts and to retain Quartet unity.  France's 
Bermann and UK's Pattison echoed that view, with Bermann 
stressing that a collapse of the Palestinian Authority would 
pose a risk to Israel.  Responding to a question from Konuzin 
about Sheba Farms, Pattison said the issue should only be 
brought to the Council if there is a strong prospect for its 
resolution there. 
 
24. (C) Turning to Lebanon/Syria, Pattison argued that the UN 
needed to keep up pressure to get cooperation from Syria, 
including on resolution 1559 obligations concerning the 
investigation of former Lebanese PM Hariri's assassination. 
Syria must be held to all requirements per Resolution 1636. 
Brammertz,s report in mid-March will "force the issue," and 
the UN must also be prepared to respond to the report b
y UN 
Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen in April.  A/S Silverberg 
underscored the need to hold Syria to all its obligations, as 
this was essential to the Security Council's credibility. 
Bermann agreed on the need to keep pressure on Syria, "but 
let,s see the reports."  She noted that Larsen must be able 
to return to the region before completing his report. 
 
25. (C) Konuzin questioned the need for additional pressure 
on Syria, and said member states should not interfere in the 
Brammertz investigation.  Russia believes action on 
Resolution 1559 must be carried out in the context of the 
political dialogue in Lebanon.  That dialogue was not going 
well, Konuzin argued, but should be encouraged nonetheless. 
Wu, noting progress made by the SYG, argued that the 
investigation must respect the views of the parties and 
others, including the Arab League.  China supported a 
diplomatic solution; the focus of 1559 should remain on the 
investigation. 
 
26. (C) Pattison raised the issue of Cyprus, asserting that 
no progress had been made since the Annan Report.  Inaction 
would only worsen the problem, he said, arguing for a "new 
look" from the P-5 and the Security Council.  However, he 
added, no further steps should be taken until after the Greek 
Cypriot elections in May and UN Under Secretary-General for 
Political Affairs Gambari's visit in June.  The P-5 should 
focus on making the Gambari visit successful, Pattison said. 
Konuzin agreed on the importance of finding a solution, but 
urged caution to avoid repeating previous mistakes and said 
that no time frames should be imposed.  Wu urged a resumption 
of the SYG's good offices on the issue. 
. 
KOSOVO 
------ 
 
27. (C) Bermann underlined that P-5 unity on Kosovo was 
critical, and urged "realism": an even-handed approach and a 
recognition that Kosovo would not return to Serbia.  Konuzin 
agreed on the importance of P-5 unity, but lamented that some 
P-5 members are sending messages not consistent with the 
London agreement.  Konuzin embarked on a lengthy discourse 
stressing that according to the Guiding Principles of the 
Contact Group, there is no predetermined outcome for Kosovo. 
However, he said, "some partners" insist independence is the 
only option, and see the task of the Contact Group only as 
making Belgrade accept this option.  Russia rejected this 
view, he said. 
 
28. (C) Konuzin said the Kosovar Albanians had not delivered 
on standards.  He noted that of 220,000 ethnic Serbs who had 
left Kosovo, only 12,500 had returned.  "This is ethnic 
cleansing," he declared.  Konuzin admitted that ethnic crimes 
had gone down in Kosovo, however this was because few Serbs 
remained and those that did were physically separated from 
the Albanian Kosovars.  Konuzin insisted there must be more 
progress on standards before resolving Kosovo,s final 
status. 
 
29. (C) Konuzin rejected the view that Kosovo could offer no 
precedent for other conflicts.  Rather, he underlined that 
Kosovo "is a precedent already."  As an example, he said 
Abkhaz leaders have been explicit that they regard Kosovo as 
precedent.  A/S Silverberg countered that the U.S. sees 
Kosovo as unique, due to the violent disintegration of 
Yugoslavia and the long-standing UN mandate over the 
territory.  Pattison and Bermann supported the U.S. view. 
 
30.  (C) Pattison added that status talks needed to start 
this year precisely to get the Kosovar Albanians moving on 
standards.  This did not represent "status first, standards 
later," but "standards in the context of status."  He argued 
that only when Kosovar Albanians see the prospect of 
resolution on status will they address standards.   Konuzin 
reiterated the Russian view in favor of standards before 
status.  He urged again that the P-5 "stick to the Guiding 
Principles and not prejudge status." 
. 
IRAQ 
---- 
 
31. (C) Konuzin said the time had come for a new Security 
Council Iraq resolution to redefine the UN role there.  He 
said the P-5 could agree on enhancing the role of the UN in 
Iraq.  A/S Silverberg agreed the UN needs to have an expanded 
role in Iraq, but cautioned that it is too early to move 
forward on a new resolution.  The P-5 should wait to consult 
with the new Iraqi government before proceeding with a new 
resolution. 
 
32. (C) Konuzin raised the status of UNMOVIC.  He said that 
while post-war inspections had found no WMD in Iraq, danger 
remains in the form of WMD potential.  The Iraqi government 
does not control former WMD facilities and "we don't know 
where the Iraqi scientists are."  Konuzin said Russia is 
"anxious" about possible terrorist access to former chemical 
weapons depots.  Some sites formerly under UNMOVIC control 
have been "penetrated," he said.  Konuzin urged that results 
of inspections carried out by the Iraq Survey Group under 
Charles Duelfer be shared with UNMOVIC.  He noted UNMOVIC 
needs to determine whether it has completed its mandate, and 
added that the Iraqis could draw on UNMOVIC,s experience to 
set up their own monitoring mechanisms. 
 
33. (C) A/S Silverberg pointed out that UNMOVIC holds over 
USD 100 million in Iraqi assets.  The Iraqi government has 
said that it needs these funds for reconstruction.  She 
appealed to the P-5 to expand financial assistance to the 
Iraqi government through follow-on to Madrid pledges and debt 
relief.  Pattison said Konuzin was correct to raise the 
question of UNMOVIC,s status and the UN role in Iraq. 
Following the August 2003 bombing of its headquarters in 
Iraq, the UN was understandably cautions.  Iraq is now at a 
different stage.  The UN's role can and should increase once 
the Security Council "gives the UN a clear role," he said. 
 
34. (C) A/S Silverberg noted that one constraint on the UN in 
Iraq is the lack of secure airlift capacity for UN personnel. 
 Konuzin noted that UN Special Representative for Iraq Qazi 
had mentioned this.  Konuzin said Russia was prepared to 
assist financially to provide the UN with airlift in Iraq. 
A/S Silverberg noted that the matter of finding aircraft with 
adequate defensive protection for the UN had been a subject 
of consultation between SYG Annan and President Bush.  Wu 
said China was open to a new Iraq political resolution in the 
Security Council, and said the time had come to "finish" 
UNMOVIC. 
. 
AFRICA 
------ 
 
35. (C) Bermann noted good news and bad news on Africa.  On 
the positive side were Liberia and Burundi, where situations 
were improving.  The situation in the Democratic Republic of 
Congo (DRC) was also getting better and the outlook for June 
elections there has improved.  She noted France and others in 
the EU are preparing to lend security support at election 
time.  On the negative side of the ledger was the situation 
in
 Cote d'Ivoire, where UN peacekeepers need reinforcements. 
Sanctions were the right course of action in Cote d,Ivoire, 
she said, because it was necessary to support the Prime 
Minister.  Now the issue was to reinforce UNOCI.  France 
fully supported the U.S. initiative on Ethiopia/Eritrea 
including UNMEE downsizing. 
 
36. (C) A/S Silverberg cautioned against pulling out of 
Liberia too soon.  She said any increase of UN peacekeepers 
in Cote d'Ivoire should come from the UNMEE draw down and not 
from Liberia.  She noted the situation in Darfur was getting 
worse.  It was necessary to press the AU to allow its forces 
to serve under UN auspices.  Pattison agreed but noted it was 
also necessary to strengthen AU forces to enable them to do 
this.  Konuzin agreed with this point.  Wu stressed the need 
to consult the Government of Sudan on peacekeeping forces. 
Pattison responded that consultation is necessary but 
governments with influence in Khartoum also need to tell the 
GOS its behavior in Darfur is unacceptable. Non-interference 
must not be used as a cover for genocide, he said. 
 
37. (C) A/S Silverberg also urged P-5 members to encourage 
economic reforms in Africa by rewarding governments that 
create positive trade and investment climates, as the U.S. 
was doing through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. 
Trade and private investment are keys to development, she 
said.  The UN needs to refocus its programs to encourage 
these positive changes. 
 
38. (C) Pattison mentioned a key problem in the DRC is that 
the DRC regular army is not being paid.  This is especially 
true for former rebels in Eastern DRC who have been 
incorporated into the army.  On Ethiopia/Eritrea, he said the 
situation could blow up at any moment.  The UN has to be 
careful about any removal of UN forces from the security 
zone; "we must maintain some monitoring presence at least," 
he said.  Konuzin added that he was "perplexed" about the 
Ethiopia/Eritrea situation since it was clearly a personal 
issue between the two countries, presidents.  As with Cote 
d'Ivoire, he had no idea how to improve the situation.  Wu 
noted China had just given USD 400,000 to AMIS.  The Council 
should listen to the AU and the Government of Sudan on 
rehatting.  Threats of additional sanctions would only do 
harm.  Wu said China could not support extending the arms 
embargo to the rest of the country. 
. 
IRAN 
---- 
39. (C) The UK's Pattison said El Baradei's March report to 
the IAEA Board of Governors (BOG) would make clear that Iran 
has not resolved any of its issues with the IAEA and remains 
intent on developing nuclear weapons capability.  The 
Security Council needed to move quickly to show Iran that the 
Council was unified.  Pattison proposed the P-5 meet in New 
York right after the March 6 IAEA Board meeting to discuss 
the way forward and prepare for UNSC involvement.  He 
stressed moving quickly is the key to limit Iran,s 
opportunity to respond. 
 
40. (C) Wu noted that "we have the same purpose:  not to 
allow Iran to have nuclear weapons."  However, China favored 
resolving the issue in the IAEA, not the Security Council. 
Wu said the IAEA report to the Security Council does not 
require any UNSC action.  He said China supports giving 
Russia's proposal to conduct enrichment for Iranian reactors 
in Russia time to work.  China favors patience and restraint 
and is concerned about "escalation of confrontation." 
 
41. (C) Konuzin endorsed the Chinese approach. Russia wanted 
a WMD-free Iran, and the answer was an Iranian moratorium on 
enrichment by returning to the pre-January 3 status quo. 
However, Konuzin said Russia is "inclined to keep this matter 
in the IAEA."  He added that he did not think the strategy of 
Security Council action was thought through.  It was not at 
all clear how referral to the Security Council would resolve 
the problem, since the Iranians will lash back at UNSC 
condemnation and only harden their position and defy the 
UNSC.  "What is the next step?  Do we have a strategy?  Or do 
we just want to take steps and react to what the Iranians 
do?" he asked.  Konuzin said Russia, for now, will insist on 
"continuing on the basis of a diplomatic approach instead of 
a threatening approach" and thus does not favor bringing the 
matter to the UNSC for action. 
 
42. (C) Pattison stressed that "time is not on our side." 
The EU-3 has been engaged in a diplomatic approach but it has 
not worked.  However, he agreed that Konuzin had raised a 
fair question in asking about the consequences of going to 
the Council.  The UK's view is that going to the Council will 
"register with the Iranians" if there is P-5 unity.  If the 
Iranians see division, they will exploit it.  P-5 unity at 
the Council offers the best hope of getting the Iranians to 
back down.  A/S Silverberg and France's Bermann supported 
this view.  A/S Silverberg pointed to the January 30 
Political Directors agreement to take up this issue in the 
UNSC after March 6. 
. 
VENEZUELA'S SECURITY COUNCIL CANDIDACY 
-------------------------------------- 
 
43. (C) A/S Silverberg urged the P-5 not to support 
Venezuela's candidacy for a Security Council seat.  She noted 
that the Security Council must maintain its effectiveness and 
professionalism, which Venezuela,s presence would undermine. 
 France's Berman concurred.  Russia and China were 
non-committal. 
. 
SWISS PROPOSAL ON SECURITY COUNCIL PROCEDURES 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
44. (C) Konuzin solicited opinion on the Swiss proposal on 
Security Council procedures, which seeks to encourage the 
Council to make regular reports to the General Assembly as a 
way of enhancing transparency.  Konuzin expressed strong 
opposition, saying this infringed on Council prerogatives and 
was thus contrary to the UN Charter.  Pattison said the UK 
also did not want the Swiss proposal to be adopted and did 
not like the General Assembly "telling the Council how to do 
its business."  However, he said the UK favors sensible 
reforms to "keep ahead of the criticism."  A/S Silverberg and 
Bermann agreed.  Wu said the Council "should improve itself" 
but any measures should not limit the prerogatives of the 
P-5.  China was open-minded on improving Council 
transparency, but "any changes must be made by the Council 
itself." 
. 
DFM YAKOVENKO 
------------- 
 
45.  (C) Following the talks, the group met briefly with DFM 
Yakovenko, who welcomed the opportunity the consultations had 
provided.  He endorsed the idea of regular biannual P-5 
meetings that would rotate among the members.  The U.S. and 
UK underlined to Yakovenko the importance of maintaining P-5 
unity during discussions of Iran in the Security Council. 
Yakovenko took this argument on board while noting that 
negotiations with Iran were ongoing
.  He also defended 
Russia's invitation to the Hamas delegation, stressing 
Moscow's adherence to Quartet principles in its discussions 
with Hamas.  China noted that Iran would be among the "hot 
topics" the Council would discuss this year and supported the 
need for P-5 consensus.  France raised Syria, urging that 
Damascus be encouraged to cooperate with the Brammertz 
investigation. 
 
46.  (U)  Assistant Secretary Silverberg has cleared this 
message. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3356, CIVIL SOCIETY HITCHES A RIDE WITH IRATE DRIVERS

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. #06MOSCOW3356.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3356 2006-03-31 11:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8661
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3356/01 0901155
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 311155Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3343
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003356 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR PREL RS
SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY HITCHES A RIDE WITH IRATE DRIVERS 
 
REF: 05 VLADIVOSTOK 00074 
 
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Kirk Augustine.  Reason 1.4 
 (b, d) 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY.  When a court in February sentenced an 
ordinary citizen to four years in prison for his involvement 
in a 2005 car accident that killed then-Altay Kray Governor 
Mikhail Yevdokimov, it sparked popular outrage.  The 
perceived injustice of the court's decision inspired a 
grassroots organization to lead protests across Russia 
against the conviction and against the behavior of 
black-limousined, blue-lighted, smoked-glass VIPs 
aggressively omnipresent on every road.  Many observers view 
the protests as a win for Russia's civil society, since it 
indicated that middle-class citizens can, if properly 
motivated, take to the streets to press for change, and can 
get results.  After the protesters' efforts resonated with 
the public and United Russia seized on the issue, a court 
overturned the conviction on March 23.  Though the episode 
illustrates that Russia's courts often act based on the basis 
of political rather than legal criteria, it was also 
noteworthy that civil society, despite Kremlin moves to coopt 
and control it, was able to impose its views.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (U)  In August 2005 Oleg Shcherbinskiy, a railroad worker 
in Altay Kray, was involved in a car accident that killed 
that region's Governor, Mikhail Yevdokimov.  The crash 
occurred when the governor's Mercedes came up, blue light 
flashing and reportedly at a grossly excessive rate of speed, 
behind Shcherbinskiy's Toyota and tried to pass on the left, 
just as Shcherbinskiy was making a legal left turn. 
Yevdokimov's car hit the side of the Toyota and crashed into 
a ditch.  The governor, his bodyguard, and driver died as a 
result of the crash.  Shcherbinskiy and the four passengers 
in his car survived.  On February 3 an Altay court sentenced 
Shcherbinskiy to four years in a labor colony for failing to 
yield to Yevdokimov's car.  Following a wave of protests, on 
March 23 the court overturned the ruling, acquitting 
Shcherbinskiy. 
. 
ANGER OVER SPECIAL PRIVILEGES 
----------------------------- 
 
3. (C)  The initial ruling provoked outrage focused on the 
abuse of special privileges that many government officials 
and other well-connected Russians enjoy on the road.  The 
most visible of those privileges is the flashing blue light 
used to excuse vehicles bearing it from the need to observe 
normal traffic laws.  The frequency and visibility of such 
abuses contribute to a high-level of resentment against the 
nomenklatura among average citizens, as Leontiy Byzov, head 
of the Social and Political Analysis Department of the 
All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, confirmed to us. 
 
4. (SBU)  While such resentment usually festers, the 
Shcherbinskiy case evoked protests organized in nearly 20 
Russian cities on February 11-12 under the sponsorship of the 
Free Choice Motorists' Movement (FCMM).  In Moscow alone at 
least 500 cars took part, and FCMM head Vyacheslav Lysakov 
said the numbers were far higher.  The authorities avoided a 
heavy-handed response, although they attempted to keep tight 
control over the protests, bringing in a sizable law 
enforcement presence and pulling over a number of 
participants. 
 
5, (C)  The February protests, which received extensive 
coverage in print and broadcast media, were a collaborative 
effort.  Among the participating organizations was one 
representing rail workers, who came out in support of their 
colleague Shcherbinskiy.  According to an analysis from the 
Center for Political Technology, the motorists reached 
agreement about the Moscow protest as a result of discussions 
on the Internet. 
. 
A HEALTHY SIGN FOR CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C)  In the view of experts on civil society such as Nina 
Belyayeva of the Higher School of Economics, the protests 
represented a new step in civil society in Russia, since they 
involved largely members of the middle class (based on 
Belyayeva's presumption that car ownership remains out of 
reach for many poorer Russians).  Belyayeva also noted that 
the organizers were sophisticated enough to set up an account 
for people to donate money for Shcherbinskiy,s legal 
defense.  Other observers noted that the demonstrators were 
heavily members of the younger generation, while last 
winter's monetization protests, by contrast, primarily 
involved pensioners. 
 
7. (C)  Although the make-up of the participants differed 
 
MOSCOW 00003356  002 OF 002 
 
 
from that of the monetization protests, those earlier actions 
showed many citizens that getting into the streets could 
pressure the authorities to change policy.  Subsequent to the 
monetization protests, motorists in May 2005 organized 
protests against a GOR proposal to limit the importation of 
right-hand drive cars (reftel). 
 
8. (C)  A number of observers saw the protests as a sign of &#
x000A;civil society's growing independence and assertiveness. 
Aleksey Makarkin of the Center for Political Technology 
described the movement as "the young shoots of civil 
society."  Moscow Carnegie Center analyst Nikolay Petrov said 
it represented genuine grassroots democracy in Russia of a 
type that functioned despite a lack of financial support, 
including from the West.  IF Western-funded NGOs were 
eliminated, Petrov added, the kinds of organizations featured 
in the motorist protest would be all that would be left. 
Lyudmila Alekseyeva noted that independent human rights NGOs 
needed to reach out to grassroots movements of this kind. 
   . 
UNITED RUSSIA JUMPS ON THE BANDWAGON 
------------------------------------ 
 
9. (C)  The pro-Kremlin United Russia (YR) initially refused 
to support a Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) 
initiative in the Duma on Shcherbinskiy's behalf.  After the 
movement's popularity spread, however, YR adopted the issue. 
The YR website announced that prominent lawyer and Public 
Chamber member Anatoliy Kucherena had become part of 
Shcherbinskiy's defense team.  YR also announced it had 
gathered almost 27,000 signatures in support of 
Shcherbinskiy.  On March 22, the day before Shcherbinskiy's 
appeal, YR organized protests in Novosibirsk, Tomsk, 
Krasnodar, Nizhniy Novogorod, and St. Petersburg, although 
observers noted that YR was unable to match the mass turnout 
of the February demonstrations. 
 
10. (C)  While some saw Altay Kray court's March 23 decision 
to overturn the ruling as an encouraging sign, others argued 
that the fact that it took place only after YR jumped on the 
bandwagon was a discouraging reminder that the judiciary 
often makes decisions based on political considerations and 
instructions from the authorities.  Looking beyond the 
acquittal, YR has suggested that it is also considering 
passing legislation that would limit the use of flashing 
lights. 
. 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
11. (C)  Despite the disheartening initial ruling to convict 
Shcherbinskiy and the fact that he was acquitted on appeal 
only after YR jumped on the bandwagon, ordinary citizens did 
make their voices heard through a grassroots movement. 
Despite Kremlin efforts to coopt civil society or frighten it 
into submission, the episode demonstrates that under some 
circumstances, ordinary Russians will shed their passivity 
and try to pressure the government.  Civil society is on the 
defensive, but it is not dead. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3345, THE RUSSIAN ARMS DEAL WITH ALGERIA: A MODEL FOR

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. #06MOSCOW3345.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3345 2006-03-31 10:40 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8527
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3345/01 0901040
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 311040Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3327
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0087
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3988
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1031
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0111
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0164
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 003345 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2016 
TAGS: PREL PINR MARR MOPS RS AG
SUBJECT: THE RUSSIAN ARMS DEAL WITH ALGERIA: A MODEL FOR 
EXPANDING THE MARKET? 
 
REF: A. ALGIERS 451 
     B. USDAO ALGIERS 181643Z MAR 06 
     C. USDAO MOSCOW 231358Z MAR 06 
     D. MOSCOW 3034 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Kirk Augustine 
for reasons 1.4 (a/b/d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY.  President Putin's March 10 visit to Algeria 
demonstrated that Russia is actively working to expand into 
new arms markets to sustain the Russian military-industrial 
complex.   Russia reportedly will sell Algeria 70 combat and 
trainer jet aircraft, 300 T-90S tanks, air defense systems, 
and various other arms for a total of $7.5 billion.  The 
deal, made possible through Russia's agreement to write off 
$4.7 billion of Soviet-era debt, catapults Algeria into the 
number three position behind India and China as a purchaser 
of Russian arms.  END SUMMARY. 
 
------------- 
DEBT FOR ARMS 
------------- 
 
2. (U) High on Putin's agenda for his March 10 visit to 
Algeria (Ref. D) was finalizing arms contracts worth a 
reported $7.5 billion.  We discussed the Algeria deal and 
Russia's arms export strategy with Konstantin Makiyenko, 
Deputy Director of the Center for Strategic Analysis and 
Technologies (CAST).  Makiyenko said that the sale to Algeria 
meant that Russian arms exports had "moved out of the India 
and China ghetto."  He was referring to the fact that India 
and China currently buy 70 percent of Russia's arms exports. 
Makiyenko speculated that the deal might cause other North 
African countries to step up purchases of modern arms as well 
to keep pace with Algeria.  In a press interview, Sergey 
Chemezov, General Director of Rosoboronexport (Russian 
Defense Exports) noted that 90 percent of the present 
arrangement involved the sale of new equipment and only 10 
percent would buy upgrades or repair of materials from 
previous sales. 
 
3. (C) Makiyenko told us that if Russia had insisted on 
Algeria paying off its debt of $4.7 billion, the contracts 
just agreed would not have been signed.  He said Algeria 
wanted the same 100 percent debt relief that Syria had 
received when Russia wrote off its larger debt.  Makienkyo 
said that the Russian military-industrial complex would be a 
big winner, and could potentially obtain contracts for twice 
the amount of the original debt of $4.7 billion.  Makiyenko 
said that the deal would benefit most sectors of the Russian 
arms industry.  Half of the contracts would go to the 
aviation industry, and about $1 billion each to the 
manufacturers of air defense systems and tanks. In addition, 
he told us, shipbuilders may earn several hundred million 
dollars. 
 
---------------------------- 
SAVING DEFENSE INDUSTRY JOBS 
---------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Aleksandr Golts, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of 
Yezhenedelniy Zhurnal, told us he agreed that debt relief was 
central to the deal.  Golts doubted that Algeria would have 
paid off the debt anyway.  He said the deal turned out to be 
a "win-win" situation for both sides.  The Algerians can wipe 
off their old debt and the Russians profit by keeping the 
production lines in defense factories moving.  Golts observed 
that saving defense sector jobs would pay handsome political 
dividends for the Putin camp in the run up to the 2008 
Presidential elections. 
 
5. (C) Aleksey Arbatov, former Duma Defense Committee Vice 
Chairman, also agreed that Russia's military-industrial 
complex would benefit from these Algerian arms contracts. 
Arbatov noted Algeria is a good market for Russia since it 
does not provoke the same political sensitivity as do Russian 
sales to Iran, Syria, or Venezuela.  Russia has no vital 
interests in North Africa, he remarked, and its approach is 
"all commercial." 
 
6. (C) Aleksandr Belkin, Deputy Executive Director of the 
Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP), told us that 
Putin's trip to Algeria "killed two birds with one stone." 
 
MOSCOW 00003345  002 OF 003 
 
 
First, Russia re-established strategic relations with Algeria 
that had been adrift for over a decade.  Second, Russia 
diversified its arms clients by expanding out of its heavy 
reliance on India and China.  However, Belkin underlined that 
the arms industry alone is not a suitable base for Russian 
industry.  Only serious investment and development of 
civilian industries will improve the overall health of the 
Russian economy, he said.  Belkin pointed out that the fall 
of the Soviet Union was due in part to over-spending on 
defense industry and insufficient attention to the civilian 
sector. 
 
7. (C) Belkin noted that Russia has been relying on 
Sov
iet-era stockpiles and Soviet-designed weapons since the 
end of the Cold War.  The current lack of strategic depth, 
not only in material but in trained personnel and ideas, will 
challenge Russia's ability to stay competitive in arms 
markets.  While the Soviet Union's defense industry received 
the best engineers, technicians, and students, Russia's 
defense industry today is not getting "the best and the 
brightest." 
 
------------------------- 
ALGERIA'S MILITARY REARMS 
------------------------- 
 
8. (U) The announced $7.5 billion deal is reported to include 
contracts for 36 MiG-29 SMT fighters, 28 Su-30 MKI fighters, 
and 14 Yak-130 jet trainers (aircraft contracts alone worth 
$3.5 billion).  Additionally, 36 earlier-model MiG-29 
fighters would be returned to Russia and resold to other 
countries.  Algeria will buy 300 T-90S tanks over four to 
five years (worth $1 billion), eight divisions of S-300 PMU 
air defense systems ($1 billion), and 30 Tunguska air defense 
systems (nearly $500 million).  Russia will also upgrade 250 
T-72 tanks (over $200 million), supply Metis and Kornet 
anti-tank missiles, and repair vessels for the Algerian Navy. 
 
9. (C) According to Makiyenko, however, of the $7.5 billion, 
only $5.5 billion of the sale can be accounted for (the 
aircraft, new T-90S tanks, and the S-300 PMU air defense 
systems).  There was no transparency regarding the rest of 
the $2 billion, he noted.  Additionally, Belkin doubted the 
Russian defense industry could support making 300 new tanks, 
even over several years as reported.  Belkin predicted that 
Algeria might instead receive refurbished older tanks. 
 
10. (U) Marat Kenzhetayev, an analyst from the Disarmament 
Studies Center in Moscow, told the press that Algerian 
contracts would represent a virtual rearming of the Algerian 
military.  Between 1962 and 1991, Algeria bought $10 billion 
worth of arms from the Soviet Union.  However, Kenzhetayev 
noted, during the 1990s its orders didn't exceed $500 million 
and since 2000 have been less than $100 million. 
 
11. (C) Makiyenko predicted to us that Libya would not want 
to fall behind militarily, though there was more a "pride 
race" between Algeria and Libya than an arms race. 
General-Colonel Sergey Mayev, First Deputy Director of the 
Russian Federal Defense Order Service, took the same public 
line, telling media representatives that the Algerian 
contract opens prospects for promoting Russian armored 
vehicles to Libya, Syria, and Iran. 
 
12. (C) Neither Makiyenko nor Belkin saw a military necessity 
for Algeria to purchase that quantity of arms.  Makiyenko 
speculated that the Algerian President authorized the 
purchase to obtain "toys for his military boys" to keep them 
off of his back.  He understood that there was some discord 
between the Algerian President and his top military brass, 
and the deal might be part of an attempt to buy them off. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
ALGERIA IN THIRD PLACE; IMPLICATIONS FOR CHINA AND INDIA 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
13. (C) The deal would make Algeria the number three 
purchaser of Russian arms, after China and India.  Makiyenko 
predicted that Algeria might become the number one client of 
Russian arms over the next several years, as the Indian and 
Chinese markets for Russian arms level off or decline.  The 
Chinese, he said, are tired of receiving "stripped-down" 
versions of Russian arms and are looking to other suppliers, 
 
MOSCOW 00003345  003 OF 003 
 
 
especially from Europe.  If the European Union (EU) decided 
to lift its arms embargo against China, he speculated, China 
could use a threat to buy modern weapons from Europe to 
extract a deal for fully-equipped arms from Russia.  The 
Chinese had made it clear they wanted "the good stuff." 
 
----------------------- 
MiG EMERGES AS A WINNER 
----------------------- 
 
14. (C) Makiyenko told us the Algerian contract essentially 
guarantees the future of MiG Aviation, which had been 
suffering in its competition with the more powerful Sukhoy. 
An on-again, off-again MiG deal to India could be revived 
thanks to the Algerian contract, he said, and predicted the 
Algerian deal could revive MiG's chances to re-enter the 
contest for designing a fifth-generation fighter (won by 
Sukhoy in 2001). 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
15. (C) While there is still a lack of clarity regarding the 
actual value of the deal, it will give a much needed boost to 
the Russian military-industrial complex.  Enterprises 
employing thousands, often located in remote and depressed 
regions, can expect steadier employment for the next several 
years as a result of the deal with Algeria.  Saving jobs in 
the defense industry sector should pay important political 
dividends to Putin and his allies as the 2007-2008 election 
cycle approaches.  The Algeria deal makes clear that the GOR 
is pushing to expand the market for Russian arms beyond its 
current focus on China and India.  We can expect to see more 
use of innovating financing, such as debt write-offs, as an 
incentive to move deals forward and keep the Russian defense 
industry's production lines moving. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3335,

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. #06MOSCOW3335.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3335 2006-03-31 09:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
Appears in these articles:
http://www.novgaz.ru/data/2011/001/16.html

VZCZCXRO8344
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3335/01 0900906
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 310906Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3312
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 003335 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/2016 TAGS: PGOV ECON PINR RS

REF: A. 05 MOSCOW 14734 B. MOSCOW 1082 C. MOSCOW 1434 D. 05 MOSCOW 15735 E. MOSCOW 3218 Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reasons: 1.4 (B/D). 

1. (C) SUMMARY. In the months since President Putin's November 14 personnel reshuffle that moved Dmitriy Medvedev and Sergey Ivanov into succession spotlight, political discussion has centered on how that move is playing out. Most observers continue to accept Putin's word that he will step down at the end of his term. They are divided over whether Medvedev will ultimately benefit from having been assigned to oversee Putin's national priority projects. While Sergey Ivanov has taken some serious hits (on, e.g., military "hazing" excesses), he is fighting back, and most observers do not rule him out as a potential successor. Discussion also includes other possible contenders, with Dmitriy Kozak and Sergey Sobyanin appearing more frequently than previously. The general view is that all those considered even potential contenders face enough serious pitfalls to preclude confident predictions about who will ultimately grab the brass ring. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is working in overkill mode to neutralize any threats to its succession scenario, notably from Dmitriy Rogozin and Mikhail Kasyanov. The preoccupation with succession politics, and an attendant increase in infighting over politics and assets, leaves less Kremlin time and energy for policymaking. END SUMMARY. 

2. (C) On November 14 Putin shook up the political scene with a major personnel reshuffle in the Presidential Administration (PA) and government (ref A). Over the past four months, that reshuffle has been the primary point of reference in discussions of the succession, as that issue increasingly dominates the domestic political scene. . 

PUTIN, MEDVEDEV AND SERGEY IVANOV --------------------------------- 

3. (C) Most observers continue to see the November reshuffle as confirming Putin's commitment to step down at the end of his current term. In a meeting with the Ambassador, Norilsk Nickel owner Vladimir Potanin said Putin remains determined to leave office in 2008. Ekho Moskvy radio station head Aleksey Venediktov shared that view, telling us Putin is increasingly tired of the presidency. Venediktov believes Putin's heavy focus on energy issues reflects a plan to transition to a lucrative position in the energy sector once he departs the Kremlin, leaving himself the option of running for president again in 2012. (Note. The Constitution bans more than two successive terms as President, but would not ban a non-consecutive third term. End Note) Other scenarios -- all equally speculative -- continue to circulate about Putin's post-presidency plans. No one is entirely sure Putin will step down, however, with Moscow Carnegie Center's Aleksey Arbatov, for instance, casting doubt on the reports that Putin is tired of his position and predicting that Putin will find a way to stay on. 

4. (C) Dmitriy Medvedev was initially seen as the big winner in the November reshuffle. By moving him from PA chief to First Deputy Prime Minister and above all by placing him in charge of the national priority projects, Putin appeared motivated by a desire to give Medvedev a higher public profile and to increase his popularity as a way to lay the groundwork for presidential anointment. Over the last few months, Medvedev has sought to take advantage of the opportunity, seemingly trying to cast himself as a president-in-waiting. When PM Mikhail Fradkov has been away from Moscow, Medvedev has made a point of running the Cabinet and ensuring that the media covers his activities. A Center for Political Technologies (CPT) study noted that Medvedev has tried to adopt Putin's leadership style, brusquely giving orders to Cabinet members to demonstrate that he is in charge, although he has not always done so persuasively. With the trappings of office, including an honor guard, Medvedev attempted to "look presidential" when he recently welcomed visiting Energy Secretary Bodman to the Kremlin. (Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist specializing in elite politics, has recently written that Medvedev's televison appearances have left the impression of weakness and indecisiveness, while Sergey Ivanov has more successfully captured the "presidential" style that reminds viewers of Putin.) In meetings with the Ambassador, Medvedev has been very down-to-earth and focused on tangible progress on the national priority projects. 

5. (C) Heading the national projects initiative offers MOSCOW 00003335 002 OF 004 Medvedev an opportunity to gain popularity, but it comes with pitfalls, as many observers are underscoring. Mastering the new bureaucracy emerging around the national projects, as well as dealing with the old one that is still addressing the four project areas, is a significant bureaucratic challenge,Qnd Medvedev has already publicly complained about unjustifiable delays. Potanin told the Ambassador that of the priority projects, only housing offers any real chance of demonstrating significant progress. Some think Medvedev was put in charge of the national projects to limit corruption. Particularly for that reason, a corruption scandal involving the projects would be a serious failure, even if Medvedev himself were not accused of wrongdoing. The National Strategy Council's Iosif Dyskin, an advisor to presidential contender Vladimir Yakunin, predicted to us that such scandals would emerge over the next few months, sullying Medvedev's reputation even though he would not be directly implicated in corruption. 

6. (C) Meanwhile, Medvedev must de
al with political infighting with potential rivals. Venediktov told us how ill feelings arose in the Kremlin when Medvedev decided that, by virtue of being First DPM, he should have almost as large a staff as Fradkov. Seeking to spite Medvedev and deny him slots for some trusted staffers, Fradkov pared down his own apparat, forcing Medvedev to lessen his demands, Venediktov related. Fradkov has also sought to hinder Medvedev by assigning him extraneous tasks that distract from his work on the national projects, such as insisting that Medvedev be put in charge of the campaign against avian flu, which offers little political gain if the disease doesn't spread -- but much room for blame in the event of a serious outbreak. 

7. (C) In another example of infighting, reports surfaced that Boris Kovalchuk, the 28-year-old son of Putin insider Yuriy Kovalchuk, would be appointed to head the newly formed department in charge of the national projects. Federation Council member Vladimir Slutsker echoed to us the view of many observers that the decision to install a young and inexperienced person to head a key department was meant to undercut Medvedev. The older Kovalchuk was not necessarily opposed to Medvedev but simply wanted to have his son installed in an important -- and lucrative -- position, according to Slutsker, who said others encouraged the idea to damage Medvedev. Venediktov, by contrast, told us that though the appointment might not encourage efficiency, Medvedev consciously accepted it to court Putin insiders such as the older Kovalchuk. 

8. (C) In sum, observers agree that Medvedev faces a tough road ahead, despite being given an early chance to succeed. Potanin told the Ambassador he thinks Medvedev will likely become PM, possibly even this year, but the presidential succession would not necessarily follow. Venediktov believes Medvedev remains the front runner, and that if he does well, Putin may call early Duma elections to test Medvedev's political skills. 

9. (C) Although many thought he was advanced only into a "fall-back" position, Sergey Ivanov also gained from the November reshuffle, which made him a Deputy Prime Minister while he retained his position as Defense Minister. He has had some troubles since then, taking a public relations beating over a brutal hazing incident in Chelyabinsk (ref B) and sparring with the Military Prosecutor's Office. Venediktov told us that the extensive airing of the hazing story in the Russian media was clearly orchestrated by Ivanov's opponents. Observers believe Ivanov has fought back vigorously and effectively, and Putin recently broaden his control of the military-industrial complex, putting him in charge of the government commission that oversees that sector. Potanin told the Ambassador that Ivanov is smart and remains in contention. Our sense is that most other observers similarly do not rule him out. . 

OTHER CONTENDERS ---------------- 

10. (C) Given broad agreement that Medvedev and Sergey Ivanov could well falter, observers are also watching other potential contenders. Of late we have heard renewed discussion about Southern Federal District Presidential Representative (PolPred) Dmitriy Kozak. That may have been precipitated by press rumors, which could have been planted by Kozak's supporters, that Putin is considering installing him as Justice Minister in the near future. Potanin told the Ambassador that Putin will bring Kozak back to Moscow before 2008, and he should not be counted out for the succession. Aleksandr Machevskiy, the well-connected assistant to Presidential Envoy to the EU Sergey Yastrzhembskiy, noted to us recently that the Kremlin saw Kozak as having done a good MOSCOW 00003335 003 OF 004 job in the North Caucasus under extremely difficult conditions, and he hinted that Kozak's succession prospects had improved as a result. 

11. (C) We also have noted more talk recently about Sergey Sobyanin, the former Tyumen governor who was appointed to head the Presidential Administration (PA) in the November reshuffle, as a possible albeit still dark-horse contender. Although Venediktov downplayed Sobyanin's abilities in a conversation with the Ambassador last month (ref C), others have told us he is performing well and will soon begin to assert himself in the PA. Some of our reformist economic contacts express pleasant surprise with Sobyanin's willingness to consider tough structural reforms and support the national priority projects. Potanin told the Ambassador that Sobyanin, despite his low profile, was proving effective and warranted attention. Andrey Ryabov of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations told us Sobyanin was gaining strength in the PA and would soon begin to bring in officials from Siberia to take over mid-level PA slots currently dominated by St. Petersburgers. 

12. (C) Sobyanin's impact on the byzantine politics and power balance inside the PA, and any resulting impact on the succession, remain unclear. According to Ryabov, Sobyanin's growing influence will soon pose a threat to PA deputy head Vladislav Surkov. Putin chose Sobyanin to bolster the influence of regional leaders, Ryabov continued, and thus to counter Surkov's Moscow-dominated approach. Slutsker also told us that Surkov's star is on the wane, with Putin increasingly disappointed in him. Indeed, by some accounts, the publication of Surkov's February speech to the United Russia party (ref E) was aimed at least in part to shore up his position. 

13. (C) Russian Railroads CEO Vladimir Yakunin, a close friend of Putin, has kept an extremely low profile but continues to be seen by many observers as in the running. Dyskin, a close Yakunin advisor, told us Yakunin was keeping a low profile at present to avoid being attacked by opponents. At the same time, Yakunin was using his post at the railroads to build wide regional support and demonstrate managerial expertise. Dyskin suggested that Yakunin's camp was discreetly helping undercut potential rivals, including by helping to develop plans to set off a corruption scandal involving the national projects that would harm Medvedev. 

14. (C) The candiates mentioned above do not necessarily exhaust the range of possibilities. Kryshtanovskya continues to predict that still other names (e.g., head of the government apparat Sergey Naryshkin) will be surfaced as the process moves forward. . 

NEUTRALIZING THE OUTSIDE OPPOSITION ----------------------------------- 

15. (SBU) Even as the maneuvering among political insiders picks up steam, the Kremlin has made significant progress in recent months in neutralizing outsiders perceived as at least potential threats to secure Kremlin management of the succession process. Most recently, at a Rodina party congress on March 25, Dmitriy Rogozin stepped down as the party's top leader, being replaced by Aleksandr Babakov. Rogozin explained his move as a result of Kremlin-driven intrigues, a claim that virtually no observers doubt. By most accounts, Rogozin -- although a "Kremlin project" in 2003 to drain votes away from the Communist Party in Duma elections -- had become too popular and was trying to become independent of his original Kremlin sponsors. That precipitated the Rodina's removal from the ballot in the Moscow city elections and in seven of eight regional legislative elections on March 12, seen as a clear signal that the Kremlin would paralyze Rodina unless Rogozin stepped down. According to a CPT analysis, the Kremlin finds Babakov a more manageable figure, and will allow the party to continue functioning now that it no longer represents a serious political threat. 

16. (C) At the same time, the Kremlin has been working on various fronts to counter the efforts of former PM Mikhail Kasyanov to mount a presidential bid. Most recently, it was by all accounts the Kremlin that engineered Kasyanov's failure to take over the Democratic Party of Russia (DPR), helping forestall the already remote chance that the democratic camp as a whole would fall in behind the former PM (ref D). Indeed, the democrats continue to show meager prospects of uniting behind anyone. That wound appears to be largely self-inflicted, with Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces (SPS) far from showing signs of unifying despite cooperation in the most recent round of regional elections. The Kremlin, or at least elements therein, may also be MOSCOW 00003335 004 OF 004 contributing to the continued disunity, with Ryabov speculating to us, for instance, that new DPR leader Andrey Bogdanov had been instructed by the Kremlin to promote a unification within the democratic camp but without any big names. . 

COMMENT ------- 

17. (C) The succession process is now fully underway, albeit in an early stage. The current focus remains on the two figures seen to have gained from the November reshuffle, but the prospects of both remain highly uncertain. For that reason, other political figures are being discussed, and the list of perceived candidates is likely to change with some frequency. Although reforms and policy initiatives considered or proposed in the period ahead may have substance in their own right, all will be viewed primarily through the prism of the succession, and many decisions will be taken primarily with an eye to their anticipated impact (positive or negative) on contenders for succession. Security Council head Igor Ivanov may have captured the situation best in a side conversation with the Ambassador when he said the Kremlin's preoccupation with 2007-08 distracts it from pursuing policies on their own terms. While focusing on the impact of their actions on potential contenders in the succession, many of the players will also look to feather their own nests while they know they are in a position to do so. And, Ivanov stressed, the process is only beginning and will not get better in the period ahead. BURNS	2006-03-31

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3333, U.S. NUCLEAR PRIMACY ARTICLE HITS A NERVE

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. #06MOSCOW3333.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3333 2006-03-31 08:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8270
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3333/01 0900833
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 310833Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3309
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003333 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/31/2016 
TAGS: PREL PARM MNUC PGOV RS
SUBJECT: U.S. NUCLEAR PRIMACY ARTICLE HITS A NERVE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns per 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C)  Summary:  A Foreign Affairs article asserting the 
advent of U.S. nuclear primacy has caused a stir in the 
Russian political elite and media and forced Russian leaders 
to defend the viability of Russia's deterrent force.  The 
thesis plays to the belief that the U.S. regards Russia as a 
potential enemy, not a partner, and that a U.S. BMD 
capability could serve as a shield enabling an American first 
strike.  We will continue to look for opportunities, 
including upcoming visits by high-ranking U.S. officials, to 
take on these misperceptions.  End Summary. 
 
Defending Russia's Strategic Nuclear Potential 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
2. (C)  The "Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy," an article by 
academics at Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania 
that appears in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, has 
created a stir in the Russia political elite and media and 
touched a nerve in the Russian defense establishment.  Deputy 
Foreign Minister Karasin raised the article in a March 28 
meeting with Ambassador, as did Kremlin Foreign Policy 
Advisor Prikhodko on March 30.  Ambassador responded that the 
article reflected the views of its authors, not the U.S. 
government, and said it badly misrepresented U.S. policy. 
 
3. (SBU)  Media interest has compelled senior officials to go 
on record defending the capacity of Russia's nuclear 
deterrent.  Defmin Sergey Ivanov has commented that the 
article shows that some in the U.S. "must dislike the fact 
that we have established good relations with China." 
Underlining that Russia maintains "powerful and effective 
nuclear forces,"  Ivanov said the article was "not serious" 
and compared it to accusations that Russia had provided 
intelligence to Saddam Hussein. 
 
4.  (SBU)  Colonel General Nikolai Solovstov, Commander of 
Russia's strategic rocket forces, focused on the article's 
assertion that BMD technology could give the U.S. a shield 
for a first strike.  He stated in an interview: "We have 
always managed to find resources for preserving and renewing 
our strategic nuclear potential.  Current technologies make 
it possible to develop new missiles and other weapons for 
outsmarting even the most effective ABM system."  Vladimir 
Dvorkin, a former MOD official now at an Academy of Sciences 
institute, told the press that the Foreign Affairs article 
"exaggerated" the incapacity of Russia to ensure continuing 
nuclear deterrence, but confirmed that the general 
degradation of Russian capabilities described in the article 
was closer to the mark.  Former MOD liaison office head 
Leonid Ivashov described the article as "a political means of 
putting pressure on Russia, a warning to Russian 
politicians." 
 
Dismay 
------ 
 
5. (C) Aleksey Arbatov, a former Duma Defense Committee 
Deputy Chairman, raised the article in a March 28 meeting 
with us.  He acknowledged that the authors were not 
well-known, but said the article's publication in Foreign 
Affairs nonetheless gave it the aura of a "semi-official 
statement."  Arbatov, who chairs an advisory group on 
strategic issues at the Security Council, told us officials 
there were dismayed.   He said some in the Kremlin saw the 
article as part of a series of salvos aimed at Russia and 
pointed to "demeaning" references to Russia in the U.S. 
National Security Strategy, the accusation that Russia passed 
military information to Saddam, and the lack of U.S. 
recognition for Russia's prerogatives in its neighborhood. 
 
 
6. (C)  Arbatov added that the idea that the U.S. might seek 
to use nuclear blackmail against Russia resonates strongly in 
Moscow, especially in the MOD, and an attempt to intimidate 
Russia through efforts to develop nuclear primacy would spur 
Russia to be invest more in its own nuclear arsenal.  Arbatov 
said the Foreign Affairs article would be the prime subject 
at a Conference at which he will speak at the Carnegie Moscow 
Center April 4. 
 
7. (SBU)  Former Prime Minister Yegor Gaydar also joined the 
chorus of lamentation in the March 29 Financial Times, noting 
that the Foreign Affairs article had had "an explosive 
effect...Even Russian journalists and analysts not inclined 
to hysteria or anti-Americanism have viewed the article as an 
expression of the U.S. official stance."  Gaydar argued that 
"if someone had wanted to provoke Russia and China into close 
cooperation over missile and nuclear technologies, it would 
have been difficult to find a more skillful and elegant way 
 
MOSCOW 00003333  002 OF 002 
 
 
of doing so." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. (C)  The article's forecast of U.S. nuclear primacy plays 
to deep-seated Russian fears and undermines efforts to build 
confidence that our BMD efforts do not come at the expense of 
Russian security.  While official and expe
rt Russians 
recognize that the article does not formally represent the 
views of the U.S. government, there is wide suspicion that 
its appearance in a prestigious journal, especially in the 
context of other recent strains in our relationship, may 
nonetheless have had some official sponsorship, or at least 
accurately reflect influential views within our government. 
High-ranking U.S. officials who will be visiting Russia in 
the near future (including STRATCOM's General Cartwright, ISN 
Assistant Secretary Rademaker, and U/S Burns) should expect 
questions from Russian interlocutors and the media for 
clarification of whether the U.S. is seeking, or at least 
expecting, to be in a position of nuclear primacy vis-a-vis 
Russia in coming years. 
 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3218, THE “FEBRUARY THESES”: SURKOV’S PRIMER ON PUTINISM

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. #06MOSCOW3218.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3218 2006-03-30 10:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6834
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3218/01 0891024
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301024Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3170
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 04 MOSCOW 003218 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2014 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RS
SUBJECT: THE "FEBRUARY THESES": SURKOV'S PRIMER ON PUTINISM 
 
REF: A. 04 MOSCOW 13032 
     B. 05 MOSCOW 7085 
     C. MOSCOW 2136 (NOTAL) 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Kirk Augustine, 
 for reasons 1.4 (B & D) 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY.  A February speech by Deputy Head of the 
Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov to a United 
Russia conference sketched out "basic ideological theses" of 
the Putin Administration.  While not attempting to break new 
ground or crystallize a doctrine of "Putinism," the speech 
portrayed Putin's policies as consistent and coherent.  The 
effort may have been stimulated in part by concern about 
preserving the main policy thrust of Putin,s rule after 
2008, when he is expected to surrender formal power. 
Surkov's main points included that: 
 
-  Material well-being, freedom and justice are the basic 
values Putin is trying to advance in Russia; 
 
-  Russia is culturally part of Europe -- and, by 
implication, needs no solutions premised on its being 
permanently "unique"; 
 
-  Putin's policies avoid the failures of communism and the 
chaos, weakness and injustice of Yeltsin's rule and "return 
the real sense of the word  democracy, to all democratic 
institutions"; 
 
-  Democracy and "sovereignty" ("a political synonym of 
competitiveness") are the two critical requirements for 
Russia to be successful over time. 
 
-  United Russia,s task is "not simply to be victorious in 
2007, but to think and do whatever is necessary to ensure the 
party,s domination over at least the next 10-15 years" in 
order to prevent hostile forces from "knocking Russia off the 
path that has now been marked out for it to go." 
 
The speech may foreshadow a more authoritative exposition of 
some of its themes by Putin in his annual address to the 
Federal Assembly later this spring.  END SUMMARY. 
 
Stepping into the Ideology Gap 
------------------------------ 
 
2. (C)  The Kremlin has often been criticized, especially 
from the "patriotic" end of the political spectrum, for 
failing to deploy a mobilizing ideology that would make clear 
what goals it is pursuing -- and make it more likely that 
those goals would in fact be consistently pursued.  Until 
recently there has indeed been no effort to systematize 
Putin,s domestic and foreign policies or explicitly to 
relate the goals to any larger framework.  Instead, Putin,s 
approach to governance has seemed ad hoc and reactive, and 
sometimes strongly influenced by the financial interests of 
figures in the inner circle.  In our view, the pragmatic 
nature of Kremlin decision-making reflects Putin,s 
personality and operational (rather than academic or 
intellectual) background, but likely also results from a 
broader distrust in Russia -- after 70 years of subjection to 
an ideology that failed -- of all-encompassing doctrines. 
 
3. (U)  Initially delivered February 7 to a United Russia 
(UR) audience, Surkov,s speech was posted on the UR website 
February 22 and then in March carried by some Russian media. 
It was only the third major intervention he has made in 
public debate in the past 18 months, following an interview 
with "Komsomolskaya Pravda" in September 2004 (ref A) and 
remarks to the Delovaya Rossiya business group in May 2005 
(ref B).  Since being reprinted in the press, the speech has 
generated continuing attention as an expression of views by 
an authoritative and influential but rarely-heard-in-public 
"deep insider."  Surkov has since expounded on some of the 
same themes with Ambassador (ref C). 
 
4. (C)  Surkov is indeed close to Putin and is the Kremlin 
operative most directly charged with managing political 
developments, but he is not without rivals in the PA.  Some 
media reports have even asserted that the speech was prompted 
by a need on Surkov,s part to resist attempts to weaken his 
position in the PA.  (Comment.  We heard a similar analysis 
from Carnegie Center analyst Andrey Ryabov, who said new PA 
head Sergey Sobyanin "hates" Surkov, and the latter sought to 
reinforce himself politically through the speech.  End 
Comment)  Most commentators, however, have stressed Surkov,s 
privileged access to Putin and the degree to which the speech 
is assumed to reflect Putin,s own outlook.  Vasiliy 
Tretyakov, editor-in-chief of "Politicheskiy Zhurnal," called 
Surkov "almost the only source of our knowledge of Russia,s 
official ideology," and Kremlin consultant Gleb Pavlovskiy 
 
MOSCOW 00003218  002 OF 004 
 
 
told us March 23 that the timing of the speech reflected the 
fact that "that,s when Putin gave the authorization." 
 
Contemporary History Decoded 
---------------------------- 
 
5. (C)  Surkov identified the "fundamental values" that Putin 
is trying to advance as material well-being, freedom and 
justice.  He immediately linked those goals to argumentation 
that Russia has historically been an inextricable part of 
European civilization and has undergone a broadly similar 
course of development as other European nations.  In Russia 
as elsewhere in Europe, people want to
participate in the 
political life of their society, and over time coercive forms 
of government increasingly give way to processes of 
persuasion and agreement.  Democratic development in Russia 
will thus lead to increasing stress on ideas (ideology) and 
reasoned discourse, Surkov reasoned, and diminish the role of 
"administrative resources" and force. 
 
6. (C)  Noting that Russians hold sharply differing 
assessments of the Soviet experience, Surkov sought to build 
common ground by asserting that the Soviet Union had a 
progressive influence on world development (although Soviet 
society itself was not free or just) and established the 
industrial base on which Russia,s economy still depends. 
Despite such achievements, Soviet decisions were based on 
party dogma rather than efficiency.  The USSR failed to meet 
its citizens' needs, and they -- not the CIA or some 
intra-party conspiracy -- brought it down.  The loss of the 
other Soviet republics that opted for independence was a 
price the Russian people "more or less consciously paid" to 
chart their own course. 
 
7. (C)  Russian society was not ready for democracy in the 
1990s, Surkov said, and it fell quickly into oligarchic rule 
("manipulation instead of representation") that unfairly 
discredited the broader business community.  Privatization 
was overall a positive phenomenon, but in too many cases was 
conducted improperly and unjustly.  Chaos reigned in the 
relations of state and federal authorities.  The outcome of 
the first Chechen war led to a de facto violation of Russia's 
territorial integrity.  Yeltsin,s re-election in 1996 
perverted democratic processes to avoid an outcome some were 
unwilling to accept.   In 2000 the electorate,s support for 
Putin was a decision to "normalize the situation in the 
country," preserving good features that under Yeltsin had 
emerged in distorted forms.  Putin has acted to "return the 
real sense of the word  democracy, to all democratic 
institutions," and his policies -- unlike Yeltsin,s in the 
1990s -- enjoy the support of the people. 
 
"Sovereignty" and Threats to It 
------------------------------- 
 
8. (U)  As in his May 2005 speech (ref B), Surkov stressed 
the concept of "sovereignty," now defined as "a political 
synonym of competitiveness."  Internationally, Russia needed 
to remain among the states that "make the decisions on the 
organization of world order."  If it failed to do so, those 
decisions inevitably would not take its interests adequately 
into account.  Moreover, Russia had for centuries been a 
power in international relations, unlike many surrounding 
states that -- having never in their national lives been 
genuinely sovereign -- now had no difficulty, when unhappy 
with Moscow, in "running to a new master" and "becoming a 
province of some other country."  Russia had no one to run to 
but itself, and had to remain an independent actor able to 
influence world politics in support of its interests.  Moscow 
supported a "democratization of international relations" and 
"fair rules for globalization" to prevent global decisions 
being taken by "diktat." 
 
9. (C)  Surkov identified democracy and sovereignty as the 
two critical requirements for Russia to be successful over 
time.  "Only a society based on competition and cooperation 
among free people can be effective and competitive." 
Moreover, "if we are not an open democratic society, if we 
are not broadly integrated into the world economy...we will 
not have access to the contemporary Western technologies 
without which, I believe, Russia,s modernization will be 
impossible."  Strengthening Russia,s democracy required 
strengthening civil society, including political parties, 
NGOs and institutions of local self-rule. 
 
10. (U)  Surkov identified four present or potential threats 
to Russia,s sovereignty: 
 
-  International terrorism.  Intensive work, including 
international cooperation, would need to continue for decades 
to meet the threat; 
 
 
MOSCOW 00003218  003 OF 004 
 
 
- An external military threat that now was only hypothetical. 
 There was no guarantee today's lack of such a threat would 
continue, however, so keeping Russia,s army, navy and 
nuclear deterrent strong was essential; 
 
- A lack of economic competitiveness.  Many problems existed, 
including "monstrous" delays in structural reforms that 
sooner or later would exact a price.  But Russia could not 
rely on free-market panaceas and expect all problems to solve 
themselves; Putin had identified a realistic path to follow, 
drawing on Russia,s competitive advantages (including the 
concept of an "energy superpower"); and 
 
- A susceptibility to "orange technologies" supported from 
abroad:  "If they (Note:  Surkov does not say who "they" are. 
 End Note) were able to do it in four countries, why not in a 
fifth?"  Russia had in response to develop a 
"nationally-oriented" elite, including a nationally-oriented 
(rather than "off-shore") business class, and to continue 
Putin,s democratization policies.  But while a healthy 
national orientation was essential, Surkov rejected 
isolationist and "Russia for the (ethnic) Russian" tendencies 
that call themselves "patriotic."  If they came to power, it 
would be a catastrophe that might even lead to further loss 
of national territory.  Neither oligarchic revanchists nor 
supporters of a nationalistic dictatorship should be "allowed 
to destroy democracy using democratic procedures" (as Hitler 
did in coming to power via free elections).  Russia must be 
not only for the ethnic Russians, but for all the peoples of 
Russia. 
 
11. (C)  UR,s task, in Surkov's view, was "not simply to be 
victorious in 2007, but to think and do whatever is necessary 
to ensure the party,s domination over at least the next 
10-15 years" to prevent hostile forces from "knocking Russia 
off the path that has now been marked out for it to go."  To 
become a dominating force, UR members would have to 
internalize and propagate the "ideology" set out in 
presidential and party documents. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
12. (C)  The point of Surkov,s speech was not to break new 
ground, and a number of commentators with whom we spoke 
(e.g., Pavlovskiy, Sergey Karaganov, Dmitriy Danilov, Valeriy 
Fedorov, Vladislav Nikonov) tended to dismiss it as "nothing 
new."  Some of them, however, at the same time voiced support 
for the idea of clarifying the Kremlin,s goals and 
strategies, and allowed that Surkov,s speech was a step in 
the right direction in that regard.  Andrey Ryabov told us he 
found the speech "static" in its assumptions and "lacking 
vision," and thus likely to appeal more to the bureaucracy 
than to intellectuals or the middle class. 
 
14. (C)  "Sovereignty" remains Surkov,s key concept for 
addressing both internal ("sovereign democracy") and foreign 
policies.  His linking of  "
sovereignty" to "competitiveness" 
is on the whole positive, both because it encourages Russians 
to focus on what actually works in the empirical world, 
rather than on romantic assertions of ethnic or neo-imperial 
identity, and because it emphasizes the need to sustain an 
achievement, rather than to be recognized as possessing a 
status.  He seems, moreover, to have real insight into, if 
not conviction about, Russia,s need to be a genuinely open 
society if it is to sustain its claim to being a Great Power. 
 At the same time, he is forced by his position -- and 
probably a sincere perception of Russian vulnerability -- to 
subordinate the demands of openness to a need for social 
unity, which is implicitly understood to require central 
control.  The overall tone of his speech is nonetheless far 
from the "enemy at the gates" shrillness of his post-Beslan 
interview in September 2004, with its evocation of "fifth 
columns" and "dividing lines" in every community and 
neighborhood. 
 
15. (C)  Acknowledging that assessments of 20th century 
history remain highly controversial in Russia, Surkov feels 
for a balance that pays enough tribute to all viewpoints so 
that critics of the USSR and those nostalgic for it can join 
hands to support Putin's policies.  His view of the 1990s 
mixes harsh criticism with a refusal to reject everything 
initiated under Yeltsin, but the overall picture he draws of 
the 1990s is nonetheless more negative than his summary of 
the Soviet period, reflecting the continuing desire by 
Putin,s team to be seen above all as a corrective to the 
disorder, weakness, and broadly perceived injustice of the 
Yeltsin years. 
 
16. (C)  Surkov's stress on Russia,s being fully a part of 
European culture seems intended to rebut arguments that it is 
a "unique" civilizational entity requiring political 
 
MOSCOW 00003218  004 OF 004 
 
 
solutions qualitatively distinct from those that have proved 
successful elsewhere in Europe.  In that, in his unequivocal 
declaration that the Soviet Union fell because of its own 
inadequacies, and in his rejection of isolationism and ethnic 
chauvinism, Surkov -- who recently was named by Putin to head 
the organizing committee for Russia's upcoming chairmanship 
of the Council of Europe -- casts himself as a relative 
"Westernizer" or "Europeanist" among Putin's advisors.  He 
shows that he belongs comfortably within the Kremlin 
spectrum, however, by saying that Putin,s "policy of 
democratization" has returned "the real meaning of the word 
 democracy, to all democratic institutions." 
 
17. (C)  Surkov's thesis that persuasion will increasingly 
drive Russian politics implies a need for UR to be an 
effective promoter of Putinist policies, rather than just a 
beneficiary of Putin,s popularity, as it has been to date. 
But he would entrust it only with the downstream task of 
selling whatever the Kremlin has already decided.  His speech 
may, as he hoped, help make UR members "forget about whether 
you,re right-wingers or left-wingers" and recognize that the 
party must be a synthesis of various interests, but it will 
take more than a speech to convert UR into the effective 
political force that Surkov,s thesis of 
politics-by-persuasion would require.  UR,s raison d,etre 
is, by Kremlin design, to support whatever Putin,s team 
tells it to support, and it shows little sign of overcoming 
its congenital passivity and growing beyond Putin,s 
coattails.  In our view, it is unlikely to have more than 
inertial weight in promoting continuity in the succession 
process, unless Putin takes a leadership role in the party 
himself and uses it as an instrument for exerting influence 
on his successor as President. 
 
18. (C)  Ultimately, only Putin -- through his actions and 
words -- can define Putinism.  As some commentators have 
speculated, Surkov's speech may well foreshadow a more 
authoritative exposition of some of the same themes by Putin 
in his annual address later this spring to the Federal 
Assembly. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3202, AMBASSADOR’S MARCH 29 MEETING WITH RUSSIAN DFM

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. #06MOSCOW3202.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3202 2006-03-29 14:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5823
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3202/01 0881433
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291433Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3146
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 003202 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ENRG ETRD BO UP GG MD RS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MARCH 29 MEETING WITH RUSSIAN DFM 
KARASIN 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 2974 
 
     B. MOSCOW 1934 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons:  1.4(B & D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Ambassador Burns met with Russian Deputy 
Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin March 29 to discuss the 
outcomes of the Belarusian and Ukrainian elections and recent 
developments in Moldova, Georgia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. 
Karasin was sanguine about the March 26 Ukrainian 
parliamentary elections, observing that it would be some time 
before a government would be formed in Kiev, but underlining 
that Russia was interested in pursuing a range of bilateral 
talks.  Karasin welcomed continuing contacts on 
Nagorno-Karabakh and remains interested in a joint visit to 
the region with A/S Fried and an appropriate French 
representative.  Karasin questioned why the West would pursue 
sanctions against Belarus, arguing that Belarus "should be 
allowed to develop on its own terms."  On Georgia, Karasin 
judged the recent JCC meeting productive and noted that 
Russia would likely sign a technical agreement with Georgia 
on the withdrawal from Russian bases on March 31.  He said 
that Russia would hold expert-level talks with Georgia (and 
Moldova) before imposing any ban on wine imports.  Russia was 
ready to participate in Five Plus Two talks involving 
Transnistria he said, but acknowledged that Ukrainian 
participation might be complicated by ongoing talks about 
forming a government.  End Summary. 
. 
Ukraine 
------- 
 
2.  (C)  DFM Karasin said that Russia had closely followed 
the Ukrainian parliamentary election campaign and judged it 
to be a "normal" political process which had led to an 
election with no clear winner.  The Ukrainian electorate was 
divided.  Yushchenko's Our Ukraine suffered at the polls 
because of economic developments since the Orange Revolution 
and political infighting, while Yanukovich's Party of Regions 
demonstrated it was a force to be reckoned with in Ukrainian 
politics.  More interesting to Karasin was the strong showing 
by Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko; he thought that the ball would be 
in her court to form a government.  Responding to the 
Ambassador's query about a likely timeline for government 
formation, Karasin likened the situation in Kiev to a play; 
we are now watching the first act, which will be full of 
intrigue, fascinating characters and perhaps some 
unpredictable twists and turns. 
 
3.  (C)  Karasin said that Russia was looking forward to a 
serious partnership with whatever government was formed 
because of the wide range of political and economic ties 
linking Kiev and Moscow.  Now that the elections were over, 
it was likely that the Putin-Yushchenko bilateral commission 
might finally meet for the first time.  Karasin, who 
co-chairs working group discussions on the Black Sea Fleet, 
said that group had agreed to divide outstanding issues among 
several subgroups, but forecast that the discussions would be 
long and complex, reflecting the interrelated problems that 
need to be sorted out.  In the end, he observed, the 
resolution of these issues will depend on the sprit of the 
negotiations. 
. 
Nagorno-Karabakh 
---------------- 
 
4.  (C)  Karasin expressed appreciation for A/S Fried's 
readout of his recent visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan. 
Karasin shares the view that there is an opening for progress 
on Nagaorno-Karabakh that should be tested.  He suggested 
that a joint visit in the next few weeks would be useful, 
noting that "unusual approaches" are sometimes necessary to 
shake up the situation and prod the parties' thinking.  He 
also mentioned that he is planning another trip of his own to 
the South Caucasus in April. 
. 
Belarus 
------- 
 
5.  (C)  Reflecting on Lukashenko's March 19 reelection, 
Karasin said that he shared the views of the majority of the 
Russian political class that Lukashenko was genuinely popular 
among Belarusians.  There were disagreements among 
Belarusians about the course Lukashenko was pursuing, but 
such differences were completely normal in any society. 
Karasin said Russia did not understand efforts in the West to 
use sanctions to punish the Belarusian government -- Minsk 
had no nuclear weapons and was not pursuing dangerous 
activities against its neighbors.  It simply sought to 
develop on its own terms. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00003202  002 OF 003 
 
 
6.  (C)  The Ambassador underlined that the U.S. and EU had 
been very clear in our views about the conduct of the 
Belarusian election and its aftermath.  Referring to comments 
Karasin had made to U/S Burns and the Ambassador in February 
(ref B), the Ambassador pressed him to explain what steps he 
believed Lukashenko would take now that the  election was 
over to open up
 a political space in Belarus.  Karasin noted 
that Lukashenko had permitted demonstrations and political 
opposition -- up to a point -- and argued that the pace of 
any future opening would depend on Lukashenko, rather than on 
outside pressures. 
 
7.  (C)  Karasin confirmed that Russia and Belarus would take 
up discussions on gas prices in the near future.  Moscow 
wanted a deal that was profitable, transparent and based on 
market mechanisms.  On Union State negotiations, he did not 
hold out any prospects for a prompt conclusion to talks. 
Karasin noted that Moscow would soon mark the tenth 
anniversary of the opening of discussions and that some 
particularly difficult questions about status remained 
unresolved. 
. 
Georgia 
------- 
 
8.  (C)  Turning to Georgia, Karasin was guardedly optimistic 
that bilateral relations had taken a positive turn.  Georgia 
and South Ossetian representatives at the March 27-28 Joint 
Control Committee (JCC) meeting in Vladikavkaz had 
constructive discussions.  Talks about security guarantees 
and economic projects had been positive, Karasin noted.  Any 
JCC meeting, much less one that had seen substantive 
discussions, needed to be viewed as a step forward.  He noted 
that the technical agreement on withdrawing Russian troops 
and bases from Georgia would likely be signed on March 31 in 
Sochi. 
 
9.  (C)  Karasin was direct in raising Russian concerns about 
Georgia's pursuit of NATO membership.  Georgia was now in 
talks with NATO on a Membership Action Plan, while at the 
same time its recently enunciated national security doctrine 
had identified Russia as its most likely military opponent. 
Karasin asked how these two points should be understood.  The 
Ambassador responded by pointing out that Georgia was at the 
early stages in the process of seeking NATO membership and 
that many steps would have to be taken before it could be 
considered for membership.  While this process was ongoing, 
it was important for Russia and NATO members to have candid 
discussions, through the NATO-Russia Council or bilaterally. 
 
10.  (C)  The Ambassador expressed concern about reported 
remarks made by Gennadiy Bukayev, an aide to PM Fradkov, 
concerning Russian plans to join North and South Ossetia into 
a new entity under Russian control.  Karasin backpedaled, 
explaining that press reports about what Bukayev had said 
perhaps had given an incorrect impression.  Bukayev had been 
discussing economic integration projects in North and South 
Ossetia, and perhaps a distinction between economic and 
political integration had not been made clear.  In any event, 
Bukayev had attended the JCC meeting in Vladikavkaz and would 
thus have been available to provide a personal explanation to 
the Georgian representatives.  Karasin said Russia's policy 
remains that the future of South Ossetia should be settled 
through talks in the existing JCC mechanism. 
11.  (C)  The Ambassador raised reports of a ban by Moscow on 
the import of Georgian and Moldovan wine.  While Karasin said 
that phytosanitary standards were beyond his expertise, he 
claimed that Russia was willing to hold discussions with 
Georgia (and Moldova) at an expert level to explain Russia's 
"technical" decision before the ban went into place.  He 
dismissed reports that Moscow's decision on wine imports was 
tied to possible Russian-Georgian discussions on Russia's WTO 
accession. (Note:  Both the Moldovan and Georgian Embassies 
in Moscow told us March 29 that imports have in fact been 
halted.  Both say they have been unsuccessfully seeking 
meetings at the expert level, with Moldova's Minister of 
Economy in Moscow since March 28, unable to find an 
interlocutor.  End note.) 
. 
Moldova 
------- 
 
12.  (C)  Karasin noted that the "humanitarian" convoy of 
medical supplies Russia had sent to Transnistria had finally 
arrived after extended discussions with Kiev about the 
convoy's progress through Ukraine.  He claimed that the 
shipment had primarily consisted of medicines that were in 
short supply.  He suggested again, as he had to the 
Ambassador last week, that the convoy was a one-shot deal 
aimed less at any real "humanitarian catastrophe" than at 
domestic political opinion in Russia.  On Five Plus Two 
 
MOSCOW 00003202  003 OF 003 
 
 
talks, there had been a "time out" as the parties assessed 
the situation, but this period had now come to an end and 
Russia was ready for productive talks.  Karasin acknowledged 
that Kiev's continuing focus on forming a government might 
lead to complications in moving forward. 
. 
NGO Law 
------- 
 
13.  (C)  Responding to Karasin's question about U.S. 
attitudes towards Russia's NGO laws, the Ambassador stressed 
that implementation of the law would be a critical issue.  He 
suggested the MFA and Justice Ministry be transparent in 
explaining to NGOs and the media the approach the government 
would take in implementing the law. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

06MOSCOW3190, CIVIL SOCIETY COUNCIL CHAIR PAMFILOVA DISCUSSES

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. #06MOSCOW3190.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW3190 2006-03-29 13:59 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5761
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3190/01 0881359
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291359Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3125
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003190 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR PREL EAID RS
SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY COUNCIL CHAIR PAMFILOVA DISCUSSES 
NGO LEGISLATION AND G8 SUMMIT PLANS 
 
REF: MOSCOW 002502 
 
Classified By: Amb. William J. Burns.  For Reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY.  In a March 24 meeting with the Ambassador 
and visiting Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and 
Eurasia Thomas Adams, Ella Pamfilova, head of the 
Presidential body that oversees civil society issues, said 
her office would help monitor the controversial NGO 
legislation when it came into effect on April 18.  She noted 
that her office was familiar with the implementing 
regulations and wanted to comment on them publicly, but the 
bureaucracy wanted to work in secrecy.  Pamfilova promised to 
do her best to protect NGOs and individuals that were 
implicated in the recent British "spy" scandal.  Pamfilova 
also discussed her plans for NGO events around the G8 Summit 
and the problems that the Russian-Belarusian Human Rights 
Commission faced in Belarus.  She also will look into 
complaints about the treatment of Mikhail Trepashkin in 
prison.  END SUMMARY. 
. 
NGO LEGISLATION 
--------------- 
 
2. (C) In a March 24 meeting with the Ambassador and 
Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia Thomas 
Adams, Ella Pamfilova, Chair of the Presidential Council for 
Assistance to Development of Institutions of Civil Society 
and Human Rights, noted that the controversial NGO 
legislation would take effect on April 18.  The main problem 
would not be with the law itself, but with how it was 
implemented.  She hoped that the implementing regulations 
would decrease the vagueness of the law.  Her office and some 
NGOs were familiar with the implementing regulations and 
wanted to comment on them publicly, whereas many bureaucrats 
wanted to work behind closed doors.  She has an agreement 
with various international NGOs, such as Amnesty 
International, Human Rights Watch, and the Carnegie 
Foundation, which will monitor implementation once the law 
comes into effect and report any problems to her office.  She 
saw her role as being a critic to address any problems with 
the law.  In contrast, Pamfilova argued, the Kremlin wanted 
to produce propaganda indicating that everything was fine 
with the legislation.  After all the international attention 
paid to the legislation, it would be a matter of honor for 
the Kremlin to prove its critics wrong. 
 
3. (C) Adams said many major donors at a recent forum in New 
York were glad that some of the suggested changes to the 
first draft of the legislation had been made.  However, one 
of the organizations in attendance at the forum, the New 
Eurasia Foundation, had been accused of having links to 
British intelligence.  Pamfilova replied that NGO leaders who 
were implicated in the "spy" scandal such as Andrey Kortunov 
of the New Eurasia Foundation, Lyudmila Alekseyeva of the 
Moscow Helsinki Group, and Yuriy Dzhibladze of the Center for 
the Development of Democracy and Human Rights were part of 
her core group for organizing a recent G8 NGO forum (reftel). 
 The scandal had not affected them too negatively, and they 
were still criticizing the government.  She would do her best 
to make sure that such people would be around to criticize 
the government in the future.  Pamfilova believed that the 
situation six months from now would be different, and the 
fallout from the "spy" scandal would dissipate. 
. 
NGO INVOLVEMENT IN THE G8 
------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Pamfilova said the March G8 NGO forum had generated a 
great deal of interest among foreign and domestic NGOs that 
wanted to participate in future events.  Pamfilova stressed 
that she did not want the NGO events to be dominated by 
Russian organizations, and she was looking for more foreign 
groups to participate.  She had recently met with Rose 
Gottemoeller of the Moscow Carnegie Center to discuss 
conducting an event on nuclear security with Carnegie. 
Pamfilova said she was considering doing more NGO events, 
including a conference on social integration in Kazan from 
late May to early June and a roundtable on energy security in 
April in Khanty-Mansiy.  She was also trying to schedule 
another meeting with the sherpas in May with a group of 10-20 
experts from the NGO community.  The next general NGO forum 
would take place on July 13-14.  A major focus of the July 
forum would be internal problems of civil society in Russia, 
such as human rights and the NGO legislation, as well as 
issues of civil society and human rights around the world. 
She also wanted to engage anti-globalists so that there would 
be a serious dialogue about their concerns, instead of 
violent protests.  The Ambassador offered to provide 
Pamfilova assistance with those NGO events. 
 
MOSCOW 00003190  002 OF 002 
 
 
. 
BELARUS 
------- 
 
5. (C) Pamfilova said that the Russian-Belarusian Human 
Rights Commission, of which she is a member, had experienced 
problems working in Belarus.  Several of its members, 
incl
uding a journalist and Council on Foreign Affairs and 
Defense Policy Director Sergey Karaganov, had been banned 
from entering Belarus.  Pamfilova reported that Lukashenko 
had personally complained to Putin about her.  She noted that 
the Commission regularly met with Belarusian activists and 
put out a report every few months, but there was not much 
more they could do.  In a separate March 24 meeting with 
PolMinCouns, Karaganov professed a higher level of 
satisfaction with the activities of the Russian-Belarusian 
Human Rights Commission, saying that he believed it was 
having a positive effect in a number of areas. 
. 
TREPASHKIN AND HUMAN RIGHTS 
--------------------------- 
 
6. (C) The Ambassador raised with Pamfilova concern about the 
treatment of Mikhail Trepashkin in prison.  Trepashkin was 
convicted of disclosing state secrets in connection with his 
investigation of possible FSB involvement in a series of 1999 
apartment bombings in Moscow.  Human rights leaders have 
written a letter to G7 ambassadors about his treatment. 
Pamfilova replied that the British Embassy had also raised 
the issue with her on March 23, but the authors of the letter 
had not mentioned the problem to her directly.  She said she 
would speak with members of her Council and with Human Rights 
Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin to see what had been done about the 
case.  Trepashkin's case received a great deal of attention, 
but prison conditions were poor for many prisoners who were 
not as well known.  Looking at human rights more broadly, 
Pamfilova noted that the GOR was considering eliminating jury 
trials, but she gave no indication that she expected early 
GOR action on that issue. 
 
7. (U) Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia 
Thomas Adams has cleared this message. 
BURNS

Wikileaks