06MOSCOW2020, PRESSING RUSSIANS ON HAMAS VISIT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW2020 2006-03-01 15:37 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO3781
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2020 0601537
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 011537Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1532
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002020 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS
SUBJECT: PRESSING RUSSIANS ON HAMAS VISIT 
 
REF: A. WELCH/BURNS TELCON 3/1/06 
 
     B. MOSCOW 1840 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns, Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1.  (C)  Ambassador spoke separately to Russian Deputy 
Foreign Minister Saltanov and Middle East Envoy Kalugin the 
evening of February 28, and again on March 1, to stress the 
importance of sticking firmly to Quartet principles during 
the Hamas visit to Moscow March 3.  Ambassador made clear 
that any watering down or softening of agreed Quartet 
conditions would have a very negative effect on the current 
situation, calling into question Quartet unity, undermining 
Abu Mazen, and alienating the Israelis during critical 
pre-election period. 
 
2.  (C)  Both Saltanov and Kalugin insisted that Russia would 
deliver a clear, direct message to the Hamas delegation, 
fully consistent with Quartet understandings.  Neither 
expects any breakthroughs.  They hope at a minimum to impress 
upon Hamas the crucial significance of upholding the 
ceasefire, refraining from violence and terrorism, and 
showing that they can play a responsible role.  The Russians 
claimed they will underscore that a Hamas-led government must 
come to grips with the need to recognize Israel, renounce 
violence, and accept previous agreements. 
 
3.  (C)  Saltanov expects to be the main Russian interlocutor 
during the discussions with Hamas, although he confirmed that 
Foreign Minister Lavrov will also meet with them.  There will 
be no meeting with Putin or Kremlin officials.  Ambassador 
stressed the importance of care in crafting any public 
statements during or after the visit, so that the Quartet 
principles came across in clear and unadulterated form. 
Saltanov said he understood. 
 
4.  (C)  Saltanov and Kalugin added that Lavrov hoped to join 
in a Quartet Principals conference call on March 2, although 
logistical problems remain given his travels in Hungary and 
the Czech Republic with Putin, and the Secretary's travels 
with the President in South Asia.  The Kremlin also hopes to 
hear soon from us on a time for a Putin call to the President 
on March 4. 
 
5.  (C)  Ambassador also spoke with his Israeli counterpart, 
who will again convey Israeli concerns to Russians prior to 
the Hamas visit.  The Russians are also attempting to arrange 
a Putin-Olmert call after the Hamas talks. 
 
6.  (C)  Finally, Ambassador met February 28 with Federation 
Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Margelov, 
who said he plans to meet the Hamas delegation during their 
visit.  He insisted that his message would echo the firm line 
outlined by the Russian MFA. 
 
7.  (C)  COMMENT:  The Russians have no doubt about our 
concerns.  We'll see whether they follow through.  Continued 
expressions of concern from Abu Mazen, the Israelis, and 
other Quartet partners will also be important. 
BURNS

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