06MOSCOW2969, TRANSNISTRIA: RESPONDING TO RUSSIA’S SHIPMENT OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW2969 2006-03-23 15:12 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9412
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2969 0821512
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231512Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2862
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002969 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2016 
TAGS: PREL ETRD PBTS OSCE UP MD RS
SUBJECT: TRANSNISTRIA:  RESPONDING TO RUSSIA'S SHIPMENT OF 
HUMANITARIAN AID 
 
REF: STATE 46152 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reason 1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C) Ambassador made reftel demarche to DFM Karasin March 
23.  Karasin reiterated that the GOR had serious concerns 
about developments in Transnistria, but his comments went 
primarily to political pressures centered in the Duma and in 
some regions.  He acknowledged that current conditions do not 
amount to a "full-blown humanitarian crisis" in Transnistria, 
although he professed concern about medical supplies in some 
areas.  He hoped that the Russian convoy of humanitarian aid 
would not encounter steps to impede it.  Once it had been 
delivered, Moscow would look again at the situation. 
(Comment:  Karasin's comments implied, although he did not 
explicitly say, that the humanitarian convoy was a one-time 
measure undertaken to respond to domestic political pressures 
and would probably not be repeated.  End Comment)  He 
conceded that Smirnov's call for an increase in Russian troop 
strength in Transnistria had been unhelpful, and said Moscow 
had no plans to respond positively to it.  Still, he said, it 
was not only Smirnov who needed to avoid unhelpful 
statements. 
 
2. (C)  In the absence of Special Envoy Nesterushkin, we 
followed up with MFA Moldova Office Director Fomin.  Fomin 
said Russia's evaluation of the situation, and the reasons 
for it, were unchanged:  Ukraine and Moldova bear 
responsibility for using economic measures to impose 
political pressure on Transnistria.  It was part of an 
attempt to eliminate Russia's role in the peace process, 
which was unacceptable to Moscow.  Russia's public statements 
were therefore "based on reality." 
 
3. (C)  Russia did not share the OSCE's evaluation of the 
humanitarian situation, Fomin said.  Although people will not 
starve, medicine would be a problem.  Factories would close, 
putting thousands out of work -- the Tirateks textile 
factory, with between 6000 and 6500 workers, would cease 
operations March 23.  Emotions would run high.  The donations 
from Russia came primarily from regions with historic "twin" 
and economic ties to Moldova, such as the Yamal-Nenets 
Republic.  Russia had worked with Ukraine -- which was also 
offering aid -- and Moldova to ensure there were no hitches 
in aid delivery. 
 
4. (C)  Fomin agreed that Russia could influence Smirnov -- 
and would try to influence both him and the Moldovans to 
return to the peace process, though perhaps not as soon as 
the April 4-5 meeting proposed by OSCE HOM Hill.  Russia was 
not considering a postponement of the scheduled visit of 
President Voronin.  Russia feared that provocations could 
derail the return to peace negotiations.  Tiraspol 
"Parliamentarians" were planning a meeting on March 31, and 
it would be important to see what steps they might take. 
Luckily, "there does not seem to be any hysteria." 
 
5. (C)  Fomin said current Russian troop levels in 
Transnistria were fully adequate to their tasks.  There was a 
minor problem with the weapons store at Kolbasna: the units 
tasked with providing fire and emergency coverage were 
located too far from the store itself to provide assistance 
in a timely way.  Fomin said the Russians were remedying that 
through training, not increased staffing. 
BURNS

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