06MOSCOW9346, LEBANON/UNIFIL: RUSSIA MAY SEND LIMITED CONTINGENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW9346 2006-08-25 14:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1316
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #9346 2371400
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 251400Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1169
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0264

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 009346 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2016 
TAGS: PREL MOPS MARR KPKO LE RS
SUBJECT: LEBANON/UNIFIL: RUSSIA MAY SEND LIMITED CONTINGENT 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Alice Wells. Re 
asons: 1.4(B/D). 
 
1.  (C)  The MFA told us August 25 that Russia is actively 
considering sending a limited contingent of military 
personnel to serve in UNIFIL.  Vladimir Safronkov, Chief of 
the UN Political Affairs Section in the MFA's International 
Organizations Department, said that President Putin had 
requested the GOR interagency weigh sending troops to serve 
in Lebanon.  No decision had been reached yet, but Safronkov 
suggested that Russia might send approximately 200 military 
engineers to assist UNIFIL, as well as some medical 
personnel.  He said that a Russian contribution to UNIFIL 
would be similar in size and scope to its contribution to the 
UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), where Moscow provides 4 
helicopters and 200 associated servicemen.  Safronkov said 
Russia had no plans to send combat-ready ground forces to 
serve in UNIFIL. 
 
2.  (C)  There has been persistent speculation in the Russian 
press that Moscow will provide some troops to UNIFIL.  Deputy 
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov said August 
25 that Russia was weighing whether to send peacekeeping 
forces, but argued that the mandate for UNIFIL forces had not 
yet been defined.  He "did not rule out" that Russia might 
send "specialists" to Lebanon to restore infrastructure.  The 
Israeli Embassy Political Counselor told us August 22 that he 
thought Russia might send a "symbolic contingent."  He 
believed Russia would not want to send a large force because 
that might diminish Russia's standing as a "friend to the 
Arabs." 
BURNS

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