06MOSCOW11833, RUSSIAN RESPONSE TO ATGM TRANSFER TO SYRIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11833 2006-10-20 15:23 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0016
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1833 2931523
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 201523Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4319
INFO RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0992
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 2158

S E C R E T MOSCOW 011833 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2016 
TAGS: PREL PARM ETTC RS SY IS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN RESPONSE TO ATGM TRANSFER TO SYRIA 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 9468 
     B. MOSCOW 9244 
     C. STATE 139267 
 
Classified By: DCM Daniel A. Russell. Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (S) SUMMARY:  Russia's investigation into the transfer of 
anti-tank guided missiles to Syria has confirmed that some 
Russian-made weapons had been funneled to Hizballah.  As a 
result, the head of the Tula design bureau responsible for 
the transfer has been fired, and the Foreign Ministry has 
been held responsible for the failure to disseminate Putin's 
August 18 decision to halt a planned shipment to Syria.  The 
Russian Government has officially informed Syria of its 
intent to carry out stricter end-use control checks.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (S) Sergey Petlyakov, Chief Counselor in the Arms and 
Technology Transfer Division of the Foreign Ministry's 
Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament, gave us an 
update October 19 of the GOR's investigation into the 
transfer of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to Syria 
(reftels).  Petlyakov said Moscow shared U.S. concerns about 
the proliferation of sensitive weapons systems to 
unauthorized end users.  In the case of the August 19 
transfer of ATGMs to Damascus, he told us the delivery had 
been an unfortunate mistake that stemmed from a failure to 
disseminate throughout all elements of the bureaucracy 
President Putin's August 18 decision to halt the shipment. 
Petlyakov stated that the head of the Tula Design Bureau of 
Instrument Building, which was involved in the shipment, had 
been replaced.  The Foreign Ministry has been held 
responsible for failing to disseminate Putin's instructions 
adequately. 
 
3.  (S) According to Petlyakov, an interagency team traveled 
to Syria, where they visited weapons storage sites and met 
with officers responsible for ensuring the proper end-use of 
weapons systems.  The team discovered that some Russian-made 
weapons had indeed been funneled to Hizballah, attributing 
the leakage to corrupt Syrian military officers.  Petlyakov 
noted, however, that the team learned that Hizballah members 
had used a variety of weapons systems -- not just Russian -- 
during the summer conflict in Lebanon, which they had 
probably obtained illegally.  As a result of the team's 
intervention, Petlyakov said several Syrians had been 
punished, and the GOR officially informed the SARG of 
Moscow's intention to exercise more aggressively its right to 
check on the end-use of Russian weapons systems.  It would 
not be "business as usual," Petlyakov emphasized, adding that 
stricter end-use control was also in Russia's interest. 
 
4.  (C) Asked about tighter export controls in general, 
Petlyakov confirmed that Moscow had recently strengthened the 
rules, with the aim of improving interagency coordination and 
outlining specific responsibilities.  The new implementing 
instructions went into effect October 6 and were officially 
published October 11.  They are still based on Russia's 
fundamental arms export control regime, which is Presidential 
Decree 1062, signed September 10, 2005. 
 
5.  (C) COMMENT:  Russia's investigation and follow-up action 
on the ATGM transfer are a serious response to concerns 
raised by the U.S. and Israel.  Russia, however, obviously 
plans to continue weapons sales to Syria, albeit hopefully 
with stricter end-use controls. 
BURNS

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