06MOSCOW12549, A/S FRIED’S NOVEMBER 15 MEETING WITH DFM TITOV ON

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. #06MOSCOW12549.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12549 2006-11-21 11:28 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0023
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2549/01 3251128
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211128Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0132
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0677
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY 0021
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE PRIORITY 0368
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA PRIORITY 0580
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 0366
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA PRIORITY 0132
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0294
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 6742
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2354

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 012549 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/21/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV YI RS
SUBJECT: A/S FRIED'S NOVEMBER 15 MEETING WITH DFM TITOV ON 
KOSOVO 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel A. Russell.  Reasons:  1. 
4(B/D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  In a November 15 meeting with DFM Titov, 
A/S Fried made clear that the U.S. intended to move forward 
on Kosovo quickly after UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari presented 
the sides with his proposal after the Serbian parliamentary 
elections.  He stressed that putting off the status decision 
would gain the Contact Group (CG) nothing in Serbia and would 
risk losing the credibility the CG had in Kosovo.  Fried 
stressed that, unlike Russia, the U.S. had troops on the 
ground and would not further delay a final status settlement 
and thus see U.S. and other NATO forces turn from liberators 
to increasingly unwelcome occupiers.  He reiterated that a 
Kosovo with internationally-supervised independence was the 
best alternative available and that waiting for a solution 
agreeable to Belgrade, as Russia wanted, risked creating a 
chaotic situation for which KFOR, not Russia, would be 
responsible.  All the positive features of the agreement, 
such as minority rights protection by the international 
community, would be lost with no corresponding gains. 
 
2.  (C)  Summary, con't.:  Titov was equally direct in 
stating repeatedly that Russia would not support any decision 
that did not have the agreement of both sides.  He said he 
understood our analysis of the risks posed by delay, but 
argued that Ahtisaari had not fulfilled his role as a 
mediator and needed to present a package that Belgrade could 
accept.  Titov was candid in acknowledging that the process 
was now reaching "a decisive point" and that it was likely 
that Belgrade would reject the Ahtisaari package soon after 
the elections and that the process would quickly move to the 
UN Security Council.  In discussing action in the Security 
Council, Titov said Russia was willing to support a 
continuing international presence in Kosovo, including KFOR 
and an international civilian presence, but was not ready to 
"bless" a status decision that included independence.  He 
raised familiar arguments about Kosovo's precedential value 
and concerns about a Greater Albania.  End Summary. 
 
3.  (C)  Assistant Secretary Fried met with Deputy Foreign 
Minister Titov on November 15 for one hour and fifteen 
minutes while Fried was in Moscow for the G-8 Political 
Director's Meeting (septel).  Titov was accompanied by 
Russian Kosovo Envoy Botsan-Kharchenko. 
. 
A/S FRIED:  MOVING FORWARD ON STATUS 
------------------------------------ 
 
4.  (C)  A/S Fried told Titov that he wanted to explain the 
U.S. approach to Kosovo in the clearest possible terms 
because the U.S. intended to move forward quickly after UN 
Special Envoy Ahtisaari presented the sides with his proposal 
after the January 2007 Serbian elections.  The Ahtisaari 
package provided for decentralization, minority rights and 
protection of the Serbs' cultural and religious heritage as 
well as international safeguards to restrain majority rule. 
The only possible outcome we saw was 
internationally-supervised independence for Kosovo.  Fried 
stressed that putting off this decision would gain the 
Contact Group (CG) nothing from Serbia and would risk losing 
the credibility the CG had in Kosovo.  The U.S. had troops on 
the ground and would not accept a permanent stall in the 
status process while we waited for Belgrade's agreement, 
which would never come.  Waiting for a solution agreeable to 
Belgrade risked creating a chaotic and violent situation with 
no attendant benefits.  In that case, all the positive 
features of the agreement -- particularly minority rights 
protection by the international community -- could be lost 
with no corresponding gains.  The U.S. and NATO had troops on 
the ground; Russia, by its own choice, did not.  The U.S. was 
serious about resolving the Kosovo problem, more than seven 
years after the campaign against Milosevic's forces there, 
and would not be deterred. 
 
5.  (C)  A/S Fried underlined that the U.S. and Russia had 
come a long way together on the issue of Kosovo and that 
Washington and Moscow needed to bring a satisfactory end to 
the situation together.  We need to "pull this tooth" so 
Serbia can get on with its European future.  In order to make 
this happen without creating a difficult situation that 
 
MOSCOW 00012549  002 OF 003 
 
 
threatened what the CG had accomplished, Russia's support was 
needed.  The U.S. had not gone public yet with its support 
for Kosovo's supervised independence, Fried noted, but at 
some point we would. 
. 
DFM TITOV:  NO GOR SUPPORT WITHOUT SERBIAN AGREEMENT 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
6.  (
C)  DFM Titov responded by stressing several times that 
Russia would not support any status decision that did not 
have the blessing of both sides.  Titov criticized Ahtisaari 
for not fulfilling his role as mediator, arguing that he 
needed to go back to both sides with a revised proposal that 
would provide a basis for new negotiations.  While the 
Serbians would not agree to independence, they could accept 
"an absolute degree of autonomy" or some other suitable 
designation for Kosovo that would prevent Serbian control 
over Kosovo's government, while preserving Serbia's 
territorial integrity (perhaps through allowing Serbian 
border guards).  Titov argued that Kosovo should not in this 
case be permitted membership in international organizations. 
Fried pushed back that this was not realistic; Serbia would 
never agree to independence, no matter what offer was made, 
and the U.S. would not accept an unworkable status quo or 
impractical autonomy arrangements. 
. 
THE END GAME 
------------ 
 
7.  (C)  While reiterating well-known Russian views on 
status, Titov also acknowledged that the process was reaching 
"a decisive point."  He forecast that Ahtisaari would present 
the package to the sides in January or perhaps early February 
and the Serbs would respond negatively.  The issue would 
quickly move to the Security Council, he predicted, but it 
was possible that the Kosovars at that point could 
unilaterally declare independence and would be recognized by 
various states, with or without a Security Council vote. 
Titov accused the Kosovars of "blackmailing" the 
international community by threatening violence if they did 
not receive independence, even if they were clearly not ready 
for it. 
 
8.  (C)  Turning to Russia's position in the Security 
Council, he said that it would be "easy" for Moscow to 
approve KFOR and the international community's continued 
presence in Kosovo, even though Russia had been disappointed 
with UNMIK's performance.  However, Russia in the Security 
Council could not "bless" any status decision that led to 
Kosovo's independence. 
 
9.  (C)  A/S Fried pointed out that the Serbian position was 
not coherent -- Belgrade understood it had lost Kosovo 
(witness Serbs in Kosovo being allowed to vote on the 
Constitution, while others were not) -- but was unable to 
publicly admit this.  Serbia did not want to rule in Kosovo, 
but would not let the Kosovars rule themselves.  Economic 
development in Kosovo was a necessity, but Kosovo could not 
become an IFI member without international status.  While the 
present situation did not present ideal circumstances for 
Kosovar independence, this was still the best alternative 
available.  Arguments for delaying a settlement risked 
creating gridlock in the international community, uncertainty 
about KFOR's status, and bloodshed in Kosovo. 
 
10.  (C)  Titov said that Russia was also concerned about 
instability -- if a "quick" decision was reached, Moscow 
wouldn't exclude the possibility of an uprising among the 
Serb population in northern Kosovo.  While Serbia was 
unlikely to use military force, unorganized violence was 
possible.  Fried responded that KFOR was better prepared now 
than it had been in March 2004 and that it would act to 
protect all sides in the event of civil disturbances.  In any 
event, chaos and bloodshed would be more likely in the event 
of a unilateral Kosovar declaration of independence, which 
Titov had himself admitted would be the likely outcome of 
continued stalemate. 
. 
UNIVERSALITY AND FEAR OF A GREATER ALBANIA 
------------------------------------------ 
 
MOSCOW 00012549  003 OF 003 
 
 
11.  (C)  Arguing that the solution in Kosovo would create a 
precedent for other disputes, Titov argued that the 
situations in Kosovo, South Ossetia and Abkhazia had similar 
historical roots -- central authorities in the 1990's had 
tried to limit local autonomy and had produced a sharp 
reaction.  Each of the separatists regions was following the 
situation in Kosovo attentively.  Titov complained that 
Ahtisaari had promised a year ago to provide a paper 
justifying why Kosovo was a unique case but had failed to do 
so.  Titov also raised the prospects for a greater Albania, 
arguing that the Kosovars were keeping quiet now, but would 
push the idea as soon as they achieved independence.  This 
would lead to destabilization in the Balkans and was of 
concern to Kosovo's neighbors as well as Russia. 
 
12.  (C)  A/S Fried reiterated that Kosovo would not form a 
precedent for resolving other disputes because of the unique 
character of the situation there.  He underlined that the 
U.S. had made clear to Albania that its relations with the 
U.S. depended on Albania reining in irredentist tendencies. 
Tirana had not exhibited any.  Fried acknowledged that any 
solution would put pressure on Kosovo's neighbors and that 
the CG needed to work closely with them to alleviate any 
negative fallout.  He appealed for Russia not to block a 
solution that Moscow should recognize is the best that can be 
achieved.  Choosing the imperfect was better than the chaos 
that would likely descend on Kosovo and the Balkans if the 
status process was not concluded expeditiously. 
 
13.  (C)  This message has been cleared by A/S Fried. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: