06MOSCOW12757, GORDEYEV ON THE WARPATH, AND THE DUTCH STRIKE BACK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12757 2006-12-01 20:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0015
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2757/01 3352023
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 012023Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5622
INFO RUEHXQ/ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0646
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 1027
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 0037
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0375
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0584
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 4214
RUEHMZ/AMCONSUL MUNICH 0137
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 012757 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
SECSTATE PASS AGRICULTURE ELECTRONICALLY 
USDA FOR OSEC/TERPSTRA, FAS FOR OA/YOST, OCRA/FLEMINGS, 
- PASS ALSO APHIS AND FSIS 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS AND EB/ATP/SINGER 
STATE PASS USTR FOR RICHARD OWEN AND DOROTHY DWOSKIN 
USDOC FOR 4231/IEP/JACK BROUGHER 
NSC FOR TOM GRAHAM AND TRACY MCKIBBEN 
BRUSSELS AND VIENNA PASS APHIS 
POSTS FOR AGRICULTURE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2026 
TAGS: EAGR ETRD PREL WTO RS
SUBJECT: GORDEYEV ON THE WARPATH, AND THE DUTCH STRIKE BACK 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 12696 
     B. MOSCOW 12695 
     C. MOSCOW 12692 
     D. MOSCOW 11513 
     E. MOSCOW 12308 
     F. MOSCOW 9108 
 
Classified By: Allan Mustard, AgMinCouns, for reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C/NF) SUMMARY: According to the Dutch AgCouns in Moscow, 
Dutch veterinary and plant health authorities have run out of 
patience with their Russian counterparts and are proposing 
temporarily to halt plant quarantine certification by Dutch 
authorities of exports of all plant products to Russia. 
While the act will not result in any real reduction in trade, 
it will create some additional headaches for Russian 
inspection services and if actually implemented will be the 
first instance of an EU member state fighting Russian (plant 
quarantine) fire with fire. 
 
2. (SBU/NF) A flurry of additional Russian actions and 
threats over the past two weeks to restrict trade from the 
European Union in fish and meat fits into a pattern of 
EU-bashing. At the same time, the Russian system of 
installing private-sector inspectors in EU member states has 
expanded into Germany as well as Latin America. END SUMMARY. 
 
---------------- 
THE DUTCH THREAT 
---------------- 
 
3. (SBU) Sergey Dankvert, head of Russia's Federal Service 
for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS), 
informed ITAR/TASS news agency November 22 that VPSS was 
surprised Dutch plant protection authorities could not 
guarantee shipments of products of plant origin would be free 
of pests.  The ITAR/TASS piece, which casts aspersions on 
Dutch ability to guarantee disease- and pest-free products, 
was reproduced widely in Russia media (addressees can find a 
translation of Interfax's article in the DNI Open Source 
database, document number CEP20061122950290, Intelink-S URL 
http://opensource.dni.sgov.gov) 
 
4. (C/NF) Dutch Agricultural Counselor Marinus Overheul 
(protect) confided to AgMinCouns that Dutch authorities have 
simply run out of patience trying to satisfy Dankvert and his 
zero-tolerance mentality for bugs that in the Netherlands are 
not considered quarantine pests, specifically, the California 
thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis).  Overheul said 
veterinary and plant protection authorities in the Hague had 
analyzed data on shipments of plant products from the 
Netherlands to Russia, worth USD 250 million annually, and 
concluded that between 2.85 and 3.2 percent had been infested 
with California thrips.  These shipments were held up at the 
border so infested pots or cut flowers could be removed for 
return to the Netherlands or destruction, and each incident 
generated a rude letter from Nepoklonov or Dankvert to their 
Dutch counterparts accusing them of gross violations of 
Russian phytosanitary regulations.  Overheul remarked that 
the correspondence is so heavy the letters now come in 
batches, once a week, to reduce the amount of time spent on 
pickup and delivery.  COMMENT:  We sympathize with Overheul. 
Our own correspondence with VPSS averages a letter a day. 
END COMMENT. 
 
5. (C) Overheul, noting that California thrips is not 
considered a quarantine pest either in the Netherlands or by 
the International Plant Protection Convention, said Dutch 
authorities informed Dankvert that since the insect is 
endemic to the Netherlands a new approach is needed. 
Henceforth, they said, shipments to Russia would only be 
certified if originating from a facility in the Netherlands 
which in turn had been pre-certified as free of thrips.  This 
can only be done by spreading sticky traps around such 
facilities, waiting a few months, then counting how many 
thrips individuals had flown into the traps.  Facilities with 
zero captures will be certified as thrips-free, and only they 
will henceforth be eligible to ship to Russia.  Furthermore, 
transshipments from third countries will no longer be 
inspected at all, but will merely transit the Netherlands 
under the original plant quarantine certificate of the 
country of origin. 
 
6. (C/NF) Overheul said Russian Plant Quarantine Directorate 
Chief Mikhail Maslov pressed the Dutch team for roughly an 
hour for details on how the new approach would work. 
Overheul said it was clear from Maslo
v's line of inquiry he 
was mainly concerned about the immediate and longer-term 
reduction in trade flows subject to pre-inspection by the 
Russian phytosanitary inspectors currently pre-certifying 
shipments to Russia (REF D).  In particular, Maslov was 
troubled by the prospect of Dutch exports of plant products 
being stopped for a period of some months (during which the 
private-sector inspectors holding VPSS warrants would 
generate no cash flow). 
 
7. (C/NF) Overheul said the Dutch phytosanitary service had 
received a green light from exporters to halt trade.  The 
exporters are also out of patience and assured Dutch ministry 
officials that in any case actual trade flows would not be 
reduced but merely rerouted through other EU member states. 
COMMENT: We have heard from Russian traders that when 
Dankvert shuts down one EU member state, plant products are 
quickly rerouted, and that the major impact is a price hike 
of about 20 percent.  END COMMENT. 
 
--------------- 
MORE INSPECTORS 
--------------- 
 
8. (SBU) German AgAtt Judith Kons advised AgMinCouns this 
week that a private Russian plant quarantine inspector, 
apparently bearing a warrant from VPSS, has appeared in 
Munich at the invitation of a German exporter, and is now 
certifying shipments a la the scheme in the Netherlands (REF 
D).  The firm is called Vet Service.  We have heard from 
colleagues in the Colombian and Mexican embassies that 
acceptance of resident Russian inspectors was a precondition 
to their recent opening of trade in beef. Norway has already 
caved in and allowed resident inspectors for its fisheries; 
the inspectors charge USD 60 per metric ton for inspection 
which will generate roughly USD 4 million in cash income for 
VPSS annually. Even the public health service is getting into 
the act: Gennadiy Onishchenko, Chief Medical Officer of 
Russia, announced November 30 that resumption of trade in 
beef and wine from Moldova as agreed between Presidents Putin 
and Voronin would involve, among other things, joint quality 
testing at Moldovan production facilities.  The Moldovan 
embassy told us they have barely gotten the process underway 
and have not yet discussed modalities like resident 
inspectors, but noted the regime will include monitoring of 
the entire winemaking process from on-the-vine grape 
inspection to retail sale, all paid for by the Moldovan side. 
(COMMENT: We suspect that Moldova will be pressured to accept 
resident inspectors.  END COMMENT). 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
9. (C)  In the past few weeks Russia has undertaken a spate 
of actions seemingly calculated to provoke the European Union 
as well as Ukraine and Norway.  We are reporting on some of 
the more significant of them by unclassified septel (REFS 
A-C), including new restrictions on EU-Russian fish trade and 
the threat of a ban on EU-origin meat as of January 1, and 
have previously reported (REFS E-F) on Norway's fish trade 
problems, including imposition of resident inspectors and 
reductions in numbers of market actors.  This week Russian 
Agriculture Minister Aleksey Gordeyev spewed vitriol to the 
mass media in Saratov. "As soon as Russia becomes a WTO 
member, big problems will start in that organization," he was 
quoted.  "We will present a big bill and demands for the same 
level of support of agriculture as currently exists in the 
European Union and Canada, for unscrupulous occupation of our 
market by foreign producers, for forcing (on us) liberal 
theories, as well as for our western colleagues forcing us to 
act supposedly democratically, but in substance against the 
interests of our domestic producers."  This was followed by 
Gordeyev complaining publicly to First Deputy PM Dmitriy 
Medvedev that the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade 
is allowing dumping of pork and poultry meat on the Russian 
market. 
 
10. (C)  Significantly, Gordeyev did not mention the U.S. 
when railing against countries with high levels of domestic 
support for agriculture.  Indeed, the last two weeks have 
been comparatively quiet on the Russo-American agricultural 
trade front, to the extent that we have enjoyed a few days 
requiring no hand deliveries of letters to VPSS.  Overheul 
remarked that he and his EU colleagues in Moscow sense that 
Gordeyev and Dankvert have been told to leave the U.S. alone 
for the time being, and thus they are displacing their wrath 
over successful conclusion of WTO bilaterals onto another 
convenient target (while we feel for our EU colleagues, we 
could frankly use the breather).  There is no question that 
Gordeyev was caught by surprise and enraged that the 
U.S.-Russian WTO bilats concluded successfully.  Our own 
sources, plus those of German AgAtt Kons, have told us 
Gordeyev was crowing up until the veterinary certificates 
were signed that he had succeeded in derailing Russia's WTO 
accession.  This causes us to wonder if Gordeyev and 
Dankvert, having failed to block Russia's WTO accession by 
baiting the U.S., are now turning on the EU in hopes Brussels 
will follow through on its threat to revoke its bilateral 
accession agreement if ongoing meat trade problems are not 
resolved. 
BURNS

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