07MOSCOW626, RESPONDING TO RUSSIAN ACTIONS ON SEPARATIST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW626 2007-02-13 13:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6078
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0626 0441347
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131347Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7408
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000626 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2017 
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS MD GG RS
SUBJECT: RESPONDING TO RUSSIAN ACTIONS ON SEPARATIST 
CONFLICTS 
 
REF: STATE 15283 
 
Classified By: PolMilCouns Alice G. Wells.  Reason:  1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C) We approached Russian MFA South Ossetia negotiator 
Popov and, separately, Transnistria negotiator Nesterushkin 
with reftel demarche.  We stressed the change in Russian 
official practice, referring to separatist leaders as if they 
were legitimate, and asked whether Russia is not taking yet 
another step to undermine Moldovan and Georgian territorial 
integrity. 
 
2. (C) Popov replied that there is no change in the Russian 
position, and Russia is careful to refer to the figures as 
presidents or foreign ministers of geographical regions 
without reference to political status ("South Ossetia," 
"Transnistria") rather than as officials of legitimate state 
units (Republic of South Ossetia, Transnistrian Republic," 
etc.)  Nesterushkin gave the same argument, and added that 
the references we cited were press releases, not MFA 
statements. 
 
3. (C) We dismissed these arguments as sophistry and urged 
Popov and Nesterushkin to demonstrate more clearly Russia's 
stated support for territorial integrity.  With Nesterushkin, 
this led to a discussion of what these countries' territory 
is:  he maintained that the separatist entities had seceded 
from the republics before the republics achieved independence 
from the USSR.  Therefore, Moldova, for example, is claiming 
territory that belonged to the Moldovan SSR but was never de 
facto incorporated into the independent Republic of Moldova; 
a similar situation applied to Georgia and Azerbaijan.  We 
replied this was not our understanding of the chronology, and 
ended the discussion by calling on Russia to support the 
territorial integrity within the borders of the former Union 
Republics of the USSR, which had been recognized by the 
international community to avoid just such conflicts. 
BURNS

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