07MOSCOW871, MOSCOW MAYOR IN SEVASTOPOL: MFA DISTANCES ITSELF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW871 2007-03-01 13:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1722
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0871 0601350
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 011350Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7834
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000871 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV UP RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW MAYOR IN SEVASTOPOL:  MFA DISTANCES ITSELF 
FROM LUZHKOV'S RANT 
 
Classified By: Pol/Min Alice G. Wells.  Reasons 1,4 (B/D) 
 
1.  (C) Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov's February 21 rant in 
Sevastopol about Russian interests in Crimea merited modest 
coverage on the major evening television news programs, but 
did not have much resonance in GOR official circles.  The GOR 
continues to emphasize the "new maturity" in 
Russian-Ukrainian relations, issuing a February 14 statement 
on the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic 
relations that emphasized the sovereign equality of Russia 
and Ukraine.  The MFA noted that "considerable difficulties" 
had been overcome and a constructive dialogue had been 
established.  In a similar vein, on February 19, the MFA 
posted a lengthy interview with the GOR's Special Envoy on 
the Black Sea Fleet (BSF), Dorokhin, which also stressed the 
new and stable footing of GOR-Ukrainian relations and 
highlighted the work of a bilateral commission that is 
examining all issues related to Sevastopol. 
 
2.  (C) On February 28, Victor Sorokin, Director, MFA Second 
CIS Department (Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova) dismissed 
Luzhkov's remarks as emotional and characteristic of a 
politician who always has the public in mind when he speaks. 
Sorokin underlined to us that the bilateral relationship is 
developing along a well-worked out path and that Russia 
stands by the principle that Crimea belongs to Ukraine. 
According to Sorokin, what Luzhkov said should not throw any 
doubt on the bilateral relationship.  Sorokin said that the 
February 27 BSF Subcommission talks co-chaired by DFM Karasin 
and acting Ukrainian FM Ohryzko went well, as expected. 
 
3.  (C) Myraslava Shcherbartyuk, Counselor at the Ukrainian 
Embassy, characterized Luzhkov's remarks to us as 
"irresponsible" and not in line with the agreed framework of 
the bilateral relationship.  She indicated that the full 
effect of his speeches would play out longer in Kyiv than in 
Moscow. 
 
4.  (C) Comment.  Luzhkov, serving in his last year after 
fifteen years in office, enjoys free rein in Moscow.  His 
unapologetic nationalistic speeches have become a staple 
feature of the capital's political life.  While his views no 
doubt reflect the feelings of a segment of the Russian 
public, they are not consistent with Moscow's official line 
that after a period of disruption, ties with Ukraine are back 
on track and Crimea's status in not on the agenda. 
BURNS

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