07MOSCOW2086, ESTONIA: DEMONSTRATORS SHIFT FOCUS TO EC AS OIL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW2086 2007-05-07 11:54 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7419
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2086/01 1271154
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 071154Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9969
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002086 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/07/2017 
TAGS: PREL ETRD ENRG EN RS
SUBJECT: ESTONIA: DEMONSTRATORS SHIFT FOCUS TO EC AS OIL 
CONTINUES TO FLOW 
 
REF: A. TALLINN 297 
     B. MOSCOW 01998 
     C. MOSCOW 02017 
     D. MOSCOW 02056 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons: 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  The Estonian Embassy was quiet over the 
weekend, and Embassy officials expect their Ambassador to 
return to Moscow in two weeks.  At the 90-minute May 4 
demonstration at the European Commission offices, militia 
outnumbered protesters.  Russian Railways has capped 
shipments of oil products for some Russian shippers but the 
volumes look to be enough to satisfy Estonian domestic 
demands and work arounds are available.  Press reports 
indicate that May's Russian coal shipments to Estonia are in 
jeopardy, but Russian Railways denies that coal shipments 
have stopped.  Almost all of these Russian imports are 
destined for re-export from Estonia.  The Kremlin is working 
on a new initiative to spend USD $1 million annually for 
protection of Russian military burial sites in Central and 
Eastern Europe.  End Summary. 
 
"NICE" TO BE CALLED A FASCIST 
----------------------------- 
 
2. (C) The Estonian Embassy was quiet over the weekend. 
Estonian Press Attache Franek Persidski told us May 7 that 
the consular section was open for business and no 
demonstrators had visited the Embassy since early Friday 
morning.  Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurand, who left for 
Tallinn for "vacation" May 3, as part of a quiet face-saving 
deal to end the protests, was expected to return to Moscow in 
two weeks, Persidski said.  He added that Russian authorities 
had informed the Embassy that Vladimir Zhirinovskiy's Liberal 
Democratic Party planned to picket the Embassy on May 9 -- 
Russia's World War II Victory Day holiday.  The demonstration 
is expected to last two hours and Estonian Embassy officials 
are not expecting it to be as large or as confrontational as 
last week's protests.  "I'm sure they will call us fascists," 
Persidski said.  "For us here in Moscow, it is a good day 
when all they do is call you a fascist." 
 
MORE COPS THAN DEMONSTRATORS 
---------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Pro-Kremlin youth groups shifted their focus May 4 
from the Estonian Embassy to the offices of the European 
Commission in Moscow, protesting the apparent detention of 
ethnic-Russian high school student Mark Siryk by Estonian 
officials following last week's riots in Tallinn.  The 
demonstration, organized by the youth group Nashi (Ours), was 
not as aggressive as last week's demonstration outside the 
Estonian Embassy, EC press spokesman Sean Carroll told us. 
The demonstration, which included a smattering of 
demonstrators from other pro-Kremlin youth groups and high 
school-aged children, totaled about 400 participants. 
Carroll estimated that there were about 500 militia on hand, 
noting that authorities kept the demonstrators at a distance. 
 Organizers erected a sound stage and blared insults about 
"Fascist Estonia," but the demonstration lasted only about 90 
minutes. 
 
KREMLIN INITIATIVE 
------------------ 
 
4. (C) In a move last week, apparently linked to the Bronze 
Statue controversy, the Ministry of Defense's Military 
Memorial Center of the Russian Armed Forces announced that 
the Kremlin had drafted a decree specifying that USD $1 
million should be spent annually for protection of Russian 
military burial sites in Central and Eastern Europe. 
General-Major Aleksandr Kirilin, chief of the Memorial 
Center, said much of the money would be allocated to protect 
burial sites in Germany, but some would be spent for sites in 
what he called "problem countries," such as Poland, Hungary 
and the Baltic States, according to Kommersant.  Kirilin did 
not specify how exactly the sites would receive additional 
protection. 
 
OIL PRODUCTS REDUCED BUT FLOWING 
-------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) According to a contact at TNK-BP, Russian Railways 
(RZD) has capped -- but not halted -- oil product exports to 
Estonia for most Russian shippers.  RZD's press secretary 
Elena Fedorovna told us May 7 that her company introduced a 
new schedule for a "yearly renovation program" that will run 
from May to September.  She said that during this time some 
deliveries may need to use alternate routes but that there 
would be no shut-down of service.  TNK-BP's export cap is set 
 
MOSCOW 00002086  002 OF 002 
 
 
at about 42,000 tons/month.  Surgutneftegaz is the only major 
shipper without a cap, sending 80,000 tons/month from its 
Kirishi refinery.  These figures suggest that Estonia is 
receiving enough to meet domestic needs with some left over 
for re-export.  Further, Russian shippers continue to 
re-route volumes that would otherwise transit Estonia, 
continuing to meet their downstream European commitments. 
However, TNK-BP said that they are losing money as a result 
of RZD's action.  TNK-BP expects that the situation will 
"return to normal
in one week." 
 
COAL CUT-OFF 
------------ 
 
6. (C) According to press reports, Russian coal exports to 
Estonia have ground to a halt as a result of RZD's 
requirement that exporters use their own -- rather than RZD's 
-- rail wagons.  One exporter said that May's scheduled 
exports of 900,000 tons are at risk.  Estonia uses little, if 
any, Russian imported coal domestically.  However, RZD's 
Fedorovna said that her company did not tell coal shippers to 
use their own wagons and that coal continues to be shipped to 
Estonia.  An analyst at a Moscow investment house said that 
coal exports are extremely sensitive to pricing, so, if 
shipments have stopped, re-routing coal exports may not be an 
option.  Instead, he said that the coal may not be exported 
but could be used to, for example, accelerate the re-stocking 
of coal reserves at Russian coal-fired power plants. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7. (C) The May 9 Victory Day celebration may keep 
temperatures elevated, but the GOR appears to have signaled 
an end to the anti-Estonian Embassy campaign.  The effect on 
bilateral relations, however, will continue to play out and 
we will track closely whether this issue will play into 
future GOR-GOE-EU energy relations. 
BURNS

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