07MOSCOW2434, LATVIAN BORDER TREATY: DUMA RATIFICATION SLOW BUT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW2434 2007-05-24 13:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5591
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2434 1441304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241304Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0570
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 002434 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PBTS PGOV LG RS
SUBJECT: LATVIAN BORDER TREATY:  DUMA RATIFICATION SLOW BUT 
COMING 
 
REF: MOSCOW 1314 
 
1.  (SBU)  The GOR has begun the process of ratifying the 
border treaty with Latvia, which was signed March 27 by the 
two countries' prime ministers and ratified May 17 by the 
Latvian Parliament.  We understand from the MFA that although 
there are a number of required bureaucratic steps that will 
slow ratification, the GOR is committed to moving forward, 
with likely completion somewhere between late June and early 
fall. 
 
2.  (SBU) Andrey Skachkov, Head of the MFA's Latvia Desk, 
underlined that the complexity of the GOR ratification 
process is the only culprit behind the delay.  While the 
treaty was reviewed in the interagency before signature, the 
treaty needs to be reviewed again by involved agencies, 
including the Finance Ministry, before transmittal by 
President Putin to the State Duma with a presidential 
directive.  After Duma approval, the treaty will move to the 
Federation Council, which, after its approval, will send the 
treaty back to the President, who will issue a final 
implementing decree.  According to Skachkov, the procedure is 
purely bureaucratic and he expects no political problems. 
Beyond a few grumbles among Duma members, neither a 
long-standing bilateral irritant -- Latvia's treatment of the 
Russian minority -- nor the recent Estonian turmoil is 
expected to affect the ratification process. 
 
3.  (SBU) Skachkov offered late June as an optimistic 
assessment and early fall as a more realistic prediction for 
ratification.  He assured us that the Russian leadership 
appreciated the prompt Latvian ratification and that the GOR 
was poised to move the process forward. 
 
4.  (SBU) Janis Zlamets of the Latvian Embassy told us that 
President Vike-Freiberga will promulgate the ratified treaty 
on Monday May 28.  With the already-agreed border currently 
functioning well, Zlamets did not expect any major problem 
with Russian ratification.  One "minor" wrinkle: the issue of 
the Russian minority in Latvia will surely appear in Duma 
discussions while many Duma members, not making distinctions 
among the three Baltic countries, will apply their 
displeasure with Estonia to Latvia.  Zlamets noted that the 
GOR's rhetoric vis-a-vis Latvia has softened over time and 
the earlier tough line had faded. 
BURNS

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