07MOSCOW2649, KOSOVO: MFA ON VETO, AND UN PERMREP CHURKIN’S LEASH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW2649 2007-06-05 11:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5641
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #2649 1561157
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 051157Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0889
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA IMMEDIATE 0165

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002649 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2017 
TAGS: PREL UNSC YI RS
SUBJECT: KOSOVO: MFA ON VETO, AND UN PERMREP CHURKIN'S LEASH 
 
REF: USUN NEW YORK 442 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Daniel Russell: 1.4 (b, d). 
 
 1.  (C)  In a June 5 meeting, prior to his June 6 departure 
for the G8 summit, Russian Special Envoy for Kosovo Aleksandr 
Botsan-Kharchenko warned that the international community was 
"close to gridlock" on Kosovo.  He expressed concern over a 
potential effort to push for a quick vote within the Security 
Council on the Ahtisaari plan, which would further "raise 
tensions."  (More bluntly, according to UK Ambassador 
Brenton, Deputy Foreign Minister Karasin explicitly warned a 
visiting group of UK parliamentarians on June 4 that Russia 
would veto, if its hand was forced.) Botsan-Kharchenko 
reiterated that the GOR was ready to discuss Kosovo at the 
Heilingendamm G-8 Summit, and held out a "small chance" for 
compromise in the Security Council. 
 
2.  (C)  Botsan-Kharchenko raised the exchanges between 
Russian Ambassador to the UN Churkin and USUN Ambassador 
Khalilzad, characterizing the conversations as "interesting," 
but not enough to address Russian concerns.  In response to 
whether Churkin had any room to maneuver, Botsan-Kharchenko 
insisted that "some space" existed for creativity. 
Botsan-Kharchenko noted that Churkin was operating within two 
firm constraints (reftel): 
 
-- First, FM Lavrov remained completely averse to the 
Ahtisaari plan, which extended to "taking note" of the 
document in the resolution text.  Botsan-Kharchenko clarified 
that the GOR was prepared to accept "80 percent" of the 
Ahtisaari plan, including annex elements that strengthened 
the self-administration functions in Kosovo, and that in 
preparation for the G8 he was itemizing all aspects of the 
Ahtisaari plan that the GOR endorsed. 
 
-- Second, the GOR rejected any process that automatically 
led to Kosovo's independence, and insisted upon a second UNSC 
vote.  Botsan-Kharchenko indicated that the negotiating 
period of "no less than one year" was a going in position. 
 
3.  (C)  Pushed to explain why this refashioned formula would 
produce anything other than the current gridlock, 
Botsan-Kharchenko was unpersuasive.  While the GOR would use 
a new negotiating period to encourage the Serbs to reach a 
compromise with the Kosovars, Russia could not guarantee 
Serbian flexibility and would not commit to abstain from a 
follow-on resolution in that circumstance.  Botsan-Kharchenko 
reiterated that the Serbs needed more time and that Belgrade 
would change its approach as Serbia moved closer to EU 
integration.  By adopting significant portions of the 
Ahitsaari plan, Botsan-Kharchenko argued that Belgrade would 
be denied a "victory" and the reality of strengthened Kosovo 
self-governing institutions would instill greater pragmatism 
in the negotiations.  Recognizing that his recap of MFA 
talking points provided little optimism for a breakthrough, 
Botsan-Kharchenko concluded by saying "we have to place our 
hopes on the Churkin-Khalilzad dialogue." 
 
4.  (C)  Comment:  Botsan-Kharchenko's comments confirmed 
that the MFA is not engaged in creative thinking on solutions 
to the Kosovo impasse.  Putin's public pronouncements and 
direct engagement on this issue appear to have left little 
room for maneuver. 
RUSSELL

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