07MOSCOW2985, USE OF RUSSIAN HELOS IN DARFUR RAISED WITH MFA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW2985 2007-06-20 11:57 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2985 1711157
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 201157Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1423
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0008

S E C R E T MOSCOW 002985 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2017 
TAGS: MARR ETTC PREL PARM RS SU
SUBJECT: USE OF RUSSIAN HELOS IN DARFUR RAISED WITH MFA 
 
REF: A. STATE 80838 
     B. MOSCOW 1026 
     C. STATE 26466 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel A. Russell. Reasons 1.4 ( 
B/D). 
 
1.  (S)  SUMMARY:  The DCM and other Embassy officers have 
raised new evidence of the reported use of Russian 
helicopters in Darfur with mutliple MFA officials June 13-19. 
 MFA officials questioned the veracity of our information, 
but they agreed to look into US concerns, including end-use 
checks on military equipment previously transferred to Sudan. 
 The MFA acknowledged our previous demarches on Russian 
helicopter use in Darfur but did not yet have an official 
response to share with us.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (S) In a June 13 meeting with MFA North America 
Department Director Igor Neverov, the DCM raised Ref A 
concerns over the transfer of Russian military equipment to 
Sudan and new evidence of the use by Sudanese authorities of 
both the Mi-171sh HIP and Mi-24 attack helicopters in Darfur. 
 Noting the African Union report of the shooting down of a 
Mi-24 helicopter near Um Rai, the DCM stressed mounting 
evidence that Sudan was not adhering to Russian end-use 
restrictions.  Neverov recognized the seriousness of the 
issue given UNSC sanctions, but agreed to look into US 
concerns. 
 
3.  (S)  On June 15, MFA Deputy Director of the Middle East 
and North Africa Department Ambassador Aleksander Shein 
questioned the sourcing of our information, reiterated that 
strict restrictions had been negotiated with the Sudanese 
over the use of Russian military equipment, and maintained 
that Russia investigated all claims of sanctions violations 
that are brought before the 1591 Experts Committee.  Shein 
noted that previous reports of Russian-made Kalashnikovs 
being used in Darfur (both by the Government of Sudan and 
Janjaweid forces) had proved false, since the markings did 
not match Russian production lines.  Russia would not close 
its eyes to abuses, Shein maintained, but conceded that the 
GOR does not physically check on the status of its equipment 
in Sudan, but waits for information to be raised first in the 
UN sanctions committee.  Claiming not to be aware of the 
reported shooting down of an Mi-24 in Um Rai, Shein 
questioned where were the civilian casualties that would 
correspond with the use of these attack helicopters. 
However, Shein undertook to follow-up. 
 
4.  (S) Sergey Petlyakov, Director of the Arms Technology and 
Transfer Policy Office in the MFA's Department for 
Disarmament and Security Affairs, insisted June 19 that 
Moscow had complied with all UNSC resolutions with respect to 
arms transfers to Sudan.  Russia relied both on Sudanese 
government guarantees, as well as end-use checks, to ensure 
that lethal military equipment (LME) would not be used in 
sensitive areas like Darfur.  He questioned the veracity of 
the US information and asked whether we could confirm that 
Russia had supplied the Mi-24 helicopter reportedly downed in 
late April, noting that Sudan had acquired a variety of 
weapons systems, some unlicensed copies, from a number of 
countries.  The Foreign Ministry had no information 
suggesting that any Russian-supplied helicopter had been lost 
in Darfur.  Drawing from Ref A points, we asked Petlyakov to 
follow up on promised end-use checks of previously 
transferred LME, as well as to cease future LME transfers. 
 
5.  (S) Petlyakov replied that the Foreign Ministry had 
raised our previous concerns (Refs B and C) about Mi-171 
helicopters within the Russian interagency community, 
including seeking verification that end-use checks would be 
undertaken; however, the Ministry had not yet received a 
response.  He said he would circulate our current concerns 
about the reported use of an Mi-171sh helicopter in Darfur in 
April and follow up on reports that the Mi-24 downed was of 
Russian origin.  Petlyakov made no commitment that Russia 
would cease further LME transfers to Sudan. 
BURNS

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