07MOSCOW3338, POSITIVE REACTION TO “LOBSTER SUMMIT”

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3338 2007-07-09 11:35 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6610
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #3338/01 1901135
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 091135Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1914
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003338 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS MNUC RS
SUBJECT: POSITIVE REACTION TO "LOBSTER SUMMIT" 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons:  1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary. While extensive media coverage of the 
so-called "Lobster Summit" quickly gave way to euphoria over 
Russia's winning the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics 
in Sochi, Moscow experts agreed that Putin demonstrated in 
Kennebunkport a desire to tone down the rhetoric and find 
ways to cooperate.  Most attention focused on Putin's missile 
defense proposals and First Deputy PM Sergey Ivanov's 
subsequent threat to place new missiles in Kaliningrad if the 
GOR proposals were not accepted.  Experts we talked to viewed 
Putin's missile defense initiative as serious and popular 
domestically, but contingent upon Washington at the very 
least slowing down negotiations with Poland and the Czech 
Republic.  The fact that Kosovo did not feature prominently 
in the presidents' exchange has been pocketed as a Russian 
success in kicking the Ahtisaari plan further down the road. 
End Summary. 
. 
GOOD VIBRATIONS 
--------------- 
 
2.  (SBU)  Public reaction to the Summit was generally 
positive, with most Russian media highlighting the 
constructive atmosphere surrounding the meetings and 
stressing that Putin was received with extraordinary 
hospitality at the Bush family residence.  Putin was 
portrayed as open to discussions on difficult issues like 
missile defense.  Pre-meeting coverage had pitched the get 
together as a primarily an attempt to restore a level of 
civility to bilateral ties, so there were few expectations 
here that agreements would be reached on contentious issues. 
Kommersant was typical in observing that the presidents did 
not come to "any real agreement" on any pressing issue but 
had demonstrated that the relationship "had not deteriorated 
to the level of a new Cold War." 
. 
GOR OFFICIALS ON MISSILE DEFENSE 
-------------------------------- 
 
3.  (SBU)  Publicly, GOR opinion makers concentrated on 
Putin's new offers on missile defense cooperation.  First 
Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov received extensive 
coverage by stressing that U.S. acceptance of Russia's MD 
proposals would create a true "strategic partnership" between 
the U.S. and Russia.  At the same time he cautioned that 
failure to reach agreement would lead Russia to "take 
adequate measures to ensure security" that involve an 
"asymmetrical and effective answer" involving in part the 
placement of missiles in Kaliningrad.  Duma Foreign Affairs 
Committee Chair Konstantin Kosachev also flagged Putin's MD 
offer, characterizing the proposal as a "historic chance" 
that could lead to a breakthrough in U.S.-Russian relations. 
He was seconded by Federation Council International Affairs 
Committee Chair Mikhail Margelov, who said that Russia was 
demonstrating its readiness for a strategic partnership and 
that the MD offer was a "moment of truth" for bilateral ties. 
. 
EXPERTS ON MEETING RESULTS 
-------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Our defense contacts characterized Putin's expanded 
offer to cooperate on missile defense as sincere, and not 
merely tactical.  Editor of "Russia in Global Affairs" Feodor 
Lukyanov urged the U.S. to explore Putin's initiative, and 
argued that the medium-term nature of the Iranian threat 
should allow the U.S. to slow down decision making on the 
Czech and Polish sites.  A "full steam ahead" approach on the 
European sites, he warned, would preemptively end strategic 
discussions with the GOR.  Ivan Safranchuk, Chief Defense 
Analyst at the World Security Institute, agreed that Putin 
aimed to overcome Washington's perceived cool response to the 
Gabala radar station by inviting the EU and NATO to 
participate in his missile defense initiative.  Like 
Lukyanov, Safranchuk stressed that Russia was eager to 
cooperate on MD, but remained adamantly opposed to the sites 
in Poland and the Czech Republic.  Konstantin Eggert, 
Moscow's BBC correspondent, dismissed Sergey Ivanov's 
"threat" to deploy new missiles in Kaliningrad, as rhetoric 
driven by succession politics. At this point, Eggert 
maintained, Moscow was not interested in increasing 
international tensions or jacking up the anti-U.S. 
sloganeering. 
 
5.  (C) Both Eggert and Alexey Malashenko, a scholar at the 
Moscow Carnegie Center, told us that Putin scored points with 
the Russian public by portraying himself as a world leader 
who was trying to bring Europe, Russia and the U.S. under one 
cooperative defense system.  Putin delivered a clear message 
that Russia will cooperate but made clear that the U.S. 
"should leave us alone domestically."  In doing so, Eggert 
maintained that that Putin had gained the upper hand and 
 
MOSCOW 00003338  002 OF 002 
 
 
placed the burden on Washington to prove that the U.S. was 
taking Russia seriously.  Eggert argued that Washington 
needed to provide a thoughtful, considered response in order 
to convince the GOR and Russian public that it was serious 

about credible cooperation with Russia. 
 
6.  (C)  Russian observers told us that the issue of Kosovo 
was striking by its presumed absence from any substantive 
exchange at the summit, with many such as Lukyanov arguing 
that it represented a victory for Russian efforts to kick the 
Ahtisaari plan further down the road.  The GOR, Lukyanov told 
us, remains confident that the European Union is not ready to 
recognize a unilateral declaration by Kosovo of its 
independence.  Having pocketed French President Sarkozy's 
suggestion of a six-month delay (while ignoring his condition 
of "automaticity" of the Ahtisaari plan), the GOR would 
continue to push for a delay beyond Russia's March 2008 
presidential elections. 
BURNS

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