07MOSCOW3542, IGOR IVANOV OUT AT SECURITY COUNCIL; VALENTIN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3542 2007-07-19 14:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7218
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3542 2001400
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191400Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2217
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003542 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR RS
SUBJECT: IGOR IVANOV OUT AT SECURITY COUNCIL; VALENTIN 
SOBOLEV A PLACEHOLDER? 
 
REF: MOSCOW 3400 (NOTAL) 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons:  1.4(B/D). 
 
1.  (C)  On July 18, President Putin accepted Security 
Council Secretary Igor Ivanov's resignation, which had been 
pending for several weeks (reftel).  Ivanov first offered to 
resign in February, prompted largely by differences over 
Russia's relations with the West and concerns about the role 
of succession politics in Russia's foreign policy.  The 
Kremlin announced that Deputy Valentin Sobolev would serve as 
Acting Secretary.  Ivanov plans to teach at the Moscow 
Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and write books. 
 
2.  (SBU)  Sobolev is a bureaucratic veteran with a 
background in the security organs who has served under Putin 
in several guises.  Public sources indicate he joined the KGB 
in 1972 and climbed his way up to become Deputy Director of 
the successor Federal Security Service (FSB) in the 
mid-nineties.  When Putin was FSB Director, Sobolev served as 
his First Deputy Director for about eight months in 1998-99. 
During a Yeltsin-inspired shakeup in spring of 1999, he moved 
 over to the Security Council when Putin was appointed 
Council Secretary.  While at the Council, he has kept a 
relatively low profile, and was the sole survivor of Igor 
Ivanov's 2004 housecleaning. 
 
3.  (C)  Comment:  As Acting Secretary, Sobolev will be 
responsible for coordinating Russian security policies, but 
we do not see him as a policy maker or view him as a 
contender for higher office.  He strikes us as a loyal 
placeholder who enjoys Putin's confidence, but will not be as 
visible or active as Igor Ivanov.  While speculation is rife, 
it is not clear when a permanent replacement will be named as 
Secretary or whether that move would be part of a broader 
 
SIPDIS 
government reshuffle. 
BURNS

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