07MOSCOW4232, POLAND, LITHUANIA BREAK CONSENSUS ON EU HEADS OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4232 2007-08-29 09:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #4232/01 2410900
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 290900Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3361
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004232 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/28/2017 
TAGS: PROG PREL EUN RS
SUBJECT: POLAND, LITHUANIA BREAK CONSENSUS ON EU HEADS OF 
MISSION REPORT ON EU-RUSSIAN RELATIONS 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Alice G. Wells 
(1.4 b/d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary: The EU Heads of Mission Report, prepared for 
the informal September 7-8 EU foreign ministers meeting on 
EU-Russia policy, was submitted to Brussels without the 
endorsement of Poland and Lithuania.  In an unexpected move, 
the Polish embassy refused to sign off on the assessment, 
arguing that the report was too soft on Russia, and the 
Lithuanian mission agreed.  EU diplomats conceded that this 
was the first report Moscow EU missions submitted to Brussels 
without a full consensus, but doubted this would 
significantly affect the ministerial talks in Gymnich or the 
EU's policy towards Russia.  The parochial view here is that 
Poland overplayed its hand, but that the HOMs tempest will 
help fuel what is already expected to be an interesting 
debate on EU-Russia relations.  End Summary. 
 
Poland and Lithuania Refuse to Endorse Report 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) In preparation for the September 7-8 informal meeting 
of EU foreign ministers in Gymnich, Brussels instructed EU 
heads of mission (HOMs) in Moscow to prepare a comprehensive 
assessment of EU-Russian relations "from a local 
perspective."  The report was prepared by the Portuguese, the 
Slovenians, and the European Commission, with significant 
input from France, Great Britain, and Germany.  EU diplomats 
involved in the preparation of the report informed us that 
the final draft of the report was "remarkably good" in that 
it addressed the positive and negative trends in Russia's 
domestic and foreign policies.  EU colleagues cited as an 
example that the report included clear language on Russia's 
democratic backsliding, but the report also outlined areas in 
which there was noticeable progress in EU-Russian relations, 
and underscored that Russia remained an important EU 
strategic partner. 
 
3.  (C) After a weekend of last-ditch efforts by the 25 HOMs 
to convince their Polish and Lithuanian counterparts to 
accept the text, and despite compromise language that met 
Lithuania's one stated objection to the report, Portugal 
forwarded the document to Brussels noting that "27 minus 2" 
HOMs supported the assessment.  EU diplomats contrasted this 
failed effort at consensus to the non-controversial 
production of the May 2007 report that preceded the EU-Russia 
Summit in Samara. 
 
Polish and Lithuanian Disagreements 
----------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) EU diplomats told us that the Poles' objection was 
that they found the text "too soft" on Russia and that the 
report did not adequately reflect Polish concerns over 
Russia's embargo of Polish meat.  The Polish embassy asserted 
that the other EU member states were too focused on securing 
a new Peace and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia, 
arguing that EU should wait until Russia "desired a new PCA 
as much as the EU does."  Some EU diplomats agreed that the 
report could have been tougher, but stressed that all member 
states had to make some compromises to achieve consensus. 
Since the Polish embassy did not offer any alternative text, 
EU colleagues said it was difficult to address their 
concerns, and an effort to have Poland insert dissenting text 
was rejected by the Polish Embassy.  Many EU diplomats 
attributed the Polish embassy's position on the report to 
strict instructions from Warsaw. 
 
5.  (C) Lithuania also cited last-minute objections to the 
report, including that the assessment did not address crimes 
against Lithuanian businessmen in Kaliningrad, which was 
subsequently resolved in the final negotiating session.  EU 
diplomats believe Lithuania refused to sign off on the report 
mainly out of solidarity with Poland.  They also noted that 
although Latvia and Estonia maintain strong views on Russia, 
both countries' missions agrued the HOMs report was a 
balanced document.  EU contacts, burned by the HOMs exercise, 
stressed that they tried "to take care of the Baltic states" 
and, in general, prepare a report that was sensitive to the 
concerns of EU member states formerly part of Russia's sphere 
of influence. 
 
Impact on the EU Foreign Ministers Meeting? 
------------------------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Although the August HOM report was the first time EU 
HOMs in Moscow submitted a report without full consensus, 
most EU diplomats told us that the dissent from Poland and 
Lithuania will not have a significant impact on the 
discussions in Gymnich.  EU diplomats noted that Poland's 
efforts to hold the report hostage to the Polish-Russian 
dispute over Polish meat revealed Poland's "unwillingness to 
 
play by EU rules."  Convinced that Poland overplayed its 
hands, most EU contacts predicted that the EU foreign 
ministers will agree that the HOM represents a "balanced 
assessment of the situation on the ground."  At a minimum, 
they note, the report underscores the significant divisions 
over the direction of EU's Russia policy, and the lack of 
consensus on the HOM report will certainly fuel what alread
y 
promises to be an interesting discussion in Gymnich. 
 
Burns

Wikileaks

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