07MOSCOW4309, LATVIAN BORDER TREATY: DUMA RATIFICATION IN EARLY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4309 2007-08-31 15:05 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5756
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #4309 2431505
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311505Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3487
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004309 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/31/2017 
TAGS: PREL PBTS PGOV LG RS
SUBJECT: LATVIAN BORDER TREATY: DUMA RATIFICATION IN EARLY 
SEPTEMBER AND BEYOND 
 
REF: RIGA 647 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  The State Duma will likely ratify the 
border treaty with Latvia, but the MFA and the Latvian 
Embassy raised concerns about the treaty's passage in the 
Federation Council, where political grandstanding in an 
election year could possibly result in further delay.  FM 
Lavrov postponed his September 17 trip to Riga, preferring to 
wait until the border treaty passes through both legislative 
houses.  End Summary. 
 
Border Treaty Faces uphill Battle in Federation Council 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
2.  (C) The GOR's ratification process requires approval by 
both lower and upper houses and a final presidential decree 
before the treaty can be implemented.  The State Duma is 
scheduled to consider the border treaty with Latvia during 
its September 5 plenary session.  MFA Second European 
Department Deputy Director Sergey Puchkov told us August 31 
that the GOR expects the State Duma to approve it without 
much difficulty, but he was less certain about the Federation 
Council's vote on September 19.  According to Latvian Embassy 
DCM Janis Zlamets, the United Russia party in the State Duma 
will push the ratification forward, but the Just Russia 
party, whose Party Chairman Sergey Mironov heads the 
Federation Council, may block it.  He commented that Just 
Russia leader Mironov is unenthusiastic about the border 
treaty with Latvia and in an election year may choose to 
curry favor with nationalist voters by throwing an additional 
roadblock in the path of ratification.  If Just Russia 
blocked the vote on September 19, the Federation Council's 
next opportunity to consider the treaty will be during its 
October 17 session. 
 
Lavrov Visit Tied to Ratification of Border Treaty 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
3.  (C) Both GOR officials and the Latvian Embassy underlined 
that FM Lavrov's September 17 visit to Latvia has been 
postponed, not canceled.  MFA Latvia Desk officer Ekaterina 
Fyodorova affirmed that the Latvian border treaty is an 
important bilateral event to which Lavrov's visit would be 
timed.  Admitting that the new dates hinge upon the 
Federation Council's decision, GOR officials hope that the 
visit will take place in October. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
4.  (C) The characteristic volatility in Russian-Baltic 
relations may be fueled by other minor irritants.  The 
dispute over the "Russian March" organized by the 
ultra-nationalistic Russian minority in Latvia and scheduled 
for September 8 in Riga could affect the Federation Council's 
vote if it develops into a Tallin-like demonstration. 
Likewise, a new case before the European Court of Human 
Rights regarding an ethnic Russian's name spelling -- an 
effort to have a latvianizing "s" removed from his "Russian" 
name -- is another example of the emotionally charged 
Russia-Baltic field. 
Burns

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