Monthly Archives: September 2007

07MOSCOW4774, GOR PLAYS DOWN BURMA DEMONSTRATIONS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4774 2007-09-29 03:28 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1690
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDBU RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHMO #4774 2720328
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 290328Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4226
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0359

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004774 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM BM RS
SUBJECT: GOR PLAYS DOWN BURMA DEMONSTRATIONS 
 
REF: MOSCOW 4480 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  The GOR again rejected U.S. calls for a 
strong UNSC response to the Burma crisis, but has urged 
restraint on both the Burmese government and pro-democracy 
demonstrators.  Warning against "counterproductive" 
involvement by external forces, GOR officials emphasized 
publicly and privately that the worsening political situation 
is an internal matter.  The MFA made it clear that Russia's 
main interest remains Burma's political stability and 
potential as an economic partner.  Russia will continue to 
allow the PRC take the lead in blunting international 
pressure against the Burmese regime.  End summary. 
 
"Guilty" Party 
-------------- 
 
2. (C) On September 26, the MFA issued two terse statements 
calling upon the Burmese government and pro-democracy 
demonstrators to "show maximum restraint" and warned against 
"counterproductive" attempts by external forces to influence 
an internal matter.  Head of MFA Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and 
Thailand Division Anatoliy Borovik told us September 27 that 
Burmese Special Representative Woo Taung's September 18 
Moscow visit aimed at discussions on Burma's democratization 
process through its National Convention and had no connection 
to the current situation in Burma. 
 
3. (C) Borovik maintained that the GOR had shown 
evenhandedness by emphasizing peace and stability as a 
priority for the country and "unreliable" press reports could 
not determine who was "guilty" of creating the current 
crisis.  Borovik suspected that the demonstrations were timed 
to coincide with UNGA in order to yield maximum media 
attention, and expressed surprise at the "unlikely" 
participation of Buddhist monks who typically avoid politics. 
 He criticized the demonstrators for threatening Burmese 
"peace and stability," which he suggested are more important 
than democracy.  We underscored that the demonstrators had 
risked their lives for democracy in the face of a Burmese 
regime that had resorted to indiscriminate violence. 
 
Economic Interests First 
------------------------ 
 
4. (C) When we urged the GOR to support a more active UNSC 
role, Borovik reiterated that the current situation does not 
threaten international security (reftel).  Borovik plainly 
stated that the GOR's primary concern was stability, a 
necessary condition in developing Burma's potential as an 
economic partner of Russia.  Borovik, characterizing 
Russia-Burma relations as "cordial," added that Burma is a 
"unique" country where it was best to leave internal problems 
to the current regime. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
5. (C) The GOR will continue to take a "wait and see" 
position, while warning against efforts by external actors 
(read the West) not take advantage of the instability to 
instigate regime change.  It also seems clear that Russia 
will allow China to take the lead in thwarting or minimizing 
international pressure against the Burmese dictatorship, and 
may even view support for China's hardline as a necessary 
quid pro quo for PRC support in opposing Kosovo's 
independence. 
Russell

Wikileaks

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07MOSCOW4772, YABLOKO PARTY LAUNCHES PARTY LIST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4772 2007-09-28 15:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1209
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #4772/01 2711507
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281507Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4223
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 2443
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2726

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004772 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINR SOCI RS
SUBJECT: YABLOKO PARTY LAUNCHES PARTY LIST 
 
MOSCOW 00004772  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (SBU) In conversations since the September 15 - 16 Yabloko 
congress, Yabloko federal list number two Sergey Kovalev, 
party member Andrey Piontkovskiy, and a member of Yabloko's 
Murmansk delegation to the congress described to us a party 
whose continued stress on human rights, as manifested in the 
nomination of Kovalev, was a source of pride.  They 
acknowledged that a source of frustration for many in the 
party was the year-in, year-out inevitability of Party 
Chairman Grigoriy Yavlinskiy, and attributed his continued 
leadership, in part, to the inability of others in the party 
to acquire national name recognition, given the party's 
limited access to the media.  All interlocutors took in 
stride the increased factionalization of the party, 
especially efforts by its "Democratic Platform" to ally 
Yabloko more closely with Other Russia.  In a post-congress 
meeting, Party Chairman Yavlinskiy seemed almost bored with 
politics, but did launch one tirade against alleged Kremlin 
support for Yabloko's historical rival SPS. Yabloko has 
compiled a long, but not strong, list for its run at the 
Duma, and the party appears unlikely to gather even the 
4-plus percent of the votes it won in the last national 
legislative elections.  End summary. 
 
Party List Politics 
------------------- 
 
2. (U) Yabloko's September 15 - 16 congress in Moscow region 
drew 196 delegates from around the country who spent the 
weekend refining the party's national list in advance of the 
December 2 Duma elections.  The delegates reportedly spent 
much of the first day's closed session wrangling over the 
shape of their district map, and ultimately decided to field 
377 candidates in 97 districts. There was reportedly much 
tension on day one between those delegates who worried that a 
small party like Yabloko would have difficulty running bona 
fide campaigns countrywide, and those who lobbied hard to see 
their district remain unmerged with neighboring districts, 
which would ensure a place in the sun for their region's 
politicians. 
 
The Troika 
---------- 
 
3. (SBU) Also controversial was the composition of the 
party's Federal troika.  Although the fate of Chairman 
Grigoriy Yavlinskiy was never in doubt, his management of the 
nomination process raised temperatures among some of the 
delegates.  In the second day of the congress, which was open 
to the press, still unhappy delegates complained that the 
discussion of the troika had begun at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 
when many delegates were too tired to participate 
meaningfully.  A defensive Yavlinskiy countered that, with 
its administrative business behind it, the later hour 
provided the perfect time for a calm discussion of campaign 
strategy and the merits of individual candidates.  Proposals 
that debate of the troika be continued at the September 16, 
open, session were deflected by Yavlinskiy. 
 
4. (SBU) The most controversial choice for the federal troika 
was former human rights figure Sergey Kovalev. Delegates at 
the congress told us that the choice of Kovalev, who some 
voters associate with defense of the behavior of the Chechen 
rebels and insufficient concern for Russians and Russian 
troops while ombudsman, might further diminish Yabloko's 
already very faint chances of winning at least four percent 
of the vote on December 2.  At least two other candidates 
were nominated for the number two slot, Green Party Chairman 
Aleksey Yablokov and Federal Antimonopoly Service Chairman 
Igor Artemev.  Both nominees withdrew their nominations; 
under pressure, one delegate suggested to us, from the 
Yabloko party leadership.  In a post-congress conversation, 
academic and commentator Andrey Piontkovskiy described 
Kovalev's nomination as an important sign to that part of the 
electorate that values "principle over opportunism."  He 
described Yabloko voters as "Russia's future," although he 
acknowledged that the future they were voting for would not 
arrive anytime soon.  (Piontkovskiy was also reportedly 
considered a candidate for the troika, but could not be 
included as he has Georgian, as well as Russian citizenship. 
He took Georgian citizenship in order to show solidarity 
during the expulsions of Georgians from Russia in fall 2006.) 
 
 
Yavlinskiy, Kovalev's 
Critiques 
--------------------- 
 
 
MOSCOW 00004772  002 OF 002 
 
 
5. (SBU) Yavlinskiy's keynote speech rather defensively 
described Yabloko's tendency to focus on Russia's problems as 
a kind of patriotism.  The rest of the speech was devoted to 
enumerating those problems, but offering few remedies for any 
of them.  On Yavlinskiy's list were an excessive dependence 
on gas and oil, lack of protection for private property, the 
desperate need for military reform, improved relations with 
Russia's neighbors, the lack of rule of law and with it a 
lack of constraints on the powers-that-be, the yawning ga
p 
between the rich and the poor, which was producing a "divided 
society."  The key values still to be embraced by Russia, 
Yavlinskiy concluded, were respect for private property, 
support for the efforts of small entrepreneurs, and 
protection for the less fortunate. 
 
6. (SBU) In his turn at bat, human rights crusader and troika 
number two Sergey Kovalev launched a take-no-prisoners attack 
on the Putin government.  (The congress was covered by 
Russian state television, which showed various outtakes on 
the September 16 news.  None of Kovalev's remarks were 
broadcast.)  In a subsequent conversation Kovalev, asked how 
he squared his participation in an electoral process 
administered by a regime he categorically rejected, argued 
uncomfortably that it was important that dissent be 
registered, even if it is filtered through a flawed system. 
 
7. (SBU) A post-congress meeting found Chairman Yavlinskiy 
disinclined to discuss his party's prospects, beyond 
asserting that it was still possible for a rightist, liberal 
party to cross the seven percent threshold to the Duma. 
Yavlinskiy became animated only in describing alleged Kremlin 
support for Yabloko rival SPS.  Yavlinskiy asserted that 
senior GOR officials had confirmed that SPS patron and RAO 
UES Chairman Anatoliy Chubais had received Putin's nod to tap 
 
SIPDIS 
as much as $150 million in the parastatal's funds for his 
party's campaign (an assertion indirectly confirmed by Putin, 
who told Valdai participants that Chubais had money, but 
needed to identify a message that would resonate with voters 
and overcome differences with rivals).  Yavlinskiy also 
dismissed SPS frontman Boris Nemtsov as too dim to realize he 
was a puppet, SPS Deputy Chairman Leonid Gozman as "neocon 
for whom the end justifies the means," and SPS as little more 
than a protection racket for big business. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. No one believes that Yabloko, which won only 4.3 percent 
of the vote in the last Duma contest; was bumped out of the 
March 2007 elections in St. Petersburg, one of its 
strongholds; and averaged about 3.5 percent in the four March 
regional elections where it remained on the ballot, can find 
its way into the Duma this time around. Some believe that the 
party's, and Yavlinskiy's reappearance on national television 
means Kremlin support, which could produce a mathematical 
miracle on election day. Kovalev, Yavlinskiy, and 
Piontkovskiy disagreed, and saw the coverage as gauged to 
create interest in the election among the electorate and 
allow the election managers to argue that they are being 
evenhanded in their treatment of the parties without giving 
Yabloko the coverage it would need to compete with the liked 
of United Russia. The continued, fragmented state of the 
liberal-leaning opposition, and its inability to find a 
message that would resonate with voters also plays a role in 
the diminished prospects of Yabloko, SPS, and the other 
western-leaning parties in Russia. 
 
Russell

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW4770, ODIHR AMBASSADOR STROHAL’S VISIT TO RUSSIA DELAYED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4770 2007-09-28 14:01 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1140
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #4770 2711401
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281401Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4221
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004770 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV OSCE RS
SUBJECT: ODIHR AMBASSADOR STROHAL'S VISIT TO RUSSIA DELAYED 
AGAIN 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Alice G. Wells 
for reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1.  (C) In a September 26 meeting, MFA OSCE Counselor Denis 
Goncher told us that ODIHR Ambassador Christian Strohal's 
visit to Moscow, planned for the first week of October, had 
been delayed due to "scheduling difficulties."  Goncher 
admitted that the MFA had not yet issued Strohal a formal 
letter of invitation, but are still anticipating a visit in 
October.  Regarding the worry that this may affect the 
deployment of long-term observers, Goncher informed us that 
the Central Election Commission (CEC) had already met with 
Head of ODIHR Elections Department Gerald Mitchell to begin 
discussions.  He assured us that Russia would invite 
international observers "according to its international 
obligations," but declined to elaborate. 
 
2.  (C) EU diplomats informed us that fourteen letters have 
been sent requesting talks for Strohal in Moscow, but only 
one has been answered -- and that one "ambiguously."  An 
Austrian diplomat told us that the Russians have talked about 
"conditions" for election observers, but will not specify 
what these might be.  He also said the GOR had blamed delays 
on the need for the CEC to announce election dates and on the 
formation of a new government, but that Russia continues to 
postpone substantive discussion on election observation. 
Despite the lack of cooperation from the GOR EU diplomats 
still have hope that Strohal's visit could take place the 
week of October 8. 
 
3.  (C) Comment: In meetings with CEC's Chairman Churkov, the 
Ambassador has urged the GOR to work with ODIHR and the 
chairman indicated he was amenable.  While the question of 
international observers continues to be exploited by Russian 
politicians (with LDPR leader Zhirinovskiy the latest and 
loudest to proclaim observers a violation of Russia's 
dignity), we believe the GOR will cooperate with ODIHR, but 
only grudgingly and to the minimum extent required by its 
OSCE commitments. 
Russell

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW4768, RUSSIAN STOCK FRAUD INVESTIGATOR KILLED IN MOSCOW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4768 2007-09-28 14:01 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0018
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #4768 2711401
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281401Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4219
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 004768 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS 
TREASURY FOR MEYER, TORGERSON 
NSC FOR MCKIBBEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN ECON RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN STOCK FRAUD INVESTIGATOR KILLED IN MOSCOW 
 
 
----------------------------------- 
TDY Investigator from Dagestan Shot 
----------------------------------- 
 
1.  (SBU) On September 26 around mid-day, Senior Special 
Investigator from the Dagestan Prosecutor General's Office, 
Nazim Kaziakhmedov, was shot in a Moscow restaurant where he 
was having lunch.  According to press accounts, Kaziakhmedov 
had been temporarily assigned to Russia's newly created 
Investigation Committee to lead a stock fraud investigation 
concerning the Finvest Group.  Kaziakhmedov is the second 
Russian official involved in an investigation of Finvest to 
be murdered.  Anatoly Trofimov, the Head of the Moscow 
Directorate of the Federal Security Service, was also killed 
while leading an investigation on Finvest in April 2005. 
 
2.  (SBU) The Finvest Group holds controlling ownership 
interests in several real estate development, construction, 
and transportation firms, according to National Credit Bureau 
data.  The Group's chief shareholders are Vladimir Slutsker 
of the Federation Council representing Chuvashiya and 
Ambartsum Safayan, former director of Rostek, a Russian 
customs brokerage.  In 2005, Slutsker wrote to law 
enforcement authorities that his partner, Safayan, had been 
embezzling money and should be investigated.  Earlier this 
year, the Basmanny Court issued a warrant for Safayan's 
arrest on fraud associated with Finvest and on charges of 
property damage.  Press reports state that Safayan's defense 
attorney has explained that since Safayan was in custody at 
the time of Kaziakhmedov's murder, he could not be a suspect 
in the case. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
3.  (SBU) In an symbolic twist, Kaziakhmedov's murder 
occurred just two weeks after the first anniversary of the 
murder of Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrey Kozlov. 
Kozlov was widely believed to have been targeted for his 
increased influence in shutting down dirty banks and is the 
most prominent official to have been murdered for pursuing 
anti-corruption cases.  End Comment. 
Russell

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW4750, PIONTKOVSKIY EXTREMISM CASE ADJOURNED PENDING NEW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4750 2007-09-27 14:16 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9825
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #4750/01 2701416
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271416Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4200
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004750 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2017 
TAGS: PHUM KDEM PGOV PINR SOCI RS
SUBJECT: PIONTKOVSKIY EXTREMISM CASE ADJOURNED PENDING NEW 
TEXT ANALYSIS 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 4597 
 
     B. MOSCOW 4596 
 
Classified By: Pol M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons:  1.4 (b,d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
 1.  (C) The trial of writer and Yabloko member Andrey 
Piontkovskiy on charges of extremism ended inconclusively at 
Moscow's Basmanniy District Court September 25, when the 
prosecutor was unable to prove that Piontkovskiy's book, 
"Unloved Country," contained passages that violated the law 
on extremism.  Piontkovskiy told us September 26 that the 
judge in the case had requested that the MOJ's Federal Center 
of Forensic Specialists examine his book for evidence that it 
violated the law on extremism and postponed his case until 
that examination is completed. The judge's decision came 
after the prosecutor was unable to cite a single offending 
passage in the book, and Piontkovskiy's lawyer, well-known 
human rights advocate Yuriy Shmidt, had moved that the case 
be dismissed.  The Piontkovskiy case is seen here as the 
first high-profile test of the law on extremism, and the 
challenge it might pose to freedom of expression has caused 
an unlikely alliance of Communist Party Duma deputies, 
nationalists, and Kremlin insiders to indicate their 
willingness to rally to Piontkovskiy's defense.  The 
Ambassador has weighed in on Piontkovskiy's behalf in 
conversations with Human Rights Ombudsman Lukin and MFA DFM 
Yakovenko (reftels).  End summary. 
 
Origins of Case 
--------------- 
 
2.  (C) The case against scholar and publicist Andrey 
Piontkovskiy began April 28 when the Krasnodar Administrative 
District Prosecutors office formally warned the Krasnodar 
branch of Yabloko not to distribute Piontkovskiy's book. 
Yabloko successfully appealed the Prosecutor's decision, but 
in July the prosecutors in the Moscow districts where 
Yabloko's central offices are located and Piontkovskiy lives 
began investigations of their own, which led to the September 
25 trial. 
 
3. (C) The prosecutor's case was based on examinations of the 
text conducted by the Krasnodar Internal Affairs Directorate 
and a professor at the Moscow State District University. 
Both examiners concluded that the book contained speech that 
incited hatred of Americans (in the form of comments about 
President Bush), Russians (President Putin), and Jews (Boris 
Berezovskiy).  Neither study cited offending passages in 
Piontkovskiy's book, which forced the judge on September 25 
to adjourn the case for lack of evidence, and for 
Piontkovskiy lawyer Yuriy Shmidt to move that the case be 
dismissed. 
 
Yabloko Angle 
------------- 
 
4. (C) Piontkovskiy told us that with the court's decision to 
postpone the trial until an additional textual analysis is 
completed, Yabloko would be able to participate in the 
December Duma elections.  (The book was published by Yabloko, 
and the party could have been suspended had it been found 
guilty of distributing extremist literature.)  Piontkovskiy 
worried, however, that the case against him and the party 
could be revived after the elections, when a new textual 
analysis is scheduled to be completed by Ministry of Justice 
Federal Center of Forensics specialists.  Shmidt had proposed 
that professors at either Moscow State University or St. 
Petersburg State conduct the analysis.  The decision to hand 
the analysis to the MOJ, Piontkovskiy thought, could only 
mean another finding that his book had violated the extremism 
law. 
 
Unlikely Allies 
--------------- 
 
5. (C) The charges against Piontkovskiy have been seen here 
as a test case of the law on extremism, and they have rallied 
an unlikely group of allies.  Testifying on Piontkovskiy's 
behalf September 25 was Communist Party Duma Deputy Aleksey 
Kondaurov, who told the judge that a decision to ban 
distribution of the book would violate his right, under the 
European Charter on Human Rights, to uncensored access to 
information.  Piontkovskiy told us that he had received calls 
offering support from at least one other KPRF Duma deputy, as 
well as nationalist television personality and editor of 
Profil magazine Mikhail Leontiev, and the Kremlin-cozy 
Vyacheslav Nikonov.  (Duma Deputy Nikolay Ryzhkov, 
Piontkosvkiy told us, volunteered to testify, then regretted 
 
MOSCOW 00004750  002 OF 002 
 
 
as the trial date neared.) 
 
Ambassador Weighs In 
-------------------- 
 
6. (C) In conversations September 17, the Ambassador voiced 
his serious concern over the application of the extremism 
law, and raised the Piontkovskiy's case in conversations with 
Ombudsman Lukin and DFM Yakovenko.  Lukin believed the case 
would ultimately be resolved in Piontkovskiy's favor. 
Yakovenko appeared to be unfamiliar with the matter. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
7. (C) Piontkovskiy left Moscow September 27 for the U.S.,
 
where he will continue his work at the Hudson Institute.  The 
Basmanniy District Court is well known for its pliability, 
and the decision of the judge to opt for further expertise 
from an MOJ institute, instead of dismissing the case for 
lack of evidence is not an encouraging sign.  It is also 
possible that the case will languish, however, and ultimately 
be forgotten, or overtaken by other experiments with the 
extremism law. 
Russell

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW4730, Party Time: Four Parties Hold Congresses in Moscow

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4730 2007-09-27 03:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9133
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #4730/01 2700328
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270328Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4171
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 2436
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2722
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 4555

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004730 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: Party Time: Four Parties Hold Congresses in Moscow 
 
Ref: Moscow 04599 
 
MOSCOW 00004730  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (SBU) Over the past week, four of the 15 registered political 
parties held their national congresses in Moscow to select their 
candidates for the December Duma elections.  As in any election 
campaign they also attempted to engage an in electoral battle with 
their rivals. As press reports have noted, the two main leftist 
parties -- the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and 
"For a Just Russia" (SR) -- as well as the smaller Union of Rightist 
Forces (SPS) have sought to attract a more diverse electorate by 
promoting candidates beyond the usual older, male party apparatchiks 
that have dominated political life here. The success of any or all 
of these parties in attracting voters beyond their core 
constituencies could change the shape of the future Duma on the 
margins, either by the weaker parties gaining enough support to 
cross the 7 percent threshold to be a part of the legislature or by 
helping to stop the Kremlin-backed United Russia (YR) from gaining a 
majority.  END SUMMARY. 
 
-------- 
The Left 
-------- 
 
2. (SBU) The most contested political space is on the left, where 
the KPRF and SR are positioning themselves to take advantage of a 
perceived leftward shift in public attitudes. Neither party produced 
the media splash that LDPR's selection of Andrey Lugovoy had 
provided a week earlier (REFTEL), but presented well-orchestrated 
and largely predictable political theater to bolster their 
respective constituencies and attract uncommitted converts. 
 
3. (SBU) The KPRF's congress on 23 September demonstrated the 
communists' continuing identity crisis. Is the party to continue as 
the inheritor of the "Party of Lenin" and its role as the advocate 
for those who have been disadvantaged in the new Russia? Or should 
it transform itself into a more modern social democratic party on 
the European model with the hope of attracting a younger, more 
prosperous electorate?  Statements by longstanding chief, Gennadiy 
Zyuganov, hewed closer to the former with calls for nationalizing 
the strategic sectors of the economy, criticisms of continuing 
"counter-revolution," and a call to fight against "bureaucrats, 
oligarchs, and bandits."  As in the past, there were signs of a 
split within the party; Duma deputy Oleg Smolin gave a speech in 
which he "presented for discussion" the idea that party could 
benefit from a shift in the national mood to the left, especially 
among the urban population, intellectuals, and young voters, by 
pursuing classic strategies of the European left (albeit with an eye 
toward the Russian experience). 
 
3. (SBU) The KPRF's cadre policies also demonstrated tension between 
the two approaches. On one hand, the party made much of its 
commitment to youth, placing at least six young activists at the top 
of regional party lists. Moreover, the party committed itself to 
paying special attention to large cities, where the leadership 
believes that it can attract more voters. On the other, the top 
three of the party list -- longstanding party chairman Genndiy 
Zyuganov, Nobel laureate Zhores Alferov, and former presidential 
candidate and "unaffiliated" agrarian Nikolay Kharitonov -- and the 
heads of the other 79 party lists reflected a traditional reliance 
on "seasoned" apparatchiks. The newspaper Gazeta noted that the 
average age of the KPRF congress delegate was 59 years. 
 
4. (SBU) For its part, the Kremlin-authorized "For a Fair Russia" 
party (SR) used its cadre selections at party congress, also on 
September 23, to underscore its commitment to recruiting young, 
intellectual voters.  As expected, the party leader, Sergey Mironov, 
will head the national candidate list, but in a surprise move, the 
party selected the leader of its youth wing, Sergey Shergunov, to 
serve in its troika.  It also selected a former Communist and 
currently serving Duma deputy Svetlana GQyacheva.  In a calculated 
move to raise interest, SR kept observers guessing until the last 
moment about the contents of its list. 
 
5. (SBU) SR continued its efforts to claim the mantel of the left 
form the Communists.  At the conference, it adopted the slogan 
"Socialism Version 3.0".  Along with a younger candidate in the 
national troika, SR hopes to capture young voters who are not 
attracted to the Communists.  The placement of a former communist 
not currently a member of SR in the troika indicates the party will 
fight hard for the left-wing vote. 
 
--------- 
The Right 
--------- 
 
MOSCOW 00004730  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) The parties on the right continued to struggle for 
relevance, in part by using the same strategies of the left in 
promoting female, young, and intellectual candidates. The Union of 
Right Forces (SP
S) held its party conference on September 21 and 
appointed party leader head, Nikita Belykh, to the top spot on its 
national troika.  Boris Nemtsov, a long-time party activist, came 
out of semi-retirement to take the second spot in the list.  In a 
surprise move, also apparently calculated to attract women voters, 
SPS included Marietta Chudakova as its third member.  Chudakova made 
a name for herself as a scholar of Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. 
 
7. (SBU) Perhaps the only surprise from the SPS congress was the 
exclusion of Vladimir Ryzhkov, Duma deputy from Altay Kray, from the 
party lists.  Rumors had suggested that he would be the third member 
of the troika for SPS.  Press speculation suggests that the Kremlin 
objected to his inclusion on SPS's list.  In public statements, 
however, SPS leaders have strongly asserted that they would not and 
did not submit their party lists to the Kremlin for approval. 
 
8. (SBU) The new Kremlin-motivated right-center party, Civic Force 
(GS), held its party conference on September 23.  It selected its 
two main faces, party leader Mikhail Barshchevskiy and his de facto 
lieutenant Aleksandr Ryavkin.  Viktor Pokhmelkin switched his 
allegiance from SR to GS and quickly took the third slot in GS's 
national troika.  Pokhmelkin moved to SR within the past two weeks. 
As a current Duma deputy and leader of a grass-roots drivers' 
political association, he brings experience and greater credibility 
to the GS ticket. 
 
9. (SBU) COMMENT: This season, a number of candidates have switched 
parties in this electoral season.  Aleksey Mitrofanov, previously 
high in LDPR now heads the SR list in Penza.  Numerous other 
examples demonstrate the rather fluid divides between the current 
parties.  Some of the changes appear designed to assure election. 
LDPR's success in December and continued existence have been brought 
into doubt by recent polling data.  Pokhmelkin's dissatisfaction 
with SR made his future with that party questionable. 
 
10. (SBU) Despite the looming shadow of the more powerful and 
wealthy "party of power," United Russia (YR), the competition for 
uncommitted voters who plan to take part in the election will have 
an impact on the margins and could mean the difference between 
survival in the Duma and political extinction. (Polling by the Fund 
for Societal Opinion found that 21% of respondents who planned to 
vote in the Duma elections were undecided in mid-September. Nearly 
half, 48%, of respondents said they supported YR, 9% the KPRF, 7% 
for LDPR, and 6% for SR. On the right, SPS attracted the support of 
only 1% of respondents, GS virtually no support.) While everyone 
expects United Russia to win the most votes, an active battle to 
succeed in Russia's electoral environment appears to have taken 
shape and will have an impact on the margins in the character of the 
next Duma. 
 
RUSSELL

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07MOSCOW4728, MTCR: UAV/CRUISE MISSILE PROPOSAL DELIVERED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4728 2007-09-26 15:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8590
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #4728 2691506
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261506Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4170
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004728 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2017 
TAGS: ETTC KSCA PARM PREL
SUBJECT: MTCR:  UAV/CRUISE MISSILE PROPOSAL DELIVERED 
 
REF: STATE 132312 
 
Classified By: PolOff Bob Patterson.  Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
(C) We delivered reftel demarche on September 26 to MFA DVBR 
Third Secretary Elizaveta Sorokina.  Sorokina had no 
substantive response. 
Russell

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07MOSCOW4727, FM LAVROV UNDERSCORES ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND “NO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4727 2007-09-26 14:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8484
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #4727/01 2691417
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261417Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4168
INFO RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004727 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2017 
TAGS: PREL EINV ETRD XR RS
SUBJECT: FM LAVROV UNDERSCORES ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND "NO 
MORE BACKYARDS" IN LATIN AMERICA 
 
Classified By: Political Officer Bob Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1. (C) Summary. The MFA told us that Lavrov's September 11-13 
trip to Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay focused on strengthening 
economic development of the region and projecting solidarity 
with countries instituting their own models of political and 
economic development.  Lavrov stressed in his public remarks 
that there should be "no more backyards."  The MFA noted that 
"unlike the U.S.," Russia received a formal invitation to 
attend the MERCOSUR summit in Uruguay in December.  With few 
deliverables, Lavrov concentrated on preparing a framework 
for future economic cooperation in the countries these 
countries and the region.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C) FM Lavrov's September 11-13 trip to Peru, Uruguay, 
and Paraguay was Russia's first high-level visit to any of 
these countries since the fall of the Soviet Union.  He used 
the trip as an opportunity to increase bilateral cooperation, 
lobby for more investment and trade, and to soapbox familiar 
policy viewpoints on Kosovo, the UN, and the OSCE.  MFA Latin 
America Regional Affairs Section Head Igor Romanchenko 
accompanied Lavrov and told us in a September 19 meeting that 
the trip was official in nature, and not a working visit. 
The MFA considered the trip "successful and fruitful", noting 
that the GOR had achieved its goal of initiating high-level 
contact with "second-tier" countries and laying the 
foundation for further economic development. 
 
Peru 
----- 
 
3. (C) Romanchenko said Lavrov's September 11 visit to Peru 
followed on the heels of Putin's meeting with President Alan 
Garcia Perez at the APEC summit in Australia, and highlighted 
Russia's renewed economic interest in a country where trade 
has "lagged" compared with the rest of the region.  Peruvian 
political counselor Oscar Paredes Loza told us separately 
that with bilateral trade turnover at only 100 million 
dollars in 2006, both sides took "concrete steps" to improve 
trade.  For example, Russia is opening a commercial section 
at their embassy in Peru, and Peruvian vice-president Luis 
Giampietri Rojas will focus his upcoming visit to Moscow on 
trade and investment.  Although Peru traditionally used 
Russian weapons, Loza told us that arms trade with Russia was 
focused only on repairing existing weapons, not procuring new 
ones. 
 
4.  (C) Loza added that as a member of the UN Security 
Council through the end of 2007, Peru is currently trying to 
"balance" its position on Kosovo between Russia and the 
United States.  While Peru would like to use its time on the 
UNSC to improve relations with Russia, Loza told us they 
would side with the U.S. on many contentious issues for 
"economically pragmatic reasons."  Both Russia and Peru see 
APEC--Peru will host the 2008 summit--as the best 
multilateral forum for improving bilateral relations. 
 
Uruguay and Paraguay 
--------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Lavrov's September 11-13 visit to Uruguay highlighted 
the countries' 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations with 
the first ministerial visit since the fall of the Soviet 
Union.  Romanchenko noted that trade was again the main focus 
of Lavrov's meeting with President Tabare Vazquez, including 
discussion of Russian investment in Venezuelan President 
Chavez's proposed Southern Cone Gas Ring, other "more 
realistic" regional pipeline projects, the electricity 
sector, and commercial fishing.  Lavrov also welcomed 
Uruguay's treatment of its 10,000 plus community of Russian 
immigrants, highlighting the GOR's continuing priority of 
preserving Russian-speaking cultural enclaves abroad. 
 
6.  (C) In his visit to Asuncion on September 13, Lavrov 
marked the 15th anniversary of the resumption of relations 
and discussed the opening of a Russian embassy there by the 
end of this year.  Romanchenko said Lavrov explored 
investment opportunities in oil and gas, electricity, and 
infrastructure. 
 
Russia Seeks to Expand Influence in Latin America 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
7.  (C) Romanchenko told us that Russia already enjoys 
"well-established relationships" with regional powers Brazil, 
Venezuela, and Mexico.  (Note: Russian trade with all three 
countries totaled $4.25 billion in 2006, excluding arms 
sales. End Note.)  Senior GOR officials, including Putin, 
regularly travel to the region to meet with the more 
prominent leaders, but Lavrov's trip signaled Russia's 
intention to strengthen ties with less developed countries. 
 
MOSCOW 00004727  002 OF 002 
 
 
Russia aims to deepen economic cooperation with these and 
other countries in the region.  However, Romanchenko admitted 
that the GOR has yet to convince a significant number of 
Russian businesses to pay more attention to Latin American 
markets. 
 
8.  (C) Romanchenko also underscored Russia's strong support &#x000
A;of the developing "political trends" in Latin America.  He 
said Russia's calls for a multipolar world "dovetail 
perfectly" with Latin American countries' interest in 
"diversifying" their external relations.  He argued that 
Latin America is "correctly" cultivating its own development 
model and is moving towards greater integration in various 
regional organizations.  Romanchenko referred to Lavrov's 
September 12 speech in Uruguay that emphasized Russia's 
active support of a "diversity of forms" of democracy and 
market economy and the "real emancipation of sovereign 
states" from the shackles of "backyards" or "spheres of 
influence." (Note: Lavrov ironically noted that a "similar" 
process was unfolding in the CIS. End Note.) 
 
9.  (C) Director of the Latin America Institute Vladimir 
Davidov shared with us his assessment that the GOR is 
expanding its ties with Latin America mainly to demonstrate 
its ability to project power worldwide.  Davidov contends 
that although Russia's economic interest in Latin America is 
primarily a pretext for its increased activities, the GOR 
does not disparage the chance to create new investment 
opportunities and markets for Russian companies.  Leaders in 
these countries have signaled a political openness to 
strengthen relations with Russia, making this an opportune 
time for Russia to intensify contact. 
 
MERCOSUR 
--------- 
 
10.  (C) Romanchenko noted that, "unlike the U.S.," Russia 
received an invitation to attend the December MERCOSUR 
meeting in Uruguay, its second invitation in three years.  He 
added that Russia is interested in establishing a "memorandum 
of political dialogue" to formalize Russian relations with 
the group, pointing out that Russia will hold a meeting of 
MERCOSUR political directors in Moscow prior to the December 
meeting.  Both sides are also interested in an economic 
agreement that would elevate trade and investment, but 
Davidov cautioned that this still needed more work.  Davidov 
commented that the idea of a free trade agreement between 
Russia and MERCOSUR was not realistic in the short term. 
 
Comment 
-------- 
 
11.  (C) Lavrov's recent trip to Latin America indicates a 
genuine interest in new, if small and distant, economic 
markets for Russian investors.  However, Latin America will 
not be a major foreign policy focus for Russia anytime soon. 
For now, Russia seems content to expand gradually economic 
ties and, not exerting too much effort, lend moral and 
political support to anti-Western tendencies in the region. 
Russell

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07MOSCOW4725, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: RUSSIA SEES INCREASED U.S.

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4725 2007-09-26 14:03 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8409
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #4725 2691403
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261403Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4167
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 004725 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PARM PBTS PHSA SENC ECON EWWT BU
AJ, GG, MD, GR, UP, TU, RO, RS 
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: RUSSIA SEES INCREASED U.S. 
ROLE AS "GOOD OPPORTUNITY" IN BLACK SEA REGION 
 
REF: SECSTATE 132171 
 
1.  (SBU) We delivered reftel demarche to Black Sea Economic 
Cooperation Division Second Secretary Aleksandar Fedorinov on 
September 26.  He told us that Russia sees the Black Sea 
Economic Forum as the best way to increase multilateral 
cooperation in the region, noting that some of its working 
groups deal directly with the strategic interests mentioned 
in reftel.  The ring highway of the region, Fedorinov noted 
as an example, was a GOR initiative during their 2006 
presidency and will help with the physical transport of goods 
and people.  The GOR sees economic cooperation as the best 
way to promote security, democracy, and human rights in the 
region, and Fedorinov told us that the U.S.'s increased 
participation is "a good opportunity" for practical results. 
 
2.  (SBU) Fedorinov told us the GOR sees the completion of 
the Black Sea Energy Ring as the best way to ensure increased 
energy security in the region.  He said that coordination of 
the three different energy networks used in the region could 
be completed late this year.  While regional multilateral 
organizations are not now playing a major role in pipeline 
development, Fedorinov told us their role may increase in the 
future. 
Russell

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07MOSCOW4723, READOUT OF ZEBARI VISIT: STRONGER ECONOMIC TIES,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4723 2007-09-26 13:32 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8279
OO RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMO #4723/01 2691332
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 261332Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4163
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004723 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON RS IQ
SUBJECT: READOUT OF ZEBARI VISIT: STRONGER ECONOMIC TIES, 
DEBT RELIEF ON THE HORIZON 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 4490 
     B. MOSCOW 4305 
 
Classified By: CDA Daniel A. Russell for reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  MFA Middle East and North Africa Department 
Deputy Director Aleksandr Kinshchak characterized Iraqi 
Foreign Minister Zebari's September 18-21 visit to Moscow as 
"successful."  Kinshchak, who took part in the meetings, told 
us that Zebari gave Foreign Minister Lavrov a positive but 
realistic assessment of the political situation in Iraq, 
suggested that Coalition efforts in the Anbar Province could 
be used as a "model" for other Sunni strongholds, discussed 
the likelihood of "one last extension" of the UNSC mandate 
for the MNF, and promoted Iraq's proposal to create a 
permanent secretariat to coordinate international efforts. 
Kinshchak said Russia was "very pleased" that Zebari agreed 
to convene a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission 
before the end of the year and to sign an MOU on trade and 
economic cooperation.  Zebari got the message that the 
signing of the MOU would go hand in hand with the signing of 
the agreement on debt relief to Iraq.  End summary. 
 
Zebari Says Political Situation "Slowly Improving" 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
2. (C) MFA Middle East and North Africa Department Deputy 
Director Aleksandr Kinshchak told us on September 25 that 
Iraqi FM Zebari held "successful and productive" meetings 
with FM Lavrov and Industry and Energy Minister Khristenko on 
September 21 (ref A).  Kinshchak, who sat in the meetings 
with Lavrov and Khristenko, said that Zebari was cautiously 
optimistic about the general trends in Iraq, noting that the 
political situation was "slowly improving." Zebari pointed to 
the situation in Anbar Province, where Coalition Forces and 
the Iraqi Government are successfully working with local 
Sunnis to limit sectarian violence, as a possible "model" 
that could be replicated in Mosul, Tikrit and other cities 
where there is a significant Sunni population.  Zebari noted, 
however, that the fundamental problem with this model is that 
by supplying Sunni sheiks with arms, Shiites are increasingly 
worried that the Coalition may be "switching sides."  When 
asked to what extent al-Maliki was concerned about the rift 
in his cabinet, Zebari responded that such developments are a 
"normal part of the democratic process" and added that 
al-Maliki told those who left his cabinet that time is 
running out on their return to the government, as they "risk 
being replaced." 
 
Extension of UNSC Mandate for MNF Likely 
---------------------------------------- 
 
3. (C) When Lavrov asked about Iraq's plan to seek an 
extension of the UNSC mandate for Coalition Forces, Zebari 
said the subject is still under consideration.  However, 
Zebari predicted the GOI would move to seek one last one-year 
extension, provided that the U.S. and Iraq sign a "bilateral 
status of forces agreement" in the near future.  According to 
Kinshchak, Lavrov and Zebari did not spend much time 
discussing the Petraeus/Crocker report or the drawdown of 
Coalition Forces.  Stressing that this is an issue between 
the U.S. and Iraq, Lavrov only reiterated for Zebari the 
Russian view that the U.S. needs to create a "real" timetable 
for withdrawing troops (ref B).  He argued that a timetable 
would decrease violence by signaling to extremists that the 
U.S. had no intention of staying in Iraq and would force the 
Iraqi government to tackle more quickly the myriad political 
and economic challenges facing the country. 
 
"Internationalization" of Iraq on Track 
--------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Lavrov and Zebari agreed that the October 31 - 
November 1 Expanded Neighbors Ministerial in Istanbul would 
further internationalize support for the Iraqi government, 
which both recognized as the correct approach to stabilizing 
the county.  Lavrov told Zebari that Russia strongly supports 
a collective approach to Iraq and not one in which "a single 
country thrusts its solution upon the international 
community."  Zebari promoted Iraq's proposal to create a 
permanent secretariat in Baghdad to coordinate international 
efforts.  Kinshchak said Lavrov supported the proposal, but 
cautioned that Arab countries that do not have embassies in 
Baghdad would be opposed to the location.  On the composition 
of the secretariat, Lavrov acknowledged the contribution of 
many countries and institutions but suggested that Iraq keep 
the secretariat a compact organization.  Zebari admitted that 
the Iraqi government had not fully thought through the makeup 
of the secretariat but opined that Iran, Syria, and Russia 
 
MOSCOW 00004723  002 OF 002 
 
 
should be asked to take part. 
 
Stronger Economic Ties, Debt Relief on the Horizon 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
5. (C) In separate meetings with Zebari, Lavrov and Industry 
and Ener
gy Minister Khristenko spoke at length about 
improving economic ties and addressing Russia's pending oil 
contracts.  Kinshchak said Russia was very pleased to hear 
from Zebari Iraq's willingness to convene a meeting of the 
Russia-Iraq Intergovernmental Commission on trade and 
economic cooperation in December in Moscow.  Russia was also 
pleasantly surprised that Zebari agreed to sign an MOU on 
trade and economic cooperation, which Khristenko stressed was 
exactly the sort of stimulus Russia needed to complete the 
agreement on debt relief to Iraq.  Kinshchak also said Zebari 
met with Lukoil President Alekperov, but Kinshchak was not 
present and could not provide details, nor could he confirm 
press reports that Zebari had invited Alekperov to Baghdad. 
 
6. (C) In response to questions from Lavrov and Khristenko, 
Zebari doubted that the Iraqi Parliament would pass before 
the end of the year legislation on de-Baathification reform, 
local elections, constitutional reform, and the organization 
of the oil industry.  However, Zebari noted that the Iraqi 
Government considers the oil law a priority and expressed 
confidence that the bill would be adopted by the end of the 
year. 
Russell

Wikileaks