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|07MOSCOW4774||2007-09-29 03:28||2011-08-30 01:44||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Moscow|
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
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.
¶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.
¶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