Monthly Archives: October 2007

07MOSCOW5226, PUTIN COMMEMORATES VICITMS OF POLITICAL REPRESSION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5226 2007-10-31 17:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4481
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #5226/01 3041702
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311702Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4968
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 005226 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PINR SOCI RS
SUBJECT: PUTIN COMMEMORATES VICITMS OF POLITICAL REPRESSION 
 
 
Classified By: Poloff Bob Patterson.  Reason:  1.4 (d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (SBU) On October 30, President Putin paid an unprecedented 
visit to the Butovo firing range, on the fringes of Moscow 
where, from August 1937 to October 1938 about 30 thousand 
persons were executed by Stalin's regime.  Putin's visit 
marked the seventieth anniversary of the "Day of Memory of 
the Victims of Political Repressions;" the beginning of the 
peak of the purges.  While some commentators questioned 
Putin's sincerity and ascribed the motivation for his visit 
to the Duma election campaign, others took heart in the fact 
that he had made the visit at all, and were struck by the 
evident sincerity of his reaction to what he saw at Butovo. 
End summary. 
 
Multiple Commemorations 
----------------------- 
 
2. (U) The seventieth anniversary of the "Day of Memory for 
the Victims of Political Repressions" was marked throughout 
Russia on October 29 - 30.  The first day of the 
commemoration here saw a twelve-hour reading of the names of 
some of the victims at the Solovetskiy stone on Lubyanka 
Square in front of KGB, now FSB, headquarters.  Human Rights 
Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, members of Memorial, and many 
others participated in the reading, which received prominent 
television and newspaper coverage. 
 
3. (U) On October 30, commemorations in which the Public 
Chamber participated were staged both at Lubyanka Square and 
at Butovo. About one thousand largely elderly persons 
attended.  Many carried signs bearing the names of camps or 
places of execution where their relatives or loved ones had 
perished or been incarcerated.  Public Chamber Secretary 
Velikhov officiated at the ceremony, which saw speeches by 
journalist Nikolay Svanidze, Public Chamber member Yelena 
Zelinskaya, Duma Deputy Slomin, and others.  Many of the 
speakers used the occasion to lobby for the passage of an 
amendment to the law "On the Rehabilitation of the Victims of 
Political Repressions," which would entitle victims or 
members of their families to monetary compensation for the 
crimes committed against them.  (To date, about 434 thousand 
citizens have been found by a panel established by the law to 
be victims.  Of that number, about 10 thousand were at that 
time children in camps, prison, or in exile together with 
their parents.)  Later on the same day, the pro-Kremlin youth 
group "Nashi," and members of Other Russia also staged their 
own commemorations at Lubyanka Square. 
 
Putin at Butovo 
--------------- 
 
4. (SBU) On the same day, Putin, in the company of Patriarch 
Aleksiy, paid tribute to the victims at the Butovo firing 
range, where almost 30 thousand persons had been executed in 
1937 - 1938.  This was the first time that Putin had 
participated in such a commemoration, and his presence was 
variously ascribed to everything from the fact it was the 
seventieth anniversary of the peak of the purges to the Duma 
election campaign. Evening news film footage showed the 
President evidently moved by the commemoration.  After a 
visit to a Russian Orthodox church at the range, Putin and 
Aleksiy laid flowers at an immense cross that had been carved 
at the Solovetsk Monastery, which was part of the gulag 
during the purges, and transported by river to Butovo last 
summer.  In subsequent remarks Putin, significantly, noted 
that such "tragedies" occur when "ideas are thought to be 
more important than basic values:  human life, and the rights 
and freedoms of human beings," an implicit condemnation of 
the Soviet regime.  Putin also traced the beginning of the 
purges to Lenin, noting that they had begun at the time of 
the civil war. 
 
5. (C) Putin's own professional background made his visit to 
Butovo significant.  Lukin told the press that he had urged 
the President to attend, and noted that Putin, as head of the 
successor state of the Soviet Union, had a moral obligation 
to do so.  Political commentator Svetlana Babaeva agreed that 
Putin was genuinely affected by his visit and noted that 
expressions of strong feelings are more and more a staple of 
his presidency as it comes to a close, whether it be a speech 
in Munich or a visit to Butovo.  Babaeva, who had covered 
Putin at the October 27 - 28 EU - Russia Summit, described 
the President as openly struggling to contain his emotions as 
speaker after EU speaker noted pointedly and with evident 
lack of regret that Portugal would be the "last EU Summit" 
with Putin. The pressures of succession, the relative freedom 
of speech that comes with high popularity ratings and the 
rapidly approaching end of his term would probably mean a 
 
MOSCOW 00005226  002 OF 002 
 
 
more emotional Putin, Babaeva thought. 
Burns

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07MOSCOW5225, RUSSIAN DFM TITOV ON BOSNIA, KOSOVO, AND POLAND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5225 2007-10-31 15:52 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4403
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #5225/01 3041552
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311552Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4965
INFO RUEHXQ/ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 005225 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV BK RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN DFM TITOV ON BOSNIA, KOSOVO, AND POLAND 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns: 1.4 (b, d). 
 
1.  (C)  Comment:  In an October 31 meeting with the 
Ambassador, Deputy Foreign Minister Titov reiterated Russian 
complaints over High Representative Lajcak's invocation of 
Bosnia powers, which ran counter to assurances given during 
his Moscow consultations, but stressed Russian support for 
the Dayton principles.  Titov said the GOR believed a 
compromise was still possible with PM Dodik and that a 
"stern" approach would be counterproductive.  He reiterated 
the need to close out the HighRep in June 2008 and urged that 
a "general line" on the crisis be developed in advance of the 
November 14 UNSC deliberation of the Lajcak report.  On 
Kosovo, Titov praised Troika efforts, while panning an 
"experts paper" produced by EU Envoy Ischinger, urged 
open-ended negotiations, and appeared relaxed by the prospect 
of a unilateral declaration of independence -- questioning 
whether the EU would find the legal basis it sought in UNSCR 
1244.  Titov noted FM Jeremic will be in Moscow November 22, 
but dismissed prospects of a change in Serb position.  Titov 
was moderately upbeat on Polish-Russian relations, noting a 
dialogue underway between the acting Security Council 
Secretaries, and reciprocal deputy foreign minister-level 
 
SIPDIS 
visits planned. End Summary 
 
Bosnia:  Compromise Still Possible 
---------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  In an October 31 meeting with the Ambassador, Deputy 
Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov briefed on his recently 
completed Balkans swing and emphasized the centrality of the 
Bosnian political crisis to his conversations.  Titov was 
frank about Russian disappointment with High Representative 
Lajcak's course of action and reliance upon the Bonn powers. 
Titov said that he conveyed GOR perceptions of Bosnian 
disappointment over the EU's failure to provide a clear 
vision of Bosnia's future, in his meeting with Lajcak, along 
with the public concern that the EU was walking back from an 
integrationist approach.  Titov reiterated GOR arguments that 
police reform was an artificial measuring stick, since there 
was no EU "baseline" against which Bosnia should be measured. 
 Lajcak's decision to use the "pretext" of police reform, 
Titov commented, disappointed the GOR -- in part, because it 
represented a backsliding from the "common course" agreed 
upon during Lajcak's Moscow consultations.  Russia believed 
that Lajcak had agreed on the need to devolve authority to 
Bosnian institutions.  Although Lajcak defended his reforms 
as being only "technical" in nature and not directed against 
any one group, Titov charged that the High Representative had 
sowed more doubts with his latest actions.  Ambassador urged 
Titov not to over-react to what were relatively minor steps 
taken by the High Rep; Titov stressed that Lajcak had 
overstepped his bounds, and that the GOR would continue to 
make that clear. 
 
3.  (C)  Titov maintained that Lajcak had agreed that 
compromise was still possible, if certain concessions could 
be provided to PM Dodik.  The GOR was disappointed by the 
lack of follow-through on Lajcak's part; in particular, the 
fact that the HighRep did not schedule another meeting with 
Dodik.  This helped create a "politically incorrect" 
impression that a face-to-face meeting was not necessary, 
because the outcome was predetermined.  Dodik, Titov 
insisted, wanted a compromise formula and was disappointed by 
Lajcak's hard line. 
 
4.  (C)  Titov noted that Lajcak enjoyed general respect and 
support within the GOR (and again favorably mentioned his 
Moscow university credentials) and Russia did not seek to 
exploit the unhappiness with Lajcak that could be found in 
all ethnic quarters of Bosnia.  While Russia was critical of 
Lajcak's recent actions, Titov stressed continued GOR support 
for the Dayton Accord.  In the current crisis, the GOR 
supported a compromise, and thought its partners' emphasis on 
a "stern" approach counterproductive.  A graceful exit from 
the political crisis needed to be found.  Titov reiterated 
that Russia's foremost interest was the stability of Bosnia 
and its territorial integrity.  Titov underscored that he met 
with Bosnia Presidency member Silajdzic, in order to explain 
that Russia was not pursuing a Srpska-first policy. 
Silajdzic welcomed Titov's decision not to travel to Banja 
Luka, which Titov said was a conscious decision by the GOR to 
send a message to Respublika Srpska. 
 
5.  (C)  Titov reiterated that Russia expected the High 
Representative's mandate to expire in June 2008, and stressed 
the need for a strategy of transferring authority to an EU 
successor office.  Bosnia's "international protectorate" 
status, he complained, had deprived the local population of 
any initiative to take responsibility for the country's 
political health and development.  Individuals needed to be 
empowered.  Titov objected to any approach that promulgated 
 
MOSCOW 00005225  002 OF 003 
 
 
EU integration requirements by relying upon Dayton &#
x000A;authorities. 
 
6.  (C)  While the MFA was still deliberating on a public 
statement to be issued in response to the RS national 
assembly declaration, Titov expressed general concern over 
the consequences of the on-going crisis and the need to use 
the period leading up to the UN Security Council discussion 
of the Lajcak report to agree upon a "general line."  Titov 
agreed with the Ambassador that the main preoccupation had to 
be Bosnia's stability, particularly in light of the possible 
developments in Kosovo in December.  Titov dismissed RS 
rhetoric on unification with Serbia, noting that the 
"ambitions of regional leaders" would never allow domination 
by Belgrade.  Any Dodik statement suggesting otherwise, he 
said, was for public consumption and nothing more. 
 
Kosovo:  Russia Remains Confident 
--------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C)  Titov said that his regional swing reinforced the 
GOR view that Kosovo's neighbors wanted a consensual, 
negotiated settlement that did not carry with it the seeds of 
future conflict.  If Kosovo pursued a unilateral declaration 
of independence (UDI), Albania would recognize, but not be 
the first; Bosnia would be stalemated by the requirement for 
consensus on issues related to foreign policy; Macedonia 
would be  conflicted, concerned both by the irredentism of 
its 25 percent Albanian minority and the need for managing 
cross-border relations with Kosovo; while Bulgaria would 
follow the EU lead, albeit from the back of the pack given 
its special relationship with Serbia. 
 
8.  (C)  Titov emphasized Russia's view that the Troika was 
making progress -- "more progress in the last several months, 
than in the last several years."  While recognizing the 
impossibility of "bridging the unbridgeable," Titov said the 
14 points were a good foundation for further discussion, 
since neither party had rejected the document.  Titov took 
issue with EU Envoy Ischinger's paper, rejecting the "naive 
conceptions" that boiled down to an agreement to disagree. 
Serbs did not want to "save face," Titov stressed.  The GOR 
hoped that Troika efforts in advance of November 5 would be 
focused on further developing the 14 points, rather than 
exploring the Ischinger proposal further.  Responding to the 
Ambassador's query on the status of a similar "CIS" formula, 
Titov said it remained unacceptable to the Serbs.  In a 
strikingly low-key manner, Titov reiterated that a UDI would 
not be conducive to Security Council consideration of the 
Troika report, joked about the need to protect the Christmas 
and New Year holidays from the conflict, and questioned 
whether the EU's need for a legal basis for ESDP could be 
satisfied by UNSCR 1244. "Let's see how they proceed." 
 
9.  (C)  Noting the need to be realistic about Kosovar 
expectations of independence, Titov said that only by 
continuing negotiations beyond the December 10 deadline would 
the international community be able to affirm the seriousness 
of the Troika format.  Only if the Kosovars realized that 
independence would not fall into their lap would a "purely 
psychological" barrier be breached, which could trigger 
greater Kosovar flexibility.  In this scenario, Titov 
maintained, the Serbian presidential elections could be 
followed by negotiations over a "common roof" that took into 
account the significant linkages that would need to be 
maintained between the Serbs and Kosovars in the area of 
infrastructure and energy. 
 
10.  (C)  The Ambassador took exception to Titov's prognosis, 
noting that time was running out and the options proposed by 
the Russians were unrealistic in this regard; he warned that 
the situation would only worsen over time, and with endless 
negotiations.  Titov replied that Russia was "not afraid of a 
lot of time," pointing to the Middle East as a model of a 
long running, but contained, conflict.  The Ambassador 
replied that it was hardly an example that promoted 
confidence in the stability of the region.  Titov insisted 
that compromise remained possible between the Kosovars and 
the Serbs, and emphasized the significance of Serbia's 
November presidential elections.  While some within the GOR 
viewed the elections as another means of reinforcing that 
this "was no longer Milosevic's Serbia," Titov allowed that 
the issue was "knotty," with a new government requiring a few 
months before it could seriously engage.  The Ambassador 
pushed the GOR to encourage Belgrade's support for Kosovo 
Serb participation in Kosovo's parliamentary elections, with 
Titov dismissing the elections as insignificant. 
 
11.  (C)  Titov flagged the upcoming visit of Serb FM Jeremic 
to Moscow on November 22, which would allow for "serious 
discussions," although he immediately discounted the 
possibility of any Serbian backtracking from its insistence 
 
MOSCOW 00005225  003 OF 003 
 
 
on preserving Kosovo as an inviolable part of Serbia. 
 
Poland: Will it still be "all or nothing?" 
------------------------------------------ 
 
12.  (C)  In the wake of media reports that Poland had issued 
direct invitations for Russian inspectors to visit its meat 
facilities (absent EU mediation), Titov agreed that the new 
government had sent "certain positive signals," which the 
Kremlin and MFA had reciprocated.  The GOR had "certain 
hopes" that improvements in the bilateral relationship would 
continue, with Russia reciprocating a visit of the Polish 
Acting Deputy National Security adviser.  Titov commented 
that the channel, under Russia's Acting Security Council 
Secretary Sobolev, provided a useful format for a strategic 
 
SIPDIS 
discussion that would not get bogged down by discussions over 
agricultural issues.  Titov noted that Polish Deputy Foreign 
Minister would come to Moscow soon and, once the new 
government took shape, Titov would reciprocate the visit. 
Noting that the Polish Foreign Minister Fotyga had yet to 
reply to Lavrov's March 2007 invitation to visit Moscow 
("stupidity"), Titov said the GOR had yet to determine 
whether Poland would move beyond its "all or nothing" 
approach in diplomatic relations. 
 
13.  (C)  Titov emphasized that Russia understood the 
importance of Poland, both bilaterally and in the framework 
of the EU.  Moscow was not looking to avoid or marginalize 
Warsaw, Titov commented.  "We want to engage."  At the same 
time, Titov said there was little interest in engaging 
directly with Poland on missile defense, since "we know where 
the decisions are being made." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
14.  (C)  Titov's relaxed demeanor reflects Russia's marked 
self-confidence in the lead-up to the December 10 conclusion 
of the Troika negotiations, which observers here attribute to 
satisfaction over Russia's "principled stance" that will 
allow the GOR to "pocket" a Kosovo precedent; the 
difficulties confronting the EU a
s they seek legal cover for 
their presence in Kosovo; and Western responsibility for any 
regional backlash to a UDI, which Russia believes will ensue. 
 Titov's message on preserving Bosnia's stability and 
integrity was (mostly) responsible, but the GOR will continue 
to connect dots between the Kosovo debate and stability 
throughout the Balkans. 
Burns

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07MOSCOW5224, BOSNIA: MOSCOW EVALUATES THE SITUATION DIFFERENTLY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5224 2007-10-31 15:11 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4360
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #5224 3041511
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311511Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4964
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 005224 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL BK RU
SUBJECT: BOSNIA: MOSCOW EVALUATES THE SITUATION DIFFERENTLY 
 
REF: SECSTATE 149183 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Alice G. Wells 
 
1. (C) We delivered reftel demarche on October 29 meeting to 
MFA Third European Department Counselor Ivan Gorbunov, who 
told us that the U.S. and GOR evaluated the situation 
differently in Bosnia, but had the same overall goal -- peace 
and stability for the region (septel reports on the 
Ambassador's discussion with Deputy Foreign Minister Titov). 
Gorbunov said the GOR was disappointed that when High 
Representative Lajcak was in Russia on October 5, he "did not 
even hint" to the GOR about the measures, which the GOR felt 
should have been presented to and agreed upon by the Steering 
Board first. 
 
2.  (C) Gorbunov told us the GOR was worried about European 
partners' "reservation" about replacing the Office of the 
High Representative with full-scale EU representation.  The 
GOR believed that Bosnia should be integrated into the 
European community, and felt the best way for that to happen 
was the creation of an European Union Special Representative. 
 He said that the GOR was concerned about perceived loss of 
EU enthusiasm, and worried that without the EU "carrot" 
dangling visibly nearby, competing factions would have less 
reason to cooperate.  Conversely, he said the GOR believed 
that a strong statement from Brussels that the Bosnians 
themselves must find compromise would be more effective than 
the OHR imposing reforms on disgruntled parties. 
 
3.  (C) Overall, Gorbunov said the GOR did not believe that 
the Republika Srpska leadership would throw away the legal 
protection it obtained with the Dayton Accords, but was 
legitimately concerned that the international community was 
disrupting the delicate system that governs Bosnia.  The GOR 
believed that the failure of police reform showed that no 
decisions should be imposed, and opposed removing Dodik or 
Silajdzic from power in any way.  Gorbunov told us the GOR 
believes there was no use engaging in state-building" if the 
international community was going "to behave in this way." 
Burns

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07MOSCOW5223, GOR VIEWS ON NO-RESULT JCC ON SOUTH OSSETIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5223 2007-10-31 15:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4356
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #5223/01 3041502
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311502Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4962
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 005223 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG RS
SUBJECT: GOR VIEWS ON NO-RESULT JCC ON SOUTH OSSETIA 
 
REF: TBILISI 2683 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons 1.4(b/d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  The GOR's Special Envoy on the South 
Ossetian conflict expressed disappointment with the October 
23-24 Joint Control Commission (JCC) meeting in Tbilisi.  He 
attributed the failure to the two parties' widely different 
views and reluctance to fully engage.  The GOR Envoy advised 
that efforts should resume when there is more political will 
to resolve the problem and cautioned against GOG unilateral 
action.  The Russian Envoy praised the new Head of the OSCE 
Mission in Tbilisi for her understanding of the situation and 
willingness to be a dedicated mediator.  End summary. 
 
JCC -- Futile Exercise? 
----------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  The GOR's Special Envoy on the South Ossetian 
conflict Yuriy Popov told us on October 30 that the October 
23-24 JCC failed because of the maximalist positions that 
both the Georgian and South Ossetian sides brought to the 
table.  Instead of demonstrating readiness to solve the many 
problems that exist, both sides came with no-compromise 
proposals, leading the talks to an impasse. 
 
3.  (C) Popov said that he had a strong suspicion that the 
GOG strategy was designed to make the JCC look ineffective. 
The Georgian State Minister for Conflict Resolution Davit 
Bakradze left the meeting immediately after the opening, 
leaving his deputy Dimitri Manjavidze to chair.  In Popov's 
view, Bakradze's departure highlighted Georgia's skepticism 
on the JCC even before real negotiations started.  Popov said 
the October 23-24 JCC, which was convened after a 
one-year-long hiatus, "should have been given full-faith 
engagement."  He asked whether the U.S. knew and endorsed the 
GOG's "pre-determination" to block any progress at the JCC. 
 
Widened Division 
---------------- 
 
4.  (C) Popov said that Georgia's key demands included 
demilitarization of the South Ossetian region and the 
broadening of control over the Roki tunnel checkpoint on the 
border with Russia and the breakaway territory, Didi Gupta. 
The South Ossetian chief negotiator Boris Chochiev demanded 
the release of the two South Ossetian peacekeepers in 
Georgian custody, a meeting between Saakashvili and de facto 
South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity, and a non-violence 
pact.  The GOG rejected the South Ossetian demands, stressing 
that it cannot sign a non-violence pact until the alleged 
illegal flow of arms through the Roki Tunnel is terminated. 
 
5.  (C) Popov said that his last-ditch attempt to craft a 
joint oral statement -- after efforts on a written statement 
failed -- came to nothing.  Popov thought that the two 
parties needed to signal willingness to work together even 
though negotiations proved to be fruitless this time.  He 
praised the new OSCE Head of the Mission Terhi Hakala for her 
solid grasp of the situation and untiring efforts to bring 
the two parties' views closer.  Popov emphasized that since 
the two parties of the conflict have gone too far, bringing 
them back would take a step-by-step approach to build 
confidence first. 
 
Lonely Place for Popov? 
----------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Popov felt that he was mistrusted by both sides: the 
GOG had no confidence in the GOR as the mediator while South 
Ossetians thought that he was not completely on their side. 
According to Popov, Chochiev was particularly unhappy when 
Popov said that the GOR was willing to accept Dmitriy 
Sanakoyev as a local political leader.  They did not even 
want to hear Sanakoyev's name pronounced at the session. 
 
Grim Prospect 
------------- 
 
7.  (C) Before the JCC, Popov had planned to suggest a JCC in 
Moscow in December but now he thinks it better to postpone. 
Popov speculated that the GOG was anxious about the impact of 
Kosovo on the two breakaway regions while Kosovo throws 
Russia into an unenviable position between a rock and a hard 
place.  If Russia chooses Abkhazia independence, the North 
Caucasus will applaud and will want to be next.  In the long 
run, the chain reaction will create an insurmountable 
problem.  On the other hand, if Russia chooses to delink 
Abkhazia from Kosovo, the North Caucasus will think Russia is 
"cowardly."  Popov emphasized that it is important not to 
lose face.  Whatever Kosovo might bring, Popov feared that 
autonomy would no longer work for the South Ossetians. 
 
MOSCOW 00005223  002 OF 002 
 
 
Instead, it might have to be a form of federation.   Popov 
warned that Georgia's pre-election behavior may lead to some 
form of unilateral action in the conflict zone to divert 
attention from Georgia's internal problem.  He asked that the 
U.S. urge the GOG to avoid the temptation. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
8.  (C) Popov understands that time is running out on the JCC 
and there must be movement if it is to stay relevant.  Mutual 
Russian and Georgian admiration for the new OSCE Head of 
Mission may open up opportu
nities for re-engagement. 
Burns

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07MOSCOW5221, THE EASTERN FRONT OF RUSSIA’S DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5221 2007-10-31 13:19 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4222
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHMO #5221/01 3041319
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311319Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4956
INFO RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0041
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2812
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 2500
RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 005221 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/RUS 
USAID FOR GH, E&E 
HHS FOR OGHA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TBIO SCUL PREL SOCI CH RS
SUBJECT: THE EASTERN FRONT OF RUSSIA'S DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS 
 
REFS: A. Vladivostok 114 
  B. Vladivostok 094 
  C. Moscow 654 
  D. Vladivostok 032 
  E. St. Petersburg 045 
       F. Moscow 1834 
 
MOSCOW 00005221  001.2 OF 004 
 
 
THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.  PLEASE PROTECT 
ACCORDINGLY. 
 
1. (U) This is a joint message from Consulate General Vladivostok 
and Embassy Moscow. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  The population in the Russian Far East (RFE) and 
Siberia is continuing to decline, due both to a long-term trend of 
"Western Drift" (internal migration from east to west within Russia) 
and the serious but somewhat less acute fertility and mortality 
problems that plague Russia as a whole.  GOR efforts to counteract 
these trends have failed to reverse population loss east of the 
Urals, and strict immigration policies have limited the number of 
foreigners who could replace the shrinking Russian population.  Many 
local officials and demographers recognize the threat of Chinese 
immigrants overrunning the RFE and Siberia is greatly exaggerated, 
and that a more relaxed immigration policy and gradual economic 
integration with China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region could 
lead to economic opportunities and improved social conditions.  It 
appears, however, that policymakers in Moscow have yet to recognize 
that China could be more of an opportunity than a threat on the 
eastern front of Russia's demographic crisis.  END SUMMARY. 
 
------------------------------- 
GIANT SUCKING SOUND IN THE EAST 
------------------------------- 
 
3. (U) As of January 1, 2007, the population of the RFE stood at 6.5 
million people, 18.8 percent less than in 1990.  Siberia lost 7.2 
percent of its population over the same period, and now has 19.6 
million inhabitants.  (Russia's population as a whole declined by 
3.7 percent over that period.)  The steep decline in the eastern 
population can be explained by both natural population loss (more 
deaths than births) and "Western Drift." 
 
4. (U) Many younger Far Easterners are moving west for more and 
better job opportunities.  Russia's Central Region (18 Oblasts 
located west of the Urals, including Moscow City and Oblast) suffers 
from low fertility and high mortality and has a more elderly 
population than the area east of the Urals.  As a result, the 
Central Region has supported an influx of working-age inhabitants 
from across Russia.  According to demographers, 43 percent of the 
internal migration to the Central Region has come from the RFE and 
Siberia, making those regions the principal population "donors" to 
the center. 
 
5. (U) At the same time, many in Siberia and the RFE feel that their 
social and economic conditions lag those of the rest of the country. 
 In addition to the difficulties of a harsher climate and, in many 
areas, geographical isolation, wages in the RFE and Siberia are 
lower than the Russian average, while the cost of living is higher. 
While demographic decline has tapered off considerably in recent 
years after the big losses of the 1990s, a number of trends lead 
demographers, economists, and policymakers to worry anew about 
population loss.  According to economist and governor of Khabarovsk 
Viktor Ishayev, the gross regional product (GRP) per capita -- used 
by economists as a proxy for regional well-being -- of the RFE and 
the Transbaykal region (Chita Oblast and Buryatiya) stood at 89.5 
percent of the national average in 2005, having fallen from 117.5 
percent seven years before.  Ishayev said that consumer prices in 
eastern Russia remain on average one-third higher than they are in 
the country as a whole (Ref A). 
 
6. (SBU) The consensus among demographers is that the Central Region 
will need at least 6 million migrants through 2026, either from 
within Russia or from other countries, to compensate for its labor 
resource losses.  They predict that Siberia could lose an additional 
one million people and the RFE at least another half million people 
over the next 20 years to feed this need.  Even government 
forecasters are projecting that both regions east of the Urals will 
each lose 11 percent of their population over that period.  The 
prospect of replenishing these areas from other Russian regions or 
from the CIS countries is unrealistic, according to many experts, 
who say that China is the only genuine source of labor for the RFE 
 
MOSCOW 00005221  002.2 OF 004 
 
 
and Siberia. 
 
7. (U) With a current population of 13.9 million, the prospects in 
Southern Siberia (Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Kemer
ovo, Novosibirsk, Omsk 
and Tomsk oblasts) seem relatively brighter than those of the rest 
of Siberia and the RFE, with large urban centers and established 
industrial, academic and scientific bases stretching from Omsk and 
Novosibirsk to Tomsk and Irkutsk.  Southern Siberia is also itself a 
recipient of internal migration from northern Siberia and the RFE. 
 
----------------------------- 
CHINA: OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT? 
----------------------------- 
 
8. (U) Sensationalist Russian press accounts in the early 1990s 
warned that millions of Chinese would overrun eastern Russia in a 
matter of decades.  Based solely on comparative population, the 
fears have some merit.  Experts call the RFE and Siberia a 
"demographic desert."  Only 5.5 million people live in the five 
Russian regions bordering Northeast China (not including Altay, 
which shares a small border with Northwest China), while over 90 
million people live in the three Chinese provinces bordering the 
RFE.  The population density in the RFE as a whole is 1.4 people per 
square kilometer, and is 2 to 3 people per square kilometer in the 
four RFE regions along the Chinese border, but the population 
density is 20 times greater on the Chinese side. 
 
9. (SBU) Despite the stark comparison, demographic experts say there 
are far fewer Chinese in Russia than the press would leave many to 
believe.  According to Zhanna Zayonchkovskaya of the Institute of 
Economic Forecasting, Russia's leading expert on the issue of 
migration, the Chinese population in Russia is concentrated mainly 
in the RFE and Moscow, and accounts for less than one million total, 
up from 200,000 to 300,000 ten years ago.  According to Yuriy 
Avdeyev, Director of the Institute of Regional Projects at the 
Pacific Center for Strategic Development, the vast majority of the 
Chinese in the RFE come for relatively short visits and are not 
interested in staying longer.  To some extent this is a function of 
the current visa regime: obtaining a one-month tourist visa to 
Russia is not that difficult, and may be all the time a laborer 
needs to work one planting or harvest season.  A researcher who 
spent a year interviewing Chinese laborers on both sides of the 
Russia-China border said that most Chinese workers are not 
interested in working more than a few years in Russia, even if they 
could get longer visas. 
 
10. (U) Rather than fearing a population invasion from China, many 
experts and Russians living in the RFE and Siberia believe that 
Chinese labor is absolutely crucial for the region.  A report 
developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Far East 
Economic Research characterizes Chinese immigration as an important 
factor in the region's development and calls for easing customs and 
border controls along the border and removing administrative 
barriers for immigration.  Similarly, recent surveys indicate that 
50 percent of respondents in the RFE have a neutral or positive 
attitude towards the presence of Chinese, compared to 25 percent a 
decade ago. 
 
11. (SBU) Despite the need for foreign labor, the Russian government 
continues to maintain low quotas for guestworkers.  The nationwide 
quota for non-CIS guestworker visas was 308,842 for 2007 -- down 6 
percent from the previous year.  The share of the quota for the nine 
regions of the RFE was 56,501 workers, nearly 4 percent lower than 
2006.  In Primorye, last year's quota was 16,500 laborers, while 
this year it is only 6,701.  According to regional labor experts, 
Primorye needs 200,000 guestworkers (Ref B).  Indeed, a number of 
employers from restaurants, construction companies, and farms have 
told USCG Vladivostok that there is not enough labor to meet their 
needs.  (Note: Separate and much higher quotas are in place for 
workers from the CIS, but demographers and labor experts say that 
CIS countries do not have enough skilled workers to send to Russia. 
Thus, much of the RFE remains reliant upon Chinese and other 
workers.  End note.) 
 
12. (SBU) Anatoliy Vishnevskiy, Russia's leading demographer and 
head of the School of Demographics at the Higher School of Economics 
in Moscow, believes the GOR is wary of loosening immigration 
policies because it could lead to instability and exacerbate 
existing social problems, such as xenophobia and ethnic conflict. 
In his view, the Russian popular psyche is simply not ready to 
accept immigrants, and they would "never" be considered Russian -- 
 
MOSCOW 00005221  003.2 OF 004 
 
 
nor would their children or grandchildren.  (Note: This could be the 
case both de facto and de jure, since citizenship is not acquired 
automatically by being born in Russia, and the naturalization 
process is difficult.  End note.) 
 
13. (SBU) Nevertheless, Vishnevskiy acknowledged that the Kremlin 
would not be able to completely stem migration from China, even if 
it wanted to.  Illegal migration will continue due to economic 
opportunities and the huge population density disparity between the 
RFE and Northeastern China.  Overall, however, both legal and 
illegal Chinese migration will remain at a relatively low level, he 
said, and there is no danger that Chinese will overrun the RFE. 
 
-------------------------------- 
IF YOU BUILD IT, WILL THEY COME? 
-------------------------------- 
 
14. (U) President Putin stated on October 18, in his annual on-line 
question-and-answer session with the Russian people, that stopping 
the sharp population decline in the RFE is one of the government's 
top priorities.  One of the major goals behind the federal 
government's recently-announced 566 billion ruble (22.6 billion USD) 
development plan for the RFE and Trans-Baykal region is to stem 
out-migration and make settlement in the area more attractive. 
Potential projects include the construction of new oil refineries, 
ports, train lines, shipbuilding centers, hospitals, schools, and 
industrial plants.  The Kremlin has also drawn up a plan to help 
ethnic Russians living outside of Russia settle in targeted areas of 
the country.  Some regional politicians harbor their own grand 
schemes, such as Primorye Governor Sergey Darkin, who has revived 
Soviet-era plans to turn Vladivostok into a "megalopolis" of 2 to 3 
million people, despite the fact that the city and its surrounding 
suburbs currently have fewer than 750,000 inhabitants (Ref B). 
 
15. (SBU) Little headway has so far been made.  At their most 
optimistic, regional officials in Primorye and Amur Oblast are 
anticipating just a few thousand new settlers in the next five years 
-- not nearly enough to turn the demographic tide.  But even these 
expectations are not being met, because of a lack of adequate 
housing, schooling, and jobs.  It was recently reported that 
although Primorye planned to welcome 1,000 new Russian migrants in 
2007, only sixty people have so far applied to settle in the region, 
due to inadequate housing and low pay.  For examp
le, while 
Krasnoarmeyskiy Rayon in northern Primorye has 255 employment 
vacancies, they can only provide newcomers and their families with 
rooms in hostels.  And a mining company in Dalnegorsk (northeast 
Primorye) is failing to entice migrants with monthly salaries of 
3,000 rubles (120 USD). 
 
16. (SBU) Most demographers doubt that current government programs 
can counteract the prevailing population trends.  Vishnevskiy told 
us that although depopulation east of the Urals is one of the most 
serious aspects of Russia's demographics crisis, "no one knows what 
to do about it."  He is skeptical that heavy industrial and 
infrastructure megaprojects would have any impact on improving the 
situation.  Because of technological advances, fewer people are 
needed for oil and gas extraction, which remains the region's most 
auspicious economic activity, and there has been little attempt to 
develop processing and refining capacity east of the Urals (though 
this is part of future development plans). 
 
17. (SBU) Vladimir Shkolnikov, a leading Russian demographer at the 
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, 
agreed that the GOR has no coherent strategy for dealing with the 
depopulation of the RFE and Siberia.  He expects the huge 
out-migration from the RFE and Siberia to continue indefinitely, 
except in a few pockets where core populations will remain to work 
in oil and gas extraction.  "Demographic osmosis" will continue -- 
as great disparities in population density exist between the RFE and 
northeastern China, people will move from more densely populated 
China to the more sparsely populated RFE.  Russian populations that 
are on the map for primarily political or military reasons will not 
survive under "market conditions" and will have to be artificially 
supported for years to come.  Still, Shkolnikov believes that the 
RFE could be economically developed by simply accepting the 
inevitable and fostering greater economic ties with Northern China, 
though he doubts that the GOR would ever seriously embrace such a 
plan. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
 
MOSCOW 00005221  004.2 OF 004 
 
 
------- 
 
18. (SBU) While demographers and many Russians living in the RFE and 
Siberia realize that Chinese migration and greater economic 
integration with the Asia-Pacific region is both inevitable and 
beneficial, it is clear that policymakers in Moscow have not yet 
accepted this view.  Quotas on guestworkers continue to decline, and 
new federal laws have emerged limiting employment opportunities for 
foreigners (Refs D, E, F).  The Kremlin is faced with a fundamental 
contradiction between its political goals and economic reality: it 
wants to maintain its population east of the Urals as a bulwark 
against China and an outlet to the Pacific, but despite grand 
development plans, the economic incentives for living in the region 
remain lacking.  Reconciling this contradiction may require some 
counter-intuitive thinking.  Maintaining the RFE as a vital and 
vibrant part of Russia may actually depend upon inviting foreign 
workers to help develop the economy. 
 
BURNS

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW5218, MFA IRAN DESK ON CASPIAN SUMMIT, ECONOMIC

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5218 2007-10-31 12:54 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4162
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #5218/01 3041254
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311254Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4948
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 4301
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0195
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 005218 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, FOR EEB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND WRIGHT 
DOE FOR HARBERT, HEGBORG, EKIMOFF 
DOC FOR 4231/IEP/EUR/JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MCKIBBEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2017 
TAGS: EPET ENRG ECON PREL PINR RS IR
SUBJECT: MFA IRAN DESK ON CASPIAN SUMMIT, ECONOMIC 
COOPERATION 
 
 
Classified By: Econ MC Eric Schultz for Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1. (C) In an October 30 meeting, MFA Iran Desk Head Maxim 
Baranov indicated the Caspian Summit and bilateral meetings 
in Tehran resulted only in generic progress on economic 
cooperation.  He described active engagement with Iran, 
however, including an upcoming 7th session of the "Joint 
Commission on Economic Cooperation," for which Iranian 
Foreign Minister Motaki will come to Moscow.  He admitted it 
is "difficult" to do business with Iran, and said Russia had 
no interest in joining with Iran in a gas OPEC.  End summary. 
 
------------------------------- 
"SOME DOCUMENT MUST BE ADOPTED" 
------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Describing the recent Caspian Summit and bilateral 
meetings Tehran, MFA Iran Desk Head Maxim Baranov said there 
had been progress in cooperating with Iran on economic 
issues.  However, he could not identify substantive specific 
advances on the economic front, and only cited agreements to 
continue dialogue and negotiation in future meetings.  He 
said the first summit of the five Caspian States, more than 
five years ago in Ashgabat, produced no overall agreement, 
prompting all parties to insist that "some document" be 
adopted at this Summit. 
 
3. (C) Baranov said the Tehran declaration is a guideline as 
to how the nations will proceed on issues surrounding the 
legal status of the Caspian.  He said a convention on the 
legal status of the Caspian is still many years away.  The 
parties agreed to put negotiations "on the presidential 
level," and to hold summits more regularly, with Azerbaijan 
agreeing to host next year.  Baranov dismissed as "only an 
idea" a proposal for an "Organization for Economic 
Cooperation of Littoral States," but added that Russia 
proposed hosting a multilateral economic cooperation 
conference in Astrakhan at the Ministerial level next year. 
 
----------------------------------- 
INTEREST IN INCREASED ECONOMIC TIES 
----------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) According to Baranov, the bilateral meetings in Tehran 
focused on expanding economic relations and the nuclear 
issue.  He said both sides are interested in increasing 
trade, which at just $2 billion last year, substantially 
lagged behind Russia-Turkey trade of $17 billion.  In the 
first half of 2007, two-way trade was $1.8 billion.  Russian 
exports to Iran, mainly machinery, account for some 90% of 
total trade, giving Russia a relatively large trade surplus. 
 
5. (C) Iranian Foreign Minister Motaki will come to Moscow at 
the end of this year to participate in the 7th session of the 
"Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation."  At the meeting, 
Baranov expects, Russia and Iran will sign various documents 
to "clarify the legal basis of economic interactions -- 
investments, standards, etc." 
 
6. (C) Baranov said both Russia and Iran are interested in 
developing the rail and road networks necessary to complete a 
true North-South transportation corridor between South Asia 
and Russia, through Iran.  He said there is currently no rail 
connection with Iran. 
 
------------- 
NO "GAS OPEC" 
------------- 
 
7. (C) Baranov said that despite repeated Iranian suggestions 
that major gas producers create a "Gas OPEC," Russia does not 
see such an entity as needed or viable, given the structure 
of the gas trade.  President Putin favors "cooperation and 
information sharing" on gas, but has, for now, ruled out 
participation in such a cartel.  He said Russia and Iran have 
 
MOSCOW 00005218  002 OF 002 
 
 
agreed to cooperate in the energy sector, but that there are 
few current specific projects involving both countries. 
According to Baranov, Gazprom is negotiating with France's 
Total and Malaysia's Petronas to participate in development 
of the South Pars gas field in Iran, but that doing business 
with Iran is "difficult." 
 
8. (C) When we asked Baranov if Iran is a reliable partner, 
the best he could do was dance around the question.  The 
feeling seems mutual.  When discussing Iran with Japanese 
First Secretary Ito Toshia, he said that an Iranian diplomat 
in Moscow told him that "Iran does not fully trust Russia." 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
9. (C) Russia and Iran ha
ve mutual trade interests.  But they 
are also natural economic and geopolitical competitors in a 
complex region.  Neither can afford to ignore the other and 
both appear willing to keep meeting, but it is not yet clear 
that, in the energy sector, that amounts to much.  End 
comment. 
Burns

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW5210, RUSSIA: CAUTIOUSLY BITING AT THE BIT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5210 2007-10-31 07:26 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #5210 3040726
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310726Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4929
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 005210 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
EUR/RUS; EB/IFD/OIA 
NSC DPRICE, WARLICK 
DEPT PASS TO USTR FOR VERONEAU AND HAFFNER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON EINV RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA: CAUTIOUSLY BITING AT THE BIT 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  In recent meetings with Deputy Trade 
Representative Ambassador John Veroneau and NSC Senior 
Director for Russia Mary Warlick, GOR officials expressed 
support in principle for starting Bilateral Investment Treaty 
(BIT) Negotiations.  In her address to the USRBC October 23, 
Trade Minister Nabiullina also expressed support for a BIT. 
End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
D/USTR Veroneau's Meetings and Nabiullina's Public Support 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
 
2. (SBU) D/USTR Veroneau visited Moscow October 22-24 to give 
the closing address at the U.S. Russia Business Council's 
(USRBC) annual meeting.  In October 22-23 meetings with 
Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Shatalov and Deputy Trade 
Minister Kirill Androsov, Veroneau raised U.S. interest in 
negotiating a BIT with Russia. (N.B. A previous BIT was 
signed in 1993, but never ratified by the Duma.)  Both 
Shatalov and Androsov indicated that a BIT would be 
attractive to investors from both countries and that the 
Russian government was prepared to begin negotiations. 
Shatalov added that the old model BITs were no longer 
applicable since they did not reflect changes in the Russian 
economy over the past decade, e.g., Russia's full currency 
liberalization and lifting of capital controls, and a new 
treaty would need to be negotiated from scratch. 
 
3. (SBU) In her October 23 remarks to the USRBC, Minister for 
Economic Development and Trade Elvira Nabiullina expressed 
public support for a BIT.  Nabiullina said the U.S. was one 
of the few major economies with which Russia did not have 
such an agreement and expressed hope that one would be 
completed soon. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
NSC Warlick's Meetings: Yes to Negotiations but WTO First 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
4. (SBU) During her October 12-14 visit to Moscow, NSC Senior 
Director for Russia Warlick raised with senior Russian 
officials the possibility of negotiating a Bilateral 
Investment Treaty (BIT). Arkady Dvorkovich, Head of the 
Experts' Department in the Presidential Administration, 
responded that he saw no problem with starting BIT 
negotiations. Dvorkovich said that Russia had many such 
agreements already and was negotiating still more. That said, 
no additional BITs would be concluded until after WTO 
accession was complete.  He added that the primary 
responsibility for BIT negotiations would fall to the 
Minister of Trade and Economic Development (MEDT). 
 
5. (SBU) Warlick subsequently met with Max Medvedkov, 
Russia's lead WTO negotiator, at MEDT.  Medvedkov confirmed 
that Russia was prepared to start negotiations on a BIT and 
that his office would have the lead.  He also confirmed that 
it would not be possible to conclude any such agreements 
until WTO accession was complete but noted that this was a 
policy decision rather than a question of resources.  In 
fact, as WTO negotiations had progressed he had been able to 
reassign personnel to other duties, including OECD accession. 
 Medvedkov added that Russia had its own model BIT and that 
reconciling the U.S. and Russian versions could be 
complicated. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
6. (SBU) The GOR appears ready to resume negotiations on a 
BIT, though completion of a WTO agreement is paramount for 
the GOR.  We recommend that Washington move to the next step 
and formally propose such a resumption. 
Burns

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW5208, RUSSIAN NATIONALIST GOES TO NATO: OFFERS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5208 2007-10-30 16:14 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9860
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #5208/01 3031614
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301614Z OCT 07 ZDS CITE HSD 0001 3210713
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4925
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 005208 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y  ((TAGS LINE/CLASSIFIED BY)) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN NATIONALIST GOES TO NATO: OFFERS 
CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 3262 
 
     B. 06 MOSCOW 10227 
 
MOSCOW 00005208  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified by Amb. William J. Burns; Reasons: 1.4(b/d) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Russia's charismatic nationalist 
politician, Dmitriy Rogozin, confirmed press reports that he 
will be appointed the GOR's next Ambassador to NATO and 
expects to arrive in Brussels by late November.  Claiming 
that his appointment is a Putin initiative, Rogozin candidly 
described exchanging life in the political wilderness for 
what he expects to be a larger-than-normal ambassadorial 
writ.  At pains to counter his record of lambasting NATO and 
his previous controversial service representing Russia at the 
Parliamentary Council of Europe, Rogozin emphasized a 
"constructive and responsible" approach and acknowledged 
Russia's share of blame in preventing the NRC from becoming 
more dynamic.  Some experts depict Rogozin's possible 
appointment as a GOR sign of displeasure with NATO.  Rogozin 
is a talented, if profoundly amoral, politician, whose 
behavior in Brussels will be calibrated closely to the 
signals that he receives from the Kremlin.  Biographic 
details are provided.  End Summary 
 
---------------------------- 
Mr. Rogozin Goes to Brussels 
---------------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  In an October 26 meeting, Duma member Dmitriy 
Rogozin confirmed press reports that he was soon to be tapped 
as Russia's next Ambassador to NATO, in line with his 
previous hints that the Kremlin would offer him an important 
foreign policy posting (ref a).  While noting that 
bureaucratic formalities remained and formal congratulations 
were premature, Rogozin stressed that his appointment was a 
Putin initiative and he expected to be in Brussels by the end 
of November.  Rogozin described his position as an 
"Ambassador-Plus" or "super ambassadorship," with direct 
lines of communication to the Kremlin and little interference 
from the MFA bureaucracy. His writ would extend as far as 
necessary to drive home Russian points on NATO relations, and 
Rogozin suggested that he would reach out to U.S. leaders and 
European parliamentarians from his new diplomatic perch. 
Despite his political problems, Rogozin insisted that his 
personal rapport with Putin had always been good. 
 
-------------------------- 
Why Rogozin, Why Brussels? 
-------------------------- 
 
3.  (C)  Rogozin was candid about the reasons driving his 
appointment.  Foremost, he noted, was the geographical 
distance between Brussels and Moscow, during a sensitive 
political transition, when the Kremlin sought to eliminate 
all electoral surprises.  Acknowledging the "zero tolerance" 
that Putin's inner circle had for his popular brand of Great 
Russian nationalism, Rogozin said it was clear that he had no 
immediate political future in this country.  Rogozin pointed 
to a GOR-campaign to portray him as a xenophobe-zealot (and 
"who is the zealot now?" Rogozin crowed), to the invitation 
(that could not be refused) to merge his Rodina party into 
the bureaucratic and ultimately moribund Just Russia 
political coalition (ref b), and to the Central Election 
Commission's ruling against the registration of Rogozin's 
follow-on political movement, "Great Russia," as proof that 
Russian electoral politics were off-limits.  Rogozin added 
that a Kremlin offer of the governorship of Voronezh was too 
small a political palette to be tempting. 
 
4.  (C)  Despite media commentary that has focused on 
Rogozin's bad boy reputation while representing Russia at the 
Parliamentary Council of Europe (PACE) in 1999-2001, Rogozin 
claimed that Putin viewed him as a problem solver, as someone 
who had successfully navigated the negotiations over the 
Kaliningrad transit regime, and as a vigorous and articulate 
spokesman, who could be counted upon to defend Russian 
national interests on missile defense, CFE, and Kosovo.  In 
contrast to incumbent Ambassador Totskiy, Rogozin described 
himself as a "man of Europe," steeped in European 
institutions, and conversant in English, French, and Italian. 
 Based on his son's participation in a NATO information 
program, Rogozin said he was impressed with the NATO public 
relations machinery and argued that among his priorities was 
creating a constituency for NATO in Russia, perhaps through 
the establishment of a NATO Institute.  Ridding the Russian 
NATO mission of deadwood was another priority, and Rogozin 
mused about the need to "clean up the cadre." 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Constructive and Responsible Approach Promised 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
5.  (C)  At several junctures, Rogozin reiterated his intent 
to work responsibly and constructively within NATO to enhance 
 
MOSCOW 00005208  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
the work of the NATO-Russia Council and to resolve policy 
disputes over European security architecture and missile 
defense.  He clarified that earlier public statements to the
 
effect that NATO was "dead" were really a misinterpretation 
of his position that expansion would weaken the ideological 
coherence and ultimate effectiveness of the organization (See 
paragraph 10 for samples of Rogozin's statements on NATO). 
NATO was not an enemy, but a neighbor, and Rogozin said he 
viewed his appointment as an opportunity to strengthen 
relations; his appointment was not a Trojan horse. 
 
6.  (C)  Rogozin was not up to speed on the NATO agenda, but 
made the following general policy points: 
 
-- Putin's offer to cooperate in Qabala should not be 
underestimated or taken for granted.  It was made over the 
objections of senior advisers, and had incurred some 
criticism.  The West needed to understand that this was a 
strategic offer. 
 
-- Russia's disagreement on Kosovo was principled, and the 
potential for a unilateral declaration of independence to 
cause a serious setback in relations was real. 
 
-- Afghanistan was an area of clear overlapping strategic 
interests.  Narcotics were poisoning Russian youth, 
corrupting border guard and law enforcement organs, and 
financing the resurgence of the Taliban.  More should be done 
in NATO-Russia channels. 
 
-- Putin was disappointed by the absence of "real" 
cooperation at NATO, with Rogozin stating that the Russians 
deserved the lion's share of the blame for the stalemate. 
 
---------------------------------- 
Dmitriy Rogozin:  Frustrated Cynic 
---------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C)  Experts believe that Rogozin is sure to cause a stir 
when he arrives in Brussels.  While all agree that he will 
follow orders from the Kremlin, some argue that any 
instructions he receives that are anti-NATO in character will 
be carried out with much enthusiasm.  Rogozin also enjoys 
living the high life, they said, and will take full advantage 
of Brussels in this regard. 
 
8.  (C)  Konstantin Eggert, Editor-in-Chief of the BBC in 
Moscow, studied with Rogozin at MGU.  He characterized 
Rogozin as a cynic who is frustrated by his inability to play 
a major role in Russian politics.  He called Rogozin's 
appointment as Ambassador to NATO a "silly gesture designed 
to show NATO what Russia thinks of it."  Vyacheslav Nikonov, 
President of the Unity in the Name of Russian Foundation, 
agreed, telling the newspaper Kommersant, "appointing someone 
who has always disliked NATO is a sign that Russian 
authorities are highly displeased with the Alliance's 
policies."  On a positive note, Eggert said that Rogozin 
truly understands Russian politics and will have access to 
Kremlin decision-makers. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
9.  (C)  Rogozin is one of Russia's most charismatic and 
ambitious politicians, whose personal charm is belied by his 
willingness to join arms with unreconstructed racists, 
chauvinists and anti-Semites in pursuit of electoral gain. 
While claiming that he has never betrayed his political 
principles, Rogozin strikes us as unlikely to be bound by any 
code.  Instead, his policy positions and his personal 
demeanor in Brussels will be carefully calibrated to reflect 
the political winds blowing from the Kremlin.  If given the 
writ, Rogozin can be an effective diplomat and negotiator; if 
told to stymie policy, he will be a formidable foe. 
 
---------------------- 
Biographic Information 
---------------------- 
 
10.  (U)  Dmitriy Olegovich Rogozin. Born, December 21, 1963, 
Moscow. 
 
Education 
--------- 
- 1986 -- Graduated from Moscow State University, Journalism 
faculty. 
 
- 1988 -- Graduated from Marxism-Leninism University, 
Economic faculty.  Diploma: "The U.S. Psychological War 
against Cuba."  Supported preservation of the Soviet Union. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00005208  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
- 1999 -- Received Doctorate from Moscow State University. 
Doctoral thesis: "Problems of Russia's National Security on 
the Edge of the 21st Century." 
 
Professional Experience 
----------------------- 
- 1992 -- Co-founded People's Patriotic Movement "Congress of 
Russian Societies." 
 
- 03/1997 -- Elected to Duma, joined "People's Deputy Group." 
 Member of Commission on the Impeachment of President Yeltsin. 
 
- 1998 -- Joined Yuriy Luzhkov's "Fatherland" Party. 
 
- 1999 -- Left "Fatherland" Party.  Reelected to Duma, and 
elected Chairman of the Duma International Affairs Committee. 
 Head of Parliamentary Delegation to PACE. 
 
- 2002-2003 -- Designated Special Presidential Envoy to the 
Parliamentary Council of Europe on the Issues Related to the 
Settlement of the Kaliningrad Problem and other Russia-EU 
problems. 
 
- 10/2003 -- Elected Co-Chairman of the Supreme Council of 
the "Rodina" Party. 
 
- 12/2003 -- Reelected to Duma, appointed Deputy Duma Speaker. 
 
- 03/2004 -- Became Chairman of "Rodina" Faction. 
 
- 2006 -- Resigned from Head of Faction, and later resigned 
from Party Chairman post. 
 
- 2007 -- Co-founded "Great Russia" Party. 
 
Rogozin is married.  He and his current wife are expecting 
their first child.  He has a grown son and grandson, with a 
granddaughter on the way, from a previous marriage. 
 
------------------ 
Statements on NATO 
------------------ 
 
11.  (U)  Among Rogozin's statements on NATO are the 
following: 
 
-- "It won't be NATO if Russia joins" -- February 20, 2001; 
 
-- "Relations between NATO and Russia should be considered as 
relations between two alliances, as allies" -- January 14, 
2002; 
 
-- "NATO has been transformed into some sort of "loose" bloc 
in which the United States has less and less consideration of 
other members" -- May 13, 2003; 
 
-- (Regarding NATO expansion) "The closer the NATO bases, the 
easier to hit them.  It is more a military issue than a 
political one.  Our military will be able to take care of 
that" -- December 12, 2003; 
 
-- "This NATO enlargement represents a real threat to the 
state security and to the security of the President's home 
town.  They (NATO) should realize, "friendship is friendship, 
but keep your powder separate" -- March 29, 2004; 
 
-- "NATO is an organization where U.S. satellites can prove 
their loyalty" -- April 2, 2004; 
 
-- "NATO, EU, USA - are the real players of modern history, 
and Russia is forced to interact with them, trying to protect 
its own interests.  The main principle of modern policy is 
"first come, first serve," and we should remember it, bearing 
in mind that Russia's only allies are its Navy, Army, and Air 
Force" -- April 7, 2004; 
 
-- "NATO is a dying organization" -- February 10, 2006.

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW5205, BACKLASH TO DUMA AMENDMENTS PROPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5205 2007-10-30 14:04 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO2939
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #5205 3031404
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301404Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4922
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 2498
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2803
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 4648

UNCLAS MOSCOW 005205 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PHUM RS
SUBJECT: BACKLASH TO DUMA AMENDMENTS PROPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON 
REFERENDUMS 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (U) Amendments to the "law on referendums" which are working 
their way through the State Duma, would greatly restrict if not 
abolish the right of Russian citizens to express their views through 
national plebiscites. The amendments, offered by three members of 
the ruling United Russia party, had their first reading in early 
October and could be approved by the Duma and sent to the Federation 
Council by mid-November. Human rights advocates see the amendments 
as a way to limit citizen participation in government. The 
Constitutional Court has already commented that the Duma has no 
right to restrict the use of referendums by citizens. End summary. 
 
 
-------------------------------- 
Weakening the Law on Referendums 
-------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) Amendments to the law on referendums, which had their first 
reading in the State Duma on October 11, would ban the use of 
referendums on issues that come under "exclusive jurisdiction of 
government bodies." Under the Constitution, citizens have the right 
to participate in government through referendums. Article 32 of the 
Constitution states: "Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have 
the right to elect and to be elected to bodies of state governance 
and to organs of local self-government, as well as take part in a 
referendum." 
 
3. (SBU) The amendments are currently in the Duma's Committee on 
Constitutional Legislation and State Building. According to news 
reports, the amendments could have their second and final readings 
by mid-November. Supporters of the bill have said that the 
amendments are needed to "prevent public discord." The use of legal 
referendums in Russia to date has been limited. Referendums were 
used to approve the mergers of several of Russia's regions.  The 
communists and liberals have most often tried to use referendums to 
make policy but their attempts have typically failed. 
 
------------------------------------ 
Restricting the Right to Participate 
------------------------------------ 
 
4. (SBU) Human rights advocates are opposed to the bill. Human 
Rights Watch's Allison Gill said the amendments effectively would 
abolish the use of referendums. William Smirnov, a member of the 
President's Human Rights Council agreed and told us the legislation 
contradicts the Constitution-enshrined right to hold referendums. 
Smirnov predicted that the amendments will be changed because, from 
a legal perspective, they are not well written. Although their 
purpose was obvious - to substantially reduce the right to use 
referendums -- he believed the bill was too sensitive to be passed 
so easily. Smirnov speculated that its supporters may have 
intentionally proposed extreme language in order to ensure that any 
compromise that emerges would scale back citizens' ability to use 
referendums. 
 
5. (U) In a rare comment on pending legislation, the Constitutional 
Court opined that deputies have "no right to abolish or severely 
restrict the right of citizens to participate in referendums." This 
was only the second time the Constitutional Court has commented 
prior to a law being enacted. The first time was when the Duma was 
considering the Court's move to St. Petersburg. The opinion of the 
Constitutional Court does not have legal bearing at this stage; 
however, the fact that they chose to comment sends a strong signal 
that the amendments, if passed as is, could have trouble if 
challenged in court. 
 
6. (SBU) A week after the first reading of the amendments, the civic 
youth movement "Oborona" staged a protest in front of the State 
Duma. They handed out flyers which blamed United Russia for trying 
to take away this last possible route for citizens to have a say in 
the life of the country. Embassy observed five members of Oborona 
being detained by police. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
7. (SBU) In addition to the Constitutional Court's comments, the 
proposal to restrict referendums has prompted much negative 
commentary in the press. It is possible that the reaction may stop 
the adoption of the amendments, or postpone it until after the 
campaign, which culminates in Duma elections December 2.

Wikileaks

07MOSCOW5200, RUSSIAN INFLATION REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW5200 2007-10-30 11:57 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0012
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #5200/01 3031157
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301157Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4918
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS MOSCOW 005200 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/IFD 
TREASURY FOR TORGERSON 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN ECON RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN INFLATION REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS 
 
 
1.  (U) This message is sensitive but unclassified and not for 
internet distribution. 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
2.  (U) At a public event October 26, Deputy Prime Minister and 
Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin stated that inflation since the 
beginning of 2007 had reached 8.9 percent and would be close to 11 
percent by the end of the year.  He acknowledged that rising food 
prices have exacerbated the growth of the consumer price index (CPI) 
and said domestic monetary factors "would put the final result above 
9 percent even without higher food prices."  Kudrin said that wage 
increases, which have tended to exceed productivity, and government 
spending, which will be 3 percent of GDP higher than originally 
budgeted, were the main components of the climbing CPI.  Kudrin 
downplayed the role government policies have played in the rising 
inflation and did not announce any broad changes.  Some of our 
contacts echo Kudrin's assessment that Russia's increasing inflation 
is rooted in monetary factors, but add that government policies are 
in fact a key driver.  End Summary. 
 
------------------- 
2005 All Over Again 
------------------- 
 
3.  (U) Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kudrin said that 
the GOR would exceed its 2007 inflation target of 8 percent.  Kudrin 
had reportedly conceded as much during recent Cabinet meetings, as 
had other ministers and Central Bank officials, but without giving a 
range.  However, in his remarks before the Federation Council and 
the National Economy Association, he said the year-end figure would 
exceed 10 percent. 
 
4.  (U) Rising world food prices, droughts, and the end of various 
EU agricultural subsidies have contributed to higher commodity price 
levels in Russia, Kudrin said.  He added, however, that even without 
the inflationary push of higher food prices Russia's inflation for 
2007 would exceed 9 percent.  Inflation for the year had reached 8.9 
percent by October 22, Kudrin said, and base inflation for October 
would be 1.5-2 percent.  He observed that even "if inflation goes no 
higher, we will have returned to levels seen two years ago." 
 
-------------------------------------- 
GOR Spending, Monetary Policy to Blame 
-------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (U) Kudrin said the main causes for the rising inflation were 
monetary factors.  He told the Federation Council wages had risen 
faster than productivity in recent years.  He observed that these 
"salary overhangs" went directly into the economy, which, in 
conjunction with almost USD 70 billion in net capital inflows, 
helped trigger 52 percent growth in the money supply during the 
first half of the year.  Kudrin also conceded that government 
spending, particularly for public sector employees, had also spurred 
inflation.  (Note: Amendments to the 2007 budget law show that the 
GOR's spending for the year will equal 20.3 percent of GDP, whereas 
the original 2007 budget law forecast expenditures totaling 17.5 
percent of GDP.  End Note.) 
 
6.  (U) The Finance Minister estimated that monetary factors 
accounted for 3.4 percent of the CPI's growth, whereas in the EU 
they account for only 2 percent.  Nevertheless, he announced no 
changes in the GOR's efforts to control inflation and observed that 
the USD 6 billion in net capital inflows during October indicated 
investors were not concerned about Russia's macroeconomic policies. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Underinvestment Also Drives Inflation 
------------------------------------- 
 
7.  (SBU) Troika Dialog Chief Economist Evgeny Gavrilenkov and ING 
Bank Economist Tatyana Orlova told us Kudrin is right that Russia's 
inflation is at root a monetary phenomenon, but that government 
policies are in large part to blame.  Gavrilenkov observed that the 
Central Bank's (CBR) stated priority of ensuring sufficient 
liquidity during 3Q07 in the wake of subprime mortgage concerns had 
been inflationary.  The CBR sought to sustain confidence by 
expanding the list of instruments banks could use to secure 
short-term funds and reducing lending rates.  For example, from 
January through July, currency swaps between banks and the CBR 
totaled USD 1 billion, but swelled to USD 18.4 billion from July 
through September when the CBR lowered rates.  Gavrilenkov also 
suggested that Kudrin had understated the inflationary impact of 
government spending.  He noted that the amendments to the 2007 
budget law showed that expenditures for the year are on track to 
exceed those of 2006 by 4 percent of GDP. 
 
8.  (SBU) Gavrilenkov and Orlova emphasized that underinvestment had 
also exacerbated inflation.  Gavrilenkov, again, agreed with Kudrin 
that salary increases have outstripped productivity gains.  He said 
that Russian incomes on average have risen at double-digit rates in 
recent years and consumption has followed suit.  As a result of 
this, however, domestic producers have not been able to keep pace 
with the demand for higher quality products.  Prod
ucers have made 
some investments to expand capacity, according to Gavrilenkov, but 
imports of consumer goods-including food-have filled the gap left by 
domestic producers and have also exacerbated inflation. 
 
9.  (SBU) Orlova said that increasing the capacity and 
competitiveness of Russian firms would need to be part of a 
long-term inflation-fighting strategy going forward.  She speculated 
that if the GOR had made "the hard choices" in 2000 or 2001 to 
reduce investment barriers-from broad energy and transportation 
infrastructure improvements to support for small and medium-size 
enterprises-domestic firms would be better positioned to satisfy 
domestic demand.  In such a scenario, she explained, competition 
between domestic goods and imports would tame inflation.  As it 
stands, however, imports into Russia and their prices are growing. 
Orlova mentioned that domestic demand for food has more than doubled 
in real terms since 2000, domestic production has increased only 20 
percent.  She said that rising global food prices will make 
themselves felt in Russia since an estimated 40 percent of the 
country's food supply is imported. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
10.  (SBU) Kudrin's public comments attempted to downplay the effect 
the GOR's spending has had on inflation.  However, Putin's promise 
to increase pensions, the recent establishment of development 
institutions, like Special Economic Zones and the Investment Fund, 
along with a growing number of state-owned corporations, like the 
Nanotechnology Corporation and the Olympic Games Corporation, as 
well as plans to improve infrastructure ensure the GOR's spending 
spree and concomitant inflation will continue for the foreseeable 
future.  End Comment.

Wikileaks