Daily Archives: February 15, 2008

08MOSCOW444, MOSCOW RESPONSE TO STATE 10743 FOR REQUIRED REPORTS TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW444 2008-02-15 15:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0021
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0444/01 0461525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151525Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6680

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000444 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EEB/ESC/IEC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ENRG ECON AFIN ABUD RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW RESPONSE TO STATE 10743 FOR REQUIRED REPORTS TO 
CONGRESS ON ENERGY 
 
REF: STATE 10743 
 
1.  In response to action request in reftel, Embassy Moscow provides 
the following answers: 
 
A.  Energy issues in Russia are handled by various sections in 
Embassy Moscow and the constituent posts.  In the Embassy, from the 
State Department, the Economic Section, the Environment, Science, 
and Technology Section, and the Executive Office all engage on 
energy matters.  The Political/Economic Sections in the Consulates 
General in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok handle 
energy issues from the regional perspective.  The total number of 
State Department staff in all these sections, including LES, is 47 
(15 in Econ, 13 in EST, 9 in EXEC, and 10 in relevant sections of 
CGs).  In addition, the Department of Energy has two employees, an 
attache and an LES, in Moscow devoted to non-nuclear energy issues. 
The Department of Commerce's Commercial Service handles 
energy-related commercial support, primarily assisting U.S. 
companies interested in entering or expanding their business in the 
Russian energy market.  The DOE energy attache has extensive 
experience specifically covering Russian and Eurasian energy 
matters. 
 
B.  Time devoted to energy issues: 
 
Economic Section: 
 
1 Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs -- 20% 
1 Deputy Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs -- 20% 
1 Trade and Investment Unit Chief -- 20% 
1 Economic Officer (Oil and Gas) -- 85% 
1 Economic Officer -- 35% 
1 OMS -- 10% 
1 LES Economic Assistant -- 15% 
1 LES Economic Assistant -- 15% 
1 LES Economic Assistant -- 5% 
1 LES Economic Assistant -- 5% 
 
Environment, Science, and Technology (EST) Section: 
 
1 EST Deputy Counselor -- 35% 
1 EST Officer -- 65% 
1 LES EST Assistant -- 50% 
 
Executive Office: 
 
1 Ambassador -- 10% 
1 DCM -- 5% 
1 OMS -- 5% 
1 Interpreter -- 5% 
 
CG St. Petersburg: 
 
1 Pol/Econ Officer -- 10% 
1 LES Pol/Econ Assistant -- 10% 
 
CG Vladivostok: 
 
1 Pol/Econ Officer -- 20% 
1 LES Economic Assistant -- 35% 
1 LES Political Assistant -- 10% 
 
CG Yekaterinburg: 
 
1 Pol/Econ Officer -- 10% 
 
C. Brief descriptions of work performed: 
 
Economic Section: 
 
The Economic Minister Counselor and Deputy MC meet with a wide range 
of government and industry contacts, encouraging a more open and 
productive business climate for energy companies; monitor and report 
on economic developments; and direct the work of the section, 
including that described below. 
 
The Trade and Investment Unit Chief meets with a wide range of 
government and industry contacts; monitors and reports on economic 
developments; and directs the work of the Unit, including those of 
the Economic Officer responsible solely for oil and gas issues. 
 
The Oil and Gas Officer monitors and reports on the oil and gas 
sector in Russia, the world's largest producer and exporter of 
hydrocarbons; develops and maintains relevant government, industry, 
and NGO contacts. 
 
The Economic Officer covering economic reform issues monitors and 
reports on developments in the power sector; and develops and 
maintains relevant contacts. 
 
The Economic Section's OMS and LES Economic Assistants support the 
 
work of the section by setting up appointments, conducting research, 
attending meetings, serving as translators and interpreters when 
needed, writing relevant reports, and developing and maintaining a 
wide range of contacts. 
 
EST Section: 
 
The Deputy EST Counselor meets with a wide range of government 
contacts to engage them on climate change issues and encourage 
active participation in relevant multilateral fora; reports Russian 
views and drafts memos, talking points, etc., reflecting GOR and NGO 
approaches; and directs the work of the EST officer and LES. 
 
EST officer monitors and reports on the evolution of the civilian 
nuclear sector in Russia, Russia's export of civil nuclear 
technology; maintains relevant government, industry, and NGO 
contacts; is the liaison for Embassy programs involving the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Russian government; and 
coordinates with DOE office on all nuclear energy issues. 
 
LES supports these activities by accompanying EST officers, 
performing research on selected issues, and maintaining continuous 
contact with GOR counterparts. 
 
Executive Office: 
 
The Ambassador and DCM engage the Russian government at the highest 
levels to discuss U.S. and Russian domestic and international energy 
policies, and to advocate for a more transparent, efficient, and 
productive investment climate; meet with energy company senior 
executives to share perspectives on Russian and global energy 
issues; direct the activities of the entire Mission, including those 
of the sections relevant to this report.  The Ambassador's OMS and 
interpreter support these activities. 
 
CG Vladivostok: 
 
The Pol/Econ Officer and two LES monitor, analyze, and report on any 
and all political and economic developments i
n the region.  This 
includes monitoring and reporting on:  the Russian legal framework, 
developments related to the oil and gas sector, and developments in 
the environmental, nuclear, coal, and power generation fields. 
They also develop and maintain relationships with individuals 
involved in the sector, including oil company employees, government 
officials, and representatives in the media. 
 
CG Yekaterinburg: 
 
Pol/Econ Officer oversees one DOE FSN employee, who reports to 
Moscow's Department of Energy Attache.  Oversight includes 
energy-related reporting, and support for VIP visits to the region 
from Washington and Moscow.  Officer also regularly participates in 
weekly DVC with DOE, and outreach to Energy Department employees and 
contractors in the region. 
 
CG St. Petersburg: 
 
Pol/Econ Officer and LES meet with energy company officials and 
industry experts; visit export terminals; meet with 
environmentalists to discuss ecological impact of pipelines, power 
plants, etc.; and report on energy issues as they impact NW Russia. 
 
D.  State Department funds spent by post in FY 2007 on 
energy-related activities are as follows: 
 
-- personnel:  $ 232,937 ($65,179 for LES and $167,758 for 
Americans) 
-- program:  $2,897 (travel)

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW442, RUSSIAN CONCERNS ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON EXPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW442 2008-02-15 15:17 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0020
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0442 0461517
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151517Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6678
INFO RUCNNSG/NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0513

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000442 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KNNP MNUC AORC PARM IAEA IR RS
 
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN CONCERNS ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON EXPORT 
DENIALS PROVIDED BY GROUP OF NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS 
 
REF: STATE 11499 
 
Sensitive But Unclassified, Protect Accordingly 
 
1. (SBU)  On February 15, we delivered reftel points regarding U.S. 
support for the IAEA request to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) 
Governments for additional information regarding export denials to 
Iran or nuclear related items already delivered to Iran. 
 
2. (SBU) Alexandr Bolichiov of the MFA Directorate of Disarmament 
and Security Affairs (DVBR) expressed two concerns.  First is the 
potential for information to be leaked when provided to the IAEA or 
the NSG.  He reports that Russia has had a number of incidents in 
which information provided to IAEA or NSG was leaked outside these 
groups.  Second, the GOR normally reports Iran nuclear item 
deliveries through established channels in the UNSC.  There is no 
established mechanism for reporting this type of information to the 
NSG or IAEA. 
 
BURNS

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08MOSCOW436, RUSSIA – BELARUS RELATIONS: VIEWS FROM SMOLENSK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW436 2008-02-15 14:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0436 0461447
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151447Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6662
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000436 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON BO RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA - BELARUS RELATIONS: VIEWS FROM SMOLENSK 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.   Reasons 1.4(B/D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  For Smolensk residents, Belarus spells 
shared history, friendly ties, the only path to Europe, and 
affordable goods.  In their eyes, union with Belarus would be 
a plus.  For the diehard communists, Belarus is what Russia 
could still be, while for others it is a backward, 
anti-democratic state with which Russia has no option but to 
continue a cooperative relationship.  Officials deny any 
connection between the Smolensk region and opposition forces 
in Belarus.  While acknowledging that Belarus opposition 
pamphlets were printed in Smolensk, money, not a desire to 
topple Lukashenko, was the driving force.  Despite direct 
transport links, bilateral trade between the Smolensk and 
Belarus remained insignificant at USD 450 million in 2007. 
Smolensk's new governor has put more focus on the region's 
ties with Belarus and hopes to increase cooperation.  End 
summary. 
 
Between Moscow and Belarus 
-------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) FM Lavrov's late January visit to Minsk and President 
Putin's early February meeting with Lukashenko stirred 
speculation of an "impending" Union State.  MFA officials 
excluded the possibility of such a dramatic move in the near 
future.  From the vantage point of Smolensk, the border is 
artificial, dividing "one" people into two.  Head of the 
region's External Economic Relations Department Sergey 
Kudryatsev underlined Belarus's importance to Smolensk as a 
window to Europe, and as a source of cheap produce in the 
absence of the region's agricultural sector, which was ruined 
during the '90s.  The region's USD 250 million imports from 
Belarus comprised dairy, agricultural and textile products. 
Some thought that the region could further benefit from its 
"golden" location by insisting that Moscow pay it a transit 
fee for gas. 
 
No Haven for Belarus Opposition 
------------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) Interlocutors dismissed press reports that Smolensk 
provided a haven for the Belarus opposition.  Sergey 
Kovalyov, journalist, said that the population was so 
apolitical that it could not even get excited about its own 
political process let alone Belarus's.  Smolensk's Mikhailov 
Printing House, he contended, was so cash-starved that it 
would print any material in order to stay afloat. 
 
Communists: Belarus Wannabes 
---------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) For Communist Party leader Valeriy Kuznetsov, Belarus 
is what Russia could still be, with its leader firmly 
standing up against the U.S. and the West.  With "bandit 
capitalism" Russian-style in full swing and the "capitalists" 
from Moscow buying premium real estate in Smolensk, Belarus's 
"orderly" economy looked attractive in contrast.  Kuznetsov 
argued that Lukashenko was a model statesman who, Putin 
feared, would be elected president if a union state were 
created.  Kuznetsov stressed that the slow pace toward the 
Union State was evidence that Putin dreaded competition. 
 
One People, One History 
----------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Nataliya Bondarenko, Editor-in-Chief for the largest 
circulation local newspaper, "Workers' Way," supported the 
Union State for different reasons.  Smolensk, lying at the 
crossroads of Russia and Europe, had suffered innumerable 
invasions and had been "humiliated" repeatedly by the Poles, 
Lithuanians, the French, and Germans.  The Belarusians had 
also borne the brunt of those invasions. Bondarenko praised 
the new governor of the Smolensk region Sergey Aitufyev for 
making attempts to reinforce the region's relationship with 
Belarus immediately after he assumed office in December 2007. 
 
Beyond Economic Ties 
-------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Yevgeniy Zakharenkov, professor at the Smolensk State 
University, said that an increasing number of Belarusian 
students were studying in Smolensk higher education 
institutes and active academic exchanges among scholars were 
under way.  Currently, Smolensk's meager transportation 
network provides direct connection only to Moscow and Minsk. 
The lack of alternate routes had further reinforced the 
relationship between Belarus and Smolensk. 
BURNS

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08MOSCOW435, DFM TITOV: RUSSIA WILL BE RESPONSIBLE ON KOSOVO,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW435 2008-02-15 14:43 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9607
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0435/01 0461443
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151443Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6659
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000435 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON RS
SUBJECT: DFM TITOV: RUSSIA WILL BE RESPONSIBLE ON KOSOVO, 
BOSNIA, POLAND 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 251 
     B. MOSCOW 410 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns: Reasons 1.4 (b, d). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary: In a February 14 meeting with the 
Ambassador, DFM Titov reiterated warnings over the 
destabilizing consequences of Kosovo's impending UDI, but 
said Russia would respond "responsibly," including by 
convoking a UN Security Council special session, and issuing 
sharp statements of condemnation from the MFA, Kremlin, and 
parliament; separately, we understand the GOR rebuffed a 
proposed visit by FM Jeremic on February 20. Quoting Putin, 
Titov said Russia would not "mirror" the West's recognition 
of Kosovo with its partners in the frozen conflicts, but over 
time would advance its interests.  (At the same time, DFM 
Karasin was meeting with Abkhaz "FM" Shamba to discuss 
post-Kosovo UDI relations.)  Titov ruled out a Serb (or 
Russian) military response, but predicted a new frozen 
conflict would emerge in Northern Kosovo, with -- depending 
on Serbia's actions -- the prospect of violence or 
displacement in the central and southern Serb enclaves. 
Titov urged open lines of communication on both Kosovo and 
Bosnia, where the GOR is concerned by recent setbacks.  Titov 
praised the atmosphere established during Polish PM Tusk's 
visit; while sharp disagreements remain over missile defense 
and energy, Russia welcomes Poland's new conception of itself 
as an "ally" of Russia in EU and NATO corridors.  End Summary 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
Kosovo: Russia Focuses on Diplomatic Countermeasures 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
2.  (C)  In a February 14 meeting with the Ambassador, a 
relaxed DFM Titov jovially noted the hesitancy of EU states 
and the U.S. to confirm the timing of a Kosovo declaration of 
independence, but said he was prepared to come to the office 
on Sunday, February 17. Expecting little from the UN Security 
Council session then underway, Titov said the only mystery 
for the GOR was whether there would be any element of phased 
independence that might provide a lifeline to Serbian 
President Tadic.  Otherwise, Titov pointed to Putin's 
comments that day at a press conference, in which he declared 
a UDI immoral, illegal and driven by political expediency, as 
shaping the tenor of the GOR's response. 
 
3.  (C)  Acknowledging that time had run out on persuading 
the U.S. to adopt a different course, Titov reiterated 
Russia's objections: Kosovo would become a precedent, it 
would destabilize the region, Northern Kosovar Serb rejection 
of Kosovo's independence would lead to a creation of a new 
frozen conflict in the heart of Europe ("now we'll need 
negotiations on the territorial integrity of Kosovo"), the 
authority of the Security Council would erode further ("Iran 
also will pick and choose resolutions to enforce"), and the 
artificial time line for the conflict's resolution would come 
at the cost of European stability over the long-term.  Titov 
mused that it was difficult to understand European 
motivations.  While the U.S. got to be the "liberator," the 
Europeans would be left the "occupiers," and speculated that 
an exaggerated tendency toward unity, a need to maintain 
consensus behind EU reform, and the desire to avoid another 
Iraq-esque split with the United States was driving this 
mis-step. 
 
4.  (C)  Titov lingered on the deleterious consequences of a 
Kosovo UDI on the immediate region.  Arguing that Macedonia 
(regardless of imminent NATO status) feared Albanian 
irredentism, Titov warned of an understanding between Tirana 
and the Kosovar leadership that Kosovo's independence would 
not be the last step; instead, a "friendly space" would soon 
be declared, leading to an Albanian supra-government.  Titov 
predicted that Serbia's Radicals would push for early 
parliamentary elections, with the resulting power vacuum in 
Belgrade presenting a real danger.  With Serbia's EU 
political agreement now tied to Kosovo's status, Titov argued 
that Tadic had little room for maneuver.  If Kosovo's 
independence were "phased," Tadic could move forward with the 
EU, while promising to resist next steps in Kosovo's drive 
towards independence; if independence came at once, Tadic 
would be at the end of his political tether. 
 
5.  (C)  Titov ruled out a Serbian (or, for that matter, 
Russian) military response, but said that a potential for 
violence and displacement of civilians existed in the central 
and southern sectors of Kosovo.  While the northern zone was 
"easy," with a new frozen territory emerging that would be 
mediated by international peace keepers, Titov expressed 
concern that further partitions could exacerbate the already 
dangerous Kosovo precedent.  Much was riding on Serbia's 
reaction, and while the GOR believed that Belgrade would not 
 
MOSCOW 00000435  002 OF 003 
 
 
be overly "sharp," "they will do something." 
 
6.  (C)  In the wake of a UDI, Titov said the GOR would 
"behave responsibly" and ta
ke a series of diplomatic steps. 
Titov confirmed that Russia would support Serbia's call for a 
special session of the UN Security Council, but made no 
mention of invoking the Berlin mechanism at the OSCE, and 
separately we learned that the MFA rebuffed a proposed visit 
by FM Jeremic on February 20.  The MFA and Kremlin will issue 
sharp condemnations, couching UDI as a violation of 
international law and rejecting the argument that "special 
circumstances" drove U.S. and EU action.  Titov pointed also 
to a planned joint statement by the Duma and Federation 
Council, but did not tip his hand on whether the legislators 
would focus their appeal on Russian reciprocal recognition of 
Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria (which the Duma has 
done in the past).  Titov, noting Putin's "wise" formulation 
at the Thursday press conference, said Russia would not 
mirror the West with respect to the other frozen conflicts, 
"but our interests will continue to be advanced."  (While the 
Ambassador was meeting with Titov, DFM Karasin met with 
Abkhaz "Foreign Minister" Shamba to discuss Abkhaz and 
Russian relations in light of the expected independence of 
Kosovo.)  Titov said GOR-Serbian relations would continue to 
strengthen, pointing to a recent Gazprom agreement (ref. A), 
although the Serbian Embassy has stressed to us its 
"framework" nature in the wake of the Tadic victory. 
 
7.  (C)  The Ambassador seconded Titov's call to keep lines 
of communication open, and stressed that regardless of UDI 
timing, both the U.S. and EU would send a strong message to 
the Kosovars on the importance of respecting minority rights, 
and ensuring stability and calm.  The Ambassador stressed 
that it would be a mistake to underestimate the dangers 
inherent in this political transition, but that the worst 
outcome for all concerned would be an outbreak of violence. 
Noting the EU's message to the Serbian leadership to keep its 
longer-term interests in mind, the Ambassador urged the GOR 
to play a constructive role in encouraging Serbia's European 
integration. 
 
------------------------------- 
Bosnia: Deteriorating Situation 
------------------------------- 
 
8.  (C)  Titov expressed concern over recent trends in 
Bosnia, contrasting OHR Lajcak's upbeat assessment during his 
January 31 visit to Moscow, with the recent failure to 
achieve police reform and an SAA.  Titov stressed that the 
GOR had welcomed Lajcak's assessment that the work of the OHR 
could be substantively wrapped up by June-July, with the 
technical closure of the office by the end of 2008.  Russia 
was uncertain how the recent setbacks in achieving 
benchmarks, coupled with the effects of a Kosovo UDI, will 
play out in Bosnia.  While Titov downplayed the possibility 
of direct actions (presumably by RS's Dodik) to capitalize on 
Kosovo's independence, he predicted inflammatory statements 
that would contributed to the mood of uncertainty.  The 
Ambassador welcomed Titov's call for close coordination 
leading up to the February 25-26 PIC.  Titov noted the GOR's 
reliance on European integration as a key card in ensuring 
Bosnia's stability.  At this stage, he warned, the EU could 
not afford to be less engaged in Bosnia than in Kosovo. 
 
---------------------------- 
Poland: Return of Pragmatism 
---------------------------- 
 
9.  (C)  Titov's readout to the Ambassador of PM Tusk's visit 
tracked with lower-level MFA and Polish Embassy versions 
(ref. B).  Describing the atmosphere as "very good," Titov 
said the Poles had focused on improving the tone of the 
bilateral relationship with Putin and his successor, First 
Deputy PM Medvedev, in the absence of real breakthroughs. 
Titov welcomed Tusk's frank and open discussion of all 
issues, and his pragmatic focus on identifying those areas 
where there was possibility of forward movement; Tusk, he 
said, succeeded in creating a good impression, while firmly 
defending Polish national interests.  Tusk and the GOR agreed 
on an intensive bilateral calendar, which will include a May 
session of the committee to discuss historical issues, a July 
economic cooperation meeting, a visit by the GOP 
parliamentary leadership, and a visit by the Russian FM to 
Warsaw in the summer (who chairs the strategic cooperation 
committee that serves as the umbrella for GOR-GOP engagement). 
 
10.  (C)  Titov noted that areas of deep disagreement 
continue to constrain the relationship.  Titov described the 
missile defense discussions as general in nature, although 
Putin provided a "firm" view of the Russian position. 
Whereas the Poles were interested in Russian reactions "if 
 
MOSCOW 00000435  003 OF 003 
 
 
there were a missile defense deployment," Titov observed, 
Russia remain focused on what the relationship would look 
like "if there were no missile defense deployment."  On both 
missile defense and the production of Soviet-era weaponry 
without Russian licensing, both countries agreed to continue 
discussions.  While Poland pushed for consideration of the 
Amber pipeline as an alternative to Nord Stream, Titov said 
Russia was unequivocal in moving forward on the Baltic sea 
pipeline, with Putin equally clear that Russia was prepared 
to meet Poland's increased energy needs.  While Tusk made a 
pitch for Russian investment in the pipeline infrastructure 
to support the Lithuanian refinery in Mazeikia, Russian 
Energy Minister Khristenko argued that the required upgrades 
would result in gas prices that were equal to the gas 
currently provided by tankers.  Titov said "historical 
memories" made it difficult for Tusk to accept the GOR 
proposal to allow Polish troops and equipment to transit 
Russia to Afghanistan more easily, in return for the same 
rights for Russian troops and equipment headed to 
Kaliningrad, but that the issue could potentially be raised 
in a broader EU context. 
 
11.  (C)  The breakthrough in Polish-Russian relations, Titov 
stressed, was recorded on the European front, with Poland 
conveying its willingness to be a "Russian ally" in EU and 
NATO corridors.  Whereas Poland had stymied GOR cooperation 
with Europe in the past, Titov charged, Tusk had changed the 
GOP's "conception" and was prepared to help.  Noting FM 
Lavrov's February 12 meeting with the EU Troika in Ljubljana, 
Titov attributed the EU's willingness to aim for a March 
start to PCA negotiations to Poland's change of heart.  He 
predicted that the "dynamism" in the political relationship 
would translated into further progress on the bilateral 
economic front, where trade in 2007 surpassed 17 billion 
dollars. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
12.  (C)  Judging by Titov's body language and matter of fact 
portrayal of Russian actions in the wake of UDI, Russia is 
going to move deliberately and diplomatically, hewing closely 
to its argument that the U.S. and EU have violated 
international law and will face the consequences in degraded 
European stability and secessionist demands el
sewhere.  We 
will continue to monitor closely the GOR's engagement with 
the leadership of the frozen conflict territories for any 
signs of how the GOR plans to "advance its interests." 
BURNS

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW434, DFM LOSYUKOV ON IRAN, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN,

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08MOSCOW434.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW434 2008-02-15 14:41 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0434/01 0461441
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151441Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6657
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000434 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2018 
TAGS: PREL PARM MNUC KNNP PINR AF IN JP IR RS
SUBJECT: DFM LOSYUKOV ON IRAN, PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, 
SIX-PARTY TALKS AND JAPAN 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  In a February 14 meeting with Ambassador, 
DFM Losyukov expressed frustration with the Iranian regime's 
arrogance and inflexibility.  Considering Iranian domestic 
politics, the GOR foresees no serious political discussion 
occurring prior to its March 14 parliamentary elections. 
Losyukov expected that the Year of Russia declared for 2008 
in India would bring the two countries closer, as was the 
case in China in 2006.  Although the bilateral relationship 
is improving, he said India was in no hurry to push forward 
joint work in areas such as civilian nuclear cooperation.  He 
stressed Pakistan's fragility and questioned whether the U.S. 
democracy agenda might be courting destabilization.  Losyukov 
underlined that Russia was constrained by its past in 
Afghanistan when it came to military assistance, but was 
considering aiding certain groups in the North.  He said that 
he remained skeptical of the DPRK's willingness to submit a 
complete declaration of its nuclear program.  Losyukov 
indicated that the territorial issue would keep relations 
with Japan on hold for the foreseeable future.  In March, 
Losyukov will leave the MFA to join the state nanotechnolgy 
company.  End summary. 
 
Iran 
---- 
 
2.  (C) DFM Losyukov told the Ambassador February 14 that the 
GOR was disappointed with the Iranian regime, which reacted 
to all U.S. and Russian proposals with the same inflexibility 
and arrogance. The GOR's continuous engagement policy had 
made no difference, he said.  Although there are different 
groups in Iran willing to engage in dialogue, the domestic 
atmosphere precludes serious discussion of Iran's nuclear 
development plans. 
 
India and Pakistan 
------------------ 
 
3.  (C) After a brief description of PM Zubkov's visit to New 
Delhi this week, Losyukov said he hoped the Year of Russia in 
India in 2008 would boost the bilateral relationship, 
including the current, low USD 10 billion annual trade 
volume. He sensed the Indians were cautious about nuclear 
cooperation with Russia, mindful of the need to balance other 
players, such as the U.S.  Losyukov reported that the Indians 
were watching events in Pakistan closely and were worried 
that their bilateral relationship would be spoiled by 
continuing uncertainty.  Losyukov was most worried that the 
Pakistan government was not in total control. He worried that 
USG democratization efforts in such a "fragile country" might 
risk destabilization. The Ambassador pointed out that 
Pakistan's state of affairs complicates the situation in 
Afghanistan.  Losyukov agreed, arguing that most Pakistanis 
considered Afghanistan no more than a "special" province of 
Pakistan. An additional complicating factor is the disharmony 
between the Pakistani military and intelligence communities, 
he added. 
 
Afghanistan 
----------- 
 
4.  (C) Losyukov seconded the Ambassador's emphasis on 
coordinating international efforts in order to combat the 
narcotics trade in Afghanistan.  He suggested further efforts 
to monitor and stop terrorism and narcotics along the porous 
Afghan borders.  Losyukov noted that the Afghans, unlike 
earlier in the year, were producing "good quality," processed 
narcotics, which meant that the necessary ingredients were 
being transported in bulk from Iran, Pakistan or Uzbekistan. 
The ease with which raw ingredients and final products 
migrate across borders demonstrated the urgency of 
coordination among the U.S., Russia, Iran, Pakistan and 
Central Asian countries. Losyukov suggested the Shanghai 
Cooperation Organization as one mechanism, perhaps in 
informal coordination with NATO. To the Ambassador's question 
on a possible Russian offer of military assistance to 
Afghanistan, Losyukov responded that Russia, motivated by 
fear of the Taliban's return, may be willing to support 
certain groups in the North -- despite the suspicions this 
may provoke. Its past experience had made Russia wary of 
geopolitical games in the region, however. 
 
Six-Party Talks 
--------------- 
 
5.  (C) Losyukov likened working with the DPRK to walking 
through a jungle, machete-ing a path, but getting scratched 
and cut regularly in the process.  He sympathized with A/S 
Hill, but was pessimistic on the future of the talks.  He had 
predicted that the DPRK would be reluctant to submit a full 
 
list of its nuclear programs and since then had heard 
directly from the North Koreans that they would not include 
military programs in the list which, according to Losyukov, 
was the whole reason for the Six-Party Talks. Although he had 
no knowledge of what the DPRK shared with the U.S. team, he 
understood that the North Koreans had a di
fferent 
understanding of what was to be disclosed. Losyukov said that 
the GOR backed the USG desire to make the DPRK nuclear-free 
but the Six-Party nations must act together. The Ambassador 
said that the U.S. shared the GOR's frustration with the 
DPRK, but patience and persistence had to prevail.  Losyukov 
suggested that the U.S. could remove the DPRK from the 
"lists" or halt the process as a tactic if there is no 
progress in sight. 
 
Japan 
----- 
 
6.  (C) Per Losyukov, the bilateral relationship has improved 
steadily, while the search for a resolution of the 
territorial dispute remains on the agenda. With the long and 
unfortunate history of confrontation still fresh in the minds 
of many in both countries, the issue could move forward only 
with time, when the public is prepared for a compromise.  The 
GOR would be willing to return two islands according to the 
1956 agreement, a proposal that had been rejected by the GOJ. 
The GOR was examining the possibility of creating a common 
economic development zone, where former Japanese residents of 
the islands could return and work.  What is clear, Losyukov 
warned, is that the return of all four islands was out of the 
question. Losyukov said that the GOJ had rejected the GOR's 
suggestion that FM Komura visit Moscow March 20-21 and was 
seeking a PM Fukuda meeting with the outgoing or incoming 
Russian president before the G8 Summit in Hokkaido. That 
would be difficult to arrange during the transition, Losyukov 
thought. 
 
Losyukov to the Private Sector 
----------------------------- 
 
7.  (C) Losyukov regretted to the Ambassador that the meeting 
would likely be their last in his current capacity.  He plans 
to leave the MFA in March for a state nanotech company. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW433, EXTRANCHECK: POST-SHIPMENT VERIFICATION:

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW433 2008-02-15 14:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0433/01 0461437
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151437Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6655
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000433 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USDOC FOR 532/OEA/MHAMES/LRITTER 
USDOC FOR 3150/USFCS/OIO/CEENIS/MCOSTA 
USDOC FOR 532/OEE/MO'BRIEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: BEXP ETRD ETTC RS
SUBJECT: EXTRANCHECK: POST-SHIPMENT VERIFICATION: 
SEVERSK BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, SEVERSK, RUSSIA, 
LICENSE NO. D381152 
 
REFTEL: USDOC 09586 
 
1. Unauthorized disclosure of the information provided 
below is prohibited by Section 12C of the Export 
Administration Act. 
 
2. Reftel requested a Post-shipment verification to 
determine the legitimacy and reliability of the end- 
user, Seversk Business Development Agency, Seversk, 
Russia. The company is listed on BIS license 
application D381152 as the ultimate consignee of one 
thermal imaging camera (flk-tiddft-20, fusion). This 
item is controlled for anti-terrorism, united nations, 
regional stability, nuclear non-proliferation and 
national security reasons under ECCN 6A003. The 
licensee is Fluke Corporation, 6920 Seaway Blvd., 
Everett, WA 98203. 
 
3. On February 12, 2008, Export Control Attache Peter 
Liston and LES Natalya Shipitsina conducted the 
requested post-shipment verification with Seversk 
Business Development Agency, Tomsk, Russia. The export 
control team met with Sergey Kosyakov, Director and 
Ivan Savchuk, Director of Operations. 
 
4. The Seversk Business Development Agency (SBDA) is 
located in the closed city of Seversk, therefore the 
Moscow Export Control Team met with representatives of 
the SBDA at the Magistrate Hotel in Tomsk. 
 
5. The Seversk Business Development Agency was created 
in 2003 as a result of cooperation between the Closed 
Nuclear Cities Partnership Program (CNCP), the 
Siberian Chemical Kombinat (SCK) and the Closed City 
Administration of Seversk.  A feasibility study 
determined the market need for development of the SBDA 
in the closed city of Seversk.  The study identified 
appropriate services to be provided by a BDA in 
Seversk, given existing budgetary resources, and 
identify the best structure for such an agency.  The 
goal of the BDA is to promote a favorable climate for 
entrepreneurial activities and stimulate the formation 
and growth of new businesses and assist them to build 
up sales outside the closed cities and create civilian 
jobs, particularly for former nuclear weapons 
scientists, engineers and technicians from SCK. 
 
6.  The SBDA representatives advised the Moscow Export 
Control Team that FLUKE Thermal Imaging Camera has 
been used exclusively in the construction industry, 
identifying defects in buildings and schools.  SBDA 
presented two case studies recently completed using 
the thermal imaging camera that included printed 
images from the camera.  Copies were given to ECO 
Liston and are on file.  The SBDA stated that the 
fusion capabilities of the FLUKE model were one of the 
primary reasons their expert chose that camera. 
 
7.  The SBDA brought the FLUKE Thermal Imaging Camera 
to the meeting with the Moscow Export Control Team. 
Photos were taken of the camera and are available upon 
request.  The serial number of the camera was 
inspected and noted by ECO Liston as T155FT-0708059. 
 
8.  ECO Liston advised SBDA of all end-user 
restrictions that are inherent with the FLUKE Thermal 
Imaging Camera.  SBDA advised the Moscow Export 
Control Team that the camera, when not in use, is 
secured within a locked facility with access limited 
to those trained on its use and knowledgeable about 
the license restrictions. The SBDA stated that the 
camera was a considerable investment for the non- 
profit company and they have every intention on 
safeguarding it. 
 
9.  The SBDA is not involved in WMD or Missile 
Technology.  SBDA is a non-profit organization.  SBDA 
did ask the Moscow Export Control Team if they could 
use the camera to detect defects in government and 
military buildings and installations in the future 
should they bid on tenders to do so.  The ECO Moscow 
requests guidance in this regard. 
 
10. Recommendations: Post recommends Seversk Business 
Development Agency, Seversk, Russia as a reliable 
recipient of sensitive U.S. origin commodities. 
 
 
 
(FCS MOSCOW/SBOZEK/PLISTON) 
BURNS

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW431, Medvedev’s Four “I”s: – The Keys to His Economic Program

WikiLeaks Link

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Discussing cables
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW431 2008-02-15 14:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0431/01 0461427
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151427Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6652
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000431 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EBB/IFD 
STATE PASS TO USTR 
TREASURY FOR TORGERSON 
COMMERCE FOR EDWARDS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EINV ETRD RS
SUBJECT: Medvedev's Four "I"s: - The Keys to His Economic Program 
 
1. (U) Summary.  In a speech at an economic forum in Krasnoyarsk, 
Siberia February 15, Deputy Prime Minister and presidential hopeful 
Dmitry Medvedev identified four economic priorities for Russia: 
infrastructure, innovation, investment, institutions.  He called for 
a smaller state role in the economy, including a diminished role for 
government officials on the boards of state-owned enterprises.  He 
also said that if he were elected, he would seek to turn Russia into 
"one of the biggest financial centers in the world" with a stable 
currency, strong banking sector and reformed tax system.  Medvedev 
identified combating corruption as one of most serious challenges 
before Russia, and called for a stronger and more independent 
judiciary and mass media as means to reducing corruption.  He 
emphasized freedom - personal and economic, as well as freedom of 
expression.  End Summary 
 
Economic platform 
----------------- 
 
2. (U) In his speech, Medvedev outlined several key tasks: lowering 
administrative barriers, reducing the VAT, turning the ruble into 
one of the world's resource currencies, modernizing transportation 
and energy infrastructure, creating an innovation society and 
implementing a social development program for the country. 
 
Modernization and the State 
--------------------------- 
 
3. (U) Medvedev criticized the insufficient investment levels in oil 
and gas production over the past decades, and called for a series of 
measures that would increase production, create state-of the art 
generating plants - nuclear, goal, electricity and gas-driven - and 
define the regulatory framework for investment.  He stated that the 
government had a role to play in co-financing major projects.  The 
state also should assume significant responsibility for improving 
 
the state of the roads, and for ensuring that everyone has access to 
modern, uninterrupted telecommunication and internet services. 
 
4. (U) Medvedev, however, cautioned about the state having too large 
a role in the economy.  He called for a greater transfer of assets 
to the private sector and urged that government officials not hold 
the majority of seats on the boards of state-owned companies.  He 
also subtly encouraged the SOEs to become more flexible. 
 
Russia - A financial center 
--------------------------- 
 
5. (U) The ruble should be seen as a world currency and used in 
reserves, according to Medvedev.  He called for measures to support 
Russian exports and investment abroad.  Russian raw materials should 
be priced in rubles, which would help turn the ruble into a world 
currency reserve.  Russia should become one of the world's largest 
banking sectors, with a stable currency and reformed tax system. 
Regarding the latter, he suggested that value-added tax rates should 
be lowered as well as taxes imposed on the sale of stocks on the 
Russian market. He supported the creation of tax incentives for 
companies in the extractive industries to increase production and 
adopt modern technologies. 
 
6. (U) Medvedev said the government would be ready to assist the 
banking sector, should global economic conditions start to take 
their toll, and would use the newly created Welfare Fund if 
necessary to provide the financial support. 
 
Closing the Gap 
--------------- 
 
7. (U) Recognizing that not everyone has benefited from Russia's 
recent economic growth, Medvedev called for pension reform.  He also 
advocated a lowering of taxes on private expenditures on education 
and health-care related services and pensions.  He pointed out the 
need to increase the affordability of housing, observed that only 20 
percent of the population can afford housing, and said the GOR's 
goal is not less than 35 percent by 2012. 
 
Combating Corruption, Increasing Freedom 
---------------------------------------- 
 
8. (U) Medvedev harshly criticized the level of corruption that 
permeates all aspects of life in Russia.  He urged for a 
comprehensive anti-corruption campaign, and pointed to an 
independent judicial system, free access to information and media as 
critical elements.  He also called for the strengthening of measures 
to protect private property.  Expounding on the need for judicial 
reform, he expressed support for the development of pre-trial and 
non-court conflict resolution mechanisms, the introduction of a 
compensation fund for losses from unlawful court decisions, and a 
'humanization' of the judicial system.  The grounding principle 
should be freedom, in all its aspects - personal freedom, economic 
freedom, and freedom of expression.  The grounding value should be 
the rule of law, he argued. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
9. (SBU) Medvedev seems to be increasingly intent on demonstrating 
his liberal economic tendencies.  His goals are both technical in 
nature but significant in scope, and are designed to increase

Russia's global competitiveness and to ensure that the benefits of 
economic growth trickle down.  End Comment.

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW421, MFA ON MULTILATERALIZING INF, NON-MILITARIZATION

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW421 2008-02-15 10:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9303
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0421 0461055
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151055Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6621
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000421 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2018 
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO RS
SUBJECT: MFA ON MULTILATERALIZING INF, NON-MILITARIZATION 
OF SPACE, POST-START 
 
Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Alice G. Wells.  Reasons 1. 
4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Vladimir Yermakov, MFA Director of Strategic 
Capabilities Policy, told us February 13 that FM Lavrov's 
proposal at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on February 12 
to "multilateralize" the Treaty on the Elimination of 
Medium-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF) was necessary 
to prevent the proliferation of intermediate-range missiles. 
While China was "reluctant," it had not rejected the idea. 
Yermakov said the Russia-China proposal for a treaty on 
Non-Militarization of Space was similar to previous, 
unsuccessful efforts.  He denied that Russia intended to 
multilateralize post-START or other treaties, at least not 
initially.  End summary. 
 
INF 
--- 
 
2. (C) Yermakov, who is newly arrived from four years at the 
Russian Embassy in Washington, told us that Russia believed 
that since other countries were developing greater nuclear 
and missile capacity, it was important to bring them under a 
binding Treaty obligation.  Russia's draft text seeking to 
"multilateralize" the INF Treaty was only a start, intended 
to move the process forward.  The question of whether to 
cover only ground-launched intermediate-range missiles (as 
under the existing INF Treaty), or all intermediate range 
missiles was one for further discussion.  When asked whether 
Russia had solicited views from other countries prior to 
tabling the text, he said the GOR had discussed it with 
China, which was reluctant, but had not rejected the idea. 
China had told Russia it had concerns and wanted to watch how 
the process moved forward.  India was also reluctant, whereas 
Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine were supportive.  He said 
Russia had not discussed the proposal with Iran. 
 
3. (C) Ivan Safranchuk, Director of the World Security 
Institute, told us the GOR's main goal in proposing 
multilateralization of the INF Treaty was to stymie U.S. 
Missile Defense plans for Eastern Europe.  If Russia 
succeeded in getting other countries, specifically Iran, to 
sign on to a global INF Treaty, there would be no more threat 
from Iran, and therefore no reason for MD in Poland and the 
Czech Republic.  Russia was not really interested in 
continuing just a bilateral Treaty with the U.S., he said, 
and "would have no alternative" but to withdraw from the INF 
Treaty if it failed at broadening it. 
 
Non-Militarization of Space Treaty 
---------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Yermakov said the Treaty on Non-Militarization of 
Space tabled jointly by Russia and China at the CD was very 
similar to the one they proposed in 2002.  Russia intended to 
keep the discussion in the CD for now.  While the proposal 
focuses on all offensive weapons, it would be necessary to 
define the terms carefully so as to determine whether and 
what type of defensive weapons should be covered. 
 
Multilateralizing Post-START? 
----------------------------- 
 
5. (C) In his Munich speech, Ivanov said that the post-START 
(Yermakov said the reference to SALT I was a poor 
translation) regime should be legally binding, so that, "in 
due course, it would really become possible to shift to the 
control over nuclear weapons and the process of their gradual 
reduction on a multilateral basis."  When asked whether 
Ivanov's comments indicated that Russia was moving towards a 
policy of seeking to multilateralize a post-START Treaty and 
other arms control treaties, Yermakov said that Russia was 
not serious about multilateralizing START now.  There was no 
point in having multilateral treaties without the U.S., and 
it was better to start with a bilateral agreement which, 
perhaps, could be expanded later to include other countries, 
as Russia was proposing with the INF Treaty. 
 
6. (C) Yermakov reiterated Russian arguments about the need 
for a binding, post-START Treaty that "took all the best 
elements of the START Treaty," and that provided stability 
and predictability about both sides' nuclear arsenals. 
Russia did not understand what "operationally deployed 
strategic weapons," as used in the Moscow Treaty, meant. 
Therefore, it was important to provide a clear picture of all 
strategic weapons and delivery vehicles. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW411, SMOLENSK: SLOWLY BREAKING AWAY FROM THE RED BELT

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08MOSCOW411.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW411 2008-02-15 07:30 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0411/01 0460730
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 150730Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6592
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000411 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2018 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: SMOLENSK: SLOWLY BREAKING AWAY FROM THE RED BELT 
 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
(C) Summary: Historically branded as part of Russia's "red 
belt," the city of Smolensk exhibits all the familiar 
characteristics of a staunch communist bastion slowly coming 
to terms with the new Russia.  Paradoxically, for a city that 
has repeatedly fallen victim to foreign invasions, Smolensk 
lacks a basic transportation network with the only option a 
train ride to Moscow or into the wilds of Belarus, and there 
is little economic incentive for Smolensk graduates to remain 
at home.  Although the presidential election is only two 
weeks away, there was little evidence visible on the city's 
streets during a February 12 - 13 visit, and numerous 
conversations suggested that the public was indifferent to 
the contest's outcome.  A continuing desire for stability and 
continuity above all suggested that most will vote for 
Putin's hand-picked heir Dmitriy Medvedev, while only a small 
portion of the population -- die-hard communists -- will 
support Communist candidate Zyuganov.  The new governor, in 
charge since only December 2007, has inspired measured 
enthusiasm for his good ties to Moscow and a pragmatic 
approach; although to date there have been few concrete 
results.  End summary. 
 
From Lenin to Dzerzhinskiy 
-------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) Except for a few brand name stores, most of which 
appeared last year, Smolensk seems to be a city of the past. 
Streets, named after Marx, Lenin, Dzerzhinskiy, the October 
Revolution and Smirnov, have not been renamed, and the most 
popular local newspaper, with a circulation of 80 thousand, 
is still called "Workers Way."  With close to sixteen percent 
of the population supporting the communists -- surpassing the 
nationwide average of twelve percent -- in the December 2 
Duma elections, the Smolensk region remains one of the most 
"red" in Central Russia.  United Russia's local 
representative Viktor Pupchenikov told us February 12 that 
the KPRF's lock on power had come to an end, and that his 
party hoped to deliver at least sixty-five percent of the 
vote to Putin heir-apparent Dmitriy Medvedev.  The Communist 
Party's Valeriy Kuznetsov countered that any party with the 
administrative resources of United Russia could deliver a 
landslide victory. 
 
Dwindling and Falling Behind 
---------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) Sergey Kovalev, a journalist and engineer at 
Smolenskenergo, described Smolensk as a dying region with its 
population in terminal decline and little prospect for 
increased investment.  One of the region's few exports, he 
said, was electricity, 75 percent of which is diverted to the 
more prosperous neighboring Bryansk and Kaluga regions.  What 
is more telling, according to Kovalev, is that the 
consumption of electricity has been declining in Smolensk. 
Despite the rhetoric of the Putin regime, Kovalev detected 
little change in the life of Smolensk residents.  Among his 
seventeen classmates at one of the prestigious Smolensk 
institutes, class of 1994, ten are working in Moscow, three 
in the U.S. while he, one of the remaining four, is making an 
all-consuming effort to find a job in Moscow. 
 
4.  (C) Kovalev, who supplemented his mother's 2,800 ruble 
(USD 110) a month pension by moonlighting for a local 
newspapers, described himself as "bitter."  He scoffed at the 
idea of Smolensk, which is about sixty kilometers from the 
Belarusian border, as a window on the West.  Kovalev 
dismissed United Russia as an association of those in power 
and those who wish to join them.  The ruling party and the 
Russian people are as separate as oil and water with no 
channel of communication between them, he contended. 
 
Red but not Golden 
------------------ 
 
5.  (C) Dmitriy Galkin, researcher at the Smolensk Medical 
Academy, echoed Kovalev's comments.  Smolensk's seven higher 
education institutes churn out well-educated graduates who 
find no place in the local economy.  "They study well in 
order to leave," he summarized.  The average monthly salary 
of college graduates ranges from 7,000 - 10,000 rubles (USD 
280 - 400).  Galkin also supplements his income by working 
regularly on projects for a Moscow medical institute.  Both 
Galkin and Kovalev expressed frustration with the 
apoliticized Smolensk media, which provide little useful 
information.  Both thought the possible remedy for the 
region's terminal decline was outside investment, but neither 
saw a prospect for change in the near-term.  Despite many 
historical sites in the city, Smolensk attracted few 
tourists.  "There isn't even an airport here; who's going to 
come?" they asked. 
 
Positive Signs Slowly Appearing 
------------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) High school English teacher and medical researcher 
Oleg Dudochkin echoed Galkin and Kovalev.  Smolensk region 
was natural resource poor, and its problems were compounded 
by corruption and the lack of capable professionals among the 
region's leadership.  Dudochkin, however, noted a few 
encouraging signs.  Like many, he holds two jobs and
is 
benefiting directly from recent positive developments at each 
of his work places.  As part of the GOR's National Projects, 
the state high school where Dudochkin teaches now offers 
internet access to each classroom with enough computer 
terminals for each student.  His medical research company had 
been bought recently by an American multinational firm, which 
increased his salary. 
 
United Russia: Sing Stability and Sing it with Enthusiasm 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
7.  (C) United Russia dominates every walk of Smolensk's 
life.  The region's governor, the major of the city, the 
Editor-in-Chief of the largest circulation local newspaper, 
the director of the diamond factory "Kristall," the director 
of the biggest regional hospital, and virtually all of the 
remainder of the region's elite are party members.  The party 
has 10,600 members in the oblast, and an additional two 
thousand in Smolensk.  The second largest party -- the 
Communists -- trails far behind with only 2,500 members 
oblast-wide.  Governor, Sergey Aitufyev, has pioneered a few 
new projects.  In order to counter population decline, he has 
added an additional 10,000 rubles to the financial incentive 
package provided by the national government to the parents of 
new-born children.  With Aitufyev's arrival, the federal 
government awarded one of the eight trauma centers to be 
built nationwide to Smolensk.  Unlike his scandal-ridden 
predecessor, Aitufyev is tackling the region's infrastructure 
problems. 
 
8.  (C) In two separate meetings, twelve pro-Kremlin Young 
Guards members and thirteen students at Smolensk State 
University, enthusiastically parroted United Russia's 
slogans.  Russia's course for greatness had been charted by 
Putin, they maintained, and should not be questioned. 
Twenty-two-year old student Marina Kondratsenkova said that 
'90s cynicism had been replaced with genuine patriotism. 
There was little discernible difference between the 
politically-active Young Guards and the Smolensk State 
students.  Both groups believed that Putin's plan was working 
and that only Putin's designated successor could carry on. 
They praised Medvedev's stewardship of the national projects 
and believed, as promised, that by 2010 they would yield 
concrete results.  Another student who spent two summers in 
the U.S. through the work and travel program thanked Putin 
for giving Smolensk everything that Moscow now has, including 
traffic jams. 
 
No Campaign, Good Campaign? 
--------------------------- 
 
9.  (C) Aleksey Stepanov of the Regional Election Commission 
alleged that there had been no election campaign violations 
to date.  According to Stepanov, 54 percent of the region's 
eligible voters had participated in the December Duma 
elections, less than the national average.  Among the 
participants, seventeen percent were under age thirty. 
Stepanov agreed that the population of the region was 
apolitical, but he hoped for a better voter turnout this time 
around.  He expected election observers from United Russia 
and the Communist Party at most of the region's 825 polling 
stations on March 2.  Except for a handful of United Russia's 
campaign placards -- "Russia Forward" -- over the streets of 
Smolensk, there was little sign of election excitement. 
Stepanov hinted that the other parties simply did not have 
the funds to spend on street advertisements. 
 
Little Chance for Others 
------------------------ 
 
10.  (C) The 45-seat Smolensk Regional legislature is 
composed of 35 United Russia, 6 Communist and 4 LDPR 
deputies.  The Communist Party's Kuznetsov contended that 
improvements in the living standard remained elusive, and 
that, between out-migration and the persistent gap between 
deaths and births (22,000/8,500 in 2007), the future was 
grim.  The party's thinning and largely elderly ranks -- 
Kuznetsov told us that the average age was 57 -- was the 
result of United Russia's "nasty" campaign to inculcate an 
erroneous understanding of the past among voters.  He 
lamented that Putin's regime had replaced "all that was good 
in the Soviet system with bandit capitalism."  LDPR's Lev 
Platonov said that United Russia's unchallengeable control of 
administrative resources made it difficult for his party to 
influence the political process.  Instead, the party had 
focused on helping the underprivileged.  LDPR presidential 
candidate Vladimir Zhirinovskiy had swung through during the 
Duma election campaign with little noticeable impact.  SPS's 
Igor Timofyev admitted that the Duma election results, where 
SPS polled 1.16 percent region wide and Yabloko 1.43 percent, 
suggested a bleak future. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
11. (C) The contrast between the students' infectious 
enthusiasm and their elders' pessimism was evident both in 
the conversations recorded here and in other chance exchanges 
during the February 12 - 13 visit to Smolensk. Not a subject 
of conversation was the presidential campaign itself, which 
everyone we encountered assumed, either with enthusiasm or 
indifference, would bring more of the same.  The debut months 
of Governor Aitufyev seemed to sit well even with those 
inclined to be skeptical about the ability of those at the 
head of the food chain, but few believed he would be able to 
reverse the region's flagging fortunes. 
BURNS

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08MOSCOW410, POLISH PM TUSK’S VISIT TO MOSCOW REF: A. MOSCOW 267 B. MOSCOW 5585 Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d).

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW410 2008-02-15 05:16 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9049
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0410/01 0460516
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 150516Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6590
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000410 SIPDIS SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2018 TAGS: PREL PARM MARR ENRG PL RS

SUBJECT: POLISH PM TUSK'S VISIT TO MOSCOW REF: A. MOSCOW 267 B. MOSCOW 5585 Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d). 

1. (C) Summary: Polish PM Tusk's trip to Moscow served as a symbol of the thawing of bilateral relations and a willingness on both sides to engage, if not agree. Missile defense discussions produced no new proposals, and Polish diplomats characterized Putin's position as "tough," including pushing for permanent Russian monitoring of installations in Poland. Poland presented a pipeline proposal as an aQQ3pQclared they were willing to discuss "any issue." Polish diplomats noted that Tusk spent an hour each with Putin and Medvedev and that although Putin joked that "both countries tried, and failed, to ruin our relationship," there was now real political will on both sides to move forward. Tkachyev told us that Putin was planning a future trip to Warsaw, although he did not know "in what capacity" Putin would travel. Missile Defense --------------- 3. Q6Q@QIdMmJ_installations "on a permanent basis." Putin stressed that the USG had first proposed this during the October "2 2" talk as a confidence-building measure, but had later "backed down." Tusk "did not say no," according to Polish diplomats, but gave a "generally negative" response, and noted later in a press conference that the Polish government "did not assume a permanent stay of officers of third countries on Polish territory." Nord Stream ----------- 5. (C) Tusk presented Putin with a proposal for the "Amber" pipeline, to be built across the Baltic States and Poland, as a less-expensive alternative to Nord Stream, Tkachyev told us. However, he said that while Amber was "still a slogan," Nord Stream was already at an "advanced state of preparations," including the procurement of special piping to be used underwater. Tkachyev told us that Putin emphasized that Russia would abide by its agreements to supply gas to Poland, no matter the route. Polish diplomats told us the two sides "agreed to disagree," but that Poland would continue with plans for Amber. The Embargo and PCA Negotiations -------------------------------- 6. (C) Tkachyev noted that while the GOR considered the veto to be an internal EU matter, it was pleased with the extensive progress made on negotiations on the meat embargo since Tusk's government took office, and stressed that Russia was satisfied with the extent to which Tusk had depoliticized the embargo. Polish diplomats told us that Poland would begin talks over lifting the embargo at the February 18 GAERC, but was still waiting for Russia to "fully" lift the embargo. Tkachyev agreed there were standards yet to be agreed upon, but was optimistic they would be fully resolved by the Russian and Polish Ministries of Agriculture. MOSCOW 00000410 002 OF 002 Other Positive Steps -------------------- 7. (C) The only deliverable signed during Tusk's visit concerned the sharing of classified information, which Tkachyev explained would strengthen cooperation on issues such as counterterrorism and between Russian and Polish secret services. He told us that Tusk also received informal SIPDIS guarantees of greater oil supplies to the Lithuanian refinery in Mazeikia, and easier regulation on sea traffic from the Vistula Bay to the Baltic through the Straight of Baltiysk. Comment ------- 8. (C) Russia mustered the political will to lessen the mutual acrimony over the embargo/PCA negotiations quickly, but fundamental differences over missile defense and energy security will remain formidable obstacles to normalized bilateral ties. BURNS

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