Daily Archives: February 26, 2008


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW520 2008-02-26 15:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

DE RUEHMO #0520/01 0571517
R 261517Z FEB 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 MOSCOW 000520 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2018 
REF: A. 07 MOSCOW 5208 
     B. 07 MOSCOW 5828 
     C. 07 MOSCOW 4929 
     D. 07 MOSCOW 5098 
     E. 07 MOSCOW 5735 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons 1.4 (c) and (d). 
1. (C) Summary:  Russia is ready to do more to assist in 
stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan - a key area of 
overlapping Russian, U.S. and NATO interests.  Absent 
concerted U.S. effort, however, Russian attempts to 
constructively engage with the Karzai government likely will 
continue to founder on historical neuralgia and bureaucratic 
difficulties, reinforcing the predispositions of those here 
with less constructive instincts.  At the same time, a 
willingness by the U.S. and NATO to engage practically with 
the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) could 
provide the key to unlocking more productive Russian 
assistance on counternarcotics, military equipment 
grants/sales, counterterrorism, transport, terrorist finance, 
and border security.  We believe that a broad high-level 
discussion, perhaps in the March 2 Plus 2 consultations 
between Secretary Rice and Gates and their Russian 
counterparts, should set the stage for expert level 
understandings on how best to achieve shared goals in 
Afghanistan, which are acceptable to the Afghan government. 
The weakness of the still-evolving CSTO, the lack of trust 
between Russia and Afghanistan, and equipment 
interoperability are among the factors that will determine 
the ultimate level of success.  End Summary. 
Congruent Interests Drive Russian Cooperation 
2. (C) Russian officials at the highest levels tell us that 
they want to cooperate on Afghanistan, bilaterally and 
multilaterally.  At the 2007 CSTO summit in Bishkek, Putin 
stated Russia supports greater cooperation between the CSTO 
and NATO in Afghanistan.  First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey 
Ivanov, speaking at Wehrkunde this year, underscored Russia's 
position that on Afghanistan, the U.S. and Russia should be 
partners and not competitors.  According to Ivanov, Russia 
viewed U.S. and NATO efforts in the areas of 
counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and political stability 
in Afghanistan as somewhat positive but insufficient. 
Ivanov's public argument, which he has underscored in private 
with the Ambassador, is that the U.S. and NATO have yet to 
recognize that Russia's contribution in these areas was 
essential.  In a February 12 speech in Geneva, FM Lavrov 
reiterated Russia's willingness to help NATO fight the 
threats posed by terrorists and narcotics in Afghanistan, and 
underscored how real these threats were to Russia.  Russia's 
new Ambassador to NATO, Dmitriy Rogozin - who hails from the 
U.S. baiting, Russian nationalist camp -- told us before 
departing that he was focused on finding more areas for NATO 
and Russia to work jointly (ref A). 
3. (C) GOR officials acknowledge that the U.S. is the main 
player in Afghanistan, but stress they share our strategic 
goal:  a peaceful and stable Afghanistan that is not a 
Taliban safe haven and narcotics exporter.  Ali Mustafabeily, 
Deputy Director of the MFA Second Asia Department, went so 
far as to say that by working together in Afghanistan the 
U.S. and Russia could form a collective "fist" to face down 
our common enemies.  This sentiment is shared by officials 
from the GOR-backed CSTO, including Secretary General Nikolai 
Bordyuzha, as well as by the Russian expert community, who 
identify an unstable Afghanistan, and not the U.S. or NATO, 
as the only major threat to CSTO member states.  Along with 
GOR officials, they note that there are no major areas of 
dispute with the U.S. regarding goals for Afghanistan. 
Anatoly Chuntulov, Counselor of the CSTO's Department of 
Political Cooperation and Valery Dergachev, Deputy Head, 
repeatedly stressed to us that the CSTO, the main vehicle for 
which the GOR has chosen to funnel its aid to Afghanistan 
(ref B), poses no threat to U.S. interests, and urged the 
U.S. and NATO to engage with the organization, despite the 
fact that its member-states are also members of the 
Partnership For Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership 
4.  (C)  We assess that Russia is ready to do more in 
Afghanistan, recognizing that there are a host of other 
motivations at work as well.  Russia seeks to maintain 
MOSCOW 00000520  002 OF 005 
influence in Central Asia, make inroads into potential 
commercial and energy markets, check Chinese influence, and 
demonstrate that Russia has not ceded strategic space 
permanently to the U.S. and NATO.  What Russia does not seek &#x000
A;is a military presence in Afghanistan, which still conjures 
painful memories of imperial defeat and the degradation of 
the Soviet forces.  The GOR recognizes that Russian 
translates into Soviet in Afghanistan, where Soviets killed 
and maimed over one million Afghan civilians. 
Talking Past One Another 
5. (C) Russia's inability to donate weapons to the Afghan 
government is a case-study in why greater U.S. engagement 
could help to lock in constructive Russian offers of 
bilateral assistance.  In March 2007, the GOR told the Karzai 
government it was prepared to provide hundreds of millions of 
dollars in donated weapons, which could be packaged with 
additional sales on concessional terms, but requested a visit 
by Defense Minister Wardak to work out the details.  Eleven 
months after the initial offer and amid mounting MFA 
frustration, we called on Afghanistan's Ambassador to Russia, 
the former Deputy Foreign Minister Zalmay Aziz, who 
acknowledged that Wardak had rebuffed the Russian invitation. 
 Aziz attributed Wardak's refusal alternately to bureaucratic 
infighting within the Afghan Defense Ministry or uncertainty 
over the extent and composition of U.S.-origin military aid. 
6.  (C)  Aziz stressed that because of the animosity and lack 
of trust between Afghanistan and Russia, GOR aid is not 
something many Afghans seek or desire; similarly, Russian 
popular and business disinterest in Afghanistan is 
illustrated in the scant "six or seven" visas the Embassy 
processes weekly.  Earlier GOR attempts to aid Afghanistan 
have faltered, contributing to understandable Afghan cynicism 
about Russia's effectiveness as a partner.  For example, 
Russia's 2002-2005 Afghan military assistance program ended 
before the entire USD 200 million could be delivered (ref C), 
and it took over two years for Moscow to dispatch a 
long-promised official from its drug enforcement agency to 
Kabul.  While acknowledging Russia's commitment to rebuild 
the Solang tunnel and road leading north, Aziz downplayed 
Russian assistance and criticized Russia's refusal to turn 
over Soviet-era feasibility studies for industrial and mining 
projects.  From Aziz's comments, it appears his Moscow 
posting is a purgatory of sorts, with the Ambassador not 
operating under any writ to capitalize on Russian concerns 
over Afghanistan's stability.  Aziz confirmed that he is not 
brokering a solution to the Wardak-MFA standoff and has not 
paid a call on CSTO headquarters. 
Possible Areas of Cooperation 
7. (C) In addition to the U.S. taking steps to facilitate 
better communication and cooperation between Russian and 
Afghan authorities, officials and experts here have 
identified the following areas for Russia and the CSTO to 
cooperate with the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan.  In so 
doing, they have made clear that increased cooperation with 
the U.S. and NATO to a large degree will hinge on our 
willingness to work with the CSTO. 
8. (C) Reducing the influx of narcotics from Afghanistan into 
Russia (estimated at 60 metric tons of heroin, which is 
equivalent to 600 MT of opium, per year), with its 
devastating societal and economic consequences, is a key 
Russian priority.  The most obvious place to begin expanding 
cooperation with Russia on halting the flow of 
Afghanistan-origin narcotics is to support the CSTO's 
counter-narcotics efforts, including Operation Channel, in 
which the U.S. has had observer status for two years.  This 
consists of two week-long interdiction blitzes each year in 
September and December, during which extra personnel are 
stationed at critical junctures along Afghan drug routes 
through Central Asian states to search for drugs and 
precursor chemicals.  While the CSTO agreed in March 2007 to 
make Operation Channel a year-round operation, it is unclear 
when this will actually happen.  CSTO officials have 
suggested that ISAF forces could coordinate with the CSTO to 
MOSCOW 00000520  003 OF 005 
patrol both sides of Afghanistan's border to aid Operation 
Channel.  The CSTO also announced on January 29 that it will 
coordinate border guard activities in an attempt to create 
anti-narcotics belts around Afghanistan. 
9. (C) We could use a U.S./NATO offer of engagement with CSTO 
to expand Operation Channel year-round, addressing its major 
weakness of not being comprehensive.  CSTO counter-narcotics 
officers traditionally have been interested only in seizing 
drugs, rather than in recruiting informants, allowing 
"controlled deliveries" to track supply routes, or adopting 
other tactics Western police departments use to catch "big 
fish."  NATO-CSTO cooperation potentially could improve CSTO 
10. (C) Given Operation Channel's current limitations, some 
view the Central Asian Regional Intelligence Coordination 
Center (CARICC) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Russian 
involvement therein, as a more promising alternative to 
combating narcotics trafficking along the "northern" drug 
routes.  CARICC is a USD 6.5 million UNODC project with 
funding from multiple donors, including the U.S., which works 
to develop and promote counter-narcotics efforts among 
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, 
and Uzbekistan.  Russia has indicated its intention to 
participate, but thus far has not, despite the benefits 
Russian membership would bring. 
Military Assistance and Counter-Terrorism 
11. (C) Director of the MFA Second Asia Department Director 
Aleksandr Maryasov and other GOR officials have reiterated 
Russia is ready to work with the Afghan army, either 
bilaterally or via the CSTO, to provide it weapons it needs 
(ref D).  This would include Kalashnikov rifles, T-55 and 
T-62 tanks.  The GOR and CSTO are also willing to train 
Afghan soldiers and patrol along the Afghan border (but not 
in Afghanistan). 
12. (C) Mustafabeily pointed out to us that Afghans are 
familiar with Russian weapons because they fought the Soviet 
Army using mostly Soviet-made weapons, such as Kalashnikov 
rifles.  He said, however, Russia has yet to receive 
information regarding what kinds of assistance would be 
useful for the Karzai government, and no meeting between 
defense ministers for Afghanistan to provide a list of 
concrete requests seems likely anytime soon.  Ambassador Aziz 
told us that the Afghan MoD is waiting to see what military 
kit it will receive from NATO before it contemplates taking 
Russian equipment.  The U.S. could encourage the Karzai 
government to follow up on Russia's offer or perhaps propose 
multilateral consultations on arms donations. 
13. (C) Russia also offers training to the Afghan sec
forces in both Moscow and Tajikistan.  The All-Russia 
Institute for Raising Qualifications for Employees of the 
Ministry of Interior (MOI) at Domodedevo Airport in Moscow is 
a Russian MoI facility, but is used to provide 
counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics training to Afghan 
police and border guards (ref E).  This training is done 
under the auspices of the Nato-Russia Council, but because 
Russia is a CSTO member, the CSTO also tries to claim credit 
for this.  The CSTO has already secured the support of the 
OSCE and Finland to train Afghan border guards in Tajikistan. 
 While CSTO members are invited to participate in this 
training, so far this is a Russia-only affair.  Russia is 
also seeking German support for training at both locations. 
Transportation Assistance 
14. (C) Counselor of the CSTO's Department of Political 
Cooperation Anatoly Chuntulov and the Deputy Head Valery 
Dergachev told us the CSTO is willing to assist in 
transporting nonlethal goods for NATO forces in Afghanistan 
from as far as Western Europe to the Afghan border via rail. 
They told us rail would be cheaper than airlifting supplies 
or sending them by ship.  They asserted that, while 
negotiations in the NATO-Russia Council and NATO Political 
Committee are still ongoing, this was a promising prospect 
for cooperation and hoped that negotiations would be wrapped 
up prior to the Bucharest summit.  While Russia dropped its 
demand that such a deal be coordinated through the CSTO, it's 
not clear whether the GOR will ultimately bend in allowing 
military goods to also be included.  The CSTO would also like 
MOSCOW 00000520  004 OF 005 
to help improve the very limited rail infrastructure in 
Terrorist Finance 
15. (C) Russia could use its leadership in the Eurasia Group 
on Money Laundering, which includes China, Belarus, 
Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, to help build Afghanistan's anti-money 
laundering and anti-terrorist financing capacity.  We should 
encourage greater collaboration between U.S. law enforcement 
officials and Russia's SVR to help identify and interdict 
potential terrorist flows to and from Afghanistan. 
Opportunities to enhance cooperation between the U.S. and 
Russia on UNSCR 1267 related issues should also be explored. 
Border Security/Illegal Migration 
16. (C) In addition to enhancing border security through 
efforts such as Operation Channel, CSTO Section Chief of the 
MFA First CIS Department Andrey Shugurov told us, and experts 
agree, that the GOR would like to expand efforts to halt 
illegal migration throughout Central Asia, including 
Afghanistan.  The GOR and CSTO would like to strengthen 
border protection through increased patrols and training of 
Afghan border guards. 
Obstacles To Cooperation 
17. (C) Obstacles, however, stand in the way of Russian 
cooperation in Afghanistan, which would need to be addressed 
to effectively cooperate: 
Contact With the CSTO 
18. (C) Most GOR aid to Afghanistan is funneled through the 
CSTO, an organization with which the U.S. and NATO have been 
reluctant to engage, given the organization's ambiguous aims 
and relative inactivity.  By Shugurov's own admission, the 
CSTO is a relatively new and under-funded organization, but 
is expected to become more robust.  In March 2007, the CSTO 
established a working group on Afghanistan and set up a 
formal channel of communication with the GOA at the deputy 
foreign minister level.  Since this mechanism has been 
established, the CSTO has implemented programs such as the 
training of Afghan counter-narcotics officers in Russia.  The 
U.S. and NATO would have to be patient and deliberate in its 
initial engagement with the organization, while underscoring 
that working with the CSTO would not replace our bilateral 
engagement with Central Asia, or our cooperation with these 
countries through NATO programs. 
Interoperability and Compatibility With NATO Efforts 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
19. (C) It will require significant coordination to ensure 
large-scale training and equipment provided by the CSTO and 
Russia would complement, rather than duplicate or complicate, 
NATO efforts in Afghanistan.  Afghan police and military 
units trained by the CSTO and NATO should be able to work 
effectively together.  Military kit such as radios provided 
by the CSTO and NATO should ideally be interoperable.  One 
further caveat is that Russian counter-terrorist operations 
in Beslan and the Nordost assault have demonstrated the 
limits of Russian counter-terrorist training. 
How Successful Does Russia Want Us to Be? 
20. (C) While the weight of official statements and views of 
the expert community support U.S.-Russian cooperation on 
Afghanistan, there are naysayers.  Some experts such as Ivan 
Safranchuk, Director of the World Security Institute, argue 
that Russia neither wants the U.S. to succeed nor fail in 
Afghanistan.  Safranchuk argued that the GOR is concerned 
that, if we succeed in Afghanistan, the U.S. will seek 
greater control over trade and energy routes from Central 
Asia to the Indian Ocean.  If the U.S. fails, Afghanistan 
will once again be a haven for the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and 
instability and extremism could spread throughout the rest of 
Central Asia.  Similarly, Alexander Shumilin, Director of the 
Center for Analysis of Greater Middle East Conflicts, said 
MOSCOW 00000520  005 OF 005 
that Russia weighed its interest in cooperation with its need 
to be seen as a counterbalance to the United States and would 
not want to be too closely linked with American activities. 
21. (C) Given apparent Russian and CSTO interest in 
cooperating constructively with the U.S. and NATO to 
strengthen the Afghanistan government, we should consider the 
benefits and scope for such engagement.  An additional virtue 
in drawing Russia and the CSTO more closely into our efforts 
will be to reduce the temptation of Russia to go it alone 
with its traditional partners in the North - which is the 
direction that the MFA indicated the GOR was headed in the 
wake of their inability to coordinate with Kabul over 
military assistance.  While we defer to Embassy Kabul on how 
an enhanced Russian and CSTO assistance program might be 
greeted by the Karzai government, a side-effect of creative 
cooperation on Afghanistan could be a strengthening of 
U.S.-Russian relations, at a time of significant strain.  The 
upcoming 2 Plus 2 discussions by the Secretary and Secretary 
Gates would tee up more extensive
 expert level agreements on 
how best to achieve shared goals in Afghanistan, which are 
acceptable to the Afghan government. 



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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW517 2008-02-26 13:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

DE RUEHMO #0517 0571339
P 261339Z FEB 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000517 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2018 
     B. 07 MOSCOW 5734 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
1. (C) MFA Jordan Desk Officer Andrey Vavilov explained that 
Jordan's position as a moderate Arab state, and the growing 
ties between Jordanians of Chechen descent and Chechnya 
contributed to Russian-Jordanian relations.  Speaking to us 
following King Abdullah's February 11 Moscow visit, Vavilov 
said that these factors, combined with the Jordanian 
monarch's personal diplomacy, have been important aspects of 
improved bilateral ties (ref A).  The GOR sees in the King a 
moderate Arab leader seeking to reduce tensions between 
Muslim states and the West, an ostensible goal of GOR 
diplomatic efforts.  Abdullah has been receptive to the GOR's 
desire to play a constructive role in "bridging the divide 
between Christians and Muslims."  Vavilov said Abdullah's 
calls for religious tolerance were similar to Russian 
initiatives such as the Dialogue of Civilizations, which the 
King publicly praised as a means to lessen international 
tension and reduce the threat of terrorism. 
2. (C) Vavilov told us that Chechnya could play a greater 
part in Russian-Jordanian relations as ties between Jordan's 
significant Chechen population and the Russian republic 
increased.  The Jordanian leadership understood the 
importance Moscow placed on improving the situation in 
Chechnya, and the Kremlin valued Jordanian assistance in this 
area.  Although King Abdullah did not visit Chechnya as he 
reportedly said he would when Chechen President Kadyrov went 
to Jordan in 2007, the King's brother, Prince Ali, met 
Kadyrov in Moscow on February 11 (ref B).  Vavilov said that 
a delegation of business leaders from Jordan's Chechen 
community planned to visit Chechnya in 2008 to explore ways 
to assist reconstruction and development efforts. 
3. (C) Finally, Vavilov understood that Jordan was 
particularly interested in attracting Russian investment in 
the development of the country's tourism industry and hoped 
to become a destination for Russian visitors.  In order to 
raise its profile, Jordan gave Russia property on the bank of 
the Jordan River associated with Jesus' baptism during 
Putin's 2007 visit to the country.  The site was transferred 
to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is building a facility 
for Russian pilgrims.  Vavilov compared this gesture to the 
UAE giving Russia property upon which to build an Orthodox 
Church when Putin visited that country in 2007, and said that 
both were well calibrated to appeal to Putin's embrace of the 
Church and demonstrate that an increased Russian presence in 
the region was welcomed. 



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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW509 2008-02-26 09:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow


DE RUEHMO #0509/01 0570940
O 260940Z FEB 08

E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: STATE 16823 
1.  Embassy welcomes and grants country clearance to Ms. Shelly Han, 
Senior Advisor, and Mr. Kyle Parker, Staff Advisor, Commission on 
Security and Cooperation in Europe, from March 1-7. 
2.  Control Officer is Karen Kirchgasser, tel. 7-495-728-5171; 
7-495-234-2449 (hm); 7-495-970-4996 (cell); E-mail is 
3.  Control Officer will meet and assist upon arrival in Moscow on 
March 1, 2008. 
4.  Reservations are confirmed at the Baltschug Kempinski Moscow 
Hotel:  Ul. Baltschug 1; telephone (7-495) 230-6500; fax (7-495) 
230-6503.  The daily rate is within per diem for Moscow and 
breakfast is included.  Reservations can be cancelled 24 hours 
before the arrival time without incurring charges. 
5.  We have received confirmation of your security clearances and 
have added your names to the Embassy's access list.  TDYers should 
bring their valid Main State GLID (aka "SMART") badge to facilitate 
compound access. 
6.  Weather:  Temperatures in Moscow in March vary from 0-40 
degrees, with snow or rain possible; winter clothing is 
7.  Visa requirements:  All visitors must have a valid entry/exit 
visa for Russia and may not enter Russia before (or depart Russia 
after) the dates shown in the visa.  Please note that the dates on 
Russian visas are listed in day/month/year format.  If in 
Washington, please allow a minimum of fourteen (10) working days, up 
to a maximum of twenty (20) working days for Russian visa 
processing.  If applying in another country, please allow a minimum 
of twenty (20) working days.  Visa extensions and other amendments 
requested after arrival normally take ten to fifteen days to 
process.  To minimize the number of emergency requests for 
extensions and other amendments after your arrival, the Russian 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests that initial visa applications 
include a five-day cushion on each side of your planned travel 
dates.  For instance, if you plan to arrive June 5 and depart June 
25, you should request a visa that is valid for the entire month of 
June.  Please carefully check the dates of the visa before entering 
the country; travelers arriving before or after the validity dates 
on their visas will be detained at the airport and may be deported 
to their original embarkation points. 
8.  Passport/visa registration/migration cards: All visitors who 
remain in Russia for more than three business days must register 
their passports and visas with the Russian government. The 
registration authority is given to hotels.  Visitors not staying at 
hotels should register their passports/visas through the Embassy 
Human Resources office; this process takes approximately two 
business days. 
Migration Card for all travelers: Russian authorities have 
implemented a migration (entry/exit) card system at all border 
crossings.  This is in addition to the visa regime.  All visitors to 
Russia must complete a migration card, which is handed out upon 
arrival in Russia - either on airplanes or at border crossings. 
TDY travelers must complete the migration card. There are five steps 
to this process - Obtain a migration card upon entry to Russia, 
complete the card, ensure the card is stamped by border officials 
upon entry, register the card at their hotel, and most importantly, 
keep the card with their passport. If TDYer travelers are stopped by 
police or militia, they must produce a passport, valid visa and 
stamped migration card.  Upon departure from Russia, TDY travelers 
will be asked to relinquish this migration card to border police. If 
the card is lost, travelers must arrange to replace the card, before 
departure, or risk being barred entry to Russia on future trips. 
9.  Customs:  Russian customs procedures include entry and exit 
declaration forms.  The new law on currency regulation and control 
allow foreigners to export up to USD 3,000 without providing a 
customs declaration or proof of how the money was obtained. 
However, foreigners may also export up to USD 10,000 by simply 
filling out a customs declaration upon exit.  More than USD 10,000 
can be exported upon proof that it was imported into Russia legally 
(a stamped customs declaration or proof of a legal bank or wire 
transfer). TDY employees and official visitors should abide by these 
rules, as they may have only limited diplomatic immunity. 
10.  Export prohibitions: TDY employees and official visitors should 
be aware that art (antiquities, paintings, samovars, icons, etc.) 
may not be taken out of Russia without advance written permission 
from the Ministry of Culture.  Visitors planning to purchase art 
objects or antiques while in Russia should first check with the GSO 
office on export requirements. 
11.  Security situation: Recent incidents occurring within Russia, 
to include the August 31 explosion outside a Moscow metro
involving apparent suicide bombers and the hostage taking in 
Southern Russia; have highlighted the continued risk of terrorist 
activity.  The U.S. Embassy is not aware of any credible or specific 
information that American citizens or U.S. interests in Russia are 
targets of this terrorist activity.  Nonetheless, the risk of an 
American citizen being an unintended victim of these attacks does 
exist.  The Embassy advises American citizens traveling or living in 
Russia that the potential for terrorist actions, including actions 
against civilians, is currently high and is likely to remain so for 
some time. 
Crime in Russia remains at a high level and often is directed 
against westerners.  The types of crime reported range from petty 
theft, primarily from hotel rooms and train compartments; street 
crime involving pickpockets or bands of street children also is 
common.  Theft involving the capture of electronic ATM and credit 
card data also has risen in recent months. 
When traveling in and around Moscow, please remain vigilant at all 
times.  Exercise good judgment and the utmost discretion when using 
any form of public transportation.  If you are transiting via train, 
plane or bus, please make sure you provide a friend or coworker with 
your travel schedule, so that you can be accounted for at all times. 
 Avoid large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced 
security measures.  If you are out in public, we recommend that you 
carry a cell phone, with important telephone numbers to include the 
Marine Security Guard Post 5 (728-5025). 
The human and technical intelligence threat in Russia remains a 
major concern.  All non-USG facilities, including hotels, are 
considered compromised and classified material cannot be stored, 
discussed or processed in them. 
12.  Currency exchange:  Russia has a predominantly cash economy, 
with the Russian ruble as the only legal tender for local 
transactions.  Rubles (and dollars, if needed) may be obtained from 
bank ATMs that are connected to the PLUS and CIRRUS systems using 
your U.S. debit/credit cards.  Credit cards are accepted and may be 
safely used at major hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers.  RSO 
recommends against using credit/debit cards for small purchases or 
in stand-alone ATM (those not physically located at a bank), as 
credit/debit card data theft is an ongoing problem.  Dollar cash may 
be exchanged at numerous banks and exchange houses throughout the 
city.  Additionally, Citibank has an exchange facility at the 
Embassy and will provide accommodation exchange for USG official 
visitors and USG contractors, upon presentation of travel orders and 
a photo ID.  Official visitors may also obtain U.S. dollars or local 
currency upon presentation of travelers' checks or a valid personal 
check drawn on an U.S. bank account.  Please note that Citibank is 
only able to accept American Express traveler's checks at this time. 
 There are also two Citibank ATM machines, which distribute both 
Rubles and Dollars, located on the Embassy grounds. 
13.  Further information on traveling and safety within the Russian 
federation is available at the State Department's Consular Affairs 
web site: http://travel.state.gov/russia.html. Official travelers 
are also encouraged to request up-to-date security related 
information through their Embassy Control Officer.  This information 
is available on the DOS OPENNET's Embassy Moscow website (RSO link). 



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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. #08MOSCOW503.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW503 2008-02-26 03:31 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow


DE RUEHMO #0503 0570331
R 260331Z FEB 08

E.O. 12958:  N/A 
ON LICENSE 05-050077022 
REF: A.  STATE 2021 
 B.  07 MOSCOW 4189 
1.  (U) Summary:  Ref A requested a pre-license end-use check to 
confirm the bona fides of Barnaul Cartridge Plant, the foreign 
end-user on application 05-050077022.  The commodities in question 
are 10.103000 components for ammunition (.224-.355 caliber) valued 
at USD 909,270.00.  A Barnaul Cartridge Plant official with whom we 
met told us his company plans to use the ammunition components in 
this license to manufacture cartridges which will be re-exported to 
the United States.  Barnaul Cartridge Plant has been doing business 
with U.S. companies for approximately 15 years.  We confirm the bona 
fides of Barnaul Cartridge Plant as a reliable recipient of USML 
items.  End Summary. 
2.  (U) In a February 22 meeting Yuriy Belko, the Moscow Office 
Director of the Barnaul Cartridge Plant, confirmed to us his 
company's plans to re-export to the U.S. ammunition that will be 
purchased from Hornady Manufacturing Company under license 
05-050077022.  According to Belko, U.S. bullets are more accurate 
than anything made in Russia, but the other cartridge components, 
such as the case, gunpowder, and primer, can be manufactured in 
Russia much cheaper and of sufficient quality.  His company plans to 
combine U.S. bullets with Russian-made cases, gunpowder, and primer 
to produce cartridges at one-third the cost of U.S.-made ammunition. 
 These cartridges will then be sold in the United States. 
3.  (U) Belko told us Barnaul Cartridge Plant was first established 
in 1941.  His company has been doing business with U.S. companies 
for about 15 years.  Barnaul Cartridge Plant has been working with 
Hornady Manufacturing Company for approximately 4 years. 
4.  (U) Barnaul Cartridge Plant sells only to distributors and 
sporting goods stores; not to individual customers.  It regularly 
sells its products to companies around the world.  In Russia, this 
includes Kolchuga Limited, a company we last inspected on August 16, 
2007 (ref B).  In the U.S., Barnaul Cartridge Plant sells many of 
products to DKG Trading, Incorporated and Academy, Limited.  It is 
primarily to these two companies that Barnaul Cartridge Plant 
intends to sell bullets under this license. 
5.  (U) Belko told us Barnaul Cartridge Plant did not have any 
purchase orders for cartridges to be manufactured under this 
specific license.  He instead showed us a contract his company 
signed with DKG Trading, Incorporated under which Barnaul Cartridge 
Plant will provide 305,823,700 rounds of ammunition.  He said the 
10,103,000 bullets ordered from Hornady Manufacturing Company will 
largely go toward fulfilling this contract. 
6.  (U) Belko told us Barnaul Cartridge Plant was familiar with the 
restrictions governing the import of USML commodities, and in 
particular the prohibition of unauthorized re-export.  We recommend 
Barnaul Cartridge Plant as a reliable recipient of USML items.