Daily Archives: June 3, 2008


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1564 2008-06-03 15:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

DE RUEHMO #1564/01 1551500
P 031500Z JUN 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001564 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2018 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells: Reasons 1.4 (b, d). 
1.  (C)  Summary:  In a June 3 meeting, Russian Special Envoy 
for Kosovo Botsan-Kharchenko noted "immediate and serious" 
concerns with UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon's proposal to Belgrade 
regarding EULEX, with an MFA statement highlighting FM 
Lavrov's June 2 telephone conversation with Ban underscoring 
the need to adhere to UNSCR 1244 and find a solution 
acceptable to both Belgrade and Pristina.  Botsan-Kharchenko 
maintained that the Security Council must make the final 
decision, but Russia was focused on EULEX remaining a pillar 
within UNMIK.  Belgrade's approval as "host country" was 
essential, and Russia judged EU nations sought a cooperative 
arrangement between the UN and Belgrade.  Botsan-Kharchenko 
warned of potential trouble around June 15, and stressed 
Serbia's refusal to link agreement to an international 
civilian presence with a Kosovo constitution that it rejects. 
 On Bosnia, Russia will push for "more clear hints" about the 
OHR end-game at the June 24-25 PIC, in recognition of 
perceived improvements on the ground.  End Summary 
Continued Sharp Differences Over EULEX 
2.  (C)  In a June 3 meeting, Russian Special Envoy for 
Kosovo Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko underscored the sharp 
differences in U.S. and Russian policy approaches, as the 
June 15 date for Kosovo's constitution to come into effect 
neared.  While Russia believed a continued international 
presence in Kosovo was essential, Botsan-Kharchenko said 
Moscow had "immediate and serious" concerns with UNSYG Moon's 
proposal to Belgrade over the reconfiguration of UNMIK and 
expansion of EULEX.  The SYG's letter, Botsan-Kharchenko 
complained, made it sound as if Ban Ki-Moon  had "full 
competence" to determine the transition on his own, whereas 
Russia believed that the UNSC must take an "appropriate 
decision," in dialogue with the Secretary General. 
3.  (C)  While Russia recognized the role of the EU, and 
supported its expanded contribution in Kosovo, Moscow insists 
that EULEX be a pillar within the UNMIK mission.  The Russian 
position, he reiterated, turned on Belgrade's stance.  The 
current UNSYG Ban draft was unacceptable to Belgrade, and 
Russia would continue to stipulate that the Secretary General 
acquire the consent of the Serbs, as the "host country." 
Russia actively supported a resumed dialogue between Belgrade 
and the UN.  When pressed on UNMIK's scope of operations, 
Botsan-Kharchenko said that Russia did not oppose a reduction 
in UNMIK staffing per se, nor did it have a schematic for a 
division of labor between the two operations.  What was 
important was an agreement on the "political conception" of 
the changes underway.  While the U.S. wanted "UNMIK-lite," 
Russia wanted EULEX grounded within a continued UNMIK 
framework.  "All depends on Belgrade," Botsan-Kharchenko 
asserted, with Serbian leaders vigorously opposing four of 
the five technical points broached by Ban. 
4.  (U)  On June 3, the MFA issued a statement on FM Lavrov's 
June 2 telephone conversation with the UNSYG over the 
"unsanctioned" European mission.  According to the statement, 
Lavrov emphasized that Ban was obligated to UNSCR 1244 and 
not deviate from its principles, while continuing contacts 
with all interested parties to arrive at a mutually 
acceptable solution to the situation.  Lavrov reviewed 
Russia's "principled position," reiterated that Russia would 
support any outcome acceptable to both Pristina and Belgrade, 
and renewed the call for UN-led negotiations. 
5.  (C)  According to Botsan-Kharchenko, Russia's European 
partners continued to tell Moscow that they sought a 
cooperative arrangement between Belgrade and the UNSC, and 
were comfortable with a continued UNMIK presence.  Internal 
EU discomfort over the EULEX mission, Botsan-Kharchenko 
asserted, would prevent any effort to deploy EULEX as an 
independent operation, without UNSC cover. 
6.  (C)  Botsan-Kharchenko grudgingly acknowledged that 
Russia "took note" of the absence of violence in Kosovo, but 
took issue with the notion that Kosovo was stable. 
Predicting that there could be problems around June 15, 
Botsan-Kharchenko stressed that the Serbs will refuse to draw 
any linkage between an agreement on an international civilian 
presence and the Kosovo constitution.  The effort to avoid 
this symbolism and the energy being expended on negotiations 
over the formation of a new government would limit Serb 
engagement.  Botsan-Kharchenko warned against mistaking a 
Tadic government (which, in Russia's view, was not a given), 
with a change in Belgrade's approach to Kosovo.  While Tadic 
is a more flexible negotiator in terms of style, on substance 
Belgrade will be unified in not recognizing the European 
MOSCOW 00001564  002 OF 002 
mission without a UNSCR cover. 
Bosnia PIC: Tabling an End-Date 
7.  (C)  Botsan-K
harchenko raised the June 24-25 Bosnia Peace 
Implementation Council meeting, noting that while some 
partners continued to focus on danger signs, Russia believed 
it was time to send "more clear hints" about the OHR 
end-game.  The June PIC, he argued, should make a preliminary 
-- if not final -- decision on OHR's closure.  Russia 
intended to put the question of the end-date on the table, 
while recognizing that the U.S. would not support a date 
certain.  A satisfactory outcome could be an oral agreement 
among PIC members, but the PIC should "demonstrate serious 
consideration" of OHR's closure and transition to an EU-lead. 
 To state that transition was a "strategic goal" was no 
longer satisfactory. 
8.  (C)  Botsan-Kharchenko downplayed our strong concerns 
over RS PM Dodik's statements questioning the "imposed state" 
in Bosnia, arguing that the occasional populist rhetoric was 
to be expected, but that specific actions -- such as 
agreement on police reform -- were positive. 
Botsan-Kharchenko alluded to constructive Dodik statements, 
reflecting his acknowledgment that RS was grounded in Bosnia; 
"Dayton is not in question."  While Russia had gone along 
with the February consensus that the situation was too 
uncertain to embrace transition, it expected the "more or 
less calm" situation on the ground to now produce a more 
concrete PIC determination of when OHR would wind down.