Daily Archives: June 8, 2008

08MOSCOW1631, Transformation of the International Science and Technology

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1631 2008-06-08 09:03 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO3934
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHMO #1631 1600903
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080903Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8482
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 0171
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 0057
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 0250
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 3870
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 0501
RUEHAST/USO ALMATY 0004

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001631 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR ISN/CTR AND EUR/PRA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PARM KNNP PARM TBIO TSPL RS
SUBJECT: Transformation of the International Science and Technology 
Center 
 
REF: STATE 60043 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.  NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION. 
 
1. (SBU) On June 6, we discussed the need to begin bilateral 
discussions about the transformation of the International Science 
and Technology Center (ISTC) with Senior Counselor Sergey Shestakov 
and Counselor Galina Kramarenko from the MFA's Department of 
Security and Disarmament Affairs.  We noted the recent discussions 
on the ISTC's future between Acting Under Secretary Rood and Russian 
Deputy Foreign Minister Kislyak, and between State Department and 
Russian Embassy officials in Washington.  We discussed reftel 
non-paper suggesting that the ISTC could become a center for 
international cooperation on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and 
counterterrorism, noting the need to examine new funding mechanisms 
for the ISTC, and proposing bilateral expert-level meetings to 
discuss the ISTC's future in June 2008. 
 
2. (SBU) Shestakov pledged to share the non-paper with other 
interested Russian agencies with a stake in the ISTC and seek a 
consolidated Russian reaction to our proposal.  Shestakov sounded 
familiar Russian views that the ISTC's original mandate of 
redirecting WMD scientists into peaceful avenues of research had 
been accomplished.  He also said Russia would not be ready to begin 
discussions of the ISTC's future in June 2008, although he had no 
problem in general with a bilateral expert meeting about the ISTC's 
future in either Washington or Moscow.  We agreed to check with 
Shestakov in two weeks to see if the Russians might be ready to 
begin expert-level bilateral discussions on the margins of the next 
ISTC Governing Board meeting in mid-July. 
 
3. (SBU) Shestakov cautioned that the ongoing transformation of 
Rosatom (the current lead Russian agency for ISTC) from a federal 
agency to a state-owned corporation left the question of who should 
play the lead Russian role for ISTC unclear.  He also stated that 
establishing what Russian agency should play the lead role to a 
certain degree would depend upon ISTC's basic mission going forward. 
 With the ISTC's original mandate achieved, Shestakov noted that the 
GOR was not certain what type of future nonproliferation mission for 
the ISTC made sense.  Likewise, although counterterrorism was a 
shared security interest, the GOR was not sure that the ISTC was the 
right place for basic counterterrorism activities or research. 
Instead, he suggested a more natural fit would be an ISTC mission 
focused on science, technology and nanotechnology.  In response to 
our observation that the ISTC's funding from the United States, EU, 
Canada and Japan came out of non-proliferation and international 
security budgets, Shestakov said that a basic legal and juridical 
reworking of the ISTC would likely be a necessary part of the ISTC's 
transformation. 
 
4. (SBU) We also raised with Shestakov the lack of any significant 
volume of host government concurrences from Russia for ISTC 
scientific research projects since August 2007 and how this could 
ultimately diminish the ISTC's workload and funding.  Shestakov said 
he would consult with Rosatom to see if there was a way to restart 
the concurrence process in the near term. 
 
RUSSELL

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