Daily Archives: June 18, 2008

08MOSCOW1743, RUSSIA – GEORGIA: NO PEACE ON PEACEKEEPING FORCES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1743 2008-06-18 14:56 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
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DE RUEHMO #1743 1701456
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8664
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001743 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA - GEORGIA: NO PEACE ON PEACEKEEPING FORCES 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells.  Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (C) The GOR reacted angrily to the June 17 incident in 
Abkhazia involving Russian peacekeepers, calling it another 
senseless "provocation" by the GOG.  In a short and curt 
exchange, MFA CIS Fourth Department Deputy Director Tarabrin 
told us that the Russian peacekeepers were engaged in a 
"routine" activity --transporting ammunition stored in the 
Gali district to Urta, in the Zugdidi district when they were 
seized and detained for two hours by the GOG.  Per Tarabrin, 
this kind of routine operation did not require the prior 
notification that the Georgians demanded.  Tarabrin saw in 
the incident the continuation of an established pattern: any 
positive trend in the bilateral relationship is spoiled by a 
well-planned provocation.  Tarabrin thought the June 7 
Medvedev-Saakashvili meeting in St. Petersburg had opened a 
new chapter, with Medvedev proposing a more substantive 
summit within six weeks.  The June 17 "provocation" suggested 
that some in the GOG did not want to see a thaw. Judging from 
the group of journalists "ready to go," at the scene, 
Tarabrin charged that the event had been orchestrated, just 
like the recent bus shooting in Gali.  "Is this a comedy or a 
tragedy?" Tarabrin asked. 
 
2.  (SBU) While Tarabrin would not be drawn out on the nature 
of the ammunition seized, in a June 18 statement, the Russian 
Defense Ministry said the twenty anti-tank missiles belonged 
to an anti-tank unit of a motorized rifle battalion of 
peacekeeping forces deployed in the Zugdidi district.  The 
MOD statement noted that both Georgia and Abkhazia continue 
to keep tank units.  The Russian Defense Ministry demanded 
that "the vehicle and the ammunition which were seized in a 
brigand-like manner, be returned to the peacekeepers." 
 
3.  (U) In its June 17 statement, the MFA continued to place 
the onus for the deterioration in relations on Georgia.  The 
GOR noted the Georgian late May request through the CIS for 
consultations no later than the end of July about a change in 
the format and mandate of the CIS Peacekeepers.  Contrary to 
GOG allegations that Russia was no longer neutral in the 
conflict, the MFA argued, the GOR had proved in many 
international fora, most recently in the OSCE, that it was 
Georgia which had violated the Moscow Agreement, while 
Russian PKOs have kept the peace.  The statement referred to 
Saakashvili's Rustavi interview, where he had said that 
thirty days after sending the notification to the CIS, the 
GOG could ask for the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers, 
and warned that any such request would "de-ice" the conflict 
and cause instability throughout the Caucasus. 
 
4. (C) In a June 18 meeting, Federation Council Foreign 
Affairs Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov did not respond 
concretely to Deputy Assistant Secretary Merkel's query about 
the June 17 incident in Abkhazia.  Instead, he maintained 
that the key to the conflict with Abkhazia lay in finding a 
"common economic language."  The GOR, Margelov said, was 
intent on ensuring peace on its border before the 2014 Sochi 
Olympics.  Margelov noted that Medvedev and Saakashvili had a 
"good meeting" at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. 
Margelov thought that positive initial encounter could pave 
the way for a more productive Russian - Georgian 
conversation.  The only possible stumbling block, Margelov 
thought, would be if the GOG were to think that Abkhazia was 
"slipping away" and were to do "something stupid." 
 
5.  (C) Comment:  Russia will adopt a strictly legalistic 
interpretation of the June 17 events and likely will paint 
Georgia's treatment of the PKO forces as a violation of the 
Moscow Agreement.  Regardless of whether this is convincing 
internationally, Russian elite and public opinion will harden 
further. 
RUSSELL

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08MOSCOW1742, OSCE: INPUT FOR THE HUMAN DIMENSION CONFERENCE FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1742 2008-06-18 13:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

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DE RUEHMO #1742 1701350
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P 181350Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8663
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNOSC/OSCE POST COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001742 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2018 
TAGS: PHUM OSCE PGOV RS
SUBJECT: OSCE: INPUT FOR THE HUMAN DIMENSION CONFERENCE FOR 
RUSSIA 
 
REF: STATE 60838 
 
Classified By: CDA Daniel Russell for reason 1.4(d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: Per reftel request, Post proposes the 
following areas of concern for the OSCE Human Dimension 
Conference in Warsaw: conduct of elections, xenophobia, 
migrant labor, and the treatment of refugees.  Framing the 
discussion in forward-leaning terms, by taking Medvedev's 
call for strengthened democratic institutions and the rule of 
law at face value, and expanding the discussion beyond the 
Russia-specific, provide the best chance to elicit a 
constructive GOR response. End Summary. 
 
2. (C) Democratic Elections: In both the December 2007 State 
Duma elections and the March 2008 Presidential elections, we 
noted that the Russian government had effectively limited 
political pluralism through the use of administrative 
resources, biased media coverage (especially in 
state-controlled television), and intimidation and 
restriction of the political opposition.  In December 2007, 
restrictions by the GOR led ODIHR to scrap plans to observe 
the Duma elections.  During the campaign and his initial days 
in office, Medvedev has endorsed the importance of political 
pluralism and press freedom.  Russia can be encouraged to 
address concerns raised during the electoral campaign in 
future regional and national elections. 
 
3. (C) Xenophobia/Hate Crimes: Russia has experienced an 
alarming spike in 2008 in the number of ethnically motivated 
attacks in Russia, concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 
 While law enforcement organs have taken some steps to 
prosecute these crimes, the underlying intolerance fueling 
these crimes needs to be addressed.  We can welcome 
Medvedev's public condemnation of xenophobia and the efforts 
of Human Rights Ombudsman Lukin to draw attention to the 
issue. 
 
4. (C) Migrant Labor: We note that Russia's migration 
legislation implemented last year clarified labor laws for 
migrant workers, but the GOR needs to improve implementation 
and continue efforts to create a comprehensive migration 
policy.  In particular, the GOR should address issues such as 
equal employment, taxation, and access to health care for 
migrant workers.  Placing the challenge facing Russia in the 
broader European and American context and welcoming a 
discussion of best practices may be greeted by GOR officials. 
 
5. (C) Treatment of Refugees: We note that the Moscow office 
of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported earlier 
this year that Russia has opened its refugee status 
determination procedure to all who wish to claim the 
country's protection and agreed to reconsider previously 
rejected cases where applicants continue to assert that they 
would face persecution if repatriated.  We should welcome 
this important step forward. 
 
6. (C) Comment: Russia will react predictably and negatively 
to any perceived "name and shame" campaign, portraying 
Western criticism as part of the OSCE bias and 
"condescension" towards former Soviet republics.  The more we 
can place the challenges facing Russia in the context of 
Medvedev's stated reform agenda, or broaden the focus beyond 
Russia, the greater the prospect of a substantive dialogue. 
With Russia on the offensive against OSCE "double standards," 
government leaders and the press will trumpet OSCE "bias" to 
a domestic audience predisposed to believe they are 
distrusted and conspired against by the West. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW1741, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: JUNE 19,2008, SECURITY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1741 2008-06-18 13:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0001
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DE RUEHMO #1741 1701328
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8662
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0432

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001741 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC UN KWMN PHUM RS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED:  JUNE 19,2008, SECURITY 
COUNCIL THEMATIC DEBATE ON FOLLOW-UP TO SC RESOLUTION 1325 
AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT AND POST CONFLICT SITUATIONS 
 
REF: STATE 65284 
 
We delivered reftel demarche on June 18 to MFA Senior 
Counselor for International Organizations Petr Ilichev. 
Ilichev said that the GOR would take our points into 
consideration, but could not provide a substantive response 
at this time as the resolution was under negotiation in New 
York. 
RUSSELL

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08MOSCOW1740, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: JUNE 19,2008, SECURITY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1740 2008-06-18 12:45 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1740 1701245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181245Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8661
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0431

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001740 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC UN KWMN PHUM RS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED:  JUNE 19,2008, SECURITY 
COUNCIL THEMATIC DEBATE ON FOLLOW-UP TO SC RESOLUTION 1325 
AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT AND POST CONFLICT SITUATIONS 
 
REF: STATE 65284 
 
We delivered reftel demarche on June 18 to MFA Senior 
Counselor for International Organizations Petr Ilichev. 
Ilichev said that the GOR would take our points into 
consideration, but could not provide a substantive response 
at this time as the resolution was under negotiation in New 
York. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW1739, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: REQUEST FOR SUPPORT FOR THE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1739 2008-06-18 12:45 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1739 1701245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181245Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8660

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001739 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL KWBG PBTS PHUM IS EUN RS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED:  REQUEST FOR SUPPORT FOR THE 
BERLIN CONFERENCE IN SUPPORT OF PALESTINIAN CIVIL POLICE 
AND THE RULE OF LAW 
 
REF: STATE 62133 
 
We delivered reftel demarche on June 17 to MFA First 
Secretary Timur Zabirov, who informed us that Russia would 
attend the conference but could not say at what level the GOR 
would be represented or what amount it may pledge. 
RUSSELL

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08MOSCOW1732, MFA SAYS RUSSIA NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPERIAL DEBTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1732 2008-06-18 07:42 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1732 1700742
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FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8645
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001732 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, L/CID 
TREASURY FOR TORGERSON 
NSC FOR WARLICK 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: CASC ECON KGCN KIDE PREL RS
SUBJECT: MFA SAYS RUSSIA NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPERIAL DEBTS 
 
REF: A. STATE 28546 
     B. MOSCOW 963 
 
1.  The MFA's response to the dipnote delivered per Ref A 
argues that the Russian Federation is not responsible for 
satisfying claims on obligations dating back to the Russian 
Empire.  An unofficial translation of the dipnote's entire 
text follows. 
 
Begin Text: 
 
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation 
 
No. 2272/DSA 
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation 
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States 
of America and, in connection with the U.S. Embassy's Note 
No. 22 of March 20, 2008, concerning compensation to holders 
of securities issued by the Russian Imperial Government, has 
the honor to advise the following: 
 
Settling financial claims stemming from guarantees provided 
by the Russian Imperial Government or securities issued by 
that government and placed in foreign states as well as 
settling other financial and nonproperty claims of foreign 
individuals and legal entities against the Russian Empire is 
not an obligation of the Russian Federation.  Such claims 
cannot be accepted by the Russian Federation as a subject of 
negotiations either now or in the future. 
 
Debts of the Russian Empire, including those in the form of 
bonds, were annulled by a decree of the All-Russia Central 
Executive Committee of February 3 (January 21) 1918.  Neither 
the USSR nor the Russian Federation has assumed any 
obligations to the holders of said securities to pay or 
settle those debts. 
 
The Ministry avails itself of the opportunity to extend to 
the Embassy of the United States of America renewed 
assurances of its highest consideration. 
 
Moscow, June 9, 2008 
 
To the Embassy of the United States of America 
 
Moscow" 
 
End Text. 
 
2.  Post is prepared to furnish a copy of the original 
Russian text.  Please contact Economic Officer Clayton Hays 
at hayscp@state.gov or hayscx@state.sgov.gov. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks