Daily Archives: June 24, 2008

08MOSCOW1811, RUSSIAN ANALYST WARNS OF CONSEQUENCES IF UKRAINE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1811 2008-06-24 20:08 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1811/01 1762008
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 242008Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8755
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001811 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/24/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR GG UP RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN ANALYST WARNS OF CONSEQUENCES IF UKRAINE 
JOINS NATO, SAYS RUSSIANS BELIEVE U.S. HAS HIDDEN AGENDA 
 
REF: MOSCOW 1714 
 
Classified By: Charge D'Affaires Daniel A. Russell for reasons 1.4 (b/d 
). 
 
1. (C) Summary: Dmitriy Trenin of the Moscow Carnegie Center 
told NSC Senior Director for Russia Mary Warlick and EUR/RUS 
Office Director Ian Kelly on June 19 that there was nothing 
the U.S. could do to convince Russia to accept Ukrainian 
membership in NATO.  He thought that the GOR could abide by 
the Finlandization of Ukraine and Georgia, with both 
countries politically close to the West while remaining 
outside the alliance.  Trenin warned that NATO membership 
would exacerbate domestic divisions in Ukraine and could 
result in the violent secession of Crimea.  He thought Moscow 
hoped to use possible economic consequences to deter Ukraine 
from this course, while also taking advantage of the 
Yushchenko-Tymoshenko rivalry.  For Georgia, Moscow held out 
the reintegration of Abkhazia in exchange for Tbilisi staying 
out of NATO.  Trenin spoke of Russians' deep mistrust of the 
U.S., which stemmed from American policies seemingly directed 
at Russia and Russians' inflated sense of their country's 
importance.  Trenin argued that NATO membership had 
emboldened anti-Russian sentiment in Eastern Europe and 
tipped the balance in the alliance against countries 
sympathetic to Russian concerns.  He thought the 
Putin-Medvedev transition had gone smoothly, with Putin 
taking on the role of Russia's "elder statesman."  Medvedev's 
focus on the rule of law stemmed from the fact that the 
country had become so corrupt as to be "ungovernable," as 
well as popular demand that the issue be addressed.  End 
summary. 
 
Russia Will Not Accept NATO Membership for Ukraine 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
2. C) Moscow Carnegie Center analyst Dmitriy Trenin told NSC 
Senior Director for Russia Warlick and EUR/RUS Office 
Director Kelly that there was nothing the U.S. could do to 
diminish Russian opposition to Ukraine joining NATO - no 
deals on missile defense or quid pro quo could change the 
GOR's position.  He believed the proposal Medvedev made in 
Berlin for a new European security treaty was meant to 
highlight GOR "frustration" with Euro-Atlantic policy towards 
Russia (reftel).  Trenin thought Medvedev intended not to 
call into question the legitimacy of the trans-Atlantic 
relationship, but draw attention to Russian concern over 
potential NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. 
 
3. (C) Trenin explained that as much as Russia opposed NATO 
membership for Ukraine and Georgia, the GOR "abhorred" the 
thought of any kind of confrontation with the West, which 
would draw attention and resources from its preferred 
domestic and foreign policy agendas.  Despite this fear, 
offering MAP to Ukraine would compel Russia to "repulse this 
massive encroachment" on its interests.  Trenin speculated 
that the GOR could "tolerate" Ukraine and Georgia operating 
as Finland did - in the EU and pro-Western, but not in NATO. 
 
Ukraine:  Unstable and Unpredictable 
------------------------------------ 
 
4. (C) Trenin warned that NATO membership for Ukraine was a 
"looming crisis," particularly as the country's domestic 
situation remained highly unstable and unpredictable.  He 
expressed considerable concern over the lack of consensus on 
the issue of NATO membership in Ukraine, where western 
Ukrainians saw Russia as a historic aggressor, while a large 
number of Ukrainians saw Russia more benignly:  "a separate 
country, but not a foreign country," in Trenin's words. 
Should Ukraine pursue NATO membership, Trenin feared that 
this divide would widen and lead to violence.  He thought 
Crimea could follow the precedent of Kosovo, where an ethnic 
minority seceded with the assistance of a powerful sponsor. 
In Crimea, the GOR would not formally support secession, but 
sympathizers among the Russian military contingent could 
easily "leak" weapons to Russian-speaking separatists.  For 
Russian nationalists, such a situation would be a "godsend," 
allowing Russia to assert itself militarily.  For the GOR, 
however, the situation could spiral out of control.  Trenin 
thought such an outcome unlikely in Georgia, where the GOR 
had greater control and no fear of rogue Russian military 
supporting Abkhazia against Tbilisi. 
 
Russia Hopes to Deter Ukraine 
----------------------------- 
 
5. (C) Trenin was not sure if the GOR had a real strategy on 
Ukraine, but believed Moscow hoped to deter Ukraine from 
seeking NATO membership by threatening economic repercussions 
and a strict visa regime.  The GOR also hoped to take 
 
advantage of the Yushchenko-Tymoshenko rivalry.  Trenin 
argued that Moscow saw Tymoshenko as more malleable and less 
anti-Russian, wanting the presidency more than NATO 
membership.  To succeed politically, she needed to discuss 
gas prices with Moscow, which could use this lever to 
influence the PM's stance on NATO. 
 
Georgia Can Have Abkhazia but not NATO 
-----
--------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Trenin said that Russia's message to Georgians was 
that they could have their country whole if they did not join 
NATO, otherwise Russia would not support reconciliation with 
Abkhazia.  Trenin thought Medvedev brought a new element to 
Russia-Georgia relations, which had been "poisoned" by 
Putin's stormy relationship with Saakashvilli.  During their 
recent meeting in St. Petersburg, Medvedev even proposed to 
Saakashvilli that Russia and Georgia settle the Abkhaz 
dispute "between the two of us," without the U.S. 
Ultimately, however, Trenin thought Georgia was a "sideshow" 
for Russia, while Ukraine remained a "visceral issue." 
 
Russians Believe U.S. Has a "Hidden Agenda" 
------------------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) Trenin explained that Russia did not see Europe as a 
military threat, but was still not sure about the U.S., the 
only country that had the ability to harm Russia when it was 
weak militarily.  The GOR viewed NATO as a "platform" for the 
U.S. to "expand" against Russia should it wish to do so.  For 
Trenin, this was the real problem with initiatives such as 
missile defense, which raised questions about the U.S.' real 
intentions.  Trenin argued that average Russians believed the 
U.S. had a hidden agenda, "so hidden that we don't see it," 
which caused "tremendous distrust."  He blamed this mindset 
both on U.S. actions and Russians' "inflated sense" of their 
country's importance.  They see Russia as the only country 
that could prevent the U.S. from ruling the world, which 
makes it a natural American target.  Trenin said Russians 
really do believe the U.S. wants to seize their country's 
natural resources.  Politically, this results in the GOR 
frequently misreading U.S. security and intelligence 
initiatives, even those directed at terrorists, as somehow 
directed at Russia. 
 
8. (C) Trenin dismissed the idea that NATO membership helped 
"moderate" the anti-Russian sentiments of the USSR's former 
satellite states.  He explained that after the first wave of 
NATO expansion in the 1990s, some Russians hoped NATO 
membership could temper the "anti-Russia phobias" of Eastern 
Europeans, but believed instead that NATO membership simply 
"emboldened" countries to revisit the history of WWII and the 
postwar period.  Politically, the GOR saw NATO and EU 
expansion shift the balance of opinion against Russia in both 
institutions.  This was most acute in the EU, where the new 
Eastern European members counterbalanced Italy, Germany and 
France, which were more prone to understand Russian concerns. 
 
Smooth Political Transition 
--------------------------- 
 
9. (C) Trenin thought the transition from a Putin to Medvedev 
presidency was surprisingly smooth considering the tension 
among Kremlin clans and potential for dispute.  He saw a 
"balance forming" between the President and PM, with Medvedev 
attempting to demonstrate he was the real President by 
performing the role of Commander in Chief:  Medvedev visited 
military bases, presided over the Victory Day parade, and 
held regular Security Council meetings.  Putin, meanwhile, 
played his natural role as Russia's "elder statesman." 
 
10. (C) Trenin said Medvedev's political priorities, 
consolidating Russia's economic development and instituting 
the rule of law, were closely linked.  Corruption made the 
country "ungovernable," while Russia had become 
"sophisticated enough" for its citizenry to demand the 
implementation of real rule of law.  Medvedev hoped to 
accomplish this, in part, by making the courts more 
functional and independent at the mid-level, while the 
Kremlin would retain the ability to dictate to the courts 
when necessary.  Trenin believed there was no need to limit 
state corporations, which were actually the "personal 
fiefdoms" of whichever government figures controlled them, 
and not actual state property. 
RUSSELL

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08MOSCOW1810, BIC MEETING PROPOSAL PASSED

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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. #08MOSCOW1810.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1810 2008-06-24 14:44 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0014
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1810 1761444
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241444Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8754
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5146
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001810 
 
SIPDIS 
 
GENEVA FOR JCIC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2018 
TAGS: JCIC KACT PARM RS US START
SUBJECT: BIC MEETING PROPOSAL PASSED 
 
REF: STATE 67326 
 
Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor Margaret D. Hawthorn 
e for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
(C) On June 24 we passed reftel paper to MFA DVBR Second 
Secretary Andrey Grybochuk who had no substantive reply. 
RUSSELL

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08MOSCOW1809, COLOMBIAN VICE PRESIDENT SANTOS’S HISTORICAL VISIT TO

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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. #08MOSCOW1809.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW1809 2008-06-24 14:02 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO1995
RR RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1809 1761402
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241402Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0828
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8753
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001809 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PREL MCAP PGOV MASS ETRD EPET EINV
 
SUBJECT: COLOMBIAN VICE PRESIDENT SANTOS'S HISTORICAL VISIT TO 
RUSSIA 
 
1. (U) Summary.  Moscow officials and experts viewed Colombian Vice 
President Francisco Santos's visit to Russia as a turning point in 
the bilateral relationship.  Santos used the visit to strengthen 
economic ties and to explore the possibility of increasing Russian 
arms sales to Colombia. He met with President Medvedev, Foreign 
Minister Lavrov, Defense Minister Serdyukov and Patriarch Alexey II 
and attended the 12th International Economic Forum in St. 
Petersburg. End summary. 
 
---------------------------------- 
Russia-Colombia Economic Relations 
---------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) VP Santos' June 1-9 trip to Russia stressed economic 
cooperation.  Denis Davydov, MFA Latin America Desk, told us June 11 
that VP Santos's visit with Russia's leaders was unofficial in its 
nature, and stemmed from Minister of Economic Trade and Development 
Nabiullina's invitation to the 12th International Economic Forum in 
St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg, Santos met with Foreign Minister 
Sergey Lavrov where both sides reaffirmed the need to deepen 
political dialogue that would lead to more intensive economic and 
investment cooperation. He also sought to strengthen ties between 
the Russian and Colombian business communities.  In Moscow, VP 
Santos took part in an investment forum called "Colombia, A Mine of 
Opportunity."  This forum included executives from Russia's leading 
energy companies such as LUKOIL, Rosneft, and Gazprom.  Since 2002 
LUKOIL Overseas has been exploring the Llanos Basin, Colombia's 
largest oil and gas basin, with Colombian company Ecopetrol.  The 
Russians have expressed interest in engaging in ground and 
underground drilling to extract oil from unexplored regions of 
Colombia. 
 
3. (SBU) Referring to Colombia's "competent administration, abundant 
natural resources, and economic potential," Davydov told us that 
Latin America is "coming out of the shadows" and is proving to be a 
prospective place for development. While Colombia is not at the top 
of Russia's priority list as evidenced by the lack of media coverage 
of VP Santos' visit, Russia is steadily seeking to deepen ties with 
the region, including recently opening embassies in Guatemala and 
Paraguay.  The Russian government in general and the business 
community in particular would like to gain a more reciprocal trade 
relationship with Latin American countries since Russia exports less 
to Latin America than Latin America does to Russia. 
 
--------------------------------- 
Military Hardware Diversification 
--------------------------------- 
 
4. (U) Santos expressed interest in signing weapons contracts that 
would allow Colombia to maintain a balance of power in the region. 
Russian arms sales to Colombia have been insignificant in comparison 
to Venezuela, consisting of a few Mi-17 helicopters.  According to 
press reports, Russia is looking to places such as Latin America for 
arms exports because long-time markets in China and India are 
"oversaturated with hardware" and are shifting toward high 
technologies. 
 
5. (SBU) Davydov countered a report in news daily Kommersant that 
Santos would urge the GOR to curb arms exports to Venezuela in order 
to avoid an arms race in the region.  Davydov said that the sale of 
arms to either Colombia or Venezuela would not result in a regional 
arms race and that Russia would continue military-technical 
cooperation with both countries.  He noted that Russia sold military 
helicopters to Colombia as early as 1996-1997.  Moreover, he 
characterized Russia-Colombia relations as strong since there were 
no conflicts or disputes among the two sides in their respective 
backyards.  In addition, both countries supported each other in 
international fora such as the UN and cooperated on anti-terrorism 
and drug-trafficking.  Furthermore, he posited that while Russia did 
not support the FARC or ALN, it had stopped short of designating 
them as terrorist organizations, as the EU had done.  Davydov said 
Colombian drugs were present on the local Russian market and the GOR 
sought ways to cooperate with Colombia to address this issue. 
 
6. (SBU) A mid-level Colombian embassy official told us Santos's 
visit had focused on economic relations and trade, and he had not 
discussed Venezuelan arms sales. 
 
RUSSELL

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