Monthly Archives: October 2008

08MOSCOW3215, RUSSIA ON IRAN’S UPCOMING NUCLEAR CONFERENCE ON 30

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3215 2008-10-31 14:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3215 3051427
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311427Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0599
INFO RUCNNSG/NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0722
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2142
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 2108
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1916
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4202
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0536

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003215 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR STATE ISN/RA R. MONGIELLO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC PREL MNUC TRGY IR RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA ON IRAN'S UPCOMING NUCLEAR CONFERENCE ON 30 
NOVEMBER 2008 
 
REF: STATE 112229 
 
(SBU)  On October 27 ESToff delivered reftel non-paper 
regarding Iran's upcoming international conference on nuclear 
energy, the environment and sustainable development to MFA 
Head of the Iranian Desk Maxim A. Baranov.  An experienced 
regional expert on Iran and Afghanistan, Baranov remarked 
that he had heard nothing about this conference, but that he 
would report the information to his superiors.  He commented 
that as no one had been invited, he could not say what 
influence the GOR might have on any potential attendee. 
Baranov said that based on his years living in Tehran as a 
Russian commercial expert and diplomat, he was not surprised 
that the Iranians would hold such a conference.  "The 
Iranians love conferences" he said.  He indicated that often, 
these conferences are arranged by universities as a mechanism 
for the more advanced students to organize and manage such 
events, not necessarily for what actually comes out of the 
conference itself. 
BEYRLE

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08MOSCOW3214, BAKHMINA CASE TAKES STRANGE TURN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3214 2008-10-31 13:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3214/01 3051345
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 311345Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0597
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003214 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2018 
TAGS: KJUS PHUM PGOV RS
SUBJECT: BAKHMINA CASE TAKES STRANGE TURN 
 
REF: MOSCOW 3134 
 
Classified By: Acting Pol Min Couns Kostelancik for reason 1.4 (d) 
 
 1. (C) Summary:  On October 30, Russian daily Vedemosti 
reported that pregnant jailed Khodorkovsky lawyer Svetlana 
Bakhmina had withdrawn her request for release and was 
transferred to a hospital on October 24.  According to the 
article, this was done without the knowledge of her lawyers, 
who have not had access to her since her transfer. Two 
leading human rights activists told us on October 27 that 
they believed Bakhmina and former Yukos vice-president Vasily 
Aleksanyan would both be released soon, based on the GOR's 
need for positive publicity in cases that have received 
international attention.  The activists did not apply this 
thinking to Khodorkovsky's "more complicated" situation, and 
remained skeptical of Medvedev's overall intentions regarding 
human rights.  End Summary. 
 
A Strange Twist in Bakhmina case 
-------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) On October 30, Vedemosti reported that jailed 
Khodorkovsky lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina (reftel) had withdrawn 
her request for release almost a week ago without the 
knowledge of her lawyers.  According to the article, she was 
transferred to a hospital on October 24 and they have not had 
access to her since then.  The paper's sources at the Kremlin 
claim that no one in the GOR has received a request for 
release from her, even though her request was previously 
published and received widespread coverage in Russian and 
international media. 
 
Still a chance for Bakhmina and Aleksanyan 
------------------------------------------ 
 
3. (C) Notwithstanding this turn of events, prominent human 
rights activist Lev Ponomarev told us on October 27 that he 
was "90 percent certain" that Bakhmina and former Yukos 
vice-president Vasily Aleksanyan would both be released soon. 
 He said that if Aleksanyan died while incarcerated, it would 
harm Medvedev's image internationally.  He added that if 
authorities went ahead with the criminal case against him 
(currently on hold due to his ill health), they would also 
have to release him for lack of evidence.  According to 
Ponomarev, Bakhmina posed a similar problem for the GOR, as 
it would be a PR disaster if she gave birth in prison.  He 
dismissed the idea that bureaucratic delay might preclude 
Bakhmina's request because she only has one more month of 
pregnancy. 
 
4. (C) Yuriy Dzhibladze, head of the Center for Human Rights 
and Democracy, similarly told us on October 28 that he 
believed Bakhmina would be freed, saying that advocates for 
her release have now garnered 60,000 signatures on their 
petition -- something "unprecedented" in Russia - and that 
"Medvedev is ready to show something" indicating that his 
statements on liberalization have substance. 
 
No chance for Khodorkovsky 
--------------------------- 
 
5. (C) Regarding Khodorkovsky, Ponomarev said that freeing 
him would be more "complicated."  He believed the case 
against Khodorkovsky was flimsy, and noted that the 
prosecution had altered the charges against him as it suited 
them (adding new charges of embezzlement and money laundering 
in 2007 as a pretext for keeping him in detention).  However, 
Khodorkovsky is less likely to gain freedom because he 
represents a "bigger fish" than his two associates, as well 
as a lesser humanitarian problem.  Nonetheless, Ponomarev 
noted one potentially encouraging sign: Leonid Gozman, one of 
the three leaders of the Kremlin's latest project to merge 
the post-Union of Right Forces members with the 
liberal-leaning Democratic Party and Civic Force, publicly 
stated that he wanted Khodorkovsky to be released. 
 
Signals of a change of course from Medvedev? 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Extrapolating from Gozman's statement, Ponomarev 
expressed optimism regarding trends in GOR human rights 
policy in the near future.  He noted that the August war in 
Georgia eclipsed Medvedev's early plans for a more liberal 
direction for the GOR.  The siloviki increased their 
influence, Ponomarev said; "Medvedev himself became a 
silovik." However, he now believed that Medvedev would return 
to his previous path.  Releasing political prisoners who have 
garnered widespread public sympathy and international 
attention would be an easy way to signal such a plan. 
7. (C) On the other hand, even if Medvedev released Bakhmina 
or Aleksanyan as a sop to international opinion, Dzhibladze 
doubted that this would indicate an overall change of course. 
 He said that Medvedev does nothing independently of Putin. 
"In the spring, we naively hoped -- or preferred to think -- 
that he would change policies."  He added that even if 
Medvedev wanted to change GOR human rights policy, he lacks 
the tools to do so, as the influx of oil revenue in recent 
years had enabled the GOR to postpone reforms in many sectors 
of society, leading to "dysfunctional" administration at all 
levels of government. 
 
Comment 
------- 
8. (C) At fi
rst glance, it appears inexplicable that Bakhmina 
would choose to withdraw her request.  If she decided to 
withdraw the petition voluntarily, the decision likely 
stemmed from pessimism that her request would be approved in 
time for the birth, meaning that she chose the best available 
option by moving to the hospital. Her lawyers' inability to 
gain access to her raises additional questions about due 
process in the case.  GOR inaction would indicate 
indifference to public and international opinion, leading to 
further doubts about future GOR intentions regarding human 
rights.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3213, WORLD VISION INCREASING ITS INGUSHETIYA SECURITY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3213 2008-10-31 13:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0269
RR RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #3213/01 3051343
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311343Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0595
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003213 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR PRM/ECA AND EUR/RUS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O.  12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREF PGOV PTER EAID RS
SUBJECT: WORLD VISION INCREASING ITS INGUSHETIYA SECURITY 
 
REF:  (A) MOSCOW 3137, (B) MOSCOW 3089 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  In the wake of a series of incidents (reftels) 
indicative of a worsening safety picture in Ingushetiya, World 
Vision Russian Federation is working to improve its staff's 
security.  Unlike some other PRM implementing partners, the agency 
does not intend to move its North Caucasus headquarters from Nazran. 
 End Summary. 
 
2. (SBU) Refcoord met October 29 in Moscow with World Vision Russian 
Federation (WVRF) Program Director Siobhan Kimmerle and 
Washington-based World Vision International Program Officer Rebecca 
Chandler.  Chandler had just completed a 10-day visit to the North 
Caucasus to assist with WVRF's internal monitoring and evaluation as 
well as the hiring of an adolescent counselor to work with Ingush 
high school students (note: under the organization's FY 2009 
cooperative agreement with PRM; end note). 
 
Tension Flowing, Travel Ebbing 
------------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU) Chandler, who last visited Ingushetiya in Spring 2008, said 
she noticed that WVRF's chief security officer had now begun to 
order the Nazran office's drivers to vary their routes.  Also, she 
had been impressed to witness what looked like an FSB or Interior 
Ministry (MVD) special operation in progress around 3:30 p.m. 
October 24 in downtown Nazran.  Five minutes by car from WVRF's 
headquarters, she and Kimmerle had encountered about six armored 
personnel carriers, several unmarked UAZ SUV's, and approximately 
100 masked security officers. 
 
4. (U) Kimmerle said it was still unusual to see such a large 
display of force, and she had immediately called back to her office 
and told the security supervisor to send all staff home within the 
next 30 minutes.  Kimmerle related additional recent sources of 
anxiety for her colleagues: 
 
- In June, a liquor store two blocks from WVRF's office was blown 
up, reportedly by radical Islamists who object to the sale of 
alcohol; 
 
- Ingush gynecologists have been threatened for performing 
abortions; and beauty parlors have been threatened for doing women's 
hair (which radical Islamists believe should be covered); 
 
- There are rumors of women who were not wearing headscarves being 
pulled off Ingush buses and beaten for their supposed transgression. 
 Many women, including a member of WVRF's staff, who did not 
previously cover their hair have begun to do so as a matter of 
personal safety; 
 
- Word has it that rebels intent on murdering (then)Ingush President 
Murat Zyazikov no longer are concerned about causing collateral 
damage, i.e. the deaths of civil servants or other "innocent" 
potential bystanders.  Hence the rumor reported ref A - and still 
known only as a rumor - that half of Ingushetiya's police are 
planning to resign; 
 
- Local staff (note:  who live in Ingushetiya, whereas the 
organization's international staff reside in still comparatively 
secure North Ossetia; end note) pass tanks and checkpoints on their 
way to work and hear bombs exploding at night. 
 
5. (U) Given the apprehension associated with frequent travel on 
Ingushetiya's roads, WVRF is looking into creating office space at 
its Sleptsovskaya IDP community center.  The idea is to enable staff 
who currently travel the 40 minutes between the Sleptsovskaya center 
and Nazran headquarters daily to do so only weekly.  Employees over 
the past year have furthermore stopped leaving the World Vision 
office to visit the local grocery store or outdoor market, emerging 
only to conduct official business. 
 
6. (SBU) Kimmerle and Chandler affirmed that in spite of these 
challenges they will not move the office from Ingushetiya to 
Chechnya as the Danish Refugee Council and the International Rescue 
Committee have both done or to North Ossetia as UNHCR has done. 
World Vision's work is primarily in Ingushetiya, Kimmerle explained, 
and the organization's FY09 plans have been received with enthusiasm 
by the republic's ministries of health and interior.  Furthermore, 
WVRF's Muslim employees, many of whom have loyally served the 
organization for years, might be at additional risk if they were to 
have to commute to predominantly Christian North Ossetia. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
7. (SBU) Sending employees home early and creating new office space 
have costs that will eventually be reflected in program budgets. 
Employee stress also may lead to higher operating expenses down the 
line.  As long as an implementing partner remains committed to our 
 
MOSCOW 00003213  002 OF 002 
 
 
shared humanitarian mission and beneficiaries and host government 
authorities remain grateful, these costs should not deter our 
involvement in a troubled region.  However, higher overhead costs 
may be reflected in future grant proposals. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3212, RUSSIAN RESPONSE: JURISDICTION OVER ANTARCTIC TOURIST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3212 2008-10-31 13:21 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0048
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3212 3051321
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311321Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0594
INFO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0302

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003212 
 
DEPT FOR OES/PCI, OES/OA, EUR/RUS, AND AF/S 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV EFIS RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN RESPONSE: JURISDICTION OVER ANTARCTIC TOURIST 
EXPEDITIONS 
 
REF: STATE 95270 
 
In response to reftel request, Vasily Titushkin, the MFA Legal 
Department's Executive Secretary in charge of Antarctic Treaty 
issues, informed Post that Russia has no jurisdiction over the 
companies named in reftel.  The GOR understands that The Antarctic 
Company (TAC) and Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) 
are both incorporated in South Africa and therefore subject to South 
African law.  ALCI has provided logistical support for GOR 
activities in connection with the International Polar Year and 
occasionally for other transportation needs in Antarctica, and ALCI 
has leased Russian-built aircraft.  However, Russia assumes no 
regulatory oversight over ALCI or TAC expeditions. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3211, DIP NOTE PASSED: U.S-PROPOSED AGREEMENT ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3211 2008-10-31 13:20 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0043
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3211 3051320
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 311320Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0593
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 0214
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 0306
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5233
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

S E C R E T MOSCOW 003211 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2018 
TAGS: PARM KACT START US RS UP BO KZ
SUBJECT: DIP NOTE PASSED: U.S-PROPOSED AGREEMENT ON 
COMPLETION OF CONTINUOUS MONITORING AT VOTKINSK 
 
REF: A. STATE 115553 
     B. STATE 115554 
 
Classified By: Acting Pol M/C David Kostelancik.  Reasons 1.4 (b) and ( 
d). 
 
(S) On October 31 we passed reftel diplomatic notes to MFA 
North America Desk Attache Denis Kolesnik, who offered no 
substantive comment. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3210, WATCHING NORTH KOREA FROM VLADIVOSTOK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3210 2008-10-31 13:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0028
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3210/01 3051318
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311318Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0591
INFO RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 2756
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 4442
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4200

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003210 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2018 
TAGS: PREL RS KS KN
SUBJECT: WATCHING NORTH KOREA FROM VLADIVOSTOK 
 
REF: A. A. MOSCOW 3025 
     B. B. MOSCOW 2856 
 
Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor David Kostelancik fo 
r reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary.  North Korea experts in Vladivostok see 
small signs of economic reforms in North Korea but believe 
Pyongyang needs more confidence in its regime survival before 
being willing to take further steps to alleviate the poverty 
situation in the country.  The experts hold varying views on 
the state of power politics in the DPRK.  The military and 
Kim Jong Il's cousin-in-law are two of the possible post-Kim 
succession scenarios, with some believing that there would be 
significant regime changes in the next five to ten years 
regardless of Kim's health situation.  The South Korean 
Consulate General in Vladivostok tells us that relations 
between North and South Korea are tense and deteriorating, 
but personal relationships between their diplomats are 
cordial.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU)  During a October 15-18 trip to Vladivostok, 
Embassy Moscow Poloff and ConGen Vladivostok Pol/Econ Off 
spoke to a number of local experts regarding North Korea. 
These included journalist Oleg Zhunusov of the business daily 
Zolotoy Rog, Korean-Russian community activist Valentin Pak, 
Head of the Russian MFA Vladivostok Representative Office 
Igor Agafonov, Director of the Institute of History, 
Archeology, and Ethnography Viktor Larin, and South Korean 
Consulate General Counselor Kho Kan Il.  There are 
approximately 3000 North Koreans working in the Russian Far 
East (RFE) under labor agreements between the Russian and 
DPRK governments, and 35,000 Korean-Russians live in the 
region. 
 
Eye Witness Accounts of Poverty and Limited Reforms 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
3.  (SBU)  Our contacts offered a range of first hand 
impressions, based on a short trip to North Korea on one end 
of the spectrum, to regular visits for over a decade and five 
years of diplomatic service in Pyongyang on the other.  For 
Oleg Zhunusov, who was recently in the port city of Ranjin to 
cover the start of the Ranjin-Xasan railway reconstruction 
project that Russia was undertaking, what little he saw left 
him with an impression of a poverty-stricken, fearful people 
who were curious about foreigners but dared not come close. 
The North Korean authorities controlled the journalists' 
every move, and allowed them to shop only at a store catering 
exclusively for foreigners, where newspapers in Russian 
carrying anti-U.S. propaganda were available for sale.  While 
the use of dollars was officially forbidden, Zhunusov 
nevertheless was able to make some purchases with U.S. 
currency. 
 
4.  (C)  Valentin Pak, a fifth generation Korean-Russian and 
prominent Korean Diaspora activist who has been visiting 
North Korea for a decade, told us that one tangible sign of 
the limited reforms the DPRK leadership initiated in 2002 had 
been the gradual increase in the number of cars on 
Pyongyang's streets.  Igor Agafonov, on the other hand, 
highlighted the small-scale agricultural businesses and 
outdoor markets that had sprung up outside official 
government control during his five-year stint in the Russian 
Embassy in Pyongyang.  Both stated that the North Korean 
government, after slowing down the reforms in the last two 
years, would likely take further small steps forward if it 
felt more secure about its external environment and regime 
survival.  (N.B. Chinese Embassy Political Counselor Gui 
Congyou had told us the same thing in Moscow).  In that 
regard, U.S. action to take North Korea off the list of State 
Sponsors of Terrorism was a step in the right direction.  The 
jury was still out, however, on whether North Korea would 
eventually follow China's economic reform path.  Pak believed 
it was inevitable given North Korea's increasing isolation 
from international trading and financial systems, while 
Agafanov categorically stated that "there will be no Chinese 
path" as the North Korean leadership was fundamentally unsure 
about its ability to maintain legitimacy while adopting a 
more capitalist economic system. 
 
Anticipating a Post-Kim North Korea 
----------------------------------- 
 
5.  (C)  Amidst renewed rumors of Kim Jong Il's illness, our 
contacts offered differing views on the state of power 
politics in Pyongyang.  Viktor Larin asserted that Kim Jong 
Il had not been truly in control of the government for a 
while now because of his health.  In his view, and that of 
Agafanov's, the military was playing a key role in internal 
politics.  Agafanov saw an ideological split between the 
younger officer corps and the old guard, stating that should 
there be a succession scenario with the military taking 
control, the former group would be more likely to be 
pragmatic and therefore more preferable.  Pak, on the other 
hand, stated that should Kim Jong Il die, his cousin-in-law 
Lee Yong Mu, who reportedly is a member of Kim's inner 
circle, was likely to be the successor rather than one of 
Kim's sons. 
 
6.  (C)  Regardless of Kim's state of health, Pak predicted 
significant changes in North Korea in the next five years, 
while Larin estimated that there would be regime change in 
the next ten.  In Larin's view, the South Korean government 
was likely banking on the ten year time line, or President 
Lee Myung-bak, during his September 28-30 visit to Russia, 
would not have been willing to contemplate a deal with 
Gazprom that involved building a gas pipeline through North 
Korea (Ref A).  South Korean diplomats in both Moscow and 
Vladivostok confirmed to us that the proposed deal, estimated 
to yield concrete gas delivery from Russia beginning in 2015, 
was contingent on progress in the denuclearization issue and 
political change in Pyongyang.  They indicated that the 
pipeline had no prospects for success in the short run, but 
could become viable closer to 2015 and serve as one of the 
means to unite the Korean Peninsula. 
 
North-South Korean Relations Tense 
---------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C)  Kho Kan Il of the South Korean Consulate 
characterized the current relations between the two Koreas as 
"tense and deteriorating."  Noting that President Lee won the 
election earlier this year partially because of his pledge to 
implement a tougher policy on North Korea, he commented that 
it was hardly surprising that the two sides were not feeling 
particularly warm and fuzzy toward each other. 
 
8.  (C)  Kho told us that on a personal level, relations 
between the North and South Korean diplomats in third 
countries were cordial and good despite tensions in the 
official relationship.  This was especially the case in 
places such as New York and Geneva.  In the RFE, thanks to 
the approximately 35,000 Korean-Russians in the region, North 
and South Korean diplomats were frequently invited to the 
same community events, where they had opportunities to 
interact with each other.  However, under the Lee 
Administration, attitude toward mingling with North Korean 
diplomats was no longer as relaxed as before, according to 
Kho. 
 
China is Key for Influencing North Korea 
---------------------------------------- 
 
9.  (C)  Echoing a sentiment we've heard repeatedly in 
Moscow, the local experts viewed China as having the most 
influence on the DPRK, in so far as anyone could influence 
the North Koreans these days (Ref B).  Agafanov pointed out 
that 80 percent of foreign businesses in North Korea, however 
few in number, were Chinese, and China was the supplier for 
practically all of North Korea's import needs.  Pak expressed 
the impression that Moscow was too far away, both 
geographically and policy wise, from Pyongyang and therefore 
was not focused on any strategic thinking on post-Kim 
scenarios.  While Russia was interested in North Korea for 
economic and nuclear non-proliferation reasons, the GOR had 
neither the capabilities nor the desire to play a more key 
role on the Korean Peninsula or to compete against U.S. 
interests there. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3209, INGUSHETIYA: WIDESPREAD APPROVAL OF ZYAZIKOV’S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3209 2008-10-31 13:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0014
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3209/01 3051317
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311317Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0589
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003209 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM PINR RS
SUBJECT: INGUSHETIYA:  WIDESPREAD APPROVAL OF ZYAZIKOV'S 
"RESIGNATION" 
 
Classified By: Acting Politial Minister Counselor David 
Kostelancik; reason 1.4 (d) 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary:  There has been widespread approval of the 
October 30 resignation of Murat Zyazikov as president of the 
northern Caucasus Republic of Ingushetiya.  Representatives 
of one of the major opposition groups there said that they 
would work with the new president, former paratrooper and 
Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the Volga-Ural military district 
Yunus-bek Yevkurov.  It remains to be seen if Yevkurov, like 
Zyazikov an outsider without a strong clan to support him, 
will be able to bring the worsening security situation there 
under control.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) On October 30 Russian President Medvedev accepted 
the resignation of Ingushetiya president Murat Zyazikov and 
formally replaced him with Yunus-bek Yevkurov, a decorated 
soldier and an 45-year old ethnic Ingush born in the disputed 
Prigorodniy region of neighboring North Ossetia.  Zyazikov 
told reporters he was leaving his post as president of 
Ingushetiya to take up work with the federal government in 
Moscow. 
 
3.  (SBU) The immediate reaction to Zyazikov's replacement 
has been positive.  According to press reports, locals in 
Nazran, Ingushetiya's largest city, danced in the street 
shortly after the news was announced.  Magomed Khazbiyev, the 
young leader of the opposition movement headed by Magomed 
Yevloyev until his death in late August while in police 
custody, pledged to cooperate with the new president.  Former 
Ingush president Ruslan Aushev also welcomed the decision to 
dismiss Zyazikov and said that Yevkurov was the best choice 
to become the troubled republic's new president.  Rosa 
Malsagova, editor of the banned Ingushetia.org website who 
fled Russia and received asylum in France this past summer, 
said that Medvedev had shown "some common sense" in getting 
rid of Zyazikov.  She added that she knew Yevkurov, calling 
him a "man of a noble character."  Commentator Ivan Sukhov 
expressed optimism that Yevkurov, as a "president-silovik," 
would be a more effective administrator than Zyazikov, who 
was a "chekist" who looked to federal power structures to do 
his job. 
 
4.  (SBU) Several Moscow-based North Caucasus commentators 
questioned whether outsider Yevkurov will be an improvement 
over his predecessor.  Independent political analyst Dmitriy 
Oreshkin wondered why Medvedev had brought in another 
outsider for the job.  Although an ethnic Ingush, Yevkurov 
was born in the neighboring republic of North Ossetia and, 
like Zyazikov, does not have particularly strong support 
within the family clans in Ingushetiya.  Grigoriy Shvedov, 
Editor-in-Chief of the internet-based Caucasian Knot who was 
in Ingushetiya and Chechnya earlier in the week, told us that 
the decision to replace Zyazikov was a response to the 
worsening security situation in the republic over the past 
month, even after the introduction of additional federal 
troops.  He also tried to tie the decision to the replacement 
on the same day of the mayor of Sochi as proof that former 
Presidential Representative for the Southern Federal District 
Dmitriy Kozak is reasserting himself in the region in his new 
role as vice premier in charge of the 2014 Winter Olympics in 
Sochi. 
 
5. (SBU) Regioanl political analyst Aleksandr Kynev told us 
that Yevkurov was the ideal compromise candidate to replace 
Zyazikov.  Yevkurov's background (as the man who commanded 
Russian forces that took control of the Pristina airport in 
1999 before NATO forces could enter Kosovo as Serb forces 
withdrew) gives him credentials with Moscow siloviki, and his 
Ingush ethnicity put him in a good position to reach out to 
opposition forces while ensuring the stability that Moscow 
wants in the region.  Kynev saw the appointment as a positive 
development. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6.  (C)  The decision to sack Zyazikov, who was first elected 
Ingushetiya's president in 2002 and then re-appointed by 
Putin in 2004, came almost two weeks after unknown assailants 
attacked a column of Russian soldiers in southern 
Ingushetiya.  While it is unclear if the final verdict was 
rendered by Medvedev or Putin, to whom Zyazikov was close, it 
does appear that the level of violence there -- which had 
begun to include instances of car bombs -- had become 
unacceptable to Moscow. Zyazikov was seen as more 
Kremlin-friendly than his predecessor Ruslan Aushev; since it 
was not feasible to bring back Aushev, it seems that Yevkurov 
represented an acceptable compromise choice.  Yevkurov's 
outsider status could help his effectiveness, as no Ingush 
clan will perceive him as taking another clan's side.  On the 
other hand, his background from Prigorodniy could exacerbate 
already-strained relations between North Ossetians and Ingush 
over Ingush IDPs from the Prigorodniy region.  Yevkurov's 
military role during the second Chechan war, while "heroic" 
from the standpoint of the GOR, could also de
tract from his 
popularity among the Ingush.  While Yevkurov's task to wipe 
out the insurgency in Ingushetiya is a daunting one, he will 
not have the added burden of an increasingly  popular 
opposition movement as long as he can avoid the same 
heavy-handed mistakes of Zyazikov. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3203, RUSSIAN VET SERVICE DELISTS ANOTHER U.S.

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3203 2008-10-31 13:10 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0028
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3203/01 3051310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311310Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY 5402
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0583
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 4682
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5231

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003203 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
USDA FAS FOR OCRA/KUYPERS; OSTA/HAMILTON, BEAN 
PASS FSIS/JONES, DUTROW 
PASS APHIS/MITCHELL 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EB/ATP/SINGER 
STATE PASS USTR FOR PORTER 
BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ 
VIENNA PASS APHIS/TANAKA 
GENEVA FOR USTR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAGR ETRD TBIO WTO RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN VET SERVICE DELISTS ANOTHER U.S. 
POULTRY PLANT 
 
REF: A) HANSEN/DUTROW EMAIL 10/29/08, B) MOSCOW 
3181, C) MOSCOW 2946, D) MOSCOW 2235 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Russian Federal Veterinary 
and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) 
informed via official letter that as of October 
28, that another U.S. poultry plant (P-7927) was 
delisted after routine tests revealed the 
presence of Salmonella.  The letter requests that 
the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service 
(FSIS) conduct an investigation into how this 
foodborne pathogen found its way into poultry 
shipments to Russia.  The original scanned copy 
of the VPSS letter and courtesy translation were 
sent to FSIS on October 29, 2008 (REF A).  An 
informal embassy translation of the letter 
follows.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT: 
Moscow, October 28, 2008 
No. FS-NV-2/10941 
 
Assistant Deputy Administrator 
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 
Dr. William James 
 
The Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary 
Surveillance Service (VPSS) extends its regards 
to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service 
(FSIS) and informs you of the following: 
 
Salmonella was detected recently during routine 
testing of residues of prohibited and harmful 
substances in poultry shipments (chicken 
quarters) imported from the United States (lab 
test results No. 7905/B-5933 of September 25, 
2008; No. 8556/B-6552, 8554/B-6550, 8555/B-6551 
of October 13, 2008).  The product was 
manufactured at establishment No. P-7927 
(veterinary certificates No. RFA-039425, RFA- 
039424, RFA-039423 of April 16, 2008). 
 
Coccidiostat salinomycin was also detected in 
poultry shipments from U.S. establishment No. P- 
758 (lab test results No. 1652 of October 8, 
2008; veterinary certificate No. RFA-049572 of 
August 21, 2008). 
 
Antibiotics of tetracycline group were found in 
the shipments of poultry that were produced at 
the U.S. establishment No. P-1309 (lab results 
No. 478M, 480M of September 22, 2008).  The 
poultry was imported to the Russian Federation 
with veterinary certificates No. RFA-027512, RFA- 
027514, RFA-027516 of August 1, 2008. 
 
The cases mentioned above are violations of the 
requirements set forth in the negotiated 
veterinary certificate for export of poultry to 
the Russian Federation. 
 
Therefore, VPSS informs you that temporary 
restrictions on the import of products from 
above-mentioned establishments come into force on 
October 28, 2008.  In addition, VPSS requests 
that you conduct an investigation to determine 
why illegal substances are being found in 
veterinary products shipped from the United 
States to Russia.  VPSS asks you to take urgent 
measures to prevent the shipment of meat and 
poultry products to Russia that do not fully 
comply with the requirements of the Russian 
Federation and the negotiated veterinary 
certificates. 
 
Please inform VPSS about the results of 
investigation and the preventative measures FSIS 
 
will take to stop these types of occurrences from 
taking place in the future. 
 
Dr. James, let me assure you in my highest 
esteem. 
 
 
N.A. Vlasov 
Acting Head 
 
Attachment: on 15 pages (not included in this 
telegram) 
END TEXT. 
 
3. (SBU) COMMENT: Russia currently has a zero- 
tolerance policy for foodborne pathogens, such as 
Salmonella.  To date, Russia has not offered any 
scientific basis for such an unreasonably strict 
regime, which is not consistent with 
international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) 
norms.  Although Russia has agreed to abide by 
international SPS standards as of the date of WTO 
accession, or to provide a scientific basis to 
justify stricter standards during regular 
engagements and consultations, we recommend that 
USDA and USTR officials continue to urge Russian 
negotiators to immediately adopt international 
SPS standards at upcoming meetings in Geneva and 
Washington, DC.  No less should be accepted of an 
aspiring WTO member. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3202, MOSCOW SPS OPPOSES, REGIONS SUPPORT, SURKOV PLAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3202 2008-10-31 03:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3202/01 3050317
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 310317Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0581
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003202 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2018 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW SPS OPPOSES, REGIONS SUPPORT, SURKOV PLAN 
TO DISMANTLE PARTY 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 3032 
     B. MOSCOW 2910 
 
Classified By: Acting Political MC David Kostelancik for reasons 1.4(b) 
 and (d). 
 
1.  Summary: Opposition within the Union of Right Forces 
(SPS) to the party's impending dissolution is almost 
non-existent outside of Moscow.  Moscow SPS leader Vladlen 
Maksimov and SPS Federal Political Council member Maria 
Gaydar have publicly opposed the dissolution and have urged 
regional branches to follow suit.  So far their pleas have 
failed almost entirely to win support.  As a result, SPS 
almost certainly will vote to dissolve at its November 15 
national congress and then unite on November 16 with Civic 
Force and the Democratic Party under the banner of a new 
loyalist party, tentatively called Pravoe Delo (Right Cause). 
 Maksimov called the party's dismantling a plan by Kremlin 
Deputy Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov's to "destroy one of 
the last party licenses," adding a prediction that Acting SPS 
Chairman Leonid Gozman will not be among Right Cause's 
leaders.  End Summary. 
 
Moscow and Kostroma Regions Alone Against "Surkov's Plan" 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
2.  (C) Moscow SPS Chairman Maksimov confirmed to us October 
27 that the capital's branch strongly opposed the party's 
self-dissolution and merger with Civic Force and the 
Democratic Party.  This "Kremlin project," he added, was 
Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Surkov's plan to "destroy one 
of the last party licenses" remaining in Russia, robbing 
political opposition of one of its last (legal) outposts. 
(Note: Indeed, Acting SPS Chairman Leonid Gozman remarked in 
an October 28 Novyye Izvestiya interview that a key reason 
for transforming the party was the danger of "raiders seizing 
SPS."  End Note.)  Maksimov concluded that Gozman will 
receive the two-thirds support necessary for dissolution at 
the party's November 15 congress.  According to Maksimov, 
Moscow SPS has always offered stronger Kremlin opposition 
than the regions because its national party leaders have 
resided in the capital.  As a result of this "history of 
strong opposition," he predicted that 90 percent of Moscow 
SPS's 1,300 members would reject Gozman and follow Maksimov 
(and former SPS head Nikita Belykh) to the new Solidarity 
opposition movement. 
 
3.  (C) Maksimov acknowledged that the regions have 
acquiesced to the party's dissolution.  Still, on October 21 
he sent a letter to regional SPS offices urging party members 
"who disagree with the sale of the party to the Kremlin" to 
resist, adding that regional offices should not "give up 
silently."  Support for Maksimov's plea was almost 
non-existent.  One exception was Kostroma Region, where local 
SPS leaders have opposed the party's dismantling.  Kostroma 
SPS leader Nikolay Sorokin lamented "the betrayal of the 
party leadership" and the creation of "an artificial 
political entity with a questionable future."  Sorokin 
predicted that the majority of Kostroma SPS members will join 
him in Solidarity if national SPS follows Gozman on November 
15. 
 
4.  (SBU) At the national level, the lone voice of internal 
dissent against dissolution is SPS Federal Political Council 
member Maria Gaydar.  Gaydar told media on October 30 that 
SPS is being held "hostage" and that Gozman will rely upon 
allegedly bogus regional congresses to support dissolution on 
November 15.  Gaydar proposed "a plan for saving the party" 
to expose "falsified" regional congress.  Following 
Maksimov's example, she issued a public letter on October 30 
to the 33 SPS branches that have not yet held congresses, 
urging their members to oppose the Kremlin plan and to report 
irregularities.  "Do not believe the lie" that SPS's fate is 
sealed, she exhorted.  Gozman called Gaydar's accusations a 
"provocation," although he told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that he 
"would be rather surprised if all regions unanimously 
endorsed the project." 
 
"Hollow" Regions Will Support Kremlin Plan 
------------------------------------------ 
 
5.  (C) Maksimov confessed to us that SPS has only a 
negligible presence in the regions.  Of the party's 
approximately 70 branches, Maksimov estimated that at least 
half are "hollow" at the regional level and exist only as 
names on paper.  Of the remaining branches with active 
members, Maksimov further calculated that only one-third 
would resist SPS's dissolution and turn instead to the new 
Solidarity movement.  His back-of-the-envelope calculation 
 
suggested that about 5,000-10,000 SPS members nationwide 
might reject Gozman and opt to join Solidarity.  (On October 
6, former Deputy Energy Minister and Solidarity organizer 
Vladimir Milov shared the same prediction of a one-third SPS 
defection. Ref A.) 
 
6.  (SBU) Maksimov's plea failed to resonate in the regions, 
although some regional branches have expressed only reluctant 
support for dissolution.  Rostov SPS, for example, released a 
statement acknowledging that "we are forced to engage in 
dialogue w
ith the authorities" and that SPS dissolution 
offers the "only possible way to preserve the legitimate 
right liberal democratic party in Russia."  Tver Oblast 
originally expressed opposition to the Kremlin project in 
early October, but now supports it in the week before its 
regional congress.  Kommersant reported October 30 that 
Vologda SPS's leader supported the project but members did 
not, so no delegates to the national congress have been 
selected.  In Altai Krai, members could not agree on 
cooperating with Civic Force and the Democratic Party, which 
may prevent them from selecting delegates at their upcoming 
congress.  Ryazan SPS Chairman Aleksandr Perehvatova and his 
deputy issued a statement October 27 that "there is no point" 
in opposing the Kremlin project.  There is no evidence that 
any region aside from Kostroma will oppose the Kremlin plan. 
 
7.  (C) Other regional branches have eagerly embraced the 
transformation and the new funding and media access that 
surely will follow.  Kemerovo SPS Chairman Dmitriy 
Shagiakhmetov told us October 29 that his regional branch 
"supported the project 100 percent," adding that neighboring 
Krasnoyarsk would similarly support it.  (Shagiakhmetov's 
support contrasts sharply with his September 22 assertion to 
us that he would direct his efforts instead to the December 
13 Solidarity conference. Ref B.) 
 
Future Right Cause Leaders: Gozman and Bogdanov Gone? 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
8.  (C) Maksimov predicted that Leonid Gozman would not 
remain leader of the new Right Cause, arguing that Gozman 
will have fulfilled his role as shepherd of SPS's demise. 
"There will be no need for Gozman after November 15," 
Maksimov predicted, adding that Gozman will withdraw to a 
position at RosNanotech under Anatoliy Chubais, his long-time 
benefactor.  Maksimov further predicted that Democratic Party 
head Andrey Bogdanov would have no future in Right Cause's 
leadership, despite assurances that Bogdanov had received 
that he would become chairman of its Moscow branch.  Maksimov 
predicted that, due to Chubais' extreme dislike of Bogdanov, 
Gozman would have to cast Bogdanov afloat. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
9.  (C) SPS's failure to collect enough valid signatures to 
participate in recent regional elections supports Maksimov's 
assertion that SPS was "hollow" outside of Moscow.  Even so, 
Maksimov and Gaydar both lack the national influence to 
convince the "real" regional SPS branches to oppose the 
Kremlin project.  Such flaccid regional opposition also 
portends difficulties ahead for the new Solidarity movement 
to establish relevance east of the Urals.  On the other hand, 
SPS's legacy structures likely will provide its successor 
(Right Cause) with the necessary institutional basis for 
participating in future elections.  Fundraising and 
membership drives for Right Cause will be much easier with 
the Kremlin's imprimatur, although attracting members may 
prove difficult among an electorate that increasingly sees 
little need for parties at all. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3201, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH SECURITY COUNCIL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3201 2008-10-30 15:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9279
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #3201/01 3041526
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301526Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0578
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 003201 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER GG IR RS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH SECURITY COUNCIL 
SECRETARY PATRUSHEV: WE NEED TO REBUILD TRUST 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Beyrle.  Reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Russian Security Council Secretary and 
former head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Nikolay 
Patrushev told Ambassador October 29 that the U.S. and Russia 
need to rebuild trust and confidence.  Citing past examples 
of U.S.-Russian counterterrorism (CT) cooperation, he 
contended that, had the U.S. and Russia shared information 
"as we used to," we might have been able to avoid the war in 
Georgia.  He claimed that "at the highest levels," the GOR 
had told the U.S. that Russian forces would not move on 
Tbilisi.  Russian forces had orders only to destroy Georgian 
military installations that threatened Russian troops.  He 
reiterated Russia's insistence that Georgia should not be 
rearmed, claiming Georgia had received money from the U.S. 
and military equipment from other countries.  Noting that the 
U.S. and Russia still had good CT cooperation and faced 
common threats, Patrushev asked for additional information on 
the U.S. strikes in Syria October 28.  While Russia was 
concerned about the level of violence in the north Caucasus, 
Patrushev claimed it was lower than in the past and more 
crime-related due to lack of social and economic development, 
rather than terrorism.  Russia had taken steps to 
significantly tighten its border, and there were now only 
"three-four representatives" of international terrorist 
organizations in the region, compared to about 30 in the late 
1990's.  In Chechnya, the situation was "radically changed," 
because of the Kremlin's personal attention to the issue. 
Russia was prepared to cooperate with the U.S. on all issues, 
including Iran, but we needed to keep each other informed. 
End summary. 
 
"We Need to Rebuild Trust and Confidence" 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Patrushev told the Ambassador October 29 that both 
countries could reap mutual benefits of cooperation and avoid 
"unpredictable situations" if we were willing to put aside 
our mistrust and overcome the lack of confidence between us. 
He pointed to past U.S.-Russian counterterrorism cooperation, 
such as the case of the UK citizen who had tried to acquire 
MANPADS from the CIS and smuggle them into the U.S. to use 
against civilian aircraft.  Through cooperation between 
Russian, U.S. and UK agencies, we were able to discover and 
thwart the plot.  Similarly, Patrushev said, when the U.S. 
was considering invading Iraq, the President had called 
Putin, who had told him Russia would not stand in America's 
way, but sought to dissuade the U.S. action.  Pointing to 
Russia's project on a multinational terrorism database, 
Patrushev said the more open we are with each other, the 
better.  In that vein, he asked for more specific information 
on the U.S. airstrikes October 28 in Syria, particularly 
which al-Qaeda leader was killed. 
 
3. (C) Cold War legacies, such as the Jackson-Vanik 
amendment, hurt the relationship, Patrushev said, pointing 
out that Russia now has a visa-free regime with Israel.  He 
stressed that Russia wanted to have good relations with the 
U.S.  The Ambassador agreed that the original purpose of the 
Jackson-Vanik amendment no longer existed, and there were 
areas where it was in both our interests to cooperate.  But 
there were still many in the Russian press and influential 
circles who seemed to believe the U.S. was trying to 
instigate a color revolution in Russia, and this undermined 
our abilities to establish better trust and confidence. 
 
Georgia 
------- 
 
4. (C) Patrushev contended that if the U.S. and Russia had 
shared information prior to the outbreak of hostilities in 
Georgia, the war might have been prevented.  Moscow had been 
conducting negotiations with Tbilisi on a non-use of force 
agreement (NUF), but suddenly, without explanation, Georgia 
had broken off the talks.  Russian analysts had pointed to 
the fact that Secretary Rice had visited Tbilisi just before 
Georgia had suspended the negotiations and concluded that 
Saakashvili had "received orders from the Secretary to stop 
the talks."  He said Russia had heard that the U.S. had told 
Saakashvili not to start a war, but did this mean that the 
U.S. knew beforehand that he was planning to do so?  If so, 
the U.S. should have shared such information with Russia, and 
worked together to prevent the conflict from occurring. 
Moscow had told the U.S. "at the highest levels" that Russian 
 
MOSCOW 00003201  002 OF 003 
 
 
troops would not take Tbilisi, Patrushev said, and had 
explained the limits to which the troops would go.  Russian 
forces had had orders to destroy only those Georgian military 
installations which threatened the Russian army, he said. 
"We should have talked more," Pat
rushev insisted. 
 
5. (C) Patrushev reiterated GOR arguments that the West 
should not rearm Georgia.  Saakashvili was "unpredictable," 
he said, reciting a story that German journalists had been 
taken to a house in the suburbs of Tbilisi, where Saakashvili 
was "not in his right mind, possibly on drugs," and 
accompanied by members of the security service and 
prostitutes.  Still, the U.S. continued to provide funds and 
arms to Georgia. 
 
6. (C) The Ambassador argued that the U.S. had not urged 
Saakashvili not to sign a NUF, and had warned him against 
using force in South Ossetia.  Patrushev needed to remember 
that the NUF had been part of a package of measures, some of 
which Russia had refused to accept.  He added that there had 
been repeated provocations by the South Ossetians against the 
ethnic Georgian population, and that Russia had not informed 
the U.S. prior to Russian troops moving into Georgian 
territory.  The Ambassador emphasized that the U.S. had only 
provided humanitarian and economic assistance to Georgia 
following the conflict.  Patrushev interjected "you're 
providing money; others are providing arms."  The Ambassador 
urged Russia to work towards a successful meeting in Geneva 
on November 18 and to continue the process as long as 
necessary to ensure the important issues, such as return of 
refugees and increased international monitoring, were 
resolved. 
 
North Caucasus 
-------------- 
 
7. (C) In response to the Ambassador's concern that the level 
of violence in the north Caucasus seemed to be increasing, 
Patrushev countered that the level of violence had in fact 
dropped since the late 1990's.  The situation in Chechnya had 
been "normalized," due to tightening of the borders, use of 
technical and operational border monitoring, and "personal 
attention" paid to the region, but Moscow was concerned by 
the situation in Ingushetia and the other Republics. 
However, in 1999 there had been approximately 30 
"representatives" of international terrorist groups in the 
area engaged in terrorist activity, receiving financing from 
abroad, and seeking to split the northern Caucasus from 
Russia.  Today, Patrushev said, there were only three or four 
international terrorists in the region.  The threat was not 
fully eliminated, but had been reduced. 
 
8. (C) The level of crime was high, Patrushev said, because 
of social and economic backwardness, and thus more attention 
needed to be given to economic development.  He denied that 
there was more nationalism:  "nationalism without financing 
from abroad doesn't exist."  Plus, there was little 
identification between the ethnic groups.  In one valley in 
Dagestan, Patrushev said, there were 120 ethnic groups, many 
speaking different dialects.  They needed to use Russian to 
communicate with each other.  So, nationalism and separatism 
were unlikely.  But, low social and economic conditions and 
lack of jobs led to crime.  Once these problems were 
resolved, the situation would stabilize, Patrushev contended. 
 
 
Threats from the South: Iran 
---------------------------- 
 
9. (C) Patrushev acknowledged that Russia faced threats from 
across its southern border.  Regarding Iran, he said Russia 
was prepared to cooperate with the U.S. in the UN Security 
Council and "go as far as you're ready to go."  He reiterated 
that the degree of confidence between us should be higher and 
commented that when we keep each other informed, even if we 
do not like what is said, and take actions together, it was 
better.  He emphasized that Russia was "ready to cooperate on 
all issues." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
10. (C) Despite reports of chronic illness, Patrushev looked 
to be in good health and was sharp and focused throughout the 
 
MOSCOW 00003201  003 OF 003 
 
 
hourlong meeting.  A smaller, slighter man than photos and TV 
images led us to expect, he projects a highly controlled 
"Putinesque" persona, with occasional flashes of sardonic 
humor.  The jury is still out whether the Kremlin is giving 
the Security Council more influence and stature, or if 
Patrushev was sent there because some thought he was becoming 
too powerful as head of the FSB and this was a way of 
controlling his influence.  Not surprisingly, his comments on 
the U.S.-Russia relationship tended to reflect the mindset of 
an FSB officer rather than the broader worldview of a 
National Security Council chief; the Ambassador's effort to 
elicit Patrushev's shortlist of strategic challenges facing 
both Russia and the U.S. never got further than 
counterterrorism.  Patrushev's repeated comments that the 
U.S. and Russia needed to restore greater trust and 
confidence did not prevent him from repeating many of the 
most scurrilous allegations about U.S. involvement in Georgia 
we have seen in the press. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks