Monthly Archives: May 2009

09MOSCOW1404, CONTROVERSIAL GENERAL NAMED HEAD OF RUSSIAN AIRBORNE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1404 2009-05-29 14:22 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6013
RR RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1404/01 1491422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291422Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3550
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001404 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PINR MCAP PREL PINS RS
 
SUBJECT: CONTROVERSIAL GENERAL NAMED HEAD OF RUSSIAN AIRBORNE 
TROOPS 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: Strongly criticized for war crimes committed in 
Chechnya by troops under his command, Lt. General Vladimir 
Shamanov's appointment to command Russian airborne troops is 
considered by some experts to be a message from the Russian 
leadership in support of not only military reform but also of MOD 
Serduykov, at a time when rumors abound about his possible 
resignation.  While Chechens criticized the appointment, Shamanov is 
considered an experienced and well-known military expert who will 
help advance reform from within the military.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
A Controversial General Appointed Airborne Commander 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
2. (SBU) On May 25, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that 
Lieutenant General Vladimir Shamanov would replace Lt. General 
Valeiy Yevtukhovich as commander of Russia's airborne troops.  The 
airborne commander post had been vacant since the May 6th discharge 
of Yevtukhovich, who had reached the mandatory retirement age. 
 
3. (SBU) Shamanov gained notoriety during the Chechen wars when 
troops under his command committed war crimes.  Russian military 
analysts, if not human rights experts, differ on whether to label 
Shamanov a war criminal.  Many analysts here continue to justify 
Shamanov's actions in the Caucasus as helping to bring under control 
a region of bandits "where the people understand only force." 
Experts agree that Shamanov is an effective general and now a key 
figure within the Russian military leadership who will help advance 
Serduykov's unpopular military reforms. 
 
---------------- 
Chechen Reaction 
---------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Officials in Chechnya have criticized Shamanov's 
appointment.  Chechnya's Ombudsman for Human Rights Nurdi Nukhaziev 
stated on May 25 that no one in Chechnya has forgotten the violence 
Shamanov wrought on the local civilian population, nor have they 
forgotten his attempts to protect war criminals.  (Note: In the year 
2000, as Governor of the Ulyanovsk Oblast region, Shamanov publicly 
supported one of his former commanders, Colonel Yuri Budanov, during 
his trial over the kidnap and murder of a young Chechen woman, Elza 
Kungeva.) 
 
--------------------------------- 
What It Means for Military Reform 
--------------------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) Experts argued that Shamanov's designation is an indication 
that Russian political leaders have stopped thinking in terms of a 
global war that necessitates a mass mobilization of troops.  They 
said that the August 2008 war with Georgia was a reminder that 
future conflicts involving Russia will most likely occur within or 
near its borders.  As a result, a smaller army consisting mainly of 
professional, effective, and readily deployable troops is needed. 
Shamanov, a seasoned fighter in conventional warfare and a notable 
figure within the public and military spheres, is considered the 
right person to help push forward such a reform. 
 
6. (SBU) Respected and well-known within the military, Shamanov has 
publicly supported military reform.  Some experts argue that his 
appointment thus serves as a message from the Russian leadership in 
support of not only military reform but also of MOD Serduykov, at a 
time when rumors abound about his possible resignation or transfer 
to another position (septel). 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
Appointment's Timing: Reneging on Tula Base Closure 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
7. (SBU) Shamanov's appointment coincides with the reversal of the 
Russian MOD's decision to disband the 106th airborne unit in Tula. 
According to press sources, the turn-around followed a number of 
letters and complaints to the MOD and the Presidency.  However, 
local press reported that the decision was expected.  Within the 
proposed military reform, airborne troops, along with Russia's 
strategic nuclear forces, will be a main component of Russia's 
mobile ground forces; thus significant reductions in the number of 
airborne troops are unlikely. 
 
--------------- 
Biographic Note 
--------------- 
 
8. (SBU) Shamanov had been in charge of the MOD's Main Directorate 
 
MOSCOW 00001404  002 OF 002 
 
 
for Military Training since 2007.  A recipient of the Hero of the 
Russian Federation decoration for his service in Chechnya, Shamanov 
was appointed in 2007 as advisor to then MOD Sergei Ivanov, and then 
co-chairman of the US-Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIA (USRJC). 
Considered a "hawk" among Russian military leaders, Shamanov's 
military career includes service with Russian Ground Forces in 
Pskov, Moldavia, Azerbaijan and Ulyanovsk.  Shamanov graduated from 
the Ryazansk airbo
rne command school in 1978. 
 
9. (SBU) In March 1995 Shamanov was deployed to Chechnya to command 
a division of troops that took heavy combat losses.  In October 1995 
he was appointed deputy commander of Russian forces in Chechnya, and 
was then promoted to commander in April 1996.  In April 1998 he was 
named commander of the 20th Army (Voronezh), and then in July 1999 
he was appointed commander of the 58th Army based in Vladikavkaz, 
North Caucasus Military District.  During this time he led the 
retaliatory attack against Chechen fighters in Dagestan and 
suppressed Wahhabism within the republic.  In September 1999 
Shamanov was appointed commander of federal forces in the North 
Caucasus.  He is considered one of the most effective military 
leaders in both Chechen Wars. 
 
BEYRLE

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09MOSCOW1403, Russia following South Ossetia elections

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1403 2009-05-29 13:01 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5913
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1403/01 1491301
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291301Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3548
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001403 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O.  12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG RS
SUBJECT:  Russia following South Ossetia elections 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  The Russian press has been closely following the 
South Ossetian election campaign over the past several months. 
Reports cover the election mechanics and Russian assistance, which 
includes polling stations on Russian soil, election observers, and 
"methodological" aid.  Pressure by visiting South Ossetian 
opposition members led head of the Presidential Administration 
Sergey Naryshkin to oppose Kokoity's plan to lift constitutional 
presidential term limits in South Ossetia.  Analysts, however, 
question whether Moscow will rein in Kokoity, since he serves as an 
odious but useful tool in keeping Saakashvili on edge.  End summary. 
 
 
-------------------------- 
Russia following elections 
-------------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU) The May 31 elections in South Ossetia have been an object 
of close attention in Russia over the past several months.  Press 
coverage has been extensive, ranging from factual reporting on the 
mechanics of the election -- scheduled date, polling availability, 
and party participation -- to reports on Russian assistance, 
"President" Eduard Kokoity's shady attempts at securing victory and 
lifting presidential term limits, and analysis of Russia's goals. 
 
------------------ 
Russian assistance 
------------------ 
 
3.  (SBU) Russia has provided significant assistance to the election 
process in South Ossetia, including by designating one polling 
station in Moscow in the building identified for use by the South 
Ossetian "Embassy," as well as six stations in North Ossetia, where 
a large number of South Ossetians live.  The Moscow station was 
meant to serve the only 250 South Ossetians in town, plus students 
at local universities, according to South Ossetian "Ambassador" 
Dmitriy Medoyev. 
 
4.  (SBU) Russia has also agreed to send observers to the elections, 
according to Igor Borisov of the Russian Central Election 
Commission.  First Deputy Head of the Duma Committee for 
International Affairs Leonid Slutsky said the Russian observers 
would number "several dozen," and consist of representatives of the 
Federation Council, the State Duma, Russia's Central Election 
Commission, the Russian Foundation for Free Elections, the Russian 
Public Chamber, the Interregional Fund for Fair Elections, and the 
Moscow Bureau for Human Rights. 
 
5.  (SBU) Borisov expressed confidence that the elections would go 
smoothly, claiming that South Ossetian election officials had 
"immense experience."   Based on an April 6 MOU signed by the 
Russian and South Ossetian Central Election Commissions, Russia was 
providing "methodological" assistance, including on how to hold 
elections "in a destroyed territory."  Kommersant quoted a South 
Ossetian official saying the elections would follow the "Russian 
model" of the December 2, 2007 State Duma elections (sic).  Borisov 
noted the Russian election commission was not providing financial or 
material support to South Ossetian election organizers. 
 
-------------------------- 
Opposition comes to Moscow 
-------------------------- 
 
6.  (SBU) Reporting on the elections in the Russian press 
intensified after members of the opposition came to Moscow in May. 
As the Moscow Times put it, opposition figures told "seemingly 
anyone in the Russian government who would listen" that Kokoity's 
shady dealings in his drive to reelection and lifting term limits on 
the presidency had discredited the Russian authorities, who had 
found themselves "forced to support him despite obvious misgivings." 
 In addition to calling for a boycott of the elections during 
meetings in Moscow, the opposition organized a protest by about 200 
South Ossetians near the State Duma on May 21, and plans a picket 
line in Moscow on election day. 
 
7.  (SBU) The pressure from the opposition figures apparently had 
some success.  Sergey Naryshkin, the head of the Russian 
Presidential Administration, suggested on Vesti 24 TV that South 
Ossetia should preserve the current constitutional presidential term 
limits. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
Analysts divided over Moscow's policy toward Kokoity 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
8.  (SBU) Analysts were divided over Moscow's policy toward 
Kokoity's reelection aspirations.  Ivan Yartsev on politcom.ru 
suggested that Kokoity would simply ignore the Kremlin's "polite 
hint" to maintain presidential term limits, while Ekho Moskviy's 
Yulia Latynina went even farther.  Despite Naryushkin's comments on 
keeping term limits, she thought Moscow valued Kokoity as a "most 
 
MOSCOW 00001403  002 OF 002 
 
 
fundamental thorn in Saakashvili's backside," which caused Moscow to 
"put up with whatever Kokoity did." 
 
9.  (SBU) However, others argued that the elections held wider 
implications for Russia's pol
icy in the region.  Ivan Sukhov of 
Vremya Novostei said Russia, as South Ossetia's "sole supporter, 
sponsor, and patron of its independence," had a "vital interest" in 
ensuring that the parliamentary elections were "honest and 
transparent."  If not, it would be easy to blame Moscow for allowing 
a "cynical imitation" of democracy in South Ossetia to destroy the 
chances for broader recognition of South Ossetia. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
10.  (SBU) As there is little reason to assume the elections in the 
corruption-ridden region of South Ossetia will be fair and 
transparent, Russia faces the prospect of continuing to work with 
Kokoity for the foreseeable future.  While many of our MFA 
colleagues clearly find him odious, Kokoity enjoys continued support 
among other services and may seek to fashion himself on the model of 
Chechnya's Kadyrov: corrupt, autocratic, but indispensible to 
broader GOR policy goals. 
 
BEYRLE

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09MOSCOW1402, DPRK: GOR LOOKING FOR SANCTIONS BALANCED WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1402 2009-05-29 12:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5896
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1402 1491249
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291249Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3547
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 4488
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4257
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 2791
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0493

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 001402 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2019 
TAGS: PREL UNSC KN RS
SUBJECT: DPRK: GOR LOOKING FOR SANCTIONS BALANCED WITH 
INCENTIVES 
 
REF: USUN 536 
 
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Alice G. Wells for reasons 
1.4 (B) and (D) 
 
1.  (SBU)  Russian MFA Spokesperson Andrey Nesterenko's May 
28 statement that "we do not need a language of sanctions" 
has received wide coverage and called into question Moscow's 
support for sending North Korea a strong message through a 
new UNSC resolution.  The statement, however, should be 
viewed in the full context of the press briefing and the 
GOR's consistently stated emphasis on the primacy of the 
Six-Party Talks in resolving the DPRK nuclear problem.  In 
yesterday's briefing, Nesterenko reiterated the MFA's and 
Presidential Administration's May 25 statements that there 
was no doubt North Korea had violated UNSCR 1718 and that 
Russia had no basis to oppose a new resolution, as Moscow 
would not tolerate challenges in any form to the authority of 
the UN Security Council and the NPT.  At the same time, he 
stressed that the GOR viewed the Six-Party Talks as the only 
viable means to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and in 
that regard considered it counterproductive to create an 
atmosphere of a "de-facto full international isolation" of 
the DPRK.  "The door of dialogue with Pyongyang should not be 
closed under any circumstances," he stated. 
Ambassador-at-Large for the Six-Party Talks Grigoriy Logvinov 
has expressed similar sentiments to us on several occasions. 
 
2.  (C)  Given the GOR's dual interest in upholding Security 
Council authority and maintaining the viability of the 
Six-Party Talks, we believe Moscow will likely agree to a 
UNSC resolution containing strong sanctions language, 
provided it is balanced with carrots for North Korea's return 
to the Talks.  We understand from our British colleagues that 
during a May 27 meeting with British Ambassador to Russia 
Anne Pringle, Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Borodavkin 
indicated that Moscow was in favor of a Chapter 7 resolution 
and supported some of the draft elements the U.S. had 
circulated (reftel).  Without elaborating on the elements on 
which the GOR had reservations, he said that the GOR would 
need additional time to vet internally some of the proposed 
sanctions, especially the financial ones.  The key for 
Russia, Borodavkin reportedly stated, was that the sanctions 
would be "timed" to allow reward for positive DPRK behavior, 
and that the resolution would include "confidence building 
measures" to provide Pyongyang incentives to return to the 
negotiating table.  However, the MFA was still internally 
discussing the nature of these measures.  Deputy Foreign 
Minister Ryabkov separately told us that he considered 
resolving the North Korea issue a priority in the U.S.-Russia 
bilateral dialogue and in that regard was confident we would 
find a joint, balanced approach to address the newest 
challenges presented by Pyongyang's nuclear and missile 
testings. 
 
3.  (C)  Russia's negotiating strategy in the Security 
Council will likely depend on the Chinese position as well. 
After meeting with the Chinese ambassador on May 25, 
Borodavkin stated that Moscow and Beijing were on the same 
page with regard to North Korea.  As it had done during 
Security Council discussions following Pyongyang's April 5 
missile test, Russia is likely to let China take the lead in 
providing Pyongyang with a certain degree of protection 
against overly stringent sanctions.  In this regard, Ryabkov 
remarked to us that Beijing was unlikely to push Pyongyang 
hard enough to change fundamentally the North Korean 
leadership's calculus for brinkmanship. 
BEYRLE

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09MOSCOW1401, MEDVEDEV CAPITALIZES ON MOSCOW POLICE FORCE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1401 2009-05-29 12:11 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5846
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSK RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1401/01 1491211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291211Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3545
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001401 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR KDEM KCOR RS
SUBJECT: MEDVEDEV CAPITALIZES ON MOSCOW POLICE FORCE 
SACKINGS 
 
1. (SBU)  Summary:  An April 27 police shooting spree that 
was captured on video and placed on the internet rocked 
Moscow and gave President Medvedev an opportunity to burnish 
his anti-corruption credentials.  In sacking Moscow police 
chief Vladimir Pronin and four other high-level police 
officials, Medvedev got political mileage over Moscow Mayor 
Luzhkov's failure to hold the police leadership accountable. 
However, the President is still under pressure to prove that 
his liberal gestures will amount to a fundamental course 
correction.  End Summary. 
 
Bloodbath Rocks Moscow to the Core 
---------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU)  On April 27, police Major Denis Yevsyukov, the head 
of the Tsaritsino police precinct in southern Moscow, wrapped 
up a drinkfest by shooting dead a cab driver using a pistol 
reported missing and then walking into a supermarket where he 
shot eight more people, killing two.  A video from the 
store's closed-circuit cameras of Yevsyukov calmly walking 
down the grocery store aisles shooting at shoppers played on 
all major Russian television stations and was posted on the 
internet.  On May 5, a Moscow court charged Yevsyukov with 
murder, attempted murder, and possession of an illegal 
firearm. 
 
3. (SBU)  The Yevsyukov episode hit a nerve with Muscovites, 
frustrated by the rampant corruption in the police force. 
The daily Izvestiya reported on May 8 that Yevsyukov paid USD 
25,000 to get his current position and extorted money from 
local establishments to maintain his sinecure.  Izvestiya 
also reported that Yevsyukov used a gun that the police took 
from detained Chechens to commit his crime.  According to 
Colonel Chernousov, former Moscow police official and now 
defense attorney at the human rights organization "For Human 
Rights," Yevsyukov's alleged drinking problem was not the 
main problem; as a policeman he was simply used to acting 
above the law.  According to Novaya Gazeta, 30 percent of the 
Moscow police force have psychological problems and almost 
half of the policemen suffer from alcoholism.  Pronin was the 
third Moscow police chief in a row that the Kremlin fired, 
which presented a staffing problem for Luzhkov.  Lev 
Ponomarev, leader of For Human Rights, told us that the law 
enforcement system remains in a state of crisis: "people can 
buy any position in Russia--every position needs to be 
bought." 
 
4. (SBU)  While the Interior Ministry pledged to provide 
support and assistance to the victims and their families and 
to conduct inspections in Moscow police departments, there 
was no immediate move to hold MVD officials responsible for 
Yevsyukov's actions.  According to our contacts, Luzhkov and 
Moscow Police Chief Pronin were close allies.  Pronin was 
known for doing Luzhkov's dirty work in Moscow, cracking down 
on gay parades and other "disturbances."  According to media 
reports, Pronin skirted dismissal in the past.  Vladimir 
Putin appointed him to the post in 2001, but Pronin submitted 
his resignation in 2002 after a football fan riot killed two 
people and injured 72.  However, Interior Minister Rashid 
Nurgaliyev would not accept Pronin's voluntary resignation. 
Pronin came under fire again that year for not preventing 
Chechen terrorists from seizing the Dubrovka theater. 
Nevertheless, he managed to win work-related awards as 
recently as 2008, and remained Luzhkov's close ally. 
Unconfirmed reports surfaced that Pronin may have offered to 
resign this time as well. 
 
Medvedev Seizes Opening to Put a Bite on Corruption 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
5. (SBU)  On April 28, Medvedev circumvented Luzhkov and 
intervened directly to sack Pronin as part of his 
reinvigorated "anti-corruption" drive.  In addition to 
Pronin, Medvedev fired the head of Moscow's southern police 
district Viktor Ageyev, and three of Ageyev's deputies.  (On 
May 12, Izvestiya reported that the Tsaritsino police station 
was missing 13 weapons and that one of the sacked deputies, 
Alexey Safonov, had been trading arms.)  Luzhkov was caught 
flat-footed during a local T.V. interview when he expressed 
his dismay over Pronin's dismissal and praised his work 
during a live television interview on April 28.  According to 
the Moscow Times on May 5, City Hall now faces a lawsuit over 
the cop's rampage and the victims will seek compensation. 
 
Political Pointscoring, but Little Reform 
----------------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU)  According to Ponomarev, Pronin's firing will not 
 
MOSCOW 00001401  002 OF 002 
 
 
solve the many problems that permeate the Moscow 
law-enforcement system.  A real solution, he told us, 
required a complete overhaul of the police force.  Ponomarev 
said that Pronin was not the worst Moscow police chief, since 
he was "friendly" and maintained so
me contact with human 
rights organizations.  While Ponomarev argued that Medvedev 
was serious about anti-corruption, he acknowledged the need 
for tangible results.  In his view, sacking these five 
individuals was a good step, if only a small one. 
 
7. (SBU)  The former St. Petersburg Police Chief Mikhail 
Vanichkin tipped to be the new police chief of Moscow has 
been characterized by the press as a compromise figure 
acceptable to Medvedev, Putin, and Luzhkov.  According to 
press reports, Vanichkin has a reputation for being tough on 
crime and is well-connected with politicians in both St. 
Petersburg and Moscow.  Kommersant reported on May 12 that 
St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko, who is close to 
Putin, personally lobbied for his appointment. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. (SBU)  Medvedev's move to hold the Moscow police chief 
accountable played well among the public and provided a 
political boost.  However, absent fundamental law enforcement 
reform and implementation of existing anti-corruption 
legislation, cynicism will mount, with the President under 
pressure to show that his liberal gestures will translate 
into a new policy direction. 
 
BEYRLE

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09MOSCOW1397, RUSSIA AND POLAND SEEK TO INTENSIFY RELATIONS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1397 2009-05-29 11:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5773
PP RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1397/01 1491102
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291102Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3541
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001397 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ENRG PL RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA AND POLAND SEEK TO INTENSIFY RELATIONS 
 
REF: A. WARSAW 477 
     B. MOSCOW 1349 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
. 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C) The Russian MFA called Polish FM Sikorski's May 5-6 
visit to Moscow a success for "intensifying relations."  The 
MFA and Polish diplomats tell us that they have expanded 
track two mechanisms in an effort to keep contentious issues 
from derailing high-level talks.  The GOR expressed its 
preference for working with Tusk, with FM Lavrov crediting 
him for making Russian-Polish relations "pragmatic." PM Putin 
accepted an invitation to visit Poland at the end of August 
or early September, although details were not yet final.  The 
MFA believed that a resolution to the Vistula waterway 
dispute could be completed in June or July.  The MFA 
continued to press its view that Poland is not a suitable 
site for a missile defense system, but said that Lavrov was 
satisfied with Sikorski's explanation of the EU's Eastern 
Partnership Initiative.  Until the North Stream project is 
completed, the GOR will keep open a "Yamal II" project 
option.  End Summary. 
 
"Intensifying Relations" 
------------------------ 
 
2.  (C) Reflecting on Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw 
Sikorski's May 5-6 visit, Russian MFA Polish Desk Officer 
Sergei Semenov told us May 25 that the FM's visit was a 
success for "intensifying relations" between Russia and 
Poland.  Sikorski and Foreign Minister Lavrov signed no 
agreements during this meeting, but focused on planning for 
Prime Minister Putin's visit to Poland at the end of 
August-beginning of September, and for a schedule of 
bilateral committees.  Putin accepted the invitation, pending 
a finalized schedule that would seek to mark the anniversary 
of the outbreak of World War II.  Polish diplomats tell us 
that the GOP would like Putin to arrive before September 1 so 
bilateral affairs are not overshadowed by other visiting 
dignitaries, including the proposed visit of German 
Chancellor Merkel (Ref A). 
 
3.  (C) According to Semenov, committees on economic 
cooperation, regional government, interparliamentary affairs, 
culture, and the so-called "difficult issues" will continue 
to meet in the coming months, broadening official exchanges. 
As Semenov and Polish diplomats here have told us, these 
mechanisms, or "track two efforts," were important factors in 
the positive turn in relations:  they allowed room to discuss 
contrary positions without derailing the relationship at 
senior levels. 
 
4.  (C) Semenov said that the GOR hopes to have an agreement 
on Vistula water access ready by June or July.  This 
agreement would not necessarily have to wait for signature 
until Putin's visit to Poland, with Semenov holding out the 
possibility that the foreign ministers could meet for a brief 
signing ceremony.  Following Sikorski's visit, Polish 
diplomats were convinced that the delay on the Vistula 
agreement was due to Putin's desire "to have something to 
sign" during his upcoming visit.  Semenov refused to say if 
Russia was willing to compromise on third-party permits in 
order to resolve the dispute, but he did tie Russian movement 
on this issue to Polish willingness to ease travel 
restrictions on Russian Kaliningrad residents. 
 
Fixing the "Bumpy Road" 
----------------------- 
 
5.  (C) The MFA's annual report on foreign affairs labeled 
the Russian-Polish relations as "a bumpy road," due to 
Warsaw's "destructive line" on Georgia, missile defense, 
support for NATO enlargement, and for "opposing Russia in the 
post-Soviet space."  The MFA credits Polish PM Donald Tusk 
for the move to "pragmatic relations," with Lavrov going to 
pains during Sikorski's visit to highlight Tusk's role:  "In 
general, we are satisfied with the policy of the Donald Tusk 
government aimed at correcting the imbalance in relations 
with Russia, despite subjective difficulties that persist in 
many respects."  Semenov extended these comments further on 
May 25, saying President Lech Kaczynski as head of state 
posed a problem for improved relations, but that Tusk was 
someone with whom Russia could work.  Semenov was quick to 
say that relations, "regardless of who was the Polish 
president," would continue to improve, "but not quickly." 
Semenov assured us that Russian President Medvedev's new 
executive order forming a "Commission to Oppose Historical 
Falsification" was not directed against Poland, but against 
 
MOSCOW 00001397  002 OF 002 
 
 
Latvia, Estonia, and Ukraine, who had shown willingness to 
resurrect World War II-era fascist movements (Ref B). 
 
Missile Defense 
--------------- 
 
6.  (C) On missile defense, Semenov said that Russia hoped to 
work with the U.S. to avoid the deployment of interceptors in 
Poland.  He said the system was unnecessary and that a more 
appropriate substitute would be an early warning system based 
in the South Caucasus. 
 
Easter
n Partnership Initiative 
------------------------------ 
 
7.  (C) As Poland and Sweden were the main supporters of the 
Eastern Partnership Initiative, Lavrov challenged Sikorski on 
the proposal, with Semenov quoting Lavrov's statements to 
Sikorski that Russia did not "fully understand" the Eastern 
Partnership Initiative and the motivation behind it.  Lavrov 
reportedly said that it appeared to be open for almost all 
Commonwealth of Independent States members but not for 
Russia.  Sikorski apparently satisfied Lavrov's concerns, 
with Lavrov saying after the meeting that the EU was not 
forcing an artificial choice between Russia and the EU. 
 
Yamal II? 
--------- 
 
8.  (C) Russia is also keeping its options open on a "Yamal 
II," an undefined proposal that would either build a parallel 
line or increase the capacity of the existing Yamal pipeline. 
 Semenov said that this project would remain on the table 
until North Stream was completed.  However, he said that from 
Russia's perspective such a project would share the same 
flaws as transiting gas across Ukraine, namely that Russia 
would then depend on two more unreliable partners for 
delivery to Western European customers (Belarus and Poland). 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1389, MOSCOW RULES CONSTRAIN NIKITA BELYKH’S “LIBERAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1389 2009-05-28 17:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5161
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1389/01 1481702
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281702Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3533
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001389 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2019 
TAGS: ECON PGOV PREL KDEM PHUM SOCI RS
SUBJECT: MOSCOW RULES CONSTRAIN NIKITA BELYKH'S "LIBERAL 
EXPERIMENT" IN KIROV 
 
Classified By: Political M-C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
. 
 
1. (C) Summary: Our May 20-21 visit to Kirov, one week after 
President Medvedev's own visit, revealed tight Moscow limits 
on the ambitions of Governor Nikita Belykh, a former 
opposition leader who assumed office in January 2009.  Unable 
to implement political or mass media reforms, Belykh has 
turned to economic and social projects to bolster the 
impoverished region.  Timber, agriculture, and 
anti-corruption projects have been key priorities for Belykh, 
but on May 28 he will unveil new initiatives to trim the 
budget by moving residents from sparsely inhabited regions, 
while also issuing grants to municipalities for social and 
infrastructure projects.  Belykh's top advisors described him 
as a hard-working micro-manager unwilling to delegate. 
Medvedev almost certainly will not duplicate his feat in 
naming an outsider as governor given a new law taking effect 
July 8 that requires local political party approval of 
nominees.  End Summary. 
 
Medvedev Embraces Belykh But Rules Out Political Reform 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
2. (C) Our May 20-21 visit to Kirov revealed tight limits by 
Moscow on the ambitions of Governor Nikita Belykh, the former 
leader of the defunct Union of Right Forces (SPS) opposition 
party who assumed office in January 2009.  Coming just one 
week after President Medvedev's own visit to Kirov (the first 
by a head of state in 185 years), our stay also illuminated a 
broad consensus that Moscow supports Belykh but has tightly 
restricted him from considering any political reforms.  Top 
advisors to Belykh confirmed to us that Moscow has explicitly 
forbidden political reforms, with advisor Aleksey Novalniy 
explaining that the governor had "no independence" on 
political issues.  Rather than the "liberal experiment" 
described by press reports, acting Deputy Governor Maria 
Gaidar (who worked with Belykh in SPS) forecast that Medvedev 
would never appoint another oppositionist as governor. 
(Note: A new law on appointing governors may confirm her 
prediction, as it would require approval of gubernatorial 
nominees by a region's dominant political party.  A May 28 
Vremya Novosti article detailed rumors that Medvedev may 
appoint a few additional governors from parties other than 
United Russia, but these would only be parties represented in 
the State Duma.) 
 
3. (C) In addition to political reforms, Belykh also will 
have difficulty liberalizing broadcast media in the region. 
Maksim Solodyankin, who owns local media empire in Kirov that 
includes a television and radio station, told us May 20 that 
"nobody wants to be the first on the airwaves to test" how 
liberal Belykh is.  Medvedev's visit, Solodyankin speculated, 
likely had the added purpose of reminding the region that "it 
is not a liberal dream world" now that Belykh is governor. 
 
Local Officials Fall in Line to Support Belykh 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
4. (C) Regional and city officials we met were fulsome in 
heralding Belykh as an improvement over former governor 
Nikolay Shaklein.  Medvedev's visit, according to several 
officials, clearly signaled that local elites should support 
the Kremlin's man in Kirov.  Among political parties, Andrei 
Mauri (local publishing panjandrum and head of the regional 
Right Cause party) described Belykh as "smart" and "capable"; 
regional Communist Party (KPRF) head Sergey Mamayev praised 
Belykh as a "strong leader"; and Deputy Mayor Sergey Ulitin, 
a United Russia member, also affirmed his support for Belykh. 
 
5. (C) Overall, however, United Russia support for Belykh 
remains tepid, but the party has few options for opposing the 
governor given Medvedev's strong show of support.  Instead, 
United Russia has resorted to obstructionist tactics, such as 
refusing to approve four of Belykh's deputy governor 
appointments -- including Maria Gaidar. (Note: Acting deputy 
governors can operate fully without Duma approval, making 
their dilatory confirmation entirely symbolic.)  Gaidar 
described her official limbo as the result of bitterness 
among local United Russia leaders, coupled with Medvedev's 
"royal tactic" of appointing Belykh without consulting those 
leaders. 
 
Belykh's Economic Goals: Develop Industry, Fight Corruption 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
 
6. (C) Deprived of political outlets, Belykh has turned to 
economic reform as the best way to make his mark as governor. 
 Kirov is a poor region, receiving more than 40 percent of 
 
MOSCOW 00001389  002 OF 003 
 
 
its budget from the federal government, and wage arrears have 
doubled since the start of 2009.  Government development had 
picked up in the region from 2002 through 2008, according to 
Deputy Governor (and former Vyatka Bank pr
esident) Oleg 
Kazakovtzev, but wider private investment would be necessary 
to sustain growth.  Moving forward, Kazakovtzev elaborated, 
the region must redouble its efforts to maximize its 
comparative advantages in timber and agriculture. 
 
7. (C) Belykh has prioritized anti-corruption, but local 
monopolies in supermarkets and other sectors have 
demonstrated the close existing ties between government and 
business.  As first steps, Belykh nominated a federal 
Interior Ministry official on May 18 to be deputy governor 
for anti-corruption, and more symbolically promised to open a 
corruption museum to house illegal gifts to officials. 
Officials we met complained bitterly about corruption in the 
region, with the KPRF's Mamayev calling it an "absolute 
disgrace."  Belykh has attempted to forge a public persona as 
accessible, but his advisor Novalniy noted that the governor 
also has not hidden the fact that he is wealthy -- which 
citizens would interpret to mean Belykh is incorruptible 
since he does not need more money.  His economic advisor 
Aleksey Sitnikov, vice-rector of the New Economic School, 
estimated Belykh's worth at between 50-100 million USD, which 
he first amassed when he lived in Perm Region. 
 
New Projects Will Move Residents, Introduce Local Grants 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
8. (C) By bringing in outside experts from Moscow, Irkutsk, 
and elsewhere, Belykh has turned to advisors to forge 
innovative economic strategies.  On May 28, Belykh will 
deliver a speech to unveil a plan to streamline the region's 
budget and empower municipalities to develop their own 
projects.  To trim expenses, Belykh's plan (as described to 
us by his advisors and speechwriters) would move up to 
100,000 residents over 5 years (5,000 in the first year) from 
sparsely inhabited areas of the region to more populated 
towns and villages.  Aleksey Sitnikov calculated that scores 
of regional villages were barely inhabited or uninhabited, 
and building new homes and moving people would cost less than 
providing public services and utilities to remote residents. 
Belykh's office had not conducted any polling of those 
potentially affected.  Using other data captured about the 
region's population, Belykh plans to conduct an accurate 
census to better assess tax revenues. 
 
9. (C) Perhaps to salve expected anger about moving 
residents, the May 28 speech also will highlight a plan to 
fund local-level projects.  Belykh's proposal would fund 
municipal-level programs up to 2.5 million rubles (just over 
80,000 USD) for projects to include infrastructure, social 
and health systems, and community needs.  Two World Bank 
representatives in Kirov during our visit confirmed that the 
Bank would not provide money, but instead offer assistance to 
local officials on applying for and administering funds. 
 
What's in a Name: The Road to Vyatka 
------------------------------------ 
 
10. (C) A recurring point of contention in Kirov has been 
Belykh's proposal to revert the city and region to their 
pre-Soviet name, Vyatka.  Voters shot down the idea in a 1993 
referendum, but Belykh has established a commission to 
investigate the proposal.  The regional Duma would have to 
approve such a change, and the governor's advisors and KPRF 
agreed that voters would rely on a referendum to be held in 
2011 in conjunction with regional elections.  KPRF were the 
only interlocutors who favored keeping the Kirov name, but 
even KPRF's Mamayev acknowledged that public opinion does not 
support keeping the name. 
 
Belykh's Leadership Style: Micro-Management at a Macro Pace 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
 
11. (C) Belykh's advisors candidly described him as a 
micro-manager afraid to delegate but intent on working 
grueling hours. Maria Gaidar called Belykh "an implementer, 
not a strategic thinker," adding that his controlling style 
carried over from his tenure as head of SPS.  As a result, 
Gaidar and Sitnikov concurred, Belykh often finds himself 
burdened with hours of sifting through and signing documents. 
 Gaidar observed that completing such small concrete tasks 
brings Belykh more satisfaction than "fuzzy" strategic 
planning.  Gaidar, Novalniy, and Sitnikov agreed that Belykh 
places high value on loyalty, unsurprising given Belykh's 
role as political outsider in Kirov. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001389  003 OF 003 
 
 
12. (C) Belykh's work ethic has also garnered attention, 
particular compared to his predecessor who reportedly spent 
barely seven hours each day at work.  In the office from 7 
a.m. to 7 p.m., Belykh travels throughout the region nearly 
every weekend to visit farms, businesses, and local 
politicians.  Speculating on Belykh's motives for accepting 
the gubernatorial job in Kirov, Gaidar pragmatically noted 
that "working as a governor is better than not working in 
Moscow."  Novalniy agreed, asking rhetorically, "Would you 
prefer every day for the police to arrest you or to salute 
you?" 
 
Security Services Keep a Close Eye on Kirov 
------------------------------------------- 
 
13. (C) Moscow remains suspicious of Belykh, which 
gubernatorial advisors explained extends to the security 
services.  According to Gaidar, regional Federal Security 
Service (FSB) reports go through Belykh, and all Americans 
visiting the region are closely watched and reported on -- 
including those in the region for business.  All our 
administration meetings were scheduled to take place in the 
administration building, but Aleksey Sitnikov told us the FSB 
ordered that meetings with administration officials must 
happen elsewhere.  When Belykh unexpectedly was on our 
overnight train back to Moscow, he joked that "a train may be 
the only place I can meet U.S. diplomats without the FSB." 
Gaidar also reported that the Russian government is "very 
nervous about the U.S. Government coming to Kirov."  When 
asked how this would affect possible USAID or assistance 
projects, she responded quickly that "USAID will wait a long 
time before they can do anything here."  (Note: USAID 
officers visited Kirov on March 11-13, holding meetings with 
Belykh and other city and regional officials.  At the time, 
Belykh told USAID that he welcomed their presence and 
assistance.) 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
14. (C) Medvedev's appointment of Belykh was a public 
relations coup in the West and among Russia's independent 
journalists, with repeated news articles breathlessly 
detailing every aspect of the governor's first month, 100 
days, etc.  However, Moscow's tight restrictions on Belykh's 
agenda make his governorship resemble less a "liberal 
experiment" than a cynical sinecure earned by surrendering 
SPS.  Serving at the pleasure of the Kremlin, and far from 
his base of opposition support in Moscow and St. Petersburg, 
Belykh operates in a confined political sp
ace.  It remains 
unclear whether Belykh's optimism or Gaidar's pessimism about 
USAID cooperation with Kirov will prevail.  Nevertheless, 
hopes that Belykh represents a new breed of governor or 
symbolizes Medvedev's secret liberal aspirations are 
premature, and Belykh may yet suffer blowback from his 
efforts to challenge entrenched corruption, change the 
region's name to Vyatka, and move tens of thousands of 
residents from their homes. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1388, WITH BP’S ACQUIESCENCE, RUSSIAN PARTNER TAKES OVER

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1388 2009-05-28 14:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4952
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1388/01 1481410
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281410Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3530
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001388 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, FOR EEB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND WRIGHT 
DOE FOR HEGBURG, EKIMOFF 
DOC FOR JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MMCFAUL, JELLISON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2019 
TAGS: EPET ENRG ECON PREL RS
SUBJECT: WITH BP'S ACQUIESCENCE, RUSSIAN PARTNER TAKES OVER 
AS TNK-BP'S INTERIM CEO 
 
Classified By: DCM Eric S. Rubin for Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C) TNK-BP announced on May 27 that its board had 
appointed Mikhail Fridman, the senior partner in the AAR 
consortium that owns 50 percent of TNK-BP, as the company's 
new interim CEO.  The company also announced the board had 
appointed Russian executives Pavel Skitovich and Maxim Barsky 
to senior positions in TNK-BP and as "candidates" for the CEO 
job.  BP Russia's head of external affairs, Anton 
Mifsud-Bonici (protect), told us May 28 that the announced 
arrangement was largely driven by the two sides' inability to 
settle on a single permanent replacement by the agreed June 1 
deadline.  He said BP "is fine" with Fridman as interim CEO, 
and that the permanent CEO may still be someone other than 
Skitovich or Barsky, a sentiment that is shared among 
Moscow-based sector analysts.  Despite encouraging words from 
BP that the partnership is going more smoothly than before, 
this latest episode would seem to indicate that TNK-BP has 
still not stabilized following last year's bruising 
shareholder battle.  End Summary. 
 
------------------ 
FRIDMAN TAKES OVER 
------------------ 
 
2. (U) On May 27, TNK-BP announced the board had named 
Mikhail Fridman interim CEO.  Fridman is the lead AAR 
partner, head of the Alfa Group, and was already TNK-BP 
chairman.  The same TNK-BP announcement named two obscure 
Russian businessmen, Maxim Barsky and Pavel Skitovich as 
candidates for the permanent CEO position.  The announcement 
did not set forth a timetable for when a decision would be 
made between the two but did note that Barsky and Skitovich 
would serve in executive positions at TNK-BP until a decision 
was made. 
 
3. (U) The TNK-BP announcement came after several days of 
confusion.  Earlier press reports on May 25 indicated that BP 
had nominated Skitovich, a former Polyus Gold general 
director, to lead TNK-BP.  However, on May 26, various media 
outlets reported that AAR, the representative of BP's Russian 
partners in TNK-BP, did not support Skitovich and would 
suggest that AAR partner Viktor Vekselberg serve in an 
interim capacity until the two sides agree on a replacement. 
Then on May 27, reports circulated that a second candidate, 
Maxim Barsky, a board member and former executive at a 
smaller oil company, West Siberian Resources, had emerged as 
AAR's choice for the CEO role. 
 
4. (U) Simultaneous to the TNK-BP announcement, BP and AAR 
issued a joint press release with the same general 
announcement, but with the additional clarification that a 
"new independent CEO" would be selected by the end of this 
year.  The BP-AAR press release did not refer to Barsky and 
Skitovich as "candidates," but simply noted that the new 
TNK-BP executives have "the credentials to become the new 
CEO."  Neither announcement identified what the 
responsibilities of Barsky and Skitovich would be.  The 
BP-AAR statement also specified that Fridman would be serving 
as interim CEO "at the request of BP." 
 
-------------------------------------- 
BP: MAKING THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION 
-------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) BP Russia External Affairs Director Anton 
Mifsud-Bonici told us May 28 that BP was under pressure to 
nominate a candidate by June 1, the deadline stipulated in 
the January agreement between BP and AAR.  Furthermore, the 
candidate had to be a.) exceptionally capable, b.) acceptable 
to AAR, and c.) acceptable "to those in Russia (read the GOR) 
who are still upset that a foreign company owns a major 
asset" such as TNK-BP.  With the deadline approaching and 
with other BP candidates shot down by AAR, BP felt it had to 
move forward with Skitovich.  With Skitovich, BP could at 
least avoid being accused of trying to nominate one of its 
own or a westerner. 
 
MOSCOW 00001388  002 OF 003 
 
 
 
6. (C) Mifsud-Bonici said he did not directly know much about 
either Barsky or Skitovich, but said "both are products of 
the current Russian business culture," and would likely 
operate as such.  Both candidates had come through a 
selection process by an executive search firm and, "this 
being Russia," the search firm had likely received the names 
from interested parties, including, he assumed, AAR.  BP CEO 
Tony Hayward and the AAR partners had interviewed both 
candidates and their appointment to senior TNK-BP positions 
(which he did not specify) would allow BP and AAR the 
opportunity to "see how well they integrate into the 
company."  He added, however, that BP and AAR had left the 
door open to other possibilities,
 in addition to Barsky and 
Skitovich, for the CEO position.  The ambiguity of the 
wording in the joint press release reflected that stance. 
 
7. (C) Mifsud-Bonici told us BP "is just fine" with Fridman 
as interim CEO, especially given that Tim Summers, who has 
been acting CEO since Bob Dudley's resignation late last 
year, would remain as COO and that the company's management 
committee would remain unchanged.  BP did not want the CEO 
issue to get in the way of the "business agenda" of the 
upcoming June 9-10 TNK-BP board meeting in Cyprus.  Had 
Summers continued as acting CEO past June 1, when his 
appointment expired, BP would have opened itself up to 
accusations that it was not cooperating with AAR in finding a 
new CEO and that it was unwilling to give up control of the 
company to a Russian. 
 
8. (C) Mifsud-Bonici added that BP rejected AAR's suggestion 
of Vekselberg as interim CEO because Vekselberg, as a junior 
partner in AAR, would have had to consult with Fridman and 
Alfa partner and TNK-BP Executive Director German Khan on all 
decisions, whereas with Fridman in charge a layer of 
decision-making had been removed. 
 
------------------------------------- 
"CURIOUS AND UNUSUAL" SUCCESSION PLAN 
------------------------------------- 
 
9. (C) Alexander Mikhailants, Summers's international affairs 
advisor, told us May 28 that it was not clear what either 
Skitovich or Barsky would be in charge of, but that each 
would have the title of Executive Vice President.  As to 
whether one of the two would ultimately emerge as the new 
CEO, Mikhailants echoed Mifsud-Bonici that the situation was 
ambiguous.  He said "it's all in the hands of the 
shareholders and six months is a long time." 
 
10. (SBU) Some outside analysts are also not convinced that 
either Skitovich or Barsky will be the company's next CEO. 
Investment bank UBS noted in one of its analyses that TNK-BP 
shareholders still seem to be "far from reaching agreement" 
and the chances "are slim" that either Skitovich or Barsky 
will emerge as a compromise candidate.  Investment bank 
Troika, calling the announced succession plan "curious and 
unusual," predicted that each of the two contenders would 
likely integrate with different groups of top TNK-BP 
managers, making it that much harder for the board to settle 
on one candidate. 
 
11. (C) Adding to the skepticism, little of substance is 
known about either Skitovich or Barsky.  Ron Smith, Chief 
Strategist at Alfa Bank, which is owned by Alfa Group, said 
he knew "nothing" about either candidate.  Independent energy 
consultant Mikhail Krutikhin was unable to provide any 
biographical information on either candidate.  Energy 
journalist and Amcit Carter Tellinghuisen was likewise at a 
loss as to who Barsky and Skitovich were, beyond the brief 
sketches in the press. 
 
12. (U) According to those press reports, in addition to 
heading Polyus Gold, Skitovich also worked in other 
businesses controlled by billionaire Vladimir Potanin's 
Interros investment group, including Norlisk Nickel and Power 
Machines.  He was also reportedly a former Soviet diplomat in 
Uganda.  For his part, all that is known of Barsky is that he 
was a senior manager at West Siberian Resources, a small oil 
company, where he is still on the board of directors. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001388  003 OF 003 
 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
13. (C) Despite BP's public stance (and private indications 
to us) that the relationship between BP and AAR has improved 
dramatically since the depths of public and bitter dispute 
between the two sides, this latest episode indicates that 
TNK-BP is still not on stable footing.  In that regard, Khan 
told the Ambassador recently that the there was a fundamental 
split between BP, which wanted to build an oil company, and 
AAR, who were investors looking to maximize short-term 
profits.  That split was the cause of the dispute last year 
and it would appear neither side in the company has really 
addressed it. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1386, MEDVEDEV AND THE “GOLDEN MEAN”

WikiLeaks Link

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. #09MOSCOW1386.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1386 2009-05-28 12:31 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4800
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1386/01 1481231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281231Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3527
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001386 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/IFD 
TREASURY FOR TORGERSON, WRIGHT 
DOC FOR 4231/MAC/EUR/JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MCFAUL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2019 
TAGS: EFIN ECON ETRD RS
SUBJECT: MEDVEDEV AND THE "GOLDEN MEAN" 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle, Reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C) In a May 25 speech on budget priorities, the 
first-ever to the Cabinet, President Medvedev acknowledged 
that the economic downturn was far from over.  Medvedev also 
appeared to side with economic conservatives, who favor sharp 
reductions in government spending, in the televised May 25 
speech by offering a grim economic prognosis for the 
remainder of the year.  Medvedev underscored that social 
obligations remained the country's highest priority but that 
public spending had to be kept within reasonable limits; 
Russia needed to find the "golden mean."  The country faced 
an imperative to uphold the economy and to support those in 
need, but should not and could not fulfill every short-term 
need at the expense of long-term goals.  Describing the 
budget as a "key tool" for achieving Russia's long-term 
modernization objectives, Medvedev sketched a 10-point plan 
for the budget that ranged from reducing the budget deficit 
to optimizing support for the real economy, to increasing the 
quality of government services, to improving support for the 
disabled. 
 
2. (C) In a meeting the next day with business leaders, 
Medvedev nevertheless said the government would continue to 
aid struggling industries and cautioned against undue 
pessimism.  He also scolded the country's leading economic 
conservative, Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin, for recent 
remarks that the downturn may last "40 to 50 years."  For his 
part, Kudrin claimed that he was referring to the recent 
period of windfall oil and gas revenues, which he said might 
not return for a long time.  In that regard, Kudrin suggested 
that the oil price assumption for the 2010 budget would be 
$50 per barrel, producing a deficit of 5 percent of GDP.  Our 
contacts characterized Medvedev's plan as ambitious, but were 
doubtful improvements in planning and implementation would be 
forthcoming in the medium term.  End Summary. 
 
------------------------------- 
Medvedev's First Budget Address 
------------------------------- 
 
3.  (SBU) In a televised speech on May 25, President Medvedev 
addressed the Cabinet on the government's budget priorities 
over the three-year budget cycle, through 2012.  This was the 
first time the Russian president had personally delivered a 
budget address, normally the domain of the Prime Minister. 
In the past, both Presidents Yeltsin and Putin had been 
content to submit a written budget address to the Duma and 
Federation Council.  Moreover, the Kremlin chose to raise the 
profile of the address by broadcasting it live. 
 
4.  (SBU) Medvedev's did not mince words about the state of 
the economy calling it a &difficult8 situation and 
acknowledging that the global economic crisis was far from 
over.  He presented no new information or outlook on the 
economy but instead explained matter-of-factly that the 
economy was contracting more sharply than expected and that 
it had already resulted in lower revenue for this year's 
federal budget, which would be in deficit for the first time 
in a decade.  This year's and next year's expected deficit 
notwithstanding, Medvedev said that past years of fiscal 
conservatism had produced a substantial accumulation of 
reserves, which would allow the government to increase 
funding for social obligations such as pensions, unemployment 
benefits and support to the regions despite the crisis. 
 
5. (C) Medvedev's pessimistic comments about the economy 
echoed those of his principal economic advisors, Presidential 
Assistant Arkadiy Dvorkovich and Kudrin, and were interpreted 
locally as evidence that the views of fiscal conservatives 
such as Kudrin had won the internal GOR argument over the 
severity of the downturn and the need for spending restraint. 
 More optimistic voices, including Putin and First Deputy 
Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov have argued that the economy 
would begin to recover by the third quarter of 2009 and as a 
result have been loath to cut spending in response to the 
crisis, arguing that Russia's substantial reserves would 
allow the country to continue its current policies.  (N.B. As 
if on cue in support of the fiscal conservatives, Deputy 
Economics Minister Andrey Klepach, the government's chief 
 
MOSCOW 00001386  002 OF 003 
 
 
macroeconomist, said May 26 that GDP in April had declined 
10.5 percent, an even steeper fall than the 9.5 percent in 
the first quarter of 2009.) 
 
--------------- 
A 10-Point Plan 
--------------- 
 
6.  (SBU) In his speech, Medvedev maintained that the GOR had 
an obligation to adopt conservative fiscal assumptions, 
including on oil prices, to ensure that expenditures did not 
become a source of macroeconomic instability; spending had to 
be kept within reasonable limits.
At the same time he 
expressed support for spending to alleviate and prevent 
poverty and to stimulate demand.  Russia must find the 
"golden mean."  He also admonished Cabinet members not to 
focus on urgent short-term needs at the expense of the 
country's longer-term need to modernize and reduce dependence 
on commodity exports.  The budget should facilitate an 
expansion of commerce and encourage the development of new 
technologies for new entrepreneurs and established companies 
alike. 
 
7.  (SBU) Characterizing the budget one of the "key tools" 
for achieving the country's long-term goals, Medvedev called 
for an adaptive budget policy that could identify which 
programs were effective and which programs the GOR should 
discontinue.  He sketched the following 10 themes in his 
written address the GOR should follow in its planning for the 
2010 federal budget: 
 
--Fulfill social spending commitments, make them more 
targeted; increase authority of local officials in decision 
making; 
--Reduce the budget deficit; plans to set aside more revenue 
as reserves increases decision making flexibility; 
--Introduce cost-cutting measures; prioritize programs that 
have the greatest social multiplier effect and decrease or 
eliminate programs that do not merit the "spending of 
taxpayers' money"; 
--Optimize support for the manufacturing and industrial 
sectors by promoting energy efficiency, labor productivity, 
and technological modernization; 
--Improve the quality of public services, which may mean 
allowing the private sector to perform them; 
--Improve the efficiency and transparency of the public 
procurement system; 
--Establish an economically justified tax burden that 
encourages greater commercial activity, better energy 
efficiency as well as more research and development; 
--Hold authorities at every level of government accountable 
for effective budget spending; 
--Build a reliable and balanced pension system; 
--Create a barrier-free environment for people with 
disabilities. 
 
---------------- 
After the Speech 
---------------- 
 
8.  (SBU) Following a meeting with a group of businessmen on 
May 26, Medvedev said Russia was in better shape than most 
other countries and had the resources and the right ideas to 
address the crisis.  He warned against excessive pessimism 
and, in a thinly veiled shot at Kudrin, said it was 
unacceptable for government officials to say that Russia 
would not emerge from the crisis for 40-50 years. 
 
9. (SBU) Medvedev also provided additional clarification on 
his budget priorities, noting that changes in taxation would 
probably not include a reduction of value-added taxes (VAT) 
because a rate cut was not a guarantee of increased 
collection.  Nevertheless, he said excise taxes on tobacco 
and alcohol would increase.  Medvedev also suggested cuts 
were in store for state corporations such as Rosnano and the 
Housing Reform Fund but that the government would continue to 
support ailing industries such as agriculture and automobiles 
(both important sources of employment).  Medvedev also 
reiterated his calls for a more diversified economy and urged 
businesses to profit from the downturn by becoming more 
efficient. 
 
10. (SBU) For his part, Putin told a conference of trade 
union chairmen that budget funding for natural resources 
 
MOSCOW 00001386  003 OF 003 
 
 
firms and state monopolies would continue as a means of 
supporting the organizations' investment programs.  The 2010 
budget would also reduce the number of exemptions available 
to offshore entities.  Putin also pledged that no further 
action would be taken to close Russia's markets off from 
metallurgical and automobile imports. 
 
11.  (SBU) In response to Medvedev's criticism, Kudrin said 
he had been referring to the likelihood of a return to 
windfall revenues from oil and gas, which might not occur for 
40 to 50 years.  Despite the admonition from Medvedev, he 
continued to be bearish in public.  Kudrin stated that the 
preliminary oil price assumption for the 2010 budget would be 
$50 per barrel (Urals blend is currently trading near $60 a 
barrel) in keeping with Medvedev's call for conservative 
commodity price forecasts.  Kudrin also estimated that the 
7.4-percent of GDP deficit in 2009 and the 5-percent of GDP 
deficit in 2010 would exhaust the Reserve Fund's remaining 
$106 billion and that the GOR would likely borrow on 
international credit markets, but would not approach the IMF, 
as a means of conserving Reserve Fund resources.  He 
anticipated borrowing $7 billion this year and approximately 
$10 billion during 2010. 
 
------------------- 
Observers Skeptical 
------------------- 
 
12.  (C) Merrill Lynch Chief Economist Yulia Tspeliaeva told 
us Medvedev's plan was ambitious and similar to his 
pre-election rhetoric.  She credited Medvedev for the effort 
to draw the public's attention to the GOR's 2010 budget 
planning efforts and was hopeful that the dire economic 
situation would prompt budget management improvements. 
However, Tsepliaeva was doubtful the state would reduce its 
interference in the economy or that the entrenched system of 
official corruption would yield to Medvedev's attempt at 
reform. 
 
13.  (C)  In his May 26 note, Deutsche Bank Chief Economist 
Yaroslav Lissovolik speculated that the relative urgency of 
supporting social obligations would probably crowd out 
Medvedev's interest in working toward longer-term goals and 
in reducing government spending.  He said policy makers would 
focus on increasing household consumption in the short to 
medium term by maintaining a strong ruble, to the detriment 
of the country's industrial competitiveness and that 
important infrastructure and modernization needs would get 
short shrift in near-term budgets. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
14.  (C) Despite the criticism of Kudrin, it is clear to us 
as well as to most local observers that Medvedev's budget 
address reflected the influence of fiscal conservatives -- 
especially Kudrin, who has been by far the most outspokenly 
pessimistic among senior officials.  That said, perhaps the 
most telling aspect of the address in that regard was 
Medvedev's call for Russia to find the "golden mean."  Inside 
the GOR, policy battles are never won, and the tendency is 
always for the various clans to compromise and temporize.  We 
fully expect that the current and 2010 budget will undergo 
still more revisions to accommodate an economic situation 
that has farther to fall.  A key question is the effect of 
that contraction on the interests of Russia's economic and 
governing elite, but we still think the reformers (like 
Kudrin) maintain a stronger position versus 
statist/protectionist forces, for now.  End Comment. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1373, IZHORA STEEL WORKS NEEDS INVESTMENT TO REALIZE RUSSIA’S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1373 2009-05-28 09:57 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4648
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1373 1480957
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280957Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3522
INFO RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 5369
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 3247
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 3602
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001373 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/PRA: NYOUNG 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KNNP PREL ENRG PGOV SENV RS
 
SUBJECT: IZHORA STEEL WORKS NEEDS INVESTMENT TO REALIZE  RUSSIA'S 
CIVIL NUCLEAR PLANS 
 
REF: MOSCOW 851 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary:  The Izhora Steel Works currently is Russia's 
only producer of nuclear power plant equipment sets for Russia's 
1000 megawatt pressurized light water reactors (VVER).  Although 
Izhora claims it can meet current plans for domestic and 
international nuclear construction, it needs at least 15 billion 
rubles (441 million USD) to upgrade its capacity to do so.  Izhora 
officials did not believe that Rosatom's proposed reestablishment of 
Atommash to produce additional nuclear sets was feasible.  End 
Summary. 
 
2.  (U) First Deputy Director General Vladimir Lebedev was initially 
confrontational during an April 23 meeting with EST Off and EST/DOE 
LES at the Izhora Steel Works, located approximately 20 kilometers 
south-east of Saint Petersburg in Kolpino.  Flanked by Technical 
Director Yuriy Gordiyenkov and two other Izhora managers, Lebedev 
questioned why the Embassy was interested in Izhora's capabilities 
and plans.  Once mollified that the visit was purely to understand 
Izhora's capabilities to support Russia's nuclear construction 
plans, Lebedev summarized Izhora Steel Work's history and 
accomplishments.  Founded by Peter the Great in 1722, Izhora was the 
Soviet Union's second largest machine building plant, with over 
30,000 workers.  Since 1954, Izhora has produced 45 nuclear power 
plant (NPP) equipment sets, including reactor vessels and steam 
generators.  Lebedev complained that Izhora's ruin began with the 
1992 privatization that broke the firm up into different 
enterprises.  The largest remaining parts of the original 
organization are the Metallurgical and Processing plant, the Casting 
Plant, and the Mining Equipment Production Plant.  Lebedev recalled 
that Izhora survived the difficult years after 1992 thanks to orders 
from Russia's international nuclear construction firm, 
Atomstroyexport, for nuclear reactor sets for Iran's Bushehr NPP and 
other overseas construction. 
 
3.  (SBU) Lebedev initially claimed that Izhora will be able to 
produce all the required equipment for the planned and projected 
reactor projects under both the domestic Federal Targeted Program 
(FTP) for nuclear power plant construction as well as 
Atomstroyexport's international commitments, with Izhora ready to 
produce four complete sets per year.  However, he later admitted 
that Izhora's capacities were "not without limits" and that it can 
only produce two sets per year with its current assets.  (Embassy 
Note:  The current FTP provides for two reactors to be constructed 
in Russia each year through 2013 and three per year thereafter. 
With Atomstroyexport's contracts to build eleven reactors in various 
overseas locations (reftel), nineteen reactors would need to be 
begun/constructed over the next five years, requiring at least four 
sets per year.  End Note.)  Responding to EST Off, Lebedev commented 
that at least 15 billion rubles (441 million USD) would be required 
to upgrade Izhora's capacity.  However, he gave no indication that 
there were any actual plans to acquire such investment or increase 
Izhora's capacity. 
 
4.  (SBU) EST Off asked about Rosatom's recent acquisition of shares 
in Atommash, the other firm that produced reactor sets in Soviet 
times.  Lebedev stressed that this is an "adventure" being pursued 
by Rosatom's "young Turks."  He commented that "there was hardly 
anyone in the hierarchy at Rosatom/ Atomenergoprom who even 
remembered the old Atommash."  In addition, Lebedev said that 
Atommash, even in its best year, never reached its goal of producing 
six sets of NPP equipment and "hasn't produced any sets in the last 
twenty years."  He stated that it would be practically impossible to 
reorganize and reestablish Atommash and any investments directed to 
do so will be stolen and/or lost.  Lebedev made it clear that Izhora 
will not provide any help to Rosatom in this undertaking. 
 
5.  (SBU) EST Off and EST/DOE LES were given a tour of Shop 34, the 
welding and assembly building, where reactor and other pressure 
vessels are assembled.  During the tour, the shop's chief engineer 
commented that all of the more modern equipment was from Italy and 
Germany, but that he would really like to buy modern U.S. steel 
forming and welding machines.  He also mentioned that the plant was 
running "flat out" with no capacity left idle that could produce 
more nuclear vessels.  (Comment:  The building was in a poor state 
of maintenance and a blend of fairly modern pieces of equipment in a 
1950's environment.  End Comment.) 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1364, DEMARCHE FOR RUSSIAN CO-CHAIR OF GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO

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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. #09MOSCOW1364.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1364 2009-05-27 15:21 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1364 1471521
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271521Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3505

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001364 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR ISN/WMDT - M. WATT 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KGIC PARM PREL PTER RS
SUBJECT:  DEMARCHE FOR RUSSIAN CO-CHAIR OF GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO 
COMBAT NUCLEAR TERRORISM DELIVERED 
 
REF:  STATE 53043 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  On May 27, EST Off delivered reftel demarche on 
strengthening the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism 
(GICNT) to Russia's MFA Department of Security and Disarmament 
Affairs First Secretary Olga Kuznetsova.  Kuznetsova said she was 
aware of some of the proposed enhancements, but several were new to 
her.  Although the MFA was ready to discuss any and all of the 
issues covered, Kuznetsova advised that it would be inappropriate to 
brief these ideas to the senior leadership at The Hague (June 15-17) 
until they had already been examined, discussed, and agreed to by 
"the experts."  END SUMMARY. 
 
TOPIC-BY-TOPIC COMMENTS 
----------------------- 
 
3.  (SBU) Kuznetsova offered the following specific comments: 
 
--  (SBU) Changes to the Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG): 
Kuznetsova agreed with the concept that the IAG should have a larger 
role and that it would be good to expand the IAG "in a flexible 
manner" to allow all who wanted to join to do so.  She opined that 
the Exercise Planning Group (EPG) already uses this model. 
 
--  (SBU) Creating a Secretariat:  Kuznetsova was surprised by this 
issue and said it had not been mentioned previously.  She queried 
how the United States and Russian Federation would retain 
oversight?"  While not hostile to the idea, she indicated this would 
require additional discussions to frame it in a way that could be 
clearly presented to the larger GICNT membership. 
 
--  (SBU) Clarifying the role of the EPG:  Her only comment was that 
this was a new item and that it would have to be carefully thought 
through. 
 
--  (SBU) Rotation of the Co-Chairs:  Again, she said this was a new 
item and one that would require careful consideration.  She allowed 
that this had been mentioned in passing at a previous GICNT session, 
but it had never been discussed.  When the retention of an "advisory 
role" for the U.S. and RF was mentioned, she asked whether this 
would "cause a problem as to who was the real policymaker?" 
 
--  (SBU) Expanding the Global Initiative Information Portal (GIIP): 
 Kuznetsova was in complete agreement regarding both the expansion 
of the GIIP and its use as a central collaboration mechanism. 
 
--  (SBU) Greater participation in the GICNT:  She said there was no 
disagreement on adding entities such as the INTERPOL and EUROPOL as 
observers.  She indicated that the addition of the United Nations 
Office of Drugs and Crime would have to be reviewed, as it had not 
been previously discussed, but did not see why it could not be added 
as well.  She said building a broader relationship that included the 
concept of academia and civil society organizations was fine, but 
that the number and type of these organizations would require 
discussion and study. 
 
--  (SBU) Capacity building mechanism:  Kuznetsova stated that 
formalizing the methodology for members to request assistance, 
expertise, etc., "made sense" to her, but that it would require 
"further exploration by the experts" before any formal opinion could 
be rendered. 
 
4.  (SBU) Kuznetsova concluded by saying "there is no driving need 
to have a decision at The Hague in June."  She stated it would be 
best to allow the experts to meet, possibly using the GIIP as a 
forum, to work out the final recommendations for the decision-makers 
to discuss. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
5.  (SBU) One thing that was clear throughout the conversation - 
Russia values the GICNT, sees it as a success, but wants to be very 
careful about changing how it works.  Kuznetsova expressed concern 
that unless care is taken to ensure the smallest/poorest members 
don't feel marginalized because their lack of resources precludes 
them from assuming some of the new roles, a two-tiered GICNT could 
emerge. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks