Daily Archives: July 29, 2009

09MOSCOW1939, RUSSIA’S WTO ACCESSION: ON AGAIN?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1939 2009-07-29 13:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9276
PP RUEHAG RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1939/01 2101349
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291349Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4380
INFO RUEHXE/EASTERN EUROPEAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5344
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001939 
 
SIPDIS 
 
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC:MMCFAUL/HSOLOMON; 
WHITE HOUSE PASS USTR:RKIRK/MROHDE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/29/2019 
TAGS: ETRD ECON EAGR RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA'S WTO ACCESSION: ON AGAIN? 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN BEYRLE, REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  Recent discussions with senior advisers to 
President Medvedev and PM Putin indicate that Russia is again 
prepared to pursue accession to WTO on its own, reversing the 
course seemingly set by Putin,s June 9 statement that Russia 
would accede only together with Belarus and Kazakhstan in a 
tripartite customs union.  First Deputy PM Shuvalov will 
travel to the U.S. in advance of the Sept. 24-25 G-20 
meetings in Pittsburgh, and hopes for meetings with US 
officials in Washington aimed at putting the accession 
process back on track.  We should be prepared to re-engage to 
reinforce what appears to be movement back in the right 
direction, in line with our interest in seeing Russia bound 
by the rules and transparency inherent in WTO membership. 
But we also need to stress that it is crucial that Shuvalov 
bring a clear plan of what Moscow is prepared to do to revive 
momentum and demonstrate clear will in the WTO process, in 
light of the mixed signals and on-again, off-again nature of 
Russian actions.  End summary. 
 
Medvedev: A Change in Policy 
---------------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  Amb. Beyrle met July 24 with Arkadiy Dvorkovich, 
chief economic adviser to President Medvedev, in advance of 
his July 29-31 visit to the U.S. for G-8 Sherpa meetings. 
Beyrle asked whether Medvedev,s July 10 statement that 
Russia would pursue WT accession "in parallel" with formation 
of a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan was a change 
of nuance or a change of policy.  Dvorkovich confirmed that 
the "parallel process" was now policy.  Russia would continue 
the negotiating process as a sovereign country, "in 
coordination with the customs union partners, as much as 
possible."  June 2010 was the target for formal accession, 
but the work should aim to be completed well before 
that--"basically by the end of the year." 
 
3.  (C)  Dvorkovich said Russia had heard some worrying 
signals from the Europeans following Putin,s customs union 
declaration, in essence a threat to re-open some previously 
closed issues in light of what Brussels perceived as "steps 
in a relatively wrong direction"  by Moscow.  He said Russia 
would not roll back any of the tariff increases recently 
instituted simply to be "pre-compliant" with WTO practices, 
since it saw these as compensatory to protection afforded to 
certain industries in other countries and thus provided for 
under WTO rules. Russia was ready to discuss these issues 
"separately" (he mentioned the case of combine harvesters as 
an example). 
 
4.  (C)  Dvorkovich confirmed that First Deputy PM Igor 
Shuvalov maintains the lead on Russia,s WTO process, 
assisted by Finance Minister Kudrin and Economic Development 
Minister Nabiullina.  Shuvalov will attend the G-20 summit in 
Pittsburgh Sept. 25-26 with President Medvedev, but hopes to 
visit Washington several days in advance of that for talks 
with USG officials, inter alia aimed at discussing a "road 
map" for WTO. 
 
Putin's Views Also Changed 
-------------------------- 
 
5.  (C) In a July 27 conversation with the Ambassador, 
Putin,s chief foreign policy adviser Yuriy Ushakov confirmed 
that Putin,s views had also changed.  The original idea for 
the customs union accession had come from the Kazakhs, he 
claimed, with Russian and Belarussian support enlisted 
without much advance notice.  Putin now saw that this idea 
"had too many problems," including opposition from within the 
WTO itself.  Everyone now understood it was practically 
impossible to do this as a group, Ushakov said, especially 
since Belarus was so far behind the others in its own 
accession process. Putin,s statement, he added, was a 
gesture of frustration at a long drawn-out accession process. 
 Now Russia had "two priorities," WTO membership and the 
customs union, but they could proceed "in parallel." 
 
6.  (C) European Commission representative Marc Franco told 
the Ambassador July 28 that the EC was cautious regarding 
Medvedev,s "in parallel" statement, but when told of the 
comments by Dvorkovich and Ushakov he described them as 
something new, and said he would report them to Brussels. 
The customs union "distraction" had taken most of the energy 
 
MOSCOW 00001939  002 OF 002 
 
 
out of WTO discussions with Russia, he cautioned, and if 
Medvedev and Putin were now serious about reviving the 
process they would have to overcome a "mountain of 
skepticism" in Brussels. 
 
Comment/Recommendation 
---------------------- 
 
7.  (C) We share Franco,s assessment that the Russians dug 
themselves quite a hole by linking accession with the customs 
union.  Medvedev,s "in parallel" statement was seen here as 
an effort to salvage som
e credibility and momentum after 
Putin pulled the rug out from under several members of his 
own government, and provoked critical reactions--some veiled, 
some explicit--from key members of Russia,s business elite. 
Ushakov,s comments indicate that Putin himself is now 
looking to backtrack, but we will need more evidence of this 
than his or Dvorkovich,s words.  We recommend engaging with 
Kudrin or Shuvalov before the latter,s September trip to the 
U.S. to elicit specifics of how Russia proposes to revive the 
process.  Our interest in seeing Russian accession delinked 
from the customs union is clear, and we should reinforce any 
movement in that direction.  But we should also make clear 
that our willingness to help Russia out of this hole requires 
a commitment to real progress on real issues - e.g., 
phytosanitary regulations or IPR/encryption - that were 
identified during the Kirk and Ashton meetings in St. 
Petersburg.  End comment. 
BEYRLE

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09MOSCOW1936, DFM KARASIN WARNS AGAINST US PARTICIPATION IN EU

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To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09MOSCOW1936.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1936 2009-07-29 11:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9146
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1936/01 2101134
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291134Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4375
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001936 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/29/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR GG UK RS
SUBJECT: DFM KARASIN WARNS AGAINST US PARTICIPATION IN EU 
MISSION IN GEORGIA 
 
REF: MOSCOW 1873 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Beyrle.  Reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary.  In a discussion July 28 that covered 
Georgia, Central Asia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine, and VP 
Biden's WSJ interview, DFM Grigoriy Karasin expressed strong 
opposition to the idea of U.S. forces participating in the 
renewed EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, calling the idea 
"surprising, dangerous and provocative." Russia now 
recognized the merit of the Geneva process, but still did not 
believe it should continue indefinitely, and stressed that 
Georgia should recognize it needs to use the meetings to talk 
directly to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, rather than to 
Russia.  He welcomed the Ambassador's points that U.S. 
military assistance for Georgia was focused on defense reform 
and modernization.  He appreciated U/S Burns' debrief on his 
Central Asia trip and Beyrle's follow-up, and said the U.S. 
and Russia should be transparent and not seek to compete in 
the region. 
 
2. (C) Expressing concern at reports that "some in DC" were 
characterizing the 7/17 Moscow meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh as 
not successful, Karasin said that while there were no 
breakthroughs, it was positive that the Azeri and Armenian 
Presidents were now constructively discussing the issue of a 
referendum, and had agreed for the first time to let an OSCE 
high-level group visit the Lachin Corridor.  On Ukraine, 
Karasin said he hoped the just-commenced visit of Russian 
Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill would help the extremist 
parties to calm down.  While noting that the Vice Presidents 
statements about Kiev's Euro-Atlantic aspirations seemed 
"well-balanced," Karasin said the VP's Wall Street Journal 
article had been negatively viewed in Moscow and put in 
question the U.S. commitment to improving U.S.-Russian 
relations.  End summary. 
 
3. (C) Ambassador Beyrle met with DFM Karasin July 27 to 
follow up on U/S Burns' telephone debrief on his Central Asia 
trip.  Karasin immediately raised the Vice President's Wall 
Street Journal article, stressing that it been viewed very 
negatively in Moscow ("Russians are emotional people") and 
undercut the commitment of the U.S. to reset the 
relationship.  The Ambassador highlighted the White House 
press statement, reiterating that the U.S. sought a strong, 
peaceful and prosperous Russia, and that the President and VP 
believed Russia would cooperate with the U.S. out of 
self-interest, not weakness. 
 
Georgia - EUMM Renewal Good 
--------------------------- 
4. (C) Karasin said Moscow welcomed the renewal of the 
mandate for the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia, 
saying the EU was performing a useful function and Russia had 
developed a good working relationship with them in the past 
year.  He noted that the EU "couldn't help but include" the 
phrase "territorial integrity of Georgia," but said this was 
useful since the EUMM's mandate was to work "in Georgia," not 
in Abkhazia or South Ossetia.  He said EU Commissioner Heidi 
Tagliavinni would deliver her report to Moscow on July 29, 
but Russia supported her decision to delay issuance of the 
report until after the August 8 anniversary of the beginning 
of the conflict.  The media would "make a fuss" about the 
anniversary, but we should all "stick to common sense." 
 
But Possibility of U.S. Participation Dangerous 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
5. (C) Karasin expressed strong opposition to the idea of 
U.S. forces participating in the EUMM, calling it "very 
surprising, dangerous and provocative." He said Tbilisi still 
believed the U.S. military should confront the Russian 
military on the Georgia/Abkhazia and Georgia/South Ossetia 
boundary lines, and cautioned that if U.S. participation "led 
to confrontation between U.S. and Russian forces on the 
boundary, it could have very serious consequences." He said 
it could lead to "a deep abyss," and "this idea should be 
buried before it starts."  What was needed now in the South 
Caucasus was stability and an actual non-use of force 
approach, even if Russia's preferred option of a formal NUF 
agreement between Georgia and the two enclaves could not be 
reached.  Ambassador Beyrle agreed the renewal of the EUMM 
mandate was positive, but lamented that Russia had blocked 
renewal of the UN and OSCE missions as well.  He stressed 
that the U.S. had not been asked to participate in the EUMM, 
 
MOSCOW 00001936  002 OF 003 
 
 
but if we were asked and decided to participate, Moscow 
should not overreact, but see it simply as a desire to 
promote stability. 
 
IPRM and Geneva Process 
---------------------- 
 
6. (C) Ambassador Beyrle expressed appreciation for Karasin's &#x
000A;efforts to bring Georgia and Abkhazia together on the 
Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and urged 
him to continue to try to persuade South Ossetian authorities 
to engage also.  He repeated the importance the U.S. places 
on the Geneva talks as a forum for dialogue among all the 
parties. 
 
7. (C) Karasin agreed the June 14 IPRM meeting had been 
positive and hoped the July 28 meeting would be also.  Moscow 
hoped the EU would be successful in getting South Ossetia to 
participate in the IPRM prior to the next round of Geneva 
talks but noted the SO authorities were now very concerned 
about what would happen to the five "hostages" taken by 
Georgia during the conflict last year. 
 
8. (C) Karasin said that whereas Russia had been skeptical 
about the Geneva process earlier this year, it now believed 
the talks were a useful mechanism since they brought all the 
parties together and it gave the Abkhaz and South Ossetians 
the opportunity to get more used to each other.  However, 
Moscow still did not believe the talks should continue 
indefinitely.  He stressed that Georgia needed to stop using 
them to talk directly to Russia, but to focus on discussing 
issues with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  Otherwise, the talks 
would fail.  He added that if Abkhazia and South Ossetia 
began to think that the talks and the IPRM were only being 
used to put pressure on them and to attain Georgia's goals, 
they would walk out.  Karasin said that Moscow had shrugged 
off references to Russia's "occupation" of the two 
territories, but noted that they were not helpful.  He said 
it would be useful to discuss the issues with A/S Gordon 
prior to the next Geneva meeting. 
 
9. (C) The Ambassador reiterated that the U.S. strongly 
opposed Russia's unilateral actions that sought to deny 
Georgia part of its sovereign territory, and said we 
continued to press for a reduction in tensions on all sides 
prior to the August 8 anniversary.  He noted that despite 
distortions in the press, U.S. military assistance to Georgia 
was focused on defense reform and modernization, with an 
emphasis on doctrine, interoperability with NATO and U.S. 
forces, English-language training, and preparing and 
equipping Georgian forces for participation in coalition 
operations, including in Afghanistan.  Karasin expressed 
appreciation for the information on U.S. military assistance 
and said it would be useful if other senior USG officials 
would repeat this from time to time. 
 
Central Asia 
------------ 
 
10. (C) Following up on U/S Burns' phone call debriefing on 
his Central Asia trip as promised during the Presidents' 
summit (reftel), Ambassador Beyrle drew from the reporting 
cables to provide additional, releasable information. 
Karasin expressed appreciation for both U/S Burns' and 
Ambassador Beyrle's information, noting that such openness 
helped prevent unnecessary competition between us in Central 
Asia.  While Russia's and the U.S.'s interests in the region 
were "different," we should be more transparent and open with 
each other, Karasin posited.  He added that the MFA would 
provide a read-out of Medvedev's trip at the end of the week 
to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, the latter for the CSTO 
summit.  The trip would focus on economic cooperation, 
especially in hydroelectric energy. 
 
Nagorno-Karabakh 
---------------- 
 
11. (C) Karasin expressed concern at reports that "some in 
DC" were characterizing the 7/17 Moscow meeting of the Minsk 
Group and the Azeri and Armenian Presidents as not 
successful.  While there was no great breakthrough, the two 
Presidents had started actively discussing the referendum 
(what to call it), agreed to continue discussing the issue, 
and had also agreed for the first time to let a policy 
planning team from the Greek-led OSCE high-level group visit 
 
MOSCOW 00001936  003 OF 003 
 
 
the Lachin Corridor.  The trip would take place in early 
August.  Karasin also highlighted the fact that the 
Presidents agreed to meet again, possibly on Oct. 9.  He 
stressed that Russia still considered the Minsk Group as the 
central negotiating group for NK.  He also suggested looking 
at how to work in "the Turkish factor," as Turkey was playing 
a much more active role in the region.  Moscow was discussing 
the issue with Ankara and believed it was going in the right 
direction, but the Minsk Group should use the period before 
the October meeting to look at it. 
 
Ukraine 
------- 
 
12. (C) Karasin said he hoped the visit of ROC Patriarch 
Kirill would help the extremist parties to calm down. 
Kirill's visit was a "religious one," although there were 
still contentious issues between the Russian and Ukrainian 
churches.  He asked about the VP's trip, noting that his 
statements about Kiev's Euro-Atlantic aspirations seemed 
"well-balanced." Russia had a "complicated" relationship with 
Ukraine and it was good to know where the U.S. stood. 
Ambassador Beyrle dismissed the "myth in some quarters" that 
the U.S. had "ceded Georgia and Ukraine to Russia" in 
exchange for Moscow's help on Iran.  He noted that while we 
did not yet have a full read-out on the VP's trip, we do not 
need to be competitors in the region and every U.S. 
delegation to Ukraine and Georgia should not be seen by 
Russia as competition. 
BEYRLE

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