Monthly Archives: July 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

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1936, DFM KARASIN WARNS AGAINST US PARTICIPATION IN EU

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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

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1926, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW PARTICIPATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1926 2009-07-28 12:17 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8163
RR RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1926/01 2091217
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281217Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4366
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001926 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PARM PREL AORC KPAO PTER UNSC RS RU CM
 
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW PARTICIPATION 
 
REF: STATE 76723 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  MFA DVBR Deputy Director Mashkov told us Russia 
wanted the upcoming UNSCR 1540 Comprehensive Review to address 
serious issues, and was concerned that allowing participation of 
international organizations such as the Australia Group, 
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and the G8 Global 
Partnership would prevent the review from accomplishing its 
substantive goals.  Contending that Russia had not agreed to the 
international organizations' participation in December 2007 and that 
they would not add value to the Comprehensive Review, Mashkov said 
Russia could instead support participation by the individual member 
states.  He suggested that the UNSCR 1540 Committee needed to speak 
with one voice if states like the DPRK were to take it seriously, 
and adding international organizations to the list of participants 
would make it less likely for this to happen.  Ambassador raised the 
issue with MFA North America Director Neverov who claimed it was not 
his issue and suggested follow-up with other MFA senior officials. 
End summary. 
 
--------------------------------- 
UNSCR 1540 Has Become Too Stylish 
--------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) On July 24 we delivered reftel demarche to MFA DVBR Deputy 
Director Grigoriy Mashkov, who told us that the GOR shared the same 
strategic goals as the U.S. regarding UNSCR 1540.  While the 
September 30-October 2 Comprehensive Review should be open to all 
interested governments, Mashkov complained however, that UNSCR 1540 
had become "stylish," and so many international organizations that 
did not conduct business related to UNSCR 1540's goals want to join 
in the Comprehensive Review and discuss topics unrelated to UNSCR 
1540, such as human rights concerns.  "Wedding Generals are not 
needed," he said, arguing that Russia took the UNSCR 1540 
Comprehensive Review seriously and wanted it to accomplish serious 
goals.  Many international organizations "say much and do nothing," 
he said, and would add no value to the proceedings.  He said that so 
many international organizations were already scheduled to take part 
in the Comprehensive Review that it would take a full day just to 
listen to all the introductory remarks as the organizations "told 
everyone how great they were."  Russia did not want the 
Comprehensive Review to be simply a "showcase."  Russia wanted real 
results, he said. 
 
----------------------------- 
Need to Continue Serious Work 
----------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) Mashkov argued that the Comprehensive Review would discuss 
many sensitive issues such as the structure of the UNSCR 1540 
committee and how it functions.  Only those serious about the 
committee's work should therefore be allowed to participate in the 
meeting.  He added that the committee was just beginning its serious 
work, and that approximately 30 countries had not yet submitted 
their initial reports.  It was therefore very important that the 
Comprehensive Review achieve concrete results. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
UNSCR 1540 Committee Must Speak With One Voice 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
4. (SBU) Mashkov posited that countries such as DPRK would listen to 
the UNSCR 1540 committee only if it spoke with one voice.  He 
expressed concern that international organizations whose mandates 
were beyond the purview of UNSCR 1540 would distract the committee 
by raising potentially contentious issues.  He pointed out that 
Australia, with U.S. support, was already doing this by raising the 
issue of human rights during UNSCR 1540 meetings.  This should not 
continue, he argued. 
 
--------------------------------- 
Opposition to the Australia Group 
--------------------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) The Australia Group (AG) is the only major arms-control 
regime to which Russia is not a member, and this has been a sore 
spot for the GOR, Mashkov said.  He denied the GOR had ever agreed 
to the AG's participation, despite reftel information that the GOR 
had agreed at a December 17, 2007, meeting.  He said the GOR would 
never agree to AG participation under any circumstances.  If the AG 
participated in the Comprehensive Review, Russia would walk out, he 
insisted.  When it was suggested that the GOR at least talk to the 
AG to see what value it could add to the Comprehensive Review, 
Mashkov replied that, since Russia was not a member, the AG "did not 
even exist" as far as the GOR was concerned.  He finished by saying 
that we "should not even try" to include the AG. 
 
----------------- 
Opposition to OIF 
----------------- 
 
MOSCOW 00001926  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) Mashkov also denied the GOR agreed to Organisation 
Internationale de la Francophonie
(OIF) participation at the 
December 17, 2007 meeting.  He argued the OIF's desire to join in 
the Comprehensive Review was a symptom of UNSCR 1540 becoming 
"stylish," and he wondered what an organization set up to promote 
French language and culture could contribute.  (Note:  He also 
wondered why the U.S. would support the OIF, other than for reasons 
of NATO solidarity.  End note.)  The group's mandate is simply not 
related to UNSCR 1540.  He worried this might set a precedent for 
other similar groups.  Mashkov said the GOR would not object if the 
individual member states participated in the meeting, but the OIF 
should not be used to somehow "sponsor" or facilitate their 
participation.  He said that about two-thirds of the states that had 
not yet submitted their initial reports were in Africa, but he 
encouraged their participation only as individual states.  He said 
the OIF would add no value to the meeting. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
Opposition to the G8 Global Partnership 
--------------------------------------- 
 
7. (SBU) Mashkov claimed the G8 Global Partnership did not have a 
mandate that related to UNSCR 1540.  (Note:  This despite the G8 
Global Partnership's expressed mandate for assisting states with 
UNSCR 1540 implementation.  End note.)  He also questioned who would 
lead the organization's delegation at the Comprehensive Review. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
8. (SBU) Mashkov was strongly opposed to the participation of 
international organizations in the Comprehensive Review, repeatedly 
saying they would add no value to the meeting.  He turned down our 
suggestion that Russia talk to these entities regarding their 
interest in the Comprehensive Review before the GOR made a final 
decision on the matter.  Ambassador already raised the issue of 
UNSCR 1540 with MFA North America Director Igor Neverov, who claimed 
little knowledge of this matter. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1925, RUSSIA: ASSISTING AFGHANISTAN BEYOND THE AUGUST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1925 2009-07-28 11:33 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8119
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1925 2091133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281133Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4365
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0644

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001925 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR S/SRAP KAREN HANRAHAN, SCA/A ARIELLA VIEHE, AND EUR/RPM 
AARON COPE. 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: NATO PREL MOPS MARR
SUBJECT: RUSSIA:  ASSISTING AFGHANISTAN BEYOND THE AUGUST 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 
 
REF: A. SECSTATE 74362 
     B. 7/22-24/2009 E-MAILS BETWEEN JKUO AND JELLISON 
 
(SBU) Post delivered reftel demarche to MFA Afghanistan Desk 
Officer Vitaliy Rugalev.  He had no immediate response, in 
light of Russia's recent commitment to permit overflights of 
Russian territory to support U.S. operations in Afghanistan. 
He suggested the topic would be an appropriate agenda item 
for the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Commission expected to meet 
this Fall. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1918, RUSSIA: MANDATE RENEWAL FOR THE UNITED NATIONS –

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1918 2009-07-27 08:58 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6917
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UNCLAS MOSCOW 001918 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPKO PREL SU RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA: MANDATE RENEWAL FOR THE UNITED NATIONS - 
AFRICAN UNION MISSION IN DARFUR (UNAMID) 
 
REF: SECSTATE 77701 
 
(SBU) Post delivered reftel demarche to the MFA's 
International Organizations Department's Sergei Zhdanov.  He 
told us that in general Russia supported the opinion of the 
African Union and that the International Criminal Court 
should take into account the regional organization's 
position.  However, in connection with UNAMID's renewal, 
Zhdanov said that Russia could be "flexible," and urged us to 
reach out to Russia's UN Mission in New York. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1917, RUSSIAN ANTI-CRISIS MEASURES AND POST-CRISIS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1917 2009-07-27 05:14 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6755
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1917/01 2080514
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 270514Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4357
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 001917 
 
SIPDIS 
 
WHITE HOUSE FOR USTR:CWILSON, MRODHE, EHAFNER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/22/2019 
TAGS: ETRD EAGR ECON RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN ANTI-CRISIS MEASURES AND POST-CRISIS 
 
REFORM: A CONVERSATION WITH MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE 
KHRISTENKO 
 
REF: A. A) MOSCOW 541 
     B. B) MOSCOW 334 
 
Classified By: Amb. John Beyrle, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary.  In a July 21 meeting characterized by 
wide-ranging and spirited interchange, Russian Minister of 
Industry and Trade Viktor Khristenko provided the Ambassador 
with his vision of Russia's anti-crisis measures and 
post-crisis reform.  Khristenko noted that the crisis hit 
Russia hard, in part due to structural issues of the Russian 
economy.  He stressed that, in responding to the crisis, the 
Russian government has remained true to its strategic 
economic goals, so that the anti-crisis measures will lead 
directly into the post-crisis reform--the tools may change 
but the goals remain the same.  The Ambassador also used the 
occasion to raise several continuing trade irritants, 
including tariffs on off-road heavy equipment, combine 
harvesters and other agricultural equipment, and the 
situation of International Paper.  For his part, Khristenko 
asked for information on the structure of the bilateral 
commission and encouraged U.S. participation in the Russian 
National Exhibition, scheduled for November in Chicago.  End 
Summary. 
 
2. (C)  On July 21, Ambassador Beyrle met with Russian 
Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Khristenko.  The 
meeting took place in Russian which, according to 
Khristenko's staff, provided the Minister with the 
opportunity to speak more openly than he customarily does 
with foreign representatives.  The Ambassador summarized the 
outcome of what we viewed as a very productive summit, 
highlighting the decision to set up a bilateral commission, 
with working groups on trade and investment, energy and other 
issues.  Khristenko informed the Ambassador that his strategy 
is to have good contacts with the Department of Commerce and 
that, as long as that happens, he believes that there will be 
no problem with the work in the Commission.  (Comment: In 
other words, he can live with not being the head of the 
business and economic working group.  End Comment.)  He also 
urged that Secretary Locke travel outside Moscow on his next 
trip to Russia, to learn more about the country. 
 
The Crisis 
---------- 
 
3. (C) When asked for his views on the situation in the 
Russian economy and how the anti-crisis measures (many of 
which are carried out by the Ministry of Industry and 
Trade--MIT) had fared so far, Khristenko provided a frank and 
wide-ranging assessment.  He acknowledged that Russia was hit 
harder by the crisis than many of the developed countries 
because of structural issues within the Russian economy.  In 
particular, the Russian economy remains based on commodities, 
which make up a substantial part of exports as well as 
overall industrial production.  The steep drop in the price 
of commodities at the beginning of the crisis affected 
Russian companies' profits and investments.  These declines 
then had a negative impact on budget revenues and employees' 
incomes, leading to a decrease in private demand. 
 
4. (C) Khristenko noted that the crisis had two immediate 
impacts on Russia: price volatility and financial volatility. 
 Price volatility hit profits, and revenues declined 
significantly.  Financial volatility hit Russian banking 
system hard, as Western banks reviewed their position on 
emerging markets and withdrew money.  Khristenko argued that, 
as a result of these two phenomena, Russian GDP fell 10% in 
the first half of 2009 and industrial production declined by 
15%. 
 
5. (C) In describing the GOR response, Khristenko stated that 
government measures can only have a limited effect.  That 
said, the GOR decided to focus its actions on two areas: (1) 
support for the financial system so that it would not pass on 
risks; and (2) support to the real sector, including actions 
to prop up private spending, investment and government 
demand.  In his view, the GOR's anti-crisis measures did not 
reach the real sector until April or May 2009. 
 
6. (C)  According to Khristenko, the GOR continues to 
fine-tune its anti-crisis measures.  He used the example of 
GOR actions in support of the Russian automotive sector.  The 
GOR began with a program to subsidize financing for the 
purchase of automobiles which cost up to 350,000 rubles 
(about USD 12,000).  The GOR also provided federal and local 
 
MOSCOW 00001917  002 OF 004 
 
 
government agencies with funding and incentives to purchase 
vehicles produced in Russia.  When that did not provide the 
desired results, the GOR took additional steps, including 
increasing the value of the cars which could be purchased 
using the special subsidy program from 350,000 rubles to 
600,000 rubles.  In addition, the required down-payment from 
the borrower was reduced to 15% of the vehicles value, and 
loans were made available
for three years, instead of two. 
 
7. (C) Even with these actions, Khristenko noted that the 
Russian automobile industry continues to suffer.  Sales of 
new cars fell 55% in the first half of 2009, and production 
declined three-fold.  Khristenko acknowledged that part of 
the decline in new car sales was due to the high volume of 
used car sales in 2008, just before higher import tariffs on 
used car imports took effect.  He noted that, in 2008, used 
car sales reached 735,000 in Russia, which is a high amount 
given the overall size of the market.  Half of these imported 
cars are right-hand drive, and used primarily in the Russian 
Far East.  Khristenko argued that these gray imports of old 
technology hurt all producers in Russia, including GM and 
Ford.  In tackling this problem, Khristenko stated that the 
GOR knew it was taking on the Far East Mafia and that it 
would not be easy.  The mass inflow of used cars in 2008 led 
to overstocks that are still being sold off.  That, combined 
with the crisis, produced a situation where new cars produced 
this year in Russia won't even start to be sold until later 
this month or in August, as producers and dealers are still 
selling off cars from previous years.  Khristenko expects the 
issue will be discussed further when it is time to make the 
higher duties and restrictions on imports of used cars 
permanent. (For more information on the automobile situation, 
please see refs A and B.) 
 
Anti-Crisis Response or Post-Crisis Reform 
------------------------------------------ 
 
8. (C) In response to the Ambassador's query as to whether 
the GOR is planning any additional anti-crisis measures or is 
moving toward post-crisis reform, Khristenko said that they 
are doing both.  The GOR is starting to see some positive 
signals in a number of industries, but it is difficult to 
forecast anything now, because the current crisis in 
unprecedented in its scale.  He also emphasized that there 
were no analogies to previous crises (in particular the 1998 
crisis), because today's Russian economy is much more 
integrated into the global economy that was the case 
previously.  Despite this uncertainty, the GOR needs to 
concentrate on what is really important.  In recent years, 
MIT has been developing long-term strategies for key sectors. 
 They have set strategic industry goals and spelled out 
mechanisms for reaching these marks.  Khristenko emphasized 
that, with the crisis, it is even more important to stay 
focused on these strategic goals, in order to avoid wasting 
the limited resources available.  While the goals remain the 
same, the GOR is adjusting some of the mechanisms in response 
to new conditions created by the crisis. 
 
9. (C) As an example of this process, Khristenko cited the 
SJ100 project, undertaken with support from Boeing.  In 
Khristenko's view, it is an important project in a very 
sensitive sphere and it would have been easy to find a 
pretext for not doing it. The GOR had a general strategy for 
the aircraft sector to consolidate companies, clean them up, 
recapitalize them and then, in a very short period of time, 
have an IPO.  Thus, the state will finance R&D, while IPO 
money will go for implementation of production plans. 
Khristenko observed, however, that an IPO makes no sense 
right now, so these will be delayed.  That said, the IPO is 
just a tool or mechanism, not the goal itself, so while the 
tool might change, the goal remains the same--diversity of 
production and sales.  He noted that they have similar plans 
for the helicopter and shipbuilding sectors. 
 
10. (C) In discussing these issues, Khristenko highlighted 
flexibility.  He argued that it is important not to be afraid 
to change or update decisions, as necessary.  Returning to 
the automobile sector, he noted that it is still too early to 
tell whether the recent adjustments to the GOR program will 
produce the desired effect.  It should become clear by 
mid-August. 
 
The Irritants 
------------- 
 
11. (C) Off-Road Heavy Equipment: The Ambassador raised the 
 
MOSCOW 00001917  003 OF 004 
 
 
issue of last year's increase in the tariff on trucks which 
also applies to certain off-road heavy equipment used in 
Russian industry but not produced domestically.  Before the 
Ambassador could finish his points, Khristenko interrupted, 
stating that his Ministry supports making a separate customs 
code for off-road trucks to address the matter.  He informed 
the Ambassador that MIT has already sent its recommendation 
to the Russian Interagency Commission on Safeguards and 
Customs Policy, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Zubkov. 
 The final decision rests with the Commission, which will 
draft a GOR decision on the matter.  Khristenko noted that 
MIT is the chief lobbyist in the Commission, but stated that, 
from a technical point of view, we should also talk with the 
Ministry of Economic Development (MED).  (Note: The matter 
has been raised previously with MED personnel, who have been 
supportive on the issue in the past. Post will use meetings 
scheduled for next week to re-emphasize our continuing 
interest. End Note.) 
 
12. (C) Combine/Harvesters: The Ambassador noted that the 
tariff increases on combine/harvesters constituted another 
trade irritant.  He expressed appreciation for MIT's recent 
decision not to increase tariffs further, and noted that we 
would appreciate assistance in addressing the matter with 
Minister of Agriculture Skrynnik.  Khristenko responded that 
agriculture was a sensitive issue for many countries, 
including the U.S.  Especially during times of crisis, the 
state provides even more resources to support agriculture, as 
it would like to build a support chain "reaching all the way 
to the ground."  He stated that MIT has resources for the 
sector, but faces challenges putting plans in place. 
Khristenko noted that MIT has been funding R&D for Rosselmash 
since 2004, as the company develops its sixth-generation 
combine.  He observed that, when he visited the area with PM 
Putin last November, they were horrified to see harvesters 
all over the city. With the crisis, there has been a complete 
stoppage in the purchasing of equipment.  Khristenko 
acknowledged that the issue is politicized.  In MIT's view, 
there is a need for production of this equipment in Russia, 
and that whatever product works best should be privileged in 
the market. 
 
13. (C) John Deere: The Ambassador then raised the issue of 
John Deere and its recently announced plans for additional 
investment in Russia.  Khristenko stated that, for John 
Deere, MIT is proposing to them the same industrial assembly 
regime as the one used in the automotive sector.  He observed 
that Russia is a huge country with lots of undeveloped farm 
land.  "Surely we must welcome such technology and encourage 
such cooperation here," he stated. 
 
14. (C) VSMPO Avisma/magnesium: Khristenko used the
 
opportunity to note that Russia, too, had trade irritants to 
raise with the U.S., including the dumping case on magnesium. 
 He noted, however, that if we just meet every half year 
because we have to do so and keep telling each other of John 
Deere and magnesium respectively each time, we won't move any 
further until we end up with a lack of confidence. With that, 
he dropped the issue.  (Note: Post understands that a team 
from MED is planning to meet with the Commerce Import 
Administration the week of August 3 on this issue.  End note.) 
 
15. (C) International Paper (IP): The Ambassador noted that 
IP was meeting the same day with the regional governor, as 
part of its efforts to obtain priority investor status.  He 
requested MIT support for the request, when it is forwarded 
from the regional authorities to MIT for decision. Khristenko 
responded that MIT is aware of the case and is ready to 
support the request. 
 
National Exhibition in Chicago 
------------------------------ 
 
16. (U) Khristenko also used the opportunity to present the 
Ambassador with information, hot off the presses, about the 
Russian National Exhibition, planned for November 18-21 in 
Chicago.  The Exhibition's theme is "Reset in Russian-US 
relations: changing ourselves, we change the world for the 
better."  The Exhibition itself will have booths covering a 
wide range of topics, from the history of Russian-American 
relations to Russian industry; civil society; financial 
systems; medical centers and pharmaceuticals; science, 
innovation and venture projects.  Organizers also plan a 
"vacancy fair" with information about jobs in the US and in 
Russia.  Parallel to the Exhibition, organizers are putting 
together a series of conferences and seminars on themes such 
 
MOSCOW 00001917  004 OF 004 
 
 
as "Nanoindustry and Nanotechnology;""200 years of diplomacy: 
myths and reality in newer and newest history;"" Innovational 
Russia;"" Oil and gas: stable development of world economy, 
the role of Russia and the US;" and "Setting up a civil 
society."  MIT is now officially in charge of organizing this 
event.  The Ministry is currently working to ensure that it 
will be a "major event," with high-level GOR participation. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
17. (C) The meeting was the Ambassador's first extended 
discussion with Khristenko, who was as open and voluble as we 
have seen him.  (At one point, he even jovially cited a 
quoate by Yogi Berra, "It's tough to make predictions, 
especially about the future.")  Prior to the session, 
Khristenko's staff had made clear that the Ministry had been 
instructed to work with the Americans.  Khristenko spoke 
extensively on detailed issues without reference to notes. 
He displayed annoyance with having to deal with long-standing 
problems, such as combine/harvesters and John Deere.  While 
making reference to the Ministry's goals to strengthen 
markets and provide the best product for consumers, he also 
made clear his interest in ensuring that industrial 
production expands in Russia, including production by U.S. 
and other foreign firms. 
 
18.  (C) This was the first detailed look we have had at the 
Chicago Exhibition in November, which was conceived as a 
trade fair, but has now clearly assumed more ambitious 
proportions.  Several of our contacts have speculated that if 
the Exhibition lives up to these ambitions, it could serve as 
the platform for a visit to the U.S. by Prime Minister Putin. 
 End Comment. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1912, RUSSIA AND CHINA CONTINUE QUIET ENGAGEMENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1912 2009-07-24 12:13 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5620
RR RUEHCN RUEHDBU RUEHGH RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSK RUEHVC RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1912/01 2051213
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4351
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001912 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECIN EFIN EINV CH RS
 
SUBJECT: RUSSIA AND CHINA CONTINUE QUIET ENGAGEMENT 
 
1. (SBU)  In contrast to the high-profile visit of President Obama 
to Moscow two weeks ago and the attendant expectations for a "reset" 
U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship, Chinese President Hu Jintao's 
June 16-18 official visit was low key and almost routine.  Moscow 
and Beijing are continuing a quiet engagement of strategic 
partnership, one characterized by similar views on major regional 
issues such as North Korea and Afghanistan, as well as coordination 
of positions in international organizations.  While the two 
countries enjoy a healthy trade relationship, China clearly is the 
lead economy of the two with more investment power and a bigger 
appetite for consumption.  Moscow's resentment that the bilateral 
trade consists of Russia trading its raw material for finished 
Chinese goods and Beijing's frustration at the investment barriers 
in the Russian economy are potential sources of friction.  While 
Russian officials at the federal level uniformly downplay migration 
issues as a problem, regional officials and the public continue to 
exhibit occasionally a xenophobic fear that the much larger Chinese 
population across the border would one day overwhelm the smaller 
Russian population and exert control over Russian economy and 
society through its migrants. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
China and Russia on Equal Political Footing 
------------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) That Russia and China were the two main driving forces 
behind the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and continued to 
find significant value in their "strategic partnership" was driven 
home when, on the heels of the June 15-16 SCO summit and the first 
ever BRIC summit in Yeketerinburg, Chinese President Hu Jintao 
traveled to Moscow June 16-18 for an official visit.  There, he met 
with President Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin and the Speaker of the 
State Duma Boris Gryzlov to discuss a range of political and 
economic issues, including security and stability in Central Asia, 
SCO's role in tackling terrorism, and the drug trade originating 
from Afghanistan. Both MFA officials and the Russian media noted 
that following last year's demarcation of the Russian-Chinese 
border, which put an end to a long-standing dispute between the two 
neighbors, the slate of outstanding issues was completely clean and 
there was no longer any political obstacle standing in the way of a 
continued deepening of the bilateral relationship. 
 
3. (SBU) In particular, Moscow and Beijing demonstrated anew their 
similar outlook on a number of regional issues during Hu's two-day 
visit. Releasing a joint statement June 17 on a wide range of 
political, economic, domestic and international issues, Medvedev and 
Hu reaffirmed Russia and China's support of the UN Security 
Council's actions following North Korea's May 25 nuclear test and 
other provocations, and agreed that Iran's nuclear program should 
strictly have peaceful civilian energy ends.  While calling on 
Pyongyang to return to the Six Party Talks, the joint statement also 
warned the countries in the region to refrain from an arms race.  It 
reflected both Moscow and Beijing's unique positions as friends of 
Pyongyang, as well as their shared unease that a deterioration of 
the security situation in Northeast Asia would lead to either a 
rearmed Japan or a deepening of the U.S.-Japanese-South Korean 
alliances to the detriment of Russia and China's long term national 
interests. 
 
4.  (SBU) On Afghanistan, the Chinese embassy here told us that 
Beijing has been watching very closely the increasing cooperation 
between the U.S. and Russia, and hoped to use the terms of the just 
concluded lethal transit agreement as a guide for its own 
deliberations on the U.S. request to use Chinese territory and space 
for the transit of ISAF supplies. 
 
---------------------------------------- 
Beijing Clearly Leads on Economic Issues 
---------------------------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) MFA contacts pointed to the serious discussion of the 
global financial crisis, reform of the international financial 
institutions, and the role of BRIC during Hu's official visit as 
evidence of a healthy economic dialogue between two important 
economies.  Some of them also admit, however, that Moscow does not 
have the capacity as Beijing does to help turn the crisis situation 
around.  While Russia has offered loans and assistance to former 
Soviet republics and has indeed delivered on some of them (most 
notably to Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Belarus), the scope of such 
assistance cannot compete with the USD 10 billion line of credit 
that Beijing announced it would offer for SCO development projects 
during the Yeketerinburg summit.  More notably, instead of the new 
SCO Presidency Uzbekistan, Beijing will host in October the SCO 
Prime Ministers' meeting, and Russian officials describe this 
up
coming meeting as the economic highlight of the year for the SCO, 
where China is expected to provide in more detail the terms of its 
USD 10 billion offer. 
 
MOSCOW 00001912  002 OF 003 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) On the bilateral front, Moscow and Beijing signed a series 
of agreements, including: two memorandums of understanding (MOU) on 
gas and coal cooperation, an MOU between the Russian Ministry of 
Economic Development and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on the 
promotion of bilateral trade and exchange of technical goods and 
machinery, an agreement for a USD 700 million dollar credit from the 
Chinese Export-Import Bank to the Russian Development Bank (VEB), 
and an MOU between Russian investment and asset management company 
The Renova Group and China's state gold-prospecting corporation 
National Gold Group Corporation (CNGGC) to cooperate in gold and 
platinum exploration and mining in the Kamchatka Peninsula.  The two 
leaders also discussed electric and atomic energy cooperation, and 
the use of national currencies in energy trading.  Separately, 
Russian company Lukoil and its Chinese counterpart Sinopec signed a 
contract to supply three million tons of crude oil from the South 
Hylchuyu deposits in Nenets Autonomous Region to China. 
 
7. (SBU) MFA officials told us that Russia's growing energy 
cooperation with China is part of an effort to diversify its energy 
export markets, particularly in light of recent energy discords 
involving Europe and problematic transit issues with neighboring 
states.  In continuing to focus on energy deals as the only economic 
deliverables of substance, however, Moscow is perpetuating the 
qualitative imbalance in the Russian-Chinese bilateral trade, of 
which the GOR has long complained.  The lack of a manufacturing base 
is hampering the export of finished goods from Russia, experts tell 
us, and in the absence of meaningful plans to invest in its 
industrial infrastructure and encourage small and medium business 
development in favor of the large state-owned and oligarch companies 
with loose Kremlin ties, the typical Russian business only knows how 
to conclude deals to sell Russia's abundant natural resources. 
 
8. (SBU) Another notable issue in the economic relationship is the 
lack of mutual investment.  Though trade between Russia and China 
totaled USD 56 billion last year, the cumulative investment from 
China to Russia is only USD 1.7 billion, and from Russia to China a 
paltry USD 400 million.  While Russian and Chinese leaders discuss 
means to expand mutual investment, our Chinese embassy contacts 
complain to us that Russia still has many legal, administrative, and 
procedural barriers that hinder investment, particularly with regard 
to strategic sectors in which China has expressed interest in 
investing. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Russians and Chinese Play Down Migrant Problem 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
9. (SBU) Officially, both Russian and Chinese officials played down 
migration as a problem between the two countries, even though it 
does occasionally feature in summit discussions, including during 
Hu's June visit.  Indeed, experts agree that the transient nature of 
the Chinese migrant workers and their overwhelming preference to 
return home after a four to five period of working in Russia make 
this issue a tempest in a teapot.  In the Russian Far East, scholars 
such as Viktor Larin of the Institute of History, Archaeology and 
Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far East believe the number of 
Chinese residents there is closer to the 30,000 to 40,000 range than 
the 100,000 number that is widely quoted in the press, accounting 
for only two percent of the RFE economy. 
9. (SBU) Unofficially, officials outside foreign policy circles and 
in the regions, as well as local trade unions and the public, 
continue to be wary of the possibility of a large influx of Chinese 
nationals into Russia, especially during the current economic 
downturn. Spotty statistics on the relatively low number of Chinese 
in Russia are no match against public apprehension that only 6.7 
million people, with the population steadily dwindling, live in the 
enormous Far East region, while at least 100 million Chinese inhabit 
lands directly adjacent to Russia on the other side of the border. 
China's voracious appetite for Russian raw materials and the 
presence of Chinese industrial and mining companies in the Far East, 
bringing with them seemingly large numbers of Chinese workers, add 
to the Russian public's unease and some officials' concern that the 
inflow of Chinese workers represented a "very dangerous trend." 
10. (SBU) There are recent signs that migration may become a more 
serious issue in Russian-Chinese relations after all.  Last month, 
as Russian authorities closed down Moscow's sprawling Cherkizovskiy 
market (septel) directly adjacent to the more famous Izmailovo 
market, purportedly a crackdown on trade, sanitation, and fire code 
violations, the Chinese government expressed concern over the 
welfare of Chinese citizens affected by the closure and an estimated 
USD 2 billion in merchandise that was seized.  As in most such 
cases, statistics regarding the migrants working at the market 
varied widely.  While groups such as the Federation of Migrants of 
Russia estimated that the market employed approximately 100,000 
workers, some 45,000 of them migrants, the Federal Migration Service 
states that only 3,000 migrants worked at Cherkizovskiy out of a 
 
MOSCOW 00001912  003 OF 003 
 
 
total of 14,000 workers.  Regardless of the numbers, the July 22 
arrival in Moscow of a Chinese delegation led by Deputy Commerce 
Minister Gao Hucheng to discuss with the Russian authorities ways to 
recover the seized merchandise and help the traders to relocate 
their shops is an indication of the seriousness with which the 
Chinese government is taking this issue. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1910, MARKET CLOSURE COMBATS FRAUD BUT UNEMPLOYS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1910 2009-07-24 10:48 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5525
PP RUEHDBU RUEHHM RUEHJO
DE RUEHMO #1910/01 2051048
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241048Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4348
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXI/LABOR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001910 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, DRL 
NSC FOR ELLISON 
DOL FOR BRUMFIELD 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2019 
TAGS: ELAB ECON EIND PGOV SOCI RS
SUBJECT: MARKET CLOSURE COMBATS FRAUD BUT UNEMPLOYS 
THOUSANDS 
 
Classified By: A/EconJStepanchuk, Reasons 1.4 (b,d) 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1. (C) Moscow authorities closed the massive, open-air 
Cherkizovskiy market in the northeastern part of the city at 
the end of June after inspectors found multiple trade, 
sanitation, and fire code violations.  Although technically 
closed temporarily pending resolution of the violations, city 
officials have plans to construct municipal housing on the 
site.  Russian traders affected by the closure will receive 
government assistance with job placement in other areas.  The 
city announced that foreign workers were not a priority. 
Upwards of 100,000 people lost jobs and businesses in the 
market, including approximately 45,000 migrant workers. 
After the closure, the immigrant community decided to start 
its own business association to defend its rights, although 
it is unlikely the association will carry much weight with 
GOR and city officials.  Analysts asserted a &cleaned-up8 
Cherkizovskiy would re-open.  End summary. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
MOSCOW CLOSES MARKET IN CONTRABAND CRACKDOWN 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) Recent GOR attempts to crackdown on the trade of 
contraband goods led to the closure of one of Eastern 
Europe's largest markets.  At the beginning of June, Prime 
Minister Putin demanded convictions in connection with the 
seizure at the Cherkizovskiy market of USD2 billion in goods 
purportedly smuggled from abroad, mainly from China.  On June 
29, Moscow authorities temporarily closed the market by order 
of Nikolai Yevtikhiev, Eastern Administrative District 
Prefect, after federal and city inspectors found multiple 
trade, sanitation, and fire code violations.  This week, city 
authorities also closed portions of the neighboring 
Izmailovskiy market, although the Izmailovo Vernisage, famous 
since the 1990s for the sale of cheap souvenirs, remained 
open. 
 
3. (U) The Cherkizovskiy market will remain closed, pending 
the results of the ongoing investigation into regulatory 
violations.  On July 9, the Izmailovo District Court of 
Moscow suspended all operations in the Cherkizovskiy market 
for a period of 90 days.  According to public statements by 
the GOR Public Prosecutor's Investigation Committee, which 
initiated the criminal proceedings against the market's 
management company, representatives from various GOR public 
health and internal affairs agencies were identifying 
contraband goods and regulatory violations at the market. 
Prefect Yevtikhiev told the press the market would reopen if 
the Consumer Protection Service established that the 
violations had been corrected, although authorities noted the 
market would not continue to operate after December 2009. 
(Note: Rumors abound regarding the personal relationships 
between Putin, Luzhkov, and the market's owner.  Putin was 
displeased with a multi-billion dollar investment by the 
market's owner in a new hotel in Turkey and the lavish 
celebration recently thrown to celebrate its opening despite 
the ongoing financial crisis. Luzkhov attended and cut the 
ribbon at the hotel's opening ceremony.  The mayor also 
recently replaced the brother of the market's owner as First 
Deputy Prefect of another of Moscow's districts over 
accusations of criminal abuse by his staff.  End Note) 
 
4. (C) On July 23, Moscow City Government Department for 
External Economic and International Relations Acting Head 
Danilin told us the government closed the market because most 
of the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Central Asian immigrants were 
illegal aliens, and the goods they were selling were illegal, 
see septel on the Chinese Diaspora in Moscow.  Danilin 
admitted that he thought the remaining immigrants would 
resurface at the Luzhniki retail market and other Moscow 
markets.  He contended that the market closure would not 
result in a political problem for the city.  Instead, Danilin 
maintained that this was a "positive step because people 
could now be sure they were buying quality products in 
Moscow." 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
MARKET MAY RE-OPEN, BUT STILL BAD NEWS FOR MIGRANTS 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001910  002 OF 003 
 
 
5. (C) Moscow officials have subsequently publicized plans to 
close the market permanently and replace it with municipal 
housing.  However, Julia Gordeyeva, DeutscheBank real estate 
analyst, told us Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov had regularly 
threatened to do this for the past seven years in the face of 
growing concerns that Cherkizovskiy was turning into a 
lawless &city within a city.8  Gordeyeva stated that the 
closure would not be permanent.  She predicted that the 
market would be "cleaned-up" and re-opened. 
 
6. (U) In a televised interview on July 14, Luzhkov announced 
that authorities planned to remove the Cherkizovskiy market 
and use the land for non-market activities.  This week, 
Andrei Metelskiy, Head of the United Russia faction in the 
Moscow City Duma, told Kommersant that the need to build 
municipal housing had now replaced previous plans to use the 
land for the construction of a children's water park.  Sergei 
Mitrokhin, Head of the Yabloko party and a Moscow City Duma 
Deputy, noted in a press release that the situation was 
getting out of control and that authorities needed to provide 
security quickly and organize the return of entrepreneurs, 
goods currently held at the market. 
 
7. (U) The city's labor department will assist workers 
affected by the closure with job placement in other trade 
areas, but will prioritize assistance for Russian citizens. 
Oleg Netrebskiy, Head of Moscow's labor agency, told 
Kommersant that all those who officially worked in the market 
would receive work in the consumer market or other sectors. 
However, Netrebskiy specified that job placement for foreign 
traders in Moscow would be difficult and that his agency 
would give priority to Russians and Muscovites.  He also 
noted, "Moscow does not need such a quantity of Chinese and 
Vietnamese traders, especially during the crisis, when our 
(Russian) compatriots cannot find work." 
 
---------------------------------- 
THOUSANDS LOSE JOBS AND BUSINESSES 
---------------------------------- 
 
8. (C) The Cherkizovskiy market closure was a serious blow to 
foreign entrepreneurs and migrant workers in Moscow. 
Mojumder Muhammad Amin, President of the Federation of 
Migrants of Russia (FMR), told us that approximately 45,000 
foreign citizens lost their jobs and businesses as a result 
of the market closure.  FMR estimated that daily sales at the 
market totaled over $100 million.  According to Amin, 100,000 
workers, Russian and foreign, were thrown out onto the street 
with no explanation from authorities.  Last week, Interfax 
reported that 362 migrant traders had already been deported 
and 336 had been fined 1.4 million rubles for regulatory 
violations. 
 
9. (U) Work permit violations led to the confusion between 
the official number of workers employed at the market and FMR 
estimates.  Fyodor Karpovets, Head of the Moscow Branch of 
the Federal Migration Service, told the press this week that 
the six management companies operating at the market had a 
quota of only 14,250 foreign workers, contradicting FMR's 
claim that the market's firms employed 100,000 workers. 
Yuliana Aleksentseva of the State Labor and Social Insurance 
Research Institute told RIA Novosti last week that 2009 GOR 
regulations prohibit the employment of foreign traders in 
markets and kiosks, but not in other locations, enabling 
Cherkizovskiy market traders to obtain work permits without 
specifying the location of their employment.  Aleksentseva 
also noted that local construction and communal service firms 
sold their quotas of foreign workers to firms operating at 
the market. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
NEW BUSINESS CLUB TO PROTECT IMMIGRANT BUSINESS RIGHTS 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
10. (C) Migrant community representatives had difficulty 
initiating a dialogue with the Moscow city government on the 
Cherkizovskiy market issue.  FMR President Amin told us they 
were collaborating with the Public Chamber to advocate for 
temporary legalization of migrant businesses while searching 
for a long-term solution to the problem.  FMR's lawyers were 
also attempting to obtain further information on the status 
of the court's suspension of market activities and the 
progress of the investigation.  However, Amin noted that the 
government had not responded to any of their requests to 
start a dialogue.  He also expressed disappointment that no 
 
MOSCOW 00001910  003 OF 003 
 
 
political party, business association, or labor union had 
spoken out in defense of the migrant workers and 
entrepreneurs affected by the closure. 
 
11. (C) In the absence of official assistance or support from 
existing organizations, the migrant community decided to help 
itself.  FMR temporarily opened a field kitchen near the 
Cherkizovskiy market to provide free, hot meals each 
afternoon to unemployed migrant workers now living on the 
streets.  They also offered legal advice on entrepreneurs, 
rights.  In addition, Amin told us that FMR planned to create 
an immigrant business club that would work with the Public 
Chamber, American Chamber of Commerce, and other 
organizations to defend immigrant business, rights.  He 
noted that no one currently protected the security of 
immigrant businesses of any size and expressed hope that the 
new club would start to support the immigrant business 
community by the end of the summer. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
12. (C) With the closure of the Cherkizovskiy market, the GOR 
and the city of Moscow have turned what was recognized as a 
growing problem into a legal and social problem for 
themselves.  The legal grounds for closing the market 
completely for administrative violations are shaky.  The 
closure has injected tens of thousands of unemployed workers, 
of non-Russian ethnicity, into a tight labor market with 
limited opportunities.  Thus, even though a "cleaned-up" 
Cherkizovskiy market may re-open ultimately, it will be at 
much greater cost than was necessary.  End Comment. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1889, EMBASSY MOSCOW CONFIRMS TWO CASES OF H1N1 FLU, RUSSIA’S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1889 2009-07-23 13:48 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4705
OO RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHMO #1889 2041348
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231348Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4327
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 3310
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 3664
RUEHLN/AMCONSUL ST PETERSBURG 5432
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2209
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0416
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5343

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001889 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS 
STATE FOR OES/IHB 
USDA PASS TO APHIS 
HHS PASS TO CDC 
HHS FOR OGHA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TBIO KFLU PREL SOCI CASC EAGR RS
SUBJECT: EMBASSY MOSCOW CONFIRMS TWO CASES OF H1N1 FLU, RUSSIA'S 
CASES LIKELY UNDERESTIMATED 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY. 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Post has confirmed two cases of H1N1 influenza 
within the Embassy community.  Symptoms have been mild, and both 
patients are recovering well.  Aside from these cases, Russian 
health authorities have publicly confirmed 12 cases of H1N1 
throughout the country.  However, this number is almost certainly 
underestimated.  Authorities have not announced contingency plans 
for a wider outbreak except to speculate that schools might open 
later in the season.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (SBU) On July 22, Post received confirmation of two cases of H1N1 
influenza within the Embassy community.  The Walter Reed Army 
Institute of Research analyzed samples from the patients and 
confirmed the H1N1 infection.  Both patients' symptoms have been 
mild, and they are recovering well.  On July 24, the Embassy will 
report its cases to the Federal Service for Consumer Protection and 
Human Welfare Supervision (Rospotrebnadzor), the Russian government 
agency responsible for epidemic response. 
 
3. (U) On July 21, Dr. Gennadiy Onishchenko, Russia's Chief Medical 
Officer and head of Rospotrebnadzor, announced that Russia had 
confirmed a total of 12 cases of H1N1, with several other suspected 
cases under observation.  Onishchenko said that the majority of 
confirmed cases were in travelers arriving from Spain.  He also 
announced that, because of vacation season and the large number of 
tourists travelling abroad, authorities expect the virus to spread 
in the near future.  He ordered that in addition to screening 
arriving passengers on regular airline flights, charter flight 
passengers would also be subject to screening. 
 
4. (SBU) In a July 19 letter to heads of regional Rospotrebnadzor 
branches, Onishchenko ordered that children's summer camps should 
report to Rospotrebnadzor any instance in which five or more cases 
of respiratory illnesses arise at a single camp.  According to the 
letter, every suspected case of H1N1 must be immediately reported to 
Rospotrebnadzor. 
 
5. (SBU) Alexander Kucherenko of Rospotrebnadzor's International 
Affairs Department told us that each Russian region has individually 
determined thresholds for different levels of pandemic response.  He 
did not elaborate on what specific measures the agency would take in 
response to a given rate of infection, nor does the agency specify 
its contingency plans in its publicly available literature.  In his 
latest statement, Onishchenko suggested that in the event of a 
strong rise in infection rates, the government might delay the 
beginning of the school year.  However, he did not define what he 
meant by "a strong rise." 
 
6. (SBU) COMMENT: If Russian public health officials have clearly 
defined contingency plans in the event of a wider H1N1 outbreak, 
they are not sharing them with the public or with the diplomatic 
community.  We do not know whether the government might restrict 
travel or impose curfews.  Post strongly suspects that authorities 
are far under-reporting the infection rate, likely because public 
health officials are directing most attention to inbound travelers 
from abroad. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1876, ROC ADVOCATES CREATION OF AN INTER-RELIGIOUS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1876 2009-07-22 11:41 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO3368
OO RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSK RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1876/01 2031141
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221141Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4317
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0288
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 2233
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001876 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR KIRF SOCI RS
SUBJECT: ROC ADVOCATES CREATION OF AN INTER-RELIGIOUS 
COUNCIL IN UNESCO 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary.  Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) External 
Church Relations Chairman Archbishop Hilarion advocated to 
the Ambassador for interfaith dialogue through the creation 
of an Inter-Religious Council within UNESCO and the 
strengthening of inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian 
relationships.  Hilarion explained these foreign policy 
priorities of the ROC included strengthening the ROC's 
relationship with the Patriarch of Constantinople, working 
with the Catholic Church and reaching out to help organize 
the ROC's global diasporas.  Hilarion also argued that 
Russia's demographic problem was a spiritual rather than 
economic concern.  End Summary. 
 
ROC Advocates Creation of UNESCO Inter-Religious Council 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
2.  (SBU)  Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) Archbishop Hilarion 
Alfeyev, Chairman of the ROC Department for External Church 
Relations (DECR), hosted Ambassador on July 20, 2009 at his 
office in Moscow.  Accompanying the Archbishop was the Deputy 
Chairman of the DECR, Father Philip.  Following the recent 
July 6-8 US-Russia Presidential Summit, which included a 
meeting between President Obama and ROC Patriarch Kirill, the 
Archbishop commented on the importance of the ROC to 
strengthen international interfaith dialogue.  He explained 
the ROC wanted to strengthen not only inter-Orthodox 
relationships but also inter-Christian and non-Christian 
relationships.  Specifically, the Archbishop hopes to enhance 
these relationships through an Inter-Religious Council the 
ROC plans to create in dialogue with the United Nations 
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 
 
3.  (SBU)  Hilarion and Father Philip said that the ROC would 
participate in a meeting of Religious leaders from multiple 
faiths in Moscow on July 21 in preparation for a meeting on 
July 22 with the UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura. 
Patriarch Kirill will participate in both meetings.  RF 
President Dmitry Medvedev will meet Director-General Matsuura 
and the religious leaders on July 21.  The ROC wants to 
create an Inter-Religious Council composed of leaders from 
various faiths to include ROC, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, 
Jewish and Buddhism, and hopefully create a permanent 
secretariat in the council at UNESCO.  Hilarion envisioned 
that the council would propose ideas to create permanent 
mechanisms for inter-faith dialogue.  He stressed, however, 
the council should provide concrete results and not just 
declarations, and concentrate on a broad range of global 
issues such as religious defamation, tolerance, education, 
holy places and pilgrimage sites. 
 
4.  (SBU)  The religious leaders involved beyond the ROC 
include President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation 
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, 
Caucasus Moslems Clerical Office head Sheikh-ul-Islam Allah 
Shukur Pashazade of Azerbaijan, head of the department for 
relations with foreign countries and other Christian 
confessions of the Evangelical Church of Germany Bishop 
Martin Schindehutte, the Holy See official representative to 
Russia, Archbishop Antonio Menini, and Deputy 
Secretary-General of the World Islamic League Mohammad Hayat 
of Saudi Arabia.  According to the Archbishop, Saudi Arabia 
is very involved in the initiative for the Inter-Religious 
Council.  He also elaborated that eventually he hoped the 
leaders would broaden the group to consist of approximately 
25 to 30 members representing multiple faiths. 
 
Patriarch of Constantinople and Inter-Orthodox Relationships 
--------------------------------------------- --------------- 
 
5.  (SBU)  As chairman of the DECR, Hilarion explained that 
along with interfaith relations, the primary task of the 
DECR's foreign policy was to improve relations within the 
Orthodox churches.  A priority among these remains the ROC 
relationship with the Patriarch of Constantinople.  Hilarion 
hoped to see the relationship with Constantinople move from a 
"situation of confrontation to one of cooperation and mutual 
trust."  During the recent meetings between Patriarch Kirill 
and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople 
and the whole of Greek Orthodox Church, Kirill offered 
suggestions to Bartholomew to help the situation for the 
Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey. 
 
6.  (SBU)  The Archbishop stated the Greek Orthodox Church in 
Turkey had restrained its activities and faced a shrinking 
congregation.  Bartholomew wants to reopen theological 
schools, restore churches and improve places of pilgrimage. 
Hilarion believed the ROC could help Bartholomew accomplish 
 
MOSCOW 00001876  002 OF 003 
 
 
these goals.  Kirill met with the Turkish Prime Minister in &#
x000A;Ankara following his meetings with Bartholomew in early July 
2009 and expressed these concerns.  The Archbishop was also 
concerned about the Greek Orthodox Church's shrinking 
pastoral community and the large number of Russians living in 
and visiting Turkey.  According to Hilarion, many of these 
Russians are Orthodox and would welcome opportunities for 
worship in Turkey.  He assured the Ambassador, however, that 
the ROC would not build any structures of its own in Turkey. 
 
7.  (SBU)  Beyond the relationship with Constantinople, 
Hilarion was not overly optimistic about full reconciliation 
of the Orthodox churches.  He referred to the recent 
inter-Orthodox meeting in Switzerland in June 2009 where it 
was discussed how to organize better Orthodox diasporas and 
increase unity among the various Orthodox groups around the 
world.  He stated that a key issue of the ROC on diasporas 
and a main difference with the Ecumenical Patriarch was that 
the ROC still holds to its own diasporas, some of which are 
centuries old, while the Ecumenical Patriarch believed they 
belong to him.  Hilarion thought it would be impossible to 
bring all the diasporas automatically into one church. 
Instead, he offered his vision of one Orthodox Church within 
a city but with five or more Bishops each representing 
distinct ethnic or linguistic groups.  The Archbishop 
believed the same was possible for the Orthodox churches in 
the United States.  Specifically, he hoped for the formation 
of a single Orthodox Church in the United States embracing 
all separate Orthodox jurisdictions with Bishops responsible 
for ethnically and linguistically distinguished 
congregations. 
 
Inter-Christian Relationships 
----------------------------- 
 
8.  (SBU)  The Archbishop also stated that inter-Christian 
relationships could be strengthened but emphasized more of 
the ROC's relationship with the Catholic Church than with 
Protestant churches.  Instead of concentrating on 
differences, he believed the ROC could work with the Catholic 
Church to work against common challenges such as militant 
secularism and violent Islam.  Hilarion felt the solution 
with ROC's relationship with Protestant churches was much 
less obvious.  He stated there were significant differences 
on a theological level and moral teachings between the ROC 
and Protestant churches, and believed that some Protestant 
teachings were a strong liberalization of moral teachings. 
He did not think the ROC and the Protestant churches could 
speak with a common voice. 
 
Russia's Demographic Problem 
---------------------------- 
 
9.  (SBU)  To fight Russia's demographic problem, Hilarion 
stated, was a problem that could not be solved exclusively by 
the state or the church but would require cooperation.  He 
believed that only the church could provide the necessary 
teachings of the meaning and importance of family to help 
solve the problem.  He argued that Russia's demographic 
problem was not economic but spiritual because the meaning of 
family was lost through secularism and materialism.  Hilarion 
believed modern families no longer viewed a large family as a 
blessing.  Further, he did not believe Russia's Soviet 
history and mentality had a greater effect on the demographic 
problem, because other countries that did not live through a 
Soviet-like regime were experiencing similar problems. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
10.  (SBU)  Comment.  Archbishop Hilarion has the position, 
influence and charisma to remain a strong leader of the ROC 
and perhaps eventual successor to Patriarch Kirill.  As 
Kirill's hand-picked replacement as DECR Chairman, Hilarion 
is likely to stay closely in step with Kirill in policies and 
opinions.  Hilarion is a young, energetic, talented and 
worldly leader within the ROC, not unlike his mentor Kirill. 
He speaks fluent English, holds two doctoral degrees from 
Oxford and St. Sergius Orthodox Institute in Paris and has a 
good relationship with the ROC in America -- including a 
stint delivering lectures in Alaska.  With this impressive 
background, Hilarion will at a minimum serve as an appealing 
international face of the ROC.  Hilarion appeared sincere 
about creating interfaith dialogue and improving 
inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian relationships, but clearly 
not to the detriment of ROC authority.  In fact, Hilarion 
likely sees the Inter-Religious Council and outreach to the 
 
MOSCOW 00001876  003 OF 003 
 
 
diasporas as an opportunity to expand ROC authority and 
influence.  End Comment. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks