Monthly Archives: October 2009

09MOSCOW2696, U.S.-RUSSIA ARMS CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2696 2009-10-30 16:25 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2696/01 3031625
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301625Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5241
INFO RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 5424

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002696 
 
SIPDIS 
 
GENEVA FOR JCIC 
DEPT FOR T, ISN, VCI, EUR/PRA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2019 
TAGS: KCFE KNNP KTIA PARM PREL START RS US
SUBJECT: U.S.-RUSSIA ARMS CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL 
SECURITY WORKING GROUP MEETING, MOSCOW, OCTOBER 12 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: At the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Russia 
Binational Commission's Arms Control and International 
Security Working Group, held October 12 in Moscow, 
U/S Tauscher and Russian D/FM Ryabkov reviewed Missile 
Defense, nonproliferation issues, CFE, and START.  Lt 
General O'Reilly of the Missile Defense Agency provided a 
detailed presentation on the latest U.S. planning on 
Missile Defense in Europe, and U/S Tauscher pressed for 
Russian movement on establishment of a Joint Data Exchange 
Center (JDEC), participation in the Joint Threat 
Assessment (JTA), and related issues.  The Russians agreed 
in principle to a next JTA meeting in the October-November 
2009 time frame but deferred movement on further 
cooperation until their experts had examined the details 
of General O'Reilly's presentation.  U/S Tauscher 
invited Russian missile defense experts to come to 
Colorado Springs to visit the facility and discuss missile 
defense cooperation. 
 
2. (C) On nonproliferation issues, the Russians: 
emphasized the need for P5 coordination on NPT RevCon 
issues but acknowledged there may be areas where P5 or 
bilateral agreement will not be possible; probed for 
details of U.S. planning for CTBT ratification; asked 
about U.S. strategy for moving forward with Pakistan to 
break the deadlock on FMCT at the CD; pressed for U.S. 
support on Russian positions on specific UN First 
Committee draft resolutions; and detailed Russian concerns 
relating to the Global Summit on Nuclear Security and 
issues discussed at the Sherpa meeting in Vienna.  They 
also expressed concerns about lack of U.S. interest in 
bilateral cooperation on UNSCR 1540 implementation and 
difficulties with implementation of the 123 agreement. 
 
3. (C) On CFE, both sides identified problematic areas 
but affirmed their continued desire to look for areas of 
common ground and reiterated their openness to bilateral 
as well as multilateral discussions.  On START, both D/FM 
Ryabkov and Russian Ambassador Antonov expressed their 
intention to work hard with the U.S. side to meet the 
December 5, 2009 deadline; U/S Tauscher and VCI Assistant 
Secretary Gottemoeller echoed this view and expressed 
appreciation for the seriousness with which Russia was 
engaging in the START talks.  End Summary. 
 
MISSILE DEFENSE 
--------------- 
 
4. (SBU) After introductory remarks, MDA Director, LTG 
O'Reilly provided a briefing on the Administration's new 
Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense (MD).  His 
briefing covered: the emerging missile threats that the 
new approach is designed to meet and the time frames for 
the four phases for dealing with these threats; the lack 
of capability against Russian ICBMs; and potential 
U.S.-Russia MD cooperation.  Possible cooperative areas 
include: sharing MD sensor data, cooperative development 
of optics and laser technologies, and collaborative flight 
testing. 
 
5. (C) DFM Ryabkov said that Russia would need to review 
and analyze the issues raised in LTG O'Reilly's 
presentation.  Ryabkov then turned to Amb. Antonov to 
provide some reactions.  Antonov questioned the assumption 
that Iran is a threat to southern Europe.  He said that 
the U.S. was confusing capabilities with intentions and 
that the July 6, 2009 Moscow Summit Joint Statement on 
Missile Defense Issues referenced missile challenges not 
missile threats.  U/S Tauscher responded that the U.S. 
threat perception is based on Iran's belligerence, 
non-compliance with UNSC resolutions, and the threatening 
rhetoric of Iran's President. 
 
6. (C) U/S Tauscher noted that the U.S. is offering a wide 
range of cooperation.  She said that the U.S. would like 
to:  have a Russian delegation come to the U.S. to discuss 
with State ISN Acting Assisting Secretary Van Diepen a 
Joint Threat Assessment; extend the JDEC and PLNS 
agreements which are both due to expire in 2010; work to 
get the JDEC up and running; and agree on a format for 
notification of Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) launches 
 
over the Washington-Moscow Direct Communications Link. 
She provided drafts of agreements to extend the JDEC and 
PLNS agreements, and a non-paper on notifications. 
 
7. (C) DFM Ryabkov replied that there is no doubt that 
Russia views the President's September 17 decision as a 
step in the right direction and one which partially takes 
into account Russia's views of U.S. MD policy in Europe. 
He added that the possibility of dialogue has been 
extended and improved.  He noted tha
t the U.S. approach 
places a great emphasis on technology and that there are 
issues raised by the future strategic capabilities of the 
Phased Adaptive Approach's latter phases.  Ryabkov added 
that we must move toward a common understanding of what is 
being developed as an alternative to the Bush 
Administration's program.  He asked for more detail on 
what the U.S. was now planning to deploy in terms of 
ground-based systems in Europe - including in Poland.  He 
also raised the question about the system's potential 
growth in the future. 
 
8. (C) DFM Ryabkov said that Russia was also interested in 
U.S.-Japan MD cooperation, commenting that it raised 
concern that the Missile Technology control Regime (MTCR) 
should be abided by.  Col. Il'in of the Russian MoD said 
that the U.S. had provided clear numbers on interceptors 
to be deployed in Europe during the Bush Administration. 
He asked whether the U.S. could say how many, and what 
types of, interceptors would be deployed during each phase 
of the Phased Adaptive Approach.  LTG O'Reilly responded 
that the SM-3 interceptors were in canisters that would be 
easy to count but that the absolute number of interceptors 
would be based on military commanders' assessments of the 
threat.  He added that the Joint Threat Assessment could 
assist us in understanding the numbers of interceptors 
that would be needed. 
 
9. (C) With respect to missile threats, Ryabkov said that 
Russia has its own view of "real" Iranian achievements 
vs. "hypotheses."  He added that there are many other 
missile threats to be considered apart from Iran.  He 
noted, however, that there is now a better basis to move 
forward on a Joint Threat Assessment than in July. 
Highlighting the importance of a mutually agreed 
foundation, he also stressed the importance of work in the 
NATO-Russia Council, specifically the good work that has 
already been done on theater missile defense (TMD). 
 
10. (C) U/S Tauscher proposed that there be a second Joint 
Threat Assessment meeting in October or November in 
Washington.  She also again raised the need to move on the 
JDEC and PLNS agreements and cited reference in the July 6 
Moscow 
Summit's Joint Statement on Missile Defense Issues to the 
fact 
that our two countries are intensifying their dialogue on 
JDEC. 
Ryabkov responded that Russia could agree to a Joint Threat 
Assessment 
meeting in Washington in October but that prior experience 
does not indicate that our estimates will reach the same 
view.  U/S Tauscher accepted this offer to send a threat 
assessment team to Washington and again emphasized the 
need to move forward on resolving JDEC issues and the 
Direct Communications Link format for GBI launches. 
Ryabkov responded that on JDEC we had gone through 
different stages but that Russia perceived a more 
deep-rooted problem than resolving specific unresolved 
JDEC issues.  He added that resolving the problems of 
assessing missile threats would allow us to move forward 
with JDEC. 
 
NONPROLIFERATION 
---------------- 
 
11. (C) NPT RevCon:  Turning to nonproliferation issues, 
Ryabkov emphasized that a successful Nuclear 
Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) in 
May 2010 would be one of the major challenges ahead.  The 
September 24, 2009 U.S.-chaired UN Security Council Summit 
and its unanimous adoption of UNSC Resolution 1887 had 
been a complex undertaking that exceeded expectations and 
opened the way for progress on a balanced approach on all 
 
three "pillars" of the NPT:  nonproliferation, disarmament 
and peaceful uses.  Also, the events at the UN and 
the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington were 
generating great expectations for U.S.-Russia bilateral 
cooperation on nonproliferation and disarmament issues. 
Ryabkov stressed the importance of working with a number 
of countries, and not just in the NAM, to highlight U.S. 
and Russia progress on disarmament issues.  Recalling the 
London P5 meeting on September 4, 2009, and the bilateral 
meeting on its margins, Ryabkov noted the importance of 
transparency in nuclear policy and that it was desirable 
for the P5 to develop a unified position to this effect. 
The question now was how to move other P5 participants to 
concrete action in this area. Ambassador Antonov suggested 
that the U.S. and Russia chair a joint briefing on nuclear 
disarmament at the RevCon.  He noted good experiences with 
such briefings in past RevCons, including in 2000. 
 
12. (SBU) U/S Tauscher concurred in Ryabkov's 
assessments of the recent P5 consultations in London and 
events at the UN, which should provide a strong foundation 
on which to build.  She advocated a robust P5 statement on 
the RevCon covering all three "pillars," noting that the 
U.S. and Russia did not receive enough credit for their 
work on disarmament as well as on nonproliferation and 
peaceful uses.   Tauscher encouraged Russian participation 
in the scheduled October 14 P5 lunch hosted by U.S. 
Special Representative for Nuclear Nonproliferation 
Ambassador Burk in New York to discuss some of these NPT 
RevCon issues in more depth (Note:  Russian 
representatives did participate.  End note.) and supported 
holding another P5 meeting to assess milestones completed 
and future work in advance of the RevCon. 
 
13. (SBU) CTBT:  Ryabkov noted the importance Russia and 
others attached to the Secretary's participation in the 
CTBT Article XIV Conference on September 24, after a 
ten-year absence.  He sought details of U.S. ratification 
planning, asking whether CTBT ratification before the NPT 
RevCon was still an option, or would it be postponed until 
later? 
 
14. (C) U/S Tauscher reiterated the President's 
commitment to seek ratification and emphasized that timing 
would depend in large part on the START ratification 
process.  The Senate schedule was often unpredictable, but 
the Administration would need to have a very significant 
conversation with Senate members before proceeding on 
CTBT.  Tauscher said she had discussed with CTBT 
colleagues on the margins of the Article XIV conference 
how to encourage others among the nine outstanding Annex 2 
countries to ratify.  She noted Indonesia's positive 
statement of intention to ratify when the U.S. ratifies 
and said China seemed serious about CTBT ratification at 
the London meeting.  She welcomed Russia's thoughts on 
how to encourage countries with more complicated 
ratification scenarios such as Egypt, Pakistan, and India 
to move forward in this area.  She also encouraged Russian 
statements promoting ratification of CTBT and noted the 
important role for scientists on both the U.S. and Russian 
sides in this discussion. 
 
15. (C) Ryabkov opined that ratification by one or two of 
the outstanding Annex 2 countries could result in a 
"wave" of ratifiers among the outstanding nine 
countries.  He noted
that in the Asia/Pacific region, 
Russia did not see the possibility of some (presumably 
DPRK) acceding to CTBT, but that the P5 could discuss this 
in more detail. 
 
16. (C) FMCT:  Ryabkov also sought details of U.S. steps 
being taken with Pakistan to resolve Islamabad's 
opposition to starting substantive negotiations on a 
Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) at the Conference 
on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva.  Ryabakov noted Russia was 
working with Pakistan in both Geneva and Moscow; he had 
met several times with Pakistan's ambassador in Moscow. 
U/S Tauscher confirmed that FMCT was a priority for the 
U.S., which was committed to making sure the CD's Program 
of Work, which includes FMCT negotiations, can go 
forward.  She had met several times with the Pakistani 
ambassador in Washington but was not sure their discussion 
had moved the issue very far.  She recalled that at the 
 
September 4 London P5 meeting, participants had agreed to 
make separate demarches to Pakistan and had also discussed 
a joint demarche, agreeing to revisit the issue in 
mid-October.  Tauscher said the P5 needed to work further 
on this, although China had seemed unsure.  She thought a 
P5 joint statement could move things forward and put the 
five on record.  Even if China demurred, a joint demarche 
or statement among the four would be useful. 
 
17. (C) Ryabkov said that with regard to a P5 demarche, 
China was on the fence.  He warned that if not resolved, 
the issue would become "very topical" in the context of 
the NPT and events planned for 2010.  He underlined the 
need to get rid of this obstacle and reiterated the 
importance of U.S. pressure. 
 
18. (C) Regarding the IAEA, Ryabkov thought very good 
groundwork already had been laid but that UNSCR 1887 had 
shown the need for more intensive bilateral and P5 
discussion on issues such as universalization of the 
Additional Protocol (AP).  There was also the question of 
how to tackle Negative Security Assurances (NSA), where 
Russia supported creation of an international convention, 
which was, however, not acceptable to all.  The P5 needed 
to be prepared on issues such as these before the NPT Rev 
Con, although full agreement might not be achievable. 
Nevertheless, the P5 should try to find some common 
ground.   U/S Tauscher noted the ongoing work of the 
Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which would affect the U.S. 
position on NSA. 
 
19. (C) Middle East Resolution:  On the NPT RevCon 
Resolution on the Middle East, Ryabkov said it would be 
destructive to the Treaty regime if there was no 
resolution of this issue and suggested holding another P5 
discussion on this if needed.  All states in the region 
should be in compliance with the NPT, all states should 
accede to the NPT, and all nuclear facilities should be 
under safeguards.  He conceded that finding common ground 
in this area might not be possible.  U/S Tauscher said the 
U.S. was working closely with Egypt to find a way 
forward.  The U.S. would support approaches in the RevCon 
that were consultative, positive, and which did not cause 
participants to take sides. 
 
20. (SBU) UN General Assembly First Committee (UNFC): 
Ryabkov highlighted the importance of close bilateral 
cooperation in the UNGA First Committee (UNFC).  In 
particular, he asked for U.S. support for Russian 
opposition to a Kazakhstan draft resolution proposing 
establishment of a UN International Day for a World Free 
of Nuclear Weapons; and U.S. support for a Russian draft 
resolution on "Bilateral Strategic Nuclear Arms 
Reductions and the New Strategic Framework."  On the 
first issue, Ryabkov claimed the Kazakhstan initiative 
would become entangled in some of the work of the NPT 
RevCon and pit Nuclear Weapons States against Non-Nuclear 
Weapons States; he sought U.S. support in opposing 
discussions or 
a vote on such a resolution although he indicated Russia 
might be prepared to agree to a resolution with a different 
name and identifying a date other than August 29, offering 
several alternative dates.  (Note:  August 29, 1949 is 
the date of the first Soviet atomic bomb test.  End 
note.) 
 
21. (SBU) Ambassador Antonov noted that the U.S. had 
reservations about the Russian draft resolution on START 
since the Treaty was not yet completed, but Antonov 
underlined that such a resolution would be helpful to the 
RevCon.  He noted Russian readiness to engage in 
discussing a compromise text, which could be adjusted in 
December once the Treaty was agreed.  He claimed NAM as 
well as European support for such a resolution and asked 
for Washington to review the issue.  U/S Tauscher 
emphasized the overall importance of building consensus in 
the UN First Committee, and that the Russian proposal 
would seem not to meet the end dates of the UNFC.  She 
noted generally that any resolution should be timed to 
support START completion by December 5 and also to build 
greater support within the P5 and among other NPT members 
for a strong and productive RevCon.  She noted that Russia 
and the U.S. shared the same overall goals and agreed to 
 
work with Russia to look for possible areas of commonality 
with regard to these issues. 
 
22. (SBU) On the Nuclear Security Summit, Ryabkov 
described the Vienna meeting of sherpas, which had 
addressed issues including:  a brief joint communique; a 
plan of action to annex to the communique; and preliminary 
Russian comments conveyed in Vienna.  Ryabkov emphasized 
also the need to address now the question of participants; 
e.g., why had Georgia, which has no nuclear reactors, been 
invited while Armenia, which does, was not?  U/S Tauscher 
noted support for a joint communique and plan of action, 
and said Georgia had successfully interdicted a nuclear 
smuggling operation on its territory.  Ryabkov countered 
by asserting the Russian understanding that the Summit 
would not address contraband/smuggling issues.  U/S 
Tauscher undertook to communicate these Russian concerns 
to White House planners and get back to Ryabkov. 
 
23. (SBU) UNSCR 1540:  Ryabkov recalled that in March 
2009 FM Lavrov had proposed to the Secretary to have 
greater bilateral cooperation on 1540, including through a 
Clinton-Lavrov joint statement and a dedicated UNSC 
meeting.  The U.S. response had seemed to reject this 
proposal, focusing instead on a more practical approach 
involving meeting with various organizations to discuss 
issues such as establishment of a 1540 trust fund and 
other topics.  Russia understood this might not have been 
a fully coordinated U.S. position, however, and wished to 
reiterate that it remained prepared to act on its proposal 
and engage foreign ministers.  Russia was concerned about 
a decrease in interest in 1540; during the recently 
completed Comprehensive Review, only three capitals 
(Vienna, Tokyo, and Moscow) had sent experts, and there 
were no representativ
es from international agencies. 
Ministerial involvement seemed required to increase 
attention, such as had been done in the OSCE and G8.   U/S 
Tauscher agreed on the general importance of engaging 
senior levels and publics on these important 
nonproliferation issues, which, although very technical, 
nevertheless require strong political will and support. 
Antonov also noted differences in focus, with the U.S. 
preferring lower level engagement through working groups 
to discuss nonproliferation problems such as working with 
industry to establish and enforce export controls.  In 
this context he also opined that the U.S. view of 
"strategic goods" did not necessarily conform to 
others' views; for example, Russia saw the term as 
encompassing items such as grain, petroleum, wood, and 
gas, which should also be dealt with effectively through 
implementation of 1540. 
 
24. (SBU) Civil Nuclear Cooperation:   Ryabkov sought to 
confirm U.S. interest in bringing into force the bilateral 
treaty on civil nuclear cooperation ("123 agreement") as 
soon as possible.  Recalling the recent visit of ROSATOM 
Director Kiriyenko and his meeting with Deputy Secretary 
of Energy Poneman, Ryabkov expressed surprise that there 
were difficulties relating to the 123 agreement, in 
developing the Action Plan that outlines specific projects 
that meet the presidential understandings of April and 
July 2009.  Ryabkov asked the U.S. to put additional 
effort into bringing into force this important element of 
the bilateral relationship.  U/S Tauscher noted she had 
accompanied Director Kiriyenko to Oak Ridge and was 
scheduled to meet with ROSATOM Deputy Director Spasskiy 
the following day.  She cited many political issues 
relating to U.S. 123 agreements generally, not just with 
Russia.  She promised to consult with Deputy Secretary 
Poneman in Washington and relay further information to 
Deputy ROSATOM Director Spasskiy.  Tauscher also expressed 
U.S. support for the Russian proposal for a fuel reserve 
at Angarsk and hoped that Russia would make the final 
details available soon to enable us to help build support 
for approval at the IAEA's November Board of Governors 
meeting.  She also shared the draft of a joint op-ed piece 
as discussed in London to express U.S.-Russia mutual 
support for fuel assurances and the Angarsk proposal, and 
welcomed Russian suggestions and edits. 
 
25. (C) U/S Tauscher also noted that FBI Director Moeller 
would be bringing a sample of the smuggled HEU that was 
seized in Georgia in 2006 during his visit in 
 
mid-November.  (Note:  The material has remained in U.S. 
custody because we conducted the forensic analysis at the 
request of the Georgian Government.  The Russians had 
requested a sample for analysis, but would not come to the 
U.S. to retrieve it.  End note.)  The fact that Director 
Moeller is bringing the sample to the Russians 
demonstrates U.S. commitment to working collaboratively 
with the Russians to investigate nuclear smuggling 
events.  Ryabkov noted the logistical problems of the 
transportation of such items, but these were close to 
being decided.  (Note:  The transfer has been attempted 
and canceled twice before due to scheduling conflicts. 
End note.)  Russia would be ready to discuss this with 
Moeller when he arrived.  Ryabkov noted this was a 
difficult issue for Russia since there was no Russian 
translation for the term, "nuclear forensics."  This was 
also an area that required further work with the IAEA to 
resolve its role and function in such cases. 
 
CFE 
----- 
 
26. (C) Recalling bilateral meetings on May 5 among many 
CFE participants and the June 10 Berlin Conference, 
Ryabkov noted that on many issues there had been no 
rapprochement; instead there was a fixation on what was 
not agreed.   The Russian Federation was pushing for a 
package solution.  Noting that the flank limits posed a 
major problem for the Russian side, he raised the 
possibility that Russia could move off the moratorium on 
implementation of the Treaty if some new agreements were 
achieved.  He mentioned agreement on a definition for 
substantial combat forces and, linked with it, lower quota 
numbers for countries around the periphery of the CFE 
zone of implementation as being one way to proceed.  He 
reiterated that the flank issue is major for Russia, but 
Russia does not want to find a solution at the expense of 
the NATO Allies.  He said it was important to develop 
agreements which avoided delays and ambiguous 
interpretation.  In Ryabkov's view, there should be lower 
levels of arms for NATO countries, which had received a 
"bonus" through enlargement.  There should be an 
understanding of what was allowable in stationing forces. 
The flank restrictions were a problem.   The unanticipated 
participation of new NATO members such as the Baltics and 
others was making the situation very difficult.  The entry 
into force of the Adapted Treaty was a temporary solution 
or basis for further discussion, not a final resolution of 
the issue. 
 
27. (C) State VCI Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller said 
the sides had had many creative discussions and had found 
some common ground.  It was notable that the parallel 
actions package remained the agreed basis for discussions 
between Russia and NATO, but serious problems remained: 
1) continuing Russian failure to implement the CFE Treaty, 
which causes both political and legal difficulties for 
NATO countries, and 2) Russian insistence on changing the 
Adapted Treaty before it is ratified (i.e., discarding the 
so-called flank regime).  Gottemoeller commented that in 
recent bilateral discussions Russia and the United States 
had described some ideas that had common conceptual 
elements to them, such as trial implementation and 
provisional application.  Therefore, she judged that there 
was some basis to develop common ground between the two 
sides, as long as Russia was not insisting on conditions 
that the NATO Allies cannot agree to.  Ryabkov said Russia 
did not start out against the Treaty, but CFE was becoming 
increasingly unmanageable, especially because of NATO 
enlargement.  Russia's proposed moratorium was a way not 
to torpedo CFE but a mechanism to resolve this in a 
mutually acceptable way.  Russia wanted continued 
bilateral dialogue on this, as well as with other NATO 
Allies. 
 
28. (C) Ryabkov emphasized that Russia supported a 
solution to the CFE impasse based on parallel actions, but 
that Russia would no longer accept delays in ratification 
or double interpretations of commitments.  He outlined 
Russia's five areas of greatest concern that needed to be 
addressed in order to lift Russia's suspension and resume 
implementation: 
 
-- A lower level of armament limits for NATO countries to 
compensate for NATO enlargement. 
-- Stationing of troops in foreign countries. 
-- Abolition of the Flank restrictions. 
-- Participation of new NATO countries including the 
Baltic states. 
-- Entry into force
 of ACFE. 
 
29. (C) Ryabkov stressed that Russia would not consider 
individual elements of the treaty separately, or consider 
a trial entry into force of ACFE on this basis.  The 
solution was in parallel actions and Russia wanted an 
agreement with the United States on this, as well as with 
other NATO Allies. 
 
30. (C) A/S Gottemoeller confirmed U.S. willingness to 
continue bilateral dialogue and also to discuss CFE in a 
small group format when appropriate, to address both 
timing and substance.  She emphasized there was no attempt 
to limit discussions to bilateral format. 
 
START 
----- 
 
31. (C) Ryabkov said Russia was satisfied with the 
progress and dynamics of the negotiating process and noted 
work was progressing from discussion of the outlines of 
the follow-on Treaty to actual drafting.  Russia would try 
to have a fully formulated document by December 5.  The 
main provisions had been agreed but some difficulties on 
principles prevented resolution.  Ryabkov urged that at 
this point the parties should not simply take the easiest 
route and also should not try to put aside the most difficult 
issues until the final stages.  Time was short, and the 
future Treaty would require provisions on the 
interrelationship between strategic offensive and 
strategic defensive arms.  This was currently in the 
preamble but should be addressed in the body of the 
Treaty.  Second, there was a U.S. effort to exclude 
conventionally-armed ICBMs and SLBMs from the limitations 
of the Treaty, which, he claimed contravened the July 6 
Joint Understanding signed by Presidents Obama and 
Medvedev.  In addition, Ryabkov noted attempts to limit or 
place 
restrictions on mobile ICBMs produced in Russia; and 
imposition of a very rigid START-like monitoring system 
for Russian production facilities for new types of 
missiles.  Ryabkov argued that the sides could not delay 
resolution of these issues.  The delegations should 
discuss these issues in detail and resolve them. 
Ambassador Antonov concurred, noting the delegations were 
well-qualified to engage in such discussions and under 
clear presidential orders to try to conclude a Treaty by 
December 5.  Antonov pledged that his team would do all it 
could to work productively with the American side. 
 
32. (C) U/S Tauscher underlined the impressive 
qualifications of the team members on both sides.  A/S 
Gottemoeller cited good working group dynamics among the 
negotiators but noted the need to accelerate the pace of 
work to reach agreement by December 5.  The U.S. has 
agreed to accept Russia's more streamlined approach for a 
treaty with three tiers (the main treaty, protocol, and a 
detailed annex with procedures for inspectors or 
"inspection manual").  The Russian side has agreed to 
additional measures on verification and elimination 
measures proposed by the U.S. 
 
33. (C) A/S Gottemoeller then noted that there were 
important areas that remained problematic.  At the end of 
the last Geneva round both sides developed an agreed list 
of the ten outstanding priority issues for resolution. 
These included agreement on counting rules and on 
verification, where Russia proposed significantly lowering 
the number of inspections.  Another fundamental issue was 
exclusion of several important prohibitions, including the 
ban on telemetry encryption - first agreed in the SALT II 
Treaty in the late 1970s - an important part of 
U.S.-Russian mutual legacy on arms control.  Omission of 
such prohibitions could call into question whether the new 
treaty was, in fact, effective.  A/S Gottemoeller said the 
sides agreed that the next round would be decisive and 
should include a stocktaking which would determine whether 
 
talks were in the endgame or whether more time would be 
needed.   She noted that the U.S. team was now in place in 
Geneva for the duration of the negotiations. 
 
34. (C) U/S Tauscher said that following the 
stock-taking, the sides should compare notes about what 
more is needed.  She recommended aiming for agreement on 
the main Treaty elements by mid-November, to allow time 
for completion of drafting by December 5.  She also 
recommended starting to consider options for a signing 
ceremony, such as venue, timing, and format. 
 
35. (C) Ryabkov thanked the U.S. side for its very clear 
and precise ideas, which were useful and constructive. 
Russia was ready to be flexible, and Ryabkov suggested 
another meeting before December 5.  Speaking personally 
since there had been no consideration yet in Moscow of 
signing details, Ryabkov thought a signing ceremony in 
Geneva as the negotiating venue might be most 
appropriate. 
Beyrle

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09MOSCOW2693, GOR RESPONSE TO CHILD LABOR LISTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2693 2009-10-30 14:14 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4761
PP RUEHDBU RUEHHM RUEHJO RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSK RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2693 3031414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301414Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5238
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXI/LABOR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 002693 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, DRL 
DOL FOR BRUMFIELD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ELAB ECON EIND PGOV SOCI RS
SUBJECT: GOR RESPONSE TO CHILD LABOR LISTS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 92560 
 
1. (U) Per reftel, on September 9 Post delivered a demarche 
to Nikolai Smirnov, Deputy Director of the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs' 
North America Department, on the release of the Department of 
Labor's list of goods from countries that the Bureau of 
International Labor Affairs has reason to believe are 
produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of 
international standards; the proposed update to the 2001 list 
of products that might have been mined, produced, or 
manufactured by forced or indentured child labor; and the 
2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. 
 
2. (U) On October 23, we received the following written 
response from Smirnov: 
 
With regard to your letter from September 9 concerning the 
preliminary publication by the Department of Labor of the 
annual report on the use of forced labor and child labor in 
different countries and the inclusion of Russia on the list 
of such countries because of child pornography production, I 
would like to communicate the following information: 
 
In the Russian legal system, child pornography is not 
considered in terms of an economic category (in terms of a 
good), but is a result of criminally liable action.  The use 
of children to prepare pornographic products is not "child 
labor," that is, an allowed form of children's economic 
activity, but rather a crime against minors. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2690, U.S. EXPLORES ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2690 2009-10-30 12:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4644
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHMO #2690/01 3031227
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301227Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5233
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDC/NOAA WASHDC
RHFJBRQ/NSF POLAR WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 002690 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EUR/ACE, INL/AAE, OES/PCI, EUR/PGI, L/CA 
DOJ FOR OPDAT/NEWCOMBE AND ALEXANDRE 
DOJ ALSO FOR ENRD/MITCHELL AND WEBB 
AIDAC STATE FOR USAID/E&E 
INTERIOR FOR KIM MAGRAW 
INTERIOR PLEASE PASS TO NPS, FWS, AND USGS 
FWS FOR STEVE KOHL, JANET HOHN, GEOFF HASKETT 
NPS FOR SUE MASICA 
NOAA FOR RENEE TATUSKO 
OSTP FOR JOAN ROLF 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
 
TAGS: SENV KCRM KJUS PGOV PHUM PREL CH RS
 
SUBJECT: U.S. EXPLORES ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA 
 
REFS: A. MOSCOW 2366, B. Vladivostok 5 
 
MOSCOW 00002690  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Two conferences organized the week of October 2 
in Vladivostok and Moscow highlighted both the importance of and 
challenges to increasing U.S.-Russian cooperation on environmental 
crimes.  A 2007 prosecution of an Amcit for illegal hunting in 
Kamchatka failed in part because of DOJ's inability to obtain needed 
expert testimony from Russia refuting the defendant's claims that he 
was licensed to hunt the animals in question.  Environmental 
enforcement in Russia has taken on even greater significance for the 
U.S. as a result of 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act which 
criminalized, among other things, the importation, sale and 
distribution of plants and timber obtained in violation of foreign 
law.  Given the extent of illegal timber harvesting in the Russian 
Far East, the new legislation presents an opportunity for the U.S. 
to contribute to the protection of Russia's forests, which have been 
depleted by illegal logging.  However, successful prosecutions will 
require proving that the initial harvesting was illegal under 
Russian law, which will, in turn, require much more effective 
U.S.-Russian cooperation in the area of environmental enforcement. 
The conferences left the clear impression that Russia's enforcement 
program is plagued by staggering corruption and inefficiency.  A 
bright spot, though, was the positive experience of some Russian 
NGOs in cooperating with law enforcement.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (U) During the week of October 20, Post's Law Enforcement Section 
(LES), together with the World Wildlife Fund Russia (WWF) and the 
Vladivostok Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TRACC), 
organized a conference in Vladivostok on environmental crime and 
enforcement.  The conference was attended by approximately 60 
Russian participants, including law enforcement and government 
officials, NGO activists, academic experts and researchers and 
private lawyers.  U.S. participants included two prosecutors from 
DOJ's Environmental Crimes Section, a Special Agent from the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, an expert from the U.S. Forest Service, 
Vladivostok CG and Poleconoff, and both Embassy Resident Legal 
Advisors.  This was followed by a session in the Public Chamber in 
Moscow attended by representatives of various Russian NGOs and two 
representatives from the General Prosecutor's Office. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
Few Prosecutions Thanks to the "Ecomafia" at Work 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
3. (SBU) According to almost all the Russian experts at the 
Vladivostok conference, Russian environmental enforcement is 
hopelessly corrupt, and the future for Russia's forests and 
endangered species bleak.  According to research presented by 
Gennady Zherebkin, a former prosecutor now with WWF, between 2000 
and 2008 Russian law enforcement opened 5,618 criminal prosecutions 
against a total of 6,070 people for environmental violations. 
(Note: Illegal logging cases accounted for 4431, or 79 percent, of 
these.  Illegal fishing accounted for 15 percent, while illegal 
hunting accounted for another 3 percent.  End Note.)  While these 
numbers may appear significant, according to Zherebkin, the majority 
of the cases (62 percent) were terminated before trial, an 
astonishing figure given that opening a criminal case under Russian 
law requires substantial evidence and that investigators can suffer 
adverse consequences for failing to successfully complete a case 
once opened. 
 
4. (SBU) Moreover, according to Zherebkin and others, many of the 
cases that were sent to court were dismissed in court or resulted in 
minor sentences.  For example, Zherebkin mentioned one case of 
illegal whaling dismissed by the judge on the grounds that the crime 
was "insignificant" and said that such occurrences were common. 
 
MOSCOW 00002690  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
Another participant told us about a case involving a corrupt 
government inspector who was convicted and then sentenced to 
corrective labor at his job, an absurd result amounting to no 
sentence.  There seems to be little doubt that such poor enforcement 
is the result of organized crime and corru
ption.  As Professor 
Vitaliy Nomokonov, the head of the Vladivostok TRACC, told us, the 
high percentage of terminated cases shows "the mafia at work." 
Another expert from TRACC, Oleg Khrenkov, surveyed 100 environmental 
experts from the Russian Far East and found that 54 percent 
considered corruption to be the main reason for poor environmental 
enforcement in the Russian Far East. 
 
5. (SBU) Privately, Russian experts provided us with numerous 
examples illustrating these conclusions.  Several told us of honest 
environmental inspectors being threatened, killed, and having their 
houses burned down for pursuing cases.  Others told us of 
sophisticated counter-surveillance techniques used by criminals 
including employing lookouts to watch for timber inspectors and warn 
loggers so that they disperse ahead of the inspections.  One told us 
about how the fishing mafia uses GPS blocking systems to ensure that 
vessels involved in illegal fishing cannot be tracked by 
investigators.  Several told us that the illegal traffic in plants 
and wildlife is supported by high government officials, and two 
mentioned that the son of a Presidential Representative is one of 
those protecting the trade.  Others said that the corruption is so 
widespread that it is impossible to combat.  For example, one 
participant told us about a local official who, when informed that 
his inspectors were taking bribes from illegal loggers, addressed 
the problem by forbidding the inspectors from having any contact 
with the loggers and to simply let them pass without any 
inspection. 
 
6. (SBU) In addition to corruption, the conference highlighted other 
enforcement problems.  For example, 71 percent of the experts 
surveyed by Khrenkov identified "insufficient legal and 
material-technical support" as the main cause of poor environmental 
enforcement.  Specific problems include: the lack of an adequate log 
tracking system, making it impossible for inspectors to determine 
whether timber has come from a protected or an unprotected area; 
overlapping and conflicting responsibilities of different 
enforcement agencies; constant administrative reorganizations, 
resulting in a lack of institutional knowledge; a collective "brain 
drain"; poorly drafted and inadequate regulations; low salaries for 
enforcement officials; and lack of equipment and training for law 
enforcement agencies. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
NGO Cooperation with Law Enforcement A Bright Spot 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
7. (SBU) However, there were some bright spots.  For example, 
several NGO representatives said that they had been able to work 
successfully with some law enforcement officials.  Zherebkin said 
that when WWF investigators compiled evidence of illegal logging and 
hunting, presented it to law enforcement officials, and followed the 
cases through the legal system, they had been able to ensure 
successful prosecutions.  Another WWF official told us of successful 
training programs conducted by WWF for fishing and hunting 
inspectors, though he noted that the forest inspectors are too 
corrupt and will not even attend joint conferences without being 
bribed to do so. 
 
------------------------- 
Public Chamber Roundtable 
------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) The Vladivostok program was followed by a roundtable at the 
Public Chamber on October 23 attended by a variety of Russian 
experts, NGO representatives, and two representatives of the General 
 
MOSCOW 00002690  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
Procuracy.  The picture that emerged was largely similar to that 
presented in Vladivostok.  Russia Greenpeace director Ivan Blokov 
said that the logging enforcement situation is even worse than 
indicated by Zherebkin's statistics and pointed out that virtually 
all timber exports are technically illegal absent regional forest 
plans and regulations, which can be adopted only after appropriate 
environmental impact studies, which have not been conducted in most 
relevant regions.  U.S. experts then presented a series of specific 
recommendations, including developing environmental whistleblower 
statutes and an environmental crimes hotline and improving legal 
mechanisms for bringing civil actions independent of criminal cases. 
 These were received with great interest and have already been 
distributed to appropriate Russian contacts. 
 
9. (SBU) Comment: While the general picture is bleak, the newly 
formed Bilateral Presidential Commission's Environmental Working 
Group and the Lacey Act amendments provide an opportunity to draw 
increased international attention to environmental protection in 
Russia.  Moreover, the positive experience of WWF suggests that U.S. 
support for such programs is worthwhile and should be continued. 
Continued support for USAID-funded U.S. Forest Service programs 
focused on developing a log tracking system is essential if Russia 
is to be a partner in Lacey Act enforcement.  Given that timber 
harvested illegally in the Russian Far East typically passes through 
China on its way to the U.S., effective Lacey Act enforcement will 
require close operational cooperation between U.S., Russian and 
Chinese law enforcement.  One possible next step is to explore the 
possibility of forming a trilateral law enforcement working group. 
Given the extent of law enforcement corruption, supporting the 
efforts of private attorneys to bring environmental suits also 
appears worthwhile, and Post will explore the possibility of a 
seminar on private environmental litigation. 
 
10. (SBU) Comment, continued: A third option is to explore further 
diplomatic efforts to follow up on the St. Petersburg Ministerial 
Declaration made during the 2005 Europe and North Asia Forest Law 
Enforcement and Governance conference (ENA FLEG), in which 44 
governments, including Russia and the United States, expressed their 
intent to take action to improve forest governance and combat 
illegal logging and associated forest crimes.  The Declaration 
included an Indicative List of Actions to implement the declaration 
and called for a second Ministerial within five years to assess 
progress and decide on further actions.  The Indicative List 
includes national-level actions, including on policy framework, 
legislation systems, institutions, sustainable forest management, 
and rural development, as well as international initiatives, such as 
forest-related policies, trade and customs, and collaborative 
implementation. 
 
11. (U) Post expresses its gratitude to Consulate General 
Vladivostok, DOJ/ECS, USFWS, and USFS for their outstanding 
participation in this program.  Vladivostok CG Tom Armbruster 
cleared this cable. 
 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2688, IS STALIN’S GHOST A THREAT TO ACADEMIC FREEDOM?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2688 2009-10-30 11:53 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4612
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2688/01 3031153
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 301153Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5229
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 002688 

SIPDIS 

EO 12958 DECL: 10/26/2019 
TAGS PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, RS 
SUBJECT: IS STALIN’S GHOST A THREAT TO ACADEMIC FREEDOM? 

REF: A) MOSCOW 2586 B) MOSCOW 1349

Classified By: Pol Min Counselor Susan Elliott for reason 1.4 (d)

1. (C) Summary: Efforts to sanitize Stalin’s role in Soviet history may be potentially damaging to academic freedom and linked to GOR efforts to increase authoritarian rule. Although some recent incidents have caused concern among human rights monitors, thus far GOR efforts to enlist academics to help oppose “falsification of history” have not been strongly enforced. GOR rhetoric on the subject appears largely aimed at scoring political points in arguments with foreign countries. End Summary.

Stalin’s ghost haunts the Metro
------------------------------- 

2. (SBU) The specter of Joseph Stalin continues to haunt post-Soviet Russia, as the GOR and average Russians alike struggle to reconcile their pride in past Soviet glories with the harsh fact that the Soviet system, especially under Stalin, destroyed the lives of millions of its citizens. This uneasy and ambivalent relationship with the past is further complicated by a GOR policy of occasionally exploiting nationalistic emotions about Soviet history -- especially the Soviet victory over the Nazis -- to buttress support for its own, modern brand of authoritarianism (ref A). The latest dispute flared up after Moscow City Hall announced on October 27 that it would add Lenin’s name to artwork in the Kurskaya Metro station which, since August, has carried a restored verse from the 1944 version of the Soviet anthem praising Stalin. Moscow’s chief architect, Aleksandr Kuzmin, told local media that he wanted to “return Kurskaya to its original appearance,” which would include a monument to Stalin. An article in the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, a paper not always known for liberal opposition, noted wryly that if the goal was to return things to their original appearance, it might be necessary to blanket the entire city with Stalin’s image, as authorities had done during the height of Stalin’s totalitarian reign of terror. Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov told Interfax October 28 that the city had no intention of placing a Stalin statue in the Metro, and the Moscow Patriarchate criticized the idea of “Stalinist symbols” in the Metro, calling it “divisive.”

Academic freedom under threat?
------------------------------ 

3. (C) GOR efforts to sanitize Soviet history have continued throughout the year, and have the potential to reach into numerous walks of life and hence to encroach upon academic freedom. In May, the Kremlin announced that it had formed a “Commission to Oppose Historical Falsification,” and its state Duma supporters introduced legislation to defend Russia’s honor in any discussion of World War II and the subsequent creation of the Soviet Union (ref B). Less than a month later, in June, XXXXXXXXXXXX leaked to us an email allegedly from V.A. Tishkov, the Chief of the History Section of RAN, politely “requesting” all faculty to present him with information in connection with the GOR’s May announcement. The information requested included a list of sources of possible “falsification” in their field of study, and information about activity among their students promoting the spread of “falsification” or of “concepts damaging to Russia’s interests.” More recently, on October 14, the Moscow Times reported that the German government had written a letter to President Medvedev complaining about an investigation into an Arkhangelsk historian, Mikhail Suprun, for “violating privacy rights” by researching deportations of Soviet Germans under Stalin. The police official who gave Suprun access to the archives is also accused of “abuse of office,” while Suprun could receive up to four years in prison, and has had what he called “a lifetime’s work” on computers and research data confiscated by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX told us that she personally knew professors at academic institutions in Moscow who had received such memos during the summer, including memos asking them to “identify falsifiers.” She added that the Foreign Intelligence Service also has a presence at RAN. Discussing this potentially disturbing trend, XXXXXXXXXXXX also alluded to the “unpleasant rewrites” found in officially sanctioned textbooks which whitewash Stalin’s role in the country’s history. While acknowledging the existence of “a broad variety” of history books (approximately 24 schoolbooks on history are available in bookstores), XXXXXXXXXXXX noted that the official version outnumbers the others by 250,000 books to approximately 10-15,000. Furthermore, in Russia as in the U.S., parents do not buy their children’s history books, but rather the schools order them, which XXXXXXXXXXXX said makes the
MOSCOW 00002688 002 OF 003
choice “pre-determined.” On October 24, the liberal Daily Journal reported the release of the latest in a long line of history textbooks rehabilitating Stalin; this one, ironically produced by the “Enlightenment” publishing company, denies the existence of totalitarianism in the USSR. The article noted that every time someone brings up the topic of history, it engendered a furious on-line debate.

6. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX told us that a “virtual war” has flared up between pro-Kremlin and anti-Kremlin bloggers every time someone published papers on the Internet that they received from state archives 15 years ago detailing Soviet human rights abuses. The papers date back 15 years, XXXXXXXXXXXX explained, because now, “as in Soviet times,” people need to complete special applications to receive permission to read such documents. A brief window opened after the fall of the So
viet Union, and just as quickly closed again.

The past is not dead; it is not even past
----------------------------------------- 

7. (C) For XXXXXXXXXXXX, such debates tell as much about the present as they do about the past. He believes that the GOR is “trying to create a newly obedient society,” which “as in Orwell,” only knows history from a standpoint beneficial to the authorities. According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, “when the power structure talks about falsification, they are simply attempting to hide part of history.” He added that knowledge of the real history carries significant power. He was struck by the “shock” of people who learned historical facts, because “sometimes just one fact can overturn a person’s whole world view.” For example, XXXXXXXXXXXX daughter, who studied in the USSR and teaches history in high school, upon learning that XXXXXXXXXXXX grandfather had been killed in the 1937 purges, talked of little else for several years afterward. According to XXXXXXXXXXX, “the Kremlin fears people learning about past atrocities and crimes,” and hence “tries to manipulate people’s consciousness.” XXXXXXXXXXX added that he understands the GOR’s policy, because “if people knew the extent of Soviet crimes,” the Kremlin would not be able to control the populace. XXXXXXXXXXXX expressed a similar view, saying that the GOR prefers to present itself as “infallible, making only correct decisions,” and that discussions about Stalin’s misdeeds might lead to unwanted questions for today’s government.

8. (C) XXXXXXXXXXX said he suspected that at least some of the pro-Kremlin bloggers who participate in these historical debates were professionals in the pay of the GOR (and perhaps special services). This notion may not be so far-fetched. On October 21, Interfax reported that a supposedly private citizen named Mikhail Baranov had launched an Internet portal called “Runivers” to fight “falsification of history” by creating a historical and cultural electronic encyclopedia and library. The article describes Baranov’s organization as “non-commercial,” and does not indicate from where -- during these economically tight times -- it receives its funding. However, a State Duma deputy who is a member of the Runivers board, Vladimir Medinskiy, lamented to Interfax that “Russia does not have an institution that would be dealing in historical propaganda, which is why we are losing in the war aimed to falsify Russian history.”

A “wink” is the easiest response to GOR directives
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

9. (C) The fact that Russia currently lacks such a “historical propaganda” institution has thus far prevented any widespread attacks on academic freedom in the name of “anti-falsification.” XXXXXXXXXXXX, told us October 27 that he had heard no reports from any of his MGU colleagues of any pressure on them to present teaching materials or name names in order to ferret out “falsification.” He attributed this at least in part to the fact that, in contrast to neighboring Belarus, Russia has no Ideological Department which examines all teaching materials in schools and universities. XXXXXXXXXXXX also cautioned against leaping to Orwellian conclusions, reminding us not to “underestimate the cynicism” involved in administrative requests like the one at RAN. “Everyone knows how to take such requests,” she said; the request from the government is “ugly,” but unlike in Soviet times, when professors all depended upon the government for their currently there is no way to enforce such decrees. As a result, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX, “people wink”; the administrators, while passing along the government’s request, make it clear to their subordinates that they themselves do not support it. XXXXXXXXXXXX pointed out that many historians may be outraged at the government’s heavy-handedness and its “real falsification of history,” but they don’t see themselves as a unified force.
MOSCOW 00002688 003 OF 003
The simplest response is to use the power of inertia, and to stonewall passively.

Goal of GOR rhetoric: score political points at home
--------------------------------------------- ------- 

10. (C) For the GOR’s part, it held a session of its Commission during the summer, and its director claimed that participants were “not here to censor, but simply to oppose” perceived attempts by other countries to gain at Russia’s expense on the geopolitical scene. Although the stated focus is on international disputes, the GOR’s primary audience for its hardline stance is domestic. Rhetoric defending Russia’s honor on the international stage scores easy political points for the GOR at home. (Note: This occasionally results in some fancy footwork, as when Putin visited Poland on the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and wrote a conciliatory article for his Polish audience, which -- according to Lipman, by GOR design -- received scant coverage in Russian media. End Note.) As XXXXXXXXXXXX said, “there is a lot of vagueness about the past, but World War II is the one thing everyone in Russia accepts, both liberal and conservative; the narrative is that Germany attacked, and we won.” That Stalin continues to have a following, 56 years after his death, is undeniable. After Aleksandr Prokhanov, editor-in-chief of the ultranationalist paper Zavtra, praised Stalin on the “Honest Monday” political talk show on Gazprom-owned NTV, television audience members were invited to phone in their opinions. Of those who participated, 61 percent called Stalin a hero, 32 percent an enemy, and 7 percent “a great, effective manager.”

Comment
------- 

11. (C) Recent reports of the death of academic freedom in Russia are greatly exaggerated. GOR leaders have shown that they are willing to adopt nationalistic postures when it buttresses their popular support, but attempts to dictate academic terms thus far appear half-hearted. The GOR is no doubt telling the truth when it claims to place greater focus on external quarrels about its past than on domestic debates.  It is undeniable that nationalists continue to link Russia’s past greatness with its past political system, which showed disdain for the value of individual human life and for freedom of expression, and that this approach places these fundamental freedoms under threat. However, there remain enough Russians both in and out of the government who question the nationalists’ logic and strive to keep the memory of Stalin’s victims alive. In the meantime, the GOR occasionally remembers to name a street after Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn just to make sure that nobody confuses them with the Soviets. When discussing this issue, Russians frequently refer to the poet Anna Akhmatova, who, when Khrushchev opened the doors to Stalin’s prisons, wrote that the half of Russia who had imprisoned the other half would now come face to face with its victims. Since according to a recent Levada poll, 27 percent of current Russians have relatives who perished under Stalin’s rule, that “other half” is not going away any time soon. Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2687, SUDAN STRATEGY ROLLOUT DEMARCHE DELIVERED

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2687 2009-10-30 10:42 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2687 3031042
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301042Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5228
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM IMMEDIATE 0014

UNCLAS MOSCOW 002687 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR S/USSES 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SU RS
SUBJECT: SUDAN STRATEGY ROLLOUT DEMARCHE DELIVERED 
 
REF: STATE 109669 
 
(SBU)  We delivered reftel demarche to MFA Action Sudan Desk 
Chief Igor Belyaev on Thursday October 29 2009.  Belyaev had 
no substantive comment. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2686, IRF REACTIONS: MFA GETS NASTY, ROC NICE

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If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09MOSCOW2686.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2686 2009-10-29 14:44 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO3584
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2686/01 3021444
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 291444Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5226
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002686 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM RS
SUBJECT: IRF REACTIONS: MFA GETS NASTY, ROC NICE 
 
REF: A) MOSCOW 2338 B) STATE 108921 
 
Classified By: DCM Eric Rubin; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C)  Reactions to the 2009 International Religious Freedom 
Report (IRF) varied among official entities, indicating that 
not all of Russian officialdom had compared talking points 
before hitting the airwaves.  In a scathing communique, the 
MFA sneered that "it seems that the authors decided not to 
bother themselves with releasing updated information."  The 
MFA statement went on to call the IRF "a politically biased 
document distorting facts," which "deliberately 
misrepresents" the GOR's stellar record protecting religious 
freedom.  Russia pursues its policy of protecting this 
freedom, the MFA huffed, "not in order to win the U.S. 
Department of State's approval," but simply because it is the 
right thing to do.  Since other countries may not be familiar 
with Russia's long tradition of inter-faith harmony, the MFA 
kindly offered to "try to help them" understand. 
 
2. (C) As an example of Russia's protection of religious 
rights, the MFA statement alluded to the GOR's recent 
resolution in the UN's Human Rights Council defending 
"traditional values," and chided the U.S. for not supporting 
the resolution, which passed over U.S. objections.  We 
conveyed U.S. concerns to Andrey Lanchikov of the MFA's 
Department for Human Rights and Humanitarian Cooperation in 
July when Russia first brought up the "traditional values" 
resolution (ref A).  Referring to the IRF on October 29, 
Lanchikov told us that "of course, we are open to criticism," 
but that such reports "give the impression that the U.S. 
wants to teach Russia" about religious freedom, which he saw 
as counterproductive.  He added that he saw continued 
dialogue, in a less public context, as productive. 
 
3. (C) The MFA statement, however, was the only jarring note 
in among official responses.  The Interfax news agency, under 
the October 28 headline, "Russian Government Promotes 
Religious Freedom in Russia -- U.S. Department of State," led 
with the statement that "the U.S. Department of State has 
given high marks to the role of the Patriarch of Moscow and 
All Russia in ensuring religious freedom in Russia."  Public 
Chamber member Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synodal 
department of relations between the Russian Orthodox Church 
(ROC) and society, told Interfax on October 28 that "for 
several years in a row now, one may see progress" in the 
Report, which increasingly "describes quite accurately the 
situation in Russia," both as regards the legal system of 
relations between the state and religious associations, and 
the structures that exist to maintain a dialogue between the 
state and religious communities.  In a conversation with us 
on October 29, ROC External Affairs Deputy head Father Filip 
Ryabykh defended Russia's policy -- criticized in the report 
-- of marginalizing certain minority religions, saying that 
"a state cannot help but react," in a measured way, to 
possible negative influences on young people, and noting that 
other European countries have pursued similar initiatives. 
Ryabykh added that the ROC is willing to work with any U.S. 
initiative promoted "in a spirit of brotherhood." 
 
4. (C) As one might expect, minority religious 
representatives praised the report, as did organizations that 
frequently criticize the GOR's record on religious freedom. 
For example, the Slavic Center for Law and Justice (SCLJ) 
issued a press release which quoted extensively from the IRF 
and took a number of potshots at Alexander Dvorkin, expert on 
"cults" and head of the GOR-created Russian Association of 
Religious and Cultic Studies Centers, which has spearheaded 
the campaign against non-traditional religious groups. 
Anatoliy Pchelinstev, who runs the SCLJ, told us that he 
found the IRF "thorough and accurate."  Gleb Yakunin, who 
runs the religious freedom portal credo.ru, told PolOff that 
he saw the report as "an encouraging sign" that "the reset 
has not changed U.S. policy."  Yaroslav Sivulsky of the 
Jehovah's Witnesses thanked us for our support of their 
rights, and asked us to keep up the pressure on the GOR. 
Media liberals also gave the report a positive evaluation; 
for example, the October 29 edition of the moderately liberal 
daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta editorialized, "The Americans have 
become more objective in their assessment of religious 
freedom in Russia." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
5. (C) The reference in the MFA statement to the "traditional 
values" resolution is telling.  Many observers both inside 
and outside of Russia continue to believe that, under the 
guise of protecting the Russia's "traditional values," the 
GOR is engaged in a campaign to deny the rights of those who 
deviate from "traditional values," including religious 
minorities.  Notwithstanding the MFA's complaint about the 
 
MOSCOW 00002686  002 OF 002 
 
 
Report's redundancy, most of the updated information in the 
Report concerns disturbing new developments, such as the 
creation of Dvorkin's commission against "cults," and the 
escalation of G
OR attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses.  We will 
use upcoming meetings at the MFA to discuss these issues in 
more detail, and to bring the dialogue to a more useful level 
than that found in the MFA communique. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2658, START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, MOSCOW (SFO-MOSCOW):

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2658 2009-10-27 14:53 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #2658/01 3001453
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 271453Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5213
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA IMMEDIATE 0343
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0386
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 6864
RHMFISS/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 5422
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/VCJCS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUESDT/DTRA-OSES DARMSTADT GE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CNO WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RULSDSA/DIRSSP WASHDC IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T MOSCOW 002658 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR T, VCI AND EUR/PRA 
DOE FOR NNSA/NA-24 
CIA FOR WINPAC 
JCS FOR J5/DDGSA 
SECDEF FOR OSD(P)/STRATCAP 
NAVY FOR CNO-N5JA AND DIRSSP 
AIRFORCE FOR HQ USAF/ASX AND ASXP 
DTRA FOR OP-OS OP-OSA AND DIRECTOR 
NSC FOR LOOK 
DIA FOR LEA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2019 
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, MOSCOW (SFO-MOSCOW): 
(U) DISCUSSIONS, OCTOBER 12-14, 2009 
 
Classified By: A/S Rose E. Gottemoeller, United States START Negotiator 
.  Reasons:  1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (U) This is SFO-MOS-004. 
 
2.  (U) Meeting Dates:  October 12 and 14, 2009 
                Times:  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.; 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. 
                Place: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Osobnyak, 
Moscow 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
3.  (S) During two receptions - October 12 and October 14 - 
members of the U.S. and Russian delegations to the START 
Follow-on Negotiations held informal conversations on missile 
defense, conventionally armed missiles, and unanswered 
Russian concerns in the START Follow-on negotiations.  End 
Summary 
 
--------------- 
Missile Defense 
--------------- 
 
4.  (S) During the reception on October 12 at the MFA 
Osobnyak, Vladimir Yermakov of the MFA said to U.S. SFO 
delegation member Trout that President Obama provided a very 
clever way to continue to do what the previous administration 
wanted to do - that is putting a missile defense system into 
Poland.  This plan provides the United States the ability to 
put more missile defense capability into Poland than 
previously planned at a time, only a little later than the 
Bush administration had scheduled.  This new flexible, 
adaptive, and phased approach is another way to cover up the 
fact that the U.S. continues to expand its global missile 
defense systems.  That is why Russia needs to have clauses in 
the START Follow-on treaty about the expansion of U.S. 
missile defense and the relationship between offensive and 
defense strategic forces. 
 
------------------------------------ 
Conventionally-armed ICBMs and SLBMs 
------------------------------------ 
 
5.  (S)  While discussing conventionally armed ICBMs and 
SLBMs, Yermakov said to Trout that Russia would never accept 
JDEC as long as the U.S. insisted on having conventional 
warheads on its ICBMs and SLBMs.  JDEC would seem to imply 
that Russia accepted the U.S. proposal that the U.S. would 
notify Russia prior to or simultaneous with the launch of a 
conventionally armed ICBM or SLBM.  Yermakov initially said 
Russia would never accept non-nuclear armed ICBMs or SLBMs. 
When asked was there any circumstance that Russia would 
accept non-nuclear armed ICBMs or SLBMs, Yermakov said that 
if non-nuclear ICBMs and SLBMs were limited to only a few 
missiles, than Russia could consider that approach. 
 
6.  (S)  Sergey Luchaninov of the Federal Security Service 
asked U.S. SFO delegation legal adviser Brown during the 
reception on October 14 at the at the MFA Osobnyak whether 
the U.S. side had understood Antonov's point concerning the 
proliferation implications of long-range missiles, based on 
 
the U.S. position that non-nuclear-armed ICBMs and SLBMs 
would not count under the START Follow-on Treaty.  He claimed 
that this would be perceived by the NAM as contributing to 
the arms race between the United States and Russia, and would 
encourage other countries to develop such systems. 
 
------------------------------------ 
Russian concerns not being addressed 
------------------------------------ 
 
7.  (S)  Yermakov said to Trout that Russia felt like it had 
provided the U.S. with its concerns but the U.S. was not 
responding to those concerns.  In particular, President 
Medvedev had said the U.S. had to leave Votkinsk, but the 
U.S. has continued to insist on staying at the facility. 
 
8.  (U) Gottemoeller sends. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2653, MURDERED INGUSHETIYA OPPOSITIONIST BURIED AS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2653 2009-10-27 04:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0785
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2653/01 3000449
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 270449Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5207
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002653 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR KDEM RS
SUBJECT: MURDERED INGUSHETIYA OPPOSITIONIST BURIED AS 
FINGERS POINT AT CAMP OF FORMER PRESIDENT 
 
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Susan Elliott; reason 1.4 ( 
d) 
 
 
1.  (SBU)  Former Ingushetiya oppositionist Maksharip Aushev 
was buried October 26 according to strict Muslim practice, 
one day after he died in a hail of gunfire October 25 while 
driving near Nalchik, the capital of the northern Caucasian 
republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.  Ingushetiya president 
Yunus-Bek Yevkurov offered his condolences to Aushev's family 
and called his murder "a heinous crime intended to 
destabilize the region."  Rumors have begun to swirl about 
Aushev's murder, with his associates calling it a "political 
murder" while the Russian government blamed it possibly on 
his "commercial activities" and "relations with criminal 
elements."  Human rights activists have concluded that 
Aushev's murder is further proof of the dangerous nature of 
their work in the volatile North Caucasus and questioned 
Yevkurov's ability to bring peace to the troubled region. 
End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) Former Ingushetiya opposition leader Maksharip 
Aushev died October 25 in Kabardino-Balkaria after unknown 
assailants fired more than 60 bullets into the car he was 
driving.  A female cousin of Aushev's riding in the car also 
received life-threatening wounds and was taken to a local 
hospital.  Aushev, a businessman, first became involved in 
human rights work in Ingushetiya in September 2007 when his 
son and nephew were taken into custody as suspected 
insurgents.  Aushev organized a mass demonstration and the 
two were released.  Aushev continued his opposition to then 
Ingushetiya president Murat Zyazikov, and after the August 
2008 murder of fellow oppositionist and founder of 
"ingushetiya.ru" website Magomed Yevloyev while in police 
custody, Aushev took over the opposition website.  After 
Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev replaced Zyazikov with 
Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Aushev ceased his opposition activities, 
gave up his work with the website which became for all 
intents and purposes pro-government, and became a close 
advisor to Yevkurov.  He also became a member of the Council 
of Experts of Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin. 
 
3.  (C) Different versions of the cause of Aushev's murder 
have begun to surface.  Ingushetiya's current opposition 
leader Magomed Khazbiyev told reporters that the blame for 
Aushev's murder lies with the republic's current leadership, 
noting that on September 17 there was a previous attempt to 
kidnap Aushev by masked men in an heavily armored law 
enforcement vehicle shortly after he left a meeting in the 
capital of Magas with the head of the republic's security 
committee.  Khazbiyev's associate Musa Pliyev told us October 
26 that although this was a "political murder," the 
government has advanced five possible explanations, none of 
which are related to his work as a human rights defender or 
opposition leader.  (Note:  Pliyev had traveled to Turkey 
with Aushev upon the advice of friends in September after the 
September 17 kidnap attempt, flying there via Nalchik, but 
returned to Russia after only two weeks.  End Note).  A 
representative of the Investigation Committee of the Russian 
Federal Prosecutor's Office told reporters that Aushev's 
murder could have been connected with his business activities 
or his relations with criminal elements or even people 
involved with demonstrations orchestrated by Aushev in 2007 
and 2008 to protest illegal detentions.  For their part, law 
enforcement officials in Kabardino-Balkaria stated that 
although the murder took place in their republic, Aushev was 
not well-known there and the search for his assailants should 
focus on Ingushetiya. 
 
4.  (C) Commentator Yuliya Latynina believes that Ruslanbek 
Zyazikov, former President Zyazikov's cousin and the head of 
his security is responsible for Aushev's murder.  She pointed 
out that although he became a confidant of Yevkurov's, Aushev 
still had an axe to grind with Zyazikov, who took up a job 
with the Federal Security Service in Moscow after his ouster 
as president of Ingushetiya.  In an article that appeared on 
a Russian internet news site, Latynina stated that in his 
role advising Yevkurov, Aushev had acted as an intermediary 
between the Ingush president and a leading member of the 
insurgency in the republic concerning a possible amnesty for 
insurgents operating there.  According to Latynina, the 
negotiations were not successful, but law enforcement 
officers were able to track members of the insurgency and 
shortly thereafter killed them.  Soon thereafter, Yevkurov 
was almost killed as the result of a suicide bomber that 
exploded a car laden with explosives next to his armored 
vehicle.  (Note:  The Kommersant daily's lead North Caucasus 
correspondent Musa Muradov had alluded to us about secret 
negotiations between Ingushetiya's president and members of 
 
MOSCOW 00002653  002 OF 002 
 
 
the insurgent shortly before the suicide attack on Yevkurov, 
but without mentioning Aushev's role.  If tr
ue, this might be 
another possible reason for his murder.  End Note). 
 
5.  (C) Human rights activists in Moscow are reeling from the 
loss of yet another of their own in the North Caucasus, 
equating Aushev's murder to that in neighboring Chechnya of 
Memorial's Nataliya Estemirova in July 2009 and charity 
worker Sarema Sadulayeva and her husband one month later. 
Human Rights Watch Moscow deputy director Tanya Lokshina 
stated that the killing shows the level of impunity with 
which those who wish to human rights activists and 
representatives of civil society operate in the North 
Caucasus.  Memorial's Aleksandr Cherkasov was more strident, 
stating that Aushev's murder shows that the government in 
Ingushetiya is not capable of providing for the safety of its 
citizens. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6.  (C) Whatever the motive behind Aushev's murder, his death 
casts a further pall on Yevkurov's efforts to bring 
Ingushetiya back from the brink.  If calls of the current 
opposition to Yevkurov gain traction, we could see the 
republic step back to the violent public demonstrations that 
marred Zyazikov's last year in office. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2652, RUSSIAN FEDERAL CUSTOMS SERVICE DROPS LAWSUIT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2652 2009-10-26 14:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0110
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #2652/01 2991447
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261447Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5205
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002652 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DOJ FOR OIA(BURKE), OCRS (OHR) 
NSC FOR SOLOMON 
TREASURY FOR TORGERSON/WRIGHT 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2119 
TAGS: ECON EFIN EINV RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN FEDERAL CUSTOMS SERVICE DROPS LAWSUIT 
AGAINST BANK OF NEW YORK 
 
Classified By: ECONOMIC MINISTER COUNSELOR MATTHIAS MITMAN FOR REASONS 
1.4 (b/d) 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: The Federal Customs Service of the Russian 
Federation announced on October 22 that it had dropped its 
USD 22.5 billion RICO lawsuit against the Bank of New York 
Mellon (BONY), filed in the Moscow City Arbitration Court, in 
exchange for BONY paying USD 14 million to Russia to cover 
legal costs.  Though claiming it is unconnected to the 
settlement, BONY is offering a loan facility to Russian state 
banks of USD 4 billion over 4 years, supposedly at commercial 
rather than subsidized rates.  Like BONY, the Russian 
Ministry of Finance denies that the loan is related to the 
settlement.  End Summary. 
 
Background 
---------- 
2. (U) From 1996-1999, a Bank of New York Mellon (BONY) 
employee participated in illegal banking operations, 
including helping Russians illegally transfer USD 7.5 billion 
out of Russia through BONY accounts.  In 2005 BONY signed a 
non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for 
the Southern District of New York to resolve related claims, 
with BONY agreeing to pay the USG USD 14 million.  In May 
2007, asserting that BONY had admitted criminal liability in 
this 2005 agreement, the Federal Customs Service (FCS) of the 
Russian Federation brought a claim in the Moscow City 
Arbitration Court for USD 22.5 billion under the U.S. RICO 
statute.  In July 2008, FCS received a letter from the US 
Attorney's Office explaining the non-prosecution agreement of 
2005 and confirming that BONY had not been charged with any 
related criminal violation.  In September 2009, REA Novosti 
reported that Russian Minister of Finance Kudrin told the 
press that FCS did not have enough evidence to prove the 
guilt of BONY. 
Settled At Last 
--------------- 
3. (U) On October 22, FCS withdrew its claim against BONY in 
the Moscow City Arbitration Court.  In their joint press 
release the same day, BONY and FCS announced that they had 
reached an out-of-court settlement agreement in which BONY 
agreed to pay USD 14 million for FCS's legal costs, an amount 
equal to BONY's settlement with the United States Department 
of Justice.  Head of FCS Andrey Belyaninov stated in the 
press release, "This case is an example of the increased 
vigilance of the Russia Federation in international financial 
markets.  The fact that the Russian court scrutinized this 
case and the fact that the dispute was finally settled by an 
agreement between the parties also demonstrated the 
efficiency and independence of Russian courts." 
 
4. (C) While the joint press release made no mention of it, a 
package of new loans BONY plans to offer to Russian state 
banks is widely believed to be an informal part of the 
settlement.  Earlier press reports stated that this renewable 
loan facility would consist of a USD 400 million tranche 
every 180 days, totaling USD four billion over five years. 
This facility would be at commercial rates of LIBOR plus 
2.5%.  According to an October 23 article in Russian daily 
Kommersant, however, the facility will be half a billion USD 
every 180 days, reaching the same USD four billion in only 
four years. 
 
5. (C) Stanislav Puginskiy, a partner in a law firm 
representing the bank, stated that BONY's decision to offer 
this loan facility was not related to the court case, but was 
rather a political decision by BONY, whose strategy is to 
develop financial relations with Russia.  An advisor to 
Finance Minister Kudrin told us that this loan not only was 
unrelated to the lawsuit, but also had nothing to do with the 
GOR.  Bank analysts agree that such a credit line would be 
beneficial both to GOR and BONY, regardless of the lawsuit. 
 
Comment 
------- 
6. (C) While both sides deny, the USD four billion loan 
package from BONY to Russian state banks appears at least 
informally to be part of the out-of-court settlement reached 
with the GOR.  While the BONY loans are ostensibly at 
commercial rates, the loan terms and the recipients remain to 
be seen.  The loan package benefits both parties.  For BONY, 
this is a way to resolve a thorny legal issue and to get back 
 
MOSCOW 00002652  002 OF 002 
 
 
into the Russian market.  The loan will provide the GOR, 
faced with budget deficits and the need to raise about USD 20 
billion for each of the next two years, greater support for 
their state banks.  End Comment. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW2651, VOLGOGRAD: STING OF FINANCIAL CRISIS SOFTENED BY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2651 2009-10-26 14:32 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
Appears in these articles:
http://rusrep.ru/article/2011/01/11/volgograd/

VZCZCXRO0077
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2651/01 2991432
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261432Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5201
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 002651 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2019 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PREL PHUM PINR KCOR RS
SUBJECT: VOLGOGRAD: STING OF FINANCIAL CRISIS SOFTENED BY 
DECADES OF ECONOMIC DECLINE 
 
REF: 08 MOSCOW ...

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 002651 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2019 TAGS: PGOV KDEM PREL PHUM PINR KCOR RS
Governor: Fourth Term may be a Bridge Too Far
2. (C) Volgograd Governor Nikolay Maksyuta is waiting to hear Moscow's decision, expected on October 22, about his political future. With his third term expiring on January 22, 2009, Russian law mandates that the post's future occupant be selected three months in advance (Note: The deadline for selection has passed with no news reports of a decision. End note.). Eager to curry favor with the Kremlin and win a third term he had twice delayed the opening of a new bridge, 15 years in the making, over the Volga River in the hopes of attracting Putin or Medvedev to the ceremony. The bridge was finally opened on October 10, one day before elections when the streets and riverfront were covered with United Russia banners allowing ample photo-ops. The only other bridge crosses the dam of a petroleum refining plant and requires a 15km drive North of the city and back. Residents have been justifiably frustrated by months of delay in opening a bridge that was clearly completed in order to curry political favor and maximize publicity.
3. (SBU) A Nezavisimaya Gazeta article on October 5 quoted Kremlin insiders stating that Maksyuta's chances of keeping his post are slim. While none of our interlocutors in Volgograd were willing to suggest potential replacements, Nezavisimaya Gazetta reviewed the four top candidates. State Duma Deputy Yuriy Isayev has until recently served as an advisor to Federal Security Service (FSB) Deputy Director Sergei Pronichev and has strong support from the siloviki in Moscow. Former Agrarian Party Leader Vladimir Plotnikov is reportedly supported by members of Maksyuta's team associated with agriculture. Current Vice Governor of Volgograd Region Anatoliy Brovko formerly worked in a pipe factory in the area, and like Isayev has strong backing from a major economic sector in the region. Either Isayev or Brovko could be counted on to maintain the status quo, but would be unlikely to take on their own vested interests. Regional Just Russia head Oleg Mikheyev is considered a long shot. However, the article argues, if United Russia is indeed using growing Just Russia popularity to buttress its own support in the financial crisis then Mikheyev may be strongly considered.
4. (SBU) Pundits are debating the delay in decison making from Moscow in filling the Governor's post. Compilation of a Presidential 1,000 Cadre List from which to draw leaders for posts across the country is not yet finished. Medvedev has compiled a list, but it has not been reconciled with a similar list from the Prime Minister's office. In the absence of a list agreed upon by both from which Medvedev would draw names for -- among other positions -- governorships, Medvedev may be forced to rubber stamp present Putin appointments. Some speculate, perhaps prematurely, that Medvedev may therefore be delaying appointments with the hope of better positioning his own candidates vice those of the Prime Minister's Office.
Volgograd City Duma: Donations Appreciated
5. (C) Duma Deputy Chair Aleksandr Mordvintsev admitted that industrial production has fallen 17 percent during the financial crisis. The city budget is relatively small and focused almost entirely on social services, which he claimed MOSCOW 00002651 002 OF 004 are of a much higher quality than in rural regions of the Oblast. Though acknowledging that the city is facing a significant budget deficit, he offered no clear policy responses other than requesting aid from the Oblast and Federal governments. The City Duma has 48 deputies, though four positions are presently vacant as previously elected members had stepped down. Elections took place October 11 to fill those vacancies, and Mordvintsev had predicted that United Russia's majority would increase by at least two to three from its present 34. Though unofficial results will not be published until the end of the month, the Central Election Commission website lists United Russia candidates taking all four single mandate seats. Mordvintsev also predicted that a new Governor will be announced, citing as proof the attendance of Vice Premier Ivanov and Minister of Transportation Levitin and not Putin or Medvedev at this month's delayed bridge opening.
6. (C) Mordintsev is a Cossack from the village of Mixalovka in Volgograd Oblast. He has been a member of the Duma, and the United Russia party, since 2004 when he was elected from a single mandate district. Until 2008 he was Chair of the Budget Committee before taking on his present leadership role. He studied radio-physics at the Gorkovsky University in Nizhny Novgorod before beginning his previous career as an engineer at a local tractor works, rising to the level of General Director.
Volgograd City: Impractical Plans Differed
7. (C) Volgograd Mayor Roman Grebennikov was elected in May 2007 to a five year term. First Deputy Mayor Sergey Sokolov argued that a foundation of good governance in Volgograd was the election of all Duma members from single mandate districts to ensure that they are clearly accountable to the electorate, and not just the compilers of their own party lists. The city's budget deficit presently sits at ten percent, with seven to ten percent of the budget coming from the Oblast and 12-15 percent of the budget coming from the federal government. Sokolov proudly laid out the city's ambitious plan to grow from approximately one million residents to three to five million over the next ten years. A third bridge will be built to the South of the city to mirror the bridge to the North, allowing for the construction of a ring road, spurring development of the East bank of the Volga. (Note: With the continuing financial crisis, these plans are unlikely to be realized soon. Even without the financial crisis, however, estimates of a tripling of the city's population over the next decade are farfetched given Russia's demographic trends. End Note.). In the short term, Sokolov confirmed that preparations were underway for the winter, with road and factory winterization expected to be completed by the end of October.
Economic Decline Leads to High Unemployment
8. (C) Vyacheslav Yagubkin, a political observer with the daily Gorodskiye Vesti "City News" and former head of International relations at the Volgograd Academy of State Administration, noted that historically Volgograd has never been a prosperous town, even during the oil boom of the last eight years. Unwilling to give figures for the unemployment level, United Russia's Bulgakov did acknowledge that businesses were closing and the jobless rate was rising. Unemployment has remained around 10 percent, and Mordvintsev acknowledged regional administration has done little but request aid from Moscow. Sokolov stated that officially only 6,000 people are unemployed in Volgograd, less than one percent of the population, and that everyone registered as unemployed was receiving support under a 20 million ruble appropriation from Moscow. (Note: This number is at least ten times too low, compared to figures from other sources.) While the financial crisis has certainly affected the area, all contacts agreed that the region has been in constant economic decline since the fall of the Soviet Union, dulling the pain of the present, sharper fall.
United Russia as a Ladder to Success
9. (C) Multiple conversations during our visit stressed that membership in United Russia was, primarily, a career opportunity for local politicians. United Russia dominates the regional Duma with 25 of 36 members. The Communist Party MOSCOW 00002651 003 OF 004 holds six, Just Russia three and LDPR two. Parshin and Mikheyev both stressed that Mayor Grebennikov and Governor Maksyuta, both former avid communists, had walked away from their party in favor of political survival. Maksyuta, a longtime Communist, made the transition to United Russia after campaigning on an independent ticket in the last election five years ago. Communist Party Regional Duma Fraction head Nikolay Parshin commented that the Governor has significantly distanced himself from his former colleagues and operates well within the Moscow vertical of control. While widely regarded as ineffective, their newfound loyalty to Moscow ensures, to an extent, their short-term political future. None of our interlocutors felt that there was any strong ideological pull to United Russia. Instead, United Russia's leverage appears directly linked to its promise of stability and upward mobility.
10. (C) Sergey Viktorovich Bulgakov, United Russia party member and Deputy Secretary of the Duma, appears to have been courted by United Russia as a candidate with "the right stuff." He confidently stated that United Russia has seen no loss in popularity over the course of the financial crisis. He also stressed that the agricultural, manufacturing and refining sectors of the economy were in immediate need of investment and Western technology. Bulgakov has been a United Russia party member for two years since joining to run on a party list for his present position. United Russia took 65 percent of the vote. Previously he was a Colonel in the Soviet Army before serving as head of Stavropoltavsky Kray within Volgograd Oblast for 12 years.
The Opposition
11. (C) Communist Party Regional Duma Faction Head Nikolay Parshin supported Bulgakov's claims of consistent popular support for United Russia through the financial crisis. He lamented that government propaganda, a lack of political activism among the population and self-censorship had greatly diminished his ability to take advantage of the economic decline politically. He gave as an example the Srednya Oktubinsky region of Volgograd Oblast, where unemployment has grown 3,000 this year alone among a population of only 25,000. There is a myth of calm, as people in the regions survive on their own produce, but in his opinion there is serious potential for turmoil. He cited corruption as the single greatest obstacle to overcoming the financial crisis, as it undermined rule of law and the appropriation of funding to support policy directives. Parshin is 37, from the city of Volzhsky on the Volga. His mother is Ukrainian and much of his family is still living there. He is a lifetime member of the Communist Party and a professor of economics.
12. (C) Oleg Mikheyev, local Chair of the Just Russia Party, began discussions by stating that there was no real opposition in Volgograd. He predicted that Sergey Mironov would remain national head of the party, and confirmed that Mironov receives both support and policy directives from the Kremlin. When asked about the extent of Kremlin influence, he responded that Mironov was still head of the party and elections were free. He stressed that the financial crisis was boosting support for Just Russia (Note: Kremlin support for Just Russia may be tied to their ability to catch an electorate that would otherwise be lost to the real opposition. End Note.). He observed that for 70 years Volgograd was communist, and all of the local leaders worked together. There may be different political parties on the ballot now, but none of the leaders have changed; neither had the regions economic legacy, he lamented.
13. (C) Galina Boldareva, Chair of the Yabloko Regional Branch, stressed a need for ecological protection and the lack of her own party's influence with an ineffective local government. She estimated that the regional budget will be reduced in the near future by 20 percent, and staff by 10 percent - the second such cuts this year. Industrial production has dropped by 27 percent, worst among processing plants at 35 percent. There is little that the government is able to do to address such drastic decline. She brought with her Nadezhda Beyedina, an economist formerly working in the local chemical industry. Beyedina now organizes full time against the ecological damage to the region from its growth as an industrial center. She stressed that environmental activists are often threatened, and even accused of treason, by local authorities.
Comment MOSCOW 00002651 004 OF 004
14. (C) The Volgograd region appears politically stable despite continued economic decline. United Russia's popularity, supported by aggressive campaigning and the undermining of any serious political opposition, has remained high. However, the region has also seen minimal serious investment over the last two decades, and the prospects of near-term growth are slim. Volgograd may be representative of regions where the potential for political unrest is increasing as local United Russia-dominated governments run ou
t of options other than requesting more funds from Moscow. Major wins for United Russia, especially in the Volgograd City Duma, are unlikely to increase pressure on the party to push for short-term reform.
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