Category Archives: CONFIDENTIAL

10MOSCOW437, DEMARCHE DELIVERED: PREPARING FOR SYRIA AT MARCH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW437 2010-02-26 16:04 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #0437 0571604
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R 261604Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6618
INFO RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0594

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000437 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2015 
TAGS: PARM PREL KNNP IAEA SY RS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: PREPARING FOR SYRIA AT MARCH 
IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING 
 
REF: SECSTATE 16530 
 
Classified By: Deborah Klepp, ESTH Counselor, for reasons 1.4 (b and d) 
 
1. (C) EmbOff delivered reftel message on February 26 to 
Third Secretaries Aleksandr Bulychev and Roman Ustinov in the 
MFA Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament.  After 
listening attentively, they responded that Russia had 
reviewed the DG's sixth report on Syria and Amano did not say 
that Syria was in "serious violation" of IAEA safeguards. 
Russia will support the DG's call for Syria to cooperate with 
IAEA, but also believes that other states, specifically 
Israel, need to provide information as well.  In short, they 
did not think the new report provided much new information 
that was not already in the November report.  (Note: 
Although we asked, they did not specify how Russia would 
treat this issue at the March Board of Governors meeting. 
End Note.) 
Beyrle

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10MOSCOW435, CUSTOMS UNION’S AIRCRAFT DUTI…

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW435 2010-02-26 14:43 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
Appears in these articles:
http://rusrep.ru/article/2010/11/29/boeing/

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RUEHXE/EASTERN EUROPEAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000435 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/CIP, EEB/IFD/OIA, DOC FOR JBROUGHER, 
USTR FOR EHAFNER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/19/2010 
TAGS: EAIR ECON ETRD EINV RS
SUBJECT: CUSTOMS UNION'S AIRCRAFT DUTI...

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000435 SIPDIS DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/CIP, EEB/IFD/OIA, DOC FOR JBROUGHER, USTR FOR EHAFNER E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/19/2010 TAGS: EAIR ECON ETRD EINV RS

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10MOSCOW410, FOCUSING OUR EFFORTS TO ENGAGE RUSSIA ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW410 2010-02-24 14:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

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RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0723
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000410 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SNAR RS AF
SUBJECT: FOCUSING OUR EFFORTS TO ENGAGE RUSSIA ON 
AFGHANISTAN 
 
REF: MOSCOW 00239 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  Cooperation on Afghanistan remains a top 
item on the U.S.-Russia agenda.  We have achieved success in 
gaining Russia's public, rhetorical support for our efforts 
(despite private skepticism) and concrete help on transit 
issues.  Efforts to have Russia contribute substantial 
economic and military assistance have stalled.  Going 
forward, Embassy Moscow recommends concentrating on three 
priorities: strategic-level dialogue; counternarcotics 
cooperation; and transit.  Focusing on these three areas will 
better leverage Russia's concerns about Afghanistan and give 
us the best chance for successfully achieving our objectives. 
 Russian economic or military assistance may be possible, but 
we should not have exaggerated expectations.  End summary. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Improved Tone, Limited Capabilities 
----------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) Russia's posture towards international stabilization 
efforts in Afghanistan has continued to improve during recent 
months thanks to the overall improvement in U.S.-Russian 
relations and high-level attention from SRAP Holbrooke and 
other senior officials.  The Russian attitude has paid 
dividends: improved implementation of the over-flight 
agreement, cooperation on improving UNSCR 1267 and a more 
positive public tone on counternarcotics issues. 
 
3.  (C) Despite these advances, Russia's ability and 
willingness to participate in Afghanistan is limited by three 
factors.  Although the GOR shares our perception of the 
dangers posed by an unstable Afghanistan, many senior 
officials are skeptical about the prospects for American 
success and believe the GOR should avoid associating too 
closely with our efforts.  Second, Russia's ambition to 
transition from an aid-recipient to an aid-donor country 
remains largely an aspiration.  GOR institutions are not yet 
able to deliver development assistance abroad, let alone in 
an environment as challenging as Afghanistan.  Finally, the 
memories of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan remain raw, 
making the GOR (particularly the military and security 
forces) skittish about anything suggesting a military 
contribution.  As a result, Russia prefers an arms-length 
approach, such as support for transit, donations through 
international relief agencies and the use of private 
companies on a fee-for-services basis. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Synergy: U.S. Goals and Russian Interests 
----------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Given these limitations, Embassy Moscow recommends 
focusing our efforts with Russia on three priorities: 
 
--Strategic-level dialogue.  To the extent possible, we 
should treat Russia as a senior partner and consult with them 
prior to announcing key decisions.  The recent visit by 
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director 
Kerlikowske, which led to a narrowing of differences on 
counter-narcotics strategy, highlighted the value of this 
approach. 
 
--Counternarcotics.  Given Russia's deep concern about this 
issue, U.S.-Russian cooperation in interdicting drug 
trafficking on Afghanistan's periphery or enhancement of 
Afghanistan's indigenous counternarcotics capabilities is a 
win-win for both Russia and Afghanistan. 
 
--Transit.  While the Northern Distribution Network and 
overflights are functioning better, we can make additional 
improvements to serve ISAF better. 
 
5.  (C) These priorities unite Russia's 
interests/capabilities with top U.S. priorities.  While we 
should remain open to opportunities for military equipment 
donations and economic development assistance, we should 
understand that such aid will be modest -- any value would be 
largely symbolic with minimal impact on the ground in 
Afghanistan.  In this regard, we should encourage the GIROA 
to approach the GOR directly to double-track assistance 
requests in order to foster improved Kabul-Moscow 
communication and to demonstrate to Russia that Kabul values 
 
MOSCOW 00000410  002 OF 003 
 
 
it as a partner. 
 
------------------------ 
Strategic-Level Dialogue 
------------------------ 
 
6.  (C) Beginning with the July 2009 Presidential Statement 
on Afghanistan, we have seen the benefits of strategic-level 
dialogue on Afghanistan.  Presidential impetus enabled us to 
conclude the over-flight agreement.  Subsequent Moscow visits 
by NSA Jones and SRAP Holbrooke gave the Russians an advance 
look at the soon-to-be-released Afghanistan and Pakistan 
strategy, raising the level of confidence on which to build 
further cooperation. 
 
7.  (C) We have an opportunity to continue this effort in 
2010 as regional diplomacy intensifies following the London

Conference.  During DSRAP Jones' March visit to Moscow, we 
recommend extending invitations to DFM Borodavkin and Russian 
SRAP Kabulov to visit Washington.  When Russian Federal Drug 
Control Service (FSKN) Director Ivanov visits Washington 
mid-year, he should meet with SRAP Holbrooke.  Additionally, 
at every opportunity, talking points on Afghanistan should 
continue to be included in Presidential- and Ministerial- 
level meetings.  Finally, we should consider marking the July 
anniversary of the joint statement with a second bilateral 
Presidential statement on Afghanistan, noting our successes 
and how we plan to cooperate in the future. 
 
---------------- 
Counternarcotics 
---------------- 
 
8.  (C) As of October 2009, the United Nations Office of 
Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that roughly 30 percent of 
Afghanistan's  heroin exports go through the "Northern 
Route", with a total of 75-80 metric tons consumed in Russia 
itself.  GOR officials claim Afghan heroin kills over 30,000 
Russians annually and that Afghan exports have increased 
eight-fold since the fall of the Taliban.  For domestic 
reasons, these statistics provide irresistible temptation for 
some Russian leaders to assign blame for their domestic drug 
addiction problem to Afghanistan and -- by extension -- the 
U.S.  FSKN Director Viktor Ivanov and others have regularly 
beat this drum and will likely do so in the future.  Regular, 
high-level dialogue with the GOR (including the Duma and 
Federation Council) on our Afghan counternarcotics strategy 
will help reduce the frequency of such statements.  ONDCP 
Director Kerlikowske's commitment to monitor the effects of 
our counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan on drug flow into 
Russia was a welcome gesture and consultation should continue 
regularly. 
 
 
9.  (C) Director Kerlikowske's visit also facilitated 
enhanced cooperation on interdiction of drugs in Central Asia 
and the prosecution of drug traffickers and financiers.  In 
addition to the names of eight Drug Trafficking Organizations 
(DTOs) DEA provided to their Russian counterparts, we should 
look for additional avenues of information and intelligence 
sharing, such as the participation of a Russian official in 
the Afghan Finance Threat Center and encouraging stepped-up 
Russian participation in CARICC.  Russia will likely continue 
to press for U.S. and NATO counternarcotics cooperation with 
the CSTO; our position should be that we are open to 
counternarcotics proposals from CSTO while deflecting 
Russia's desire for formal recognition of the organization. 
The Drug Trafficking working group of the Bilateral 
Presidential Commission will play a key role.  This forum 
provides an opportunity for real cooperation in law 
enforcement and intelligence sharing, not only at senior 
levels but also at the working level.  The recent decision to 
include the Counternarcotics Financing Sub-Working Group 
under the Drug Trafficking group demonstrates the commitment 
by both sides to make this working group an effective forum 
for results-oriented law-enforcement. 
 
10.  (C) Finally, we should encourage the GOR to increase its 
support for training Afghan security and counternarcotics 
forces in Russia and Central Asia.  Winning GOR buy-in for 
more OSCE projects, possibly inside Afghanistan, is also 
possible in the coming year. 
 
------- 
Transit 
 
MOSCOW 00000410  003 OF 003 
 
 
------- 
 
11.  (C) Both air and rail transit are broadly recognized as 
successful areas of cooperation, despite the continuing 
challenges we face implementing the over-flight agreement. 
Depending on DOD needs, we believe expanded our cooperation 
in both of these areas is possible. 
 
12.  (C) On air transit, we now are averaging about one 
flight per day under the agreement.  We expect to resolve the 
ICAO standards issue (reftel) in the near term, allowing 
charter flights to carry hazardous cargo in the same way 
military flights now do.  We believe Moscow would be 
receptive to opening polar routes; while the current routes 
create savings of approximately 25-40 minutes on each trip, 
using polar routes would typically save 2-3 hours per flight, 
and in some cases could save as much as 15 hours.  Second, we 
are working with the GOR to streamline processing for 
clearances and increasing the clearance window from 24 to 72 
hours in certain circumstances, making the clearances more 
flexible to changes or delays. 
 
13.  (C) The current arrangement allowing commercial rail 
shipment of non-hazardous materials via the Northern 
Distribution Network through Russian territory operates 
effectively and is being expanded to use the Trans-Siberian 
route from the Pacific in addition to cargo shipped through 
Europe.  The next step is to approach the Russians requesting 
the ability to use this route to transport certain categories 
of hazardous materials.  We understand that work is ongoing 
to determine which items would be included and such requests 
are also being coordinated with the Central Asian 
governments.  We believe that seeking an amendment to the 
existing NATO-Russia rail agreement offers the best path to 
success. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
14. (C) Cooperation on Afghanistan has emerged as one of the 
most visible successes of the "reset" of U.S.-Russian 
relations during the past year.  To build effectively on this 
foundation in ways that will materially advance our goals in 
Afghanistan, we should concentrate efforts on transit, where 
we have a track record, and counter-narcotics, Russia's 
number one priority.  These efforts and our regional 
diplomacy goals will be well served by continued 
strategic-level dialogue.  All three of these prongs will 
gain Russian buy-in for more activities that help make 
Central Asia a force for political stability and economic 
growth along Afghanistan's northern tier. 
 
Beyrle

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10MOSCOW395, NONPAPER DELIVERED TO GOR: MANAGING PART I OF THE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW395 2010-02-22 14:25 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

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DE RUEHMO #0395 0531425
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C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000395 
 
SIPDIS 
 
ISN/MNSA FOR BUZZ MENOLD, GENEVA FOR CD DELEGATION 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2020 
TAGS: KNNP PARM MNUC PREL RS
SUBJECT: NONPAPER DELIVERED TO GOR: MANAGING PART I OF THE 
2010 CD SESSION 
 
REF: SECSTATE 13698 
 
Classified By: Acting ESTH Counselor Isabella Detwiler for reasons 1.4 
(b) and (d) 
 
1,  (C) Post delivered reftel demarche on February 19 to 
Aleksandr Boluchev, Third Secretary of the MFA's Department 
of Security and Disarmament. His preliminary reaction was 
that all activities leading up to FMCT negotiations should 
take place within the Conference on Disarmament.  He warned 
that otherwise the FMCT might "go the way of the landmine 
convention," during which side meetings led to some states 
drafting text and others left only to agree or disagree.  He 
added that, particularly in the nuclear area, this could lead 
to the formation of other negotiating bodies "without our 
intent." Based on previous experience, Boluchev judged that 
the GOR would not welcome approaching Pakistan jointly with 
other governments, but acknowledged he did not know what the 
GOR's position might be on a possible bilateral approach.  He 
promised to report to us any further feedback from his 
superiors. 
Beyrle

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10MOSCOW392, IRAN DOMINATES NETANYAHU’S VISIT TO MOSCOW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW392 2010-02-22 11:32 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

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RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 2246
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0342

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000392 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RS IR
SUBJECT: IRAN DOMINATES NETANYAHU'S VISIT TO MOSCOW 
 
Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor Eric Green for reaso 
ns 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  In a two-day visit to Moscow, PM Netanyahu 
pressed his case on Iran while the GOR was more focused on 
trade than the MEPP.  The Israeli PM downplayed disagreements 
over Hamas and welcomed government initiatives to help 
crisis-depleted economic relations.  Netanyahu came away 
pleasantly surprised with Moscow's tougher attitude towards 
Tehran and the GOR's willingness to countenance sanctions, 
even though disagreement remains on their content.  Israeli 
contacts are confident Russia will not deliver the S-300s to 
Iran anytime soon.  End Summary. 
 
---------------------- 
A Special Relationship 
---------------------- 
 
2.  (C) In his first official visit to Russia, PM Netanyahu 
met with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin as well 
as leaders from Russia's Jewish community.  Both sides 
described this as a productive visit with "frank but positive 
discussions." 
 
3.  (C) Israeli DCM Roi Rosenblit said Netanyahu's visit 
emphasized the "special relationship" between Israel and 
Russia.  He indicated that this the connection between the 
two countries has flourished in the past year.  Thanks to 
visa free travel, 400,000 Russian tourists travelled to 
Israel in 2009. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
Bilateral Economic and Cultural Ties Increasing 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
4.  (C) According to Dmitri Lebedov, Second Secretary in the 
MFA's Israel and Palestine Department, there was some 
discussion of economic issues, including cooperation in 
nanotechnology, agriculture, tourism and banking.  The 
Russian-Israeli Bilateral Economic and Trade Commission last 
met in November 2009.  The commission is planning another 
meeting in 2010 in Jersusalem although a date has not yet 
been selected.  Lebedev noted that Putin has agreed to visit 
Israel in 2010. 
 
5.  (C) Rosenblit said both sides blamed the economic crisis 
for the decrease in bilateral trade in 2009 which affected 
Israeli imports of both raw diamonds and petrochemicals. 
Both sides are looking for ways to diversify trade to include 
more agricultural products.  Rosenblit noted that Russia was 
very interested in attracting Israeli investment, citing a 
bilateral agreement on industrial research and development 
which gives both governments the ability to finance joint 
start-ups. 
 
6.  (C) Elaborating on economics issues, Rosenblit said that 
Netanyahu and Putin discussed energy issues.  Rosenblit said 
that Israel had discussed with Russia and Turkey the 
possibility of extending to Israel a gas pipeline but this 
proposal became unnecessary after Israel found offshore gas 
reserves in Haifa.  Although Gazprom is still interested in 
building facilities in Haifa and aiding in distribution, 
Rosenblit said this was now a question for the private 
sector.   Rosenblit also claimed that an agreement was 
reached to launch a bilateral agricultural business forum in 
Moscow, possibly in March 2010.  This would also be a private 
effort, but under governmental auspices.  He also said that 
there was some discussion about future outer space 
cooperation for peaceful purposes. 
 
7.  (C) Rosenblit claimed that the 65th anniversary of World 
War II and Holocaust remembrance were high on the agenda.  He 
said that both the GOI and the GOR are unhappy with recent 
attempts to revise the history of these events.  He noted 
that a Holocaust Museum will be built in Russia and a 
commemorative site recognizing the Red Army's role in WWII 
will be constructed in Israel.  Rosenblit also said that PM 
Putin invited President Peres to the May 9 Victory Day 
ceremonies in Moscow later this year.  Medevedev also 
reportedly green lighted the idea of a cultural program 
including a "Year of Russia in Israel" and "Year of Israel in 
Russia" exchange. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
Middle East Peace Not High on Either Agenda 
------------------------------------------- 
 
8.  (C) According to Rosenblit, MEPP was not thoroughly 
discussed and he "doubted that the Moscow Conference 
specifically was mentioned."  Rosenblit also downplayed the 
 
MOSCOW 00000392  002 OF 003 
 
 
recent visits of Abbas and Meshaal and the importance 
attached to them by the Russians.  He said that he believed 
Georgia was of greater importance to Russia than Syria, 
Lebanon or Palestine. 
 
9. (C) Rosenblit said that Netanyahu emphasized his openness 
to talks between the GOR and the Palestinians because he 
welcomed any way to bring them back to negotiations.  "We 
wanted everyone to tell Abbas to return to negotiations 
because we can't give him a deal until he sits down."  He 
noted that Israel prefers direct contacts but supports any 
kind of negotiations.  Rosenblit said that Israel s
till 
insists on talks without preconditions and no interim 
agreements: "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed." 
Rosenblit said that Israel supported Russia's efforts to 
achieve comprehensive negotiations including Syria and 
Lebanon. 
 
10.  (C) Referring to the recent visit to Moscow of Khaled 
Meshaal, Netanyahu told his interlocutors that Hamas should 
not be legitimized by other countries.  Although Meshaal had 
only a 15 minute meeting with Lavrov, it received significant 
coverage in the media.  Rosenblit said Medvedev asked what 
Russia could do to help with Hamas.  Netanyahu repeated that 
Israel does not see Hamas as a legitimate partner but would 
use the Russia-Hamas channel to discuss humanitarian issues 
such as the proposed prisoner swap for IDF soldier Gilad 
Shalit. 
 
------------------------ 
Closer than Ever on Iran 
------------------------ 
 
11. (C) Lebedov sought to downplay discussions of Iran saying 
that, while it was discussed, other bilateral issues took up 
most of the discussions. 
 
12. (C) Rosenblit, however, claimed that Iran was clearly at 
the top of Israel's agenda for this visit.  He said Netanyahu 
was "keen to form a group of like-minded parties" who 
recognized the danger of Iran's program and would cooperate 
to stop its "militant nuclearlization."  Netanyahu emphasized 
that Israel believes that once Iran has nuclear capabilities, 
other regional powers will immediately seek their own nuclear 
weapons.  Because of this danger, and the threat from Tehran 
itself, Netanyahu urged Russia to cooperate on tougher 
sanctions against Iran. 
 
13. (C) The Israeli side, according to Rosenblit, was 
pleasantly surprised at Russia's harsh tone on Iran which had 
changed dramatically even since FM Lieberman's visit in 
November.  "We heard words from them that we've never heard 
before," Rosenblit claimed, "and we aren't hearing the same 
old arguments."  Rosenblit credited this change to the 
Iranians themselves, saying that their rejection of the TRR 
proposal and their decision to enrich to 20 percent had 
toughened Russia's stance on Iran.  He remarked that just a 
few months ago, there was concern in Israel that Iran would 
divide the international community, but Iran's actions have 
only served as a unifying factor. "Russia's understanding of 
the Iranian nuclear issue is closer to ours than it was a few 
months ago." 
 
-------------------------- 
Ready to Discuss Sanctions 
-------------------------- 
 
14.  (C) On the issue of sanctions, Netanyahu reportedly 
handed the GOR a list of areas where Israel felt sanctions 
could affect change in Iran's behavior.  The list included 
restrictions on Iranian exports of energy products; Iranian 
imports of refined petroleum products; the financial and 
banking sectors; and, shipping and aerospace companies.  He 
noted that, while Russia was ready to discuss sanctions, the 
two did not necessarily see eye to eye on the specifics. 
Both sides did agree, however, that the UNSC had to agree on 
sanctions.  Rosenblit said that Russian officials do not 
believe that unilateral sanctions will have the desired 
effect.  They believe that the international community has to 
maintain united and either agree to impose or not impose 
sanctions. 
 
15.  (C) Netanyahu encouraged Russia to be an example for 
China regarding sanctions.  Rosenblit said both Israel and 
Russia had been working bilaterally with China to convince 
them that it was time for a serious discussion on sanctions. 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
S-300s: No Quid Pro Quo, but We Trust Medevedev 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
 
MOSCOW 00000392  003 OF 003 
 
 
16.  (C) When asked about media reports citing Netanyahu 
himself which suggested that Israel had agreed not to restart 
arms deals with Georgia in exchange for Russia's continued 
inaction on the S-300s contract with Iran, Lebedov noted 
that, in spite of this statement, there had been no change in 
the GOR's policy.  He claimed that fulfillment of the S-300s 
contract remained a political decision.  He remarked that the 
S-300 system was itself defensive in nature and could not be 
used against another party, such as Israel. 
 
17.  (C) Rosenblit also would not acknowledge that a deal had 
been made.  Instead, he said that Netanyahu had reiterated 
his trust in Medvedev regarding the S-300s.  According to 
Rosenblit, Netanyahu believes that Russia has taken "all 
aspects of regional stability" into account when taking 
decisions on the S-300s.  Rosenblit did note that the S-300s 
issue offered a window onto the different vectors in Russian 
foreign policy, with the contradictory statements that their 
delivery was imminent, and the delay being caused by 
technical and political issues, coming just days before 
Netanyahu's visit. 
 
18.  (C) Rosenblit said that neither Russia nor Israel was 
linking the S-300 issue with arms sales to Georgia.  Israel, 
he claimed, as a Russian partner, was "listening attentively" 
to Russia's concerns about weapons supplies to Georgia and 
the effects this could have in the region.  Israel has 
friendly relations with Georgia but the Russian relationship 
was also very important, he said.  He indicated that both 
sides were trying to come to an "understanding." 
 
19.  (C) Comment: The Russian media built up the Prime 
Minster's visit as the final stage of Russia's 
Abbas-Meshaal-Netanyahu trifecta of Middle East callers. 
While both sides paid lip-service to MEPP issues, Iran was 
the main agenda item.  This reflects Netanyahu's priorities 
and the GOR's belief that it is Washington's job, not 
Moscow's, to pressure the Israelis on MEPP issues.  Israel 
came away pleased with Russia's changed posture on Iran, but 
disappointed that its list of sanctions was too ambitious for 
the GOR.  Separately, the widely reported "quid-pro-quo" on a 
mutual freeze of the Russian S-300 delivery for Iran and 
Israeli military sales to Georgia could be a convenient 
Israeli invention.  While Israeli contacts say there is no 
formal deal, Netanyahu's statements to the media created 
enough speculation to put Russia in a corner.  Should Moscow 
eventually deliver the system to Iran, Israel has a pretext 
to step up arms sales to Georgia. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

10MOSCOW375, RYAZAN REGIONAL ELECTIONS: YABLOKO QUITS, LASHES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW375 2010-02-19 11:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7658
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0375/01 0501124
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 191124Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6498
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 03 MOSCOW 000375 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2020 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR KDEM ECON RS
SUBJECT: RYAZAN REGIONAL ELECTIONS:  YABLOKO QUITS, LASHES 
OUT AT RIGGED SYSTEM 
 
Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor David Kostelancik. 
Reason:  1.4 (b), (d). 
 
 
1. (C)  Summary:  During the March 14 Ryazan Regional 
Parliamentary Elections, six parties will compete for 36 
Oblast Duma seats.  February 5 was the registration deadline 
for submitting signatures.  Opposition parties and pundits 
agree that the elections will be neither free nor fair. 
Yabloko dropped out of the race and denounced the 
undemocratic election process as a reflection of a rigged 
system which favors United Russia.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C)  On February 10, we drove three-hours South West of 
Moscow to Ryazan oblast.  Ryazan city, one of Russia's oldest 
cities at 915 years old, is known for its 
architecturally-renowned Ryazan Kremlin.  It is also known 
for the mysterious circumstances involving Russian apartment 
bombings in 1999 in which Russian opposition accused the FSB 
of organizing the incidents, by placing explosives in bags of 
sugar, to help Putin get elected in 2000.  On March 14, 
candidates will compete for 36 seats in the Ryazan Oblast 
Duma elections.  In a mixed electoral system, voters will 
elect 18 candidates from party lists, as well as 18 from 
single-mandate districts.  February 5 was the registration 
deadline, and the local government will announce the election 
results on March 15. 
 
Six Parties in the Running 
-------------------------- 
 
3. (C)  Six political parties are running in the elections: 
the ruling United Russia party; the Communist Party of the 
Russian Federation (KPRF); the Liberal Democratic Party of 
Russia (LDPR); Just Russia; Right Cause, and Patriots of 
Russia.  Our sources agreed that the four parliamentary 
parties, United Russia, LDPR, KPRF, and Just Russia, would be 
represented in the new Ryazan Oblast Duma, and that the 
opposition, which is virtually nonexistent, had a slim 
chance.  In terms of activity: 
 
--United Russia has 18 single-mandate and 57 party list 
candidates.  Aleksandr Gurov, an attorney who works in the 
press center for the environmental organization Sovetnik 
Legal Services told us that he did not think the elections 
would be free and fair and that the outcome had already been 
decided; "United Russia will definitely win the majority of 
seats."  He also told us that United Russia Leader and State 
Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov was in Ryazan in the end of 
January to meet with government bureaucrats prior to the 
elections, but that the visit was presumably to bolster 
support for his party. 
 
--KPRF has 15 single-mandate and 17 party list candidates. 
We met with KPRF regional organization leaders and Oblast 
Duma deputies Yevgeniy Ryabko and Ivan Khrenov who described 
their candidates.  They said that Vladimir Fedotkin, a State 
Duma deputy would head the party list, followed by Alexander 
Tarasso, an Oblast Duma deputy, and Ryabko would be third. 
The candidates vary in age and a number of women, including 
City Duma deputy Evalina Volkova, are running, which is 
notable since only two women are currently serving in the 
Ryazan Oblast Duma.  Although KPRF currently has only four 
seats, it expects to obtain about four single-mandate seats 
and five or six party list seats.  Ryabko and Khrenov said 
that KPRF has a 24 percent rating in Ryazan Oblast while 
United Russia's popularity has been falling in the region 
(though he did not give specific figures). 
 
--LDPR has 18 single-mandate and 57 party list candidates. 
We did not meet with any LPDR representatives, but Ryabko and 
Khrenov told us that a number of State Duma deputies top the 
list for the sake of name recognition even though they do not 
work in Ryazan. 
 
--Just Russia has 18 single-mandate and 21 party list 
candidates.  We did not meet with any of their 
representatives. 
 
--Right Cause has 20 party list candidates.  We met with 
Aleksandra Perekhvatova, regional organization chair and 
Ryazan Oblast Duma deputy.  Perekhvatova has been serving in 
the Oblast Duma since 2005 when she won as an SPS member and 
she will head the Right Cause party list.  She told us that 
her party easily obtained 10,000 more signatures than it 
needed to meet election law registration requirements and she 
thought they would get at least two seats.  Perekhvatova 
pointed out that there are 13 women and seven men on the 
Right Cause party list, and predicted they would draw the 
 
MOSCOW 00000375  002 OF 003 
 
 
attention of women voters.  The Right Cause candidates have 
diverse occupational backgrounds, such as lawyers, teachers, 
and small business owners, and also vary widely age. 
 
--Patriots of Russia has only 12 party list candidates.  Our 
sources all agreed that although Patriots obtained the 
necessary 20,000 signatures required for non-parliamentary 
parties, they would not win a seat in the elections. 
 
Yabloko Quits in Protest 
------------------------ 
 

4. (C)  While KPRF's Ryabko and Khrenov claimed that Yabloko 
pulled out of the local elections because they could not 
obtain the necessary signatures, Yabloko regional 
organization leaders Konstantin Smirnov and Anatoliy Kivva, 
as well as Yabloko member Andrei Krivorotko argued that they 
quit in protest after receiving 16,000 signatures.  These 
members claimed that the system was rigged against them to 
such a degree that they were disadvantaged.  They did not 
think they could win any seats in a system in which United 
Russia and the governor used administrative resources against 
"non-official" opposition parties, like Yabloko.  For 
instance, when they wanted to reserve a conference room in 
which to gather, they encountered problems with the local 
authorities.  The Yabloko members admitted, however, that 
Yabloko was struggling to run a strong campaign with a budget 
deficit and that they officially only had 300 members in the 
region.  Krivorotko, who in addition to being a Yabloko 
member works for News Media Russia, and Smirnov, who also 
works for Novaya Gazeta, told us that they would use their 
media connections to speak out very loudly about Yabloko's 
reasons for opting out of the elections.  They claimed that 
the election results would be falsified and that United 
Russia would pre-determine the outcome of the elections. 
They did not think they would have obtained five percent of 
the votes within the current system since they contend the 
voting is so controlled.  By speaking out, their primary 
objective is to try to initiate reforms to the electoral 
system. 
 
United Russia Governor and Mayor 
-------------------------------- 
 
5. (C)  Governor Oleg Kovalyov and Mayor Oleg Shishov are 
both members of the United Russia party.  Then-President 
Putin nominated Kovalyov as the Ryazan governor in March 
2008.  Kovalyov had previously served in the State Duma since 
1999 and, according to observers, was a "major United Russia 
figure."  Mayor Shishov has been Head of the Ryazan City 
Administration since August 2008.  Former Mayor Fyodor 
Provotorov was prosecuted for killing two people in a car 
accident in September 2006. 
 
Election Shenanigans 
-------------------- 
 
6. (C)  Ryazan School of Human Rights Head Sofya Ivanova and 
her deputy Aleksandr Bechtold, who is also a Solidarity 
movement leader, highlighted various under-handed tactics 
that the local government and United Russia have already been 
using to sway voters.  The Ryazan city government allowed 
United Russia to place huge billboards in government-owned 
bus stops, whereas they either told opposition groups that 
there was no bus stop advertising space available or they 
dramatically inflated the rates.  We saw United Russia signs 
posted in bus stops throughout the city.  United Russia also 
had candidates stand outside popular shopping centers and 
large grocery stores handing out shots of vodka to passersby. 
 Ivanova claimed that this tactic was a sure way to attract 
the "homeless, alcoholics, and the lower class" to vote in 
favor of United Russia.  Bechtold told us that the local 
government pressured its employees to vote for United Russia. 
 If the employees voted for other parties, they would be 
harassed at their workplaces or even fired.  Bechtold alleged 
that the local government targeted the sick at hospitals and 
clinics, denying them medical services and medication if they 
did not vote for United Russia.  Lastly, United Russia has 
been known to bring citizens from the suburbs and regions 
into the cities to vote en masse.  Both Ivanova and Bechtold 
said that they have been recording these methods of coercion 
and they plan to publish a Solidarity report on election 
irregularities in the region. 
 
Press Coverage 
-------------- 
 
7. (C)  Election coverage in regional press is minimal. 
Ryazan boasts four television channels and availability of 
 
MOSCOW 00000375  003 OF 003 
 
 
both national and regional newspapers.  Our sources had mixed 
viewpoints on freedom of the press.  Perekhvatova argued that 
freedom of the press was healthy and that she often saw 
"pro-con" opinion pieces and ones critical of official 
positions in the press.  However, Ryabkov, Khrenov, Ivanova, 
Smirnov, Kivva, and Bechtold all agreed that the press was 
not free when it came to elections.  They told us that the 
media prevented coverage of their candidates and some 
newspapers charged for interviews or to rent the facility in 
which an interview would be held.  Kivva and Smirnov, 
politicians with Yabloko and members of the more independent 
media outlets concurrently, commented that the entire mass 
media system had been built specifically to maintain the 
status quo in the region. 
 
Lack of Freedom of Assembly 
--------------------------- 
 
8. (C)  There are pro- and anti-government demonstrations on 
a semi-frequent basis in Ryazan.  It seems that the 
government prevents demonstrations whose expressed focus is 
government consolidation or abuses of political power, or 
those that advocate regime change.  Bechtold mentioned that 
the protesters do not receive permits for any of the central 
locations in Ryazan, but the local authorities offer to allow 
them to hold their protests in parks outside the city.  There 
is generally an excuse associated with the unavailability of 
central meeting places, be it construction, a previously 
scheduled engagement, or an event of pro-government groups. 
Most protests have a large police presence, are hidden from 
public view, and lack media coverage.  Ivanova mentioned that 
often agitated groups of pro-government youth counter 
protests and start a commotion or provoke opposition 
protesters.  The local authorities often pin the blame of any 
subsequent violence on the opposition leaders.  Perekhvatova, 
Khrenov, and Ryabkov all concurred that their parties were 
able to hold demonstrations, but admitted that their 
demonstrations had a different tone.  They protest on 
particular issues such as pensions, veterans affairs, and 
memorials of holidays, instead of urging investigation of the 
government or political abuse of ruling parties. 
 
Human Rights Situation 
---------------------- 
 
9. (C)  Xenophobia in Ryazan is a growing problem.  Bechtold 
commented that groups involved in promoting human rights were 
subject to government intervention and obstruction.  Both 
Bechtold and Ivanova cited increasing xenophobia in the 
Ryazan oblast, including two recent murders of Chinese and 
Uzbek nationals who had been working in Ryazan.  Most of this 
violence has been emanating from several active right-wing, 
neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist groups in the suburbs which 
regularly engage in anti-immigrant violence and hooliganism. 
Bechtold and Ivanova conveyed that the youth were 
increasingly apathetic to politics. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
10. (C)  United Russia is likely to win the e
lections in 
Ryazan, but Yabloko's outspoken criticism may actually have a 
positive impact on the results.  We would not be surprised if 
Right Cause obtains a seat.  It seems that Yabloko has yet to 
recover from its stinging loss in the October 2009 elections. 
 The Ryazan elections may prove to be one of Yabloko's last 
opportunities to be a squeaky wheel in that region before 
financial and leadership woes restrict its activities. 
 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

10MOSCOW365, ULYANOVSK: RUSSIA’S AVIATION CAPITAL SEEKING NEW

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW365 2010-02-19 08:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7458
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0365/01 0500819
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 190819Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6409
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000365 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/2020 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR KDEM
SUBJECT: ULYANOVSK: RUSSIA'S AVIATION CAPITAL SEEKING NEW 
INVESTMENT 
 
REF: 09 MOSCOW 946 
 
Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor David Kostelancik fo 
r reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 1. (C)  Summary:  Russia's Ulyanovsk region Governor Sergey 
Morozov is focusing on the need to attract investment, 
foreign or domestic, into his central Russian region.  During 
Emboff's two-day visit February 11-12, local officials 
promoted their receptivity, and Ulyanovsk's infrastructure, 
industry, and history as major selling points for investors. 
While facing economic challenges, authorities refuse to open 
the political sphere to greater competition, with upcoming 
local elections slated to preserve United Russia's dominance. 
 End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
Selling the Region's Foreign Investment Potential 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
2. (C)  As they did in early 2009 (reftel), regional 
officials went to great lengths to promote Ulyanovsk's 
natural advantages for investors.  Head of the regional 
International Relations Department (and U.S. educated) Igor 
Lukin told us that Ulyanovsk, which sits along Russia's Volga 
river, is the self-proclaimed "Aviation Capital of Russia." 
Ulyanovsk is home to three airports, and has one of Russia's 
largest pilot training programs.  During our visit, Governor 
Morozov was in London at the Oxford Aviation Academy to 
discuss educational and training exchanges.  Russian 
President Dmitriy Medvedev opened a new bridge, over six 
miles long, over the Volga on November 24, 2009 to improve 
national and regional transportation links and ease 
congestion over the city's old two-lane bridge.  Lukin also 
noted that being straddled by "two crazy, larger neighbors" 
(Kazan and Samara), meant that Ulyanovsk was prime for 
investors, since Kazan and Samara were already saturated and 
"over developed." 
 
3. (C)  Officials emphasized their receptivity to investment 
ideas and, building on Medvedev's mantra, innovation and 
modernization.  Lukin said that local officials were prepared 
to immediately meet with potential investors and would review 
projects faster than larger cities because of the city's 
"minimal bureaucracy."  As the birthplace of Vladimir Ilyich 
Ulyanov (Lenin), Ulyanovsk, (called Simbirsk prior to 1924) 
boasted numerous museums that Lukin diplomatically said, "pay 
tribute to Lenin's importance as a historical figure," rather 
than to his status as founder of the Soviet Union.  As 
evidence of the region's use of history to promote 
innovation, officials showed us the city's unique, year-old, 
downhill ski slopes, dubbed Lenin Hills, that make use of the 
Volga's steep banks along the city's Western edge. 
 
4. (C)  Despite officials' attempts to portray the region in 
the best light, a sample of taxi drivers and discussions with 
journalists and opposition party members revealed a city 
struggling to revamp its outdated industry.  The region is 
home to the Ulyanovsk Automobile Factory (UAZ) and Aviastar 
aviation plant, which we were told were struggling to stay 
profitable.  Compared with Western work practices, relatively 
few people in Ulyanovsk had been fired, but many factory 
workers had had their salaries reduced, were working 
draQically reduced hours, or were on unpaid leave.  Our 
interlocutors blamed the worldwide economic downturn for the 
falling demand of the region's industrial goods, but remained 
optimistic that Morozov could improve prospects. 
 
5. (C)  As Ulyanovsk's historical reliance on Soviet-era 
military-industrial products has weakened, and well-paying 
jobs difficult to find, locals are migrating to find adequate 
employment.  Local Right Cause member Irina Palshintseva 
explained that Ulyanovsk was a major military-industrial 
complex during World War II as factories were transferred 
East during the War.  The city grew from about 40,000 in the 
early 1940s, according to Palshintseva, to nearly half a 
million by the late 1940s.  Demographic settling continued in 
the late 2000s as Russia's economic reliance on Ulyanovsk's 
heavy industry and the military-industrial complex, mainly 
UAZ and Aviastar, diminished.  Locals, she said, were moving 
to larger urban areas such as Moscow in order to support 
themselves financially. 
 
---------------------------------------- 
Opposition Struggling Against United Russia Machine 
---------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C)  Interlocutors were pessimistic that elections would 
change United Russia's stranglehold on local politics. 
 
MOSCOW 00000365  002 OF 003 
 
 
Regional Communist Party leader Aleksandr Kruglikov, whose 
office was the only opposition party buzzing with activity 
ahead of local elections on March 14, blasted United Russia 
without hesitation.  He said that United Russia was full of 
criminals and future criminals who use administrative 
resources to put pressure on the opposition and local media 
outlets.  He, as well as every other political contact with 
whom we spoke, were convinced that the election results had
 
already been determined by local United Russia leaders. 
Argumenti i Fakti journalist Stanislav Ikkonikov bluntly 
stated that elections in Ulyanovsk were divided up ahead of 
time, "just like in every other region of Russia."  Kruglikov 
added that the Communists would, nevertheless, field party 
and independent candidates, ranging from 21-61 years old, in 
each local district. 
 
7. (C)  Other opposition leaders complained that the use of 
administrative resources was increasingly used to remove 
candidates for elections.  Mayoral candidate and local 
National Democratic Union and Solidarity member Aleksandr 
Bragin told us of his recent battles with the local 
judiciary.  Having come straight from court to meet us, 
Bragin said that the judge told him that the signatures he 
had collected to run for mayor were invalid because residents 
had included their street address instead of just writing 
their city and region.  The judge described this as 
residents' "address of place of residence," rather than the 
legally required "place of residence."  Bragin said that in 
previous years the City Central Election Committee had 
removed him from election lists because he had used the 
incorrect form to collect signatures.  When Bragin replied 
that he had printed the form off the CEC website, they told 
him that the form on the CEC website was for "informational 
purposes only," and that they could not favor him over other 
candidates by telling him where to find the proper form. 
 
8. (C)  Opposition leaders counter United Russia's dominance 
by working together on the local level.  Bragin, Kruglikov, 
and local Patriots of Russia leader Vladimir Aladin told us 
that a wide ideological range of parties, such as Patriots of 
Russia, the Communist Party, Yabloko, Solidarity, Right 
Cause, as well as several NGOs had created a joint Committee 
of Civil Control to exchange information and support each 
others' candidates in select districts.  Opposition parties 
also conducted regular joint pickets in front of the mayor's 
office, which partly explained the large-scale "training 
exercise" we noticed across from our hotel one evening 
complete with shields, shouting, and batons. 
 
--------------------------------- 
Blame United Russia, Not Governor 
--------------------------------- 
 
9. (C)  Our interlocutors laid the blame for the use of 
administrative resources at the feet of regional United 
Russia leaders, not Governor Morozov, who is also a United 
Russia member.  Bragin said that Morozov was not happy about 
opposition candidates not being registered, but was having 
problems controlling local United Russia activities.  He 
stated that several local United Russia leaders wanted to 
replace Morozov because he had not done enough to support 
financial groups linked to United Russia leaders.  Aladin 
said that Morozov was a good guy, but one who would follow 
national and local party decisions.  Ikkonikov stated that 
several of Morozov's subordinates were United Russia leaders 
with stronger ties to the party leadership in Moscow.  He 
added that the Governor was viewed by regional elite as a 
member of a financial team tasked with improving Ulyanovsk's 
economy.  Morozov had strong popular support and understood 
the need to create good political and economic conditions for 
investment, but did not have absolute control. 
 
10. (C)  Government officials also praised Morozov for his 
work in the social sphere.  Local Human Rights Ombudsman 
Galina Edvars told us that Morozov was instrumental in 
improving the situation for human rights within the region. 
He established the Ombudsman office in January 2009, and over 
1000 people had already appealed for assistance, most of whom 
Edvars explained sought "non-political advice."  Right Cause 
member Palshintseva noted that Morozov met regularly with 
members of all political parties and movements and often 
created policies from ideas gleaned from these meetings. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
11. (C) Governor Morozov is focused on using the region's 
existing infrastructure and tax benefits to attract 
 
MOSCOW 00000365  003 OF 003 
 
 
investment to the region.  Part of his efforts involves 
working with U.S. firms and investors to draw needed 
investment to the region.  We did not fully buy-in to local 
officials slick attempts to sell the region's "limitless 
economic potential," but their attempts speak volumes about 
Morozov's diligence and priorities.  He faces an uphill 
climb, however, to retool the city's industrial base, while 
fighting for influence with Moscow and United Russia 
leadership. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

10MOSCOW334, GOR GREETS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM DIRECTOR BLOOMFIELD

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW334 2010-02-16 12:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4407
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #0334/01 0471221
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161221Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6246
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MOSCOW 000334 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2020 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM SOCI KNAR KIRF RS
SUBJECT: GOR GREETS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM DIRECTOR BLOOMFIELD 
WITH OPEN ARMS 
 
REF: 09 MOSCOW 1349 
 
Classified By: DCM Eric Rubin for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: During a visit to Moscow from January 29 - 
February 4, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Director 
Sarah Bloomfield received an enthusiastic response from GOR 
officials, who noted that the GOR and the USHMM have shared 
interests in expanding World War II and Holocaust education. 
USHMM representatives hope to announce a series of bilateral 
projects as part of Russia's Victory Day celebration in May. 
Despite the obvious shared interests in this area, we should 
be alert to the possibility that the GOR will attempt to 
exploit the issue of Nazi collaborators in Ukraine and the 
Baltic countries to push its own geopolitical goals in the 
former Soviet space.  End Summary. 
 
USHMM proposes closer cooperation to GOR 
---------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) During a visit to Moscow from January 29 - February 
4, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Director Sarah 
Bloomfield met with a wide cross-section of over twenty 
academics, NGOs, federal archive agencies, and GOR officials. 
 The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is a federal 
agency, funded by Congress, and its Director, Sarah 
Bloomfield, is directly appointed by the President in a 
manner similar to Cabinet members.  Although Russia has a 
Holocaust Memorial Synagogue and other Holocaust-related 
organizations, it has nothing comparable to the USHMM.  The 
primary goal of Bloomfield's trip was therefore to bring 
bilateral cooperation on Holocaust-related projects to the 
government level and out of the NGO realm.  The percentage of 
Russian participants in the USHMM's work has thus far been 
low; out of the 400 scholars who have had fellowships there, 
only two have been Russian.  Furthermore, the cooling of 
U.S.-Russian relations prior to 2009 led GOR agencies, 
including archival ones, to cut off cooperation with the 
USHMM. 
 
3. (C) Information about Nazi crimes on Soviet soil forms a 
key part of the USHMM's collection, and includes not only 
Jews who were Soviet citizens, but also Slavic forced 
laborers and Soviet prisoners-of-war.  Bloomfield's deputy 
Paul Shapiro noted that, ironically, due to a lingering Cold 
War mentality on the part of some GOR officials, the USHMM 
has enjoyed a closer cooperative relationship with a former 
U.S. adversary, Germany, than with its former ally, Russia. 
 
Common ground on falsification of history 
----------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Bloomfield and Shapiro were quick to point out to GOR 
officials that the lack of Russian scholars at the USHMM was 
detrimental to Russia's interests.  Other former Soviet 
countries all participate, and have the opportunity to put 
their own spin on events that occurred during World War II, 
which differ from the views of Russians.  Shapiro told GOR 
officials that the USHMM shared Russia's concerns about 
"distortion of history" (reftel) and exoneration or even 
celebration of Nazi collaborators in places such as Ukraine 
and the Baltics.  Shapiro also noted that the improved 
bilateral atmosphere, which can only be enhanced by 
commemorating our World War II alliance against the Nazis, 
provides a golden opportunity for collaboration on joint 
projects. 
 
5. (C) Bloomfield and Shapiro found an extremely enthusiastic 
audience among their GOR interlocutors.  Deputy Foreign 
Minister Sergei Ryabkov agreed that "we have to focus on this 
tragic period of our history," and noted that the 
commemoration of the Red Army liberation of Auschwitz (a 
ceremony which Bloomfield attended, and where Russian 
Education Minister Fursenko inaugurated a pavilion devoted to 
the liberation) had just taken place on January 27. 
Bloomfield pointed out that many Americans are not aware that 
it was the Red Army, not the Americans, who liberated 
Auschwitz (as well as five other Nazi killing centers), and 
that this was emblematic of the need to include Russia more 
in Holocaust education.  Ryabkov cited the example of 
Ambassador Beyrle's father, who fought for both the U.S. and 
the Red Army during World War II, as an example of the kind 
of story that needs to be shared with the public so that they 
can understand the partnership of our two countries during 
that time.  Ryabkov suggested focusing media attention on any 
joint projects, and added, "the more we can do on this 
subject, the better," as we should always remember that we 
were allies for this event, which "for us, is a cherished 
part of our history."  He also agreed that it was "obvious" 
that a broader partnership of Russian scholars with the USHMM 
 
MOSCOW 00000334  002 OF 004 
 
 
would enhance the chances of bringing people's understanding 
of history as close to the truth as possible. 
 
Archivists ready to cooperate as well 
------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Shapiro asked Ryabkov about the obstructionism among 
some GOR officials in recent years regarding the USHMM's 
access to archival materials.  Ryabkov responded that it 
would be necessary to find a way to eliminate bureaucratic 
obstacles to address "the very un-bureaucratic issues" 
related to the Holocaust.  Given that, as Shapiro noted, 
archival materials form the backbone of the USHMM's work, no 
joint projects with Russia will be able to get off the ground 
without approval from GOR archival agencies.  These agencies 
have had a mixed record of cooperation with the USHMM; 
Bloomfield and Shapiro have been in regular contact with 
Sergey Mironenko, Director of the State Archives of the 
Russian Federation (GARF), while still only sharing a limited 
amount of information.  Two years ago, the FSB's archival 
wing, without explanation, cut off all contact with the 
USHMM.  To help resolve this question, Bloomfield met 
separately with Dr. Andrey Artizov, Director of the Federal 
Archival Agency of the Russian Federation, and with 
Mironenko.  Artizov (whose Agency supervises GARF's work) and 
Mironenko both expressed readiness to work with any of 
Bloomfield's ideas.  Shapiro emphasized these agencies' key 
role in any bilateral projects, and added that one of the 
most fundamental sources of information on Nazi crimes on 
Soviet territory is the documents from the Soviet Union's 
Extraordinary Committee. 
 
7. (C) After a week of meetings with GOR officials to discuss 
modes of collaboration, the head of the FSB's archival 
division, Vasiliy Khristoforov, unexpectedly appeared during 
a meeting at the MFA with Mikhail Shvydkoy, the Special 
Cultural Representative of President Medvedev, and proved to 
be affable and amenable to Bloomfield and Shapiro's 
suggestions.  Nonetheless, in order to re-start the 
relationship with the FSB, Ryabkov suggested that the USHMM 
begin by sending small list of cases to Ryabkov, who could 
then pass them along.  They could then gradually add in more 
and more cases as trust continued to improve. 
 
The nitty-gritty 
---------------- 
 
8. (C) Bloomfield and Shapiro presented a series of specific 
ideas to their GOR interlocutors.  Shapiro suggested three 
joint bilateral projects in advance of the May Victory Day 
commemoration: one archival project; one roundtable of 
scholars; and one publishing project.  These could concern 
both Jewish victims and Soviet forced laborers.  Ryabkov 
noted that the events in May would involve foreign 
delegations, parades, and other commemorations, and agreed 
with Bloomfield that jointly signing a memorandum of 
understanding on the above projects would make an appropriate 
public gesture of cooperation in this context. 
 
9. (C) Shapiro proposed, in addition to the above ideas, a 
digitization project which would make all Extraordinary 
Committee documents available both here and in Washington. 
Artizov said that it would not be necessary to move this to 
Washington, as they have state of the art materials here. 
(Note: This statement has some basis; the Bloomfield group 
later toured GARF's new state-of-the-art facilities, which 
have just undergone a USD 16.7 million renovation.  End 
note.).  Artizov said that they should discuss how much the 
American side could fund, and then look at the budget and 
hammer out the details (including which part of the 
digitization would take place in-house, and which part would 
be outsourced).  Bloomfield assured Artizov that this project 
would be a priority.  Artizov suggested drawing up an 
agreement and signing it on the eve of Victory Day.  For his 
part, Mironenko said that they had a thorough collection from 
SVAG (the Soviet Military Administration in Germany), which 
they had developed in cooperation with the German 
Bundesarchive; however, this project had taken ten years to 
complete.  Artizov also said he was interested in YIVO and 
Yad Vashem documents.  Shapiro also suggested having Russia 
join the International Task Force on Holocaust Education and 
Research. 
 
10. (C) During the meetings, Shvydkoy said that he was 
planning to designate 2012 as "the year of Russia" in the 
U.S., and vice versa in Russia.  He added that "our 
Presidents require from us evidence and facts of the 
'reset.'" Shvydkoy also invited Bloomfield and Shapiro to two 
conferences in Moscow in April: one of Russian and American 
historians, and one of historians of post-Soviet countries 
 
MOSCOW 00000334  003 OF 004 
 
 
(which will touch on the Holocaust).  Ramzan Koloyev of the 
Ministry of Culture, told Bloomfield that his Ministry was 
also interested in taking part in bilateral activities in 
this sphere.  He mentioned the Bilateral Presidential 
Commission Working Group on culture, which entails joint 
cooperation between museums and libraries in both countries. 
Koloyev said that a Russian cultural delegation of 10-12 
people plans to visit the U.S. in March as a reciprocal visit 
to Undersecretary McHale's visit in December. 
 
11. (C) Because of Bloomfield's desire to put the weight of 
the GOR behind any joint projects, the trip focused on 
establishing, or re-establishing, relationships at the 
governmental level.  However, she also met with a number of 
academics and NGOs, without whose work none of the 
symbolically important events could happen.  Andrey Roginskiy 
showed Bloomfield the impressive archival collection 
belonging to his NGO Memorial, although only the portion 
relating to Soviet forced laborers during the war (so-called 
"ostarbeiters") touched directly upon the USHMM's work. 
Bloomfield and Shapiro also spoke with Aaron Zusman of the 
Organization of Victims of Fascist Camps and Ghettoes, 
himself a survivor of Nazi atrocities who has organized a 
number of former victims within Russia. 
 
12. (U) Bloomfield and Shapiro also spoke with professor 
Arkadiy Kovelman, head of the Department of Jewish studies at 
Moscow State University, regarding possible research, 
information, and scholar programs for his students at the 
USHMM; with Mark Kupovetskiy of the Russian-American Center 
for Biblical and Jewish Studies at the Russian State 
University of the Humanities (RGGU), regarding collaborative 
development of online databases; and Isaac Frumin, Vice 
Rector at the Higher School of Economics (HSE), regarding 
possible research exchange and fellowship programs.  HSE's 
and RGGU's field work involving personal interviews of 
survivors or witnesses from World War II sparked particular 
interest from the USHMM side.  They also visited the Moscow 
Choral Synagogue, the Solomon Mikhoels Cultural Center, and 
the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue.  Although GOR contacts will 
provide necessary heft to any joint projects, many of these 
people will make substantive behind-the-scenes contributions 
to any publicized bilateral activities to promote Holocaust 
awareness. 
 
Possible pitfalls 
----------------- 
 
13. (C) Bloomfield and Shapiro were pleased to be on the same 
page with their Russian interlocutors.  However, their 
conversation with Mironenko about some of the political 
aspects of this initiative provided a reality check for them 
about potential pitfalls, and optics that may not be in USG 
interests.  When Shapiro asked if the joint digital project 
would fit in with Medvedev's Victory Commission, Mironenko 
answered that for the 60th anniversary, there was a Central 
Committee called "Victory" which still exists on paper, but 
he derided the Committee as "pompous" and empty of substance. 
The context was "parades and such," with little relation 
anything academic or substantive. 
 
13. (C) Mironenko also spoke archly of the Anti-Falsification 
Commission (of which he and Artizov are technically members, 
although Mironenko only prepares information for it) that 
Medvedev created in May 2009 (reftel), damning it with faint 
praise.  He said that it has thus far met twice, but "cannot 
decide what direction to take."  He said that it was good 
that the Commission is stimulating research, and said may be 
interested in funding this, but he also made it clear that he 
had little respect for the majority of the Commission's 
members, who appear to be focusing on scoring political 
points, and to have shallow scholarly knowledge.  Any funding 
that a bilateral project received from the Commission would 
thus be tainted with politics.  Artizov told Bloomfield: "We 
are not trying to politicize the archives; that is not our 
mandate.  But when fascist collaborators are getting honors, 
we can't sit idly by." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
14. (C) Artizov's sentiment on fascist collaborators is one 
GOR officials commonly express on the subject of World War II 
and the Holocaust.  Despite our obvious shared history as 
allies who defeated the Nazis, the GOR takes a radically 
different approach toward the problems and complexities of 
twentieth-century history in the USSR's former sphere of 
influence.  Bloomfield is correct that the USHMM and the GOR 
have a shared agenda in ensuring that the full truth of this 
collaboration is known, and that such mutually important 
 
MOSCOW 00000334  004 OF 004 
 
 
topics will add to the warming trend in bilateral relations. 
But while the USHMM wishes to air the truth in order to hold 
Nazi collaborators to account and in order to help ensure 
that nothing like the Holocaust occurs again, the GOR has at 
times shown an inclination to politicize this issue in order 
to silence critics of Russian actions before, during, and 
after World War II.  We should encourage the USHMM's 
initiative while remaining alert to attempts by the GOR to 
manipulate the issue for its own purposes. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

10MOSCOW327, KARASIN ON GEORGIA, NAGORNO-KARABAKH,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW327 2010-02-16 07:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4086
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0327/01 0470739
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 160739Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6239
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000327 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2020 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG UP AZ MD RS
SUBJECT: KARASIN ON GEORGIA, NAGORNO-KARABAKH, 
TRANSNISTRIA, UKRAINE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Beyrle for reasons 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  DFM Karasin, in a meeting with the 
Ambassador February 9, praised the Geneva Talks for 
contributing to the relative calm in Georgia, while 
criticizing the Georgians for seeking scandal, the South 
Ossetians for boycotting the Incident Response Mechanism, and 
the co-chairs for hindering small-scale progress by insisting 
on upholding principles.  Although he called the Georgian 
reintegration plan "slick", he acknowledged it showed Georgia 
was willing to talk directly with its breakaway regions over 
concrete proposals.  He described Turkey's ratification of 
the Armenia protocols as key for progress on 
Nagorno-Karabakh, and said he had urged Transnistrian leader 
Smirnov to engage on the basis of the March 2008 joint 
declaration, despite the political turmoil in Chisinau. 
Karasin worried that Yulia Tymoshenko might drag out the 
election process in Ukraine by going to court.  End Summary 
 
------- 
Georgia 
------- 
 
Geneva Talks 
------------ 
 
2.  (C) DFM Grigoriy Karasin told Ambassador Beyrle February 
9 that the Geneva Talks had succeeded in keeping the 
breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia more 
or less quiet.  He noted there had been no conflict-related 
casualties in the regions for nine months, in part due to the 
Russian troop presence.  He criticized Georgia's 
unwillingness to talk directly with the regions' de facto 
authorities, an attitude he called a dead end, and dismissed 
the Georgians' insistence on negotiating with Russia instead. 
 
3.  (C) Karasin criticized the co-chairs of the Geneva Talks 
for breaking the tempo of progress.  He condemned their 
insistence on making the Incident Prevention and Response 
Mechanisms (IPRMs) fully functional before entertaining other 
proposals.  Noting the EU's co-chairmanship of the process, 
he said he hoped to visit Brussels before the next (March 30) 
Geneva round.  He wondered what role EU High Representative 
Ashton might play in the process, especially regarding the 
future of the EU's special representative structure. 
 
4.  (C) Karasin insisted that new security guarantees were 
needed for the regions.  He championed Russia's proposal that 
Georgia and its regions unilaterally submit non-use of force 
agreements to the UN Security Council, with Russia, the U.S., 
and the EU acting as guarantors. 
 
IPRMs 
----- 
 
5.  (C) Karasin acknowledged that the IPRM was not working in 
South Ossetia, due to the South Ossetians' boycott, but spoke 
out in favor of its continuation.  The Ambassador noted that 
the comparative success of the Abkhaz IPRM showed that it was 
the South Ossetians, not the Georgians, who were the problem. 
 He asked Russia to pressure Tskhinvali to reengage in the 
IPRM, and suggested no new security mechanisms or documents 
were needed until the existing ones worked.  Karasin 
indicated Moscow was willing to increase efforts to persuade 
the South Ossetians to engage, saying that any contacts 
across the administrative boundary line (ABL) were useful. 
 
6.  (C) Karasin praised that Russian troops and border guards 
had begun to fine and then release detained Georgians, 
without handing them over to South Ossetian authorities. 
Ambassador Beyrle suggested that direct talks between the 
Georgians and South Ossetians about incidents would be 
preferable. 
 
Tension and CBMs 
---------------- 
 
7.  (C) Karasin accused the GOG of using the Geneva Talks to 
stoke discord rather than seek stability and progress.  He 
claimed the information he had provided the Ambassador late 
last year about Georgian arms modernization had proved 
accurate, and that Russia had averted a Georgian provocation 
by immediately reaching out to the U.S. and EU.  He doubted 
the recent Georgian troop movements were to better protect 
Tbilisi, saying no threat emanated from the Russian troops in 
 
MOSCOW 00000327  002 OF 003 
 
 
South Ossetia. 
 
8.  (C) Karasin touted the expected March 1 opening of the 
Qazbegi-Larsi border checkpoint as one confidence-building 
measure (CBM), saying that only one expert meeting was needed 
to approve final documents.  He described the three direct 
charter flights between Tbilisi and Moscow as another CBM. 
He stated that border crossings along the ABLs were routine, 
with hundreds per day crossing at the Akhalgori checkpoint 
alone, and hundreds of thousands crossing the ABLs so far in 
total. 
 
9.  (C) The Ambassador called for more transparency on &#x0
00A;Russian troop movements, arguing that the Russian base 
construction in South Ossetia not far from Tbilisi was an 
understandable source of concern for Georgia. 
 
Georgian Reintegration Plan 
--------------------------- 
 
10.  (C) Karasin described the Georgian reintegration plan as 
"slick" (khitroumniy), as it spoke of resolving the conflict 
by peaceful means while using unacceptable terms such as 
'occupation'.  Although the Abkhaz and South Ossetians did 
not even want to receive the plan, he said he saw some "small 
positive notes" in it, as the plan listed concrete ideas and 
documented the GOG's willingness to talk directly to 
Tskhinvali and Sukhumi. 
 
---------------- 
Nagorno-Karabakh 
---------------- 
 
11.  (C) Noting his and First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov's 
February 5 visit to Armenia, Karasin expressed concern that 
Turkey might not ratify the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement 
protocols.  If Turkey did not ratify by the end of March, the 
process would be thrown back, and the "use of force" voices 
in Baku would ascend.  The Armenians were under a lot of 
internal pressure, with Sargsian threatening to withdraw his 
signature from the protocols if the Turks did not ratify by 
the end of March. 
 
------------ 
Transnistria 
------------ 
 
12.  (C) Karasin said Chisinau's political disarray was no 
reason to interrupt the Transnistrian conflict settlement 
process.  Referring to his February 8 meeting with 
Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, Karasin said he had urged 
Tiraspol to take the initiative on resolving the conflict, 
and claimed FM Lavrov had used blunt language in advising 
Smirnov to avoid separatist rhetoric at this sensitive time 
in Chisinau.  He singled out the March 2008 joint statement 
President Medvedev had brokered as a basis for further talks. 
 
13.  (C) Karasin reiterated Moscow's position that 
withdrawing Russian troops from Transnistria would make the 
conflict resolution harder, and said he bluntly had told 
Acting President Mihai Ghimpu in late January that his 
statements about withdrawing Russian troops were 
irresponsible.  It was necessary first to find a political 
resolution before withdrawing the peacekeepers. 
 
14.  (C) Karasin criticized Romania's alleged disregard for 
Moldova's territorial integrity by seeking Moldova's 
integration into Romania.  He welcomed the Ambassador's 
confirmation that the U.S. was advising Bucharest that such 
statements were unhelpful. 
 
------- 
Ukraine 
------- 
 
15.  (C) Karasin praised the free elections in Ukraine, but 
worried that losing candidate Yulia Tymoshenko might choose 
to go to court over the result, possibly delaying the 
inauguration of the new President to the mid-March deadline. 
He called Yatseniuk and Tigipko "fresh new faces" and 
possible candidates for Prime Minister, but sounded less 
certain that Ukrainian Ambassador to Russia, Konstantin 
Hrishchenko, might become the new Foreign Minister. 
 
------- 
 
MOSCOW 00000327  003 OF 003 
 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
16.  (C) Karasin seemed relatively positive about the Geneva 
Talks, given the ongoing lack of progress there and his 
criticism of the co-chairs, Georgians, and South Ossetians. 
Unlike a year ago, Moscow now appears ready to support the 
format for the long term, with Karasin calling the March 30 
meeting the "next of many more."  In a private aside with the 
Ambassador at the meeting's end, he confirmed his view that 
"it is time" for the South Ossetians to end their boycott of 
the IPRM. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks

10MOSCOW325, KRASNOYARSK: A REGION ENJOYING THE STATUS QUO OR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW325 2010-02-15 15:52 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO3802
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0325/01 0461552
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 151552Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6235
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 000325 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2020 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PMAR PHUM PINR ECON EFIN RS
SUBJECT: KRASNOYARSK: A REGION ENJOYING THE STATUS QUO OR 
BENEFITS OF REFORM? 
 
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Susan M. Elliott; reasons 1 
.4(b/d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: Krasnoyarsk government officials are 
confident that their management of the region's substantial 
energy and mineral wealth ensures political and economic 
stability. Opposition political figures and independent 
journalists give kray authorities high marks for their 
constructive engagement with all elements of civil society, 
but they dislike the close ties kray officials have with big 
business.  President Medvedev's innovation and modernization 
strategy is viewed by Krasnoyarsk residents as having greater 
relevance in other regions.  The kray's inter-party dialogue 
and relatively high standard of living based on energy 
related industries obviate the need to aggressively pursue 
political and economic reform.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C) Emboff's two-day visit to frigid Krasnoyarsk coincided 
with President Medvedev's nomination of Deputy Governor Lev 
Kuznetsov to replace Aleksandr Khloponin as governor of the 
kray.  President Medvedev's choice of popular Governor 
Khloponin as Presidential Representative and DPM responsible 
for the North Caucasus has focused attention on Krasnoyarsk. 
The recent attention on the region gave us the perfect 
opportunity to visit and discuss how local officials and 
residents perceive the Moscow-generated national debate on 
political and economic modernization. 
 
Political Participation and Economic Stability 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
3. (C) Both President Medvedev and PM Putin remain extremely 
popular among Krasnoyarsk citizens and most elite groups. 
Former governor Khloponin enjoyed enormous support and most 
observers expect the same for Kuznetsov. A good deal of 
Khloponin's popularity related to his inclusive style, which 
differed significantly from his predecessor, former General 
Aleksandr Lebedev. 
 
4. (C) Kray Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Aleksandr 
Kleshko (United Russia) stated bluntly that the kray was far 
ahead of Moscow when it came to broad political pluralism and 
participation.  Khloponin nurtured this environment by 
listening to opposition views and proposals and occasionally 
supporting them. That attitude is reflected in the Kray 
Assembly, where five parties (United Russia, Communists, 
LDPR, Just Russia and Right Cause) all have deputies and each 
faction has the chairmanship of at least one major Assembly 
committee.  A local state-owned media committee, compromised 
of equal numbers of representatives appointed by the Governor 
and by the Assembly (including reps from all parties) meets 
regularly to ensure that all parties are receiving equal air 
time. Communist (KPRF), Just Russia (SR) and Liberal 
Democratic Party (LDPR) reps all told us that Khloponin 
adeptly managed the Krasnoyarsk political scene.  He produced 
revenue and stability and reminded Moscow that Krasnoyarsk 
Kray generated a significant portion of Russia's GDP. 
 
5. (C) Kleshko said that President Medvedev's calls for 
modernization have been a boom for Khloponin. Medvedev's 
poslaniye and his "Russia, Forward" article have been used by 
the regional United Russia organization to claim "victory and 
fulfillment of the plan" because they already constructed a 
pluralist structure.  Their "forward thinking" has obviated 
the need for any additional changes and ensured United 
Russia's continued regional leadership.  Even Just Russia 
party leader (and Kray Assembly Deputy Speaker) Anatoliy 
Romashkov told us that due to wise and popular regional 
United Russia (ER) party leaders and the party's national 
dominance, no party would be able to challenge ER's regional 
control for the next 10-15 years. 
 
6. (C) KPRF regional leader Pyotr Medvedev railed against 
ER's dominance and its use of administrative resources 
throughout the vast kray (area of more than 2 million square 
kilometers) to perpetuate its lock on power.  He blasted 
elections, not for irregularities perpetrated on voting day, 
but for the imbalanced circumstances under which they are 
held.  He said that KPRF would be able to field candidates in 
approximately 2000 of the 5000 kray-wide positions being to 
be filled through elections March 14.  LDPR leader Artem 
Chernykh told us that his party was only able to run in 800 
elections.  United Russia, on the other hand, has the 
personnel reserves to run a candidate in every election. 
Pyotr Medvedev complained that voter turnout for 
non-contested seats would be scant, but that United Russia 
 
MOSCOW 00000325  002 OF 003 
 
 
would exploit the kray-wide totals for the personal 
aggrandizement of leaders in the eyes of senior party leaders 
in Moscow, especially A
ndrey Vorobyev, Chairman of ER's 
Central Executive Committee and State Duma deputy from 
Krasnoyarsk. 
 
Status Quo will prevail 
----------------------- 
 
7. (C) First deputy Mayor of Krasnoyarsk Vitaliy Borbrov told 
us that Kransoyarsk, by virtue of its political and social 
stability and its strong economy based on extractive 
industries, represented an important economic engine in 
Siberia. He touted efforts over the past five years to expand 
investment opportunities, focusing on the city's high-tech 
park, the Siberian Federal University, and considerable 
German interest in expanding high-tech commercial ties. 
Siberian University attracts students from throughout the 
region, many of whom remain in Kransoyarsk after graduation. 
The retention of graduates working in high-tech fields 
(including defense, space and aspects of extraction 
industries) demonstrates the success of leaders in building a 
diversified regional economy.  Major changes to existing 
economic structures were not needed, he said. 
 
8. (C) Many of our interlocutors recalled that Khloponin had 
also built Krasnoyarsk the old-fashioned way - through pork. 
Massive infrastructure projects, such as railways, roads and 
hydroelectric plants brought jobs to the kray, but were also 
of national significance.  Funds for construction and 
maintenance have been assured by Moscow, giving the kray a 
stable source of revenue from the center, but also putting in 
place assets, especially power generation facilities, that 
enable big business, especially aluminum processing 
facilities, to function.  Khloponin reportedly used his 
connections with regional business leaders, such as RusAl's 
Oleg Deripaska and Norilsk Nickel's Mikhail Prokhorov, to 
extract legitimate tax assessments that their subordinates 
had been reluctant to pay. 
 
9. (C) Independent journalist Leonid Zhvanov told us he 
doubted that President Medvedev's modernization rhetoric 
would make much of an impression on local and regional 
leaders in the short to medium term.  Too many senior 
political leaders owed their current positions (and their 
personal wealth) to the extractive industries, he noted. 
Public support for increased oil and gas exploration in the 
north of the kray means less support for reform.  He and KPRF 
leader Medvedev argued that political and business leaders 
could care less about the environment, especially in northern 
parts of the kray where wealthy business people hunt for 
recreation on lands that belong to native peoples. "It 
sometimes feels like Krasnoyarsk is treated like a rich 
colony, with Moscow the distant metropolis that remains quiet 
as long as money is flowing and regional oligarchs are 
happy," Zhvanov said. 
 
10. (C) President Medvedev February 8 nominated Krasnoyarsk 
Kray Deputy Governor Lev Kuznetsov to replace former Governor 
Aleksandr Khloponin.  Local government and party officials 
expected that Kuznetsov will win easy approval from the Kray 
Legislative Assembly when it reviews his nomination February 
16. United Russia (ER) officials praised him for his energy, 
his understanding of business (he worked for Norilsk Nickel 
with Khloponin), and his sound judgment.  KPRF, SR and LDPR 
officials, however, told us Kuznetsov would be too closely 
tied to big business.  They all said they would have much 
preferred Kray Assembly Speaker Uss. Independent journalists 
lamented that the new governor would not have the political 
weight of Khloponin.  State Duma Deputy from Krasnoyarsk 
Aleksandr Klyukin (ER), himself an Uss supporter, told us 
that Kuznetsov got the job thanks to his close personal ties 
with Khloponin.  According to Klyukin, Kuznetsov's 
appointment means that Khloponin's team of ministers and 
advisors, as well as ER regional party leaders, will all 
likely stay on.  In other words, said Klyukin, "status quo 
stability will prevail - just what Moscow wants." 
 
An Alarming Trend 
----------------- 
 
11. (C) KPRF leader Medvedev noted that steadily sinking 
faith in elections, and pervasive bureaucratic corruption was 
turning young and middle aged citizens in a more nationalist 
direction.  KPRF in Krasnoyarsk is trying to pick up some of 
these "patriotic yet disillusioned" people, but voters 
 
MOSCOW 00000325  003 OF 003 
 
 
harboring more radical views were prime targets for dangerous 
extremist groups. Kray Human Rights Ombudsman Mark Denisov 
confirmed this, linking growing nationalist sentiment to 
concerns over Chinese immigration into the region.  He said 
kray authorities are carefully monitoring the involvement of 
the Chinese government in this wave of immigration.  He 
charged this was part of a "deliberate policy by the Chinese 
government to change the demographics of the region.  Denisov 
said he is responsible for ensuring that Chinese laborers who 
come to Russia legally to work (mainly on projects proposed, 
funded and overseen by Chinese managers) were not abused or 
exploited.  He blamed Beijing for these abuses and noted that 
young Russians in the kray were concerned that some 
industrial enterprises and agricultural projects were now 
being overseen by Chinese, not Russian, managers. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
12. (C) Krasnoyarsk's new governor Kuznetsov has big shoes to 
fill. The March 14 regional elections throughout the kray 
will be his first opportunity to demonstrate to Moscow that 
he can continue Khloponin's record of delivering for United 
Russia while still being able to peacefully work with 
opposition political parties and other elites.  Although the 
energy sector remains its major economic producer, 
Krasnoyarsk also has a high-tech foundation on which to 
promote greater investment. United Russia's successful 
leadership in Krasnoyarsk allows President Medvedev to take 
credit for a regional economic and political modernization 
victory, especially since it was there in 2008 that he, as a 
candidate for the presidency, called for economic reform. 
Beyrle

Wikileaks