Category Archives: CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

10MOSCOW266, C/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX ON ENERGY INTERESTS,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MOSCOW266 2010-02-05 10:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7351
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FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6162
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000266 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND GREENSTEIN, 
S/EEE MORNINGSTAR, EUR/WE, INR 
DOE FOR HEGBURG, EKIMOFF 
DOC FOR JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MMCFAUL 

EO 12958 DECL: 02/05/2035 
TAGS EPET, ENRG, ECON, PREL, PINR, RS, IT 
SUBJECT: (C/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX ON ENERGY INTERESTS, 
PUTIN-BERLUSCONI LINK (C-RE9-02730)
REF: A. STATE 8676  B. 09 MOSCOW 1273

Classified By: Econ MC Matthias Mitman for Reasons 1.4 (b/d)

---------------------------- 
PUTIN-BERLUSCONI DIRECT LINK
---------------------------- 

1. (C/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX told us during a February 4 lunch that his Embassy and his Foreign Ministry often only learn of conversations between PM Berlusconi and PM Putin after the fact, and with little detail or background. He expressed frustration about the PMs’ “direct line,” which sometimes leaves the Embassy in the dark. He said if there is action to be taken, the cabinet secretary will instruct the Foreign Ministry or the Embassy without providing any background, and only note that Berlusconi and Putin had agreed on whatever the action item is. XXXXXXXXXXXX explained that while the close relationship is not ideal from the bureaucracy’s perspective and more detrimental than beneficial, it can be useful at times. He cited the case of the sale to Gazprom by Italian energy giant ENI of its 20% share in Gazprom’s oil subsidiary Gazpromneft.  He said Gazprom had insisted on paying far below the market price, but that it ultimately paid the market price after Berlusconi weighed in with Putin.

------------ 
ENI AND ENEL
------------ 

2. (C/NF) In response to our comment that ENI’s Moscow Representative, Ernesto Ferlenghi, won’t meet with us, XXXXXXXXXXXX said Ferlenghi “for some reason” doesn’t like to meet with foreign diplomats. (Note: We had a very open and friendly meeting with Ferlenghi about two years ago, but ever since, he has deflected our requests for a meeting. See also ref B.  End note.) XXXXXXXXXXXX said he believes Ferlenghi may have a directive from ENI headquarters to refer foreign governments to ENI’s Rome-based international governmental affairs director. While [XXXXXXXXXXXX, his cell phone rang -- it was Ferlenghi.  explained that although major projects such as the proposed South Stream gas pipeline gain the most attention, ENI’s main business in Russia is “buying gas.”

3. (C/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX said the Italian Embassy is organizing a visit by a trade and investment delegation to Novy Urengoi, the Yamal region city that is a project site of Severenergia, an upstream joint-venture between Gazprom, ENI, and Italy’s Enel. Gazprom bought a controlling stake in Severenergia from ENI and Enel, which had set up Severenergia to purchase some of the assets of the former Yukos oil company at its bankruptcy auction. XXXXXXXXXXXX said that in addition to its investment in Severenergia, Enel also has approximately $6 billion invested in the Russian electricity sector and may raise its investment in that sector to $9 billion.

------------------------------ 
SOUTH STREAM AND SAMSUN-CEYHAN
------------------------------ 

4. (C/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX also noted that ENI  XXXXXXXXXXXX and “we” (presumably the Italian government) have regular contact with Russian DPM and “Energy Czar” Igor Sechin. XXXXXXXXXXXX said that lately the discussions relate to an explicit business link between South Stream and the proposed Samsun-Ceyhan Turkish oil pipeline, of which ENI is the operating partner. He explained that ENI, and its Turkish partner (which he said is Turkish PM Erdogan’s son-in-law) need Russian oil to make Samsun-Ceyhan a reality, while Gazprom needs Turkish cooperation to move ahead on South Stream.

------- 
COMMENT
------- 

5. (C/NF) On major issues, it seems that Russian-Italian
MOSCOW 00000266 002 OF 002
economic relations are directed by PMs who have a direct line to each other as well as control over some of the largest assets of their respective economies. To whatever end they direct those assets, it is likely they are not doing so based solely on commercial or rate-of-return calculations. As our contact himself acknowledged -- “it seems that everything that happens at the lower levels is just for show.” Beyrle

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09MOSCOW2715, PUTIN’S SOUTH STREAM WISHES UNLIKELY TO COME TRUE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2715 2009-11-02 15:16 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6328
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #2715/01 3061516
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021516Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5271
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002715 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND GREENSTEIN, 
S/EEE MORNINGSTAR 
DOE FOR HEGBURG, EKIMOFF 
DOC FOR JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MMCFAUL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/01/2019 
TAGS: EPET ENRG ECON PREL RS
SUBJECT: PUTIN'S SOUTH STREAM WISHES UNLIKELY TO COME TRUE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Beyrle for Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C) PM Putin stated during a meeting with Italian PM 
Berlusconi that the proposed South Stream gas pipeline could 
be completed before the proposed Nord Stream gas pipeline. 
His statement followed agreement by Turkey to allow South 
Stream feasibility studies in its Black Sea waters, and 
agreements between Gazprom and Serbia's Sribjagas on gas 
storage and construction of the Serbian leg of South Stream. 
Gazprom and Italy's ENI, its 50-50 South Stream partner, also 
reportedly decided to accelerate the project.  However, 
despite this apparent progress, we still believe that South 
Stream faces significant obstacles.  Under current 
conditions, we expect gas from Nord Stream a few years after 
the current proposed 2011 target date, and from South Stream 
several years after the current proposed 2015 target date -- 
if ever.  End summary. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
South Stream Takes a Few Steps Forward... 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) PM Putin once again surprised analysts and journalists 
on October 22 when he stated during a meeting with visiting 
Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi that the proposed South Stream 
gas pipeline could be completed before the proposed Nord 
Stream gas pipeline.  Putin's statement followed developments 
indicating some movement on South Stream.  Earlier in the 
week, Turkey gave approval for Gazprom and Italy's ENI, 
Gazprom's 50-50 partner on South Stream, to conduct South 
Stream feasibility studies in Turkish Black Sea waters. 
Also, during President Medvedev's trip to Serbia that same 
week, Gazprom and Srbijagas agreed to set up a joint venture 
to manage construction of the pipeline on Serbian territory 
and to build gas storage facilities in Serbia.  In 
conjunction with the Putin-Berlusconi meeting, Gazprom and 
ENI reportedly agreed to accelerate the project. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
...But Very Unlikely to Be Built Before Nord Stream 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
3. (SBU) Putin's statement was a surprise because Nord Stream 
is an already established company that has conducted reams of 
feasibility, technical, and environmental impact studies, and 
has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure 
and pipe.  South Stream, on the other hand, remains a project 
on paper.  Gazprom itself plans to complete the first phase 
of Nord Stream by 2011 (a delay from the original target date 
of 2010), and to complete only the first leg of South Stream 
by 2014.  Most analysts believe both estimates are 
optimistic, with the South Stream timeline particularly 
unrealistic. 
 
4. (C) Deutsche Bank oil and gas analyst Pavel Kushir 
(protect) told us on October 23 that a situation in which 
South Stream would be completed before Nord Stream is "highly 
unlikely" given the different stages in which each project 
currently finds itself.  He (along with other watchers) noted 
that Putin's statement could only come true if Nord Stream is 
seriously delayed or if South Stream is built "incredibly 
quickly."  Credit Suisse oil and gas analyst Andrey 
Ovhinnikov (protect) was more blunt, suggesting to us on 
October 23 that Putin's statements do not make sense.  He 
compared them to Putin's earlier reference in China to the 
"Asian oil basket" -- "No one knows what that is," 
Ovchinnikov said, "but it sounds good at the time he says 
it."  Both Ovchinnikov and Kushnir also indicated that 
Putin's statement could be related to a growing expectation 
that Sweden may not provide needed Nord Stream permits 
anytime soon. 
 
5. (C/NF) Referring to his PM's apparent agreement with 
Putin, Italian Embassy Energy Officer Lorenzo Fanara 
explained to us on October 23 that "of course those are just 
political statements."  Fanara believed there was a link 
 
MOSCOW 00002715  002 OF 002 
 
 
between Turkish agreement on South Stream feasibility 
studies, and an earlier agreement by Rosneft, Russia's 
state-owned oil company, on the Samsun Ceyhan oil pipeline to 
Turkey, in which ENI also has an interest.  Fanara also 
downplayed a reported statement by ENI CEO Pablo Scaroni that 
ENI may make a final investment decision on South Stream in 
2010.  He said such a decision could only come after 
feasibility studies that are planned to be concluded only at 
the end of 2010.  As to why ENI is participating in a project 
that many see as uneconomic, Fanara said that ENI's 
calculation is "different from Gazprom's."  He noted that 
ENI'
s construction subsidiary is slated to build the pipeline 
and that the project guarantees gas for ENI to distribute 
within Italy. 
 
6. (C/NF) Fanara also commented on whether South Stream is 
needed at all, given Nord Stream's likely construction and 
the gas glut that is forecast to continue in the medium-term. 
 He said that gas for South Stream would "clearly" be 
diverted from Ukraine.  Although this may be uneconomic, he 
said, the GOR "is obsessed" with bypassing Ukraine. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7. (C) Russian political leaders' statements about the 
economy or energy projects often overlook how they may sound 
to educated observers.  Putin's comment on South Stream is 
likely just a flip "political statement," as Fanara put it. 
Unless Nord Stream is delayed by many years, it would be 
extremely unlikely for South Stream to be completed first. 
Gazprom estimates the total costs of the South Stream 
pipeline at approximately 24 billion euros.  This estimate is 
difficult to confirm because few real studies have been 
concluded regarding the scope and path of the pipeline. 
Regardless of the exact final cost, raising such vast sums of 
money would prove very tricky in the current credit 
environment.  Financing should be even more difficult for a 
project of questionable economic merit, and at a time of 
great uncertainty about future gas demand and pricing in 
Europe.  Furthermore, the pipeline has to compete with other 
priorities for Gazprom's limited cash.  Logistical, 
environmental, technical, legal, and political obstacles only 
add to the uncertainty over the future of South Stream.  We 
continue to believe that we will not see gas flowing into 
Europe from the South Stream project until at least several 
years after the current target date of 2015, if then. 
Beyrle

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09MOSCOW2368, EDF TO JOIN SOUTH STREAM?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2368 2009-09-15 13:48 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5972
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #2368 2581348
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151348Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4815
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002368 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND GREENSTEIN, 
S/EEE MORNINGSTAR 
DOE FOR HEGBURG, EKIMOFF 
DOC FOR JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MMCFAUL, JELLISON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2019 
TAGS: EPET ENRG ECON PREL RS
SUBJECT: EDF TO JOIN SOUTH STREAM? 
 
Classified By: A/ECON MC John Stepanchuk for Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
-------------------------------- 
EDF MAY TAKE 10% OF SOUTH STREAM 
-------------------------------- 
 
1. (C/NF) French Embassy Energy Attache Vincent Pringault 
(protect) confirmed to us on September 15 that Electricite de 
France (EDF) is negotiating to participate in the South 
Stream gas pipeline project.  Pringault told us that the 
deal, reported the same morning by Russian daily Kommersant, 
had yet to be concluded.  He said a final agreement is likely 
to be reached in the next two months, but held out the 
possibility that it could also be derailed.  Kommersant, 
citing anonymous sources, indicated Gazprom chief Alexey 
Miller would travel to France at the end of September to 
finalize the agreement, which would give EDF a 10% stake in 
South Stream along with rights to distribute unspecified 
amounts of South Stream gas in Europe.  Pringault did not 
know whether EDF's possible 10% stake would come out of 
Gazprom's current 50% ownership or out of ENI's 50% share, 
but said EDF would only participate in the portion of the 
pipeline from Russia under the Black Sea.  There has been no 
official confirmation of the deal by any of the entities 
involved. 
 
2. (C/NF) Pringault said EDF only began negotiations with 
Gazprom about six months ago and approached the French 
government about its interest about three months ago. 
Pringault stressed repeatedly that EDF participation in South 
Stream, if it happens, should in no way be interpreted as a 
political statement regarding French-Russian relations or as 
an indication of French preference for South Stream over 
Nabucco.  He explained the move is being driven by EDF, which 
wants to "expand its gas portfolio in Europe and to secure 
gas for its power plants."  On the potential sidelining of 
Ukraine as a result of Nord Stream and South Stream, 
Pringault noted his understanding that both Nord Stream and 
South Stream would carry new gas and would not divert current 
flows, adding "at least that's what Gazprom claims."  (Note: 
Gaz de France/Suez is reportedly negotiating to join the Nord 
Stream gas pipeline project.  End note.) 
 
--------------------- 
GOOD NEWS FOR GAZPROM 
--------------------- 
 
3. (C) Alfa Bank Chief Strategist Ron Smith wrote in his 
daily report that the deal was not only positive for Gazprom 
in terms of the South Stream - Nabucco "race" (as he called 
it), but also an important indication of long-term demand for 
Gazprom gas.  UBS, in its daily report, also saw the news as 
an encouraging sign for long-term European interest in 
pipeline gas imports from Russia.  Deutsche Bank's Pavel 
Kushnir (protect), however, indicated to us he is perplexed 
by EDF's move, saying he doesn't understand the benefit of 
committing to a pipeline project "given the abundance of gas 
sources in Europe these days." 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
4. (C) EDF, like its compatriots Total (a partner in the 
Shtokman gas field) and GDF/Suez (a potential Nord Stream 
partner), has a long-term interest in engagement with Russia 
and is likely entering South Stream in that context. 
However, while EDF's participation in South Stream would 
support both the pipeline and the future of Russian gas sales 
to Europe, we remain skeptical that South Stream will be 
built anytime close to its proposed completion date of 2015. 
Even with the backing of three state-controlled energy 
giants, the pipeline will need to prove it can supply gas to 
European markets as cheaply as alternatives -- a challenging 
hurdle given the project's estimated 24 billion euro price 
tag (Gazprom's own estimate).  End comment. 
Beyrle

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09MOSCOW2294, SENATOR MARGELOV ON COOPERATING, IRAN,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW2294 2009-09-04 05:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8458
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2294/01 2470523
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 040523Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4729

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002294 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/01/2019 
TAGS: AORC IR MARR PARM PGOV PREL RS SU UP
SUBJECT: SENATOR MARGELOV ON COOPERATING, IRAN, 
AFGHANISTAN, SUDAN, UKRAINE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle.  Reason:  1.4 (b), (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  In a September 2 meeting with Ambassador 
Beyrle, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman 
Mikhail Margelov said Russia is hesitant to work outside the 
P5 plus 1 format when discussing possible sanctions against 
Iran.  Margelov invited Ambassador Beyrle to present U.S. 
policies in more detail in a Federation Council Committee 
meeting and cited other areas, Ukraine aside, where the U.S. 
and Russia could increase cooperation.  End Summary 
 
------------------------------ 
Iran: No Traction on Sanctions 
------------------------------ 
 
2. (C)  Margelov sidestepped suggestions of possible 
sanctions against Iran outside the P5 plus 1 framework, and 
stated that he believed sanctions only led to corruption.  He 
added that Russia did not have major economic investments in 
Iran; sanctions involving the economies of countries like 
China and Japan would carry more weight.  Margelov stressed 
that the P5 plus 1 is working effectively and agreed that 
Tehran would get the message only if the U.S., Russia, EU and 
others continued to stick together.  Margelov dismissed 
possible alternative arrangements, such as sending Iranian 
LEU to Russia and Argentina for enrichment.  He also 
suggested that Iran would be a good topic for Presidents 
Obama and Medvedev to discuss personally. 
 
-------------------------------- 
Invitation to Discuss U.S. Views 
-------------------------------- 
 
3. (C)  Margelov said the "reset" and the July Obama visit 
had changed the atmosphere of the relationship.  To build 
further on that, he invited Ambassador Beyrle to speak to a 
Federation Council Foreign Policy Committee meeting on 
September 21 and promised to invite Council members from 
other committees such as Agriculture and Defense.  Margelov 
framed the meeting as an excellent opportunity for the 
Ambassador to frame U.S. views and policy objectives with 
Russian policymakers prior to Presidents Obama and Medvedev's 
meeting on September 23. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
Continuing Bilateral Momentum on START 
-------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C)  Margelov agreed with the Ambassador that a new START 
agreement was possible by the end of the year and assured 
Ambassador Beyrle that the Federation Council would move 
quickly to ratify it.  Margelov stressed that he wanted the 
positive momentum in our bilateral relationship to continue 
and welcomed increased contact with his counterparts in the 
U.S. Senate. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
Afghanistan: Let's Continue Cooperating 
--------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C)  Margelov viewed Afghanistan as another area where 
cooperation between the U.S. and Russia has been fruitful and 
that Moscow was ready to do more to assist.  In response to 
the Ambassador's comments on Afghanistan, Margelov said that 
many Russians respected that NATO is resolving problems that 
directly affect Russia. He added that Moscow is ready to do 
more in Afghanistan, such as training army and law 
enforcement officers.  He affirmed that despite opposition 
among some members, the Federation Council would pass the 
lethal transit agreement, and did not think publicity over 
the inaugural flights would have any negative effect. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
Africa: Health, Security, Sudan Present Opportunities 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
6. (C)  Margelov, an Arabic speaker and Middle Eastern 
expert, said that Africa, and Sudan in particular, presented 
issues where Washington and Moscow could cooperate "outside 
both of our backyards."  The Ambassador and Margelov agreed 
that now is a unique time in our bilateral relationship where 
we could effectively work together in Africa, particularly on 
health and security issues. 
 
7. (C)  To encourage security, Margelov is organizing a 
conference on Sudan on October 6-7 in Moscow where he hoped 
to impress on Sudanese and South Sudanese leaders the 
importance of implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. 
 Sudan, he said, could otherwise become another failed 
African state that the international community would need to 
 
MOSCOW 00002294  002 OF 002 
 
 
deal with.  He has invited a wide range of foreign diplomats 
and international experts, including U.S. Special Envoy Scott 
Gration, and a number of other U.S. representatives. 
 
---------------------------------- 
Ukraine: Breaking Up is Hard to Do 
---------------------------------- 
 
8. (C)  In response to an inquiry on relations with Ukraine, 
Margelov smiled, shook
his head, and replied that the 
Moscow's relationship with Kyiv is very emotional and 
irrational.  Many Russians, Margelov continued, believed that 
Ukraine is "more Russian then Russia," and that it was hard 
to accept that Kyiv is distancing itself politically from 
Moscow.  Moscow, however, had learned from its past mistakes 
and President Medvedev did not want to interfere in Ukraine's 
internal politics the way Moscow had during the Orange 
Revolution when it openly backed Party of Regions leader 
Viktor Yanukovych.  Margelov reiterated his view that Moscow 
cannot trust any of Ukraine's political leaders. 
Beyrle

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09MOSCOW1541, RUSSIA: DEMARCHE ON EUROPEAN SECURITY AND THE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1541 2009-06-11 14:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6525
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1541/01 1621446
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111446Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3766
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001541 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV EU NATO OSCE RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA:  DEMARCHE ON EUROPEAN SECURITY AND THE 
CORFU MINISTERIAL 
 
REF: SECSTATE 59226 
 
Classified By: Acting POL M/C David Kostelancik for reasons 1.4 (b) and 
 (d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C/NF) MFA Deputy Director Gorlach welcomed reftel 
demarche as an important signal and expressed interest in the 
idea of a joint U.S.-Russian statement for the Corfu 
ministerial.  He said that Russia would not oppose efforts to 
discuss the human and economic agenda, but asked for 
specifics and expressed concern that this could delay 
progress on Russia's priority, hard security.  He understood 
our preference of the OSCE as a venue but pushed for a 
division of labor between other organizations, including the 
NRC.  He put forward the possibility of creating a core group 
of interested parties to shepherd the EST.  He highlighted 
that Russia wanted both classic and new security threats and 
responses on the agenda.  He said that Russia did not have 
any timeframe to deliver a treaty, but that Russia would seek 
a legally binding instrument as the outcome.  End Summary. 
 
A Positive Signal 
----------------- 
 
2.  (C) On June 10, Deputy Director for European Cooperation 
Yuri Gorlach welcomed reftel demarche and said that the GOR 
was appreciative for the "engaged, open, and positive" U.S. 
approach on the European Security Treaty (EST).  Calling our 
demarche an "important and positive political signal," he 
contrasted it with the initial U.S. reaction -- you rejected 
"our outstretched hand" and pursued an "unconstructive 
agenda." 
 
3.  (C) He agreed with our desire for a frank dialogue on 
security and added that we should address both "classic 
security threats" and new threats and challenges, e.g., 
drugs, piracy, and terrorism.  The reason, he said, was that 
the EU, NATO, OSCE, the CSTO, and the SCO had competing 
agenda items on these new threats and that NATO, was 
principally a military organization, making it less 
appropriate to deal with matters handled better by police and 
special services.  Even though he assessed that NATO covered 
new threats inefficiently, he said that it could serve as a 
place to exchange information. 
 
Human and Economic Agenda:  Not a Russian Priority 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
4.  (C) Gorlach said that Russia would not oppose dialogue on 
human and economic security baskets, but that it was not 
Russia's first priority -- although, he asked for our 
concrete proposals on the human and economic agenda.  Russia 
considered that the OSCE had made significant progress on the 
economic and human baskets, but had not succeeded well in the 
hard security arena.  Thus, he argued that we should pursue a 
"more rational and less ambitious agenda" on security, and 
expressed concern that by trying to move forward significant 
changes in all three baskets, it would slow progress on 
Russia's priority, hard security.  He emphasized, however, 
that Russia was in "no rush" to move this process forward, 
"we are not in Soviet days.  This is not something that needs 
to be done at any cost to show progress to the seniors." 
That said, he emphasized that Russia had learned from events 
in the Balkans and Georgia, i.e., it needed more than 
political commitments, it needed a legally binding agreement. 
 
Going Beyond the OSCE 
--------------------- 
 
5.  (C/NF) Echoing President Medvedev's recent statement on 
the presidential website, he said that European security 
demanded a "change in software, not hardware," meaning 
procedures and practices, not institutions.  While Gorlach 
acknowledged our preference for discussing the EST within the 
OSCE, he told us that there was "added value" in going beyond 
and looking to a division of labor with other organizations, 
particularly at a "revived" NRC.  Saying that Russia had 
"nothing against the OSCE, it was a marvelous organization," 
he observed that it had "obvious limitations."  He again 
raised the possibility of forming a "core group" or a "group 
of interested states" which could shepherd the EST forward, 
and then "maybe converge" at the OSCE.  He mentioned Poland, 
Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Greece, Spain, 
Kazakhstan, and the Baltic nations (included to "avoid 
suspicion") as Russia's preferred candidates for this group. 
He also invited the U.S. to participate. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001541  002 OF 002 
 
 
Welcome Joint Statement 
----------------------- 
 
6.  (C/NF) Gorlach welcomed our offer to explore a joint 
statement on security cooperation, calling it a "very 
important" signal to others, noting that many European states 
awaited an American signal to engage on the EST discussion. 
He said an "uplifting joint statement" could help in building 
trust in the U.S.-Russia relationship.  We would welcome 
instructions on the process and timing for developing and 
delivering this joint statement. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW1452, PUTIN WARNS EU OF “PROBLEM” IF UKRAINE UNABLE TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW1452 2009-06-03 09:15 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9163
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #1452/01 1540915
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 030915Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3613
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001452 
 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS, FOR EEB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND WRIGHT 
DOE FOR HEGBURG, EKIMOFF 
DOC FOR JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR MMCFAUL, JELLISON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/2019 
TAGS: EPET ENRG ECON PREL RS
SUBJECT: PUTIN WARNS EU OF "PROBLEM" IF UKRAINE UNABLE TO 
PAY FOR GAS 
 
REF: A. MOSOCW 1424 
     B. MOSCOW 854 
     C. MOSCOW 367 
 
Classified By: Econ MC Eric Schultz for Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C/NF) In a May 29 entry on his website, PM Putin warned 
the EU "of a potential problem," should Ukraine fail to meet 
its June 7 payment deadline for May gas deliveries.  Without 
offering specific outcomes, the PM expressed concern about 
Ukraine's ability to pay and explained why various options to 
help Ukraine were unlikely to materialize.  A Gazprom 
official told us June 1 the "worst-case scenario" (read a 
cutoff of gas to Europe) would only arise if Ukraine, unable 
to pay for its own gas needs, "were to steal gas" from export 
pipelines transiting the country.  The EC Moscow Delegation's 
energy officer told us June 1 that Ukraine had told the EU 
that it would be able to make the payment.  He added that 
even if Ukraine were unable to pay, there should be no 
problems with deliveries to the rest of Europe as under the 
current monitoring scheme it would be difficult for Ukraine 
to "steal" gas.  Given the repeated recent warnings by the 
GOR on this issue, however, we do not rule out another gas 
cutoff next week, although we consider it unlikely. 
Moreover, we believe that regardless of the reasons, if 
Russia were to cutoff gas to Europe, it would further hurt 
Gazprom's already damaged reputation, as well as its ailing 
business.  End summary. 
 
------------------------------------ 
PUTIN WARNS "OF A POTENTIAL PROBLEM" 
------------------------------------ 
 
2. (SBU) In a statement posted on his website on May 29, PM 
Putin, writing in the first person, expressed concern about 
the "risk of new setbacks in the transit of Russian gas to 
European consumers" arising from indications that Ukraine may 
not be able to meet its June 7 deadline to pay for its May 
gas imports.  According to the posting, Ukrainian PM 
Tymoshenko had suggested Russia pre-pay about five billion 
dollars for transit, representing the next five to seven 
years of transit charges, in order for Ukraine to be able to 
buy a commensurate amount of Russian gas.  PM Putin then laid 
out three reasons why this is not feasible -- 1.) Ukrainian 
President Yushchenko suggested this is illegal; 2.) The 
recent Ukraine-EU declaration on upgrading Ukraine's gas 
network introduces unacceptable uncertainties regarding 
future transit terms; and 3.) the global crisis "will make it 
difficult to stockpile five billion dollars."  Given that 
Ukraine therefore may not be able to pay for its gas, Putin 
said, Russia had informed its partners "of a potential 
problem," without specifying further. 
 
3. (SBU) Putin then explained that conversations with EU 
Commission President Barroso and other EU leaders indicated 
that the EU would not be able to help Ukraine either.  He 
said he had also raised this issue with IMF Managing Director 
Dominique Strauss-Khan.  Putin concluded this issue "should 
be resolved with a common effort and with full understanding 
of the responsibility involved," adding "his hope that this 
sober and pragmatic logic will gain an upper hand." 
 
----------------- 
BUILDING PRESSURE 
----------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Putin's declaration was the latest public salvo on 
the part of the GOR in a weeks-long effort apparently aimed 
at ratcheting up the pressure on Ukraine and on the EU to 
resolve the payment problem.  Public statements on the issue 
include calls by President Medvedev during the recent 
Russia-EU Summit (ref A) for the EU to help Ukraine pay its 
bills and assertions by Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller that 
Gazprom will move the agreed-upon system of pre-payments for 
gas should Ukraine fall behind on its payments. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001452  002 OF 003 
 
 
5. (SBU) Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, who prides himself as 
a mediator between Russia and the EU (and whose country's ENI 
is a major Gazprom partner) publicly stated that he would 
press the EU to help Ukraine make its payments.  Barroso, 
meanwhile, told reporters on May 29 that the EU would find it 
difficult, "if not impossible" to provide financial support 
to Ukraine for this purpose. 
 
--------------------- 
"WORST CASE SCENARIO" 
--------------------- 
 
6. (C) Ukrainian Embassy Political Counselor Myroslava 
Scherebatiuk told us June 1 that she believes Ukraine will 
either be able to raise the required money or solve the issue 
through negotiations.  She added, however, that she did not 
understand why Ukraine's payment problems should b
e related 
to Russia cutting off gas to Europe. 
 
7. (C) Ivan Zolotov, Gazprom's Director of Foreign Relations, 
told us June 1 that the connection is a "worst case 
scenario," in which Ukraine misses the June 7th deadline, 
Russia cuts off gas to Ukraine, and Ukraine then "starts 
stealing gas from the export pipelines."  Although he did not 
say so directly, Zolotov implied that this could then result 
in supply disruptions to the rest of Europe.  He said if 
Ukraine does not pay but also does not steal gas intended for 
other markets, then there should be "no problem" for Europe. 
He noted that Gazprom provides figures to the EC Delegation 
in Moscow on a daily basis for Russian gas exports to and 
through Ukraine, and that this system should help prevent 
potential theft by Ukraine.  Zolotov added that Gazprom was 
still negotiating with Ukraine to find a solution and avoid a 
cutoff. 
 
8. (C/NF) EC Delegation Energy Officer Ismo Koskinen 
(protect) told us June 1 that he is the recipient of those 
figures from Gazprom.  He said that Russia cutting off gas to 
Ukraine "should not affect EU supplies," and that under the 
current monitoring scheme it would be clear if there were 
unexplained discrepancies between the amounts of gas shipped 
from Russia to Ukraine and gas leaving Ukraine for the EU. 
Koskinen added, however, that he "would not be surprised" if 
the current monitoring scheme were to be modified in the 
event of gas cutoff to Ukraine.  He did not expect a cutoff 
next week, although he acknowledged that Russian public 
statements about the consequences of Ukrainian non-payment 
have been gaining intensity. 
 
9. (C/NF) Koskinen said Ukrainian officials had told EU 
officials that Ukraine would be able to make the June 7 
payment.  He did not know the amount Ukraine owed for May but 
said he expected it to be about the same as for April, which 
he said was $625 million.  According to Koskinen, Ukraine's 
storage facilities were approximately one-third full and that 
all the gas in storage had been paid for.  He said he 
believed Ukraine was waiting to fill up its storage units as 
gas prices, which trail oil prices by 6-9 months and have 
been further pressured downward due to excess supplies, are 
expected to fall further in the coming months. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
10. (C) With Putin himself having suggested that the EU take 
up this issue at its June 18-19 Brussels Summit, we would be 
surprised to see a cutoff of gas to Ukraine before that 
timeframe, even in the event Ukraine fails to pay in full on 
June 7.  Nevertheless, given the repeated warnings and recent 
public comments by the most senior GOR leaders and the GOR's 
apparently willingness to bear the consequences of its 
actions, we do not rule out such a scenario either.  Among 
other factors at play is Gazprom's tough financial straits in 
a market in which its sales volumes are declining along with 
the price of gas (refs B and C).  Gazprom has a strong 
motivation to be paid for filling Ukraine's storage 
facilities now rather than in 2 or 3 months when prices are 
expected to be lower. 
 
 
MOSCOW 00001452  003 OF 003 
 
 
11. (C) Comment continued:  Even if a crisis isn't 
immediately at hand, by constantly reminding the world of 
Ukraine's payment problems, Gazprom and the GOR hope to lay 
the groundwork for the Russian position in the blame game 
sure to follow any future crisis.  However, regardless of the 
reasons behind any future cutoff and despite the GOR's best 
efforts to shift blame onto Ukraine, a repeat disruption of 
gas supplies to Europe would likely do great harm to Russia's 
reputation as a reliable energy partner.  Should Gazprom 
again cutoff gas to Europe it would likely push the EU to 
accelerate its efforts to minimize its dependence on Russian 
gas. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW778, EU MOREL, HABER DISCUSS GEORGIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW778 2009-03-27 15:27 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO2414
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0778 0861527
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271527Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2603
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000778 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS GG
SUBJECT: EU MOREL, HABER DISCUSS GEORGIA 
 
Classified By: Pol M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C/NF) Summary: In separate meetings in Moscow March 26, 
EU special envoy Pierre Morel met with DFM Karasin, while 
head of the EU Observer Mission Hans-Joerg Haber met with 
General Proshkin of the General Staff to discuss the Geneva 
Process, EU Monitoring Mission, and other Georgia-related 
issues.  While Karasin agreed to discuss the date of the next 
Geneva Process meeting following the May 15 release of the 
UNSG report on UNSCR 1866, and to hold a first meeting of the 
Joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism on April 
14-15, there was no fundamental shift in Russian positions. 
Proshkin charged that a "demilitarization as much as 
possible" of the Georgian side of the conflict zone was a 
prerequisite for discussion of an EUMM-Russia communication 
mechanism.  End Summary. 
 
-------------------- 
Geneva Process, EUMM 
-------------------- 
 
2.  (C/NF) According to Acting EC Political Counselor Kevin 
Tait, in his meeting with Deputy FM Karasin, EU special envoy 
for crises in Georgia Pierre Morel pushed without success for 
agreement to hold the next Geneva Process meeting before the 
end of April.  Karasin was only willing to advance the date 
from Russia's earlier preference of late June up to late May, 
to be finalized after the UN Secretary General issued a 
report (due May 15) on the implementation of Security Council 
Resolution 1866 and the situation on the ground. 
 
3.  (C/NF) The GOR also provided Morel with the names of the 
Russian liaison officers who will work together with the EU 
Monitoring Mission (EUMM).  The sides tentatively agreed to a 
first meeting of the Joint Incident Prevention and Response 
Mechanism (JIPRM) on April 14-15 to exchange information. 
Touting the JIPRM as the "first practical document" of the 
Geneva Process, the MFA in its statement about Morel's visit 
noted that the Mechanism foresaw regular meetings and the 
operation of a "hotline." 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
Russia demands demilitarized zone in Georgia 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C/NF) In order to improve EU-Russia communications, head 
of the EU Observer Mission in Georgia Hans-Joerg Haber in his 
meeting requested that General Proshkin of the General Staff 
authorize weekly meetings between the EUMM and Russian force 
leaders in the breakaway regions, similar to the EUMM-Georgia 
MOD MOU of January 26, 2009.  Haber also pushed for Russian 
notification to the EUMM of military exercises and 
overflights of the border zones. 
 
5.  (C/NF) Haber also reiterated demands that the Russians 
withdraw from Perevi, and allow Georgia to reoccupy the city 
"with minimal force presence." 
 
6.  (C/NF) According to Tait, General Proshkin did not agree 
to notify the EUMM of Russian military exercises, calling 
them "normal activity" and "preparation for any contingency." 
 Accusing the EU of misrepresenting the size of the Georgian 
military presence in the region, Proshkin charged that a 
"demilitarization as much as possible" of the Georgian side 
of the conflict zone was a prerequisite for discussion of an 
EUMM-Russia communication mechanism. 
 
7.  (C/NF) Proshkin criticized the Georgia MOD-EUMM MOU from 
January for lifting limits on troop sizes during times of 
emergency, and for requiring renewal every three months. 
(Note: renewal is automatic.  End note.) 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
8.  (C/NF) EC mission officers saw no fundamental shift in 
Russia's positions, although some slight progress in moving 
forward on the JIPRM. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

09MOSCOW587, IRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: MFA UNCERTAIN OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MOSCOW587 2009-03-11 14:20 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO6502
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMO #0587 0701420
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111420Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2309
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 000587 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/11/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL IR RS
SUBJECT: IRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: MFA UNCERTAIN OF 
OUTCOME 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) Russian MFA Iran desk chief Maxim Baranov, who 
recently returned from Tehran, told us that the Iranian 
political situation remained unclear, with too many potential 
candidates to predict the outcome of the June 12 Presidential 
election.  Baranov thought that the large number of potential 
presidential candidates, which he put at 10, ensured that 
there would be a runoff following the initial voting.  Should 
Ahmadinejad eventually announce his candidacy, the current 
President's popularity would allow him to make it to the 
second round, although the fate of other candidates was 
uncertain.  Baranov argued, however, that the presence of 
other hard-line candidates and dissatisfaction with the 
country's economic situation meant that Ahmadinejad's 
re-election was not ensured.  He thought that the "main 
political struggle" would come in April, after all the 
candidates had officially registered and Iranians, returned 
from spring vacations, focused more fully on the election. 
 
2. (C) Baranov explained that while there were concerns that 
the potential candidacy of former Prime Minister Mousavi 
would divide the reformist camp, it also offered Iranian 
voters the choice of a candidate remembered for guiding the 
country through one of its most trying periods during the 
Iran-Iraq war.  Mousavi was credited with successfully 
managing the economy under difficult fiscal constraints, 
which would make him an attractive choice for voters 
concerned with the current state of Iran's oil-dependent 
economy.  Baranov maintained that this meant Mousavi would 
stand in sharp contrast to former President Khatami, who was 
not considered an effective manager.  Should Mousavi and 
Khatami both run, the votes of reformist-minded Iranians 
could hinge upon whether their concern for Iran's economy 
trumped support for the country's reformist standard bearer. 
Baranov added that possible runs by former Tehran Mayor 
Karbaschi and speaker of Parliament Karroubi could only 
further complicate the situation for Iranian reformists. 
 
3. (C) Baronov said that voter turnout would depend heavily 
upon the ability of the various campaigns to motivate 
Iranians.  While in Tehran, he looked up old acquaintances 
who were either unsure for whom they would vote or if they 
would vote at all.  Using typically Russian terms to describe 
the message and means campaigns use to appeal to voters, 
Baranov said that the "propaganda and political technologies" 
employed by the presidential campaigns will be of great 
importance.  Television and radio are under the thumb of the 
Supreme Leader, but print media remains open, and the 
internet, while controlled to some extent by the authorities, 
could be employed effectively by knowledgeable campaigns.  In 
Tehran, Baranov saw peoples' cell phones displaying the 
images of their favored presidential candidates and heard 
that campaigns would use text messaging to reach voters. 
 
4. (C) Baronov believes that the youth vote remains in 
question, both in terms of how motivated young people will be 
to vote, but also how they will vote.  He cautioned us not to 
assume that this extremely large segment of the Iranian 
population was monolithic in its views, citing the presence 
in schools and universities of conservative student 
organizations, some of which fanatically maintain support for 
the hard-liners and ideals of the Iranian Revolution. 
 
5. (C) Baranov posited that Iran's economy would be the 
primary issue in the campaign, with candidates addressing how 
they would handle macroeconomic policy as well as spending on 
education, pensions and other entitlements.  The secondary 
issue would be relations with the U.S., with all candidates 
taking a hard-line with Washington.  Another issue would be 
Iran's place in the larger Middle East - all candidates will 
advocate a strong Iran, although nuances in rhetoric will 
indicate how they intend to work with neighbors and within 
the international system, according to Baranov. 
BEYRLE

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3605, SEEKING RUSSIAN UPDATE ON SUKHUMI RADIOACTIVE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3605 2008-12-12 14:01 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #3605 3471401
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121401Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1150
INFO RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 3902
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0541
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003605 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR ISN/WMDT, EUR/PRA, EUR/RUS AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/2018 
TAGS: KNP ENRG IAEA PARM PREL GG RS
SUBJECT: SEEKING RUSSIAN UPDATE ON SUKHUMI RADIOACTIVE 
SOURCES 
 
REF: A. STATE 126999 
     B. MOSCOW 3431 
 
Classified By: EST Counselor Deborah Klepp for reasons 1.4 b and d 
 
1.  (C)  On December 12, ESToff requested an update on the 
four radioactive sources located in Sukhumi, Abkhazia from 
First Secretary Olga Kuznetsova, Nuclear Affairs Officer in 
the MFA Department of Security and Disarmament Affairs. 
While she was aware of the issue and its history, she said 
that she had no substantive answers to any of the four reftel 
questions, but would confer with her superiors and provide 
them when she did. 
 
2.  (C) On December 10, EST Counselor requested an update 
from Rosatom International Relations Department Head 
Konstantin Popov.  When pressed, Popov ventured that he 
thought the sources are still in Sukhumi.  He agreed to check 
and to give us an update the week of December 15. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  We regularly raise this issue with the 
MFA, most recently with Alexander Bolichiov, Second Secretary 
on November 25 (ref B).  In each case, the MFA has deferred 
answering.  Embassy will continue to raise these questions at 
every appropriate meeting.  End Comment. 
RUBIN

Wikileaks

08MOSCOW3290, DAS BRYZA’S MEETING WITH SECURITY COUNCIL DEPUTY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MOSCOW3290 2008-11-13 06:51 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9664
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #3290/01 3180651
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 130651Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0690
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003290 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/08/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG RS
SUBJECT: DAS BRYZA'S MEETING WITH SECURITY COUNCIL DEPUTY 
SECRETARY ZUBAKOV 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Beyrle for reasons 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  In a November 1 meeting with visiting EUR 
DAS Matt Bryza, Russian Deputy Security Council Secretary 
Yuri Zubakov insinuated that Georgia started the August 
conflict with U.S. acquiescence, arms, and funds.  He 
dismissed Bryza's avowal that Georgia was not prepared for 
war in August, claiming Saakashvili had told him "only the 
military way was possible," and called on the U.S. to prove 
its version of events by sharing its intelligence.  For the 
Geneva process, Zubakov called for security guarantees to 
ensure that Georgia's "aggression" could not happen again, 
followed by an arms embargo on Georgia, and an end to threats 
of renewed violence.  Zubakov called on the U.S. to turn the 
page on the events of August, which he described as the 
result of "poor cooperation" between the U.S. and Russia. 
Bryza pushed back on Zubakov's assertions, noting the U.S. 
had only provided Georgia with basic military support.  Bryza 
said that the international community would not simply put 
Russia's August aggression aside, and called on Russia to use 
its sway over the South Ossetians and Abkhaz to make the 
November 18 Geneva talks a success.  End Summary. 
 
----------------- 
Zubakov unplugged 
----------------- 
 
2.  (C) In a meeting November 1, Russian Deputy Secretary to 
the Security Council Yuri Antonovich Zubakov told visiting 
DAS Matt Bryza that Georgian president Saakashvili had told 
him the only way to save Russians in South Ossetia was to 
"help cut insurgents' heads off."  However, because of 
Georgian control over the mass media, the "fact of Georgian 
aggression" was still not publicly known.  Zubakov insinuated 
that Saakashvili had a role in the death of former Georgian 
Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania 2005 and Georgian Imedi TV 
channel owner Badri Patarkatsishvili in 2008.  Zubakov 
claimed that Georgia for 80 years had felt special due to 
Stalin's Georgian heritage, and continued to exhibit these 
pretensions through capricious behavior.  Zubakov reiterated 
his call for establishing the facts, in order to understand 
how the August conflict could have occurred, and suggested 
Georgia had begun the aggression after having received 
foreign acquiescence. 
 
3.  (C) In the course of a sometimes rambling diatribe, 
Zubakov rejected Ukrainian president Yushchenko's attempts to 
gain recognition for the Holodomor, and condemned Ukraine's 
attempts to "rehabilitate Ukrainian Nazi war criminals" who 
had fought against the Red Army during World War II. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
Accusations of U.S. support for aggression 
------------------------------------------ 
 
4.  (C) Rejecting Zubakov's allegations of Georgian 
aggression and veiled accusation of U.S. complicity, Bryza 
opined that Saakashvili had contingency plans for military 
action in South Ossetia but no clear intention to initiate 
use of force.  He described President Bush's repeated 
admonitions to Saakashvili not to use force, and said that 
when the President feared Saakashvili had misunderstood him, 
Bush called yet again to underscore his point, while 
Secretary Rice sent Bryza to Tbilisi to deliver the message 
in person.  Bryza argued that some Saakashvili advisors had 
advocated a pre-emptive military strike on Russian troops in 
Abkhazia in April, but Saakashvili declined to be drawn into 
a conflict.  However, Bryza noted that Russian provocations 
continued, such as the introduction of Russian railway troops 
into Abkhazia and the downing of a Georgian drone over 
Abkhazia. 
 
5.  (C) Zubakov interrupted to dismiss Bryza's talk about 
non-aggressive Georgian intentions, given that Saakashvili 
had told Zubakov during a visit to Tbilisi that "only the 
military way was possible."  Georgia had "cheated" the U.S., 
and someone in the U.S. government had failed in his 
"Saakashvili project" and therefore should quit.  "Foreign 
advisors" in Gori had advised Georgia to stockpile weapons, 
which subsequently acquired more weapons than it could 
afford.  Zubakov then insinuated the U.S. had supplied the 
money for Georgia to buy weapons from third countries.  He 
called on the U.S. to share its information on Georgia's 
pre-conflict intentions and documentation for the funding of 
Georgia's military supplies, as done elsewhere in 
U.S.-Russian cooperation on terrorism. 
 
6.  (C/NF) Bryza pushed back on Zubakov's allegations, noting 
both sides had accused the other of staging provocations, 
 
MOSCOW 00003290  002 OF 002 
 
 
which deteriorated in August to the point where Georgia felt 
it had to react.  Bryza asserted the U.S. had not supplied 
offensive weapons to Georgia, only low-level support such as 
basic training and M4 rifles, but no artillery or tanks. 
Bryza also stated that other countries had supplied military 
equipment to Georgia, which paid for them from its own 
budget.  Bryza underlined t
hat the U.S. had the right to 
provide Georgia with the means to protect its territorial 
integrity, but chose to limit itself to low-level support. 
Bryza reminded Zubakov that neither the United States nor its 
European Allies questioned Russia's own right to use force to 
protect its territorial integrity with respect to Chechnya, 
though we did criticize many of Russia's harsh methods. 
Ambassador Beyrle rejected Zubakov's oblique equation of the 
Georgian conflict to terrorism, affirming the Georgia issue 
was not about terrorism. 
 
------------ 
Geneva talks 
------------ 
 
7.  (C/NF) Refusing to speak on a tactical level about the 
next round of the Geneva process November 18, Zubakov called 
for result-oriented talks, and accused Georgia of being hung 
up over questions of format, in order to avoid substantive 
talks.  In response to the Ambassador's question, Zubakov 
stated that the main outcome of the Geneva process for Russia 
was to receive guarantees that Georgia's "aggression" could 
not happen again, followed by an arms embargo on Georgia, 
economic development assistance, the return of IDPs, and the 
observation of human rights. 
 
8.  (C) Zubakov voiced concern that EU special representative 
Morel might be replaced once the Czech Republic took over the 
EU presidency in January.  Bryza confirmed Morel would stay 
on despite the change in EU presidency, and praised Morel's 
efforts to find a format for the talks that would allow 
substantive negotiations, including by moving substantive 
discussions to the working groups.  Bryza called for Russia 
and the U.S. to influence the parties to attend the November 
18 working groups.  While Bryza acknowledged that the 
U.S.-Georgia relationship included "sparring" over issues, he 
suggested Russia could use its sway over the South Ossetians 
and Abkhaz to ensure that the November 18 meetings would be 
productive.  There was no alternative to the Geneva process, 
Bryza stated. 
 
9.  (C) Zubakov expressed surprise at Bryza's 
characterization of the U.S. relationship with Georgia, and 
suggested the U.S. "experiment" in order to find out how much 
influence it still had with Georgia.  Calling on the U.S. to 
move past the events of August, which he described as the 
result of "poor cooperation" between the U.S. and Russia, 
Zubakov said both sides could work together despite having 
different goals.  Bryza pushed back against this assertion, 
saying the U.S. and Russia would continue to disagree over 
the August conflict and that despite Russia's wish to move 
past those events and return to pre-war relations, 
negotiations on Georgia would continue for a long time. 
 
10.  (U) DAS Bryza cleared this cable. 
BEYRLE

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