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Cablegate: Demarche to Support Un Kosovo Proposals -- Finnish

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHHE #0232/01 0861321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 271321Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3196
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0029
RUEHVJZ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO 0004
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 0065
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA 0106
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 0080
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA 0029

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000232

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNMIK UN YI EU FI
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE TO SUPPORT UN KOSOVO PROPOSALS -- FINNISH
RESPONSE

REF: STATE 37835

Classified By: PolChief Gregory Thome, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Finland increasingly expects Russia to
block any UNSC action to implement UN Special Envoy
Ahtisaari's final status recommendations for Kosovo.
The Finns are also dismayed by eleventh hour
hesitation from some EU member states -- especially
Italy, a Contact Group member. No EU country is more
committed to supporting Ahtisaari's recommendations
than is Finland, and the GOF hopes the US will use its
leverage to bring Italy back to the fold within the
Contact Group. Russia, however, will be a tougher
sell. End Summary.

2. (SBU) PolChief delivered subject demarche to
Balkans Office Director Juha Ottman March 27. Ottman
said that the GOF fully supports all our points;
remains fully committed to supporting UN Special Rep
Martti Ahtisaari; and understands that EU-US unity is
the only hope for winning support for a UNSCR to
implement Ahtisaari's proposals.

PESSIMISTIC ABOUT A UNSCR
-------------------------
3. (C) That said, Ottman expressed pessimism about
Russia's intentions at the UNSC. Without a full
Serbian endorsement, the GOF now believes that the GOR
will block a UNSCR, either by "promoting" a lack of
consensus among UNSC members which prevents a
resolution from even coming forward, or simply by
vetoing it. Russian officials have suggested that
China might be leaning toward following Russia's lead
in opposition to Ahtisaari's recommendations.
However, Ottman disputed this; China and the non-
permanent UNSC members would follow the lead of the
US, the EU and Russia, if all were united. But
without such unity, others might waver.

ITALY SENDS CONFLICTING SIGNALS
-------------------------------
4. (C) Equally worrying to Finland is the flagging
resolve of certain EU member states. Italy, in
particular, is sending conflicting signals, Ottman
said. On the one hand, Rome says within the Contact
Group that it is fully on board behind Ahtisaari's
final status recommendations; on the other, Italy has
indicated to Russia and to others that it might be
interested in "re-opening" and reconsidering certain
of Ahtisaari's key proposals, including
decentralization and possibly even a UN seat for
Kosovo. Italy's hesitation is also weakening resolve
in Slovakia, Cyprus, Romania and to a lesser extent
Greece, Ottman added, although Italy remains the most
worrisome because of its position in the Contact
Group.

A "PHASED APPROACH" IS DANGEROUS
--------------------------------
5. (C) Ottman also rejected any "phased approach" to
implementing Ahtisaari's recommendations, highlighting
in particular the dangers this would pose to mounting
an UNMIK follow-on mission. Regardless of whether
UNMIK is replaced by the EU or the UN, lack of final
status would make it very difficult for many EU member
states to contribute. Especially in the case of an EU
mission, the "phased approach" would "chain the EU to
an indefinite mission with no mandate for a way
forward, under potentially very hostile conditions,"
Ottman noted.

COMMENT
-------
6. (C) For obvious reasons, no EU country is more
committed than Finland to supporting the hard work and
final proposals of Ahtisaari, Finland's former
president. And while a problematic Russian response
to Ahtisaari's recommendations does not come as a
shock, the Finns are deeply troubled by emerging
fissures within the EU. During the Finnish EU
Presidency, the GOF was well placed to press hesitant
member states like Italy to maintain a unified
response. However, no longer in that position,

Finland hopes that the US will use its leverage within
the Contact Group to bring Italy back to the fold. As
our contact phrased it, there is no getting a UNSCR
without a unified approach from the EU, the US and
Russia; but there is no getting Russia on board
without a unified US-EU approach. End Comment.
WARE

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