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Cablegate: Russia Wants to Cooperate with Montenegrin Military

VZCZCXRO6513
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPOD #0172 1450926
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250926Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY PODGORICA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0238
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEHPOD/AMEMBASSY PODGORICA 0251

UNCLAS PODGORICA 000172

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR MW RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA WANTS TO COOPERATE WITH MONTENEGRIN MILITARY

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY

1. (U) Russian Ambassador Jakov Gerasimov paid a courtesy call
on Defense Minister Vucinic on May 18. According to press
reports, the Ambassador proposed an agreement on technical
cooperation and military education and indicated plans to assign
a defense attache to the Russian Embassy in Podgorica soon.

2. (SBU) Emboff spoke with the Deputy Defense Minister who was
very uncomfortable when inquiry was made as to the type of
assistance that might be forthcoming. He fell back on the
standard line that Montenegro seeks good relations with all
countries and wanted to create space for cooperation and
goodwill with all. He alluded to a Russian-Slovene agreement as
an example for Montenegro and said that no firm decision had
been taken, but he thought that perhaps a Montenegrin officer
would be sent to a Russian Military academy.

3. (U) Comment: Press coverage of the office call was delayed by
Montenegrin holidays, but the timing is significant as the key
figures in the Government of Montenegro, smarting from the
uproar over the signing of SOFA and exchange of notes on Article
98, seek to find ways to portray themselves publicly as charting
an independent course. While the opposition continues to charge
that Government decisions will complicate the path to the EU,
government has made the point, albeit slowly, that agreements
with the U.S. are essential in preparing for NATO admission. A
VOA interview with DAS DiCarlo underscoring U.S. support for
Montenegro's integration into European institutions has received
wide press play and been very helpful.

BARNES

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