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Cablegate: Ambassador's Visit with Foreign Minister Kanerva

VZCZCXRO3070
RR RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHHE #0034 0281321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281321Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4035
INFO RUCNOSC/ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000034

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV FI RS
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S VISIT WITH FOREIGN MINISTER KANERVA


Classified By: POLCHIEF GREG THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1. (SBU) Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva briefed
Ambassador Ware on various OSCE-related issues on January 24.
He focused mainly on Russia, having just held consultations
with visiting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander
Grushko earlier in the week.

2. (C) FINLAND'S FIRST MONTH AS CiO: Kanerva opened by
expressing gratitude to the U.S. for our support during his
first month as CiO, saying he greatly appreciated the U.S.
response in Vienna to his presentation of the Finnish OSCE
agenda for its chairmanship. "The OSCE is a bit of a mess
right now," he smiled, and we need to be very realistic about
what can actually be achieved in a year given the current
circumstances, but Finland is committed to not "giving up" on
the organization.

3. (SBU) RUSSIA AND ELECTION MONITORS: "Obviously, the
OSCE's relationship with Russia will have a tremendous impact
on the results Finland can achieve during its chairmanship,"
Kanerva said. The GOF does not intend to back down on the
elections monitoring issue, and Kanerva sent a letter to
Russian FM Lavrov on a bilateral level urging that it accept
a robust OHDIR election monitoring mission for the upcoming
presidential election. Deputy FM Grushko "did not promise
anything" on monitors, and "frankly it will be very tough" to
ensure a credible observation in the face of clear Russian
reluctance, Kanerva suggested. Moscow wants to invite a
mission -- or so it says -- Grushko was already making clear
that the Russians will seek to heavily limit the number of
observers and their actual time in country, as occurred
during the parliamentary elections. Kanerva said he argued
to the Russians the need to "normalize" their relationship
with the OSCE: "You are not special. If you are a
democracy, act like one," he reported having told Grushko.

4. (SBU) RUSSIA AND KOSOVO: Grushko said that if Pristina
issues a unilateral declaration of independence, Moscow will
"veto" the prolonging of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo (OMIK).
Kanerva expressed some pessimim about this, noting that the
Russian position apeared immutable. He also noted that he
will trael in his capacity as CiO to Kosovo with a
delegtion of journaists on February 4-6.

5. (SBU) OCE BUDGET: Kanerva acknowledged that the OSCE'sbudget woes are becoming acute in light of the genral
disagreement among member about funding. He said that U.S.
Congressman Alcee Hastings told him during an early January
meeting that the U.S. would support the Finnish proposal for
a "flat line" budget. However, Russia's refusal to pay its
dues means that OSCE operations are secure until June, but
not guaranteed thereafter.
WARE

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