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Cablegate: Polish Pm Tusk's Visit to Moscow

VZCZCXRO9049
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #0410/01 0460516
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 150516Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6590
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 000410 SIPDIS SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2018 TAGS: PREL PARM MARR ENRG PL RS

SUBJECT: POLISH PM TUSK'S VISIT TO MOSCOW REF: A. MOSCOW 267 B. MOSCOW 5585 Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1. (C) Summary: Polish PM Tusk's trip to Moscow served as a symbol of the thawing of bilateral relations and a willingness on both sides to engage, if not agree. Missile defense discussions produced no new proposals, and Polish diplomats characterized Putin's position as "tough," including pushing for permanent Russian monitoring of installations in Poland. Poland presented a pipeline proposal as an aQQ3pQclared they were willing to discuss "any issue." Polish diplomats noted that Tusk spent an hour each with Putin and Medvedev and that although Putin joked that "both countries tried, and failed, to ruin our relationship," there was now real political will on both sides to move forward. Tkachyev told us that Putin was planning a future trip to Warsaw, although he did not know "in what capacity" Putin would travel. Missile Defense --------------- 3. Q6Q@QIdMmJ_installations "on a permanent basis." Putin stressed that the USG had first proposed this during the October "2 2" talk as a confidence-building measure, but had later "backed down." Tusk "did not say no," according to Polish diplomats, but gave a "generally negative" response, and noted later in a press conference that the Polish government "did not assume a permanent stay of officers of third countries on Polish territory." Nord Stream ----------- 5. (C) Tusk presented Putin with a proposal for the "Amber" pipeline, to be built across the Baltic States and Poland, as a less-expensive alternative to Nord Stream, Tkachyev told us. However, he said that while Amber was "still a slogan," Nord Stream was already at an "advanced state of preparations," including the procurement of special piping to be used underwater. Tkachyev told us that Putin emphasized that Russia would abide by its agreements to supply gas to Poland, no matter the route. Polish diplomats told us the two sides "agreed to disagree," but that Poland would continue with plans for Amber. The Embargo and PCA Negotiations -------------------------------- 6. (C) Tkachyev noted that while the GOR considered the veto to be an internal EU matter, it was pleased with the extensive progress made on negotiations on the meat embargo since Tusk's government took office, and stressed that Russia was satisfied with the extent to which Tusk had depoliticized the embargo. Polish diplomats told us that Poland would begin talks over lifting the embargo at the February 18 GAERC, but was still waiting for Russia to "fully" lift the embargo. Tkachyev agreed there were standards yet to be agreed upon, but was optimistic they would be fully resolved by the Russian and Polish Ministries of Agriculture. MOSCOW 00000410 002 OF 002 Other Positive Steps -------------------- 7. (C) The only deliverable signed during Tusk's visit concerned the sharing of classified information, which Tkachyev explained would strengthen cooperation on issues such as counterterrorism and between Russian and Polish secret services. He told us that Tusk also received informal SIPDIS guarantees of greater oil supplies to the Lithuanian refinery in Mazeikia, and easier regulation on sea traffic from the Vistula Bay to the Baltic through the Straight of Baltiysk. Comment ------- 8. (C) Russia mustered the political will to lessen the mutual acrimony over the embargo/PCA negotiations quickly, but fundamental differences over missile defense and energy security will remain formidable obstacles to normalized bilateral ties. BURNS

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