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Cablegate: Scenesetter for Kanerva-Rice Meeting February 2008

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHHE #0052/01 0371301
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 061301Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4052
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 4118
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0070
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 4733
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0331
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 0868
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 8656
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN 4190
RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 3187
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0124
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0952
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000052

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS MARR OVIP FI
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR KANERVA-RICE MEETING FEBRUARY 2008

REF: A. HYATT-TURNER TELCON 31 JAN 08
B. HELSINKI 715

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

1. (C) SUMMARY: Foreign Minister Kanerva will seek to use his
Feb. 11 meeting with S to highlight the GOF,s priorities as
2008 Chairman in Office (CiO) of the OSCE. The Finns share
our views on the key challenges currently facing the OSCE.
However, they feel a deep historic tie to the organization
and are loath to see the OSCE further weaken -- or worse --
on their watch. A show of support from the Secretary for the
OSCE and for Finland,s Chairmanship will pay dividends for
the USG by emboldening Finland to counter Moscow,s
destructive efforts and to bolster ODHIR and other useful
OSCE institutions. Outside OSCE issues, Kanerva will look to
update the Secretary on the GoF,s decisions to increase
humanitarian aid to Afghanistan; to contribute to a &Nordic
OMLT;8 and to agree with Sweden on a longterm mechanism to
&rotate8 leadership of &Nordic8 PRT at Mazar-al-Sharrif.
Bilaterally, it would be helpful if S could urge Finland to
join the NATO Response Force (NRF). END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva is scheduled
to meet the Secretary on Feb. 11. While in Washington, we
understand that the FM is also seeking meetings with SecDef
Gates, NSA Hadley, House OSCE Committee Chairman Alcee
Hastings (D-FL), the Center for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS) and the Brookings Institute.

Bolstering Finland,s Confidence as OSCE CiO
-------------------------------------------
3. (SBU) Kanerva,s stated purpose in requesting the meeting
with the Secretary is to brief her on Finland,s agenda for
its CY2008 OSCE chairmanship. We defer to Vienna,s detailed
reporting on the GoF,s CiO. Suffice it to say that the GoF
shares US views on all the major, difficult challenges facing
the OSCE as an institution, including Kosovo, ODHIR, and the
need to counter unhelpful Russian initiatives. Kanerva will
highlight these areas of US-Finnish agreement, while
downplaying the OSCE Secretariat,s budget, which is one of
the few topics on which we have a difference of opinion.

4. (C) More important for Kanerva will be an overall show of
support from the Secretary for both the OSCE as an
institution and for the Finnish CiO. The FM is in no way
nave about the difficulties facing the OSCE or about the
clear efforts Moscow is making to damage the organization --
and ODHIR in particular. Indeed, Finland is deeply concerned
about Russia,s unhelpful stance on the broad range of issues
of importance to the US and to the majority of Western
European OSCE members. Finland has a deep emotional and
historic commitment to the OSCE. The Finns feel that the
organization was born &on Finland,s watch8 as a result of
the Helsinki Accords of 1978. Now, 40 years later, the GoF
is loath to see the organization fall apart &on its watch.8
In this regard, Kanerva was taken aback by certain
statements suggesting that &the US needs an exit strategy
from the OSCE8 (reported Ref A) and will eagerly welcome any
show of support S is willing to offer for the OSCE. From the
perspective of USG interests, the utility of such support is
NOT/NOT simply to make the Finns feel better about their CiO.
Rather, our support will help the GoF feel emboldened and
confident of strong USG backing when it makes efforts to
counter Russia,s unhelpful tendencies or to show leadership
in strengthening ODHIR and the other useful OSCE institutions.

Afghanistan Update
------------------
5. (SBU) The meeting also offers the Secretary the
opportunity to thank Finland for its increased commitments in
Afghanistan. After a period of exhaustive internal debate,
Finland has -- as Kanerva promised when he met the Secretary
in May -- brokered consensus within the GoF for the following:

-- An additional 3 billion Euros in humanitarian assistance
(1 billion in budget year 2007 money and 2 billion for 2008).

-- A ten-officer OMLT contribution (probably in partnership
with Norway), which will result in one additional &Nordic
OMLT.8
-- A longer term commitment (probably in either CY 2009 or
2010) to take leadership of the Mazar-al-Sharif PRT -- a
commitment that will include an additional 150 to 160 troops.
The emerging dialogue between Sweden and Finland will, we
believe, ensure strong &Nordic Cooperation8 and an
effective longterm Finnish commitment to the Mazar PRT.

The NATO Response Force
-----------------------
6. (C) Kanerva and MOD Jyri Hakamies continue to press for
Finland to join the NRF, but they have not yet obtained
government consensus or President Halonen,s OK,. A word
from S urging Finland to join Sweden at the Bucharest NATO
Summit in announcing an intention to join would bolster
Kanerva,s bargaining position.
WARE

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