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Cablegate: Welcoming Estonia Into the Global Initiative To

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0076 0571348
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261348Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0515
INFO RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 6718
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 2975
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 5273
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2577

UNCLAS TALLINN 000076

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR KATHERINE GARRY EUR/NB AND TIM KATSAPIS INS/WMDT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KNNP RU EN
SUBJECT: WELCOMING ESTONIA INTO THE GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO
COMBAT NUCLEAR TERRORISM

REFTEL: (A) 07 STATE 168633
(B) 08 STATE 5399
(C) 08 STATE 11773

1. (U) Action Request - please see paragraph (6).

2. (SBU) On February 21, the Ambassador and Russian
Ambassador to Estonia Nikolai Uspensky met with Estonian
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and the Estonian MFA's Director
of Political Department Aivo Orav to officially welcome
Estonia as a member of the Global Initiative to Combat
Nuclear Terrorism (GI). Both Ambassadors expressed their
gratitude to Estonia for demonstrating a growing commitment
to the global fight against nuclear terrorism. The Russian
ambassador commended the Government of Estonia (GOE) for
its willingness to take a leadership role in furthering
international cooperation in the area of nuclear non-
proliferation (Ref A). The Ambassador proposed the GOE
consider hosting a May 2008 GI conference on the
development of a best practices and information sharing
portal (Ref C). He also stressed the need to include the
private sector in the development of GI best practices, as
they are the owners and operators of much of the technology
and equipment related to nuclear proliferation (Ref B).

3. (SBU) FM Paet welcomed the words of encouragement from
the two ambassadors, and stressed the importance of
reminding non-nuclear countries that they are also at risk
from the transport of nuclear materials across their
borders. Paet expressed the hope that Estonia's
participation in the GI will set a positive example for
other non-nuclear states, and encourage them to join. He
proposed a joint opinion editorial on GI with Secretary
Rice and Russian FM Lavarov which would stress the
importance of international cooperation to combat nuclear
proliferation. Paet indicated that if the USG and GOR
agree to go with the idea, the GOE is ready to draft this
statement. Both Ambassadors agreed to convey this request
to their respective foreign ministers.

4. (SBU) FM Paet also stated that it is not the GOE's
intent to act as a passive supporter of GI, but to become
active in the development process as well. FM Paet
commented that Estonia is ready to discuss organizing GI
related events in the region. (NOTE: Pol/Econ and DAO will
continue to work with the GOE GI POCs to obtain a response
to the U.S. proposal that Estonia host a GI information
portal development conference in May 2008. End Note.)

PRESS COVERAGE

5. (U) The meeting received coverage in the Baltic News
service (BNS) on February 21. The article reported that
Paet wants Estonia to be an active participant in the U.S.-
Russian Global Initiative to combat nuclear terrorism. It
quoted the Foreign Minister as saying: 'It is essential for
the international community to take steps to prevent
nuclear weapons and radioactive substances from falling
into the hands of terrorists or nuclear facilities becoming
the target of terrorist attacks.'

ACTION REQUEST
---------------

6. (SBU) In addition to promoting international
collaboration on non-proliferation, Estonia's participation
in the GI presents a valuable opportunity to encourage
Estonia-Russian cooperation. We believe a positive
response to FM Paet's request to do a joint United States-
Russia-Estonia article at the Minister level on GI is a
good one. Embassy requests Department guidance on how to
formally respond to this request.

PHILLIPS

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