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Cablegate: Lavrov Links Tibet Unrest to Kosovo

VZCZCXRO7932
PP RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #0744 0781233
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181233Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7191
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4363

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000744

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL CH RS
SUBJECT: LAVROV LINKS TIBET UNREST TO KOSOVO

REF: BEIJING 975

1. Foreign Minister Lavrov linked the recent unrest in Tibet
to Kosovo, telling the press that the violence in Lhasa had
not occurred "by chance." In an interview published March 18
in Rossiskaya Gazeta, Lavrov used Tibet to demonstrate how
Kosovo's independence had "already reverberated" among
separatists in various parts of the world, warning that "we
are at the beginning of a very precarious process."

2. The MFA expressed a familiar position on the Tibetan
unrest, issuing a brief March 17 statement that said this was
an "internal matter" for China to resolve. The statement
went on to say that Russia hoped Chinese authorities would
"take all necessary measures to end illegal actions and
secure an early return to normalcy," failing to condemn the
GOC crackdown in Lhasa (reftel). The MFA reiterated that
Russia considered Tibet an "integral part" of China and
resolving relations with the Dali Lama "an internal affair."
In a reference to calls by human right campaigners to boycott
the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, the MFA said
attempts to politicize the Olympics were "unacceptable" and
expressed confidence in China's ability to organize and
provide security for the games.

3. Alexey Maslov, an Asia expert at Moscow State University,
went a step further than Lavrov, telling RIA Novesti that the
U.S. was behind the Tibetan unrest. The USG was using the
"Kosovar script" to incite an armed independence struggle
against China prior to the Olympic games, according to
Maslov, who predicted that the U.S. Congress would take steps
to boycott the Olympics and introduce political sanctions
against China in response to events in Tibet.
BURNS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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