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Cablegate: Australia Group: Russia Seeks Us Support for Its

VZCZCXRO4173
OO RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #0820 0851645
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251645Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7292
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000820

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL RS
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIA GROUP: RUSSIA SEEKS US SUPPORT FOR ITS
CANDIDACY AT NEXT PLENARY


1. (SBU) Following is the text of a Russian non-paper FM
Lavrov passed to the Secretary on the margins of recent 2
plus 2 talks. English text below is as presented by the GOR.


2. (SBU) Begin text:

Pursuant to the instructions of the President of the Russian
Federation, we have been working on Russia's admission to the
Australia Group (AG) - an export control regime on
CBW-related items - the only multilateral non-proliferation
and export control mechanism to which Russia is not yet a
party.

Our primary motive is to make utmost possible contribution
towards strengthening international counter-proliferation
efforts aimed at preventing spread of WMD, i.a. from falling
into hands of terrorists. The role of our two countries is
of extreme importance.

All AG participants were informed of our intention. Nobody
except the US expressed disagreements with our candidacy.
The State Department has compiled a lengthy list of
preconditions not related to membership criteria in any way.

We have already provided extensive responses to questions on
how the Russian export control system on dual-use biological
and chemical items functions. If there is a need, we stand
ready to continue experts dialogue on this issue, e.g., on
the margins of AG plenary in Paris next July. And, as far as
we know, only the US is against.

We feel that those who have raised the above-mentioned
questions still live in the past and regard Russia as a main
object for containment. It's difficult to understand how
such approach may be consistent with the spirit of strategic
partnership between our nations. How may it contribute to
practical goals on preventing WMD-proliferation and
counter-terrorism as set out by our Presidents?

It's not clear in whose interest it is to keep Russia - a
leading producer of chemical and biological goods - out of
the AG, discouraging us from working our collective measures
aimed at preventing the spread of hazardous chemical and
biological technologies.

This makes uncertain prospects for harmonizing joint efforts
aimed at implementing UNSCR 1540 provisions, promoting PSI
objectives and mutually beneficial cooperation on
proliferation issues within the G8 framework. Keeping such
an "irritator" in the US-Russian relations is not in our
common interests.

The time is high to make a decision to demonstrate the
willingness of our two countries to join in efforts on
non-proliferation and countering chemical and bio-terrorism.
We need to stop running high on problems of the past. As
regards the Russian side, we stand ready for constructive
cooperation.

We urge you to consider the Russian interest in AG membership
once again. We hope that the US will support our candidacy
at the AG next plenary.

3. (U) End Text Russian non-paper.
BURNS

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