Cablegate: Fsc April 16: U.S. Replies to Russia On Defense

DE RUEHVEN #0106/01 1120607
P 210607Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 31035

B. STATE 39670
C. STATE 39501

USOSCE 00000106 001.9 OF 006

1. (SBU) Summary: The U.S. responded in the Forum for
Security Cooperation on April 16 to Russia's attacks a week
earlier on the President's decision that Kosovo was eligible
for defense cooperation. The U.S. reminded delegations that
the arms embargo against Yugoslavia had been lifted by UN
decision and that any defense cooperation to Kosovo would be
in line with the Ahtisaari plan. Russia reserved comment, but
noted again its position that the Ahtisaari plan had no legal
significance. The FSC adopted the Russian proposal to take
national holidays into account when planning verification
activities. The decision reflects compromise language agreed
to by the U.S. and other delegations.

2. (SBU) The U.S. joined with other delegations in supporting
the Finnish draft decision on updating OSCE MANPADS
principles in light of the 2007 Wassenaar Arrangement
amendments. The draft decision will be considered by the
plenary on April 23. Germany called for comment on its draft
decision to meliorate the Vienna Document 1999 inspection and
evaluation "quota race." Germany also dusted off its
proposal from 2007 to amend the OSCE reporting categories on
conventional weapons transfers to accord with the UN Registry
and to require participating States, "when in a position to
do so," to submit details of arms transfers to other pS. The
Security Dialogue featured presentations on the Baltic Mine
Countermeasures Squadron and the Azerbaijan National Agency
for Mine Action. End summary

U.S. Defense Cooperation with Kosovo

3. (SBU) The U.S. (Neighbour) intervened at length in
response to a Russian attack on the presidential finding that
independent Kosovo was eligible for defense cooperation
(FSC.JOUR/548 Annex). The U.S. pointed out the UN arms
embargo against then Yugoslavia had been lifted and that, in
line with the Ahtisaari plan, any U.S. assistance would
support the creation of a civilian ministry of defense that
would exercise strong control over small, lightly armed
forces. Neighbour explained that Kosovo, as an independent
country, would need well-trained professional military forces
to contribute to its own and regional security and
participate in humanitarian and other support to civil
authorities missions.

4. (SBU) Russia (Ulyanov) reserved rebuttal, saying that the
U.S. statement would be carefully examined in Moscow, but
added as a preliminary comment that any position based on the
Ahtisaari plan was "rather insubstantial," as the plan was
not approved by the UN, not internationally recognized, and,
as it had no legal status, could not be the source of

National Holidays Decision

5. (SBU) The FSC adopted the Russia-sponsored decision on
taking national holidays into account when planning national
verification activities (FSC.DEC/2/08). The text of the
decision reflected compromise language negotiated by Russia,
Romania, and the U.S (reftel A). The Estonian chairmanship

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has warned USDel that Russia intends to return soon to its
other proposals to "improve the working of the Vienna
Document," all of which were initially tabled in late 2007:
-- on-the-spot verification reports, FSC.DEL/491/07;
-- area of inspection, FSC.DEL/493/07/Rev.1;
-- unitary defense planning deadline, FSC.DEL/494/07/Rev.2;

-- notification of major military activities,
FSC.DEL/495/07/Rev.2/Corr.1; and
-- duration of evaluation visits, FSC.DEL/496/07/Rev/.2.

Untimely Vienna Document Inspection Requests

6. (SBU) Perhaps foreshadowing further mischief, Ulyanov
announced Russia's great concern over repeated non-compliance
with the timing requirements under the Vienna Document for
request for inspections and evaluations. Citing the relevant
paragraphs from the Vienna Document (85 and 112), Ulyanov
said it was not his intention to engage in a "name and shame"
exercise, but participating States (pS) either should comply
with these requirements or initiate a discussion over their
revision. When Sweden (Nilsson), apologizing for any
possible violations, and Germany (Schweizer) agreed with
Ulyanov, he hastened to add that neither country was on his
list of offenders.

7. (SBU) Finland also agreed with Ulyanov, but added that the
untimely notification problem was linked to the Vienna
Document "quota race," itself the subject of a German paper
on the working group agenda. Ulyanov disagreed, noting
Russia's view that the "quota race" problem, if it existed at
all, applied to only a few pS: Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and
the U.S. While Germany (Schweizer) shared the Finnish view
on the role of the quota race in early notifications, it
suggested an additional proposal might be needed to address
compliance with the notification requirements. Ulyanov
announced that Russia will prepare a "technical" paper on the
issue (FSC.DEL/75/08). (Note: Russia's complaint is that
notifications are sent too early, not too late. Russia lost
two evaluations in 2007 to Belarus because Russia notified
per paragraph 112 and Belarus had notified early. End note.)
The UK (Gare) told the U.S. on April 17 that it had
researched this issue and found that Russia itself has been
as bad a violator as any pS in recent years.

MANPADS Export Control Principles

8. (SBU) After a chorus of endorsements of Finland's "all in
one document" approach to incorporating the 2007 Wassenaar
Arrangement amendments to its MANPADS export control
principles into the 2003 OSCE decision on the subject, the
U.S. (Silberberg) announced it could join this approach
provided the new decision was no more than a compilation of
all the Wassenaar-derived principles (reftel B). Russia had
earlier suggested revising a reference to Best Practice
Guides in the prologue to clarify that they are not per se
OSCE decisions, which was accepted without discussion in the
working group (FSC.DD/5/08). The draft decision will be
considered in the plenary on April 23.

Vienna Document Quota Race

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9. (SBU) Germany (Schweizer) solicited comments on its
Food-for-Thought paper on meliorating the Vienna Document
inspections "quota race" (FSC.DEL/51/08). He noted that the
draft provision for carrying over unused quotas from one year
to the next was controversial. Ukraine (Turan) generally
supported the proposal, but noted it lacked a provision for
the receiving pS when a request for an inspection in excess
of the quota was made. Sweden (Nilsson) also expressed
general support while acknowledging that it shared the
concern over the calendar roll-over of inspection quota.
Nilsson added that pS should also consider voluntary
activities and multinational inspection teams.

10. (SBU) Russia (Geyandov) demurred that there was a quota
race, noting that in 2007 only 21 pS exhausted their
inspection quotas. He observed that only Russia, Ukraine,
Georgia, and the U.S. routinely exhaust their quotas. The
German proposal, he concluded, addresses a problem for only a
small number of states. Schweizer replied the problem was
not just the exhaustion of quotas but also the timing of
inspections, most occurring in the first two months of the
year, which did not enhance transparency. USDel will
approach Germany and Allies to reinforce our earlier stated
position that the German proposal is at least premature, if
not unnecessary (reftel C).

Illicit Air Trafficking of SALW

11. (SBU) France (Fournier) introduced a draft decision,
co-sponsored by Belgium, which proposes a questionnaire and
Best Practice Guide on national norms controlling air
transport of small arms and light weapons (SALW)
(FSC.DEL/62/08). Responses to the questionnaire would be
included in the SALW information exchange; the Best Practice
Guide would form a separate chapter of the OSCE Handbook of
Best Practices on SALW. Russia and Finland welcomed the
proposal. Finland and Germany, despite Fournier's
description of the proposal as a supplement to existing
measures, proposed the information collected be used to
develop new norms. Turkey reported the paper was under
consideration in Ankara.

CAT Reporting Categories Proposal Redux

12. (SBU) Germany (Schweizer) has circulated a revised
version (FSC.DEL/69/08) of its 2007 proposal (FSC.DEL/435/07)
for updating the OSCE conventional arms transfers reporting
categories to accord with those used by the UN Register of
Conventional Arms. The new version now qualifies the
requirement in operative paragraph (OP) 4 that pS forward
information to the UN Register on SALW transfers to or from
other pS with the phrase, "pS will, if they are in a position
to do so, forward the information . . . ." Despite the
apparently voluntary nature of this exchange, Schweizer
described it as "politically binding."

13. (SBU) Operative paragraph 5 encourages pS to provide
information on SALW transfers with states outside the OSCE.
Schweizer argued this provision, although already found in UN
Decision 6177, was included in the draft decision for the
sake of completeness and clarity. The entire proposal is
meant, Schweizer explained, to represent an OSCE "red-line":
the minimal commitment expected of pS.

USOSCE 00000106 004.9 OF 006

14. (SBU) Greece and the UK, a co-sponsor, expressed full
support. Russia (Ulyanov), however, still retained its
doubts about OP 3, which tasks the Conflict Prevention Center
to update automatically the OSCE reporting categories
whenever the UN amends its versions. Ulyanov noted that
these changes could be substantive and would therefore need
to be considered by the Forum before deciding to incorporate
them. Further, he noted the UN Register is compiled by
voluntary submissions, while the OSCE data is collected under
a politically binding agreement.

15. (SBU) Turning to OP 4 and 5, Ulyanov asserted much of the
information provided by pS on arms transfers is confidential.
What mechanisms were available to ensure this
confidentiality would be preserved after the information was
given to the UN? Schweizer offered that the automatic update
provision was meant to reflect a sense within the Forum that
more time needed to be spent on norm-setting rather than
procedural issues. As to confidential information, neither
OP 4 nor 5 requires the submission of such information. The
proposal will be discussed again in the working group on
April 30.

SALW Points of Contact Network

16. (SBU) Although the U.S. had indicated, per guidance, its
willingness to accept use of the term "network" in the
Danish-drafted SALW Points of Contact draft decision (
FSC.DEL/53/08, FSC.DD/2/08), Germany announced its own
complaints at an informal discussion of the proposals on
April 10. In particular, Germany asserted that the draft
decision did not describe a "network" but merely a list.
Denmark (Petersen) was visibly surprised by the German
comments, but promised to circulate a revised version to try
to reflect them (emailed to VCI/CCA April 18).

SALW Brokering Questionnaire

17. (SBU) Finland (Kangaste) asked if the CPC could issue a
revision of its survey of responses (FSC.GAL/25/08) to the
one-off SALW brokering information exchange (FSC.DEC/11/07)
as several late responses had been submitted. Kangaste also
recommended that the CPC survey be made available to the
public. The CPC (Martyniuk) acknowledged that five more
responses had been submitted since the survey had been
issued. The CPC was prepared to revise the survey based on
the late responses. The chair announced these issues would
be discussed again in the working group on April 23.

Best Practice Guides

18. (SBU) Sweden announced it planned to distribute soon a
revised version of its Best Practice Guide (BPG) on physical
security of stockpiles of conventional ammunition (currently
FSC.DEL/56/08), to be followed by a draft decision on its

19. (SBU) At the BPG Editorial Review Board on April 10,
Germany (Schweizer) announced "last-minute" edits to the
latest version of the Dutch BPG on destruction of
conventional ammunition, under revision for almost a year.

USOSCE 00000106 005.10 OF 006

While the Netherlands (Geertsen) objected to the precipitate
timing of the German submission and described much of it as
superfluous, the two delegations agreed to work on a
compromise draft of the destruction guide that would likely
relegate most of the German proposals to an annex that would
be published separately.

20. (SBU) The U.S. announced at the Editorial Review Board
that EU comments on the U.S. draft UNSCR 1540 BPG chapter on
export controls were being discussed by Washington and a
revised version of the chapter would be distributed soon.

Code of Conduct Questionnaire

21. (SBU) Switzerland (von Arx), a co-sponsor of the proposed
revision of the Code of Conduct Questionnaire
(FSC.DEL/49/08), reported many delegations had submitted
comments to the co-sponsors, which include France and
Austria. Finland reported it had already provided comments
to the drafters, which include a recommendation to focus on
the core of the Code rather than "wide-ranging" matters that
may duplicate other documents or programs. Finland would
also like to see questions based on UNSCR 1325 on gender
equality in security affairs. While Spain and Greece
supported the proposal without qualifications, Turkey
reported it had substantive concerns over numerous sections
of the draft, which it will discuss with the co-sponsors.
Estonia (Kaldas) reported it too would discuss its
suggestions with the co-sponsors.

22. (SBU) Russia (Ulyanov) said the proposal was receiving
careful analysis in Moscow by several agencies and
departments, which will require considerable time. As a
preliminary observation, Ulyanov said he had some doubt
whether there was any need for the initiative. Work on the
proposal will take considerable time. Does it, he asked,
have any real benefit? Will it, at the end of the day,
actually strengthen European security, or is it merely a
paper chase? The Forum should concentrate only on the
specifically military parts of the Code, not tangential
matters like democratic control of the armed forces.
Separately, a Russian representative (Geyvandov) asked USDel
if it shared Russia's skepticism.

Code of Conduct Outreach to OSCE Partners

23. (SBU) The FSC Code coordinator (Eischer, Austria)
reported an outreach meeting with OSCE Partners for
Cooperation from the Mediterranean and Asia (FSC.DEC/1/08).
Nine of the eleven Partners attended. Another meeting will
be held in early June. The Partners are considering further
discussion of the Code at their contact meetings and annual
seminars and as part of the Annual Security Review Conference

FSC Contribution to ASRC

24. (SBU) The FSC chef de file for the 2008 Annual Security
Review Conference (Kangaste, Finland) requested suggestions
from delegations for political-military topics to be
discussed at the ASRC be submitted to him by April 24. He
noted that the list of suggestions (FSC.DEL/70/08) was not a

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consensus document. Germany warned it would want discussion
of landmine issues. Several delegations noted concerns over
the number of topics on the list given the time available.
Azerbaijan injected that discussion of a nonconsensual
document was a waste of time, although Slovakia was puzzled
by reference to such a nonconsensual document in the draft
decision on FSC contributions to the ASRC (FSC.DD/4/08). The
chair, not receiving any objection, announced that the draft
decision and its letter of transmission of the decision to
the Permanent Council chair (FSC.DEL/68/08) will be
considered at the FSC plenary on April 23.

Security Dialogue: Baltic and Azerbaijani Minesweepers
--------------------------------------------- ---------

25. (SBU) The Security Dialogue featured presentations by the
commanding officer of the Baltic Mine Countermeasures
Squadron, Commander Andrei Leit, and the director of the
Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), Nazim
Izmayilov. Leit, an Estonian, explained that command of the
three or four ship squadron rotated among the three Baltic
states who contribute the vessels and personnel. He noted
the squadron's close cooperation with the German and Swedish
navies, and hoped it could build relations with other navies
in the region. He said mines from World War II, laid in the
tens of thousands by Germany, Finland, and the Soviet Union,
are still being found, particularly in waters off Estonia in
the Gulf of Finland.

26. (SBU) Izmayilova described the ongoing mine action work
of his agency, which includes humanitarian demining, mine
risk education, and mine victim assistance, and removal of
unexploded ordnance. Many of the mines were laid during the
conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over
Nagorno-Karabakh, and most of the work ANAMA is in the areas
involved in the conflict. Unexploded ordnance removal has
been focused on areas formerly used by Soviet forces for
munitions storage, notable Saloglu in the northwest of
Azerbaijan. ANAMA receives bilateral assistance from the
U.S. and several other pS, NATO, the UN, and various NGOs,
including the UK-based HALO Trust.

27. (SBU) Izmayilova traded barbed comments with Russia
(Uskov) over blame for the explosion of munitions depots in
Saloglu in the wake of the withdrawal of Soviet forces in
1991, Uskov asserting ignorant and illiterate local residents
were at fault, suggesting it could have all been the fault of
a careless smoker. Izmayilova responded that the Soviet
forces deliberately exploded the munitions to prevent
Azerbaijan from getting them. The Armenian ambassador
(Tabibian), not a regular participant at the FSC,
congratulated Azerbaijan on its efforts but regretted that
there was not much active cooperation between the two states.
He predicted that only after the "underlying conflict" was
resolved would the landmine threat be fully eliminated.

Next Meeting

28. (U) The FSC will next meet on April 23.

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