Search

 

Cablegate: Dfm Borodavkin Discusses Afghanistan, Pakistan And

VZCZCXRO0897
PP RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1587/01 1561159
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041159Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8413
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 2048
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4393
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2483
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0527

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001587

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL OREP CH PK TX RS AF
SUBJECT: DFM BORODAVKIN DISCUSSES AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN AND
CHINA WITH CONGRESSMAN ROHRABACHER


1. (SBU) Summary: In a May 31 meeting, Deputy Foreign
Minister Borodavkin was pleased Congressman Rohrabacher
valued Russian cooperation in Afghanistan, but explained that
Russia was disappointed in the response received so far to
its offers of assistance. Borodavkin and Rohrabacher agreed
on the need to eradicate the Afghan drug trade that financed
extremists, and discussed a potential project to rehabilitate
a Soviet-constructed aqueduct system as a means to provide an
agricultural alternative to growing poppies. Borodavkin
expressed concern over attempts to integrate the Taliban into
local governments, arguing that this simply concealed the
re-Talibanization of Afghanistan. He cautioned against
placing too much confidence in the ability of the new
Pakistani government to deal with extremists and reiterated
Russian concern that authorities maintain control of the
nation's nuclear weapons. Borodavkin disagreed with
Rohrabacher's assessment of the threat China presented to
Russia and said that the GOR sought closer ties with both
China and the U.S. Borodavkin questioned Turkmenistan's
capacity to provide gas for the proposed Trans-Afghanistan
Pipeline and expressed irritation at pipelines intended to
avoid Russian territory at "any cost." End summary.

Afghanistan
-----------

2. (SBU) In a May 31 meeting with Congressman Rohrabacher and
the Charge, DFM Borodavkin stated that Russia was willing to
share with the U.S. and NATO its considerable experience in
Afghanistan, presenting an opportunity for Russia-U.S.
cooperation. Borodavkin said, however, that the GOR was not
always "satisfied" with the response given to its offers of
assistance, particularly its proposal for the Collective
Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to cooperate with NATO.
He also cited NATO allies supplying Afghanistan with
unlicensed, Russian-designed weapons as an irritant for
Moscow. Borodavkin stressed, however, that the GOR placed
such importance upon stabilizing Afghanistan that it hoped to
continue assistance efforts already undertaken. He cited the
GOR's willingness to forgive Afghanistan's $10 billion Soviet
era debt, the provision of Russian military assistance worth
$200 million in 2002-5, $30 million provided for humanitarian
aid, and an upcoming $4 million donation to the World Bank
trust fund for Afghan healthcare and education.

3. (SBU) Rohrabacher explained that he supported increased
U.S.-Russia cooperation on Afghanistan, and explained that he
and other Members of Congress were examining the prospect of
obtaining U.S. funding for rehabilitating Soviet-constructed
aqueducts in Afghanistan, which were necessary to expand
non-poppy agricultural production. Rohrabacher suggested
that the GOR lend its technical experience to help restore
this crucial irrigation system. This project could help draw
Afghans away from the poppy trade and demonstrate to the
world that Russians and Americans were involved in
"reconstruction, not destruction." Borodavkin said that the
GOR would study the idea of a joint project to restore the
aqueduct system, while noting that Russian firms were already
involved in a handful of Afghan infrastructure projects.
Concern for security was, however, the greatest hindrance to
further Russian activity.

4. (SBU) Borodavkin said that the GOR did not share
Rohrabacher's favorable assessment of developments in
Afghanistan, and reiterated Russian concern over local
governments "merging" with the Taliban in an attempt to
co-opt Talib supporters. Borodavkin argued that this simply
"concealed" the Taliban's return to power and more closely
connected local governments with the narcotics traffickers
financing Afghan insurgents. Rohrabacher told Borodavkin of
the plan he advocated to have the Afghan government and NATO
combat poppy growing by "making deals" with local Afghan
leaders who would agree to oversee a halt in poppy production
in exchange for rebuilding local infrastructure. If, after
several years, the local leaders had failed, or were not
willing, to halt poppy production, all poppy fields would be
eradicated. Borodavkin said the pressure felt by Afghan
farmers to grow cost-efficient poppies over less lucrative
crops required applying "law enforcement measures" as well as
offering economic incentives. The GOR hoped the June 12
Paris Donors Conference would present an opportunity to
convince the Afghan authorities to be "more resolute" in
their anti-Taliban activities.

Pakistan
--------

MOSCOW 00001587 002 OF 002

5. (SBU) Borodavkin cautioned Rohrabacher against being too
optimistic about the change in government in Pakistan,
explaining that the GOR saw the new Pakistani government's
efforts to appease extremists in the tribal areas as an
"unfavorable development" that could hinder anti-Taliban
efforts in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Borodavkin
stressed Russia's concern that the Pakistani government
retain control of the country's nuclear weapons. He said
that while Russia was not a "great supporter" of Musharraf's
government, when a totalitarian regime is removed a period of
instability often follows.

China
-----

6. (SBU) Rohrabacher explained that international stability
required closer U.S.-Russia cooperation, particularly given
Chinese ambitions. Borodavkin responded that Russia did not
seek closer ties with the U.S. as an antidote to China, but
benefited from closer ties with both countries. He assured
Rohrabacher that Russia continued to develop economically and
would not fall behind the emergent China depicted by the
Congressman.

Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline
--------------------------

7. (SBU) In response to Rohrabacher's question about the
proposed Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline that would carry gas from
Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India,
Borodavkin said in principle the GOR supported such efforts
if the economic need existed and the countries involved had
the means to provide the required resources. He doubted,
however, that Turkmenistan had the capacity to send gas
through the proposed pipeline while also meeting existing
obligations to provide gas to Russian companies. Borodavkin
also expressed Russia's pique over pipelines devised to avoid
Russian territory at "any cost."

8. (U) Congressman Rohrabacher did not have an opportunity to
clear this cable.
RUSSELL

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC