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Cablegate: Mfa Says Russia Not Responsible for Imperial Debts

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1732 1700742
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180742Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8645
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001732

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/RUS, L/CID
TREASURY FOR TORGERSON
NSC FOR WARLICK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ECON KGCN KIDE PREL RS
SUBJECT: MFA SAYS RUSSIA NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPERIAL DEBTS

REF: A. STATE 28546
B. MOSCOW 963

1. The MFA's response to the dipnote delivered per Ref A
argues that the Russian Federation is not responsible for
satisfying claims on obligations dating back to the Russian
Empire. An unofficial translation of the dipnote's entire
text follows.

Begin Text:

"Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

No. 2272/DSA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States
of America and, in connection with the U.S. Embassy's Note
No. 22 of March 20, 2008, concerning compensation to holders
of securities issued by the Russian Imperial Government, has
the honor to advise the following:

Settling financial claims stemming from guarantees provided
by the Russian Imperial Government or securities issued by
that government and placed in foreign states as well as
settling other financial and nonproperty claims of foreign
individuals and legal entities against the Russian Empire is
not an obligation of the Russian Federation. Such claims
cannot be accepted by the Russian Federation as a subject of
negotiations either now or in the future.

Debts of the Russian Empire, including those in the form of
bonds, were annulled by a decree of the All-Russia Central
Executive Committee of February 3 (January 21) 1918. Neither
the USSR nor the Russian Federation has assumed any
obligations to the holders of said securities to pay or
settle those debts.

The Ministry avails itself of the opportunity to extend to
the Embassy of the United States of America renewed
assurances of its highest consideration.

Moscow, June 9, 2008

To the Embassy of the United States of America

Moscow"

End Text.

2. Post is prepared to furnish a copy of the original
Russian text. Please contact Economic Officer Clayton Hays
at hayscp@state.gov or hayscx@state.sgov.gov.
RUSSELL

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