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Cablegate: Non-Paper On Future of International Science And

VZCZCXRO1291
PP RUEHAST
DE RUEHC #0043/01 1561749
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 041741Z JUN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1540
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 2334
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 0966
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 6620
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 7776
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 5635

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 060043

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL PBIO RS
SUBJECT: NON-PAPER ON FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY CENTER (ISTC)

1. (U) This is an action cable. Please see paragraphs 3.

2. (U) Objective: To advance our bilateral discussions with
the Russians on the future of the ISTC. Please pass the
non-paper at paragraph 3 to the appropriate host government
officials.

3. (U) Begin Text Transformation of the International
Science and Technology Center Non-Paper


Acting Under Secretary of State John C. Rood and Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak have discussed the future of
the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
Deputy Foreign Minister Kislyak has said that Russia believes
the ISTC is useful as a means for scientific exchange and
collaboration and agrees with the U.S. that the mission of
the ISTC needs to evolve. Deputy Foreign Minister Kislyak
agreed that there could be bilateral discussions in the
future.

U.S. Department of State representatives met with officials
of the Russian Embassy in Washington informally to discuss
the U.S. interest in conducting bilateral meetings at the
expert-level to follow-up on the Kislyak and Rood
discussions. An informal consensus was reached that the U.S.
would develop this non-paper to begin the bilateral
discussion and that multilateral meetings would follow with
all the ISTC stakeholders.

In 2006, ISTC Governing Board members revisited the question
of how to transform the original ISTC mission of redirecting
former weapons scientists to one that furthers members,
joint WMD nonproliferation efforts; the Board discussed a
future ISTC that effectively tailors project and programmatic
activities towards nonproliferation, and also seeks to
advance partnerships on key scientific challenges of
interest. The Secretariat developed a paper that was
discussed at many ISTC meetings, including at a working group
dedicated to the issue.

The U.S. sees great value in holding bilateral discussions on
ways to transform the ISTC that would strengthen important
U.S.-Russian nonproliferation collaborative efforts.
Russia,s ideas and proposals on transformation are critical
for the ISTC to remain a successful tool for nonproliferation
and scientific exchange. The U.S. proposes that a bilateral
discussion on the ISTC's future include:

-- Transforming the ISTC to be a focal point for
international cooperation on WMD nonproliferation, and
counterterrorism by:

-- expanding ISTC participation beyond the states that
formerly comprised the Soviet Union

-- broadening the strategic priorities to foster both
international and regional partnerships and addressing both
global proliferation and terrorism challenges

-- Exploring multiple funding mechanisms to advance strategic
nonproliferation goals

-- Assessing the current and future economic circumstances of
scientists, technicians, and engineers with WMD and missile
expertise in Russia and the the states that formerly
comprised the Soviet Union

-- Assessing the evolving economic circumstances of ISTC
funding parties and discuss the prospects of increased joint
funding

-- Coordinating ISTC efforts with other ongoing scientific
and technical cooperation between the U.S. and Russia

The U.S. proposes to hold bilateral, expert-level meetings in
Washington or Moscow to include multiple Russian agencies,
including the Ministry of Education and Science, the Russian
Academy of Science, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and
ROSATOM, and their American counterparts such as the
Department of State, the Department of Energy, the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences, and other USG ISTC partners.

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