Cablegate: How Ukrainian, Georgian Map Is Playing at Nato


DE RUEHNO #0225/01 1791839
O 271839Z JUN 08

S E C R E T USNATO 000225



E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/27/2018
D. KYIV 1201

Classified By: CHARGE R.G. OLSON: REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1.(C/NF) Summary: Discussion of Ukrainian and Georgia MAP
prospects at NATO remains highly charged and polarized.
Germany leads the "Gang of Five" critics (France, the
Netherlands, Spain and Norway plus sometimes Portugal), while
the U.S. and Canada champion the pro-camp otherwise comprised
of the Poles, Balts, Czechs, Romanians and Bulgarians. The
UK, Denmark and Italy lead off the "wavering West" of
on-again, off-again Allies who are fence-sitting in most
meetings. Greece and Turkey expend energy trying to avoid
being pinned down here, but show skeptical colors when
pressed. We welcome lateral post perspectives on Georgian
and Ukrainian MAP prospects as seen in capital and any "soft
spots" on advocacy which we should explore. End Summary.

2.(C/NF) From a NATO headquarters perspective, as Germany
goes, so goes the prospect for Ukrainian, Georgian MAP
attainment at or before the December NATO Foreign
Ministerial. USNATO appreciates ref. A and notes that the
German NATO delegation also conflates MAP and membership,
asserting that both would need to be on the verge of
attaining full membership readiness before MAP were
appropriate. The Germans here up to the PermRep level are in
active denial that the Bucharest statement already agreed
membership for both aspirants. His statements to the GoU in
Kyiv indicate as much.

3.(S/NF) Tactically, Germany expends great energy on
undermining and questioning prospects for MAP for Ukraine and
Georgia, but dwells more on quashing Kyivs progress. This
may be because locally the Dutch and French are more than
happy to attack Georgian policy as each opportunity arises.
(Note: Germany cleans up with formal comments that Georgian
democracy is immature and informally adds that it is
incomprehensible for NATO to "import another Cyprus" into the
fold.) The German NATO delegation dwells most on para. 12,
ref. "whither the compensation strategy for Russia" question
in its small group talks, sometimes including even U.S.
officers, and formally asserts that Ukrainian MAP must be
shown to benefit "all of Europes security." They foresee a
need to develop a CFE answer for Russia of undetermined
nature (although often decrying how Romania is distorting the
CFE process to the detriment of NATO security); developing
further NATO-Russia Council access for Moscow in Alliance
decision-shaping; offering Russia a "real partnership
opportunity of substance," suggesting a greater role in
Afghanistan and maybe a meatier MD/NRC TMD cooperative
approach than presently on the table; and developing a common
Allied analysis of how Ukraines NATO tilt might be offset to
assuage Russian strategic calculus. The latter is rarely
elaborated by Germans, but some Allied delegations and
informed NATO International Staff theorize that there is not
a German government common line and the general reference may
be an effort to probe Allied opinion on expansion of the
three "Nos," a Ukrainian non-foreign forces stationing
unilateral declaration, Russian Black Sea Fleet Crimea access
extensions or other political sweeteners for Moscow.

4.(C/NF) Germany repeatedly asserts that the December
Foreign Ministerial review of Ukraine and Georgias MAP
candidacy "will only be the first of many." Recently the
German PermRep has challenged whether Ukraine, even following
the recent NAC trip to Kyiv, really is united in seeking a
"yes" from NATO on MAP in December. (Note: The French
PermRep sang the same tune in that conversation. End Note.)
Occasionally we hear signs of a Foreign Ministry/Chancellery
split on the lead reason to oppose Ukrainian MAP arise in
conversations with the Germans or their "Gang of Five"
colleagues discussing why Berlin opposes Ukrainian MAP. The
MFA is credited with more of a Russian reaction/security
interest-centric calculus while Chancellor Merkels thinking
is asserted to center more around questions of Ukrainian
reform credentials and divided public sentiment on Ukraines
NATO interest.

5.(C/NF) French resistance to Georgian/Ukrainian MAP usually
comes in the role of "enforcer" in the "Gang of Five," but
here clearly is attuned to follow the lead on the German
chorus in a given discussion. Lately French officers have
challenged whether Ukraine and Georgia have "even moved past
intensified dialogue" and asserted that "NATO is only
reviewing the Ukrainian annual target plan this year the same
as any other year" in the ten-year history of the
NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership. When Germans ask about
starting a small group discussion of a Russian reaction
strategy, and especially when how CFE might fit into it, the
French usually go silent to see how others will respond, but
they dont initiate that question.

6.(C/NF) The Dutch are most vocal and active in opposing
Georgian MAP, although they routinely chime in support after
major German anti-Ukraine MAP flourishes in committee
meetings. On Georgia, they characterize Georgian democracy
as immature; Saakashvili as an emotional, corrupt and
unreliable leader; and assert his administration is
intolerant of opposition and prone to squeezing out checks
and balances in the Georgian government and civic society,
particularly in the judiciary and on freedom of media. They
are quite critical of the Georgian Armys national reserve
plans, consider its force structure postured to undertake
offensive actions in the conflict zones and question the NATO
interoperability implications and defense planning prudence
of its weapons purchases, particularly from non-NATO
traditional suppliers.

7.(C/NF) Norway has adopted a strong "me-too" approach in
support of German and Dutch arguments, especially on Georgia,
and says on occasion when pressed for its anti-Map rationale
for Ukraine that it is concerned about "unanswered strategic
questions." This is an occasional refrain from Spain as well,
which also shares the "me too" posture most frequently in
support of other lead doubters. Many Allies note that
Spanish opposition is estimated to be strategic, too, and in
line with its EU posture, where it is viewed as fearing that
Ukrainian and/or Georgian MAP is a net gain for Europes
"Eastern Dimension." These NATO/EU Allied observers say that
Madrid consistently views potential eastern shifts of balance
in Europe as a threat to Madrids influence, its preferred
focus on the Maghreb and Mediterranean basin and eventually
to its claim on EU regional subsidy funds and NATO security
infrastructure investment spending.

8.(S/NF) While the UK privately asserts that it is
supportive of Georgian and Ukrainian MAP, it usually avoids
outward expressions of support beyond very nuanced general
statements. Both the UK and Denmark squirmed vocally when
asked to participate in the so-called "New Friends of
Georgia" Group in May and asserted to Georgia in the closed
meeting, upon instruction, that they "were fellow travelers
in the path ahead, but not willing to wear the clubs
jersey." UK NATO officers plainly tell USNATO officials that
London ebbs and flows on supporting the two, especially
Georgia (Note: citing the protracted nature of the Abkhaz
conflict. End Note.). UK Caucasus Special Representative Sir
Brian Fall also has advocated in NATO meetings that Georgia
should offer a "no first use of force" public statement as a
pre-condition for MAP accession. They add that London (often
identified more as FCO than MoD) lately has been convincing
itself that NATO must "answer the questions of the Black sea
Fleet and Ukrainian/Russian defense industrial impact in the
wake of NATO accession" to make progress on Ukrainian MAP.
UK PermRep Eldon espoused this line on the margins of the NAC
Ukraine trip as well. His deputy chief of mission (DCM) and
defense advisor (about to become DCM) echo this theme. UK
contacts dodge the question frequently when pressed how they
see the December Foreign Ministerial review, avoiding stating
whether HMG would support MAP accession and shifting to how
to move Germanys position.

9.(C/NF) Italy postures itself on the fence in most
discussions, but sometimes pushes back at more aggressive
German efforts to dilute the Bucharest wine. Privately, they
assure USNATO that "while we may look at MAP more than just
once in December, we wont have to do this more than a few
times" before MAP is granted to both Aspirants. Italy also
expressed private consternation to USNATO at some more
aggressive German committee efforts to walk back Bucharest
high level decisions. That said, they say they would welcome
the same Russian strategic calculus small group discussion
for which the German NATO delegation fishes.

© Scoop Media

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