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Cablegate: Tfgg01: Demarche Delivered: Russi..

VZCZCXRO0788
PP RUEHAG RUEHKW RUEHROV
DE RUEHUP #0821/01 2271647
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141647Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3295
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE
RUCNMUC/EU CANDIDATE STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0437

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUDAPEST 000821

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR GEORGIA TASK FORCE AND EUR/CE-JAMIE LAMORE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/2018
TAGS: MOPS PREL PHUM OSCE UN GG RS HU
SUBJECT: TFGG01: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: RUSSI...

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUDAPEST 000821 SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR GEORGIA TASK FORCE AND EUR/CE-JAMIE LAMORE E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/2018 TAGS: MOPS PREL PHUM OSCE UN GG RS HU

1. (U) This is an action request. See Paragraph 6. 2. (C) SUMMARY: Ref points were delivered on 14 August to GoH Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretaries Dr. Jeno Faller and Vilmos Hamikus. Charge also delivered ref points to Ambassador Karoly Banai, Chief Foreign and Security Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. Interlocutors in both meetings felt Hungary had been quite forward leaning at the recent NAC and GAERC meetings (contrary to U.S. perception). Russian Ambassador Igor Savolskiy visited the MFA earlier in the day to state that Russia was "not happy with facts or timing" of the recent GoH statement but, overall, considered it "moderate" (para 7). Hungary collected 800 kilograms of emergency medical aid equipment for Georgia and requests U.S. assistance in transporting the shipment to needed areas. End summary. "This was typical Soviet behavior" ---------------------------------- 3. (C) Speaking for the GoH Prime Minister's office, Banai said the Hungarian position had been "very firm" at both the NAC and GAERC meetings. Hungary's position is very clear. Banai said, "Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be questioned," adding that the, "Russian response was entirely disproportionate to the situation." Banai noted that Georgia clearly miscalculated but Russia's response was worse. Of paramount importance was that NATO and the EU react unanimously in facing down the threat to democracy in Georgia, according to Banai. With that said, however, Banai argued that communication "must be maintained with the Russians." Kremlin Calling --------------- 4. (C) Faller and Hamikus also felt Hungary had shown resolve in the GAERC meeting by supporting a statement that condemned the "disproportionate Russian military response" and the message that "this conflict has an impact on EU-Russia relations." Charge and PolOff noted that ref demarche was a request to approach the Russian Government directly, which Faller said Hungary was unlikely to do given that Russian Ambassador Savolskiy had just been in. Savolskiy raised humanitarian aid for Georgians before expressing Moscow's displeasure with the facts and timing of the GoH statement. He was further incensed at the recent statement from opposition party FIDESZ, which Savolskiy labeled "immoral" (para 8). 5. (C) COMMENT: Hungary believes it is in the same camp as those taking a firm stance against Russia, however their desire for "balance" and "communication" sets them apart from more hard-line neighbors. End comment. 6. (U) ACTION REQUEST: Post requests a response to Hungary's request for transport of emergency humanitarian aid to Georgia. The MFA is aware of U.S. C-17s delivering supplies to Tbilisi and would like to somehow include the 800 kilogram, 10 cubic meter shipment collected by the Hungarian government. A complete manifest of the medical items can be faxed to the Department. 7. (U) Begin text of GoH statement: Hungarian Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz has initiated that the government should adopt a decision on granting immediate humanitarian aid to the victims of the Georgian-Russian conflict. At the EU foreign ministers meeting on Wednesday, Goncz is going to make a proposal for the reconstruction of Georgia's war damage. The Hungarian government greets Georgia's intention to make peace and sign the peace plan, and the Russian announcement on cessation of military operations. Hungary is concerned about the latest military actions in Georgia, which may affect security in the entire Caucasian region, and endanger peace and security. The Hungarian government is convinced that the conflict can only be resolve through negotiations, with the involvement of the international community. Hungary takes a stand for respecting Georgia's territorial integrity, sovereignty and internationally recognized borders, and qualifies the Russian armed action disproportionate in extent and territorial scope. Hungary supports the efforts of the sides concerned and the international organizations to settle the conflict peacefully as soon as possible. End text. 8. (U) Begin text of FIDESZ statement: What happened is BUDAPEST 00000821 002 OF 002 unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. In the situation that has evolved as a result of the Russian-Georgian conflict, the question is whether the international community will be strong, wise and considerate enough to make it clear that existing conflicts cannot be settled in ways that are unacceptable in the 21st century. What Russians are saying now is not at all different from what they said about Hungary in 1956. The simple fact is that foreign troops are deployed in the territory of another country, bombing cities and killing innocent civilians. Hungary must take a clear stance. It must be clearly and strongly stated that Europe, in cooperation with America, has a responsibility and also has the means that it can use in such historic moments. Hungary should not take the position of an external observer but that of a Central European country. End text. Levine

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