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Cablegate: Georgia: Iceland Opposes Russian Recognition of S. Ossetia

VZCZCXRO9837
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHRK #0188 2401603
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271603Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3780
INFO RUEHNO/US MISSION NATO BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L REYKJAVIK 000188

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR P, EUR, EUR/CARC, EUR/NB
USNATO FOR AMB. VOLKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF GG RU IC
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: ICELAND OPPOSES RUSSIAN RECOGNITION OF S. OSSETIA
AND ABKHAZIA

REF: STATE 91894

Classified By: Amb. Carol van Voorst for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary: U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker previewed reftel
demarche in August 25 meetings with the Icelandic Foreign Minister
and other senior officials, and embassy followed up on August 27 to
reiterate the points. In press comments on August 26, Foreign
Minister Gisladottir immediately condemned the Russian move as
"unhelpful." End Summary.

2. (U) Icelandic Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir
immediately condemned Russia's decision to recognize South Ossetia
and Abkhazia as independent states, following a demarche on same by
the Russian Ambassador here August 26. Gisladottir described the
Russian decision as "inexpedient" and noted that responsible leaders
should be looking for ways to calm the situation, not provoke more
unrest as Russia has done. Alluding to Chechnya, Gisladottir said
that the Russian move may have "consequences that they have not
thought through completely."

3. (U) For his part, Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev called a
press conference on August 26 to announce the Russian Government's
decision as well as his lobbying efforts with FM Gisladottir earlier
in the day. Tatarintsev's comments -- including his statement that
Russia "naturally insists" that Iceland join in recognizing the two
regions -- received wide, if incredulous, press coverage.

4. (C) During meetings with Gisladottir and other senior ministry
officials on August 25, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker discussed
the possibility of Russian recognition of the two regions. All were
in agreement that the move was a bad one and would be unlikely to
gain wide support internationally. PolOff contacted the MFA's
Director for International Affairs Nick Hannigan on August 27 to
express embassy's appreciation for FM Gisladottir's statement, and to
reiterate ref B points. Hannigan noted that the FM was firm in her
message to the Russian Ambassador that the Russian decision is
extremely unhelpful, and would particularly exacerbate the plight of
Georgian IDPs from the two regions.

van Voorst

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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