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Cablegate: Russia Will Attempt to Block Ukrainian Resolution

VZCZCXRO7682
PP RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2689 2521407
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081407Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9891
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0443

UNCLAS MOSCOW 002689

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL UN UK RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA WILL ATTEMPT TO BLOCK UKRAINIAN RESOLUTION
ON HOLODOMOR AT UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE

REF: A. STATE 93981
B. 07 MOSCOW 5146

1. (SBU) We delivered demarche on the U.S.'s human rights
priorities at the UNGA Third Committee on September 5 to MFA
Department for Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights
First Secretary Aleksey Goltyayev, who told us that Russia
would continue to oppose country specific human rights
resolutions (ref A). He reiterated that the GOR was against
the "politicization" of UN resolutions intended not to
rectify human rights problems so much as to punish certain
governments for other purposes (ref B). Goltyayev asked why
the U.S. continued to support the use of the Third Committee
to advance its human rights agenda while criticizing the UN
Human Rights Council, which was the appropriate forum for
discussing human rights issues.

2. (SBU) Goltyayev told us that Russia's priority at the UNGA
Third Committee would be to block what it suspected would be
an attempt by Ukraine to introduce a resolution condemning
the Holodomor, the 1930s famine that killed millions in the
former Soviet Union, as a crime against humanity. Ukraine
attempted to do so in 2003, the 70th anniversary of the
tragedy, and was likely to do so again to mark the 75th
anniversary. Goltyayev criticized Ukraine for seeking to
politicize an issue that he claimed should be dealt with by
historians, not politicians and diplomats. He lamented the
fact that as Kyiv "peddled" the Holodomor as a means to build
Ukrainian nationalism, it fostered the country's "xenophobic
tendencies."

3. (SBU) Goltyayev warned that should a Ukrainian-sponsored
resolution pass, this would "open a Pandora's box," and the
UN could see other resolutions on similar issues, including
calls for countries to pay reparations for supposed crimes
committed by earlier governments. He cautioned that the U.S.
would not be immune from such a situation, as certain
elements of its history could be distorted to appear as
crimes against humanity or genocide.

4. (SBU) Goltyayev said the GOR would again introduce its
resolution on the Inadmissibility of Certain Practices that
Contribute to Fueling Contemporary Forms of Racism, which is
intended to curb neo-Nazi activity. Russia considered the
defamation of religion resolution "unbalanced" because it
singled out only Islam and would like to see the language
changed, but would still vote for the resolution out of
support for the larger cause of protecting religion. Russia
would support the freedom of expression resolution and urged
the U.S. to reconsider its position.
BEYRLE

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