Search

 

Cablegate: Russia Throws Its Weight Around in the Eapc

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNO #0314/01 2461712
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021712Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2207
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0155
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 6087
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI IMMEDIATE 5670
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0794
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE IMMEDIATE 0507
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/USNMR SHAPE BE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000314

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/01/2018
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO MOPS PREF GG RU UP SP BO SR
SUBJECT: RUSSIA THROWS ITS WEIGHT AROUND IN THE EAPC

Classified By: A/DCM W.S.Reid
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: The EAPCs first meeting after the summer
break featured Georgian protests about Russian action and a
Russian response made memorable by a claim that, if the
Russian response had been proportionate, "Tbilisi would now
lie in ruins." Russia announced it has withdrawn from the
PfP SOFA. The Russian delegate followed the meeting by
making hallway threats to the Georgian political counselor.
Spain moved beyond Germany to become the Ally most
sympathetic to Russian versions of the August conflict. End
Summary.

ALLIES MOSTLY QUIET AS GEORGIA AND RUSSIA TRADE ALLEGATIONS
--------------------------------------------- --------------

2. (C) Recent events in Georgia dominated the September 2nd
meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).
Meeting at the working level, EAPC representatives heard
updates from both Finland and France on the ongoing efforts
of the OSCE and the EU, respectively, to respond to the
crisis in Georgia.

3. (C) Georgia highlighted its long-term commitment to a
peaceful conflict resolution policy solution, asserting that
August saw a provocation prepared well in advance by the
Russian side. The Georgian delegate briefed on the numbers
of Russian troops inside Georgia, highlighted the
humanitarian cost of the conflict, and concluded from
Russias recognition of the separatist regions that Russia
does not respect fundamental principles of international law.

4. (C) In reply to these "lies from Georgia," the Russian
representative claimed that his country had tried to find
peace in Georgia for twenty years and had only changed its
approach in response to an unprovoked attack from Georgia.
He agreed that Russia had used disproportionate force,
arguing that had proportionate force been used, "Tbilisi
would now lie in ruins." The Russian rejected the Georgian
estimate of 130,000 persons displaced by the conflict and
said that Russia had provided for humanitarian access. The
delegate said Russia had halted hostilities and was in
compliance with the "Medvedev-Sarkozy" six-point plan,
alleged that Georgian forces had still not returned to
barracks, that Russian forces were manning the buffer zones
in preparation for the arrival of OSCE observers, and that
Russia stands ready to play a part in the peacekeeping
effort.

5. (C) Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia all made very
short pre-coordinated remarks recalling NATO and EU
statements. Ukraine highlighted Kyivs support for Georgias
territorial integrity and sovereignty.

6. (C) Poloff, after expressing regret that violence had been
used, noted that the United States has not drawn the
conclusion that the Georgian action was unprovoked and that
further investigations remain warranted. He noted an
apparent failure by Russian peacekeepers to keep the peace in
the days leading up to the conflict, and marveled at the
speed of the Russian "response." Poloff noted that Russia
remains in breach of the 6-point plan (including its
clarifications) and emphasized that Russia should not portray
the ceasefire deal as something concluded between just the EU
and Russia. Georgia was also a party to the agreement.
Poloff referenced President Bushs condemnation of the
Russian recognition of the separatist areas, its
inconsistency with multiple UN Security Council Resolutions,
and drew EAPC members, attention to the NATO ministers
conclusion that the Alliance is considering seriously the
implications of Russia,s actions for the NATO-Russia
relationship.

7. (C) The Spanish representative, making the only statement
in the meeting that attributed equal blame to Russia and
Georgia, noted recent multilateral statements on the issue
and called on "all sides" to commit again to a peaceful
future. He said that what had occurred in the past was not
the most important matter, the issue was how we deal with
each other in the future. The Spaniard hoped that all sides
would fulfill the 6-point plan with "restraint."

8. (C) Attendance in the EAPC may have reflected shifting
realities over the summer. Belarus made the first appearance
in months, while Russias best EAPC friend, Serbia, failed to
show up. Uzbekistan was also absent.

RUSSIA ANNOUNCES IT HAS SUSPENDED THE PFP SOFA
--------------------------------------------- -

9. (C) Under another agenda item the Chairman briefed EAPC
members that Russias ratification of the Partnership for
Peace Status of Forces Agreement (PfP) had been accompanied
by several "understandings." The Chair noted that some
Allied legal experts had concluded that these do constitute
reservations to the agreement, and it remained the sovereign
right of any signatory of the SOFA to take also a stand and
formally qualify them as reservations. He indicated that the
NATO Legal Advisor will provide nations with a memo to
explain the situation and encouraged them to take any action
by the deadline of 14 September.

10. (C) The Russian delegate, in response, said Russia
considers these statements to be clarifications and not
reservations of a specific nature. He then announced that
Russia has suspended the implementation of the NATO SOFA in
Russia (Note: We understand that in order to take this step,
Russia must provide the United States - as the depositary
state - with written notification, something it has not yet
done. End note)

COMMENT: RUSSIANS MAKE PERSONAL THREATS,
ENGAGE SPANISH FRIENDS
----------------------------------------

11. (C/NF) Cold War imperialism appears to have returned to
the conduct of Russian diplomacy. According to the Georgian
mission, Russian First Counselor Victor Kochukov approached
the Georgian Political Counselor and a member of the
Lithuanian diplomatic staff in the hall after the meeting.
The Georgian said the Russian issued the following threat:
"You should think about this. Think about this making a
statement, young man. You should think about your home. We
will not allow you. Be aware. We will not allow you."

12. (C/NF) The Spanish intervention was a glaring exception
to the attempt by Allies to preserve unity in the face of
Russia. As the EAPC ended the Spanish representative then
approached the Russian delegate to engage him in
conversation. There he could be seen by all nodding intently
while the Russian waved his hands making forceful points.
The Belgian representative soon joined the group. While
debate rages at NATO about the appropriateness of NRC
meetings, the EAPC meeting of Ambassadors scheduled for
Sepember 10 will be a test case of how the Allies will
conduct themselves when Russia is in the room. Silence from
most of the Allies is not a strong position. We also doubt
the divergence of opinion within the Alliance has been lost
on EAPC members who must continue to chart their own response
to the Georgia crisis.
VOLKER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: