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Cablegate: Panama: Russian Warship to Cross Canal

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0819 2982311
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 242311Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2602
INFO RHMFISS/DIRJIATF SOUTH
RHMFISS/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000819

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/21/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: RUSSIAN WARSHIP TO CROSS CANAL

1. (C) 1st VP and FM Samuel Lewis Navarro told the
Ambassador October 9 that the Russian nuclear-powered russian
crusier Petr Velikiy (Peter the Great) will cross the Canal
in December, and make a two-day port call at the Vasco Nunez
de Balboa navel base (former Rodman Naval Station) on
December 13 or 14. He said that during the port call the ship
would re-supply and the crew would have liberty. Lewis
downplayed the importance of the crossing, underscoring that
the Canal was open to all. He further asserted that the
crossing would provide the GOP an opportunity to caution the
Russians on the way they engage in the hemisphere.

2. (C) Vice Minister of Government and Justice Rodrigo
Cigarruista (Note: Now Acting Minister of Government and
Justice (see septel). End Note) told DATT and PolOff October
8 that Russian Embassy was coordinating the event with the
Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the GOP, and that they were
requesting a five-day port call. He said the GOP had agreed
to the transit, but that it would not grant the special
coordination granted to U.S. High Value Transits (HVTs), to
prevent the Russians from learning details about how such
crossings are protected. He said the GOP was considering
denying the request for a port visit, so as not to be seen
supporting the Russian's exercises with the Venezuelans. He
said the likely excuse would be that the only pier capable of
receiving the ship was under repair, and that they might dock
a repair ship at the dock to reinforce the story.
STEPHENSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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