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Cablegate: Approaching the Eu in Advance of the November

VZCZCXRO6314
OO RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHC #9280/01 3122334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 072325Z NOV 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3741
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1034
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5851
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 6275
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 9123
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV 8408
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 9765

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 119280

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EUN PREL PGOV GG RS SIPDIS
SUBJECT: APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE NOVEMBER
10 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING (GAERC) - DEALING WITH
RUSSIA

REF: STATE 115017


1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 5.

2. (SBU) Summary: The biannual EU-Russia Summit will
take place on November 14 in Nice, France. In the wake
of the crisis in Georgia, the French EU Presidency has
announced that the discussions will focus on the
implementation of the provisions of the Sarkozy cease-
fire agreements of August 12 and September 8, and the
way forward on the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation
Agreement. Background and points on Russia/Georgia for
use in approaching the EU in advance of the November 10
GAERC meeting of foreign ministers have been provided
reftel. As a supplement to that cable, this message
contains new points concerning President Medvedev's
proposal for a new European security dialogue and a
reiteration of closely-related points on the EU-Russia
partnership agreement. Posts should draw from these
points in discussions as soon as possible at the
appropriate level in EU member state host governments,
as well as with the European Commission and Council
Secretariat. Other posts should not/not deliver these
points. Posts are requested to include the SIPDIS
caption on their response cables and to reference this
cable. End Summary.

3. (SBU) Russian President Medvedev first proposed a
pan-European security treaty in June 2008, then
elaborated on the proposal at the World Policy
Conference in Evian, France in October. In his own
Evian address, President Sarkozy, whose country now
serves in the EU Presidency, correctly stated that the
Medvedev proposal must be assessed in light of existing
security principles and organizations (e.g., NATO, OSCE)
and in coordination with the United States. We consider
it premature and inappropriate for either the U.S. or
the EU to enter into discussions of the Medvedev
proposal with Russia, particularly when Russia has
failed to honor its commitments under existing framework
security agreements, has not yet complied with its
current commitments on security arrangements in Georgia
under the August 12 and September 8 cease-fire
agreements, and indeed has not helped us put the Geneva
process on Georgia on track. Rather, we should keep the
focus on Russian actions regarding Georgia and, for
example, have Russia explain why we should consider
their proposal on European security given their own
behavior. Similarly, as stated in reftel, we believe
that now is not the time for the EU to resume
negotiations with Moscow on a new EU-Russia Partnership
and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). Host country
interlocutors may assert that the U.S. is inconsistent
in its position on negotiating with Russia, citing our
engagement with Moscow on the START Treaty. Indeed, we
do believe in dialogue with Russia on key issues of
strategic interest. But we believe that these cases are
not analogous, as the START Treaty itself requires
interaction among the Treaty partners on a regular
basis, and the U.S. is thus complying with its
international treaty requirements. It should be further
emphasized that the START Treaty requires, by law, that
both sides meet by December 5, 2008 to keep open the
option to extend the treaty beyond December 2009.

4. (SBU) On balance, we believe that moving too fast
with Russia or honoring Russian attempts to divide the
United States and Europe, even with sound objectives in
mind, risks sending the wrong message. Postponement of
the resumption of the PCA talks until, for example, the
Russians have helped put the Geneva process on track and
are helping reduce, not stoke, tensions in Georgia,
would send the right message. The next round of Geneva
discussions will take place November 18-19. If the EU
decides to proceed with resumption of the PCA talks with
Moscow, it is critical they do so in a way that
minimizes the damage. They should in no case base a
decision to resume PCA talks on a false assertion that

STATE 00119280 002 OF 003

SUBJECT: APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE NOVEMBER
10 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING (GAERC) - DEALING WITH
RUSS
Russia has fulfilled the requirements of the ceasefire.
They should not convey that the Russo-Georgia war has
been set aside as a major international problem. They
should not act in a way that undermines the real
concerns by some European states about pressure from
Russia.

5. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Posts are requested to draw on
the following points in discussions with appropriate MFA
official(s) as soon as possible (in advance of the
November 10 GAERC meeting) and not to leave a non-paper.

-- We have already shared our views on Russia/Georgia in
the run-up to the November 10 GAERC and appreciate this
opportunity to follow up with some additional thoughts
as the EU finalizes it preparations for the November 14
EU-Russia Summit.

-- In particular, we are deeply concerned about
President Medvedev's proposal for a new pan-European
security treaty.

-- It is difficult to conceive giving Russia an audience
to discuss proposals for improving Europe's security
architecture -- based on principles including respect
for territorial integrity -- not long after Russia
invaded its neighbor, recognized the "independence" of
two separatist regions on that neighbor's sovereign
territory, and while it maintains a significant military
force presence on the territory of a neighboring
sovereign state.
-- Such actions are inconsistent with existing security
cooperative frameworks, such as the NATO-Russia Founding
Act and the Helsinki accords.
-- Russia has not yet complied with the August 12 and
September 8 cease-fire agreements, specifically by
failing to withdraw to pre-August 7 numbers and
positions of troops and refusing to allow humanitarian
access to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It is critical
that the EU not suggest that Russia is in full
compliance with the ceasefire, which would raise
problems of credibility.
-- We hope and expect that the EU will continue to
express concerns about the unfulfilled elements of the
ceasefire and other issues that raise tensions in
Georgia, such as the presence of Russian troops in
Akhalgori and the Upper Kodori Valley and continued
failure to allow international monitors (e.g., from the
OSCE) into South Ossetia.
-- Under these circumstances, particularly when Russia
has failed to honor its commitments under existing
security agreements, formal discussion of President
Medvedev's security architecture proposal is premature
and inappropriate.
-- We are also concerned about Russian efforts to divide
Europe and North America.
-- For our part, we welcomed President Sarkozy's Evian
comments in response to President Medvedev which
stressed that the Medvedev proposal must be assessed in
light of existing European security principles and
organizations, including NATO and the OSCE, and that
this assessment must be carried out in coordination with
the United States and Canada.

-- Rather, we should keep the focus on these commitments
regarding Georgia and insist that the Russians explain
why we should consider their proposal on European
security given their own behavior in Georgia and other
aspects of Russian behavior, e.g., their unilateral
suspension of CFE.

-- The U.S. and EU need to continue to exercise caution,
and ensure U.S.-European coordination to minimize
opportunities for Russia to try to divide us, as we
proceed with our review of this latest security
architecture proposal from Moscow. We look forward to
consulting with you further on these important issues,
and we welcome your suggestions on how to strengthen our
coordination.

-- This is also the context in which we have considered
the European debate about when and how to move forward
with the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
(PCA). With all respect for the EU's internal
deliberations, we question the basis for resuming PCA

STATE 00119280 003 OF 003

SUBJECT: APPROACHING THE EU IN ADVANCE OF THE NOVEMBER
10 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING (GAERC) - DEALING WITH
RUSS
negotiations with Russia before Moscow has met all of
its commitments under the cease-fire agreement.

-- We understand that continued engagement with Russia
remains a priority for many within the EU, despite
Moscow's failure to comply with its cease-fire
commitments.

-- Indeed, we do not believe that EU or U.S. dialogue
with Moscow should be halted.

-- That said, we hope that the EU will look carefully at
issues of timing. We do not want the Russians to
misinterpret EU interest in PCA talks as absolving them
of responsibility to fulfill their commitments under the
Sarkozy-negotiated ceasefire.

-- However the EU proceeds, we place great importance in
maintaining our unified public position that Russia
still has not met its commitments under the cease-fire
agreements.

-- It will be critical to convey to Russia that Europe
has not simply "swept Georgia aside" as an inconvenience
in an effort to resume business as usual at all costs.

-- Conveying a sense of solid European (and solid
Transatlantic) concern over Georgia and, indeed, over
the more problematic aspects of Russian foreign policy
is even more important in light of the harsh language
from President Medvedev's "state of the federation"
speech, which included threats to install offensive
missiles in Kaliningrad. We also do not want to see
Russia emerge with a sense that European concerns about
Russian behavior in Georgia and beyond have been brushed
aside.

-- The context and underpinnings of the EU decision
about the PCA talks can be critical in shaping the way
that decision is received.

-- Thank you for this opportunity to exchange views on
these matters of central importance to Euro-Atlantic
security.
RICE

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