Cablegate: Finland: Views On the December 13-14 Gaerc

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2014

REF: STATE 258831

Classified By: POL Chief John Hall for reasons 1.5(B) and (D)

1. (U) We met with Finnish MFA EU Correspondent Kimmo
Lahdevirta to discuss the agenda for next week's GAERC
meeting and the European Council meeting to follow. Finnish
views, by issue:

2. (C) China Arms Embargo: Lahdevirta said his understanding
is that the EU has reached consensus on revisions to the Code
of Conduct, except for two issues: a difference of views
regarding the primacy of national law in some cases, and
whether to make the Code legally binding. He opined that the
first issue ought to be resolved fairly easily, but the
second is much more difficult and may have to be carried over
into Luxembourg's presidency. Finland strongly favors making
the Code legally binding, he said, but "a whole host of
others" are opposed. The GoF, Lahdevirta added, has not
wanted to link lifting of the embargo with completion of work
on the Code of Conduct. We said this did not seem logical --
if the Finns want a legally binding Code of Conduct, one
would think that the best tactic to get it would be to insist
on the embargo staying in place until their demand is met.

3. (C) Ukraine: Lahdevirta agreed that the EU and the U.S.
are on the same wavelength regarding the election and
post-election developments. He remarked that the
demonstrations in Kiev clearly show strong pro-change,
pro-modernization sentiments, but do not necessarily show a
pro-Western feeling. In any case, he said, the Finns are
pleased and relieved that so far there has been no bloodshed,
and feel it is "important to emphasize the integrity of
Ukraine against any secession." The GoF wonders if enough
time remains to complete the technical arrangements for a new
vote on December 26, but if the vote is held, it is important
that Western nations field as many observers as possible.
Finland is considering on a national basis whether it can
increase its own contribution.

4. (C) Middle East: Lahdevirta did not see any difference
between EU views and the U.S. position of reftel. In
particular, he agreed that the Palestinian Authority must be
headed by a legitimate leadership, and must show that it can
work. It is also important that Israel and the Palestinians
cooperate on planning for Gaza withdrawal, "so that no
vaccuum develops between them."

5. (C) Iran: Lahdevirta said he expected the GAERC to
reassert the necessity for Iran to stick to its commitments
-- and for the international community to be given the
opportunity to verify that. Iran must understand that
without such verification, there is no possibility of
anything happening on the "carrot" side. He said it seems it
will take quite some time before things change for the better
in Iranian society -- although on the other hand, events in
Ukraine show that change can happen rapidly.

6. (C) Turkey: Lahdevirta said the Finns expect Turkey and
Croatia to be the most sensitive issues at the European
Council meeting. The Finns are cautiously optimistic that
the Council will agree to begin accession talks for Turkey,
although the date remains up in the air. In any case, the
firm GoF view is that the question before the EU is
negotiation on full Turkish membership, not on some lesser
status. Lahdevirta remarked that a Turkish indication of
willingness to recognize Cyprus would obviously be an
important step that would certainly help "pave the way."

7. (C) Croatia: Drawing on reftel points, we stressed the
need to keep the pressure on Croatia to cooperate with the
ICTY. The Finns expect that the idea of agreeing to set a
date for negotiations, but making it conditional on
cooperation with ICTY, will be acceptable to a majority of EU
nations -- but perhaps not all.

© Scoop Media

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