Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Putin at the Oct. 20 Eu Heads of Government

VZCZCXRO1712
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHHE #1058/01 2901330
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171330Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2617
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0003

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HELSINKI 001058

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/17/2016
TAGS: PREL PHUM ENRG ETRD PGOV EUN MOPS FI RU SU
SUBJECT: PUTIN AT THE OCT. 20 EU HEADS OF GOVERNMENT
INFORMAL - A PREVIEW


Classified By: POLCHIEF GREGORY THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: The October 20 EU Heads of State or
Government Informals will feature two main components:
(1) the informal EU leaders' sessions, where principals
will discuss migration, Darfur, innovation and energy;
and (2) a dinner with Russian President Putin, which
will focus on energy issues and the "EU-Russia Strategic
Partnership." GOF officials tell us that under the
rubric of the Strategic Partnership, EU leaders intend
to raise human rights and the situation in Georgia. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) Finland will host the Informal Meetings of the
EU Heads of State or Government in Lahti, Finland on
October 20. In keeping with its efforts to return to
the "informal spirit" of EU informals, the Finnish
Presidency does not plan for the meetings to produce
formal conclusions. And in a significant departure from
past practice, the Finns have invited Russian President
Vladimir Putin to attend a dinner with EU Heads of State
and Government following the informal meetings,
ostensibly for an off-the-record discussion of energy
and general economic issues.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The Informals: Migration, Darfur, Energy, Innovation
--------------------------------------------- -------
3. (SBU) According to Johan Schalin, the Finnish Prime
Minister's Special Advisor on Foreign Policy, the
informal meetings of EU leaders will focus primarily on
four topics: migration, the EU's operation in Darfur,
innovation and energy. Regarding migration, Schalin
acknowledged that unhelpful divisions emerged within the
Union during the September JHA informals, and that
finding a common EU response will remain very difficult,
given that border control is still a MS competency.
However, he added, the heads of state recognize they
must make a political statement emphasizing that illegal
migration is a problem the EU must face together. On
Darfur, the UK will also make a brief presentation on
the deteriorating situation on the ground and the
urgency of rehatting the current African Union/ESDP
mission under a robust UN mandate.

4. (SBU) Regarding external energy relations, Schalin
confirmed that the meeting will focus on security of
supply, climate change, rising prices and laying the
foundation for the development of a common EU energy
policy. Leaders will likely focus on what principles
should form the basis of the EU's energy relations with
Russia -- an exchange of views that will serve as the
basis for discussion with Putin over dinner the same
day. (see para 7).

5. (SBU) Innovation policy discussions will also feature
prominently in Lahti. Worried that the EU is lagging
behind its competitors, Heads of State will discuss
possible barriers to competitiveness including the lack
of a harmonized patent system, relatively low levels of
research and development investment in some EU countries
and a scarcity of venture capital. Schalin highlighted
the patent issue in particular, noting that language
policy has hindered progress since member countries
cannot agree in which language patent applications
should be filed.

My Dinner With Vladimir: Energy, Strategic Partnership
--------------------------------------------- ---------
6. (SBU) Following the "official" portion of the
informals, the Finnish Presidency will host a dinner
with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss energy
and the EU-Russia Strategic Partnership. Regarding
energy security, the EU will stress to Putin that it
wants to construct a framework of binding energy
agreements that would promote a transparent, balanced
environment for doing business and that would facilitate
open markets and western investment in energy
production.

7. (C) In addition to energy, pressure has been building
to address human rights and the situation in Georgia
with Putin. The Presidency is gathering a list of human
rights topics from the MS and will take the lead in
raising each at the dinner. In order to avoid too
unwieldy a session and "because Putin knows what we
think" about most issues, emphasis will be placed on
simply making mention of EU concerns, rather than
lengthy condemnations or critiques. (Certain MS,
however, will take the floor on certain issues, Schalin
noted, offering no specifics.) As regards Georgia,
Schalin noted that while Commission President Jose

HELSINKI 00001058 002 OF 002


Manuel Barroso will make a statement of EU concerns, the
EU leaders are mindful that only one of the antagonists
will be present and the goal is to "lower the
temperatures" on both sides.

Comment
-------
8. (SBU) There has been much speculation of unhappiness
in the Finnish -- and, increasingly, Brussels-based --
press regarding the GOF's decision to invite Putin to
the Lahti informals. However, if the Finns and other EU
leaders stick to the script they've outlined, the event
could prove a useful forum for reminding Russia that the
world is closely watching how it develops its energy
policy and how it conducts itself on human rights. We
will follow up with our contacts during and after the
informal to see how much the EU leaders diverge -- or
how much their cagey interlocutor causes them to diverge
-- from their stated goals. End Comment.
WARE

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.