Cablegate: Chemical Weapons Convention (Cwc): Wrap Up for The


DE RUEHTC #2069/01 3511454
O 171454Z DEC 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


This is CWC-93-07.


1. (SBU) The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) met on
December 12 to discuss preparations for the Review Conference
(RevCon). The coordinator, Annie Mari (France), also
proposed at the request of the Netherlands to hold an
expanded WEOG meeting either January 22 or 20 to discuss
voluntary contributions. Several delegations asked for
additional detail on who would be invited and what might be
included in the agenda. The coordinator suggested inviting
EU members not in the WEOG, Japan and South Korea, and that
depending on the timing, the agenda might well include topics
like the RevCon chair. A Dutch delegate noted that her
government would like to share views on resource management,
experience with OPCW projects, preferences of other donors to
fund certain projects, and donor coordination in general.
WEOG delegations seemed amenable to the idea but no date was
set for the meeting.


2. (U) On December 12, UK Ambassador Lyn Parker chaired a
meeting of the Working Group on Preparations for the Second
Review Conference to continue discussing the recently
distributed &Note by the Technical Secretariat: Review of
the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention since the
First Review Conference8 (WGRC-2/S/1). Amb. Parker tried to
organize the discussions into three large groupings of topics
from the Note, but many delegations ignored this and gave
their comments in single prepared statements. U.S. Del made
points from guidance (ref a) during discussion of two of the
three groupings. Nearly all who intervened said that these
were their initial reactions only, given the recent release
of the Note, and that further comments were likely to be
submitted. Amb. Parker reminded delegations that they should
submit written comments by January 3, if possible, to ease
further discussions and report drafting.

3. (U) Early in the meeting, the Cuban ambassador made a
comprehensive statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement
(NAM) States Parties (SPs) and China. Some of the highlights
and surprises were:
- The purpose of the RevCon is to solely review current
functioning of the OPCW, not to look more broadly, and should
focus on destruction.
- The current destruction pace is of concern, along with
discussing old and abandoned chemical weapons (CW).
- It is too early to discuss the eventual shift in focus
from destruction to nonproliferation, as the CWC itself is
not a nonproliferation instrument.
- Verification efforts need to take into account the
&hierarchy of risk8 and that a shift from this would be
viewed as a significant change in CWC implementation.
- Industrial sites in developing SPs do not necessarily
pose more of a risk to the object and purpose of the CWC.
- Open source information has no status in verification.
- Challenge inspections are seen as a last resort and, by
the language of the CWC, must be preceded by consultation,
etc. Unresolved issues surrounding challenge inspection
preparation need to be resolved.
- There is a need to review and make recommendations
regarding &non-lethals8, to include riot control agents and
incapacitants &already in use.8
- There needs to be a &convincing justification8 made
regarding the general purpose criterion and its relevance,
keeping a particular eye toward not hampering Articles VI and
- Anti-terrorism efforts within the OPCW can be best

achieved by full implementation of the CWC.

4. (U) Several delegations (South Africa, China, Algeria,
India) associated themselves with the NAM statement, giving
particular emphasis to some points. In an unusual move, the
Iranian ambassador attended the meeting and made a painfully
long intervention that repeated many items (usually
word-for-word) from the NAM statement. Iran went on to:
highlight a review of CW destruction (stating that any
failure to meet deadlines is non-compliance); refer to the
Anniston visit and the DG,s observations from that visit;
note that all of the OPCW,s interactions with the UN and
other international organizations on terrorism must be
brought to the Executive Council; indicate that the Industry
and Protection Forum was a one-time event and not meant to
have a life of its own; point to the lack of readiness under
Article X (mentioning CW victims); and mention free-trade and
regulatory considerations.

5. (U) Japan made a lengthy intervention that highlighted a
number of elements from the Note - general purpose criteria,
national implementation and capacity-building, site safety
and terrorism, importance of the Scientific Advisory Board
and its temporary working groups, increased OCPF inspections.
On sampling and analysis (S&A), Japan made two points: (1)
at Schedule 2 sites, there should be a two-tier approach for
selection, in which S&A might be added as a last resort to
address specific issues or to build necessary confidence, but
not based blindly on certain site characteristics; and (2) at
Schedule 3 and OCPF sites, consideration of S&A should be
based on a cost/benefit analysis. Japan also pointed out
that transfers of Schedule 3 chemicals to States not Party
should be left to the jurisdiction of SPs, the use of
challenge inspections was something that was expected by
those who gave the OPCW its responsibility, and the structure
of the TS needs to continue to shift as it changes its
emphasis from destruction to non-proliferation.

6. (U) The UK made comments on a number of topics, including:
the need to keep CW expertise within the Technical
Secretariat (TS) after 2012 to deal with old chemical

weapons, non-compliance, etc.; CW destruction, including
conversion, as the sole responsibility of the possessor; a
nod to the EC-51 decision on timely declarations;
harmonization of low concentration limits and AND
declarations; possibility of making the current voluntary
notification of Schedule 2/3 sites ceasing of operations
mandatory; no strict hierarchy of risk (e.g., Schedule 3
sites producing large quantities using inflexible designs v.
OCPFs with great flexibility); UK National Authority and
industry support for continued S&A; continued Article VII
efforts, including work with industry (e.g., Responsible
Care); additional SAB meetings funded by the regular budget.

7. (U) Canadian delegate requested that delegations,
statements in this discussion be made available in writing.
TS representative and other delegates specifically requested

copies of the U.S. points; del reps said we would be
submitting a written paper soon.

8. (U) The schedule for the meetings of the Working Group in
2008, which will become more frequent, was also distributed
(all meetings 10:30 ) 12:30):

- Thursday, January 17
- Thursday, January 24
- Monday, January 28
- February 4-5: S&A TWG meeting (tentative)
- February 6-7: Science and Technology TWG meeting
- Friday, February 8
- February 11-13: Eleventh Session of the SAB
- Friday, February 15
- Thursday, February 21
- Thursday, February 28
- March 3: Destruction informals

- March 4-7: EC-52
- Thursday, March 13
- Wednesday, March 19
- Thursday, March 27
- Thursday, April 3
- April 7-18: Second RevCon


9. (SBU) The UK delegation called a relatively short-notice
meeting for the afternoon of December 13 at their embassy.
They made it very clear that the choice of venue was
intentional because of the sensitivity of what they wanted to
discuss. Having said that, the information is not
classified, and it is likely to become widely known
eventually. But, at the moment, they are asking that we keep
this information very close-hold. The others in attendance
are those other States Parties that are part of the global
partnership (i.e., donors) in support of Russian CW
destruction - U.S., the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Germany,
Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Belgium.

10. (SBU) James Harrison (UK MOD) led the discussion. The
main topic was Kizner. He announced at this meeting the
UK,s intention to NOT move forward with their efforts at
Kizner. He first explained the reasons they originally
intended to support Kizner (e.g., the stockpile and
destruction process is almost identical to that at Shchuch'e,
hoping to apply lessons learned to ease moving forward, and
welcoming the chance to again work successfully with Canada)
and a brief history of the project since its announcement in
summer 2006. The reality, however, has been that their
former work at Shchuch'e offered no real benefit to getting
the Kizner effort off the ground. It has proven difficult to
work with the Russians to get the contracts/sub-contracts in
place, as they have shown a desire to play a larger (i.e.,
equal) role in the process - insisting on trilateral
agreements, breaking single contracts into multiple ones,
moving from commercial contracts to state contracts, Russian
final approval on all sub-contractors, etc. The Russians
also insisted on bilateral agreements with the UK, rather
than agreements with a broader group of countries. The
Russians also insisted on firm timelines in the agreements;
for example, they insisted that all equipment be delivered by
the end of 2008, although there were some indications that
this date could have slipped to March 2009. Regardless, the
UK would not make this commitment, particularly as the
Russians have still not agreed to meet to discuss
technical-level details of the equipment but rather have
provided only a list of items.

11. (SBU) Some recent developments with Kizner:
- Meetings were held in Moscow in October with Kholstav
and his staff to try to move things along, but progress is
still slow.
- An October 22 letter to Kholstav offered several dates
for follow-up meetings. Russia has not responded. The UK
was not informed that Kholstav would be here for the CSP and,
as such, could not make arrangements to meet with him in The
- The UK feared that negotiations would continue on
indefinitely, giving Russia even more control of the process.
- The UK acknowledges now that the Russians can do this
work themselves much more quickly.
- The Russian feasibility study for Kizner was only
recently approved.

12. (SBU) All of this has led the UK to conclude that Russia
would rather go ahead without the UK. The UK informed their
ministers of the internal deadline they had set to decide to
end this effort, following about seven weeks of no-response
from Russia. This conclusion that Russia would rather
proceed without the UK was to be reflected in a letter to
Kholstav by the end of the week (December 14). In addition,

Amb. Parker (UK) planned to send a brief letter to the
Russian ambassador in The Hague to inform him of this action,
forward to him a copy of the Kholstav letter, and to express
his regret - nothing more.

13. (SBU) Harrison state that, in reality, this situation
might have been predicted given how increasingly difficult
work at Shchuch'e has become over the past 18 months. All
real progress during this time has been via direct letters to
Kholstav. Work in this arena has just become more difficult
in Russia, in direct contrast to the UK's relatively smooth
work with Russia on nuclear issues. Harrison was quick to
say that they feel these problems are "self-contained" and
not related to any other strains in UK/Russia relations.

14. (SBU) In response to questions from the other
delegations, Harrison reviewed the fact that Kizner is not a
part of the work needed by Russia to meet its 45-percent
deadline. Also, even with UK assistance, there are still
serious doubts about achieving completion of destruction at
Kizner by 2012, the August 2007 site approval being a
significant indicator of this concern. Harrison also made it
clear that they see this week's letter to Kholstav as the end
to this project and to their involvement at Kizner.

15. (SBU) Harrison went on to give a brief report of the
ongoing effort at Shchuch'e. Difficulties similar to those
at Kizner have started to creep into the workings at
Shchuch'e, especially Russian insistence on more involvement
in contracting. Some of these difficulties go against
previously agreed procedures and are causing significant
delays. Recently, FAI has questioned the UK's ability to
make relatively minor changes to their prime contract without
Russian approval. If this position persists, the UK would
not be able to move forward with its contract, and the work
would have to cease. If that were to occur, funds would be
returned to donors. The UK has proposed a meeting with
Kholstav the week of December 17 for what the UK sees as a
last chance to work this out. Although he has not yet agreed
to the timing of such a meeting, Kholstav has made a call for
four-way meetings instead (to include the U.S. and Canada),
something that has not been done for a couple of years now.

16. (U) At the close of the meeting, the group confirmed that
the next donors meeting will be held on March 3 at 10:30, on
the margins of the EC meeting.

17. (U) Peggy Neerman and Rosetta Goode (ISN/EX) visited the
delegation December 12-13 to discuss budget and management
issues. They met with the Financial Management staff and the
Management Counselor at the Embassy, and with the
Ambassador,s staff at the residence, as well as with del

18. (U) Beik sends.


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