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Cablegate: Medvedev Tells Russian Diplomats to Avoid

VZCZCXRO7350
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2012 1971343
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151343Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9019
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MOSCOW 002012

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL RS
SUBJECT: MEDVEDEV TELLS RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS TO AVOID
CONFRONTATION

1. During a July 15 address to an assembly of Russian
diplomats in Moscow, Medvedev provided an overview of
Russia's foreign policy and called upon the diplomats to
protect Russian interests while avoiding confrontation. His
address coincided with the release of the paper Concepts of
Russian Foreign Policy that explained Russia would pursue a
"predictable and pragmatic" foreign policy and not be drawn
into confrontations potentially harmful to the country's
domestic development. According to initial press reports,
Medvedev made the following points during his speech:

-- Russia sees a need for a new European security treaty.
Medvedev said that the current crisis over CFE and missile
defense indicated that "all is not well" with the current
European security structure, and hoped that it would not take
a "complete and final breakdown of this regime" to
demonstrate its "lack of viability." Medvedev said he was
pleased by the initial response to his proposal for a new
European security treaty and was prepared to engage in a
"creative and practical search" for solutions to the current
political impasse.

- Russia will respond to U.S. missile defense system.
Medvedev said that U.S. plan to deploy MD was "only
aggravating" an already troubled political situation and
Russia would "have to react appropriately."

-- The strategic partnership between Russia and the EU could
be a "support structure for a greater Europe without dividing
lines." Medvedev said this would include investment by
Russia and the EU in each other's economies based upon agreed
"rules."

-- The UN must be strengthened and international institutions
reorganized. Medvedev said that recent experience in Iraq
and the Middle East demonstrated the need to settle problems
through international institutions; he called upon countries
that bore "special responsibility for the world" to work
within the existing international "architecture."

-- All nuclear powers, not just Russia and the U.S., should
be responsible for maintaining global stability. Medvedev
did not elaborate on this idea, but proceeded to call for an
international agreement to prevent the nuclearization of
space.

-- Russia will develop relations with other countries "in a
business-like and non-ideological manner." Medvedev
highlighted the improvement of Russian relations with
non-western countries through this approach to foreign
policy, which he contrasted with the USSR's "ideological
investments" that supported corrupt regimes.

-- The protection of Russian-speaking people in other
countries is a priority for Russia. Medvedev claimed that
the rights of Russian-speakers and ethnic minorities were
encroached upon in countries that willfully distorted history
to justify illegal domestic and foreign policies. In an
oblique reference to former Soviet satellite states, he
complained that certain countries had attempted to paint
fascism as having been on a "civilizing and liberating"
mission, and called upon these countries to "respect history
instead of engaging in sly interpretations."

2. We will report septel on Medvedev's speech, including
Russian reaction and the foreign policy concept paper, after
additional information becomes available.
BEYRLE

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