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Cablegate: Findland Comments On September 15-16 Foreign

VZCZCXRO1712
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0415 2561426
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 121426Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4539
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 0005
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE 0013
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 0202

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000415

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2018
TAGS: PREL PHUM EUN PGOV FISO SO ZI UP
SUBJECT: FINDLAND COMMENTS ON SEPTEMBER 15-16 FOREIGN
MINISTERS MEETING (GAERC)

REF: A. A. STATE 96598
B. B. STATE 97574

Classified By: PolChief Scott Brandon for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1 (SBU) Political Section Chief met on September 12 with the
head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Unit for Euopean
Common Foreign and Security Policy, Leena-Kaisa Mikkola to
deliver reftels points.

2. (SBU) ZIMBABWE: The EU was considering strengthening the
sanctions, but given the recent political breakthrough the EU
will not consider additional or stronger sanctions. The
ministers will welcome the recent deal between Mugabe and the
opposition, and the EU will stand ready to plan its role in
reconstruction efforts. Mikkola was usure how the Ministers
would deal with exisiting sanctions; she doubted the
ministers would take action to remove them and thought they
would adopt a "wait and see" approach.

3. (C) SOMALIA: Mikkola said there was no action on a "naval
operation," or at least not yet. The EU will decide on
"joint action" regarding a four-member coordination cell in
the EU Military Secretariat, which will assist in
coordination of "international efforts" (meaning the EU
countries acting independently in the region). Planning is
underway for an ESDP operation later in the year. This would
be an EU operation, but again would involve those Member
States already in the region.

4. (SBU) SERBIA: The Finns are uncertain about the
Presidency's intentions regarding Serbia. The new ICTY
Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, might participate in the
meeting, providing a report on Serbia's cooperation with the
ICTY. Mikkola said the Member States will not ratify the
Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia until
there has been "full cooperation" from Serbia (to include
turning over Mladic and Hadzic). However, she noted that
there "European Community-related agreements" with Serbia
that address trade issues, and some provisions therein could
be implemented. Finland supports implementing those trade
provisions as a means to encourage the Government of Serbia
and show the Serbian people that their government's "good
deeds" are noticed. Mikkola is not sure that EULEX will be
discussed. Regarding Serbia's referral to the ICJ, Mikkola
says there's "hope for a common position" but that the GoF
has not arrived at one itself.

5. (SBU) TURKEY: Not on the agenda.

6. (C) GEORGIA: The Member States are expected to announce
ESDP contributions prior to the GAERC, and they will reach
the goal of 200 monitors. She noted that there was a "tight
schedule" to deploy the monitors by October 1, but predicted
that deployment by that date could occur. Regarding the
October 15 international conference in Geneva to address
reconstruction in Georgia, Mikkola said there was some doubt
about who would be in charge (EU, someone else) and who would
participate. They awaited word from the Presidency. She
pointed out that the European Council was scheduled to meet
on the same day, and wondered what that conflict said about
participation at the conference.

7. (SBU) BELARUS: Mikkola said Belarus would be on the
agenda. She said there was great interest in the EU about
the results of the upcoming elections. The EU has sanctions
in place - e.g., visa restrictions - and while they welcomed
the release of some political prisoners in August they do not
anticipate action to ease or remove sanctions before the
elections.
BARRETT

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