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Cablegate: Cfe/Jcg September 16: Russian Inspection Refusals

VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVEN #0217/01 2621431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181431Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USOSCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5906
INFO RUCNCFE/CONVENTIONAL ARMED FORCES IN EUROPE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUESDT/DTRA-OSES DARMSTADT GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5-DDPMA-IN/CAC/DDPMA-E// PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//XONP// PRIORITY
RUEASWA/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC//OSAE PRIORITY

UNCLAS USOSCE 000217

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR VCI/CCA, EUR/RPM,
NSC FOR DOWLEY, JCS FOR J5/NORWOOD/CAMPBELL,
OSD FOR ISA/PERENYI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCFE OSCE PARM PREL RS
SUBJECT: CFE/JCG SEPTEMBER 16: RUSSIAN INSPECTION REFUSALS
DEPLORED

1. (SBU) Summary: Turkey and the U.S. at the September 16
Joint Consultative Group (JCG) announced that Russia had
refused their requests for CFE inspections. Germany, Greece,
France, Romania, Italy, the UK, and the Netherlands regretted
the Russian refusals, including an earlier refusal of
Romania, and called on Russia to comply fully with its CFE
obligations. Germany announced its next "Berlin Seminar on
Conventional Arms Control" will be held September 30 -
October 1 and recommended canceling the September 30 JCG to
accommodate delegates attending the seminar. The U.S.,
Luxembourg, and the UK supported the German proposal. The
chair will return to the matter at the next meeting. The JCG
declined a request from the OSCE Communications Group to
change the treaty-specified December 15 date for the Annual
Exchange of Military Information. End summary.

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Russian Refusals Reproached
---------------------------

2. (SBU) At the September 16 JCG, Turkey (Gungen) announced
it had notified Russia of its intent to conduct an inspection
September 8-13 but Russia refused, citing its July 14, 2007
memo on suspension of CFE implementation. Turkey said its
view of Russian suspension as described in its Note Verbale
to the treaty registrar was still valid.

3. (SBU) The U.S. (Neighbour) expressed full support for
Turkey and Romania, who had been refused by Russia a week
earlier, in their demands that Russia comply with its CFE
obligations. Neighbour announced Russia had also refused
the U.S. September 11 inspection request. A positive
response from Russia, he added, would have been an important
signal of Russia's willingness to abide by its treaty
obligations.

4. (SBU) Germany (Richter) gave full support to its Allies.
Richter noted, with regret, that, even after the crisis in
Georgia, Russia was still not complying with CFE. Continued
compliance with the treaty, he said, was a cornerstone of
European security. Germany insists on full compliance from
Russia because of the danger that other States might fail to
comply fully; this would unavoidably lead to further erosion
of the treaty. Richter referred to the March 28 NAC
statement as an "offer" to overcome the CFE crisis.

5. (SBU) Greece (Sourani), referring to the Turkish and U.S.
statements, fully supported the German position and noted
with regret that nine months after Russia suspended its
implementation there was still no resolution, which
jeopardized the long-term viability of the treaty.

6. (SBU) France, Romania, Italy, the UK, and the Netherlands
also deplored the inspection refusals and called for Russia
to return to full compliance.

No Russian Response
-------------------

7. (SBU) Russia (Mazur) did not respond.

AEMI Date Change Rejected
-------------------------

8. (SBU) The chair, Poland, announced the new chair of the
OSCE Communication Group (Sibbett) had requested concurrence
of the JCG in scheduling the Annual Exchange of Military
Information on December 12, instead of the treaty-specified
date of December 15, to allow experts from capitals to avoid
a weekend stay in Vienna after formatting their submissions
during the automated data workshop scheduled for December
10-12.

9. (SBU) The U.S. (Neighbour) objected, explaining there was
no compelling reason the workshop could not be held on
December 15 and that it was for the Communications Group to
coordinate its schedule based on the treaty-mandated date of
December 15 for the actual exchange. No delegation supported

the December 12 date, although Germany said it could be
"flexible" if there was a JCG decision to do so. (Note: The
Communications Group, which met later on September 16,
announced that the AEMI will be held on December 15, with the
automated data workshop to be held December 11-15. End note.)

Germany Wants to Cancel September 30 JCG
----------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Germany (Richter) announced the next "Berlin
Seminar on Conventional Arms Control" on CFE and Southeastern
Europe to be held September 29 - October 1. Richter proposed
canceling the September 30 JCG meeting to accommodate
delegates participating in the seminar. The U.S., the UK,
and Luxembourg supported the proposal, Neighbour noting that
the JCG schedule for the autumn session (JCG.INF/23/08) was
only indicative and the only firm dates on it were those for
the opening and closing meetings of the session. The chair
agreed to return to the proposal at the next JCG meeting.

Canada Plans Inspection in Georgia
----------------------------------

11. (SBU) Separately, Canada informed the U.S. delegation
that it plans to request an inspection of Georgia. Canada
did not say when and which part of Georgia it has in mind.

Next Meeting
------------

12. (U) The next meeting of the JCG will be on September 23,
to be chaired by the Netherlands.
FINLEY

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