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Cablegate: U/S Burns Meets Finnish Fm and Osce Cio Alexander

VZCZCXRO3833
RR RUEHAST RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR
DE RUEHHE #0561/01 3461346
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111346Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4700
INFO RUCNOSC/ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY COOPERATION IN EUROPE
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0137

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HELSINKI 000561

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM PHUM OSCE FI GG RS IR IS CH IN
PK, AF
SUBJECT: U/S BURNS MEETS FINNISH FM AND OSCE CIO ALEXANDER
STUBB

1. (SBU) Summary: U/S Burns met Finnish Foreign Minister and
OSCE Chairman in Office (CiO) Alexander Stubb on the margins
of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting December 4 in
Helsinki. Burns provided Stubb an update on Secretary Rice's
trip to India, and Stubb replied that was where she needed to
be. Stubb indicated Finland would plus up its troop presence
in Afghanistan once it downsized deployments in Kosovo and
Bosnia. Stubb, who had just come from meeting Russian FM
Lavrov, declared his hopes for an OSCE political declaration,
though he noted that the Russians had deep red lines on the
indivisibility of security and also on Georgia and CFE.
Stubb said a new OSCE Georgia mandate was likely to include a
Special Representative for missions in Georgia and South
Ossetia. On Iran, Stubb reaffirmed Finland's support for the
EU3 position. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Participants

U.S.

U/S Burns
EUR A/S Fried
Ambassador to Finland Barbara Barrett
EUR DAS Matthew Bryza
P Special Assistant David Van Cleve
USOSCE Dep. Pol Couns. Andrew Hyde
Embassy Helsinki Notetaker: Jane Messenger

Finland

FM Alexander Stubb
OSCE Task Force Chair Aleksi Harkonen
DG Elina Kalkku
Special Assistant Jori Arvonen
North America Unit Director Anna Wickstrom
Desk Officer Jyri Jarviaho
Executive Assistant Katarina Prepula

Update on Secretary Rice's Trip to South Asia
---------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) U/S Burns congratulated FM Stubb on a successful
year as OSCE CiO and noted that Finland took the reins during
a challenging period. Stubb said he understood why Secretary
Rice had to cancel her original plan to attend the
Ministerial Council meeting in Helsinki and he welcomed U/S
Burns' readout of her trip. Burns noted that it was
important for Secretary Rice to travel to the region to
provide reassurance to the Indians and to press the
Pakistanis to provide clear and tangible evidence that they
are making efforts to address the situation. Burns also
confirmed that India and Afghanistan were top priorities for
the U.S. presidential transition team.

OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting Political Declaration
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (SBU) FM Stubb arrived for his meeting with the U.S.
delegation having just met with Russian FM Lavrov. Stubb
expressed hope for a political declaration, but noted that
the Russians had deep red lines on the indivisibility of
security as well as on Georgia and CFE. Including anything
on Kosovo was also a non-starter unless it included mention
of the OSCE mission mandate. "They are playing cat and
mouse," Stubb said and indicated that he would press on the
indivisibility of security and make cosmetic changes to
statements on Georgia and CFE. U/S Burns observed that
Russian President Medvedev's attitude toward European
security architecture is long with complaints and short on
specific ideas the Russians actually support. Stubb said he
would keep resisting Russian efforts to include issues out of
the OSCE context. Ambassador Harkonen said that unless the
Russians give up certain points, there would not be a
declaration. (Note: There was no declaration in the end.)
Stubb concluded by noting that the EU and NATO remain the
cornerstones for European security.

OSCE Mandate for Georgia
------------------------

5. (SBU) Stubb said that there were three options for an
extension of the OSCE mission mandate in Georgia. 1)
technical rollover, which Moscow would not allow; 2) a full
mandate renewal, which was unrealistic or 3) a compromise
negotiated by the CiO's Special Envoy Ambassador Heikki
Talvatie, that would establish separate offices in Tbilisi
and Tshkinvali with mandates in all three OSCE baskets minus
conflict resolution. The offices would be under the auspices
of a Vienna-based Special Representative, who would have the

HELSINKI 00000561 002 OF 002


lead on conflict resolution. DAS Bryza noted that the
Russians did not quite understand that under the plan the
mission would be run out of Vienna. Stubb replied that the
Finns would travel to Moscow on December 8 to present the
plan to the Russians.

Finnish Contributions in Afghanistan
------------------------------------

7. (SBU) U/S Burns thanked Stubb for Finland's contributions
in Afghanistan. "Your comments are generous. I think we
could do more," quipped Stubb. Stubb said Finland was
looking at increasing its troop levels in Afghanistan once it
downsized Kosovo and Bosnia, but he did not specify a number
or a timeframe. Stubb also acknowledged that Finland was
politically unable to provide the kind of support that Sweden
did, for example. Stubb welcomed NATO's engagement in
Afghanistan and said that the alliance's increasingly global
approach was good for the NATO debate in Finland.

Iran
----

8. (SBU) Stubb said Finland was "worried" about Iran,
considered it a key issue and was fully supportive of the EU3
position. U/S Burns agreed there was good reason to worry
and commented on the reactions of Iran's nearest neighbors,
particularly Israel. Burns also noted that China's role
would be important. Stubb briefed U/S Burns on the
detainment in Finland November 30 of two members of the
Iranian NGO MKO. (Note: They had come to Finland to take
part in preparations for the visit of the organization's
leader, who had been invited to Finland by the Finnish
Parliament's human rights group. Officials held the two at
Helsinki-Vantaa airport on the basis of an international
arrest warrant issued by Interpol. The press later reported
that the warrant had been issued at the request of Iran.
Finnish authorities released the men on December 3 but
advised them not to leave Finland. End Note.)

Transatlantic Relations
-----------------------

9. (SBU) Stubb commented that relations between the U.S. and
Europe were strong. He had just come from the NATO Foreign
Ministers meeting in Brussels, (Note: Finland is a member of
Partnership for Peace, not NATO.) where he had had a short
pull-aside with Secretary Rice and remarked on what he
perceived to be a very different atmosphere from 2003. U/S
Burns agreed, thanked Stubb for his hard work as CiO and
congratulated Finland on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize
to former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari. Stubb noted he
would be attending the ceremony on December 10 in Oslo and
that it was a great honor for him and for Finland.

10. (U) U/S Burns has cleared this message.
BARRETT

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