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Cablegate: General Buzhinskiy Meets Codel Tauscher: Md Cooperation To

VZCZCXRO7884
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #3776 3661238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311238Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1403
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MOSCOW 003776

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR PARM KNNP OREP RS
SUBJECT: GENERAL BUZHINSKIY MEETS CODEL TAUSCHER: MD COOPERATION TO
BUILD TRUST

1. (SBU) Summary: Meeting the Codel Tauscher delegation on December
16, Lt. Gen. Buzhinskiy argued the U.S. and Russia could cooperate
on short- and medium-range MD systems, but not if the U.S. also
moved forward with plans to deploy a long-range MD system in Poland
and the Czech Republic. He told the CODEL that the MD talks held
with U/S Rood earlier that day achieved little, and he hoped that
the incoming Obama administration could find a solution to the MD
issue. He told the CODEL that the GOR would like to have all
nuclear warheads included in official tallies in a post-START
document, and the GOR would also like to continue the destruction of
delivery vehicles. Buzhinskiy said little trust was left between
the U.S. and Russia, and the U.S.'s proposed transparency and
confidence-building measures did little to fix this. He pointed to
what he saw as U.S. backtracking on commitments to Russia as having
eroded trust between the USG and GOR. He posited that the GOR did
not think Iran would acquire a missile system capable of striking
the U.S. or its NATO allies anytime soon, and the GOR felt the
proposed MD system to be place in the Czech Republic and Poland
could pose a threat to Russia security. End Summary.

--------------------------------------
Short and Medium Range MD Cooperation Possible
--------------------------------------

2. (SBU) In a December 16 meeting with Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA),
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Doug
Lamborn (R-CO), and staff members, First Deputy Chief of MOD's Main
Directorate for International Cooperation Lieutenant-General
Yevgeniy Buzhinskiy said that the U.S. and Russia could cooperate on
short- and medium-range missile defense (MD) systems. He argued the
U.S. Aegis and PAC-3 missile systems, along with the Russian S-400
were excellent systems and could, together with the Gabala radar
site, form the core of a joint U.S.-Russian short- and medium-range
MD system. He cautioned, however, that the GOR would not work with
the U.S. on short- and medium-range MD systems if the U.S. continued
to pursue a long-range MD system.

-----------------------------------
MD Talks Yielded Little, GOR Wants To Retain Elements of START
-----------------------------------

3. (SBU) Buzhinskiy said that MD talks held with U/S John Rood
earlier that day yielded little. According to Buzhinskiy, U.S. and
Russian approaches to MD were so different that he saw little
possibility for an agreement to be reached soon. He expressed his
hope that the incoming Obama administration could find a solution.


4. (SBU) Buzhinskiy reiterated to Rep. Tauscher the Russian goal of
including all warheads in official tallies of arsenals for the U.S.
and Russia in the post-START agreement. He said the GOR would also
like to retain requirements for the destruction of delivery vehicles
from the START Treaty as well. Buzinskiy also posited that the GOR
does not need another "purely symbolic" document such as the Moscow
Treaty.

-------------------
A Question of Trust
-------------------

5. (SBU) Buzhinskiy argued that there was not enough trust left
between the U.S. and Russia to achieve meaningful cooperation on MD.
"The proposed transparency and confidence-building measures
proposed by the U.S. did little to build trust," he asserted.
Buzhinskiy pointed to what he saw as a "slippery slope" of
statements made by the USG as having eroded trust between the U.S.
and Russia. According to Buzhinskiy, senior USG officials told him
in 2005 the U.S. would not deploy MD systems outside the United
States. They subsequently said the U.S. would deploy MD sites
outside of the United States, but not without consulting with Russia
first, he posited. Buzhinskiy argued that the U.S. has not actually
consulted with Russia on MD, but rather simply made decisions and
informed the GOR of them.

6. (SBU) Buzhinskiy said Iran currently has missiles with a range of
about 2,500 km, and the GOR did not expect Iran to pursue
longer-range missiles or threaten the U.S. any time soon. This
shortage of trust and differing assessment of Iranian capabilities
contributed to the GOR view that the proposed MD sites in Poland and
the Czech Republic could pose a threat to Russian security.

7. (SBU) The delegation did not clear this message.

BEYRLE

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