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Cablegate: Kosachev Meets Codel Tauscher: More Dialogue Needed

VZCZCXRO7896
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #3778/01 3661257
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311257Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1405
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 003778

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR PARM KNNP OREP RS
SUBJECT: KOSACHEV MEETS CODEL TAUSCHER: MORE DIALOGUE NEEDED

1. (SBU) Summary: Duma International Relations Committee Chair
Konstantin Kosachev told CODEL Tauscher on December 16 that
parliamentary dialogue between the U.S. and Russia needed to be
revitalized. He suggested that the Duma International Relations and
Defense Committees should meet with the House of Representatives'
Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees in a "Parliamentary
2 Plus 2" format. He said the U.S. and Russia should cooperate more
on short- and medium-range missile defense (MD), and argued that
deploying MD systems in Poland and the Czech Republic would not
alter the balance of power in Europe, but would erode trust between
the U.S. and Russia. He also suggested parliamentarians in the
U.S., Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic should meet to discuss
MD. Kosachev noted the GOR could support sanctions to prevent Iran
from developing nuclear weapons, but the IAEA should conduct
inspections first. According to Kosachev, NATO enlargement did not
threaten Russian security, but did cause problems in other areas
such as Afghanistan. He also indicated the START Treaty would not
be extended, and U.S. proposals for cutting nuclear forces would
leave Russia at a strategic disadvantage. The Conventional Forces
in Europe (CFE) Treaty could not be salvaged as long as it was
linked to the Istanbul Commitments because Abkhazia and South
Ossetia were now independent countries. End Summary.

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--------------------------
The Parliamentary 2 Plus 2
--------------------------

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), staff members, and the DCM, Duma International
Relations Committee Chair Konstantin Kosachev argued that
parliamentary dialogue between Russia and the U.S. was not going
well. He said the U.S. and Russian parliamentarians should consult
more, and suggested that the Duma International Relations and
Defense Committees should meet with the House of Representatives'
Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees. This
"Parliamentary 2 Plus 2" could discuss a wide range of issues that
affect the U.S. and Russia, and in the process build much-needed
trust. Kosachev added that there was much press interest in CODEL
Tauscher's visit because it was "so unusual for our parliamentarians
to meet." He said he hoped one day it would be a normal occurrence.


------------------------------------
Need To Cooperate On Missile Defense
------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Calling MD a "unique issue in U.S.-Russian relations,"
Kosachev said the U.S. and Russia should cooperate to build a joint
MD system to counter short- and medium-range missiles. This
cooperation could take place only if the U.S. did not more forward
on its plans for long-range missile defense.

4. (SBU) Kosachev conceded that placing ten interceptor missiles in
Poland will not alter the balance of power in Europe. He argued
that it does, however, erode trust and confidence between the U.S.
and Russia. He rejected arguments that proposed MD sites in Poland
and the Czech Republic do not pose a threat to Russian security, as
Iranian missiles can reach only the Black Sea and therefore do not
yet pose a threat to the United States. "The U.S. makes up threats
and then counters them," he argued. He also expressed GOR concerns
that the U.S. plans to develop a world-wide MD system to neutralize
Russia's nuclear arsenal.

5. (SBU) Kosachev criticized the U.S. approach to MD as not
transparent. He complained that the U.S. told Russia to talk to
Poland and the Czech Republic regarding access to inspect MD sites.
He also urged parliamentarians from Russia, the U.S., Poland, and
the Czech Republic to hold MD discussions.

-----------------------------------
Iran: Sanctions Not Yet The Answer
-----------------------------------

6. (SBU) Kosachev argued that the GOR could, in theory, support
using a harsh sanctions regime to prevent Iran from developing
nuclear weapons, "but we are not there yet." He said the IAEA must
conduct inspections in Iran before the UN Security Council should
consider sanctions on Iran. In any event, he added, sanctions often
prove ineffective.

-----------------------------------------
Russia Not Threatened By NATO Enlargement
-----------------------------------------

7. (SBU) Kosachev posited that Russia does not feel threatened by
NATO enlargement. He said the GOR does not wish to rid Europe of
NATO or U.S. soldiers. NATO's enlargement does, however, pose
problems in places like Afghanistan, he argued. Kosachev complained
that, because Afghan stabilization is a NATO project, Russia does

MOSCOW 00003778 002 OF 002


not effectively participate.

8. (SBU) Kosachev said that NATO is a "comfortable" forum for the
U.S., but it is not comfortable for Russia. He said that the NATO
does not take Russia's concerns seriously, and that is why Putin's
February 10, 2007, Munich speech was so harsh. Kosachev said that
Putin told former Bavarian Minister-President Edmund Stoiber the
only way to get the West to listen to Russia was to use such tough
language.

--------------------------
Plans For Life After START
--------------------------

9. (SBU) Kosachev told CODEL Tauscher that the START Treaty would
not be extended; this, he said, had been agreed to at the November
Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission meeting in Geneva. He
expressed GOR concerns that U.S. proposals for cutting nuclear
arsenals would leave Russia at a strategic disadvantage. "Strategic
forces must be cut in a fair way," he argued.

----------------------------------------
The Conventional Forces In Europe Treaty
----------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Kosachev expressed his doubts that an agreement could be
reached on the CFE Treaty. He said, "CFE is ruined, and I doubt
anyone in Russia or the U.S. cares." He said linking CFE with the
Istanbul Commitments was simply not practical, as "the situation in
Georgia has changed" and Abkhazia and South Ossetia were now
independent. He expressed hope, however, that a solution in Moldova
could be found.

11. (U) The delegation did not clear this message.

BEYRLE

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