Cablegate: Secretary of State

DE RUEHC #5585/01 2581307
O 151248Z SEP 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 095585

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2019
Classified By: EUR PDAS Nancy McEldowney for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraph 3.

2. (C) Summary. As part of his efforts to revitalize
NATO-Russia relations, NATO Secretary General Anders
Rasmussen intends to deliver a major speech on Russia
September 18 at the Carnegie Europe Center. There are
concerns that SecGen intends to announce Alliance
initiatives that have yet to be agreed upon by Allies and
go beyond most Allies comfort zones, including possible
official NATO engagement with the Collective Security
Treaty Organization (CSTO)" (ref A). By unilaterally
announcing new initiatives on behalf of the Alliance,
SecGen risks undermining the Alliances consensus-driven
approach to policy in an area where we have taken great
pains to find a delicate balance. Department requests
that Ambassador Daalder raise privately with SecGen the
concerns outlined in paragraph 3 prior to SecGens speech,
while emphasizing U.S. support for several areas of
NATO-Russia cooperation (additional thoughts on NRC
cooperation coming septel). End Summary.

3. (C) The Ambassador should draw on the following points
to raise privately with Secretary General Rasmussen.
Begin points:

-- Washington shares your goal of improving NATO-Russia
relations; this is why we are focused on reaching
agreement on the "Taking the NRC Forward" paper in order
to outline priorities for future cooperation and improve
the NRCs effectiveness through structural reform.

-- However, NATO decisions can only be taken by consensus.
Failure to forge consensus among Allies prior to taking
public positions undermines this consensus-based approach and
runs the risk of sowing division within the Alliance, as well
as between PfP nations in Central Asia and NATO. Allies
voice and your voice as Secretary General will both be
stronger if they are in unison.

-- In your speech at the Carnegie Europe Center on
September 18, we strongly urge you not to get ahead of
Allies deliberations by announcing new NATO-Russia
initiatives that have yet to be formally considered by the

-- In this vein, it would be premature to announce that
NATO will begin official contacts with the CSTO. NATO has
yet to formally discuss, let alone agree to, engagement
with the CSTO. This will certainly require extensive
review in many Allied capitals. Washington is currently
reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of CSTO
engagement in order to contribute to an informed debate
when Allies do in fact begin discussions on this policy.
-- We also encourage you to refrain from publicly calling
for contingency planning. While the United States supports
contingency planning, this is a matter of extreme sensitivity
to many Allies, and we cannot take any decisions on this set
of issues before consultations have run their course. We
anticipate that the role of contingency planning, and the
specific plans that are needed given the current security
environment, will be central issues of discussion as we
develop NATOs new Strategic Concept. This is a matter of
extreme sensitivity to many Allies, and we cannot take any
decisions on this set of issues before consultations have run
their course.

-- Similarly, we believe that visiting Allied capitals before
Moscow would benefit consensus building among all Allies and
strengthen the relationship between Allies and the
International Staff. Some Allies, the Baltic states in
particular, have privately expressed to us their concerns
about the optics of a trip to Russia prior to visiting their

-- Your speech on Friday presents an important opportunity
to highlight areas Allies have identified for future NRC
cooperation. Allies agree on the need to revitalize the
NATO-Russia Council and are actively working on giving the
NRC new shape and substance, an important public relations
point in and of itself. We strongly recommend that your
remarks reflect Allied consensus.

-- Thus, we urge you to tailor your remarks to emphasize
growing practical coordination between the Alliance and
Russia in specific areas within the NATO-Russia Council,
including in
Afghanistan; counter-narcotics projects in Afghanistan and
Central Asia; efforts to address the threats posed by the
proliferation of nuclear material; counter-piracy in and
beyond the Horn of Africa; and counter-terrorism.
End Points.

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