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Cablegate: Kazakhstan's Csis Osce Seminar Reinforces the Challenge Of

VZCZCXRO5967
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHTA #1947/01 3060724
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020724Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6732
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 2092
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1463
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2164
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1098
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2567
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2870
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1652
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1511
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001947

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RPM, EUR/RUS, EUR/UMB, EUR/CARC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL OSCE RS KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN'S CSIS OSCE SEMINAR REINFORCES THE CHALLENGE OF
THE 2010 CHAIRMANSHIP

REF: USOSCE 0241
USOSCE 2043

ASTANA 00001947 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The U.S. Center for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS) and the Institute for New Democracies, as part of a
year-long joint project with the government of Kazakhstan, brought
together in Astana on October 28 U.S. and European NGO think-tank
representatives with Kazakhstani government representatives for a
day-long seminar, "Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship: Challenges and
Opportunities." The seminar covered the OSCE's three dimensions,
with multiple voices, both Kazakhstani and Euro-Atlantic, pressing
their sometimes competing views. The session of special interest
was the Military and Security Dimension that occasionally criticized
Russia and led the Russian Ambassador to be unusually blunt when he
was invited to make the first response after the formal
presentations. Kazakhstan repeatedly tells us it will be an honest
broker during its 2010 OSCE chairmanship. This contentious seminar
session suggests Astana will have its work cut out for it. If it
can maintain a progressive-leaning balance within the OSCE, we
suggest that will represent a step forward in the long evolution of
the OSCE. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) Martha Brill Olcott of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace opened the session with recommendations for what
Kazakhstan should avoid as priorities during its 2010 OSCE
chairmanship, including Russia's pressure for a New European
Security Treaty. Immediately following Olcott, Sergey Fedoseyev of
Kazakhstan's Center for Military Strategic Studies advocated
strongly for a new European security architecture with the OSCE
overseeing coordination among NATO, the Commonwealth Security Treaty
Organization (CSTO), and "other Eurasian bodies."

4. (SBU) Kuralay Baizakova, Director of the European Information
Center at Kazakh National University, noted that Kazakhstan can be a
"bridge between the civilizations of the East and West," the honest
broker to bring together NATO, CSTO, and the Shanghai Security
Organization (SCO). She also recommended that Kazakhstan might
choose, as a priority, new forms of interaction with Afghanistan,
e.g., training customs officials and combating corruption. She
further suggested that another priority Kazakhstan might consider
would be to modernize the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty
as a way to begin to "reload" European security.

HITTING A NERVE

5. (SBU) Vladimir Socor of the Jamestown Foundation, noting
Kazakhstan's interest in "protracted conflicts" as a priority,
stated that "inter-communal conflicts have become inter-state, where
borders are changed by force (i.e., Russia-Georgia), ethnic
cleansing occurs, and one country's foreign troops (Russia's) are
stationed by force." Without explicitly naming the protracted
conflicts in Moldova and Georgia, he scored "internationally illegal
peace-keeping by a single country (Russia)." Noting that Kazakhstan
has already tentatively mentioned Bosnia and Kosovo as areas where
new conflict-prevention modalities might be useful, Socor suggested
that Kazakhstan might better focus its attention on Crimea and
reaffirm the OSCE's Budapest Memorandum of 1994, "signed by all the
great nuclear powers" (i.e., including Russia), that guarantees
Ukraine's territorial integrity and the non-interference in
Ukraine's internal political processes." He called for Kazakhstan's
OSCE chairmanship to protect the Geneva process in Abkhazia, as well
as to review compliance with the OSCE's Istanbul Summit CFE
Commitments of 1999. Socor also asserted directly that Russia wants
to "separate" its view of European security from the Corfu Process
and "impose" Russian President Medvedev's vision of a new European
security architecture.

6. (SBU) Former U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE Stephen Minikes advised
Kazakhstan, "Keep your friends to the north (Russia) and the east
(China), but don't pursue their goals - pursue your own."

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR REACTS

ASTANA 00001947 002.2 OF 002

7. (SBU) After the official presentations, the session's moderator
invited Russian Ambassador Mikhail Bocharnikov to give the
pre-arranged first response. Clearly irritated, which is unusual
for him, he asked, "Where are all these recommendations coming from?
From U.S. NGOs! Kazakhstan is a respected sovereign country, and
I'm surprised by the 'teaching tone' we've just heard, because
Kazakhstan deserves the greatest respect. Kazakhstan should not be
associated with Russia or China? If not, with whom - with the
United States? I note that this conference is dominated by
Kazakhstan and the United States, but I represent Russia. I'm
surprised at the recommendations to move away from security and
peacekeeping in Europe. I'm surprised by the recommendation for the
OSCE to involve itself in Afghanistan, which is clearly a U.S.
opinion, certainly not ours! We want the OSCE to emphasize a
legally binding security treaty for Europe, not dabble in
Afghanistan. Russia fully agrees that NATO, CSTO, SCO, the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the European Union all
need to work together. It's too bad that you rejected this worthy
concept today, but Russia will organize a conference in 2010 to
consider this proposal. You NGOs from the United States need to
understand that Europe doesn't always agree with you." Bocharnikov
concluded, "I am pleased that Kazakhstan supports consensus in the
OSCE. All opinions need to be heard, and consensus needs to be
achieved." With that, he got up and left the conference room.

8. (SBU) Most foreign diplomats observing the seminar interpreted
Bocharnikov leaving as a "walk-out." In fact, we confirmed later
that he was frustrated the seminar session had significantly run
over its scheduled time, and he had to leave immediately for the
airport to receive the visiting President of Ingushetia. Even
though Bocharnikov was not present, Olcott reminded everyone that
the seminar was part of a U.S.-Kazakhstan working group, not a
Russia-Kazakhstan working group -- "Russia is welcome to organize
its own." CSIS Senior Researcher Janusz Bugajski noted, "We are
NGOs. We don't represent the U.S. government. I don't know how
well that concept is understood in Russia. We make recommendations,
but no one has to accept them."

9. (SBU) COMMENT: This year-long CSIS program to prepare
Kazakhstan for its OSCE chairmanship was not just window-dressing;
it has been an on-going forum that the government of Kazakhstan
organized to hear a wide range of Euro-Atlantic views, a certain
number of which we believe they are taking on board. But Astana is
also hearing, mostly through diplomatic channels, Russia's
unvarnished advice -- and sometimes, we are told, quite insistently.
Kazakhstan continues to assert that it will be an "honest broker"
as the 2010 OSCE chair, and we believe, by and large, it will be --
but that means neither side will be fully satisfied. It is clear
that Russia and a number of other former Soviet states will not
fully adopt anytime soon the bulk of Western Euro-Atlantic world
views and values. If Kazakhstan can maintain a pragmatic balance
between the OSCE's two blocks, and if the Euro-Atlantic states can
resist letting perfection be the enemy of the good, we suggest that
Kazakhstan's chairmanship will represent a step forward in the long
evolution of the OSCE, not a "lost year," as reftels suggest. END
COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

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