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Cablegate: U/S Tauscher Meets Fm Sikorski, Mod Klich

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9411
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RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2866

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WARSAW 000094

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CE, ISN/CTR; NSC FOR SHERWOOD-RANDALL

EO 12958 DECL: 02/10/2020
TAGS AF, CH, IR, IZ, MARR, NATO, PARM, PL, PREL, RS

SUBJECT: U/S TAUSCHER MEETS FM SIKORSKI, MOD KLICH
REF: STATE 12108

Classified By: Ambassador Lee Feinstein; Reason 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY. During February 8 meetings with Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher and Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Foreign Minister Sikorski and Defense Minister Klich said they were pleased with the successful completion of the protocol amending the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement. Sikorski said he wanted to move forward on discussions regarding U.S. alternative presence options in Poland after the Patriot rotation begins. He said he would support increased pressure on Iran. He expressed skepticism about Russia’s approach toward Tehran, especially in light of China’s recent assertiveness. Klich said the second planned Patriot rotation would likely take place in the heat of the fall Polish Presidential election season and asked Washington’s help in managing public expectations. Klich also requested more armored vehicles and road-clearing equipment to support Polish operations in Afghanistan. END SUMMARY.

SIKORSKI ON U.S. PRESENCE, RUSSIA, CHINA, AND THE MIDDLE EAST
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2. (C) U/S Tauscher and Ambassador Feinstein met Foreign Minister Sikorski for a courtesy call following the conclusion of the Strategic Cooperation Consultative Group (SCCG) on February 8. Sikorski told U/S Tauscher and Ambassador Feinstein that he was gratified that the United States and Poland had reached ad ref agreement on the protocol amending the BMDA. Sikorski said Poland wanted more information about proposed U.S. alternative presence options in Poland, and asked for more details. He expressed interest in an F-16 presence, but also asked about C-130s, and Special Forces.

3. (C) Sikorski asked how the United States assesses its efforts to engage Russia. He expressed concern that the United States would feel pressured to make concessions, at Poland’s expense, to gain Russia’s support in the Security Council in the face of an increasingly “hostile” China. He proposed an intelligence exchange regarding whether Russia has tactical nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad oblast, and complained about the planned French sale of Mistral amphibious assault ships to Russia. U/S Tauscher said that the United States was realistic about Russia. Moscow was increasingly frustrated with Tehran, she said, adding that Washington had made some progress on this and other issues with the Russian Government. Ambassador Feinstein said that trans-Atlantic solidarity would be more important -- not less -- in the circumstances of a more assertive China.

4. (C) The Ambassador delivered reftel demarche to Sikorski on the human rights situation in Iran and pressed Sikorski to issue a public statement on the issue. Sikorski affirmed Poland’s support for increased pressure on Iran. He also suggested a special focus on Iranian civil society during the Community of Democracies conference to be held in Poland in June.

5. (C) Sikorski said that the London Conference on Afghanistan was useful because it finally convinced Karzai that it was his last chance to make necessary reforms and take more responsibility for Afghanistan’s security situation. DFM Najder raised Ukraine’s transfer of T-72 tanks to Iraq, offering that Poland could sell the same type of tanks if Ukraine could not meet its obligations.

6. (C) Sikorski reiterated that PM Tusk is eager to hold a bilateral meeting with President Obama on the margins of the April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. The Prime Minister’s Chancellery is exploring ways to extend Tusk’s U.S. trip by including stops in additional cities, with the aim of creating a larger window within which to schedule an Oval Office meeting.

KLICH: PATRIOTS, POLITICS, AND EQUIPMENT REQUESTS
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7. (C) U/S Tauscher and the Ambassador met with Defense Minister Bodgan Klich on February 8 before the opening of the
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SCCG. Klich said he expected the Polish Sejm and Senate to ratify the supplemental SOFA agreement by the end of February or early March, and hoped President Kaczynski would quickly sign. Klich said he understood the configuration of the first Patriot rotation, but noted that the second rotation would occur in the heat of the presidential election. For that second rotation, he argued, it was important to manage public expectations during a sensitive political period. U/S Tauscher and the Ambassador made it clear that the Patriots would not be integrated into Poland’s air defense system. Such a move would require a U.S. Presidential decision, and the President has made no such decision. It would be important for Poland to work with the United States to cultivate realistic public expectations for future Patriot rotations.

8. (C) Klich expressed satisfaction with the results of the NATO defense minister’s meeting in Istanbul Klich and Gagor said that Poland would like to extend the loan term of its existing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles. There are currently 30 on loan until November 2010 and Poland needs an additional 50 MRAPs if possible by April/May when it plans to increase its troop contributions to Afghanistan. He also requested one Road Clearing Package (RCP).

9. (C) Turning to defense cooperation with third countries, Klich said that the Baltic states were very pleased with the U.S. proposal for NATO contingency planning, which is crucial for reassuring NATO’s eastern members. He also noted that Poland wants the United States to have the status of “associative party” in the newly established Polish/Ukrainian/Lithuanian brigade. Klich emphasized that Poland is thinking outside of Europe and wants to have a deeper dialogue with the United States. on China. He added that he recently had a good visit to China, during which Poland signed a bilateral defense cooperation agreement.

PARTICIPANTS
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10. (U) Participants in the meeting with FM Sikorski:
U.S. Participants: -U/S Ellen Tauscher -Ambassador Lee Feinstein
Polish Participants: -FM Radoslaw Sikorski -DFM Jacek Najder -DFM Andrzej Kremer -Director of the Minister’s Secretariat, Michal Miarka

11. (U) Participants in the meeting with MOD Klich:
U.S. Participants: -U/S Ellen Tauscher -Ambassador Lee Feinstein -Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Inspection -John Plumb, Principal Director, OSD Missile Defense Policy
Polish Participants: -DefMin Bogdan Klich -Franciszek Gagor, Chief of the General Staff -Lt. General Mieczyslaw Cieniuch -Piotr Pacholski, Director of Missile Defense Office

12. (U) U/S Tauscher has reviewed this message. FEINSTEIN

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