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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04BRUSSELS4629
2004-10-27 09:41:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

EU-CIS RELATIONS: GROWING FRUSTRATION WITH MOSCOW

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  ECON  ETTC  RS  XH  EUN  USEU  BRUSSELS 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 004629 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/FO - TEFFT, EUR/RUS, EUR/UMB, EUR/ERA
MOSCOW FOR EUR A/S JONES AND EUR/RUS DIRECTOR WARLICK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/27/2009
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ETTC RS XH EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU-CIS RELATIONS: GROWING FRUSTRATION WITH MOSCOW


Classified By: USEU POLOFF LEE LITZENBERGER; REASONS 1.4 (B,D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 004629

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/FO - TEFFT, EUR/RUS, EUR/UMB, EUR/ERA
MOSCOW FOR EUR A/S JONES AND EUR/RUS DIRECTOR WARLICK

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/27/2009
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON ETTC RS XH EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU-CIS RELATIONS: GROWING FRUSTRATION WITH MOSCOW


Classified By: USEU POLOFF LEE LITZENBERGER; REASONS 1.4 (B,D)


1. (C) SUMMARY: During October 22 U.S.-EU Troika meeting on
Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, EU officials told EUR
DAS Tefft that diminishing expectations for the EU-Russia
summit and disappointment over elections in Belarus were
leading the EU to reconsider its policies toward both
countries. In particular, Russian skepticism of the European
Neighborhood Policy and EU influence in Russia's 'near
abroad' is likely to lead to EU-Russian friction in the
future. On Ukraine, the EU explained its new Neighborhood
Policy as primarily an attempt to bring Ukraine closer to the
West but noted that "if, at the start, the Presidential
elections are stolen" it would be difficult going. The
Troika also discussed next steps on Moldova, with the EU
unexpectedly noting that it had begun sharing the US-EU
Stability Declaration text with Moldova, Russia and Romania.
END SUMMARY.

-------------- --------------
FOUR SPACES: RUSSIA'S DELAYS PROMPT REEVALUATION?
-------------- --------------


2. (C) Jan Lucas van Hoorn, Dutch MFA Director for Southeast
and Eastern Europe, and Michael Leigh, Commission Deputy
Director General, both told EUR DAS Tefft that they were
hopeful that the EU and Russia would agree on "roadmaps" for
further action in each of the four common spaces prior to the
November 11 EU-Russia summit. (The four spaces are Internal
Security, External Security, Economics and Trade, and Culture
and Research.) Van Hoorn said that although the EU would
prefer agreement on roadmaps for all four spaces as a package
for the November 11 summit, the EU would settle for
"practical implementation" of whatever elements are agreed by
the summit.


3. (C) Leigh and Van Hoorn noted that the EU and Russia have

essentially agreed to the roadmaps on the economic and
cultural spaces. In particular, the EU is pleased with
Russia's Kyoto ratification, and with Russian agreement to
include environmental issues -- such as use of double-hulled
tankers -- and trade-related issues, such as fees for
Siberian overflights, in the economic roadmap. But this
success contrasts sharply with discussions on the external
and internal security roadmaps, which remain "problematic."
In the internal security roadmap, Russia continues to object
to discussion of Chechnya or human rights, lobbies for
Russian minority rights in the Baltic states, and harbors
unrealistic hopes the EU will grant visa free travel to
Russian citizens. In the external security roadmap, Van
Hoorn said that Russia is "not ready" to discuss with the EU
issues related to the 'near abroad'. In a separate meeting,
Council Secretariat official Carl Hallergard said that at the
October 19 EU-Russia ministerial, FM Lavrov had likened EU
enlargement to CIS integration, saying, "We each have our
neighborhoods. If we need help in ours, we'll let you know."
Kees van Rij, Head of Task Force in the Council Secretariat,
noted that Russia's "zero-sum approach" to its near abroad
precludes serious engagement with the EU on their shared
neighborhood.


4. (C) In contrast, van Rij noted Russian receptivity on
non-proliferation and anti-terrorism cooperation, and EU
counter-terrorism Czar de Vries will travel to Moscow in
early November. But substantive cooperation remains elusive,
and van Rij was puzzled by the Russian enthusiasm to create
common structures to deal with security issues and its
simultaneous reluctance to engage on the issues such
structures would have to address.


5. (C) EU officials were pessimistic regarding Russia's steps
to weaken democracy and failure to resolve frozen conflicts.
The Commission said the surveillance and pressure on foreign
companies and signs of weakening democracy are part of a
"consolidation of a trend that has been taking place all
along since 2001". Leigh said "managed democracy" may be the
best that can be hoped for; the media grab and other measures
taken by Putin to increase control "gives the EU pause" to
think about the EU's underlying assumption that engagement
with Russia can be based on a slow convergence of values
between Russia and Europe. That isn't happening. With the
new Commission coming in, and given post-Beslan developments
in Russia, Leigh said the EU may reevaluate its approach to
Russia.

-------------- --------------
MOLDOVA: STABILITY DECLARATION, SANCTIONS AND EU PEACEKEEPING
-------------- --------------


6. (C) Van Hoorn informed DAS Tefft that the EU had begun
sharing the US-EU draft Stability Declaration with Moldova,
Russia and Romania. At the October 19 EU-Russia ministerial,
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov dismissed the text as "a good
OSCE document". Van Rij said the EU had told these countries
that the Text of the declaration is "not carved in stone" and
remains "open to discussion". The EU plans to solicit
reactions from all concerned, and look for an opportunity to
use the text to kick-off pentagonal talks, which the EU would
host. DAS Tefft said the U.S. would make parallel approaches
in Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and the OSCE to share
the text. Van Hoorn and Tefft discussed jointly visiting
Chisinau the week of November 15 to discuss next steps.


7. C) DAS Tefft informed the EU that the US was considering
taking action against the Transnistrian banking sector, and
asked the EU to consider doing the same. Raul de Luzenberg,
Moldova Desk Officer at the Commission, said that the
Commission is "looking into" the possibility of financial
sanctions, but faces legal and other challenges in collecting
adequate information on which to take action.


8. (C) DAS Tefft asked about the possibility of an EU
Peacekeeping Mission in Moldova, should the Russian troops
leave Moldova as part of a political settlement. Van Rij
said that the EU had had internal discussions on this in
September 2003, but it had suspended its planning to focus on
reaching a political settlement first. Nonetheless, the EU
said the plans could be "dusted off" if a political
settlement became likely. Van Hoorn agreed to share EU
documents on post-settlement plans with the U.S.

-------------- --------------
UKRAINE'S ELECTIONS AND MIXED COOPERATION WITH MOLDOVA
-------------- --------------


9. (C) During October 21 meetings with the EU, Moldovan FM
Stratan had taken a "stronger anti-Ukrainian position than
before", and said he expected a negative "break" in
Moldova-Ukrainian relations. De Luzenberg said a recent
meeting between Ukrainian and Moldovan officials on border
issues had been tense, but progress had been made on
demarcation and exchange of information between Moldova and
Ukraine.


10. (C) Leigh noted that the EU's Neighborhood Policy was
initially conceived to encourage Ukraine to move closer to
the West. Ukraine did not like the Neighborhood Policy,
preferring instead an offer on eventual membership, but had
reluctantly agreed to negotiate a Neighborhood "Action Plan."
Now, however, if at the start of the plan Ukraine's
presidential elections are "stolen," Leigh said, EU relations
with Ukraine will be difficult. EU officials were very
interested in coordinating with the US on a possible travel
ban on officials involved in undermining free and fair
elections in Ukraine.

--------------
EU HARDENING STANCE ON BELARUS?
--------------


11. (C) Nadine Ernzer, Regional Director for CIS Countries in
the Political Department from Luxembourg, said that the
October 17 elections had had been far worse than expected
and, combined with Lukashenko's consolidated grip on power,
showed similarities to a "fascist regime". The EU is now
considering "possible measures" to respond to developments in
Belarus, and Nadine said the EU would "reappraise its Belarus
policy".


12. (C) DAS Tefft summarized recent U.S. actions, including
the Belarus Democracy Act, the possible expansion of the visa
ban to penalize election defrauders, and a desire to increase
training of political opposition and civil society, and
student exchanges. Ernzer said that the EU would consider
similar actions to be implemented in early 2005.


13. (C) Weidemann said that EU policy on Belarus was based on
the assumption of an eventual change of leadership. With
Lukashenko increasing his chances to be president-for-life
with the referendum, van Rij said the EU would have to go
beyond funding civil society and look for alternative
responses in "a fresh manner". Tefft said that developing a
joint list of possible actions would be useful, and that
encouraging positive engagement from the Russians would be
crucial.

--------------
COMMENT
--------------


14. (C) Recent changes in Russia and the absence of
transparent and fair elections in Belarus -- and likely in
Ukraine -- are prompting an internal reassessment of EU
policy toward Russia and the CIS. Although the EU will
continue to engage Russia and the CIS to promote democracy
and political pluralism, continued negative trends in the
region may lead the EU increasingly to link its engagement
with more punitive measures such as financial sanctions and
visa bans. END COMMENT.

--------------
Participants
--------------


15. (U) EU Delegation

Netherlands (current EU Presidency):
Jan Lucas van Hoorn, Director in Dutch MFA for Southeast and
Eastern Europe
Anthony van der Togt Head of Division in Dutch MFA for
Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Luxembourg (successor to Netherlands in EU Presidency):
Nadine Ernzer, Regional Director for CIS Countries, Political
Department
Judith Feider, Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the
EU

European Commission
Taneli Lahti, Desk Officer, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova,
Belarus, DG Relex
Karsten Mechlenburg, Desk Officer, Ukraine, DG Relex
Reinhold Brenden, Desk Officer, Moldova, DG Relex

EU Council Secretariat
Sofia Moreira de Sousa, Administrator, Ukraine and Central
Asia Desk, DGE
Annika Weidemann, Administrator, Belarus and Moldova Desk, DGE
Karl Hallergard, Administrator, Russia Desk, DGE
Kees van Rij, Head of Task Force Europe/Central Asia and
Transatlantic Relations

U.S. Delegation
John Tefft, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European
Affairs
Lee Litzenberger, Political Officer, US Mission to the EU
Tom Lersten, Desk Officer, EUR/ERA
Elzbieta Mazur, Political Officer/TDY US Mission to the EU
Sean Kimball, Intern US Mission to the EU


16. (U) DAS Tefft has cleared this message.

SCHNABEL