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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06PARIS7486 2006-11-21 15:10:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

TRANSNISTRIA: GOF AGREES IN SUBSTANCE ON PCE, BUT

Tags:   OSCE EUN PREL MD RS UP FR 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 007486 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/21/2016
TAGS: OSCE EUN PREL MD RS UP FR
SUBJECT: TRANSNISTRIA: GOF AGREES IN SUBSTANCE ON PCE, BUT
DOUBTS RUSSIAN ACQUIESCENCE

REF: A. STATE 187131


B. PARIS 7266

C. STATE 181103

PARIS 00007486 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Josiah Rosenblatt for Reaso
ns 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: Aurelia Bouchez, DAS-equivalent for Russia,
Central Asia, and the Caucasus, explained on November 17 that
France did not disagree in substance about the need for a
multilateral peacekeeping mission in Transnistria, but was
doubtful that the Russians would easily be convinced. She
thought Russia might be more amenable to the idea if it was
presented to them in the framework of EU-Russia security
cooperation or by arguing that an OSCE mission would
legitimize Russian military presence in the area. Given the
current negative climate (Russian actions in Georgia, unclear
Ukrainian position, etc), however, she was not optimistic.
Bouchez suggested we also take into account developing
discussions between Presidents Putin and Voronin, and the
potential impact of Romania's EU accession. She cautioned
that unless other EU countries, besides Poland and the Baltic
states, were willing to contribute significantly to a PKF,
the discussion was futile. End Summary.



2. (C) In follow-up to ref B discussions, we delivered reftel
A talking points November 17 to Aurelia Bouchez,
DAS-equivalent for Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucusus.
Bouchez was grateful for Washington's response and said she
would be eager to discuss the U.S. position with her German
and British counterparts. She sdked if the subject had been
broached bilaterally with Moscow; if similar points were
being shared in other EU capitals; and if the U.S. intended
to take up the issue at the December 4-5 OSCE ministerial.
We explained that, for the moment, the information was being
shared on an if-asked basis, and that the our intention was
to begin discussion of the issue with interested European
partners.

POSSIBLE ARGUMENTS


--------------------------





3. (C) Bouchez said that the GOF did not disagree in
substance with the U.S. position, but quickly added that it
would be extremely difficult to convince the Russians.
Moreover, even discussing an international force could induce
them to take a harder line. She suggested that the U.S. and
interested European partners, like France, present the idea
in terms of EU-Russia security cooperation (the third space
of the EU/Russia common space agreements). Russia, she said,
had put a great deal of pressure on the EU to expand security
cooperation and this could be pitched as a first step of such
collaboration, using the OSCE as context. Another
possibility might be to convince the Russians that an OSCE
mission could be used to legitimize their military presence
in the area. Bouchez wondered, however, if the Russians
might counter with a proposal to associate their current
mission with the OSCE, with no need for additional forces.

HARDENING OF THE RUSSIAN POSITION


--------------------------





4. (C) Given the current negative climate, Bouchez cautioned,
it was unlikely Russia was open to arguments about the need
to internationalize the force. Russia, she said, had shown
no disposition to cooperate in recent months, and she feared
that even raising the subject might push Moscow to harden its
position on Transnistria. Bouchez was also concerned that
Russia could retaliate by opposing EU initiatives in the CIS
countries. She added that we could not allow discussions of
an OSCE mission to derail the Russian commitment to
inspections of military stockpiles, something we assured
Bouchez was equally important to the U.S.

MOLDOVA MUST DO ITS PART


--------------------------





5. (C) Bouchez stressed that Moldova would need to be part of
any OSCE force. Moldova had consistently tried to escape
from its responsibilities because of the difficulties of
dealing with the Russians. In order for an OSCE mission to
be successful and assist in leading to a political
settlement, Moldova's participation was critical, she
emphasized.

PARIS 00007486 002 OF 002



OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER


--------------------------





6. (C) Presidents Putin and Voronin, Bouchez noted,
reportedly had a frank discussion of Transnistria during
their talks in late August. Bilateral working groups had
been convened to produce papers on: 1) a stronger
constitutional mechanism to secure protection of minorities;
2) Russian right of property, and 3) Moldovan neutrality.
The working groups, she said, were a step in the right
direction, but it remained unclear if there had been any real
progress on the documents themselves. France would be
seeking more information from Moldova. Bouchez asked if the
U.S. had any indications that EU countries would be willing
to participate in an OSCE force, other than Poland or the
Baltic states, who would not be good candidates to work with
the Russians. We explained that we had only just begun
discussions, but that we hoped a Western European country
would we willing to anchor the EU contribution. Bouchez
commented that Romania would join the EU in January and had
particularly strong ideas about Transnistria.

COMMENT


--------------------------





7. (C) Bouchez welcomed the U.S. points on a possible OSCE
force but was rather pessimistic about Russian acceptance of
the plan. She used our meeting, however, to brainstorm on
possible ways to approach the Russians. Bouchez was clearly
concerned that any move by the EU could result in further
deterioration of EU-Russia relations.


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm
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