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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BERLIN1216
2007-06-18 12:24:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Berlin
Cable title:  

GERMAN VIEWS ON KOSOVO

Tags:   PREL  UNMIK  RU  YI  GM 
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VZCZCXRO8226
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHRL #1216/01 1691224
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181224Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8569
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0205
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA PRIORITY 0192
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001216 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2017
TAGS: PREL UNMIK RU YI GM
SUBJECT: GERMAN VIEWS ON KOSOVO

Classified By: POL M/C JOHN BAUMAN FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)



1. (C) (Summary) We have had several opportunities over the
past few days to take soundings from German officials and
interlocutors outside government on how they view the way
forward in Kosovo. As expected, they are preoccupied with
maintaining EU unity and full of legalistic anxieties about
the consequences of moving forward without a UNSC resolution.
Whether the German government would ultimately back Kosovo
independence without a Security Council resolution is not yet
clear, but German officials increasingly feel there is strong
time pressure to achieve a status solution and want to
consult with us about possible ways forward. Deputy National
Security advisor Rolf Nikel noted that Putin explicitly
threatened to veto a UNSC resolution on Kosovo when he met
with Chancellor Merkel on the margins of the G-8 summit last
week. Nikel had no solution to offer given the threat of a
Russian veto, the time pressure, and the need he saw for UN
support. Several of our interlocutors (who are not
government policymakers on Kosovo) argued that politicians
should begin to prepare the German public for a way forward
without a Security Council resolution. (End Summary)

Chancellery Comments



2. (C) Deputy National Security Advisor Rolf Nikel told us
last week that, during a bilateral meeting at the G-8 Summit,
President Putin explicitly told Chancellor Merkel that Russia
would veto the current proposed UNSCR. Nikel said Russia
objected to references to independence and to the endorsement
of the Ahtisaari plan. Nikel said a resolution that did not
include these references probably would be acceptable to
Russia. He said that Russia wants to be involved in the
negotiations, and suggested that the lack of Russian
involvement in negotiations over the Ahtisaari plan was
probably its biggest defect in Russian eyes. Nikel also
argued that Putin is honestly concerned about establishing a
separatist precedent.



3. (C) According to Nikel, Putin also made clear to Merkel
that he would like to postpone resolving Kosovo,s status
until after the Russian presidential election scheduled for
March 2008. On the other hand, Nikel said German analysts do
not believe we have that much time to wait for a status
outcome. German government analysts believe events in Kosovo
might come to a boil in the fall, with violent outbreaks
beginning in October when students return to classes. Nikel
said the Russians do not believe such time pressure exists,
because previous predictions of violence have not come to
pass, and because KFOR could contain any violence that does
break out.



4. (C) Nikel stressed the vital need to convince the Kosovo

Albanians that the progress toward independence has begun
before the end of summer. Nikel also stressed the need for
UN support of the proposed Kosovo ESDP mission to validate
its legitimacy. Nikel had no solution for how to move
forward given the threat of a Russian veto, the time
pressure, and the need for UN support. He stated that
Germany was fully occupied with trying to maintain EU unity,
which would be maintained if a new UNSC resolution was
passed, but would disappear if the process moved forward
without a new resolution. Nikel indicated German openness to
further discussions with the USG on how to move forward,
especially in regard to the likely ramifications of Kosovo's
independence on frozen conflicts.

Interlocutors Outside Government



5. (C) At a recent non-public discussion on Kosovo led by
former parliamentarian Karsten Voigt (currently MFA
coordinator for German-American relations), several
participant, including Voigt and a CDU parliamentary staffer,
argued that German politicians should begin preparing the
German public and political class for the possibility that
Kosovo independence will have to take place in the absence of
a UN resolution. Voigt stressed that such an outcome would
create mammoth international legal difficulties, but
concluded that parliamentarians should at least begin to
raise this possibility publicly to see if such an outcome
could become a politically acceptable option. Voigt stressed
that he was making this suggestion in his private capacity,
not in his role as an MFA official.



6. (C) Hans Joachim Falenski, senior staff assistant to MFA
Coordinator for Russian-German relations (and CDU member of
parliament) Andreas Schockenhoff, told us in a separate
conversation that he favored a "two-track" approach. He
argued that Quint members should make clear that they are
holding discussions on the possibility of moving forward on
Kosovo status without a UN resolution. In addition, the EU

BERLIN 00001216 002 OF 002


should take steps that would begin the process of de facto
recognition of Kosovo (such as giving Kosovo delegations
observer status at certain EU meetings). This would signal
clearly to the Kosovo-Albanians that the international
community was serious about honoring the implicit promise
already given to the Kosovar-Albanians--that the only
acceptable status outcome was independence.



7. (C) At the same time, according to Falenski, negotiations
with Russia and Serbia should continue. During this time the
EU should make further gestures indicating that Serbia had a
clear path to the EU if it went along with Kosovo
independence. In this way, Falenski argued, Serb (and
Russian) acquiescence in a UN resolution might still be
achievable. He stressed the legal difficulties involved in
moving ahead without a UN resolution, and expressed doubts
whether the EU could obtain consensus for fully recognizing
Kosovo independence without a UN resolution.
KOENIG