wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07USNATO337
2007-05-25 15:17:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

HLTF MEETING MAY 16, 2007

Tags:   PREL  PARM  KCFE  NATO  RS 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNO #0337/01 1451517
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251517Z MAY 07
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0899
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHSS/OECD POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000337 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2017
TAGS: PREL PARM KCFE NATO RS
SUBJECT: HLTF MEETING MAY 16, 2007

REF: A. STATE 065839 (GUIDANCE)

B. HLTF-N(2006)0031-REV2 DATED 16 JANUARY 2007
(MATRIX)

C. HLTF-N(2006)0032-REV7 (POSITIVE AGENDA)

Classified By: Political Advisor Stuart Seldowitz,
reasons 1.4 (b and d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000337

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2017
TAGS: PREL PARM KCFE NATO RS
SUBJECT: HLTF MEETING MAY 16, 2007

REF: A. STATE 065839 (GUIDANCE)

B. HLTF-N(2006)0031-REV2 DATED 16 JANUARY 2007
(MATRIX)

C. HLTF-N(2006)0032-REV7 (POSITIVE AGENDA)

Classified By: Political Advisor Stuart Seldowitz,
reasons 1.4 (b and d)


1. (C) SUMMARY. The May 16 HLTF meeting focused on
CFE-related comments in Russian President Putin's April 26
statement and the positive steps the Alliance should take in
response. The U.S. delegation was led by DOS/VCI DAS Karin

L. Look. Allies concluded that NATO should continue to send
a positive message to Russia, including in the NRC(ACE)
regarding NATO's own commitment to CFE and to ratification of
Adapted CFE after all remaining Istanbul commitments have
been fulfilled. Allies also agreed that it would not be
useful to continue to press Moscow to explain what it meant
by a "moratorium" on implementation of CFE. END SUMMARY.

--------------
RESPONSES TO PRESIDENT PUTIN'S STATEMENT
--------------


2. (C) Allies agreed that President Putin's comments on CFE
raised serious concerns for the future of the CFE regime, but
most observed that it was not yet clear what practical impact
the suggestion of a Russian "moratorium" would have on
Russia's CFE implementation. Germany informed Allies it had
raised Putin's speech with Russian DFM Alexander Grushko and
asked him to clarify what Putin had said. Grushko responded
that he viewed the speech as an invitation to intensified
dialogue. Romania spoke with Russian embassy reps in
Bucharest, who reiterated Putin's concerns about Missile
Defense (MD), NATO enlargement and the CFE Treaty. The
Spanish Rep to the HLTF related the Russian request, made in
Vienna, for Russian FM Lavrov to address a joint session of
the PC and FSC on the topics of Kosovo, OSCE reform, MD,
Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs), and CFE.


3. (C) Allies agreed that one clear message was Putin's
desire to discuss concerns about CFE in the NRC framework.
They also concluded that Russia does not appear to be

planning an immediate withdrawal from the CFE Treaty; the
idea appeared to be that Russia would implement its
moratorium, or possibly take further steps, if its concerns
were not addressed in a way that Moscow found acceptable.
HLTF Chairman Martin Erdmann reported to the HLTF that CFE
had figured prominently in a five-and-one-half hour lunch
with Russian Ambassador Totskiy in which MD, airbase upgrades
in Lithuania, U.S. forces' training in Romania and Bulgaria,
and NATO enlargement were discussed at length. Despite the
meeting length and discussion, Erdmann did not emerge with a
clear understanding of Russia's intentions. Erdmann also
noted that while Russian CHOD Baluyevskiy's discussion with
Allied Military Chiefs was not confrontational, Baluyevskiy's
tone at a press conference that immediately followed the
CHOD,s meeting was completely different and confrontational.


4. (C) Turkey (Gun) remarked that it was quite concerned
about Putin's speech because of the importance Turkey places
on the CFE Treaty. Gunn proposed (and nearly every member of
the Alliance who spoke afterwards agreed to the merit of his
proposals), that the Alliance should not press for more
clarity from Russia on its "moratorium" but the Allies should
monitor Russia's responses and how they react. He urged NATO
to adopt an active public diplomacy program that includes the
following four elements: (a) stress the utmost importance of
CFE and early entry into force of A/CFE; (b) emphasize the
benefits of the CFE Treaty for Russia and for Allies; (c)
emphasize that there is not any threat towards Russia from
NATO; and (d) dialogue should continue through existing
channels.


5. (C) Other strong remarks from the Allies included:

(a) Germany (Biontino) declared that there was not a need for
clarification because Russia has made numerous statements in
the past year regarding its concerns on missile defense,
cross-group stationing, the CFE Treaty, and its views on the
European Union. He concluded that relations with Russia are
in a wider but more difficult context. Germany was looking
for a compromise that defined the "way ahead" for Allies to
move forward with ratification.
(b) The Czech Republic called for the Allies to stay
positive. Russia continues to implement the CFE Treaty and
the Alliance must send a clear message of solidarity. He
reiterated that host nation consent was the core value, A/CFE
was important, and that Czech Republic would be prepared to
ratify the adapted Treaty as soon as conditions were met.

(c) U.S. rep Look agreed that we should not press Russia for
clarity on the moratorium but that we should have common
themes in our Public Diplomacy campaign, which included that
there was no room in CFE for partial implementation. DAS
Look added that we need to respond seriously but we should
not jump to compromise (as had been suggested by Germany).

(d) France (Grand) noted that Putin's statement had no
concrete implications for the CFE Treaty. He suggested that
the Putin Statement was delivered to the Russian Parliament
for internal use. He agreed to most of the points already
made and to the importance of keeping Russia engaged in
dialogue to discuss their concerns. He also reiterated that
discussions did not equal compromise or re-negotiations.

(e) UK (Totty) questioned if anyone in the Alliance knew what
Russia was up to. He asked what the Alliance's response
should be, seeking a clear answer on how we should continue
our dialogue with Russia.

(f) Lithuania addressed the accession issue recalling that it
and the other Baltic states had stated that they would join
the Treaty and their position has not changed. Lithuania
also noted its skepticism of Russian claims, and would like
to see the CFE Treaty maintained as a "strong" Treaty with
host nation consent being highlighted as fundamentally
important.
(e) Italy, in an overarching statement, opined that over the
years arms control has grown confrontational; therefore, a
strategic review with a goal of stabilizing partnerships with
Russia may be needed.


6. (C) Additionally, since the "work program and strategic
orientation" was pulled from the agenda, U.S. Rep Look used
this opportunity to propose that the HLTF sponsor a seminar
in fall or winter 2007 to discuss the implementation of the
Adapted CFE Treaty. Look indicated that the value of such a
seminar would be both to highlight our determination to get
the A/CFE Treaty into force, and also to get us prepared, in
practical ways, for its implementation. Germany spoke
immediately urging agreement on the "Matrix" as a clean NATO
position and also indicated support for the seminar. UK,
Turkey and France endorsed the seminar as relevant and
important. The Chairman (Erdmann), also supportive, noted
that venue and details would be quite important. Look urged
that the IS develop a concept for the seminar in the coming
months.

--------------
FULFILLMENT OF ISTANBUL COMMTMENTS
--------------


7. (C) Discussion of Istanbul commitments always includes a
lengthy discussion of the German-originated "Matrix," a
working NATO document which attempts to outline the status of
all Istanbul commitments. Erdmann remarked that it would be
useful if the Matrix could spell-out for Russia what the
Istanbul commitments required. In that case, it would need
to make clear whether the Russian Peace Keeping Forces (PKF)
in Moldova was covered by the Istanbul commitments or not.
The Netherlands encouraged agreement on the Matrix. The U.S.
(Look) said that, based on previous discussions, it appeared
impossible that Allies could agree on this basic point in
this context. Thus, the "Matrix" was not the answer.
However, Allies could agree that a new peacekeeping force
should replace the current Russian led force. While many
Allies agreed with this U.S. observation, many also expressed
concerns ) and confusion ) regarding the current Moldovan
position on the issue, having heard rumors of a possible
agreement between Moldova and Russia on an overall political
settlement, which would include a continued Russian presence.
U.S. Rep Look suggested that Moldova and Georgia be asked to
brief the HLTF (in a 26 1 format), since they had not done so
for over a year.

--------------
PREPARATION FOR THE NRC(ACE)
--------------


8. (C) In preparations for the NRC(ACE) meeting later that
afternoon (Note: coverage of the NRC(ACE) meeting is reported
septel), ASYG Erdmann proceeded through the proposed ACE
agenda. U.S. Rep Look opined that we, as the Alliance,
should not press Russia to expand on Putin's speech and
should keep discussion on the CFE Treaty positive, that host
nation consent was a core issue, and that Russia needs to
continue to implement the Treaty. Germany agreed that we


should use the ACE as an opportunity to discuss positive
ideas on the way ahead.


9. (C) Other topics for discussion in preparation for the
ACE included:

(a) need to emphasize that all Allies continue to agree that
fulfillment of Istanbul commitments is necessary before
Allies will move forward with ratification procedures for the
Adapted CFE Treaty;

(b) NATO airbase in Lithuania ) NATO Secretary General will
explain the purpose of the airbase in a letter to Russia, and
why the airbase should not be viewed as threatening;

(c) CSBM Seminar in Vienna, scheduled for October ) France
and Germany are co-sponsoring that with Russia;

(d) Spain announced that Russia will address CFE in the
Annual Security Review Conference to be held in Vienna on
19-20 June; and

(e) that the Alliance does not need to schedule an NRC(ACE)
meeting after every HLTF.

--------------
NEXT HLTF MEETING
--------------


10. (SBU) With all the activities scheduled in Vienna and
with NATO-Russia Council Tenth Anniversary meetings, four
dates were identified for possible HLTF meeting dates (May
31, June 21, July 12, and July 19). The U.S. proposed the
next meeting be on June 21, prior to the NRC anniversary
meeting in Russia (June 25-26). Other Allies agreed. If
workable, that will be the date of the next HLTF, pending a
final announcement by the International Staff.
OLSON