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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08MOSCOW1302
2008-05-08 14:24:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Moscow
Cable title:  

DEMARCHES DELIVERED: RUSSIAN COOPERATION ON

Tags:   EAID  ECON  EFIN  MARR  MASS  MCAP  OSCE  PGOV  PINS 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8630
PP RUEHBW RUEHPW
DE RUEHMO #1302/01 1291424
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081424Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7999
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0516
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2382
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6804
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001302 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/08/2018
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN MARR MASS MCAP OSCE PGOV PINS
PREL, PTER, KDEM, AF, RS
SUBJECT: DEMARCHES DELIVERED: RUSSIAN COOPERATION ON
AFGHANISTAN, PARIS SUPPORT CONFERENCE AND OSCE ROLE IN
AFGHANISTAN

REF: A. STATE 44890

B. STATE 44359

C. STATE 39820

Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4 (b/d).



1. (C) We delivered reftel demarches to MFA Afghanistan Desk
Chief Yuri Khokhlov on May 8, emphasizing the U.S. desire to
cooperate with Russia on counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism
and military equipment assistance to Afghanistan. Khokhlov
agreed that the U.S. and Russia shared similar goals with
respect to Afghanistan - Russia wanted to see the Taliban
defeated, the narcotics trade eliminated, and the country
become stable and secure. He said that one point upon which
we differ was the possibility of negotiating with and
allowing even a limited number of "moderate" Taliban into the
Afghan government, which Russia believed would radicalize the
government and further destabilize the country. Khokhlov
offered the following initial responses to our demarches:

Russian Cooperation on Afghanistan


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





2. (C) Khokhlov appreciated the U.S. efforts to address GOR
concerns regarding engaging the Afghan government on the
issue of military aid. After examining the non-papers we
delivered, Khokhlov said the MFA would send the list of arms
and equipment required by the Afghan National Army to the
Russian Embassy in Kabul with instructions to begin
discussions with the U.S. Combined Security Transition
Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) and Afghan Ministry of Defense.
The MFA would also send the list to the Russian MOD to
identify what was available in the Russian inventory.
Khokhlov thought the GOR could provide much of the material
as donations with a few exceptions: the MI-17 light lift
aircraft might only be available for purchase at 40 or 50
percent less than the market price, and some of the vehicles
listed might not be in the Russian inventory. He stressed
that the GOR would need information and guarantees regarding
the destination and use of the items it provided. Khokhlov
commented that, since the Afghans had demonstrated little
appreciation for previous Russian military donations, it had
been difficult to obtain intra-agency agreement on resuming
aid, adding that this time it would be helpful for the Afghan
government to show "appropriate appreciation" for Russian
assistance. (Note: We understand that the poor quality of
previous Russian military donations likely contributed to the
tepid response in Kabul. End note.)

Paris Support Conference for Afghanistan


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





3. (C) Khokhlov thought it likely that FM Lavrov would attend
the June 12 Paris Support Conference for Afghanistan. He
said Russia would consider additional assistance, but
explained that the GOR was concerned about pledging bilateral
support for Afghanistan for fear of the funds being diverted

by corrupt Afghan officials. Khokhlov also stated that
Russia would not contribute to the 2009 and 2010 Afghan
elections. The GOR was working through the World Bank on
public health and education support programs, including
providing $4 million for the Kabul Polytechnic University, $2
million for the Oil and Gas College in Mazar-e Sharif, and $3
million for a maternity hospital in Mazar-e Sharif.

OSCE Role in Afghanistan


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





4. (C) Khokhlov said there was support within the MFA for the
OSCE taking a limited role in Afghanistan, although he could
not provide an official response at this time. He thought it
likely the GOR would support OSCE training of Afghan customs
officials to help secure Afghanistan's borders, a Russian
priority. Khokhlov had no response when we stressed the
importance of conducting some of the training inside
Afghanistan. He doubted the GOR would support an OSCE role
in Afghan elections or any activity that approached "changing
regimes and ideologies."

GOR Concerned by Afghan Narcotics


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





5. (C) Khokhlov reiterated Russia's concern over the threat
posed by Afghan narcotics, stressing, however, that the GOR
was primarily concerned with the ability of the Taliban and
Islamic extremists to use narcotics to finance their

MOSCOW 00001302 002 OF 002


activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia and
Chechnya. The impact of narcotics on Russian society was a
secondary issue. Khokhlov explained that with Afghanistan
unable to control its own borders it was up to Central Asian
governments to stop narcotics smuggling, but these
governments were largely corrupt and lacked the will, and in
some cases the capacity, to take action. He assessed
Uzbekistan as maintaining the greatest level of control over
its border with Afghanistan; Tajikistan as having some
control; and Turkmenistan having no control at all. Iran was
able to control the northern part of its border where the
Revolutionary Guard was active, but in the south the Iranian
police were largely ineffective. Khokhlov confirmed that
Russia had a counter-narcotics liaison officer at its Kabul
Embassy.

Comment


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





6. (C) We will continue to reinforce at higher levels our
interest in greater Russian cooperation in promoting
Afghanistan's security and economic development. Russian
promises of assistance rarely have been followed by rapid
implementation, and we welcome Embassy Kabul's read on
whether the Russians move quickly to begin dialogue with the
CSTC-A.
BURNS