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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08RIGA560 2008-09-16 10:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Riga
Cable title:  

OUTCOMES - U.S.-BALTIC CFE CONSULTATIONS

Tags:   PARM PREL KCFE LG EN LH 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRA #0560/01 2601059
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161059Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY RIGA
TO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE IMMEDIATE
INFO RUCNCFE/CONVENTIONAL ARMED FORCES IN EUROPE COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 RIGA 000560 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/10/2018
TAGS: PARM PREL KCFE LG EN LH
SUBJECT: OUTCOMES - U.S.-BALTIC CFE CONSULTATIONS

REF: A. (A) STATE 66678 - JUN 24 HLTF GUIDANCE

B. (B) STATE 28933 - NAC STATEMENT ON CFE TREATY

C. (C) USNATO 236 - JUN 24 HLTF REPORTING CABLE

D. (D) STATE 83574 - READOUT OF A/S FRIED'S
BRIEFING TO NATO AMBASSADORS ON HIS JULY
29 CFE MEETING WITH MFA DIRECTOR ANTONOV

E. (E) STATE 89769 - GEORGIA CONFLICT:SHAPING
FOREIGN DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENT

F. (F) STATE 96113 - GUIDANCE FOR SEPT 11 HLTF
MEETING AND SEP 8-9 CONSULTATIONS WITH
BALTIC STATE

Classified By: Ambassador Charles W. Larson Jr. for reason 1.4 (b) and
(d)



1. (C) SUMMARY: The three Baltic states used annual CFE and
conventional arms control consultations with the U.S. HLTF
delegation on September 8-9 to underscore the need for
increased cooperation on NATO defense planning in light of
Russia's actions in Georgia. Far from fixated on notions of
developing Article 5 contingency plans, the Baltics called
instead for Allied engagement on Baltic defense needs, a
recognition of their exposed position, and a serious NATO
planning process similar to U.S. mil-mil engagement with them
over the past year. The Latvian host (Kaspars Ozolins)
indicated in a private bilateral session that such engagement
is necessary to make it possible for Latvia to maintain its
focus on expeditionary capabilities against a backdrop of
public and Parliamentary pressure deriving from their
concerns about Russian intentions. Representatives of all
three Baltic states:

-- were relieved that the U.S. was not prepared to move
forward with further engagement with Russia on CFE via the
Fried-Antonov channel until the situation in Georgia improved
significantly;

-- agreed that NATO should consider CFE options for
responding to Russia's actions in Georgia and send a signal
that NATO will not do business as usual;

-- emphasized that Allies' unambiguous priority should be to
maintain Alliance unity;

-- repeatedly cited the U.S.-Baltic CFE consultative process
- which involved discussions on Russian and Belarusian forces
in the region, political consultations on objectives for CFE
and related issues, and, most importantly, EUCOM engagement
on defense planning - as a model for the type of NATO-based
effort that would help address their security concerns about
the "new" Russia.



2. (U) The U.S. delegation, led by STATE/VCI DAS Karin L.
Look, included Jennifer Laurendeau, Jeffrey Gibbs, Kathryn
Ducceschi, and Jim Starkey from State Department; Peter
Perenyi and LtCol Anne Marie Fenton from OSD Policy; and Ann
Mason (Emb Riga), Doug Hoyt (Emb Vilnius) and Alamanda
Gribbin (Emb Tallinn). END SUMMARY



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


Importance of CFE and the Impact of Russian Actions in Georgia


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





3. (C) All three Baltic delegations stressed the importance
they attach to CFE as an instrument for building security and
confidence. They emphasized that entry into force of a/CFE
and eventual accession remained in the interest of Baltic
security. They stressed that Alliance unity - and U.S.
leadership - in the face of Russian suspension has been key
to successfully managing the CFE impasse over the past nine
months and agreed with the U.S. that Alliance solidarity is
critical to maintain considering the situation in Georgia.
They agreed with the U.S. that Russian military action in
Georgia violated core principles on which CFE is based
including the principle of host nation consent to the
presence of foreign forces. They welcomed the U.S. idea that
Allies should discuss CFE options for responding to Russia,s
actions which Look outlined per reftel.



4. (C) All three Baltic reps were relieved that the U.S. was
not prepared to move forward with further engagement with
Russia on CFE via the Fried-Antonov channel until the
situation in Georgia improved significantly, and supported
the idea of a NATO statement to this effect. As far as the
Medvedev European security proposal, there was consensus that
Allies should not engage on any new regional proposals that
could undermine existing European security structures,
including the Alliance, or existing agreements, like CFE.
Regarding any actions specific to the CFE Treaty, each
remarked they were in favor of concrete actions that clearly

RIGA 00000560 002 OF 003


demonstrated a "not business as usual" approach, but none
felt in a position to elaborate as they are not States
Parties. The repeated message each delivered was that the
unambiguous priority should remain maintaining Alliance
unity.



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


Security Situation Update


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





5. (C) Opposite the Baltic States: The U.S. del provided an
update - as per usual practice - on the security situation in
the Baltic region to include the status of Russian forces in
the Leningrad Military District and the Kaliningrad Oblast,
as well as forces in Belarus. During the past year there
have been further eliminations of inactive units in the
Leningrad Military District. Russia's apparent focus with
respect to land forces has been on smaller, better trained
active forces with a notable emphasis on those in the south
while air forces have seen no change in structure but
emphasis on training. Latvia noted the increased training
included larger scale exercises across military districts.
Lithuania stressed the need to consider both the political
and tactical rationale behind Russian force posture in
particular during the defense planning process.



6. (C) Georgia: In response to a specific request from the
Baltic states to include a discussion of Russian forces in
the southern part of the flank area, the U.S. del provided a
preliminary overview of the Georgia-Russia military conflict
noting the effective planning, quick reaction and successful
execution of the Russian forces in a short-distance, rapid
deployment. Latvia, characterizing Russia,s attack as
"depressing" due to the force volume and effectiveness,
questioned how CFE mechanisms and Russia,s "suspension"
applied especially as regards Russian violations and, on a
broader level, the linkage to the Sarkozy 6-point cease fire
plan.



7. (C) Regarding CFE mechanisms on a practical level, the
U.S. del noted that Russia,s actions resulted in an
increased overage of equipment in the revised flank area,
where holdings already exceeded Treaty limits, and that had
Allies been able to carry out inspections it would have been
possible to gain some additional information on the forces
that had deployed. Most importantly, Russia,s response was
not only disproportionate, but also a clear violation of CFE
host nation consent and Georgia,s territorial integrity, a
principle which underpins the CFE Treaty regime and has
broader implications as far as implementation of the cease
fire plan and the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.



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


Louder Call for Expanded Defense Planning


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





8. (C) Latvia noted that current situation with CFE would
need to be viewed through both a Georgia "prism" and one of
an Allied approach to defense planning. On the eve of their
16-18 September Riga planning meeting with EUCOM, the Baltic
states expressed appreciation with EUCOM,s efforts to date,
which were initiated by OSD at the State Department,s
request following last year,s CFE consultations in Vilnius.
All - particularly the Latvians - said that NATO engagement
on defense planning was more important than the specific idea
of developing contingency plans. They cited EUCOM
consultations on defense planning in the CFE context, if
replicated with the military planning structures at NATO, as
an example of a concrete and visible step that would help
address their broader concerns about managing Russian
pressure. DAS Look observed that aside from the original
issue of setting CFE limits EUCOM,s planning effort was
useful in its own right in the context of the current
situation.



9. (U) Delegation Lists:

Latvia: Mr Kaspars Ozoli, Head of Delegation, Director of
Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MFA); Mr Raimonds Okalns, Head of Arms Control Division,
MFA; Mr Juris Pkalis, Head of NATO and European Security
Policy Division, MFA; Ms Dina Krieva, 2nd Secretary, Arms
Control Division, MFA; Mr Andejs Viumsons, Deputy Head of
Mission, Mission of Latvia to NATO; Ms Ieva Jirgensone, 2nd
Secretary, Mission of Latvia to NATO; Mr Jnis Garisons,
Director of Crisis Management Department, MOD; Ms Ginta
Brmane, Senior Desk Officer of the Defence Policy and
Strategy Section, MOD; Mr Normunds Daivis, Military
Intelligence Service; Mr Lauris Kalni, Military
Intelligence Service

RIGA 00000560 003 OF 003



Lithuania: Mr Robertas Rosinas, Head of Delegation, Head of
Arms Control and Terrorism Prevention Division, MFA; Ms Migl
Budryt, Acting Director of International Relations and
Operations Department, MOD; Major Darius Baranauskas, Deputy
Chief of Arms Control Section, Lithuanian Armed Forces; Ms
Egl Morknait, 3rd Secretary, Arms Control and Terrorism
Prevention Division, MFA

Estonia: Mr Margus Kolga, Head of Delegation, Director
General, First Political Department, MFA ; Mr Christian-Marc
Liflnder, Director, Policy Planning Department, MOD; Mr
Kristjan Prikk, Director, International Cooperation
Department, MOD; Mr Arti Hilpus, Director, Security Policy
Division, MFA; Ms Kaili Terras, Desk Officer, Security Policy
Division, MFA; Major Sten Allik, Analysis and Planning
Department, Estonian Defense Forces Headquarters
LARSON