|08USNATO119||2008-04-08 11:20:00||CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN||Mission USNATO|
VZCZCXYZ0001 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHNO #0119/01 0991120 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 081120Z APR 08 FM USMISSION USNATO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1753 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHSS/OECD POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 5924 RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0464 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000119
1. (C) SUMMARY. At the March 27 HLTF meeting Allies reached
agreement on the U.S.-German-sponsored draft NAC Statement on
CFE (ref b). While all Allies were fully supportive of the
concept and much of the content of the draft statement, a few
(e.g. Turkey, the Baltics, Romania, and Bulgaria) required
language changes in order to finally agree to it. At the end
of the HLTF meeting all but Romania had authority to agree to
the modified statement on the spot. As a result, the
statement was placed under silence until the following day.
Silence was not broken, and thus it went to the NAC under
silence for final approval (The NAC approved it by silence on
the 28th). The text was issued publicly by NATO on the NATO
Website (www.nato.int) on March 28.
2. (C) The U.S. also used the meeting to brief Allies on the
March 17-18 U.S.-Russia 2 plus 2 meeting in Moscow and to
provide greater detail regarding the March 17 meeting U.S.
acting Under Secretary of State Dan Fried and Russian
Director for Security and Disarmament Anatoly Antonov held on
the CFE parallel actions package. END SUMMARY.
Consultations and Bilaterals
3. (C) HLTF Rep DAS Karin L. Look briefed Allies on CFE
elements of the March 17-18 U.S.-Russia 2 plus 2 meeting in
Moscow, including the March 17 meeting between U.S. Acting
Under Secretary of State Dan Fried and Russian Director for
Security and Disarmament Anatoly Antonov, per ref A. Look
explained that the Fried-Antonov meeting touched on all the
elements of the "package," but noted that discussion focused
on Georgia and Moldova. On Georgia, the Russian side
suggested considering transparency as an alternative to
documentary transfer of Gudauta. While the U.S. agreed to
discuss transparency ideas with Georgia, the U.S. did not
agree that it could substitute for documentary transfer. On
Moldova, it appeared initially that there was the possibility
for an agreement on the key PKF element, but Look said that
when U/S Fried tried to capture that agreement, the Russians
backed-off. Look also noted that it appeared to the U.S.
delegation that Antonov has instructions to discuss the
"package" but does not have instructions to close on it.
France (Grand) also noted that there were "2 plus 2 talks" in
Paris on 11-12 March. At those talks, Russia complained of
U.S. negotiation methods, but France rebuffed Russia stating
that in fact it was NATO, not Russia, that had so far shown
all the flexibility in the discussion.
4. (C) German rep (Biontino) and U.S. rep Look introduced
the U.S.-German draft NAC statement on CFE (ref b). All
Allies were enthusiastically supportive of both the concept
and substance of the draft statement and came prepared to
work and finalize that statement at the meeting. That said,
Allies recognized that this would be the first instance of
publicly acknowledging their support for the specific
elements of the "parallel actions package," and worked to
ensure that both their real and perceived national security
equities were protected in the statement.
5. (C) Most Allies were prepared to accept the U.S-German
text as written. However, Turkey, the Baltic States, and
Romania had concerns which took hours to resolve.
-- Turkey and Norway wanted to mention the flank issue early
in the text as a key element of the existing CFE regime and
to amend the discussion of future review of the Adapted
Treaty to make no specific mention of Russian flank concerns.
Norway was very supportive of Turkey,s concerns.
-- The Baltic States were uneasy about stating publicly their
readiness to proceed with "detailed discussions", including
with Russia, on the conditions for Baltic accession to the
Adapted Treaty. They also did not want to be singled out by
name. Hours of painstaking discussion in the meeting and on
the margins and ultimately some U.S. flexibility on the exact
language, closed this issue.
-- Romania had a laundry list of changes, all directed at
clarifying the conditionality between movement by NATO on
ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty, and Russian
fulfillment of Istanbul commitments.
6. (C) On more than one occasion during the course of the
day it appeared consensus on the text might prove impossible.
French rep Grand played a key role in keeping the discussion
on track, pointing out that NATO,s public diplomacy needed
to be more aggressive. He argued that the synopsis of the
parallel actions package that appeared in the U.S.-German
text would demonstrate that NATO had taken Russia,s concerns
seriously and responded effectively.
7. (C) The HLTF adjourned during lunch and formed an
informal drafting group (that involved HLTF reps from all key
players on the draft) that reached consensus (minus a few
issues to be worked out in the plenary session) on the text
for the HLTF plenary to meet on that evening after reps had
had the opportunity to consult with their capitals. In this
-- Turkey and Norway stuck to their guns on the need to have
a generic reference only to the future review of the Treaty,
but accepted the U.S. suggestion, which emerged in the
drafting group, to refer specifically to the flank as one on
a list of key Russian concerns addressed by the parallel
-- Romania and Germany sparred throughout the drafting
meeting over language on the relationship between the
Istanbul commitments and ratification of Adapted CFE.
Largely because the text already included formulaic language
concerning that conditionality, Romanian concerns were
regarded by most Allies as unreasonable. German rep Biontino
was reluctant to modify other parts of the text materially to
address Romanian concerns, and Romanian rep Micula did not
prioritize his list of changes. Most of the changes did not
focus on a central theme that may have allowed Romania to
make its key point about Russia fulfilling its Istanbul
commitments prior to all Allies completing ratification
-- The Baltics pressed their concern about pre-entry into
force "detailed discussions" with Russia and about the need
for internal NATO efforts to precede any meeting on this
issue with Russia. They also were emphatic that they should
not be included in the statement with any specificity.
During the drafting session all issues except the reference
to "detailed discussions" were dealt with satisfactorily.
8. (C) After the drafting group completed its work,
delegations consulted with capitals on hopes of being able to
agree to the text of the statement and send it to the NAC
that evening. When the HLTF reconvened at 1900 hours, all
but Romanian rep (Micula) had authority to close on the
-- The Baltics (Estonia in particular) pleaded with the U.S.
rep to drop the word "detailed" from the phrase describing
pre-entry-into-force discussions of their accession plans.
Based on consultation with Acting U/S Fried, the U.S. rep
agreed, stating for the record, however, that this change
would not alter the content of the parallel actions package
itself. The change was acceptable to the U.S. as a
characterization of the package in a summary public document.
-- For the Turks this was a package deal: Ahmet Gun said
Turkey,s flexibility on the text for this document would
require Allies to accommodate Turkey,s position in the text
on CFE for the NAC communiqu, and in the SPC,s arms control
paper. A near-meltdown with the German rep on this issue
presaged subsequent problems agreeing on the text of the CFE
paragraph for the Summit Declaration via HLTF Deputies
meetings on April 1-2.
-- Romanian rep Micula stated that Romania needed until
Friday morning (as "the President" was reviewing the draft
statement) and asked that the text to be placed under silence
until then. Ultimately the document was placed under HLTF
silence procedure ending at 1100 hours Friday with a NAC
silence procedure to follow, ending at 1800 hours Friday.
9. (C) Comment: Allies readily agreed on the importance of
getting the NAC Statement released prior to the start of the
NATO Summit in Bucharest. It is a strong text with a strong
message to Russia of NATO,s solidarity and commitment to CFE
and the Istanbul commitments. All Allies had to compromise
in order to produce the document. This document reflects the
first time that the Allies have publicly affirmed adherence
to the specific elements of the parallel actions package.
The statement,s main message is to Russia: Moscow cannot
drive wedges within the Alliance on CFE, and NATO will not
abandon Georgia and Moldova.
10. (C) After the NAC Statement had been placed under
silence, the HLTF decided that the remaining documents,
especially the CFE paragraph in the NATO Summit Communiqu
should be discussed by HLTF-deputies the following day after
the NAC statement had cleared the silence procedure and was
Next HLTF Meeting
11. (SBU) The NATO International Staff proposed that the
next HLTF meeting be held on May 8. France objected due to
that date being a national holiday and the IS noted the
previous week also contained a holiday (May 1st) as well. It
was decided that after Bucharest the IS would look for a
different date and propose that to HLTF Representatives.