2008-07-07 07:26:00
Mission USNATO
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DE RUEHNO #0236/01 1890726
O 070726Z JUL 08
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 USNATO 000236 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/07/2018


Classified By: A/DCM W. SCOTT REID III, reasons 1.4 (b and d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 USNATO 000236


E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/07/2018


Classified By: A/DCM W. SCOTT REID III, reasons 1.4 (b and d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. At the June 24 HLTF meeting and meetings on
the margins, Allies agreed to continue NATO,s current
approach to dealing with the impasse brought on by the
Russian Federation,s suspension of implementation of (i.e.
compliance with) the CFE Treaty by:

-- continuing Allies, unaltered support for the parallel
actions package and related U.S.)Russia bilateral efforts
(with no support for substantive sweeteners for Russia that
would go beyond the existing package of proposals);

-- sending a firm message at every opportunity, including the
July 1-2 OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, that Moscow
needs to engage constructively on NATO,s parallel actions
package if Russia wants to see the Adapted CFE Treaty come
into force;

-- Unambiguously rejecting Baluyevskiy,s &proposal8 to
eliminate Russia,s flank sub-ceiling by including all of
Russian territory in the area of application nominally in the
&adapted flank8 with its full national equipment ceiling
and designating this its new &flank8 limit;

-- Continuing to take Russia to task for its failure to
implement the current CFE Treaty, while at the same time NATO
States Parties have continued to do so.

2. (C) On other issues:

-- Allies agreed, with regard to Russian President
Medvedev,s speech in Germany on June 5 suggesting a &new8
European security treaty, that what was described seems like
a rehash of ideas from the 1990s. In meetings on the
margins, key Allies made it clear that they did not believe
this proposal would lead to a document equivalent to the CFE
Treaty. U.S. HLTF Representative State/VCI DAS Karin L. Look
noted that the Medvedev speech did not present anything
substantially new, that circumventing legally-binding CFE in
favor of a primarily hortatory agreement would not be useful,
and that there was also a risk that Russia would use such a
treaty to &leap frog8 beyond CFE and its requirement that

the Istanbul Commitments be fulfilled.

-- Allies agreed to continue previous practice by allowing
new invitees Albania and Croatia to sit in the HLTF as
observers (after the July 9 signing of NATO Accession

-- U.S. Rep Look informed the HLTF of the U.S. rotational
training in Romania and Bulgaria starting in May and
finishing in October 2008. END SUMMARY.


-- Spain: Rep Mor Sola notified the HLTF that Russian Arms
Control Representative Mikhail Ulyanov in Vienna noted in the
June 11 meeting of the Forum for Security and Cooperation
(FSC) that Russia would be presenting more details of the
&new security treaty Russian President Medvedev talked about
in his June 5 speech in Berlin8 at the July 1-2 OSCE Annual
Security Review Conference (ASRC). Spain also noted the
format of the ASRC and highlighted the three sessions and the
keynote speakers for each session. One of those sessions is
on the &Future of Arms Control.8 (Note: The actual session
is titled: The present state of arms control arrangements,
CSBMs and the Security Dialogue in the OSCE area. End Note.)

-- Turkey: Rep Gun announced that DFM Kislyak and team
visited Ankara on 12 May. Kislyak did not raise any new
issues while noting that Russia did not like the parallel
actions package but will continue to work with the U.S.;
that flank sub-ceilings were an obstacle; and that NATO
continued the call for fulfillment of Istanbul commitments
(as recently as the March 28 NAC statement). Russia sought
Turkey,s opinion on the Russian call for abolishing the
&flank8 sub-ceilings for Russia. The Turkish rep noted for
Allies the constant efforts of the Russian Federation to play

USNATO 00000236 002 OF 006

Allies against one another, saying that Russia did not trust
NATO, and that LT GEN Buzhinskiy stated the difficulties
Russia foresaw in addressing all of Russia,s concerns after
it agreed to the parallel actions package. Turkey responded
to DFM Kislyak that the CFE Treaty may address all the issues
raised and that the CFE Treaty is based around the flank
regime. Turkey can only envisage the CFE Treaty with a flank

-- Germany: Rep Biontino briefed Allies about the bilateral
meeting on a broad range of arms control topics (including,
inter alia, CFE, post-START and INF) in Moscow between
Russian Director of Disarmament Antonov and German Director
Luedeking. In that meeting, Antonov stated his skepticism
about the possibility of reaching an agreement on the CFE
parallel actions package with the U.S. and noted that the NAC
Statement was a step backwards. He also stated that the
&frozen conflicts8 should be completely disassociated from
the CFE Treaty. Russia again noted that the flank
restrictions placed on Russia were outdated and needed to be

-- U.S.: Rep Look informed the HLTF that A/S Fried had
proposed to Antonov that they meet one-on-one in Stockholm in
May (while Fried would be there on other business) but that
Antonov declined to accept. A/S Fried recently had proposed
dates in July, which Antonov also rejected. Subsequently,
Antonov proposed that they meet in late July in New York
City. That has been agreed.

-- Norway: Rep Listerud reported that DFM Kislyak visited
Norway on May 19, with CFE being a major topic of discussion.
Norway noted that Russia did not raise anything new in their

-- Romania: Rep Micula reported that Romania,s rep in Vienna
met with Russian Arms Control rep Ulyanov on June 10. In
that meeting, Russia &pretended8 not to be satisfied with
the lack of progress on the parallel actions package
negotiations with the United States. Micula strongly noted
Romania,s disgruntlement with Russian General Baluyevskiy,s
proposal on the flank solution, which the Russians claimed
was initially made without Moscow,s support but in fact was
gaining acceptance there. Ulyanov also stated that Russia
had once again tried to start moving ammunition from Kolbasna
but the Transistrian authorities would not give their

-- Denmark: Rep Roden announced that Russia had demarched
Copenhagen on June 13 requesting Denmark,s opinion of the
Medvedev proposal of a &new8 security treaty in Europe.
Denmark noted that the interlocutor delivering the demarche
was not given any kind words to send back to Moscow, but was
told that Denmark strongly supported the current CFE regime.

4. (C) THE WAY AHEAD. The Chair (Erdmann) introduced the
agenda item by informing Allies of the upcoming CFE events
that Russia needed to comply with, e.g. the provision of
Flank Data on July 1st. He noted the current strategy
adopted by the HLTF called attention to a possible emergency
meeting of the HLTF if the need arose before the next
scheduled HLTF meeting in September.

-- The Netherlands Rep (Kleinjan) led off the discussion and
highlighted the opportunity for the Alliance to continue its
unified approach of &active patience8 at the July 1-2 ASRC
and then made a proposal that surprised all Allies. Kleinjan
suggested that the U.S. should work with Russia to 1)
establish a calendar of bilateral meetings to put discussion
of the Parallel Actions Package on an active schedule before
the end of the year, and 2) expand the bilateral format to
include, at U.S. invitation, some interested Allies, at least
on occasion. No Ally specifically endorsed the Dutch
suggestion in the meeting, but none rejected it either
including France and Germany who have pressed privately for a
Quad Russia format).

-- German rep Biontino strongly urged European support for
the U.S. bilateral effort and urged Allies to stay on
message, be consistent, firm, unified, and cohesive. He also
said that holding those bilateral meetings on a regular basis

USNATO 00000236 003 OF 006

would be important.

-- U.S. rep Look agreed with Germany concerning unity and
cohesiveness. She also stated that since our goal is to get
Russia to engage, the U.S. certainly is open to suggestions
on how best to do that, including any suggestions on
frequency and format. At this point, rep Look returned to an
idea she had raised previously: the JCG has little to do
(because of Russia,s failure to implement CFE) and thus four
meetings a month seems excessive. While one meeting a month
would suffice to make clear that Russia,s failures to comply
with its CFE obligations are unacceptable, the &extra8
meetings are being used by Russian rep Ulyanov for
troublemaking and by others merely trying to &fill the
time.8 This is not useful and could prove counterproductive
in the longer term. Concerning how to proceed in the JCG if
Russia (as we expect) does not provide Flank Data in July,
Look suggested that national statements ) not a new NATO
statement ) would be the best course of action to each act
of non-compliance.

-- The UK Rep (Ford) did not expand on any of the ideas
presented except to say that there is a balance to be struck
and that the UK shared the U.S. analysis on how to react
regarding flank data.

-- France (Grand) stated that it was concerned by the Russian
Federation,s apparent lack of will to maintain the CFE
Treaty. Grand urged all to use the JCG to comment on Russian
failings in order to maintain pressure on Russia. France
emphasized that &the ball was in Russia,s court8 and that
the Alliance had been quite generous in its proposal. France
also noted that Russia had mentioned that nothing would
happen during the U.S. election process, and stated that the
actions taken to move the parallel actions package along
couldn,t wait for U.S. politics, which means 9-12 months,
which would be too late and reactive. The French urged
Russia to make positive use of this time.

-- Romania (Micula) surprised the HLTF with a helpful
intervention that epitomized the views expressed during the
course of the HLTF. He said that NATO should continue on its
current course unless: 1) there is a breakthrough between
Russia and the U.S. on the package; 2) Russia elevates its
non-compliance to a new level; 3) Russia withdraws from the
Treaty; or 4) a CFE State Party moves toward ratification.
Meanwhile, Allies should continue to send Russia the firm
message recorded in the NAC statement, including at the OSCE
ASRC meeting, and continue to register concerns about
Russia,s non-compliance in the JCG. Micula emphasized that
the parallel actions package should not be allowed to be
discussed piecemeal in the JCG )the plan needs to remain as
a package and be negotiated as a package.

-- Greece (Daskarolis) followed with a strong statement
supporting taking opportunities to send clear messages to
Moscow, sharing the Romanian view.

-- Hungary (Molner) also echoed the sentiment to continue
with the parallel actions package with a unified front.
Hungary encouraged Allies to practice &active patience8 and
looked forward to information on dates for U.S.-Russia
bilateral meetings. In concluding, Hungary cautioned Allies
against opening &new channels8 for negotiations.

-- Turkey (Gun) encouraged Allies to stay the course and
register Russian non-compliance on 1 July if, as expected,
supplemental data is not provided (which, according to the
flank agreement, is due from mid-June to July 1 and which
States Parties have grown accustomed to receiving as late as
mid-July, when Russia distributed it last year). Turkey
continues to believe that another NATO statement would not be
of value and that the Allies should use the ASRC to reflect
NATO,s unity and cohesion with national statements. The
Allies need to try to get Russia to &do something.8 Gun
stated clearly that if the U.S. thought broader participation
in its bilateral meetings would be helpful, Turkey would
support the U.S., provided Turkey,s participation would not
be taken to imply a mistrust of the U.S.

-- Belgium (Renaux) also echoed the call for unity and

USNATO 00000236 004 OF 006

cohesion while supporting the parallel actions package and
&active patience.8

5. (C) Medvedev,s Speech. Allies acknowledged that Russia
is presently not engaging seriously with the U.S. (or anybody
else) on CFE and are concerned about the prospect that Moscow
may follow through on Putin,s threat in Bucharest to
withdraw from the Treaty if Allies do not begin to ratify
A/CFE soon. That said, these fears have not caused any Ally
to consider additional concessions. The dominant reading of
the situation in Moscow is that Medvedev has not made up his
mind about how to proceed on CFE. Several (U.S., France,
Germany, UK, Greece, Turkey, Netherlands, and Denmark) noted
that while the constructive tone of Medvedev,s Berlin speech
was welcomed (including reference to &Euro-Atlantic8
regional security, talk of a new European Security Treaty
looked like old wine in new bottles. None thought that this
new treaty could or should replace the CFE regime.
Netherlands noted that in Vienna, Ulyanov commented to them
that he did not know what Medvedev meant. U.S. rep Look
noted that Russia had floated similar proposals 10 years ago.
Greece stated that a new European security treaty was a bad
idea, that we can,t ignore what has been achieved, and it
would be difficult to build new security architecture. On
this point, Germany came across loud and clear: if CFE were
lost, it could not be replaced.

6. (C) HLTF Seminar/Retreat. All Allies endorsed the idea of
conducting an HLTF Seminar/Retreat sometime in the fall in
Romania, but agreed that no decision would be taken before
the September HLTF meeting. The U.S. highlighted that the
agenda will need to be carefully managed and the timing was
paramount. Regarding the agenda, it was suggested that some
Allies put forth Food-For-Thought papers to propose topics
for discussion. U.S. Rep Look agreed to the purpose behind
the suggestion and tentatively agreed to the I.S. request for
a U.S. paper. Discussion noted that a seminar/retreat in
October, versus later would allow reps to brainstorm,
focusing on the near-term, and not require the HLTF to get
involved in negotiating text for the OSCE and NATO
Ministerial meetings in late November or early December.

7. (SBU) NEXT MEETINGS. In an attempt to schedule the
meetings of the HLTF for the remainder of the year, a
tentative schedule, which the U.S influenced heavily, was
-- September 11 (agreed after silence period ended);
-- October ) Retreat (or an HLTF meeting) should be planned
for week of 13 October;
-- November 13 (T); and
-- December 11.
All meeting dates will be vetted through the NATO master
planner for the scheduling of dates, time, and room


A) The Chair (Erdmann) announced that on July 9, the
Accession Protocols for Albania and Croatia will be signed.
It is customary that these two Allies be invited to attend
formal NATO meetings as observers after the protocols are
signed. Their inclusion for HLTF meetings seemed to be
accepted without question as there was no real discussion
questioning this procedure.

B) U.S. rep Look provided a brief announcement notifying
Allies of the units, size of the deployment, and timeframe of
U.S. forces rotating into Romania and Bulgaria this summer
for training (May-October).

9. (C) One other interesting side note was the NATO-arranged
meeting between Rep Look and Laurendeau with Andrei Zagorski,
a professor at the Russian Foreign Ministry,s Moscow State
Institute of International Relations (MIGIMO). Zagorski
conducted interviews with NATO staff as well as the U.S. HLTF
Head of Delegation (on deep background and with NATO Deputy
Public Affairs Advisor present). In his discussions,
Zagorski said that he thought President Putin had been
convinced by the MOD that the CFE Treaty unfairly constrained
Russia. He said that he believed NATO needed to do a better
job in its public diplomacy: NATO had not provided any

USNATO 00000236 005 OF 006

effective counter to Russian arguments that an enlarged NATO
constituted a threat to Russia. In fact, Zagorski commented,
if you look at actual equipment holdings, not permitted
ceilings, the new NATO had less CFE TLE than the old NATO,
but you would never be able to figure that out from NATO,s
public statements.

HLTF, the U.S. conducted bilateral meetings with Romania,
Turkey and Norway.

-- In the meeting with Norway, Rep Look asked Norway about
the Russian (Baluyevskiy,s) flank proposal. Without
hesitation the Norwegian rep snapped &rubbish8 and when
asked if he knew how the Turks felt about it, the Norwegian
responded &double rubbish.8 Concerning whether Norway
would want to be with the U.S. during bilateral negotiations
with Russia; Norway was quite uncomfortable with this
approach as it would single out Norway (as opposed to the
Alliance as a whole) for more attention by Russia.

-- Look, Laurendeau and Romanian rep Micula discussed at
length how to make the proposed HLTF seminar as productive as
possible if it occurs, and what the most appropriate timing
might be for such a session. Micula had already concluded
that October would be the most feasible moment for an off
site, allowing time for an HLTF meeting in Brussels in
November prior to the December Ministerials. He thought that
Allies would want to use the informal setting to develop
additional ideas to help convince Russia to engage on the
parallel actions package; we would also want to consider how
to manage the Ministerials. Micula and the U.S. team agreed
that we did not want to use the event to brainstorm on a CFE
II: the idea is to find a way to save the current Treaty,
not give it up.

-- Turkish rep Gun brushed off the Baluyevskiy flank proposal
as the equivalent of eliminating the flank regime. He
underscored that Turkey could not take the Adapted CFE Treaty
to Parliament if it appeared the flank provisions were being
eliminated. Regarding possibilities for eliciting more
constructive Russian engagement on the parallel actions
package, Gun suggested that Russia was playing a waiting game
in the face of the U.S. elections. NATO Allies were doing
the right thing in continuing to implement CFE and trying to
save it; no &European Security Treaty,8 such as Medvedev
had hinted at, would come close to being CFE,s equivalent.
Asked what he thought of the idea of alternative formats for
the U.S.-Russian talks, Gun said flatly that he trusted the
U.S. and did not think alternatives would be better: &the
problem is not the format; rather the problem is that Russia
is not ready to engage.8 Both Gun and Norwegian
counterparts were wary of the idea of a &flank8 group
meeting with Russia (that is, the U.S., Russia,
Norway/Turkey); and also worried about a Quad plus Russia

11. (C) Meeting involving France, Germany, UK, and U.S

-- The U.S. asked Allies what they thought the goals of an
HLTF retreat might be, noting we thought it should be
informal, and should allow opportunities to think about how
to get the Russians to engage and use the Ministerials
effectively. Germany, UK, and France in the Quad made clear
that they did not want to use the &retreat8 to consider the
possibility of an alternative to the CFE Treaty. Several
expressed fear of giving any hint to Russia that a lesser
alternative might be available that would give Russia the
collective limits on NATO Allies that it seeks, without the
price tag of fulfillment of its remaining Istanbul
commitments or real constraint on Russia,s own forces. In
fact, all Allies appeared to be of one view on the central
point: CFE serves Europe,s interests and we should try to
keep it, not consider other possibilities that will never
approach CFE,s scope and effect.

-- Concerning the way ahead, France noted that there were
four scenarios that we could be facing: 1) continue as we are
(simply implement the Treaty) until something happens,
referred to as &passive patience;8 2) accept Russia,s

USNATO 00000236 006 OF 006

positions and move forward; 3) press forward on the basis of
the Parallel Actions Package and continue with CFE
implementation even if Russia does not, and continue with
annotating in the JCG all of Russia,s acts of non-compliance
(&active patience8); and 4) start over from scratch which
is risky and difficult for governments to accept negotiating
a new treaty when Russia does not fulfill its current Treaty
obligations. All agreed that option 3 was the only option.
U.S. Rep Look noted that the Treaty dies daily as
&suspension8 continues and that we must find a way to bring
Russia back to the Treaty. Germany responded that the NAC
Statement of 28 March was intended to bring Russia back into
compliance. The UK and Germany noted that the question is
&how8 to keep Russia engaged. All agreed that the Russian
President,s speech in Berlin did not appear to be a serious
arms control proposal; it had more of an OSCE political
character, like the Charter for European Security. In each
capital, bilateral meetings with Russia were conducted and in
each case key Russian leaders could not expand on Medvedev,s
proposal. However, all members of the Quad agreed that a new
treaty could not be a substitute for CFE.