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09GENEVA1019 2009-11-13 12:27:00 SECRET Mission Geneva
Cable title:  

START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA

Tags:   KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START 
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					S E C R E T GENEVA 001019 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2019
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA
(SFO-GVA-VII): (U) HEADS OF DELEGATION MEETING (U.S.
RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN COUNTER-PROPOSAL), NOVEMBER 11, 2009

REF: A. GENEVA 1013 (SFO-GVA-VII-002)

B. GENEVA 975 (SFO-GVA-VI-050-RFG-005)

Classified By: A/S Rose E. Gottemoeller, United States
START Negotiator. Reasons: 1.4(b) and (d).



1. (U) This is SFO-GVA-VII-013.



2. (U) Meeting Date: November 11, 2009
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Place: Russian Mission, Geneva
Participants:

U.S. RUSSIA

A/S Gottemoeller Amb Antonov
Mr. DeNinno Mr. Vorontsev
Ms. Gross (Int) Ms. Yevarovskaya (Int)



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


SUMMARY


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





3. (S) A/S Gottemoeller delivered the official U.S. response
to the Russian counter-proposal to the U.S. START Follow-on
(SFO) treaty (package deal). Gottemoeller conveyed the
message that many in Washington found the change in the
Russian proposal for delivery vehicle limits under SFO from
500 to 550 to be "insulting." Senior U.S. leaders were very
disappointed with the Russian counter-proposal, she said, and
the sides had much work to do to ensure our Presidents have a
successful meeting in Singapore. Gottemoeller emphasized the
U.S. commitment to conclude an agreement with a strong
verification regime. In an attempt to address U.S. mobile
missile concerns and Russian concerns about U.S. upload
capability, Gottemoeller proffered alternative proposals as
directed by Washington.



4. (S) Ambassador Antonov expressed dissatisfaction in the
harsh words that Washington used to characterize the Russian
counter-proposal. He said he was offended that Washington
would refer to a proposal approved by his President as
"insulting." Stating that business should be business,
Antonov regarded Washington's response as unnecessary.
Russia had responded to the U.S. proposal, he said, by
presenting its own position, specifically noting that Russia
looked to come closer on the SDV limits. Antonov said there
were only three weeks remaining to conclude the SFO treaty
before the START Treaty expires, if agreement was not reached
by December 5 and the sides were left without a treaty, he
remarked, "we'll live." However, Antonov said he would
immediately report the U.S. response to Moscow and agreed
that he and Gottemoeller should work to prepare their
Presidents for a successful meeting. Antonov acknowledged
that the Presidents should not get wrapped up in the details,
and noted that the Presidents should provide guidance and
direction for the negotiators.



5. (U) Subject Summary: How Dare You Talk to My President
Like That; You Broke Our Non-Disclosure Agreement; Let's Talk
Missile Defense; and, Your Package Deal is Not in Our Best
Interest.




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


HOW DARE YOU TALK TO
MY RESIDENT LIKE THAT


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





6. (S) Antonov listened intently to the U.S. response to the
Russian counter-proposal (REF A), taking copious notes and
asking the interpreter to repeat several points, including
the facility names, Kings Bay and Bangor. After listening to
the official response (e-mail provided to A/S
Gottemoeller--included at paragraph 7 below), Antonov said he
would deliver the message immediately to Moscow. Antonov
remarked that he could only imagine the reaction in Moscow
that Washington found the Russian President's proposal to be
"insulting" and "a slap in the face." Antonov noted that
Russia did not feel the U.S. package deal addressed its
concerns. However, after analyzing the U.S. President's
proposal, Russia did not respond with harsh words but instead
presented its own position. He noted that Russia had come
closer to the U.S.-proposed limits on strategic delivery
vehicles.



7. (S) Begin points provided to A/S Gottemoeller for
delivery (As delivered):

November 10, 2009

Instructions for New START negotiator to Preview Additional
Elements to Respond to November 9 Russian Counter-proposal

Begin Talking Points - Secret/Releasable to Russia

- Late last night I participated in a senior level
interagency meeting to discuss your counterproposal to our
package deal and the upcoming meeting of our Presidents in
Singapore.

- We were very disappointed in your counter-proposal to
our package deal.

- Some senior officials felt that your counter-proposal
on delivery vehicle numbers and verification was "insulting."

- You and I need to do quite a bit of work here to ensure
that our Presidents have a good meeting in Singapore.

- We do not believe that the Presidents should be
negotiating the treaty. That's our job.

- Therefore, we have some proposals to explore with you
here. Before I begin with the specifics, I want to again
emphasize that we provided you with a package proposal.

Numerical Treaty Limits and Upload:

- We think 800 is the right number for delivery vehicles.

- Nonetheless, it is clear from your counter-proposal
that upload continues to be a major concern for Russia.

- Verification is the single best way to address Russia's
upload concerns, since it will increase for you the strategic
warning time of any change in the U.S. force structure.



- I have a proposal to explore with you which would
address your upload concerns and our concern regarding mobile
missiles.

- Our idea is to provide Russia a permanent presence
outside the nuclear warhead storage facilities at Kings Bay
and Bangor to provide Russia with added assurance that the
United States is not uploading those warheads on SSBNs.

- In return, the United States would be permitted to
continue its continuous monitoring at Votkinsk to address our
concern about mobile missile verification: just as upload is
your break-out worry, so mobile missiles are our break-out
worry.

- We have one other thought with respect to your upload
concerns and the strategic warning issue. Would it help to
address your concerns if we lengthened the treaty withdrawal
clause? Our draft treaty proposal currently has a six-month
withdrawal clause. We would be willing to consider a
one-year notification period, which would give you additional
time to react were we to declare our intent to withdraw from
the treaty.

Non-nuclear Armed ICBMs and SLBMs

- I reiterated at the outset, we believe the best way to
resolve CorE issues are in the context of an overall package.

- It appears that we agree that non-nuclear warheads
deployed on ICBMs and SLBMs will count toward the treaty
warhead limit for both existing types of ICBMs and SLBMs and
for any new type of ICBM or SLBM deployed during the life of
the New START Treaty.

- We can only agree to count non-nuclear armed ICBMs and
SLBMs as nuclear if/if we can agree to all elements of the
package, including a limit of 800 delivery vehicles.

Offense/Defense Relationship

- As we have discussed before, the United States is
willing to agree to a joint statement or exchange of letters
that contains a commitment not to convert ICBM or SLBM
launchers to missile defense interceptor launchers and vice
versa during the life of the treaty.

- We cannot agree to this language as part of the treaty,
only in a side letter or document.

- I need your help to clarify one of your
counter-proposals. We are unclear about your
counter-proposal to agree to record in the joint statement a
commitment to discuss unique features of missile defense
interceptors that distinguish them from existing ICBMs and
SLBMs. Could you elaborate?

Verification Regime

- Verification remains a priority. Without strong
verification provisions, the United States cannot agree to a
treaty.



- You have indicated your Ministry of Defense is
skeptical about verification.

- We are perplexed. Our Presidents have agreed we want a
new relationship. Having a window into each other's forces
is a key confidence-building measure. We have had an
effective verification regime for 15 years--it has worked.

- However, as you know, we are not insisting on the START
verification regime, but are working with you to adapt it
according to our Presidents' instructions from July.

- I urge you to look again at our verification proposals.

- In addition to the types of verification measures
already agreed, the treaty must include:

-- A limited number of verification measures that
apply only to mobile ICBMs and their launchers to recognize
the special difficulty of monitoring these missile systems;

-- A ban on encryption of telemetry for ICBM and SLBM
flight tests using procedures similar to the procedures
contained in START;

-- A number of inspections per year that is comparable
to the number of inspections permitted in START at facilities
where deployed and non-deployed treaty items are located.

I would like to make three points to sum up:

First, I have to emphasize the mood in Washington: The
Russian counter-proposal is being seen as a slap in the face,
and not in the spirit that our Presidents have tried to
establish, to re-set our relationship.

Second, despite the negative reaction in Washington, the
United States is still looking for creative ways to respond
to Russian concerns-hence our proposal to increase strategic
warning time for you.

However, and this is my third point, we need to be
looking on both sides for judicious compromise. The United
States has issues of principle too: as I said, verification
remains a priority. Without strong verification provisions,
the United States cannot agree to a treaty.

End points.



8. (S) In response to Gottemoeller's statement that the
Presidents should not be negotiating the treaty, Antonov
stated that the Presidents should not get wrapped up in the
details. The Presidents should provide direction for their
negotiators to resolve issues, and referred to the Joint
Understanding signed in July as guidance upon which the
negotiators had been working. "We are executing their
instructions," he said, and "business is business."



9. (S) Antonov explained that the entire Russian Delegation
was skeptical about verification, not just the Ministry of
Defense. Antonov referred again to the July Moscow Summit,
stating the Presidents had agreed to explore a less costly


verification regime that had been adapted to the new
environment. Russia believed that the U.S. approach
preserved the START verification regime and that approach was
not consistent with the July 6 Joint Understanding signed by
the two Presidents.



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


YOU BROKE OUR NON-
DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT


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





10. (S) Antonov reminded Gottemoeller of the non-disclosure
agreement renewed during the meeting with General Jones that,
despite any difficulties in negotiations, neither side would
involve the media. He cited a couple of Russian press
articles from the previous day that quoted U.S. Under
Secretary of State Tauscher, who described the Russian
proposal, which was signed off by his President, as
"disappointing." He insisted that Russia still had abided by
the non-disclosure agreement, mentioning that the Russian
Ministry of Defense (MOD) had been surprised that U.S.
officials had talked to the press. Antonov said that, no
matter how difficult or complex the negotiations, he would
always make the United States aware of his concerns and would
not resort to resolving issues through the press. He
mentioned that Colonel Ilin had returned to Moscow and would
be reporting on the progress of negotiations to higher-ups,
preparing the Russian President for the meeting in Singapore.
According to Antonov, Ilin would return to Geneva on
Thursday evening, November 12.



11. (S) Gottemoeller responded that she was not aware of the
articles in the Russian press and had not seen them.
However, she had seen press guidance from Washington that day
and she assured Antonov that it was consistent with the joint
approach to non-disclosure of discussions at the negotiating
table.



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


LET'S TALK MISSILE DEFENSE


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





12. (S) Antonov attempted to clarify the Russian proposal
for distinguishing features on missile defense interceptors,
although he stressed that he is not an expert on missile
defense matters. As Russia had informed the previous
administration, he said, the main issue from Russia's
perspective was that interceptor silos had a dual-use
potential and could be converted to launch strategic
offensive arms (SOA). Russa wanted to prevent such a
conversion capability and felt it necessary to develop
distinguishingcharacteristics that would make it possible
for Rssia to understand if such a conversion were occuring.
These characteristics could be developed b the implementing
commission that would be established under the SFO treaty.
For instance, if the United States were to develop a future
interceptor, experts would need to agree on criteria for
distinguishing features regarding that system. Russia would
then know that an interceptor of a certain type was
associated with a particular interceptor silo. The Russian
proposal is with regard to new missile defense interceptors,
he stressed. Russia was not interested in on-site visits or
other measures related to existing interceptors such as those


in Alaska, unless Russian experts believed a new capability
was being installed there.



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


YOUR PACKAGE DEAL IS NOT
IN OUR BEST INTEREST


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





13. (S) Antonov stated that the U.S.-proposed SDV limit of
800 was too high. Antonov explained that Russia called for
real disarmament, which is why his President ordered a
reduction to one-third of the limits in START, but the United
States only proposed to reduce by half. This was not real
disarmament. "Allow me to clarify," Antonov exclaimed, "our
concerns about upload are not only connected to warheads, but
delivery vehicles as well."



14. (S) Acknowledging the U.S. offer to explore a presence
at U.S. warhead facilities, Antonov said "those are warhead
facilities and that is fine, however, the issue is SDVs."
"We already gave you our position on Votkinsk--there is no
equivalent to Votkinsk," Antonov said, "and we do not support
the proposal. Such a package in the follow-on treaty should
be a package deal."



15. (S) According to Antonov, U.S. insistence on unique
provisions for mobile systems was unfair. He repeated what
was said to General Jones when he visited Moscow in October:
"one U.S. SSBN is a more powerful nuclear capability than the
entire Russian road-mobile force." He reiterated the view
that Russia did not agree with U.S.-stated complexities in
monitoring mobile forces and that all ICBMs should be treated
similarly.



16. (S) Gottemoeller reiterated that the sides needed to
seek parity in their approaches. The United States was not
producing new missiles like Russia, so there was no true
equivalent for Votkinsk. "We understand that you are not

interested in maintaining a presence at our production
facility," Gottemoeller said, "but parity can be defined in a
different way, that is, each side can be given equal
reassurance in the strategic stability realm." For that
reason, the United States had looked to address Russia's
concern about upload by exploring options at sensitive U.S.
warhead facilities. The proposal was intended to provide
reassurance to mitigate Russian concerns about U.S. upload
potential, just as Votkinsk would address U.S. concerns about
mobile missiles. The goal was to explore options that would
be of equal interest to both sides, to provide reassurance in
the realm of strategic stability.



17. (S) Gottemoeller reminded Antonov that both sides were
preceding from the Joint Understanding, to find a way to make
verification less costly, but ensure that those measures
would serve our mutual interests. Emphasizing verification,
Gottemoeller stated that the verification was a matter of
principle for the United States in concluding a follow-on
treaty.



18. (S) Antonov remarked that the U.S. package deal did not
address Russian interests. Moscow accepted the U.S.-proposed
limit of 1,600 warheads, but the essence of Russian concerns
was the number of delivery vehicles. Russia had assumed that


the original U.S. proposal was not serious because the United
States was still in the process of conducting its Nuclear
Posture Review.



19. (S) S) Antonov said Russia did not support the U.S.
approach regarding SOA in a non-nuclear configuration, and
said the United States should not force Russia to reinvoke
its original proposal to ban such systems. Also, Russia had
talked with the previous U.S. Administration about the
offense-defense relationship and about reducing the influence
of strategic arms and conversion of such armaments. He
claimed that the previous U.S. Administration had refused to
engage because it was politically unacceptable. In this
negotiation, Russia had agreed to reduce by half its demands
for provisions in the treaty regarding missile defense, and
only asked to include in the treaty a statement not to
convert interceptor silos to SOA capable silos. Antonov said
he had to convince Moscow to support this approach, which he
had worked out in Geneva.



20. (S) Antonov repeated that there should be no special
provisions for mobile systems, which meant no unique
identifier numbers on mobile missiles. Votkinsk was a
red-line. Referring to U.S. pressure that certain proposals
were necessary to conclude an agreement, Antonov implied that
if we do not have a treaty then life would go on. These
negotiations, he said, were not about Russia "capitulating"
to all the U.S. demands.



21. (S) Antonov moved on to the inspection regime, referring
to Dr. Warner's proposal for combined inspections (REF B).
He said that the combined approach did not resolve anything
because, although the quota for inspections might be reduced,
the amount of time inspecting a base would increase. As far
as telemetry was concerned, Antonov proclaimed, "though there
may be different approaches to assuage our concerns, we just
do not have enough time to analyze them." Antonov repeated,
"If by 5 December we do not have an agreement, we'll live."



22. (S) Returning to the subject of SDV numbers and the need
to reach agreement, Antonov said it would be up to the
Presidents to resolve that issue. He then reiterated that
harsh words coming from high ranking officials in response to
his President's counter-proposal were inappropriate.



23. (S) Gottemoeller thanked Antonov for his remarks and
clarification of the Russian position. She emphasized that
her instructions had come from the White House. Gottemoeller
reminded Antonov that the original U.S. SDV limit was 1100,
but had dropped significantly to 800. "When I talk
compromise," Gottemoeller explained, "I look to meet half
way. Your counterproposal on the SDV limit was not half way,
and that surprised me."



24. (S) Antonov replied that business was business and life
went on. He said that both he and Gottemoeller were smart
negotiators and would work to achieve results. As her
instructions came from Washington, his direction came from
Moscow, and that was just how it worked. Antonov asked that
the two head negotiators prepare issues requiring attention
of their Presidents. Gottemoeller noted that she was not the
only one delivering a strong message: Secretary Clinton had
sat next to President Medvedev at dinner in Berlin on


November 9 (Begin note: Anniversary of the fall of the
Berlin Wall. End note.) and provided him with an early
version of the U.S. response. Clinton may also be phoning
Minister Lavrov, and General Jones would likely be in touch
with Mr. Prihodko that night. Gottemoeller opined that the
sides had two pressing issues that needed to be dealt with;
the first was concluding an agreement by December 5, 2009.
The second was the process of treaty ratification which would
require thorough preparation. Antonov said he would report
the U.S. response to Moscow immediately.



25. (U) Documents exchanged. None.



26. (U) Gottemoeller sends.
GRIFFITHS