|09GENEVA1082||2009-11-29 13:24:00||SECRET||Mission Geneva|
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S E C R E T GENEVA 001082
1. (U) This is SFO-GVA-VII-035.
2. (U) Meeting Date: November 18, 2009
Time: 3:30 - 6:00 P.M.
Place: U.S. Mission, Geneva
A/S Gottemoeller Amb Antonov
Mr. DeNinno Mr. Vorontsov
3. (S) The U.S. and Russian Heads of Delegation (HODs),
Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller and Ambassador Antonov, met
on November 18, 2009, at the U.S. Mission to develop text for
treaty Article V on Prohibitions. Gottemoeller and Antonov
also exchanged information and ideas on preliminary plans
regarding meetings between U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, Admiral Mullen, and Russian Chief of the General
Staff, General Makarov, as well as meetings between Russian
Foreign Policy Advisor Prikhodko and APNSA General Jones.
4. (S) Gottemoeller and Antonov also discussed the U.S.
suggestion to facilitate negotiations by conforming agreed
language, including bracketed text, as those texts became
available. Antonov said he believed the idea could lead to
confusion, particularly if the bracketed text was connected
to a substantial issue. Antonov provided Gottemoeller with a
paper on treaty structure, explaining the Russian-proposed
"levels," and requested that the United States provide
comments. The two also briefly discussed positive
developments in reaching agreement on the preamble.
Gottemoeller updated Antonov on Ukraine's continued desire
for enhanced security assurances and the HODs continued
discussing an official declaration acknowledging the
important role of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine in START.
5. (S) Antonov informed Gottemoeller that he had been
working on a draft proposal for provisional application,
which he suggested could adopt wording from the Vienna
Convention on the Law of Treaties. Antonov informed
Gottemoeller that the Russians had reviewed U.S. proposals
for preambular language and were generally positive about its
development. He said that the Russian side would find a
variant to the Russian proposal for the term "equal
security." Antonov also provided proposed language related
to the release of information for Article VIII.
6. (S) Antonov provided Gottemoeller with a copy of the
Russian proposal for treaty Article V on Prohibitions.
Gottemoeller and Antonov entered into a lengthy debate
regarding the goal of the article, specifically the logic
behind listing a prohibition for "new kinds" of strategic
offensive arms (SOA). Gottemoeller explained her view that
the article on prohibitions not only played an important role
in the treaty, but was also indicative of U.S. and Russian
national policy on nonproliferation and nuclear arms control.
7. (U) Subject Summary: High-Level Visitors to Geneva; To
Conform or Not Conform--Depends on the Substance; Ukraine and
Security Assurances; Provisional Application; Reaching
Agreement on the Preamble; and, More than Just a List of
HIGH-LEVEL VISITORS TO GENEVA
8. (S) Gottemoeller and Antonov exchanged preliminary
information on high-level meetings between U.S. Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, and Russian Chief
of the General Staff, General Makarov. Antonov said that
National Security Advisor Sergei Prikhodko, along with two
Ministers from the Department of North American Affairs,
would be arriving in Washington on November 25, 2009, to meet
with General Jones. Mr. Sergei Koshelev, Deputy Head of the
Russian Delegation, would also leave negotiations in Geneva
to support Prikhodko in Washington.
TO CONFORM OR NOT TO CONFORM
--DEPENDS ON THE SUBSTANCE
9. (S) Gottemoeller clarified the U.S. suggestion to conform
agreed language, including bracketed texts. She explained
that this strategy could help the two sides to understand
disagreements while facilitating the conforming process.
Antonov argued that conforming portions of agreed paragraphs,
sections and articles, which include bracketed texts, could
lead to confusion, particularly if the bracketed text is
substantive. He explained that much of the bracketed texts
was connected to other substantive issues and attempting to
conform with bracketed texts would risk unraveling certain
positions. Gottemoeller noted that both sets of brackets
could be conformed to await final decision; there was no
intent to negotiate substance in the conforming process.
Nevertheless, when Antonov remained nervous, Gottemoeller
stated that she would be willing to stick with his method for
a few more days. He relented slightly, saying that the
chairs of the Treaty Text and Definitions Working Group
should decide what should be conformed on an ad hoc basis,
taking note of the seriousness of the substance involved.
UKRAINE AND SECURITY ASSURANCES
10. (S) Gottemoeller noted continued Ukrainian demands for
enhanced security assurances, citing a letter from Ukrainian
President Yushchenko to President Obama. She asked if the
Russian President had received a similar letter, and, if so,
how Russia planned to respond. Antonov said that he had just
heard about such a letter, but the United States and Russia
should work together to respond. He said the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs would prepare an official response but joked
that the Ministry loses control of the document once it moves
forward. He thanked Gottemoeller for keeping him informed.
11. (S) Antonov said that he had been in contact with
Belarus and Kazakhstan regarding the expiration of START. He
had provided Belarus and Kazakhstan with a draft U.S.-Russian
joint statement on the matter within the past few days, and
had planned on handing the document over to Ukraine during an
upcoming meeting with Mr. Nykonenko, his Ukrainian
counterpart, on a date to be determined. Gottemoeller and
Antonov also discussed appropriate protocol for acknowledging
the important role of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine in
START. The two talked over the possibility of issuing the
joint statement from the White House and Kremlin or signed by
the U.S. Secretary of State and the Russian Minister of
12. (S) Antonov informed Gottemoeller that he was working on
a draft proposal for provisional application that adopted
language from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
Indicating that once the treaty is signed Russia had no
intentions of violating it, Antonov noted that specified
provisions would remain in effect until entry into force of
the START Follow-on (SFO) treaty with certain exceptions to
be worked out later. He recommended that provisional
application be part of the treaty, but agreed with
Gottemoeller that it could also be included in the protocol.
Gottemoeller thanked Antonov and emphasized that the notion
of a bridging arrangement was important to Washington.
ON THE PREAMBLE
13. (S) Antonov informed Gottemoeller that the Russian side
had reviewed U.S. proposals for preambular language and was
generally positive about its development. He said that
Russia was not concerned with the U.S. proposed wording
regarding verification measures. He said that the Russian
side would like to return to the language of the July 2009
Joint Understanding regarding verification. He would provide
a proposal in that regard. He said that Russia could find
variant to the term "equal security."
MORE THAN JUST A
LIST OF PROHIBITIONS
14. (S) Antonov provided Gottemoeller with a Russian
language version of Article V. The Russian-proposed Article
V, which Antonov reported was "hot off the press"
essentially, deleted much of the U.S.-proposed text. The
text of the official translation follows.
Releasable to the U.S. side
Document of the Russian Federation
November 18, 2009
Proposal of the Russian side on
Article VI of the Russian draft of the Treaty and
Article V of the U.S. draft of the Treaty
Article ((V))1 ((VI))2
1. Except as prohibited by the provisions of this Treaty,
modernization and replacement of strategic offensive arms may
be carried out.
2. In the event of the emergence in the future of a new kind
of armament that one Party considers could be a new kind of
strategic offensive arm, that Party shall have the right to
raise a question about that arm for consideration in the
Bilateral Consultative Commission in accordance with Article
XIII, subparagraph c of the Treaty.
3. Each Party undertakes not to deploy non-nuclear armed
ICBMs and SLBMs.
4. In fulfilling their obligations for this Treaty, each
Party shall have the right to use ICBMs or SLBMs for delivery
of payloads that are not any type of weapon, into space or
the upper layers of the atmosphere.
5. Each Party undertakes not to convert a heavy bomber
equipped for non-nuclear armaments into a heavy bomber
equipped for nuclear armaments. Nuclear armaments shall not
be stored at air bases for heavy bombers that have been
converted for non-nuclear armaments. Crews of such bombers
shall not undergo training for carrying out missions with the
use of nuclear weapons.
6. Each Party undertakes not to base strategic offensive
arms subject to the limitations provided for in this Treaty
outside its national territory.))2 (( Strategic offensive
arms subject to the Treaty shall not be based outside the
national territory of each Party,))1
7. Each Party undertakes not to place heavy bombers with
nuclear armaments outside the continental part of its
national territory. In the event of a temporary placing of
heavy bombers outside the national territory, notification
shall be provided in accordance with Article VIII, paragraph
8. Each Party undertakes not to convert or use ICBM or SLBM
launchers for emplacement of missile defense interceptors.
9. Each Party undertakes not to convert or use missile
defense interceptor launchers for emplacement of ICBMs or
10. Each Party undertakes not to carry out joint basing of
heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments and heavy
bombers equipped for non-nuclear armaments.
Begin text (Russian paper on release of information):
Proposal of the Russian side
on a formulation of
Article VIII, paragraph 6
(In place f paragraphs 6 and 7
of the US draft text)
Each Party shall have the right to release to the public
or transfer to a third party data acquired in the process of
implementation of this Treaty with the consent of the other
15. (S) Antonov pointed out statements in the U.S. proposal
that he felt were either redundant or contradictory. He
questioned the logic of listing potential "new kinds" of SOA,
refrring to opinions of Russian military experts thatit was
not possible to accurately capture or predict potential new
kinds. Antonov said that Russi could not agree to a list of
new kinds within te next ten days. As long as the sides
have the ight to query each other within the Bilateral
Cosultation Commission (BCC), based on suspicion that a "new
kind" of weapon was being created, there as no reason to
list new kinds of weapons prohibted.
16. (S) Gottemoeller acknowledged the poit that certain
language in the U.S. version migh require review. She
countered, however, that th future was unclear and that
there should be a banket statement not to create new kinds
of nucler arms. The primary goal, she emphasized, was to
remove the possibility of creating "new kinds of nuclear
arms," since bot President Obama and President Medvedev have
spoen of the need to move toward a world without nuclar
weapons. Antonov argued that Russia was concened about SOA
in general, not just nuclear. Antnov expressed that Russia
understood that nuclea arms were inherent to the central
limits of thetreaty. According to the U.S., non-nuclear
warhads could be included in the central limits, meanin
that SOA could be both nuclear and conventionalhe said.
Gottemoeller emphasized that the paragrph in question dealt
with new kinds of "nuclear"weapons. Antonov interjected,
referring to the .S. package deal, that there are still
rackets around the Russian-proposed prohibition on
converting existing types of ICBMs and SLBMs to non-nuclear
configurations. "I'm just following U.S. logic," he said,
"the issue won't be resolved until all concepts are equal--as
a result we continue to disagree."
17. (S) Antonov claimed that, according to Russian military
experts, the United States was developing a system which was
part of missile defense and would already be in violation of
developing new kinds of SOA. Antonov referred to the system
as "Meshin." Antonov repeated that there were only ten days
left in START saying, "we could write a thesis paper on
defining 'new kind' in the BCC." Antonov continued that the
sides could discuss non-compliance in the future treaty which
would lead to a series of non-papers. Russian logic was
simple he said, implying that Russia agreed with the concept
of the paragraph, just not the list of potential new kinds of
18. (S) Antonov pointed out other paragraphs which Russia
agreed with but felt were redundant. Antonov explained
Russian-proposed text prohibiting the conversion of heavy
bombers equipped for nuclear armaments into heavy bombers
equipped for non-nuclear armaments. Acknowledging U.S.
agreement to consider visibly distinguishing features,
Antonov reiterated the Russian concern of reversibility.
"Distinguishing features are important, but today it is
conventional and tomorrow it is back to nuclear" he said,
"This is a long-standing issue." Reviewing the Russian
proposal, Gottemoeller questioned the proposal to prohibit
aircrews from training for a heavy bomber nuclear mission.
Gottemoeller asked how such a provision would be verifiable.
Acknowledging Gottemoeller's question, Antonov said that not
everything in the treaty is verifiable, but it is important
to put the ban on paper.
19. (S) Gottemoeller reminded Antonov that the sides were
trying to simplify the treaty, particularly verification in
order to avoid arguments that the sides had under START.
Antonov continued to defend the ban, explaining that a bomber
could be converted but it needed a capable crew.
Gottemoeller retorted that the U.S. Air Force was
de-nuclearizing and to her knowledge no heavy bombers would
be reconverted. "If you don't know of any plans" Antonov
replied, "then put it on paper." Antonov opined that U.S.
refusal to put it in writing only raised suspicion that the
United States was not excluding the option of reconverting
bombers back to a nuclear role.
20. (S) "I can raise the same question regarding this entire
article," Gottemoeller responded. She referred to the
restriction on basing heavy bombers outside the national
territory in the Russian variant of the article. Antonov
said the Russian concept is more general in banning SOA
outside the national territory. According to the Russian
concept, SOA should not be based outside the national
territory once it becomes accountable under the treaty,
regardless of whether it was deployed or non-deployed.
Referring to the Russian-proposed text on heavy bombers,
Antonov emphasized the wording that heavy bombers "carrying"
nuclear armaments--"not equipped for nuclear
armaments"--should not be outside the continental United
States. Antonov asked whether the United States planned to
fly a heavy bomber with nuclear weapons to another country.
Gottemoeller said that was part of the U.S. "neither confirm
nor deny" policy. "So we cannot know," responded Antonov
"then put it in writing." Gottemoeller responded that this
treaty was not the place for such a prohibition, that it was
inappropriate to try to include any such provision in this
21. (S) Moving on to paragraph 10 of the Russian-proposed
Article V, Antonov explained the Russian proposal to prohibit
the basing of heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments
and heavy bombers equipped for non-nuclear armaments at the
same base. Antonov said that this prohibition was adopted
from paragraphs 23-24, Article V of START.
22. (S) Gottemoeller explained to Antonov that the goal of
the U.S. draft article on prohibitions was to create
recognition that, although the United States and Russia would
have every right to modernize under the treaty, they would
not be creating new kinds of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
This would be in line with commitments by both President
Obama and President Medvedev to begin de-emphasizing nuclear
weapons in our national strategies. This would also be a
good message to deliver in advance of the Non-Proliferation
Treaty Review Conference in May 2010.
23. (S) Antonov argued back, attempting to draw a parallel
to criticism about the lack of reductions in delivery
vehicles under the Moscow Treaty. Gottemoeller disagreed and
reminded Antonov that the treaty also served as a commitment
to the rest of the world, and the United States and Russia
were on the world stage. Acknowledging that the list of new
kinds is conceptual, Gottemoeller explained that the idea is
to put a constraint on modernization. Antonov repeated the
argument that "new kind" cannot be defined, so the best
solution was to allow the sides to raise the issue of "new
kind" based on suspicion.
24. (S) Gottemoeller reminded Antonov that, while he was
disputing the U.S.-proposed list of new kinds, Russia itself
was proposing additional prohibitions and she also informed
him that the option to raise issues in the BCC was not being
discarded. Antonov argued that the list was redundant and
there was no need to discuss every possibility. Gottemoeller
explained the importance of an illustrative list of new kinds
and that the United States was willing to discuss Russian
ideas in this regard. "We cannot take it all from START,"
Antonov argued. "Yes, but we can create something more
beautiful for the non-proliferation regime," Gottemoeller
25. (S) Moving on to other issues, Antonov said that there
is no parallel between heavy bombers and mobiles so the U.S.
proposals for cooperative measures was not acceptable.
Gottemoeller stated that heavy bombers and mobile ICBMs were
both mobile and asked why Russia disagreed. Antonov said
that he would review it again but he was still waiting on
answers from Washington on other issues. The two agreed to
continue working the issues and concluded the meeting by
wrapping up a few administrative details and questions
related to protocol.
26. Documents exchanged.
-- Russian paper on treaty structure, explaining the
-- Document of the Russian Federation, "Proposal of the
Russian side on Article VI of the Russian draft of the Treaty
and Article V of the U.S. draft of the Treaty," dated
November 18, 2009; and
-- Proposal of the Russian side on a formulation of
Article VIII, paragraph 6 In place of paragraphs 6 and 7
of the US draft text).
27. (U) Gottemoeller sends.