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09GENEVA511 2009-06-24 14:52:00 SECRET Mission Geneva
Cable title:  

START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-II):

Tags:   KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/24/2019
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-II):
(U) START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, JUNE 22, 2009 SESSION

REF: A. STATE 60487

B. MOSCOW 1347

C. STATE 50910

D. STATE 61832

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



1. (U) This is SFO-GVA-II-001.



2. (U) Meeting Date: June 22, 2009
Time: 11:00 A.M. - 1:15 P.M.
Place: U.S. Mission, Geneva



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


SUMMARY


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





3. (S) U.S. and Russian Delegations initiated the third round
of formal negotiations on the START Follow-on (SFO) Treaty on
June 22 in Geneva. The focus of the meeting was Russia's
presentation of its proposed changes to the U.S. draft Joint
Understanding for signature by the Presidents at the July 6-8
Summit in Moscow (REF A). Russia's main proposals were to:

- Change "strategic nuclear forces" to "strategic
offensive arms" throughout the text;

- Limit strategic offensive arms to an aggregate of 500
strategic delivery vehicles and 1675 warheads;

- Delete the U.S.-proposed counting rules, but specify
that counting procedures would be included in the new Treaty;

- Include a provision that each side would determine for
itself the composition and structure of its strategic
offensive arms;

- Include a provision on the relationship between
strategic offensive and defensive arms;

- Ban the deployment of non-nuclear warheads on
strategic delivery vehicles;

- Limit the deployment of strategic delivery vehicles to
each country's national territory; and

- Delete the U.S.-proposed statement regarding a
commitment to initiate subsequent negotiations on a treaty to
further reduce total nuclear weapon stockpiles.



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


U.S. OPENING REMARKS


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





4. (S) Gottemoeller welcomed the Russian Delegation and
acknowledged that June 22 was the Day of Sorrow and
Remembrance, which marked the day Nazi Germany invaded the
Soviet Union. She joined with the Russian Federation in
remembering the Soviet citizens who lost their lives during
the Second World War, and recognized the contributions made
by the Soviet Union in defending against the Nazi invasion.
She then made the following remarks:

- Significant events had occurred since the START Follow-on
meetings held on June 15 and 16 in Moscow. This included the
declaration made by President Medvedev in Amsterdam on June
20, which was straightforward and provided a good basis for
continued negotiations in Geneva.

- In addition, as notified during the meetings in Moscow,
Gottemoeller on June 18 provided an information briefing to
Members of the U.S. Senate. She was joined by Dr. Jim Miller
from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Dr. George Look
from the White House, Rear Admiral Phil Davidson from the
Joint Staff, Mr. Kurt Siemon from the Department of Energy,
Ambassador Ken Brill, and Mr. Terryl Kron, who had
participated in the START Follow-on negotiations previously.

- It was clear that there was high-level Congressional
interest in the START Follow-on negotiations, including from
Republican Members of the Senate. Some Senators expressed
concern that the negotiations were proceeding too quickly;
others believed that they were proceeding too slowly.

- During the briefing, Gottemoeller noted the bilateral and
bipartisan roots of the current negotiations. These included
the Joint Statement made by Presidents Bush and Putin in
Sochi in April 2008, and the subsequent meeting of Presidents
Bush and Medvedev in the summer of 2008. These bipartisan
roots were important as they would facilitate ratification of
the new treaty.

- Regarding President Medvedev's statement in Amsterdam,
there was hardly anything with which the United States could
disagree. Therefore, the U.S. Delegation had high hope for
progress during this phase of the negotiations.

- Neither the Department of State nor the White House
provided any public statement in response to President
Medvedev's declaration. Instead, the United States was
intent on listening to the additional information provided by
the Russian Delegation and proceeding with confidential
discussions.



5. (S) Gottemoeller noted that Secretary Clinton and
Minister Lavrov would meet later during the week. (Begin
note: This comment was made before it was known that the
SecState would not be traveling. End note.) She hoped to be
able to report substantive progress to them ahead of time.
She then reviewed the agenda for the current round of
negotiations, the objective of which was to agree to a Joint
Understanding, ad-referendum-to-governments, for signature by
the Presidents at the July 6-8 Summit. To reach that
objective, she proposed the Russian Side provide its reaction
to the U.S. draft Joint Understanding the morning of June 22
and then the U.S. Side would review the Russian proposal and
return the morning of June 23 with a response. Finally, she
stated that the U.S. Delegation would provide the U.S.
response to the papers the Russian Federation provided during
the May 19-20 negotiations in Moscow (REF B) as well as
answers to questions the Russians had raised regarding the
U.S. non-paper on "Elements of a START Follow-on Agreement"
(REF C).



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


RUSSIAN OPENING REMARKS, WITH
FOCUS ON PRESIDENT MEDVEDEV'S

JUNE 20 DECLARATION


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





6. (S) Antonov expressed appreciation for remembering the
Soviet citizens who died during the Great Patriotic War, and
added that history showed that the United States and Russia
could win when they worked together. He added that if the
two countries could agree on further reductions of strategic
offensive arms, or efforts to strengthen the nonproliferation
regime, it would reflect a positive contribution for the
future. The United States and Russia must do their best to
obtain results that are acceptable to each other.



7. (S) Moving to the task at hand, Antonov agreed with the
outline and objectives for the June 22-24 negotiations, and
confirmed the importance of the Sochi declaration made by
Presidents Bush and Putin, as well as the recent declaration
made by President Medvedev, in providing a context for the
current negotiations. He was pleased with the assessment
Gottemoeller provided regarding President Medvedev's
declaration and noted, in particular, that she had said there
was "hardly anything" with which the United States could not
agree. The President's declaration helped define the
specific problems that required resolution with the United
States, and was consistent with previous statements made
concerning the reduction of strategic offensive arms. The
President made the declaration proceeding from the Russian
Federation's position as a nuclear weapons state and
permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, mindful of
Russia's commitments under Article VI of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Antonov noted the positive
assessment made by the President with regard to the START
Follow-on negotiators, highlighting that the negotiations so
far were substantive and constructive, and were off to a good
start. Finally, the President reaffirmed the objective of
completing a new treaty by the end of the year. Antonov made
the following points.

Begin points:

- Negotiations showed that the United States and Russia
had much in common. The constructive environment that
existed would also help and must be preserved.

- President Medvedev made clear that the new treaty must
contain real and effectively verifiable reductions. The
President also confirmed the approach agreed with President
Obama to reduce warheads below Moscow Treaty levels. The
Russian Federation was further prepared to reduce strategic
delivery vehicles by a significant factor consistent with the
provisions of the START Treaty.

- President Medvedev's declaration showed Russia's
seriousness with regard to future reductions, but also
defined what the basis for further reductions must be.

- Russia recalled the U.S. paper on "Elements of a START
Follow-on Agreement" (REF C), as well as the information
provided during the meetings in Moscow on June 15-16 (REF D),
in which the United States referred to the START Follow-on
agreement as a "bridge" or "transition" agreement to be
followed by more radical reductions in the future. Russia
did not consider the START Follow-on agreement to be a
"bridge" but rather a long-term substantive agreement with

milestones for reductions in strategic offensive arms.

- The START Follow-on Treaty should reflect a
significant step toward the goal of a world free of nuclear
weapons, and the results of the negotiations should represent
U.S. and Russian leadership in this regard. The START
Follow-on Treaty should strengthen security and confirm to
the world the U.S. and Russian commitment to their NPT
Article VI obligations. The START Follow-on Treaty should
serve as something the United States and Russia could point
to when asked at the 2010 NPT Review Conference what they had
done.

- Another key point contained in President Medvedev's
declaration was that Russia could not agree with U.S.
ballistic missile defense plans, and that a START Follow-on
agreement was only possible if the United States addressed
Russia's concerns. The President highlighted that the
relationship between strategic offensive and defensive arms
needed to be reflected in the START Follow-on Treaty. The
United States and Russia would not resolve Russian concerns
on ballistic missile defense within the context of the START
Follow-on negotiations; this would be done through other
mechanisms. Again, however, the relationship between
strategic offensive and defensive arms needed to be
recognized within the context of the START Follow-on Treaty,
and ballistic missile defense would impact the ability to
make reductions in strategic offensive arms.

- The U.S. paper provided in Moscow on June 15 (REF D)
recognized the relationship between strategic offensive and
defensive arms, and stipulated U.S. readiness to reflect this
in the new treaty. This was a step in the right direction,
but it was not enough to remove Russian concerns.

- Russia had expressed its concerns about conventional
strategic offensive arms, which posed a problem with regard
to strategic stability. The Russian Federation sought a ban
on non-nuclear strategic offensive arms. Transparency
measures would not remove all of Russia's concerns.

- Finally, the President was clear about limiting the
deployment of strategic offensive arms to each country's
national territory. The U.S. non-paper coincided with this
view.

End points.



8. (S) Gottemoeller thanked Antonov for the additional
insights with regard to President Medvedev's declaration,
noting that they would help in the negotiations. She
appreciated that President Medvedev had assessed the
negotiations positively so far, and noted also his
instructions to finish the work by the end of the year.
Gottemoeller agreed that it could be done, although she noted
it would be difficult.



9. (S) Gottemoeller drew attention to the portion of
President Medvedev's declaration that stated reductions in
strategic delivery vehicles should be several times below
START levels. In this regard, it was important to be
specific about counting rules for these reductions.



10. (S) Regarding Antonov's comment on the concept of a

"bridge" agreement, Gottemoeller clarified that the START
Follow-on Treaty would be an important, self-standing
agreement that would govern the relationship between U.S. and
Russian strategic nuclear forces for a significant period of
time. It would represent a serious step toward the vision of
a world free of nuclear weapons. As discussed before, the
United States believed that there should be a commitment to
seek further reductions, though it might be discussions
instead of formal negotiations on additional reductions.



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


RUSSIAN-PROPOSED CHANGES
TO U.S. JOINT UNDERSTANDING


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





11. (S) Antonov began his review of the U.S. draft Joint
Understanding (REF A) by stating that the draft Joint
Understanding helped clarify the U.S. position. Russia did
not understand, however, why the U.S. draft did not reflect
the key concerns expressed by the Russian Federation. The
fact that Russian concerns were not being addressed could
mean the United States did not understand Russian concerns,
in which case Russian negotiators needed to do a better job
explaining Russian concerns. Alternatively, it could be that
the United States did not want to listen. If this were the
case the United States and Russia would not be able to reach
an agreement. The Joint Understanding needed to reflect the
position of the two Presidents, and should include language
concerning: (1) the relationship between strategic offensive
and defensive arms; (2) non-nuclear ICBMs and SLBMs; and (3)
limitations restricting the deployment of strategic offensive
arms to national territory. Regarding numbers, the Russian
Federation proposed limiting strategic offensive arms to an
aggregate of 500 strategic delivery vehicles and 1675
warheads associated with them.



12. (S) Before turning to specific changes, Antonov
explained that the Russian Federation's approach to the Joint
Understanding was to simplify the text because it would not
be possible to resolve all of the U.S. and Russian
differences on specific issues in time for the July Summit.
He stated that, with regard to a commitment on additional
future reductions, Russia did not support this idea. It
would be premature without knowing the agreed limitations on
strategic offensive arms that would be included in the START
Follow-on; for example, additional "radical" reductions may
not be appropriate immediately if the START Follow-on limited
strategic delivery vehicles to 500 or less. Further, such a
commitment could not be made without taking into account the
nuclear forces of other countries. Finally, the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Legal Department reviewed the text and
concluded that if the Joint Understanding stated that the
United States and Russia would "initiate new negotiations,"
it incorrectly implied that we had not yet had any such
negotiations, which could be viewed as inconsistent with our
NPT Article VI commitment. Instead of including a commitment
on additional reductions in the Joint Understanding, this
idea could be pursued later, perhaps between the delegations'
legal advisors, while the immediate focus remained on the
START Follow-on Treaty. Antonov presented the following
Russian-proposed changes to the U.S. draft Joint
Understanding, noting that the Russian approach was to
include, where appropriate, language that was consistent with
the April 1 Joint Statement:


- Opening paragraph: Change to "The President of the
United States of America and the President of the Russian
Federation have decided on further reductions in and
limitations of their nations' strategic offensive arms and on
prompt conclusion of a new comprehensive and legally-binding
agreement to replace the START Treaty, to include the
following elements:"

- Paragraph 1: Change to "Each Party will reduce and
limit its strategic offensive arms so that seven years after
entry into force of the Treaty and thereafter their aggregate
numbers of these arms do not exceed the agreed levels of 500
strategic delivery vehicles (ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers)
and 1675 warheads associated with them." Delete
subparagraphs A and B.

- Paragraph 2: Delete in its entirety. The United
States and Russia were not likely to agree on counting rules
before the summit. Further, such detail was a technical
matter and should not complicate important political
statements. A reference to counting rules could be added to
U.S.-proposed Paragraph 3.

- Paragraph 3: Renumber as Paragraph 2 and change to
"Provisions on counting rules, definitions, data exchanges,
notifications, eliminations, inspections and verification
procedures, as well as confidence building and transparency
measures, adapted, simplified and made less costly in
comparison with the START Treaty."

- New Paragraph 3: "Each Party will determine for itself the
composition and structure of its strategic offensive arms."

- New Paragraph 4: "Provision on interrelationship
between strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms."
Antonov emphasized that this was drawn from President
Medvedev's June 20 declaration, but that Russia did not
anticipate that the Joint Understanding would solve the
problem of ballistic missile defense.

- New Paragraph 5: "Provision banning ICBMs and SLBMs
in non-nuclear configurations."

- New Paragraph 6: "Provision imposing restrictions on
deployment of strategic offensive arms exclusively on each
party's territory."

- Paragraphs 4 and 5: Renumber as Paragraphs 7 and 8.

- Paragraph 6: Renumber as Paragraph 9 and change
"strategic nuclear forces" to "strategic offensive arms."

- Retain unnumbered paragraph that stated "The two
Presidents direct that the treaty be promptly negotiated so
that they may sign and submit it for ratification in their
respective countries."

- Delete unnumbered paragraph that referenced commitment
to initiate negotiations on a subsequent treaty.

- Retain remaining paragraph indicating date and
location of joint signature.



13. (S) After requesting that certain proposed changes be
repeated for clarification, Gottemoeller concluded the
meeting by requesting the Russian-proposed changes in
writing. Antonov replied they would be provided in the
afternoon.



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


RUSSIAN-PROPOSED
JOINT UNDERSTANDING


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





14. (S) Below is the official translation of the
Russian-proposed Joint Understanding. As Antonov suggested,
when he agreed to provide the Russian-proposed text in
writing, Russia's written document included some minor
changes as compared with the version presented orally. None
of these changes affected substantive points, however.

Begin text:

Official Translation

CONFIDENTIAL
To be Turned over to the
U.S. Side

Paper of the Russian Side
June 22, 2009

JOINT UNDERSTANDING

The President of the Russian Federation and the
President of the United States of America have decided on
further reductions in and limitations of their nations'
strategic offensive arms and on concluding at an early date
a new legally binding agreement to replace the current START
Treaty. The new treaty will contain the following elements:



1. A provision to the effect that each Party shall
reduce and limit its strategic offensive arms so that seven
years after entry into force of the treaty and thereafter the
aggregate numbers of strategic delivery vehicles
(intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched
ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers) do not exceed agreed
levels of 500 and 1675 warheads associated with them.



2. Provisions on the counting procedure, definitions,
data exchange, notifications, elimination, inspections and
verification procedures, as well as confidence building and
transparency measures, adapted, simplified, and made less
costly, as appropriate, in comparison to the START Treaty.



3. A provision to the effect that each Party will
determine for itself the composition and structure of its
strategic offensive arms.



4. A provision regarding the interdependence
((Translator's Note: here the Russian text uses the word
"vzaimozavisimost'" ("interdependence"), rather than
"vzaimosvyaz'" ("relationship"), which was used in the June
20 Amsterdam declaration by President Medvedev and in other
Russian documents)) of strategic offensive and strategic
defensive arms.



5. A provision banning intercontinental ballistic
missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles in a
non-nuclear configuration.



6. A provision on basing strategic offensive arms
exclusively on the national territory of the Parties.



7. Establishment of an implementation body to resolve
questions related to treaty implementation.



8. The provisions of the treaty will not apply to
existing patterns of cooperation in the area of strategic
offensive arms between a Party and a third state.



9. The duration of the treaty shall be established as a
period of ten years, unless it is superseded before that time
by a subsequent treaty on the reduction of strategic
offensive arms.

The two Presidents direct their negotiators to work out
the treaty at an early date so that they may sign and submit
it for ratification in their respective countries.

Done at (City), this (date) day of (month), 2009, in two
originals, in the Russian and English languages.

FOR THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
(President D.A. Medvedev) (President B. Obama)

End text.



15. (U) Documents exchanged.

- Russia:

-- Russian-proposed Joint Understanding, dated June 22,


2009.



16. (U) Participants:

U.S.

A/S Gottemoeller
Amb Ries
Mr. Brown
Mr. Buttrick
Mr. Couch
Mr. Dunn
Mr. Elliott
Mr. Fortier
Col Hartford
Mr. Johnston
Mr. Siemon
Mr. Taylor
Mr. Trout
Dr. Warner
Mr. French (Int)
Ms. Gross (Int)

RUSSIA

Amb Antonov
Mr. Koshelev
Mr. Belyakov

Mr. Ilin
Mr. Luchaninov
Mr. Malyugin
Mr. Neshin
Col Novikov
Col Ryzhkov
Mr. Smirnov
Gen Venevtsev
Ms. Komshilova (Int)



17. (U) Gottemoeller sends.
STORELLA