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09GENEVA869 2009-10-12 08:29:00 SECRET Mission Geneva
Cable title:  

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

Tags:   KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START 
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					  S E C R E T GENEVA 000869 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2019
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-V):
(U) CONVERSION OR ELIMINATION AND NOTIFICATIONS WORKING
GROUP MEETING, OCTOBER 1, 2009

REF: GENEVA 00811 (SFO-GVA-V-024)

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



1. (U) This is SFO-GVA-V-031.



2. (U) Meeting Date: October 1, 2009
Time: 3:20 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Place: U.S. Mission, Geneva



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


SUMMARY


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





3. (S) The fourth meeting of the Conversion or Elimination
(C or E) Working Group (WG) was held at the U.S. Mission on
October 1, 2009.



4. (S) The U.S. and Russian delegations discussed
differences on how to treat nuclear capable strategic
offensive arms (SOAs) that had been modified to become
non-nuclear capable. The U.S. side said that, in the U.S.
view, SOAs rendered non-nuclear would not be subject to
either the provisions or the broader limitations of the
treaty, while the Russian side maintained that SOAs rendered
non-nuclear would continue to be SOAs and remain subject to
the provisions, but not central limits, of the treaty.



5. (S) One of the main areas of progress was the
determination between the Parties to begin to identify "key"
mandatory procedures that must be included in the elimination
process for each kind of SOA, with a choice of optional
procedures to complete the elimination.



6. (S) As in other WGs, the Russian side continued to push
for a "third tier" treaty document into which they propose to
place most of the detailed procedures that the U.S. side has
proposed to place in the Elimination Protocol.



7. (S) There were indications from the Russian side that
they might be willing to consider a marginally expanded role
for inspections to confirm conversion or elimination
procedures, rather than just national technical means (NTM),
which to this point had been their main approach.



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


WHAT IS THE "KEY": PROCEDURES
FOR ELIMINATION


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





8. (S) Mr. Elliott summarized the WG's progress to date.
One of the main areas of progress was the determination
between the Parties to begin to identify "key" mandatory
procedures that must be included in the elimination process
for each kind of SOA, with a choice of optional procedures to
complete the elimination. Elliott explained that for each
kind of SOA there would be a specific required step in the
elimination procedure. For example, for elimination of silo
launchers for ICBMs, he suggested that the removal of the
silo door could be an example of a key, mandatory procedure.
Elliott explained that after the required procedure was
completed, there could be several defined procedures in the


Elimination Protocol that could be used to complete the
elimination process. He gave examples of excavating or
exploding the silo headworks or completely filling the silo
with gravel. A third option to complete the elimination
would be "other procedures" developed by the possessing
Party.



9. (S) Elliott gave examples of procedures for elimination
of SLBM launchers, heavy bombers, and ICBMS and SLBMs. For
SLBM launcher elimination, Elliott suggested a key procedure
could be the destruction of the launcher hatch. Ryzkhov
suggested that for eliminating heavy bombers, a key procedure
could be the destruction of a basic design element, which he
described as destroying any portion of the fuselage, e.g.,
cutting off the tail or nose of the heavy bomber or cutting
off half of the wings. He clarified that these cuts must not
be at assembly joints. For the elimination of ICBMs and
SLBMs, Elliott suggested a key procedure could be removing
the propellant; additional procedures to complete the
elimination could be destroying the missile's first stage
casing or the casings of all the other stages of the missile.
The Russian side believed that removing the propellant
sufficed for solid-fuel missiles, and that no additional
procedures were necessary. For liquid-fueled missiles,
Ryzhkov said the key procedure would be cutting the case.
For mobile launchers, Ryzhkov said the key element would be
the erector-launcher, not the ICBM, and that the guidance
system and the equipment boxes would be removed from the
missile. The self-leveling jacks would remain so that the
eliminated chassis could be used as a crane, if desired. Mr.
Smirnov clarified that only the erector mechanism needed to
be destroyed. Elliott suggested that the mandatory
procedures could be formally agreed upon at the next session.



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


THE "THIRD TIER"


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





10. (S) After discussing some of the "key" procedures,
Ryzhkov immediately began to advocate for the creation of a
"third tier" within the treaty in which to place most of the
detailed procedures, particularly the optional elimination
procedures. Similar to the Russian proposal in other WGs,
Ryzhkov proposed to put many of the details into a third
tier. The procedures in the third tier would be agreed to at
the level of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC).
Ryzhkov said the Russian side would try to prepare example
documents using this method for presentation at the next
session. Later in the discussions, Ryzhkov displayed a
portion of a Russian revision of the U.S.-proposed
Elimination Protocol, on which was indicated the paragraphs
that would be moved to the third tier. He did not provide a
copy of that document.



11. (S) Elliott inquired about the legal status of this
third tier concept and asked whether the procedures contained
in it were legally binding for both Parties. Ryzhkov
responded that previous decisions taken in the Joint
Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC) would serve as an
example; the procedures agreed to during JCIC sessions were
binding. Both Parties agreed that its respective lawyers
needed to review this issue.




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


CONVERSION: ONCE AN
SOA, ALWAYS AN SOA


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





12. (S) There continued to be a divergence of views between
the Parties in the concept of conversion of SOAs. Elliott
clarified that the U.S. proposal, while using only the term
"elimination," contained concepts similar to the Russian
proposal for conversion. Both proposals allowed for applying
procedures to a nuclear-capable system that would render it
non-nuclear capable. Ryzhkov opined that the Parties'
proposals were in fact not entirely similar, and emphasized
that the Russian side was categorically against conversion of
SOAs into non-SOAs, which would remove the item from the
limitations of the treaty. As an example, the Russian side
believed that a nuclear ICBM must never become a
conventionally-armed ICBM.



13. (S) Elliott rejoined that he was not referring to
deployment of conventionally-armed ICBMs. Elliott asked
whether the Russian concept would allow for conversion of an
SLBM launcher into a cruise missile launcher. Col Zaitsev
responded that the Russian side understood that the U.S.
proposal would exclude any provisions for conversion of SOA
and only provided for the elimination of SOA in a way in
which the item could no longer be used for its original
purpose, and then the item would no longer be subject to the
limitations of the treaty. Zaitsev said this would lead to
unacceptable consequences. Zaitsev then gave an example of
how an "eliminated" SLBM launcher could be modified so as to
be incapable of being used for its original purpose, and yet
become another type of a launcher. He contended that such a
modified item might even become better and more capable than
the original, and yet not be subject to the limitations of
the treaty.



14. (S) Zaitsev continued that elimination must mean a
physical destruction of an item and must be irreversible. A
"light reworking" of nuclear-capable SOA into non-nuclear
capable SOA was, to the Russian side, "conversion" and would
continue to be considered SOA and remain under the purview of
the treaty. He opined that abandoning the term "conversion"
would lead to a "Pandora's Box" of problems. When the
Russian side examined the U.S.-proposed Elimination Protocol,
they concluded that the inclusion of the term "conversion"
was unavoidable.



15. (S) The Russian side provided a document containing its
definitions for the terms "elimination" and "conversion."
Elliott stated that the U.S. side would analyze the proposed
definitions, but at first glance, they appeared similar in
concept to the U.S. understanding. He noted that the
principle difference was that the United States considered
that SOAs rendered non-nuclear capable would not be subject
to the limitations of the treaty, while the Russian side
maintained that SOAs rendered non-nuclear would remain
subject to the limitations, but not central limits, of the
treaty.



16. (S) Begin text of official translation of the Russian
paper:


To be Turned over to the
U.S. Side

Paper of the Russian Side
October 1, 2009

Working Group III

Proposal of the Russian Side for the Wording of Terms

Elimination - action taken in regard to ICBMs, SLBMs,
heavy bombers, ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and their
elements, and in regard to the infrastructure of SOA
facilities, as a result of which those items and facilities
can no longer be used as an SOA item or facility.

Conversion - a change in the structure (see Translator
Note) of an ICBM, an SLBM, their launchers, and a heavy
bomber, as a result of which those items can no longer be
used for their original purpose, but continue to be subject
to the provisions of this Treaty.

Translator Note: The Russian word used here
("konstruktsiya") can mean either "design" or "structure."
In the START Treaty and related documents it is consistently
rendered as "design." However, in the context of converting
existing SOAs, it appears that "structure" is more
appropriate.

End text.



17. (S) Elliott asked for several points of clarification on
the proposed Russian definitions of "elimination" and
"conversion." Ryzhkov said the definition was the Russian
delegation's attempt to make the concept easy to understand,
and should be included in the definitions annex once agreed
between the Parties. Ryzhkov explained that Russia's
reference to elimination of SLBM launchers and their
"elements" of SLBM launchers meant the missile launch tube
hatch and additional components such as gas generators. For
ICBM launchers, one of the key items was the silo door.



18. (S) Col Ilin emphasized that an elimination was more
severe than a conversion, and to illustrate his point, asked
whether the U.S. side could "re-convert" an item to make it
nuclear capable again. Elliott responded that in theory, it
was possible, but it was certainly not the U.S. intent to
reverse a conversion process. He told Ilin that the
U.S.-proposed procedures would allow for a B-52 to be
modified to become non-nuclear capable, yet still be able to
employ conventional munitions. This would save significant
amounts of money compared to destroying a B-52 and developing
a new system. Ilin opined that it would not be too difficult
to reconvert the heavy bomber to become nuclear capable.



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


IS NTM ENOUGH?


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





19. (S) Elliott turned the discussion to verification, and
stated that NTM could confirm some procedures, but would be
inadequate to confirm others. In such instances, inspections
would be required. Ryzhkov agreed with the logic of


Elliott's statement, but emphasized that if an inspection
took place, the inspectors would not observe the process but
only the completed elimination. Ryzhkov understood the U.S.
position was that inspections would be required for each
elimination. Ryzhkov reminded the U.S. side that the Russian
proposal included provisions for inspection-like "visits,"
during which inspectors could confirm the elimination,
although the Parties would have to be very selective due to
the limited allocations of such visits. Ryzhkov repeated the
Russian stance against observing the entire process of
eliminations for ICBMs for road mobile launchers and mobile
launchers of ICBMs.



20. (S) Documents exchanged:

Russia:

-- Non-paper, "Proposal of the Russian Side on the
Language of Terms," dated October 1, 2009.



21. (S) Participants:

U.S.

Mr. Elliott
Lt Col Blevins
Ms. Bosco
LCDR Brons
Lt Col Comeau
Mr. Dwyer
Dr. Fraley
Mr. Hanchett
LTC Leyde
Mr. McConnell
Ms. Purcell
Mr. Siemon
Mr. Strauss
Ms. Gross(Int)

RUSSIA

Col Ryzhkov
Col Ilin
Col Izrazov
Col Kamenskiy
Mr. Kostyuchenko
Mr. Smirnov
Col Zaitsev
Ms. Komshilova (Int)



22. (U) Gottemoeller sends.
RICHTER