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09GENEVA949 2009-11-03 11:27:00 SECRET Mission Geneva
Cable title:  

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

Tags:   KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START 
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					  S E C R E T GENEVA 000949 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2019
TAGS: KACT MARR PARM PREL RS US START
SUBJECT: START FOLLOW-ON NEGOTIATIONS, GENEVA (SFO-GVA-VI):
ONE-ON-ONE HEADS OF DELEGATION MEETING, OCTOBER 22, 2009

REF: A. GENEVA 0936 (SFO-GVA-012)

B. GENEVA XXXX (SFO-GVA-007)

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



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



2. (U) Meeting Date: October 22, 2009
Time: 3:30 - 5:30 P.M.
Place: Russian Mission, Geneva
Participants:

U.S. RUSSIA

A/S Gottemoeller Amb Antonov
Mr. Connell



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


SUMMARY


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





3. (S) On October 22, 2009, U.S. Head of Delegation (HOD)
Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller met with Russian HOD
Ambassador Antonov at a one-on-one heads of delegation
meeting at the Russian Mission. Gottemoeller provided him
with some recent media coverage of the negotiations, and
discussed the upcoming U.S. Arms Control Compliance Report
and its connection to the negotiations. Antonov proposed new
language on missile defense in response to a proposal that
Gottemoeller had made the previous day, and expressed
willingness to discuss different types of documents into
which it could be inserted. He expressed appreciation for
recent explanations offered by the U.S. side on Conventional
Global Strike (REF A), and wondered what kind of venue other
than treaty negotiations would be most appropriate for future
discussions. Antonov commented that the U.S. numbers for
treaty numerical limits were too high, and he sought
Gottemoeller's comments on whether 850 might be an acceptable
number for the delivery vehicle central limit. He reiterated
the Russian position opposing special treatment of mobile
missiles. He argued against Article V prohibitions,
maintaining there was no need for them if they were contained
in other agreements. Finally, he opined that no progress
could be made on telemetry due to the U.S.- U.K. pattern of
cooperation.



4. (S) SUBJECT SUMMARY: Media Challenges and the Upcoming
Compliance Report; Working through Missile Defense Language;
Conventional Global Strike; Numerical Limits and Capability
to Upload, On to Missiles; Article V - The Missing
Prohibitions; A Quick Word on Telemetry - No; and, Upcoming
Events.



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


MEDIA CHALLENGES AND THE
UPCOMING COMPLIANCE REPORT


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





5. (S) Antonov welcomed Gottemoeller and after an exchange
of pleasantries, conversation quickly moved to current events
and recent media reporting of the progress of the treaty
negotiations. Gottemoeller provided Antonov a copy of an
article that had appeared that day in the Washington Times,

which had alleged Russian cheating on START compliance.
(Begin Comment: This is the Bill Gertz column "Inside the
Ring," of October 22, 2009, which was entitled "START
Cheating." End Comment.) Gottemoeller informed Antonov that
there are bound to be a number of such articles in the press
as the negotiations move toward conclusion, and that it would
be good not to overreact to them. She also mentioned that the
United States would soon be completing the 2009 U.S. Arms
Control Compliance Report, which had not been produced since
2005, but which is required by U.S. law. Antonov commented
that he has great respect for the law, but then launched into
a protracted lament about the 2005 Compliance Report and how
it had portrayed Russia. Gottemoeller reiterated that there
is a statutory requirement for such a document to be
generated every year. After a four-year hiatus, it is high
time for the next one to be produced, and it would probably
appear by the end of the year.



6. (S) Antonov worried how such a document might affect the
state of play in the treaty negotiations, and the timing
could have a significant impact. He worried there might be a
strong, negative reaction in Moscow if the next report was
anything like the last one. Regarding the characterization
of the Russian Federation, he felt that the 2005 report was
full of ambiguous allegations that left no recourse to
challenge the sources and, in some cases, cited con fidential
diplomatic exchanges. He opined that the tone of the report
smacked of Cold War rhetoric, especially with its "arrogant
statements that Russia was obligated to allow inspections of
biological weapons or research sites."



7. (S) Gottemoeller recommended to Antonov that he maintain
the high ground on this issue and keep the focus on getting
the treaty agreed and signed. She also told him how recent
changes in procedures for producing the report tightened the
requirements on sourcing, precluding the use of con fidential
conversations and requiring more concrete substantiation.
While Antonov was grateful to hear this, he shared the
troubles he faced from his leadership when the 2005 report
came out. He wanted to focus on progress that was being made
in the spheres of INF, START, and MTCR, and everyone else (in
the Russian government) wanted to focus on allegations that
were contained in the report, some of which dated back a
decade or more.



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


WORKING THROUGH MISSILE
DEFENSE LANGUAGE


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





8. (S) Antonov provided Gottemoeller a Russian-proposed text
for a legally-binding statement concerning missile defense.
(Begin comment: The language was in response to language
that Gottemoeller had handed to him on Tuesday, October 20
(REF B). End comment.) He admitted he was not completely
satisfied with his own proposal, but invited Gottemoeller to
consider the proposed text as a kind of confidence-building
measure. He went on to suggest he might be open to 'softer'
wording that would drop the reference to 'verifiable'
differences between missile defense interceptors and
offensive missiles. He mused that it might also be possible
simply to address any questions on such differences in the
BCC.



9. (S) Following is the official translation of the Russian
proposal for language on missile defense that was provided on
October 22..

Begin text

OFFICIAL TRANSLATION

To be transmitted to the U.S. Side

Document of the Russian Side
October 22, 2009

Draft

The Parties agree that there must be no limits in this
Treaty on arms that are not Strategic Offensive Arms. They
note that the obligations of this treaty shall be undertaken
under the condition that they have missile defense systems at
that level which exists at the moment of Treaty signature.

The Parties agree that ICBM and SLBM launchers shall not
be converted or used for placement of missile-defense
interceptors therein and that missile-defense interceptors
shall not be converted or used for loading of ICBMs or SLBMs
therein. In addition, missile-defense interceptors shall not
be given the capabilities of ICBMs and SLBMs, and existing
types of ICBMs and SLBMs and their launchers must have
verifiable differences from missile-defense interceptors and
their launchers.

End text.



10. (S) In reviewing the proposed text, Gottemoeller asked
Antonov whether he wanted to consider the Russian side
issuing a unilateral statement, to which Antonov replied he
was not prepared to discuss the exact format at this time.
Antonov said that he initially thought this text would be
inserted into the treaty, but he realized it would be
difficult for the U.S. to ratify. He was willing to consider
putting it into the annex or a protocol if the U.S. would be
more amenable. Giving more ground, he said he would be
willing to consider a joint statement, but he would want it
to be a part of the documents accompanying the treaty.



11. (S) Gottemoeller commented that, for the United States,
any document accompanying the treaty would likely be part of
the ratification process, whether part of the three-tiered
structure of the treaty (treaty, protocol, implementation
annexes), or joint statements, exchanges of letters, and
other such agreements. Antonov commented that not all such
documents would be part of the Russian ratification package,
and that included the third-tier implementation annexes.
Gottemoeller agreed that each side would ratify the treaty
according to its own legislative practices and that,
therefore, their ratification packages would look somewhat
different. She added that all such documents would be
legally-binding, however. Antonov raised some doubts about
whether the third tier would be legally-binding but, when
Gottemoeller challenged him on the issue, he said he would
have to check with his lawyer, Inna Kotkova. He also noted
that such documents, as the recently-signed Votkinsk
agreement which was concluded under the authority of the
Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission (JCIC) and the

implementing agreements under the Cooperative Threat
Reduction program, have legal force in the Russian system.
To emphasize his ability to conclude such an agreement,
Antonov reported that he has authorization to sign the START
Follow-on Treaty and could do it today if it were ready.
"Once I sign," he commented, "only the president can disavow
my signature."



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


CONVENTIONAL GLOBAL STRIKE


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





12. (S) Turning to ICBMs and SLBMs deployed with
conventional warheads, Antonov openly acknowledged being in a
difficult situation. With a couple more years of research
and development, the U.S. might deploy several dozen such
weapons. He reasoned that both sides would then face a
problem under the next treaty akin to what they face now for
deployment of such a system under the existing START Treaty.
He expressed appreciation for the manner in which Mr. Elliott
delivered his points on Conventional Global Strike (REF A).
In his mind, however, the real issue was what Washington
thought about the matter. Trying to rough out a way ahead,
Antonov recalled the October 12 Tauscher-Ryabkov discussions
in Moscow, but he was not certain of the proper venue for
discussing missile defense cooperation between the United
States and Russia. Would it be in the NATO-Russia Council,
or perhaps some other venue?



13. (S) Returning to Elliott's talk, Antonov recognized that
the decision to use Global Strike would not be a no-notice
launch that could take place in 30 minutes, as the Russian
side had been complaining, but would be the result of a
deliberative process with decision made at the highest level
of government. In his mind, the larger issue was the
potential for a new arms race involving new players. Under
the current situation, there are only five nations capable of
fielding ICBMs with nuclear warheads. However, for
conventional systems, there would be a much broader field.
Iran could field a similar system in the future and point to
the U.S. as an example of this kind of development being an
accepted practice. Or Ukraine could be persuaded to follow
suit. (Begin comment: Antonov mentioned Ukraine several
times in his discussions, and he appeared to be making the
effort to tee this scenario up as a serious possibility. End
comment). He recognized Ukraine was a member of the Missile
Technology Control Regime (MTCR), but he also noted that they
could develop a similar system using their own national
technology and industrial capabilities.



14. (S) Gottemoeller expressed appreciation for Antonov's
candor. She noted the recent initiatives proposed by
President Obama in Prague and President Medvedev in Helsinki
to strive for greater strategic stability as both countries
pursued deep reductions in nuclear weapons. She strove to
put the question of Conventional Global Strike -- and
missile defense, for that matter -- into a context larger
than the current treaty negotiations. She felt that there
was a place for missile defense discussions, but it should be
in the form of cooperation as opposed to developing limits on
missile defense. She also thought a multilateral venue, such
as NATO to which Antonov added the P-5, might be an
appropriate start for future steps.



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


UMERICAL LIMITS AND
CAPABILITY TO UPLOAD


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





15. (S) Turning to the subject f numerical limits, Antonov
commented that any steps that could be taken toward counting
conventional delivery systems as nuclear might be a good
start, but it would not be enough for him to be able to go
back to Moscow for guidance. He reiterated more than once
that there was a limit beyond which he could not agree. He
confided that he had spoken to Moscow on how to speed up the
process (of the negotiations). Fishing for what might be a
U.S. compromise position, Antonov tossed out a number of 850
strategic delivery vehicles as an example of what was too
high for the Russian side to accept. He related how high
numbers were compounded by the possibility to upload
warheads. In his mind, warheads that were in storage one day
could be uploaded the next. A U.S. system with one warhead
might go to ten tomorrow, and then he felt we would be back
to the Cold War. Switching to English to drive home his
point, he stated he was "not concerned about intentions, more
concerned about potential, specifically upload."



16. (S) Gottemoeller replied that the U.S. also viewed
upload as a problem. Considering Antonov's comments on U.S.
submarines, she said they should not pose a concern for
Russia, as the upload process was protracted and there would
be plenty of strategic warning indicators that the Russians
could see with their national technical means. She asked
whether certain confidence-building measures could not be
considered, such as inspections or visits to nuclear weapons
storage sites on bases.



17. (S) Antonov said he would take the question of
confidence-building measures as a homework assignment and get
back to her. He commented that the generals on his
delegation had acknowledged that any limits higher than
500-600 strategic delivery vehicles would invalidate the need
for a third limit. (Begin comment: The Russian side has
proposed a separate limit of 600 on deployed and non-deployed
launchers, in addition to the two limits on warheads and
delivery vehicles agreed in the July 5 Presidential Joint
Understanding. End comment.) He again noted that only the
(Russian) president could decide what numerical limits would
be acceptable. He then hinted that he would be willing to go
straight to the president for guidance if he received a U.S.
offer with low enough limits.



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


ON TO MISSILES


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





18. (S) Antonov turned his attention to mobile missiles. He
felt that all SOA should be treated the same, and no one
system should be singled out for special conditions.
Gottemoeller replied that mobile missiles were a special
problem for the U.S., especially due to their ability to be
easily hidden. Antonov proceeded to compare mobile missiles
to submarines. Both could be hidden, but the submarines were
infinitely more dangerous because of their capacity to carry
more SLBMs and warheads. Antonov noted that the ICBM factory
in Votkinsk would never be able to ramp up the ability to
manufacture sizable numbers of new ICBMs. In a twist on

Antonov's own words, Gottemoeller replied that the U.S.
concern was "not about potential, but about intentions." She
elaborated how Russian intentions to deploy new missiles with
multiple warheads might radically alter the equation between
the U.S. and Russia if the United States did not have a clear
sense of Russian deployment levels. Antonov asked for a
proposal of what the U.S. would need to see, and Gottemoeller
agreed to provide a response at the next plenary session.



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


ARTICLE V - THE
MISSING PROHIBITIONS
-

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





19. (S) Gottemoeller then steered the conversation to the
subject of prohibitions in Article V that were missing from
the Russian-proposed treaty text. Antonov had completed
homework that he had promised to do, conferring with his
military experts and lawyers to find out the rationale for
why Russia had dropped so much language from Article V. He
stated that when other treaties to which Russia was a
signatory already carried a prohibition, his lawyers did not
see a need to repeat the prohibition in the new treaty. He
argued that the prohibition against locating silos for ICBMs
outside of ICBM bases was already covered by the first
paragraph of Article V and that, furthermore, neither side
had ever based an ICBM outside an ICBM base. He stated that
the U.S. should not worry about rapid reload, as the Russian
Federation had no intention of doing so. Other provisions he
thought should not be in the treaty because he felt the BCC
would tackle them at some later date or whenever the problem
would actually emerge (such as a new type). Finally, he
complained about having to eliminate support equipment at
eliminated facilities. He felt the term support equipment
was too vague, and related a tale of one base having to
eliminate tractors and power stations that could have been
used to benefit the local populace.



20. (S) Gottemoeller pushed back on each issue. She asked
Antonov what interpretation other nations would conclude when
a provision that had existed in one treaty had been
eliminated in its successor. Recalling Antonov's reliance on
existing international agreements, she asked whether he was
relying on the Law of the Sea Treaty for the right of
innocent passage for naval vessels and submarines. She also
challenged Antonov to explain how the Russians planned to
combine space launch facilities and missile test ranges.
Would this mean the Russians would want to inspect Cape
Canaveral and each satellite or space shuttle launch?
Antonov was unsure of how to respond, and promised to provide
a response.



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


A QUICK WORD ON
TELEMETRY -- NO


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





21. (S) As conversation turned toward work objectives for
the coming week, Gottemoeller raised the issue of resolving
the telemetry issue. Antonov quickly responded saying the
Russian side could not agree to telemetry measures due to the
existing pattern of cooperation with the United Kingdom. He
reported how the military establishment had complained that
the United States had hidden a missile modernization program



inside the UK Trident program, which was not subject to the
ban on telemetry encryption. Seeking a path forward
(possibly outside of the treaty), Antonov thought it might be
valuable to review the telemetry texts and assign pros and
cons to each point and use it as a point of departure for
future work. Gottemoeller asked if the Russian side would
also take a look at the long-standing ban on encryption that
dated back to SALT II and include this in their research.
Antonov agreed to take the question for research and promised
to report back next week.



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


UPCOMING EVENTS


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





22. (S) Antonov said he would remain in Geneva until
October 29. On that day, he would be meeting the Ukrainian
JCIC Representative, Mr. Nykonenko, to brief him on the
progress of the negotiations, and also with a Belarusian
representative. He reminded Gottemoeller that they would
have to discuss further the issue of a joint statement for
Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and, in particular, to
resolve the questions of when, where, and at what level the
joint statement would be delivered. Finally, he expressed
his willingness to accommodate a visit of U.S. Senator Kyl if
he came to Geneva during the week of November 9.



23. (U) Documents exchanged.

- Russia:

-- Russian-proposed draft text concerning Missile
Defense, dated October 22, 2009.



24. (U) Gottemoeller sends.
GRIFFITHS