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09MOSCOW2115 2009-08-19 03:32:00 SECRET Embassy Moscow
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1. (C) On August 18, we, along with a representative from the
British Embassy, conveyed reftel points to Afghan Section
Counselor Movladjon Makhkamov of the MFA's 2nd Asia division.
Makhkamov stated that Russia was interested in stability in
Afghanistan and hoped that the elections would be open and
free. Russia also expected that there would be some
dissatisfaction in Afghanistan after the elections and hoped
this would not lead to violence. He believed much of the
chance for success in Afghanistan depended on the period
immediately following the elections.

2. (C) Additionally, Makhkamov focused on the need for
economic development in order to stabilize Afghanistan.
Noting Russia's willingness to participate in construction
and infrastructure restoration projects, he stated that
Russia was also interested in working with the U.S. in the
areas of counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics training for
Afghan forces. Makhkamov had no update on Afghans attending
the Domadedovo training center; however, he said that Russia
remained ready to offer the training.

3. (C) Makhkamov said that DFM Karasin, on his recent trip to
Afghanistan, met with President Karzai as a head of state,
not an election candidate, nor had he met with other
candidates. He refused to comment on Karasin's discussions.
Makhkamov welcomed the UK's proposal to host a second round
of bilateral negotiations on Afghanistan, possibly in London,
after the elections, but cautioned that a lot would depend on
the outcome of the elections.

4. (C) Regarding the specific questions raised in A, Russia
is very interested in a secure and stable Afghanistan. While
Russia has no preferred outcome for the elections, Russia
expects the new government to build a stable country.
Instability in Afghanistan threatens the Central Asian space,
and, therefore, Russia. Russia also seeks to prevent
narcotics trafficking from Afghanistan to Central Asia and
Russia. Russia is not likely to urge restraint publicly
before the elections, although DFM Karasin recently stated
that Russia hoped the elections would give the Afghans the
opportunity for free expression and contribute to the
internal stabilization of the country. At this time, post
does not recommend encouraging Russian action on the Afghan