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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09STOCKHOLM32 2009-01-16 07:06:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Stockholm
Cable title:  

SWEDISH POLDIR ON GEORGIA AND EASTERN PARTNERSHIP

Tags:   PREL GG SW 
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VZCZCXRO8489
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSM #0032/01 0160706
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 160706Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4037
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK IMMEDIATE 0119
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 1220
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI IMMEDIATE 0145
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STOCKHOLM 000032 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/15/2019
TAGS: PREL GG SW
SUBJECT: SWEDISH POLDIR ON GEORGIA AND EASTERN PARTNERSHIP

REF: A. STATE 134559

B. 2008 BERLIN 1692

C. 2008 WARSAW 1409

D. 2008 STOCKHOLM 792

Classified By: DCM Robert Silverman for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: MFA Political Director Lyrvall told us on
January 15:

-- Sweden sees "eye-to-eye" with the USG on Georgia and the
separatist regions, but had been frustrated that a "harder
line" was being resisted by other EU members who wanted to
"move on";

-- Within the EU, Sweden would continue to highlight the
strategic implications of Russia's invasion of Georgia;

-- On the Eastern Partnership initiative, Ukraine is the most
enthusiastic of the six states, and he hoped EU leaders would
bless the project during their May summit, though there are
issues about inviting Belarus President Lukashenko and some
new EU members may raise objections related to their Russian
gas dependency.

End Summary.

Eastern Partnership On Track, But Obstacles Remain


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



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





2. (C) DCM and Political Counselor met January 15 with
Swedish MFA Political Director Bjorn Lyrvall, who opened the
meeting by saying he was leaving later in the day for Ukraine
to discuss the Eastern Partnership. Of the six Eastern
Partnership states, Ukraine had moved the closest to the EU,
according to Lyrvall, even though Kiev felt some unhappiness
over the EU's Eastern Neighborhood Policy, which was seen as
a "top-down plan" imposed by Brussels. In contrast,
Ukrainians feel an increased sense of ownership of the
Eastern Partnership, Lyrvall said. The European Commission
proposals for implementing the Partnership are now being
discussed by EU member states, Lyrvall continued, and Sweden
will do what it can to ensure that the proposals are not
"watered down." Some of the "Southerners" are concerned over
the amount of money to be spent in the East, so Sweden,
Poland and other like-minded states will need to work hard to
preserve the project, he noted. Moreover, Lyrvall stated,
while the Germans support the Eastern Partnership in
principle, they are showing some "sensitivity" over the
details, such as visa liberalization for the six states (Refs
B and C).



3. (C) Lyrvall stated that the current energy crisis between
the Ukraine and Russia could have "dire implications" that
risk complicating Eastern Partnership implementation because
some EU member states place the blame squarely on the
shoulders of Ukraine. Lyrvall said it was not clear who the
"good guys" are, noting EU monitors have reported that the
Russians are moving gas in a "very complicated way." But in
any case, Lyrvall continued, "we cannot count on full support
from certain states" -- including Slovakia, Romania and
Bulgaria -- for "goodies" for Ukraine.



4. (C) The Czechs want to see the Eastern Partnership
initiative adopted at the European Council in March and plan
to invite the six heads of state to the EU summit in May,
Lyrvall stated. "There will of course be problems with
Lukashenko," he continued, adding that Lukashenko would need
to deliver "something in advance, something more than he has
done so far," before being invited to his first meeting with
European leaders in six years. Lyrvall noted that Lukashenko
has been good on Georgia to date, refusing to recognize the
separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but he
questioned whether Minsk would ultimately be forced to yield
to increasing Russian pressure.

Georgia: Sweden and U.S. See "Eye-to-Eye"


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





5. (C) DCM delivered reftel talking points on Georgia, and
Lyrvall replied that Sweden "sees eye-to-eye" with the United
States on these issues and had been trying to push a "harder
line" within the EU, albeit with limited success. Lyrvall
commented on Georgia fatigue within the EU, a "backlash
reaction" from some states arguing that it is time to "move
on." A number of EU states have problems with any "sticks"
proposed for South Ossetia and Abkhazia, he added.



6. (C) It was still possible to "get focus" from European
foreign ministers on the OSCE mission, however, and Lyrvall

STOCKHOLM 00000032 002 OF 002


stated that the Greek OSCE chair had put together a number of
clever ideas for new OSCE missions to the region. The Greeks
had had some discussions with the Georgians and Russians on
an "elegant formula that could fly," involving a special kind
of security and stabilization mission in South Ossetia and
"Georgia proper" to be run out of Vienna that would operate
in parallel with the monitoring mission. But beyond OSCE, it
was becoming very hard now to keep Georgia on the agenda, he
said. Sweden will continue to make clear that Europe must
not underestimate the strategic implication of Russia's
attack on Georgia, concluded Lyrvall.

WOOD