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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09USNATO425 2009-10-02 16:14:00 CONFIDENTIAL Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

NATO-RUSSIA: AFGHANISTAN, ARMS SALES AND THE

Tags:   PREL MARR MASS MOPS NATO AF RS 
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INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000425 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2019
TAGS: PREL MARR MASS MOPS NATO AF RS
SUBJECT: NATO-RUSSIA: AFGHANISTAN, ARMS SALES AND THE
ARCTIC SEA HIJACKING

REF: USNATO 355

Classified By: Charge John Heffern for reasons 1.4 (b/d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin
used the September 30 meeting of the NATO-Russia Council to
press Moscow's agenda on Afghanistan and plug potential
Russian military sales to NATO, while attempting to avoid
comment on the mystery surrounding the MV Arctic Sea
hijacking. Rogozin warned against reconciling with Afghan
extremist leaders and reiterated that Russia believes it
deserves to be included in discussions among contributors to
ISAF. He used a presentation by the director of the Russian
agency that regulates military sales to say that Russia wants
to conclude a MOU on sales to NATO in time for what Moscow
hopes will be a December visit by the NATO SecGen. Rogozin
gave a short briefing on Russia's apprehension of the
hijacked MV Arctic Sea, criticizing Europe's "failure to
respond accordingly" to the situation and denying speculation
that the ship's cargo was illegal arms. Rogozin attempted to
meet expressions of concern by Poland and others over recent
Russian military exercises with a humorous response, only to
be challenged by the Czech Republic to remember that military
activity sends a political message. Rogozin did not raise
the EU's Georgia report, which had been released three hours
prior to this meeting. END SUMMARY.

Post-Election Afghanistan


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





2. (C) The September 30 meeting of the NATO-Russia Council
(NRC) began with a presentation on the election in
Afghanistan by the Deputy Secretary General. Norway
recommended that the international community establish
benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of the next Afghan
government and "act decisively" if expectations were not met.
Germany suggested that an upcoming international conference
on Afghanistan determine concrete objectives for the new
government and welcomed Russian involvement in planning the
conference.



3. (C) Russian Ambassador Rogozin said that simply carrying
out the Afghan election was an achievement, despite
irregularities, and that there was real competition among
candidates. Russia thought the initiative for an
international conference should come from the Afghans and the
event should only be held after a new government takes power,
otherwise the international community will continue to be the
"nanny" that takes care of Afghanistan's problems and
prevents the Afghans from taking responsibility for
themselves. He raised Russia's oft-expressed concern with
Afghanistan's national reconciliation process, warning
against any type of accommodation with the leaders of
extremist groups, but allowing for compromise with lower
level leaders and "moderate elements."



4. (C) Rogozin stressed the need for a more in-depth
discussion of Afghanistan at the NRC, and hoped that members
would provide sufficiently high-level officials for the
reinforced Af-Pak discussion scheduled for the October 21 NRC
Ambassadorial. He reiterated that Russia thought the
Afghan-related assistance it had provided bilaterally to the
U.S. and other countries warranted Russia's inclusion in
discussions among those assisting ISAF. Rogozin stressed
that Russia and wanted the ISAF operation in Afghanistan to
be seen through to its successful conclusion, otherwise the
country would become an even greater problem for its
neighbors. He reminded the NRC of the threat to Russia from
Afghan narcotics, comparing heroine to weapons of mass
destruction.

Military-Technical Cooperation


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





5. (C) Rogozin introduced a presentation by Mikhail Dmitriev,
Director of the Russian Federal Service for
Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), as coming on the
"threshold" of deeper NATO-Russia military cooperation. He
said that Russia looked forward to concluding a MOU with the
NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) in time for a
potential December visit to Moscow by the NATO Secretary
General. Rogozin also said he hoped to have representatives

USNATO 00000425 002 OF 003


of other military sales organizations, including
Rosoboronexport, come to NATO in the future.



6. (C) Dmitriev gave a general overview of FSVTS'
responsibility for overseeing export controls and granting
licenses for Russian sales of weapons and military material.
He highlighted previous Russian sales of helicopters for use
in Afghanistan and by UN peacekeeping missions. He also
explained Russian capacity to provide NATO and NATO members
with various types of helicopters, crew training, parts and
servicing, as well as military transport aircraft. Rogozin
added that several Russian commercial firms were active in
the area.



7. (C) Germany said that it looked forward to Russia
concluding an agreement with NAMSA, while Spain asked how
NATO and Russia could "concretely" follow-up on this
discussion. Hungary welcomed military cooperation, which
would help "reset or re-launch" the NRC. DCM Heffern noted
that the proposed MOU was still under review by NAMSA legal
advisers, and that the U.S. looked forward to reviewing their
recommendations and resolving the matter expeditiously.

MV Arctic Sea Hijacking


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





8. (C) Rogozin thanked NATO for providing information that
helped Russia locate the MV Arctic Sea, but gave a
disappointing presentation on the August hijacking of the
ship that avoided any hint of the mysterious circumstances
surrounding this episode (reftel). He began his account with
the apprehension of the ship and taking into custody of the
hijackers, claiming there were four Estonians and four
Latvians, two of whom also had Russian citizenship. Rogozin
complained that the ship was hijacked in European waters and
sailed around the continent without being stopped by
authorities. He cited a lack of international coordination
in the matter, but offered no suggestions on how to improve
international efforts to combat piracy.



9. (C) Rogozin responded to Denmark's question about the
nature of the ship's cargo with a desultory explanation of
Russia's efforts to locate the ship before adding that
Russian and other authorities did not find any suspect cargo
on board. DCM Heffern drew the conclusion that NATO and
Russia should enhance counter-piracy cooperation.

Russian Military Exercises


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





10. (C) Poland raised its concerns over the recent Russian
military exercises Zapad and Logoda, citing Russia's failure
to invite observers to the Logoda exercise, and the large
scale and offensive scenario of Zapad. Poland also noted
that Zapad was held just 20 kilometers from the Polish
border. Estonia and Latvia supported Poland's position, and
Canada asked Russia to brief the NRC on the exercises. Italy
hoped that as NATO and Russia moved ahead on military
cooperation, the gap between the progress made on political
relations and still distant military relationship could be
bridged.



11. (C) Rogozin appeared to relish the introduction of
controversy into the NRC, responding that he was "beginning
to think our whole meeting would be rather boring. This is a
nice dessert, with a little bit of spice." He dismissed the
idea of a briefing to the NRC, saying that it should be done
at a meeting of Ministers of Defense, but offered to submit
specific information on the exercise to the NRC. He gave a
weak defense of the scenario for Zapad, but rallied to
comment that Russia could have invited an enemy military
force into the country for training purposes, but history has
shown that such circumstances end in "defeat and shame" for
Russia's enemies. Rogozin said that he had hoped for
"greater forgetfulness" about Cold War phobias within NATO.



12. (C) The Czech Republic PermRep jumped in, saying that
Rogozin's comments "provoked" him to respond that as we go
forward with enhanced political ties we must remember that
whatever is done militarily also has a political meaning.
The D/SYG added that in the spirit of transparency, the NRC
looked forward to Russian information on the exercises.

USNATO 00000425 003 OF 003


HEFFERN