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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
10MEXICO117 2010-02-19 18:58:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

Russian FM Lavrov Visit to Mexico: Constructive and

Tags:   PREL MNUC PARM KGHG UNSC IAEA KNNP IR RS HA MX 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/19
TAGS: PREL MNUC PARM KGHG UNSC IAEA KNNP IR RS HA MX
SUBJECT: Russian FM Lavrov Visit to Mexico: Constructive and
Non-Ideological

REF: 10 MOSCOW 159; 10 MOSCOW 295; 09 MOSCOW 20

DERIVED FROM: DSCG 05-1 B, D



1. (C) Summary: Senior Mexican Foreign Ministry sources
characterized the brief working visit of Russian Foreign Minister
Lavrov as constructive and focused on multi-lateral and regional
issues, i.e., Iran, UN Security Council and Human Rights, Honduras,
and Haiti. Lavrov was non-ideological, and forward looking in
talking about Russia's interests in the region and "positive about
the U.S." according to SRE sources. Notwithstanding a joint press
conference with SRE Secretary Espinosa, Mexican press coverage was
scant and Russian headlines focused on arms' sales were not
accurate. End Summary.



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



Detailed Discussion of Iran



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





2. (C) SRE Director General for Europe Jose Madrazo was upbeat on
the less than 24-hour visit, which capped a four country tour by
the Russian Foreign Minister that began in Havana. Madrazo said
Lavrov was very constructive in his working meeting with SRE
Espinosa and the follow-on working lunch. (The only other item on
the agenda was an event at the Polytechnic University launching a
new Russian studies program there.) The focus was primarily on
regional and UN issues. According to Madrazo, Lavrov gave a very
detailed briefing on Iran, noting Russian concerns about Iran's
lack of cooperation on the nuclear issue and about prospects for
sanctions and other possible measures, e.g. transferring Uranium
enrichment outside of Iran. It was clear, said Madrazo, that the
Russians wanted to provide a very detailed picture of how they saw
the problem. Espinosa was largely in a listening mode.



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

-

Mexico Lead on Regional Discussion



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

-



3. (C) Espinosa took the lead in briefing on Mexico's plans for the
upcoming CARICOM/Rio Group high level meetings it was hosting in
Cancun (February 20-25) and in reviewing regional challenges in
Haiti and Honduras. Madrazo said that Lavrov was of the opinion
that it was time to "move on in Honduras;" everyone understood what
had happened, the key now was to incorporate Honduras back into the
international fold and to help it with recovery. Madrazo said that
Lavrov was "absolutely pragmatic" on Russia's ties with Latin
America, casting them in non-ideological terms and downplaying the
relationship with Venezuela and the ALBA countries. On Haiti,
Lavrov was pessimistic -- "downright cynical" was how Madrazo
characterized it -- and he did not raise Mexico's possible stronger
participation in MINUSTAH. "Lavrov knows what a difficult and
sensitive issue that is for us."



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



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



Climate Change. Energy and Commercial Ties



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



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





4. (C) On climate change, Madrazo said that Lavrov promised strong
support in the COP 16. On energy cooperation, there was a brief
discussion of two Memoranda of Understanding on Energy cooperation,
set to be finalized in conjunction with end of March meetings that
will bring Energy Ministers and oil executives to Mexico. Madrazo
said there was some discussion of shared priories in the G-20 and
in other international fora. There was also a "productive
exchange" on visa liberalization for Russian tourists and
strengthening "long-ignored" trade and commercial ties.



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



MEXICO 00000117 002 OF 002


Joint Declaration and Press Play



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





5. (C) A nine-page joint declaration covered the full range of
topics on the bi-lateral agenda without specifying any particularly
useful details. Press coverage was scant in Mexican dailies --
Lavrov did not engage on questions related to the Rio Summit and
growing arms exports to Latin America at the joint press
conference. Russian coverage on the web seemed to focus on the
possibility of an imminent new arms deal.



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



Zero Talk of Arms Sales



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





6. (C) Madrazo said there was "absolute zero talk of any arms
sales," a topic which has not been raised in any detailed way
between the two countries since Mexico purchased a number of
transport helicopters some years back. There were two maintenance
installations in country which had worked well in keeping the
helicopters in good shape but, according to Madrazo, Mexico has "no
interest in buying arms from Russia." There was a review of
transnational threats, particularly with regard to organized crime
and drug trafficking, an understandable agenda item given the
similar challenges facing both countries.



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

--

Good Chemistry -- Medvedev Invite



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

--



7. (C) Madrazo said the talks reflected the good chemistry between
the two Foreign Ministers, who were meeting for the fourth time
(APEC (Peru) and Moscow in 2008 and the General Assembly in 2009).
The Mexican's extended an invitation for President Medvedev to
visit in 2010, most likely not in connection with the Russian
leader's April visit to Argentina but linked to a future trip to
the U.S. or to a UN event. Madrazo said that Lavrov was very
positive in his references to the United States, noting his
interest in working closely with us on a range of issues.



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



Comment



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





8. (C) Comment: Lavrov's visit was driven largely by Mexico's
position on the UN Security Council. Russia wants to keep good
lines of communication open in case they need to seek Espinosa's
support on key votes. Lavrov's short visit reflected much of what
Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov and then A/S Shannon discussed back
in 2008 (ref C). The Mexicans were impressed with Lavrov's
skillful management of the discussions, appreciative of the
briefing on Iran, and encouraged by the practical and
non-ideological way in which Lavrov discussed the region. End
Comment
PASCUAL