Viewing cable 07RIGA629
Title: LATVIA REMAINS CAUTIOUS ON PLANS FOR A/CFE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07RIGA6292007-08-21 11:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Riga
VZCZCXRO5659
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV
DE RUEHRA #0629/01 2331129
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 211129Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY RIGA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4287
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 RIGA 000629 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2027 
TAGS: PARM KCFE MARR PREL PINR RS LG
SUBJECT: LATVIA REMAINS CAUTIOUS ON PLANS FOR A/CFE 
 
REF: A) STATE 116194 B) RIGA 533 C) USOSCE 321 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires a.i. Stuart M. Seldowitz.  Reason: 1.4 
 (c and d) 
 
¶1. (S/NF) Summary: Latvia continues to be wary of any plan to 
move forward on ratification of A/CFE that might leave them 
behind.  They welcomed hearing more detail on our action for 
action plan and will have more thoughts in upcoming US/Baltic 
consultations on CFE.  The Latvians are looking to get 
something in return for their flexibility -- feeling that 
Russia is being rewarded for its eight year stall on its 
Istanbul commitments.   They continue to focus on NATO 
contingency planning as essential, and have now officially 
begun to suggest that additional FMF assistance might be 
needed.  When we pushed back on the idea of NATO contingency 
planning, the political director responded, "We know the 
Russians will enter these negotiations having made their 
contingency plans, we need ours as well."  We believe that 
the Latvians have some flexibility in the exact shape of the 
assistance in thinking through future scenarios, but believe 
they are serious in wanting something in exchange for what 
they perceive as flexibility on their part.  Beyond planning 
and monetary assistance, they may also seek additional 
intelligence support.  Additionally, there are several items 
that appear to us to be redlines for the Latvians as this 
moves forward.  Namely, no multilateral discussion with 
Russia of Baltic accession to A/CFE without the Balts in the 
room; no wavering on the necessity for Russia to fulfill the 
Istanbul Commitments prior to entry into force of A/CFE; no 
request for the Balts to make commitments now on future 
territorial ceilings; and no requests for the Balts to do 
something extraordinary to show their commitment to join the 
adapted treaty absent Russian movement to fulfill Istanbul. 
End summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Pol/econ chief delivered reftel points to Latvian MFA 
political director Ilgvars Klava on August 20, who was joined 
by two officials from the MFA's arms control section.  Klava 
took detailed notes and regularly interrupted with questions 
and clarifications.  At the end, Klava said that the points 
and non-paper would be sent immediately to FM Pabriks and 
widely circulated around the GOL. 
 
¶3. (C) Klava said that he appreciated the briefing, 
especially in advance of the briefing in Washington later in 
the day.  He said Latvia was ready to talk, but that they 
would need additional assurances from Allies, including the 
U.S., regarding Russia before proceeding.  Recent events, 
including the missile incident in Georgia, left Latvia 
feeling uneasy about Russian intentions.  He reiterated a 
request made earlier (ref B) for NATO contingency planning 
for Latvia.  When pol/econ chief asked about possible 
bilateral assistance in developing national defense plans 
instead, Klava replied that this would also be welcome, but 
Latvia was standing firm on contingency planning.  He said 
that Latvia could not go into the process without 
understanding the "basic math" in play, especially if there 
is a willingness to reopen the treaty at a later date that 
could lead to changes in the flank regime.  Latvia had been 
working with general assumptions about what its territorial 
ceilings would be, but that could all be moot now.  Klava 
added something we have heard rumored previously, but this 
was the first formal mention we've heard -- once it 
understands the various permutations of possible arrangements 
and has the contingency planning, Latvia might seek increased 
FMF assistance to implement those plans.  When pol/econ chief 
again asked if NATO contingency planning was really that 
important Klava responded, "We know the Russians will enter 
these negotiations having made their contingency plans, we 
need ours as well." 
 
¶4. (C) Klava was very focused on the proposed calendar, which 
he noted was "very tight."  He was glad that US/Baltic 
consultations on CFE would take place in August and said that 
the GOL would use our paper to develop more concrete points 
for discussion at that meeting.  The proposed September 
discussion of Baltic accession to A/CFE also generated many 
questions from Klava.  How would this synch with the next 
planned US-Russia experts' discussion with Russia?  Did the 
US have in mind to use the already scheduled Sep. 26 NRC 
Ambassadorial to discuss or another meeting?  (If so, Klava 
noted the conflict with UNGA leaders' week, which meant 
instructions would need to be drafted earlier.)  How detailed 
would the September discussions be?  He wanted to be sure 
that there would be pre-coordination of Allied positions and 
he had a clear expectation that Latvia would be in the room 
when the issue was discussed with Russia.  Klava saw no 
problem with Latvia participating in such discussions, but 
how forward leaning they would be would depend on what they 
could get from the Allies.  He was very cautious about the 
proposed December statement reaffirming their intention to 
 
RIGA 00000629  002 OF 002 
 
 
join A/CFE, saying that Latvian willingness to be forthcoming 
would depend on Russian action on the Istanbul Commitments. 
 
¶5. (C) Klava concluded by saying that if Baltic willingness 
to be forthcoming on A/CFE in the face of Russian 
intransigence is "of interest to the Allies, they will need 
to help (the Baltic states)."  He stressed that the Latvians 
would also be talking about their concerns with European 
Allies like the French and Germans. 
 
¶6. (S/NF) We also shared the substance of the message with 
the offices of the President and Prime Minster and got 
similar reactions.  We could not get to the MOD August 20, 
but DATT discussed the issue of CFE with outgoing and 
incoming MOD Undersecretaries Janis Kalsbergs and Janis Sarts 
in a lunch the week before.  They too pressed on the 
contingency planning, although they were far more open to 
bilateral US assistance to develop a national plan as opposed 
to NATO planning, and increased FMF to implement the plan. 
They also requested US assistance in enhancing their sigint 
capability to better monitor Russian military activity near 
the border. 
 
¶7. (C) Comment: The Latvians are sticking to their positions 
on this issue.  As we noted following their demarche in 
Vienna (ref C), Brussels and Washington taking a fairly 
hardline position, they really feel that Allies are trying to 
use the Balts to get more flexibility from Russia.  From the 
Latvian perspective, Russia has mostly dragged its feet for 8 
years on the Istanbul Commitments while Latvia repeatedly 
reaffirmed its willingness to accede to A/CFE once in force. 
Our willingness to reopen the adapted treaty once in force, 
seemingly without precondition, makes them worry that 
thinking they did on how the A/CFE regime would apply here 
(especially on territorial limits) is outdated and makes them 
a) desirous of the planning assistance and b) wary of what 
other concessions we might be willing to offer.  Based on the 
discussions with MOD, there may be some flexibility on the 
idea of US bilateral assistance to develop national defense 
plans in lieu of NATO contingency planning, but we expect the 
Latvians to be very dug in on several points -- no 
multilateral discussion with Russia of Baltic accession to 
A/CFE without the Balts in the room; no wavering on the 
necessity for Russia to fulfill the Istanbul Commitments 
prior to entry into force of A/CFE; no request for the Balts 
to make commitments now on future territorial ceilings; and 
no requests for the Balts to do something extraordinary to 
show their commitment to join the adapted treaty absent 
Russian movement to fulfill Istanbul. 
SELDOWITZ