C O N F I D E N T I A L RIGA 000877
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/27/2017
TAGS: PREL KCFE OSCE LG
SUBJECT: LATVIA ON MADRID: NERVOUS ON CFE
REF: A) STATE 157672 B) STATE 158847 C) STATE 159773
Classified By: Charge d'affaires a.i., Stuart M. Seldowitz. Reason: 1.
Â¶1. (C) Summary: Latvia is wary of the Spanish/German effort
on CFE in Madrid and greatly appreciates the US support for
core principals in this area. Latvia will make a strong
statement of support for ODIHR and election observation.
They support the closure of the OSCE mission in Croatia and
support Kazakhstan for CiO, but are flexible on the timing.
Â¶2. (C) Pol/Econ Chief met November 27 with Latvian Political
Director Ilgvars Klava to discuss the upcoming OSCE
ministerial in Madrid. FM Riekstins will lead the delegation
and Klava will attend. For over a week, Klava has called us
about the German/Spanish proposal for a meeting on CFE on the
margins of the ministerial. The Latvians fear it will be a
repeat of the German seminar in October, which left the
Latvians very uneasy about willingness of other allies to
hear Latvian security concerns.
Â¶3. (C) Pol/Econ Chief reviewed our latest points on CFE (ref
C) and drew on ref B to provide an overview of our views on
the conference, highlighting our insistence on a meeting of
NATO members prior to the meeting at 30 or 34. Klava said he
greatly appreciated the US standing firm on our key points
and referred to A/S Fried's commitment while in Riga last
month "nothing about you without you." Unfortunately, the
Latvians only learned November 26 about the timing of the CFE
meeting in Madrid November 28 and the preceding NATO
discussion, and no one from Riga can make it there in time.
Latvia's OSCE Ambassador will represent them in those
meetings. Klava added that Turkey wanted a "like minded"
group meeting in advance of the NATO meeting and Latvia would
likely attend that as well. Klava also appreciated our
strong message that any statement, if one is issued at all,
include reference to the Istanbul Commitments as well as to
the threatened Russian suspension.
Â¶4. (C) On other issues on the OSCE agenda (ref A), Klava said
the intervention for Riekstins included a strong defense of
ODIHR and a call to all member states that ODIHR election
monitors be able to operate without restriction. Latvia
supports closure of the OSCE mission in Croatia, he added.
Finally, Klava said that Latvia supported Kazakhstan's bid
for the chairmanship. "If Russia can lead the Council of
Europe, why not Kazakhstan for OSCE?" he asked rhetorically.
Latvia is flexible on timing of the Kazakh time as CiO,
though. Klava asked about reports he heard from some
Europeans that the US had agreed to accept Kazakhstan as CiO
for 2010. Pol/econ chief responded that, as he understood
it, Washington had not yet taken a final position on these