Viewing cable 08GENEVA968
Title: TAYLOR/ANTONOV MEETING, NOVEMBER 12, 2008

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08GENEVA9682008-11-14 15:38:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET US Mission Geneva
O 141538Z NOV 08
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7466
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JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
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S E C R E T GENEVA 000968 
 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2018 
TAGS: KACT PARM START JCIC INF US RS UP BO KZ
PGOV, PREL, JA, MOPS 
 
SUBJECT: TAYLOR/ANTONOV MEETING, NOVEMBER 12, 2008 
 
REF: 07 BERLIN 000750 
 
Classified By:  Jerry A. Taylor, United States Representative 
to the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission. 
Reasons:  1.5(b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (U) Meeting Date:  November 12, 2008 
               Time:  3:15 P.M. - 4:05 P.M. 
              Place:  Russian Mission, Geneva, Switzerland 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶2.  (S) At the request of the Russian Federation, Taylor and 
Kuehne met with Antonov, Buzhinskiy, and Koshelev at the 
Russian Mission to address Russian questions regarding a 
post-START agreement.  Antonov, after commenting on that days 
CCW meeting in Geneva, questioned whether it would be useful 
for the Russian side to meet again with the United States 
prior to the change of administration since the U.S. and 
Russian views were so far apart with respect to a post-START 
agreement.  Antonov lamented that the United States had not 
taken into consideration any of the Russian ideas from over a 
year ago.  Buzhinskiy stated that he didn't see value in 
trying to work a common text when there remained fundamental 
disagreement on the basis of any agreement.  Taylor stated 
that in his opinion, for Russia's most current views to be 
accurately conveyed to the next administration, Russia would 
do well to meet again with the United States on this issue 
and to provide a written response to the U.S.-provided draft 
treaty text.  Antonov also inquired as to the possibility of 
extending the START Treaty for a period of less than 5 years. 
 Taylor explained that any proposal to extend START for less 
than 5 years would require U.S. Senate advice and consent. 
 
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WHY MEET AGAIN? 
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¶3.  (S) Antonov opened the meeting by introducing Buzhinskiy, 
whom Antonov stated had been with him all day at their 
meetings regarding CCW.  (Note:  The Russian Federation had 
stated earlier that only Antonov and Koshelev would be 
present at the meeting with Taylor.  End Note.)  Antonov 
observed that the meetings on CCW that day had failed because 
the Europeans had not supported the U.S. position, which the 
Russian Federation had been prepared to support.  Now the 
Russian Federation would have to reexamine its position and 
try to find a means to bridge the differences between the 
United States and Europe.  Antonov stated that the Russian 
Federation now wanted to be closer to the European position. 
 
¶4.  (S) On post-START, Antonov stated that he was 
disappointed with the U.S. draft treaty text.  He stated that 
the draft text included only U.S. ideas and had ignored all 
of the Russian ideas.  Antonov humorously observed that while 
Buzhinskiy might be more flexible on the content of the draft 
treaty, he was not.  Taylor responded that the U.S. draft 
treaty text had included some ideas that the Russians and the 
U.S. had agreed on, such as data exchanges, notifications, 
visits and definitions.  Taylor acknowledged that the U.S. 
draft was based on a Moscow Treaty approach, rather than the 
Russian desire to more closely follow a START approach. 
Antonov asked rhetorically if the United States believed 
everything in a Cold War treaty was bad, and stated that he 
believed this attitude would change after the Obama 
Administration took office. 
 
¶5.  (S) Antonov stated that he was not persuaded that now was 
the time to meet for discussions on a post-START agreement, 
and asked whether the United States and Russia shouldn't wait 
to convene the next meeting on this subject until after 
January 21, 2009.  Antonov added that he expected the Obama 
team to be more flexible toward the Russian ideas.  Taylor 
responded that the Bush Administration still represents the 
U.S. Government and that there was an interest in Washington 
to see what the Russian views were regarding the draft treaty 
and to move forward on a post-START agreement.  Antonov 
stated that Russia had already provided its views last year 
in Berlin (Ref), and that these views represented Russia's 
minimum requests.  Antonov stated that he didn't know what to 
do now since he didn't know how to deal with the current 
Administration.  A new era under Obama could present new 
opportunities; after all, Obama had stated that he wanted to 
make the world free of nuclear weapons.  Taylor observed that 
both Russia and the Untied States had already signed up to 
the NPT and its commitment to work toward nuclear 
disarmament.  Antonov countered that the world community 
expected further cuts in nuclear weapons; he couldn't see 
beyond START without there being agreement to some decrease 
in the number of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. 
 
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NEED TO NEGOTIATE 
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¶6.  (S) Taylor stated if Russia desired to move forward on 
post-START, then there had to be a negotiation.  In the 
normal course of negotiations, there should be a 
counter-proposal to the U.S. draft treaty text.  After all, 
the United States had begun this process by accepting the 
Russian proposal to have a legally binding treaty, and had 
provided accordingly a draft treaty text.  Antonov dismissed 
Taylor's assertion and observed that the U.S. knew it would 
be impossible to achieve agreement without a legal document. 
Taylor observed that the United States and Russia had, in 
fact, already accomplished significant results in their 
military-to-military exchanges, none of which were based on 
legally binding agreements. 
 
¶7.  (S)  Buzhinskiy stated that his experience was that two 
parties needed a common basis in order to have a successful 
negotiation.  At present, the United States and Russia did 
not have a common basis for post-START.  In 2001, the United 
States and Russia did not have to agree on operationally 
deployed strategic nuclear warheads as the basis for the 
Moscow Treaty since the parties already had the START Treaty 
as their basis.  Without START as the basis, we can't keep 
the Moscow Treaty concept in which one side has the potential 
for 5000 warheads but only declares 1700 deployed nuclear 
warheads. 
 
¶8.  (S) Antonov again asked what purpose there would be in 
having a meeting with the current Administration.  Taylor 
responded that a meeting would provide an opportunity for the 
United States and Russia to understand more clearly the 
position of the other.  Kuehne added that any update to the 
Russian position would be included in briefings on the 
subject that would be provided during the transition to the 
new administration.  Antonov observed that former DFM Kislyak 
might have been more willing to have experts meet to discuss 
the issues, but Antonov wanted to know if there was any 
chance for a dramatic change in the U.S. position.  (Note: 
Antonov displayed a skeptical tone in describing Kislyak's 
willingness to hold meetings.  End note.)  Taylor responded 
that he couldn't say what the new Administration's response 
would be to a Russian proposal.   Antonov acknowledged that 
there was no way to know if the Obama Administration would 
support or reject the Russian proposal. 
 
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WHAT DO WE SAY ABOUT EXTENDING START? 
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¶9.  (S) Antonov stated that he hoped the United States and 
Russia had a unified position with respect to extending the 
START Treaty.  He did not want Russia to be singled out for 
blame for not wanting to extend START.  Taylor stated that 
like Russia, the United States did not want to extend START 
in its current form.  However, it was important to note that 
the United States was not looking for a decision on extending 
START as a result of the meeting in the JCIC next week. 
Antonov stated that perhaps the United States and Russia 
should simply repeat the relevant part of the Sochi statement 
in which we said we would seek a post-START agreement. 
Taylor responded that he did not believe it appropriate to 
bring up in a multilateral JCIC discussion the bilateral work 
of the U.S. and Russia regarding a post-START agreement.  The 
purpose of the meeting was to meet the minimum requirement of 
START Article XVII to consider extending START.  There was no 
requirement to reach a decision at this time. 
 
¶10.  (S) Antonov asked if it were possible to extend the 
START Treaty for less than a 5-year period.  He had heard 
some speculation that the Treaty could be extended for one 
year while the United States and Russia negotiated a new 
agreement.  Taylor responded that it was possible to extend 
the Treaty for less than 5 years, but such an extension would 
have to be agreed by all five parties and, for the United 
States, would have to be sent to the U.S. Senate for advice 
and consent. 
 
¶11.  (U) Delegation lists: 
 
U.S. Delegation 
 
Mr. Taylor 
Mr. Kuehne 
 
Russian Delegation 
 
Mr. Antonov 
Gen Buzhinskiy 
Mr. Koshelev 
 
¶12.  (U) Taylor sends. 
TICHENOR 
 
 
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