Viewing cable 08MOSCOW2396
Title: AMBIGUITY OVER RUSSIA,S FUTURE RELATIONS WITH

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08MOSCOW23962008-08-14 10:52:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow
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DE RUEHMO #2396 2271052
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P 141052Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9477
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA PRIORITY 5409
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN PRIORITY 2751
RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS PRIORITY 3156
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW PRIORITY 2344
C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002396 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS EN LG LH
SUBJECT: AMBIGUITY OVER RUSSIA,S FUTURE RELATIONS WITH 
POLAND, BALTIC STATES 
 
Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Alice Wells for 
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1.  (C)  Summary.  During the past week's hostilities in 
Georgia, the Russian MFA harshly criticized the positions of 
Poland and the Baltics.  Despite this criticism, the GOR has 
taken no action against these countries and some Polish and 
Baltic diplomats in Moscow do not believe that their 
relations with Russia will seriously erode following the 
conflict, although Estonian Embassy contacts tell us Russian 
nationalist youth groups plan protests at Baltic and Polish 
embassies in the days ahead.  The first possible sign of 
Russia's discontent may come if Foreign Minister Lavrov 
cancels his upcoming trip to Poland.  End summary. 
 
¶2.  (U)  The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) 
sharply criticized Poland and Baltic countries for their 
strong pro-Georgian support and anti-Russian statements 
during the South Ossetia conflict, and threatened that 
relations could worsen in the future.  On August 11, MFA 
Deputy Spokesman Boris Malakhov said that "statements by some 
countries, including the Baltic States and Poland, about the 
developments in South Ossetia and the role of Russia in these 
events are cynical, untimely and unclear.  Such statements 
question the quality of relations between our countries and 
even the schedule of top-level contacts."  On August 10, 
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin also criticized the 
Poland/Baltics statement, saying that it "accused Russia of 
no less than pursuing an imperial revisionist policy."  He 
said that the Polish and Baltic Presidents "found probably 
the most cynical and ill-timed forms to express such an odd 
and absolutely illogical approach," and argued that "it was 
precisely because of such signals that the developments in 
South Ossetia started on August 7." 
 
¶3.  (C)  Despite this harsh criticism by the Russian MFA, 
diplomats in Moscow from Poland and the Baltic states have 
not received any formal demarches from the MFA.  MFA 
Malakhov's allusion to possible changes in the schedule of 
"top-level contacts" could be referring to the upcoming 
September 10 visit of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to 
Poland.  Polish First Secretary on bilateral affairs Wioletta 
Sokol confirmed August 13 that Poland still expected Lavrov 
to visit and would continue to cooperate with Russia unless 
the Russians decide to alter the terms of the relationship. 
Likewise, Lithuanian acting Charge D'Affaires Laurynas 
Jonusauskas said that he believed that Russian-Lithuanian 
cooperation would go forward normally, but will also depend 
on the reaction from the Russian side. 
 
¶4.  (C)  On the other hand, Janis Zlamets, political 
counselor at the Latvian Embassy said that "the world has 
changed," and he stressed the need to understand why the 
Russians acted as they did.  He said he believed decisions 
would be made after "emotions settle down a bit," and was not 
aware of any current plans to drastically alter his country's 
relationship with Russia.  The Estonian acting Deputy Chief 
of Mission Kari Label said that her mission has had minimal 
talks with the Russians since the start of hostilities, but 
she was informed that youth groups were planning 10 days of 
protests in front of the Estonian Embassy beginning on August 
¶14.  She said she believed that these will be relatively 
small protests and may also occur in front of the embassies 
of other Baltic countries and Poland. 
 
¶5.  (C)  Comment.  At this stage, it appears the GOR has not 
yet made a decision on exactly how it will react to the 
position of Poland and the Baltic states on the conflict in 
Georgia.  The first indicator of any shift in Russian's 
relations with these countries may come if Foreign Minister 
Lavrov cancels his September 10 trip to Poland.  End comment. 
RUBIN