S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 USNATO 000337
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/17/2018
TAGS: PREL NATO KCFE PARM
SUBJECT: SEPTEMBER 15 2008 VCC AND EXPERTS MEETING
REF: A. A. AC/319-N(2008)0017-REV2
Â¶B. B. STATE 97613
Classified By: A/DCM W. Scott Reid for reasons 1.4 (b and d)
Â¶1. (C) Summary. In the VCC, Experts agreed with the U.S.
position that discussion papers should not be tabled in
Vienna prior to the AIAM. Papers on Sensitive Points and
Concrete Parameters for Specified Areas were dropped, but the
Chair will introduce a new paper on the Definition of Defense
Installations at the next experts meeting. Also, Experts
will discuss Russia's proposal on defining the size of a
specified area in lieu of the Allied draft. The remaining
topics that do not have volunteer authors have been dropped
from discussion for the AIAM.
Â¶2. (S) In the VCC the Chair announced that Georgia indicated
it would not be able to meet the deadlines for CFE data
exchange in December. Georgia is accepting CFE inspections,
but has requested Allies consider inspecting under Section
VIII. Norway briefed its intent to inspect Russia's notified
major military exercise in Totskoya under Vienna Document 99
(VD99) and that it will test Russia's 18,000 square kilometer
limit for the size of a specified area. Canada and Spain
reported on their Open Skies flight Rejection. The Chair
asked Allies to consider discussing VD99 measures that could
have been useful in addressing the crisis in Georgia. The IS
reported that Russia has not accessed VERITY since December
Â¶2007. The next VCC and Experts Meetings are tentatively
scheduled for October 28. End Summary.
Experts -- VD99 coordination trial for 2008
Â¶3. (C) The Chair will issue a second revision of paper
following interventions from Norway, Turkey, Belgium, Canada
and Portugal. Paragraph two will require nations to submit
bids to the IS in early October so the staff can issue a list
of bids prior to the proposed annual coordination meeting in
November. The first sentence of paragraph eight will be
revised from "(, the Ally first scheduled(" to "(, the
Ally last scheduled(." Paragraph nine will indicate that
the Allies will revise the deconflicted schedule in the VCC.
Experts - Discussion Papers
Â¶4. (C) The VCC Experts Meeting was focused on discussion of
the revised staff papers annexed to Ref A. Per guidance in
Ref B, the U.S. (Meyer) noted that some of the papers are
nearing agreement and that the U.S. would not support the
introduction of mature topics in the FSC. Since the goal of
preparing these staff papers is to stimulate discussion at
the AIAM, he said that it might be time for the committee to
consider the most effective way to achieve this objective. A
number of delegations seemed to nod in agreement, while
Slovenia intervened in support. The Chair (in den Bosch)
noted that the committee was not under any time pressure, but
agreed that the papers are intended for use at the AIAM and
supported the U.S. point asking delegations to begin
considering how they would present papers.
Â¶5. (C) Duration of an evaluation visit. Nations were nearly
split in support of options for procedures for stopping the
clock. However, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom
opposed both options and questioned the need for the paper at
all. Denmark's and Norway's opposition was based on the
argument that evaluation visits are not intended to be
counting exercises, and therefore, there is no reason to
extend the clock in order to visit more units. The United
Kingdom questioned the measures practical application as the
timeline ultimately be governed by the term "work day." The
Chair noted comments for and against and will leave the paper
on the agenda for the next meeting of experts.
Â¶6. (SBU) Briefing by Military Commanders. This paper was
agreed with minimal discussion.
Â¶7. (C) Evaluation Quota System. There seemed to be moderate
opposition to this paper. Belgium questioned whether Russia
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would benefit more from the measure than NATO, offering an
example that under the proposal Luxembourg would have to
accept two evaluation visits while Russia would only have to
accept six. The UK questioned whether a debate over numbers
was appropriate as the measure is voluntary. The U.S.
(Meyer) questioned how this paper would be presented. He
offered that this topic illustrates why Allies should
carefully consider how they frame topics at the AIAM so as
not to stumble into debate in terms of NATO vs. Russia. As
one of the drafters, Norway said that it could not speak to
tactics at this time, but opined that in any case the formula
in Vienna Document 99 (VD99) is outdated. The Chair
reaffirmed that nations do not want to open VD99, so the
discussions at the AIAM would likely result in no more than a
Chairman's Statement. The paper will remain on the agenda
for discussion at the next experts meeting.
8 (C) Size of Inspection Team. After some discussion over
U.S. comments that the paper would be stronger if it
addressed auxiliary personnel and interpreters, the Chair
said it would issue a revision expanding point 3.2 to include
interpreters, drivers and other auxiliary personnel. As
there is already a FSC Chairman's Statement on interpreters,
the Chair will also include a reference to that FSC document.
Â¶9. (C) Use of Digital Cameras. The U.S. noted concerns over
the phrasing of the paragraph 3.A. and 3.B., questioning the
use of the term "Chairman's Decision," and noting that this
formulation seemed to predetermine the outcome of future
discussions. The Chair agreed to take these comments into
consideration in the next revision.
Â¶10. (C) Sensitive Points and Third Party. After lengthy
discussion, nations agreed to drop discussion of Sensitive
Points and Third Party. However, at the insistence of
Canada, the Chair will offer a new paper for discussion on
definition of Defense Installations.
Â¶11. (C) Concrete Parameters. The U.S. (Meyer) stated its
willingness to discuss Allied views on this topic, but also
noted that the U.S. has been skeptical of the need to define
a Specified Area and is waiting for someone to present a
compelling argument. There was increased opposition to the
draft paper, and even Hungary, a drafter, noted its
opposition. Norway, however, argued that since Russia had
tabled a proposal in Vienna, experts should discuss the topic
at the VCC, adding that all proposals to improve
implementation that are raised in Vienna should be discussed
by the committee. The Chair agreed to drop the staff paper
on Concrete Parameters, but said it would add discussion of
Russia's FSC proposal to the agenda. (Comment. On the
margins, USDel asked in den Bosch what his intent was with
regard to the Russia paper. He said that the paper could be
discussed in the experts meeting with the intent of
forwarding any resulting position to Vienna for use in the
AIAM should discussion arise on the Russian proposal. End
12 (C) Preparation of Remaining Issues. There were no
additional volunteers to draft remaining papers, so the Chair
noted that the remaining topics in Ref A would be dropped
from consideration for AIAM preparation.
Â¶13. (S) Norway announced that it had completed an assessment
regarding its upcoming inspection quota to Turkmenistan and
has decided that, since no military activity is expected,
Norway will return this quota to the committee so other
nations can use it as appropriate. Germany quickly notified
the committee that it wanted this quota. There were no other
Â¶14. (S) Norway also presented a briefing on its upcoming
inspection to Russia. Noting that in August the Russian
Federation notified that a major military training exercise
was scheduled in late September for the 2nd Army in Samara.
The area of military activity notified by Russia was composed
of a 500 square kilometer box over the Totskoya training
area. Norway reported that it intended to notify a specified
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area large enough to capture other units in the area-from
approximately 20,000 to 25,000 square kilometers.
Â¶15. (S) Following the brief, the U.S. asked whether Norway
expected Russia to accept the dimensions of Norway's proposed
specified area, noting that recent discussions in Vienna
indicated that Russia retained its maximum limit of 18,000
square kilometers. Norway responded that it understood that
Russia had already decided to increase its maximum limit to
25,000 square kilometers, but that in any case, this
inspection would provide a good opportunity to test Russia's
intentions. (Comment: Russia has limited the size of
specified areas to 18,000 kilometers as mater of national
policy. Russia tabled a proposal in the Forum for Security
Cooperation (FSC) in Vienna several years ago in an attempt
to codify that limit. In 2008, Russia revised that proposal
to set the maximum at 25,000 square kilometers. The most
recent Russian proposal does not have wide support in Vienna.
During a July 2008 informal meeting in Vienna the Russian
delegation indicated that the Ministry of Defense would
continue to limit the size of a specified area to 18,000
square kilometers until such time as Russia revised its
national policy, presumably in response to an FSC decision.
Â¶16. (C) Spain reported that its joint mission with Canada
over Russia had been turned down by Russia over discrepancies
in sensor documentation. In addition, Spain noted Russia's
rejection of their mission plan on the grounds that the
flight path included segments over the Northern Caucasus.
Spain and Canada read official statements on their
governments' reaction to Russia's refusal. Both statements
will be attached to the meeting VCC report.
Â¶17. (C) In response to the Chair's request that nations keep
him informed of such issues, and to Canada's statement that
referenced the upcoming Russia flight that will transit
Canada, the U.S. (Meyer) commented that at present the U.S.
intended to fulfill all its treaty obligations regarding the
Russian flight. The U.S. also reported that Russia had
recently found similar technical discrepancies in U.S. sensor
documentation as they had with the Spanish aircraft.
Â¶18. (S) The Chair noted that at the recent HLTF several
Allies had been disappointed that arms control had not played
a more constructive role in the recent crisis in Georgia.
Acknowledging that the speed with which events unfolded may
have precluded meaningful intervention, the Chair requested
nations to consider discussion at the next VCC on what role
VD99 might have played in the crisis, or role it could play
in a future similar scenario. In response, Denmark said it
would be helpful to have a report on what actions were taken
by the OSCE. The Chair agreed and said it would compile a
report from OSCE documentation.
Â¶19. (C) Spain reported on Russia's refusal of a CFE
inspection. Slovenia also reported on Russia's refusal of a
Slovenian notification. Slovenia also commented that it had
not received support from Allied interventions at the
September 8 JCG. Slovenia reiterated the need for Allies to
support each other during these interventions.
Â¶20. (C) The Chair provided a very general read out from the
HLTF and noted that the IS was prepared to offer assistance
to the JCG-T in Vienna at the request of the HLTF. The Chair
said it was also suggested that the IS revisit the paper
published last year on the implications of Russian
21 (C) The Chair reported that Georgia had informally
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notified it that Georgia would not be in a position to meet
the deadline for this year's data exchange. Georgia said
that it had lost a number of pieces of TLE, that the status
of this equipment was not resolved, and that a number of
facilities and military sites had either been mined or
contained unexploded ordinance. Georgia had reported that it
was ready to accept CFE inspections, but was requesting that
inspections be conducted under Section VIII.
Â¶22. (S) The following changes to the CFE inspection schedule
-- Canada's inspection of Georgia scheduled for Time Block
(TB) 27 is postponed to TB 36.
-- Canada's inspection of Ukraine scheduled for TB 34 has
been postponed, with new dates to be determined.
-- Canada's inspection of Russia scheduled for TB 35 is
postponed to TB 41.
-- Germany's inspection of Ukraine scheduled for TB 38 is
postponed to TB 49.
-- Germany will inspect Moldova (Bilateral, beyond Quota) in
-- Hungary's inspection of Ukraine scheduled for TB 32 is
rescheduled for TB 35. (Note. This is the third CFE
inspection team (with the U.S. and UK) scheduled for Ukraine
in this TB. Although this is a bilateral inspection, Chair
asked Hungary to verify their intent.)
-- Greece's inspection of Georgia scheduled for TB 30 is
postponed to TB 33.
-- Denmark's inspection of Russia is postponed from TB 31
with dates to be determined.
Â¶23. (C) Per Ref B, the U.S. asked the Chair for an analysis
of Russia's activity on VERITY. The IS (Paksov) reported that
while VERITY does not provide a capability to monitor
individual users access to specific files, it does allow the
IS to determine whether Russia had logged on to the system,
and Russia has not accessed VERITY since it suspended
implementation in December.
Â¶24. (C) Greece and Norway indicated that they had a conflict
with the VCC meeting proposed for October 28. The Chair said
other options had been considered, but based on the
availability of meeting space the 28th was the only day
presently available. The Chair noted, however, that if the
HLTF offsite occurs in the middle of October, the HLTF
proposed for October 23 could get canceled, opening up space
on the 23rd.
Proposed dates for the remainder of 2008 are:
-- October 28 -- VCC and experts
-- November 17 -- Experts
-- December 18 -- VCC and Experts
Â¶25. (C) Proposed dates for the first quarter of 2009 are:
-- January 8 -- Experts
-- February 5 -- VCC and Experts
-- March 6 -- VCC and Experts
(Note. The AIAM is currently proposed for 2-4 March, which
may impact the schedule of the VCC and a proposed VCC seminar
on 11-13 March. End note.)