Viewing cable 08USNATO337
Title: SEPTEMBER 15 2008 VCC AND EXPERTS MEETING

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08USNATO3372008-09-18 10:18:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Mission USNATO
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 USNATO 000337 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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 
     ¶B. B. STATE 97613 
 
Classified By: A/DCM W. Scott Reid for reasons 1.4 (b and d) 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
¶2007.  The next VCC and Experts Meetings are tentatively 
scheduled for October 28. End Summary. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
Experts -- VD99 coordination trial for 2008 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶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 
--------------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶6. (SBU) Briefing by Military Commanders.  This paper was 
agreed with minimal discussion. 
 
¶7. (C) Evaluation Quota System.  There seemed to be moderate 
opposition to this paper. Belgium questioned whether Russia 
 
USNATO 00000337  002 OF 004 
 
 
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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
comment) 
 
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. 
 
-------- 
VCC-VDOC 
-------- 
 
¶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 
bidders. 
 
¶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 
 
USNATO 00000337  003 OF 004 
 
 
area large enough to capture other units in the area-from 
approximately 20,000 to 25,000 square kilometers. 
 
¶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. 
End note.) 
 
-------------- 
VCC-Open Skies 
-------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
--------------- 
VD99 Mechanisms 
--------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
------- 
VCC-CFE 
------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
Suspension. 
 
21 (C) The Chair reported that Georgia had informally 
 
USNATO 00000337  004 OF 004 
 
 
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. 
 
¶22. (S)  The following changes to the CFE inspection schedule 
were reported: 
 
-- 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 
TB 38. 
 
-- 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. 
 
------------------ 
VCC-Other Business 
------------------ 
 
¶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. 
 
-------- 
Next VCC 
-------- 
 
¶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 
 
¶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.) 
REID