Viewing cable 09USNATO106
Title: MARCH 6 VCC AND EXPERTS: EXPERTS SEARCH FOR 2009

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09USNATO1062009-03-18 15:26:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Mission USNATO
VZCZCXRO2939
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHNO #0106/01 0771526
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181526Z MAR 09
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2782
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNOSC/ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 6300
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUDKSR/EUCOM PLANS AND ANALYSIS STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USNMR BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000106 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2019 
TAGS: KCFE NATO PARM PREL
SUBJECT: MARCH 6 VCC AND EXPERTS: EXPERTS SEARCH FOR 2009 
AGENDA WHILE FRANCE PUSHES FORCE MAJEURE TO HLTF 
 
REF: STATE 20411 
 
Classified By: POLAD W. Scott Reid for reasons 1.4 (B)&(D). 
 
¶1. (C) Summary.  During the March 6 VCC and meeting of 
experts, Allies echoed opinions expressed in Vienna -- that 
the 2009 AIAM was livelier than the previous year but still 
short on substance.  Experts agreed that it was too soon to 
propose an agenda for work in 2009 based on the results of 
the AIAM.  Claiming that the introduction of force majeure at 
the AIAM had played into Russia's hands, France requested 
that the VCC Chair forward the issue to the HLTF for 
consideration.  In the VCC and experts, as well as on the 
margins, Canada strongly defended its paper on force majeure 
and indicated it still planned to introduce it in the FSC. 
Finally, France indicated it would begin notifying CFE 
inspections in Russia during the next treaty year. End 
Summary. 
 
Experts React to 2009 AIAM with Guarded Optimism 
 
¶2.  (SBU) In the March 6 VCC meeting of experts Allies voiced 
their initial perceptions of the 2009 Annual Implementation 
Assessment Meeting (AIAM), which was held in Vienna 3-4 
March.  Though participation in the exchange was scant, 
experts generally echoed sentiments expressed in Vienna--that 
the 2009 AIAM, while still lacking substance, exceeded 
Allies' expectations in terms of interaction between 
participating States.  Portugal, Norway, Denmark and Belgium 
all noted a more lively discussion than in 2008, but Norway 
also complained about the lack of expertise at the table. 
Belgium also regretted that Allies had only introduced two of 
five Allied-sponsored papers. 
 
Looking for a Proactive role for Experts 
 
¶3.  (SBU) Drawing on experts' initial impressions of the 
AIAM, the Chair (Weiderholtz) asked for opinions on what 
experts should focus on in 2009.  Wiederholtz asked, for 
example, if experts should review Russia's AIAM paper 
entitled, Food-for-Thought Paper--Analysis of the 
Implementation of the Vienna Document 1999 (FSC.AIAM/2/09). 
Norway, supported by Denmark and Belgium, suggested that in 
addition to reviewing the Russian paper, experts should begin 
a review of VD 99 in its entirety.  Denmark agreed and argued 
for a chapter by chapter review, claiming that 50 percent of 
VD 99 is outdated.  Denmark opined that experts should be 
able to harmonize a technical review at experts' level with 
political concerns in Vienna.  The UK concurred, noting that 
while Allies currently could not reach consensus on opening 
VD 99, experts should be allowed to conduct a technical 
review in order to have the advice available if and when the 
political winds change. 
 
¶4.  (SBU) Canada reminded the group that experts are mandated 
to look at on-going implementation issues for, inter alia, 
CFE, VD 99 and Dayton, adding that there is no requirement to 
reach consensus at the level of experts.   France proffered 
that discussion of issues at the level of experts can be 
advantageous.   For example, France noted that discussion 
among experts can often assist in identifying and qualifying 
Allied concerns on a particular topic in advance, which in 
turn can make it easier to find consensus at the VCC or in 
Vienna. 
 
¶5.  (SBU) Seemingly in search of consensus on specifics 
agenda topics, Wiederholtz asked whether the group should 
revisit the list of issues discussed last year.  The U.S. 
(Meyer) said it would be difficult for the U.S. to find value 
in rehashing last year's discussions.  Moreover, Meyer said 
he doubted that the 2009 AIAM Survey of Suggestions (the 
document from which Allies developed their list of issues in 
2008) would prove significantly different from the 2008 
version as there was very little new material presented in 
this year's AIAM.  Meyer also cautioned that experts might 
find it difficult to attempt a review of VD 99, albeit at the 
technical level, without sending unintentional political 
signals.  He concluded that it was too soon after the AIAM to 
ask Allies to propose an agenda for experts based on AIAM 
results. 
 
 
USNATO 00000106  002 OF 003 
 
 
¶6.  (SBU) Norway agreed with the U.S., but reiterated that 
experts should conduct a review of VD99.  Canada also agreed 
to the U.S. point on timing, but proposed that experts 
consider a preview of implementation issues for ACFE.  In the 
end, experts agreed to wait for the OSCE to publish the 2009 
Survey of Suggestions before considering an agenda. 
Weiderhltz concluded the discussion by asking experts to be 
prepared to discuss the survey at the next meeting in April. 
 
France Asks VCC to Introduce Force Majeure at the Next HLTF 
 
¶7.  (C/REL NATO) At the VCC, France requested that the VCC 
Chair (Miggins) forward the issue of force majeure to the 
next HLTF.  France claimed that the introduction of force 
majeure at the AIAM had played into Russia's hands and 
exposed the Alliance to criticism vis-a-vis Georgia's recent 
declaration of force majeure against Russia.  France argued 
that, given the political considerations, the Alliance needs 
to have a common position on force majeure before it is 
introduced in Vienna. 
 
¶8.  (C/ REL NATO) Canada vehemently denied any inference that 
Canada's paper, which it had announced it would table in the 
FSC, had played into Russia's hands. (Note: Canada intended 
to table a paper on defining force majeure at the AIAM. 
Noting political and substantive concerns, the U.S. requested 
that Canada not table the paper.  Canada agreed to hold its 
submission, but in response to questions in open forum at the 
AIAM on why it had not introduced its paper, Canada responded 
that it was still consulting in Ottawa and that it hoped to 
introduce the paper in the FSC soon. End Note.)  Recalling 
that their paper was developed in response to an 
implementation issue prior to the Russia-Georgia conflict, 
Canada argued that the issues that the paper was developed to 
address had not gone away, and Canada did not see the 
connection to France's political concern. 
 
¶9.  (C/NOFORN) Prior to the VCC, both Canada (Davidson) and 
France (Payen) discussed this issue with U.S. Del.  Canada 
met with U.S. Del (Meyer) at Meyer's request after the 
Canadian verification agency voiced concerns at the AIAM over 
the fate of their paper.  Referring to a number of classified 
emails, Canada made the following points: 
 
-- Speaking for the Canadian verification agency, Davidson 
said they felt that U.S. STATE had misrepresented the facts 
behind the development of the Canadian paper when it issued a 
demarche in Washington. 
 
-- Davidson argued that in spring 2008 experts had 
essentially validated the Canadian paper and agreed that 
Canada should introduce the paper for discussion at the AIAM. 
 Subsequently, the IS drafted a working paper to which the 
remaining discussion papers were annexed. It was this paper 
that was forwarded to the HLTF for consideration. There was 
no agreement in the VCC or experts that any of the papers 
required HLTF approval prior to introduction at the AIAM. 
 
-- Davidson complained that the U.S. had not raised its 
concern over the implications of "fair-or foul-weather" for 
VD 99.  Davidson also explained that the select events 
described in their operative paragraph such as riots where 
not meant as a definition, but a list of potential 
circumstances that could warrant the declaration of force 
majeure. 
 
-- Finally, Davidson claimed that Canada had discussed 
post-conflict political considerations with France at the 
HLTF, as well as with Russia, Georgia, France and others in 
Vienna. (Note: Davidson thought Canada had approached the 
U.S. del in Vienna.  He was surprised when Meyer assured him 
that Canada had not discussed the issue with USOSCE. End 
Note.) At no time, Davidson claimed, had anyone objected to 
the proposal on political grounds. 
 
-- Responding to questions posed by the U.S., Davidson 
admitted that Canada was more interested in improving 
compliance than pushing their draft through the FSC toward a 
decision.  Davidson conceded that the term "definition" could 
be problematic, and did not really capture the spirit of 
their proposal. He also allowed that a Chairman's Statement 
 
USNATO 00000106  003 OF 003 
 
 
and/or the use of less restrictive constructions could be 
acceptable. 
 
¶10.  (C/NOFORN) France had also approached U.S. Del 
immediately prior to the VCC to report on their intentions 
and ask for the U.S. position.  Meyer noted that the U.S. had 
some concerns over the Canadian paper, but was not in a 
position to actively support France's call to forward the 
issue to the HLTF. 
 
¶11.  (C/REL NATO) Following both Canada's and France's 
interventions in the VCC, Meyer confirmed Canada's 
recollection of the development of its technical paper and 
confirmed that Switzerland, and not Canada, had introduced 
force majeure at the AIAM.  At the same time, Meyer referred 
to earlier discussions in the meeting of experts where Canada 
had noted that experts where mandated to discuss 
implementation issues on a technical level. Meyer reasoned 
that that while the Canadian paper represented technical 
advice, others would rightly determine whether that advice 
was actionable based on political considerations. 
 
France to Notify CFE Inspections in Russia Next Treaty Year 
 
¶12.  (C/NOFORN) France (Payen) approached U.S. Del on the 
margins to report that France intended to begin notifying CFE 
inspections in Russia in the next Treaty Year.  Meyer asked 
Payen if France intended to notify an inspection before the 
end of the current treaty year.  Payen said that the foreign 
Ministry had initially asked the verification agency to 
notify this year, but the verification agency felt that it 
was their responsibility to be prepared to execute the 
mission in the unlikely event that Russia accepted.  Payen 
said that his agency could not complete the necessary 
preparation in time to notify an inspection prior to the end 
of the current treaty year. 
 
Scheduling 
 
¶13. (SBU) Allies were asked to confirm at the next VCC in 
April whether Allies wanted the IS to plan a VCC Seminar in 
October. During a brief discussion, Allies doubted that there 
was sufficient material of substance to warrant a seminar 
this year, and no Ally was interested in holding a seminar 
consisting of presentations from verification agencies. 
Absent further guidance, US VCC Del is prepared to join those 
in opposition to holding a seminar in October on the grounds 
that, at this time, there is no indication that Allies could 
agree to a substantive agenda for such a meeting. 
 
¶14.  (C/REL NATO) Allies announced the following changes to 
their verification schedules: 
 
For VD 99 Evaluations: 
 
--Norway to Kazakhstan moved from CW 13 to CW 14 
--Luxembourg to Sweden moved from CW 14 to TBD 
 
For VD 99 Inspections: 
 
--Belgium announced it lost a planned inspection to Serbia 
--Belgium to FYROM moved from CW 12 to CW 11 
--Belgium to Tajikistan moved from CW 14 to TBD 
--Germany to Kyrgyzstan from TBD to CW 31 
--Hungary to Croatia from TBD to CW 11 
 
For CFE Inspections: 
 
--France to Russia (flank) from TBD to TB 16 
--France to Russia (quota) from TBD to TB 34 
--Portugal to Russia from TBD to TB 6 
--UK to Ukraine moved from TB 16 to TB 15 
ANDRUSYSZYN