Viewing cable 09USOSCE182

09USOSCE1822009-08-05 15:23:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Mission USOSCE
DE RUEHVEN #0182/01 2171523
P 051523Z AUG 09
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 08 USOSCE 000182 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2015 
REF: A. STATE 07498 
     ¶B. USOSCE 00095 
     ¶C. USOSCE 00181 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Hugh Neighbour, Reason 1.4B/D 
¶1. (C) Summary:  During the winter/spring round of the OSCE's 
Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC), the viability of Vienna 
Document 1999 (VD99), the August 2008 conflict in Georgia, 
and reflection on Russia's European Security Treaty proposal 
pitted Russia against a majority of states.  There were 
frequent, sharp exchanges between Russia and Georgia and 
others.  Russia criticized the viability of VD99 and pushed 
for a limited revision while others, led by the U.S., called 
for greater political will in fully implementing existing 
measures and commitments. 
¶2. (SBU) In a more cooperative vein, other significant 
activity included the first FSC workshop on cyber security in 
March; progress on the U.S.-authored first chapter of the 
1540 Best Practice Guide (BPG) which looks set for adoption 
in September--with full Russian backing--after two years of 
negotiations; adoption of a new Code of Conduct (CoC) 
questionnaire, also after two years of effort; and agreement 
by all to hold a conference in September 2009 to review the 
OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light weapons (SALW). 
Mission also coordinated U.S. support for a U.S.-UK led 
project that helped Cyprus destroy 324 excess SA-7 MANPADs in 
June.  All USG priorities and objectives (Ref A) were met or 
exceeded during the winter/spring round. 
¶3. (C) Compromise proposals for a limited update of VD99, the 
SALW review conference, and preparation for the OSCE 
Ministerial in Athens are expected to feature prominently 
during the fall round.  Besides these topics, Mission expects 
UNSCR 1540, cyber security, and tabled improvements for VD99 
implementation to also remain at the forefront in the FSC. 
Meanwhile, results from the informal OSCE Ministerial in 
Corfu or "Corfu Process" reinforced the prospects for 
prolonged dialogue on European security in at least two joint 
FSC-PC sessions, and have FSC delegations gearing up to 
support their COMs on this topic.  Washington guidance for 
the fall round is welcomed in paras 9, 20, 28, and 30-35. 
End Summary. 
- - - - - - - - - - 
A "Dead Letter" vs. Political Will 
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¶4. (SBU) Throughout the winter and spring Russia continued to 
argue for a revision of Vienna Document 1999 (VD99) that 
would incorporate its proposals for CSBMs on naval and rapid 
reaction forces.  Russia criticized the viability of the 
"dead letter" at every opportunity, repeatedly linking the 
failure of the OSCE to prevent the August 2008 conflict in 
Georgia to VD99's outdated and dysfunctional measures.  Two 
months into the session Russia circulated a detailed critique 
of VD99 for use at the 2009 Annual Implementation Assessment 
Meeting (AIAM).  In its assessment, Russia concluded that 50 
percent of VD99 is non-functional and the remainder is 
functioning at only partial capacity.  By May, Russia 
softened its tone and called for a "modest, limited revision" 
of the document following a consensus-based approach and 
targeting pre-agreed, specific measures. 
¶5. (SBU)  In addition to revising VD99, Russia resurrected 
its proposals for naval and rapid reaction force CSBMs and a 
single deadline for submission of defense planning data. 
While all three proposals featured prominently in Russia's 
USOSCE 00000182  002 OF 008 
interventions during the March AIAM, Russia requested to have 
its proposal for naval measures placed on the weekly working 
group B agenda.  Meanwhile, Russia's pitch for a single 
deadline for submission of defense planning data became more 
nuanced, arguing that a single deadline would allow the CPC 
to engage the OSCE's 56 participating States (pS) who are 
late in submitting their annual data, something that the CPC 
currently does not have the remit to do. 
¶6. (SBU)  Countering Russian criticism of VD99, some 
delegations, including the U.S., urged pS to demonstrate 
greater political will by fully implementing existing CSBMs, 
as well as the CFE Treaty.  A large majority of pS also 
questioned the utility or necessity of creating a naval CSBM 
and called on Russia to identify what specific security 
concerns such a CSBM would address.  The proposals to adopt a 
single date for submission of Defense planning data, while 
falling well short of gaining traction, fared somewhat better 
and drew supportive comments from some pS, including Germany. 
¶7. (SBU)  With the exception of a joint UK-Russian proposal 
on a best practice guide for VD99 Chapter IV contacts, 
progress on new CSBMs including improvements to existing 
CSBMs virtually stalled.  USDel expected up to five 
pre-coordinated Allied proposals to be tabled in the AIAM 
and/or FSC.  However, Norwegian and Danish proposals, while 
presented at the AIAM, were never forwarded to the FSC for 
action.  Turkey tabled a proposal for more liberal rules for 
use of digital cameras and GPS equipment, and Germany tabled 
a proposal for standards for briefings by military 
commanders; but, at the end of round both proposals faced 
serious opposition. 
- - - - - - - - - - - - 
Stagnation: Feeling Something Must Give 
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¶8. (C) The reason for this stagnation seems to be threefold. 
First, Russia indicated that as a matter of principle it 
would not support proposals for voluntary measures to improve 
implementation.  In fact, Russia all but killed Germany's 
proposal on "guidelines for briefings by military 
commanders..." by proposing towards the end of the session 
such substantial edits to the text that Germany was at a loss 
on how to move forward.  Second, some pS, including Germany, 
have said that, taking Russia at its word, they will not 
support proposals that Russia is sure to oppose.  According 
to Denmark and Norway, this is in part why they never tabled 
their AIAM proposals in the FSC.  Finally, several Allies 
remain convinced that agreeing to a mandatory decision for 
improving VD99 implementation is tantamount to "opening" the 
document for revision.  According to the UK, its position on 
not opening VD99 also played a role in stalling Danish and 
Norwegian proposals. 
¶9. (C) Comment:  As a consequence, there appears to be a 
feeling among many pS in Vienna that something will have to 
give.  Not surprisingly, Russia has tacit backing by Belarus 
and Kazakhstan for limited revision of VD99.  Many Allies and 
others have noted on the margins that they would be open to 
discussions, while other Allies have informally approached 
USDel seeking consultation on possible formulas for breaking 
the logjam.  While an indication of U.S. willingness to 
consider a limited package of revisions to the VD99 after 10 
years would be received warmly, such a step would first have 
to be carefully weighed at senior levels (see also Ref B). 
End comment. 
USOSCE 00000182  003 OF 008 
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The August 2008 Conflict Lives On 
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¶10. (SBU)  The August 2008 conflict between Russia and 
Georgia remained a focal topic for planned and unplanned 
discussion during the winter/spring round.  In February, the 
head of the European Union Monitoring Mission and CPC 
Director argued their case to a Joint FSC-PC session for pS 
continued support for international monitors in Georgia with 
full access to the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions.   In 
another joint session in June, the OSCE, EU, and UN Co-Chairs 
of the Geneva talks on Georgia addressed pS following the 
closure of UNOMIG and the OSCE Mission to Georgia. 
¶11. (SBU) Impromptu, direct exchanges between Russia and 
Georgia flared repeatedly during the winter session. 
Repetitive exchanges over the conflict's causes and 
consequences were fueled with periodic news of new 
complications, such as Georgia's decision to reject a Russian 
VD99 inspection in February on the basis of force majeure, 
and repeated incidents along the zone of conflict including, 
inter alia, the temporary detention of OSCE MMOs by South 
Ossetian Militia in February, an unannounced Russian 
live-fire exercise along the zone in March, repeated 
shootings, and the final closure of the OSCE Military 
Monitoring Mission.  Direct exchanges subsided in the spring 
session owning in part to the fact that, as acting FSC Chair, 
Georgia steered away from open confrontation, a point noted 
by Russia at the end of round.  Nevertheless, Russia used the 
last meeting of the round to enumerate its lessons learned 
from August 2008, with Georgia reserving its national right 
to reply during the next session after the UK assumed the 
¶12. (SBU) Throughout the round, Russia's message remained 
consistent.  Georgian President Sakashvili bore full 
responsibility for the conflict, a line which was reinforced 
by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov at the June Annual 
Security Review Conference (ASRC).  Russia decried third 
party transfers of armaments to Georgia before and after the 
conflict, alleging that pS providing arms to Georgia 
contravened a number of OSCE norms and principles and created 
"one of the most militarized states in the world."  Russia 
underscored its position by calling for an embargo of 
offensive arms transfers to Georgia. 
¶13. (C) All pS regretted the frequent sharp exchanges in open 
forum.  Georgia was privately criticized by many pS for its 
sharp comments, and no pS supported Georgia's decision to 
declare force majeure in response to a Russian VD99 
inspection request.  Russia's rhetoric, however, often turned 
prevailing pS attitudes against it, and Russia found itself 
isolated on arms transfers, the independence of Georgian 
occupied territories, and the closure of the monitoring 
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European Security Debate Leads to... 
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¶14. (SBU)  During the winter/spring round pS sought 
clarification from Russia on President Medvedev's "European 
Security Treaty" proposal and, at the same time, attempted to 
broaden the focus to include all three dimensions.  Russian 
Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko addressed a Joint PC-FSC 
session in February in an attempt to answer pS questions and 
promote Russia's vision of European Security.  Grushko cited 
Kosovo, Georgia, and NATO centrism as examples of "new 
USOSCE 00000182  004 OF 008 
realities" that drive Russian motivation for a new, legally 
binding instrument to affirm agreed principles.  Most pS 
found Grushko's comments less than enlightening. 
¶15. (SBU)  At the OSCE's Annual Security Review Conference 
(ASRC) on June 23, Russian FM Lavrov ploughed familiar ground 
on the rationale and outline of Russian proposals to 
strengthen European security architecture.  He argued there 
were three factors contributing to impaired security: lack of 
trust between governments, risks of internal ruptures, and 
the inability of the international community to respond. 
Lavrov urged participating States to recommit to 
non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, 
renounce the use of force to settle conflicts, adhere to 
international mechanisms for regulating conflict and provide 
support for international organizations dedicated to 
preventing conflict.  He said a new security architecture 
would have four major building blocks: interstate relations, 
arms control, conflict management, and new threats. 
¶16. (SBU)  The responses from pS to both presentations were 
familiar.  All reaffirmed their commitment to the principles 
of the Helsinki Final Act. Many pS found Russia's credibility 
lacking, considering its suspension of CFE obligations. 
Other delegations, citing the August conflict in Georgia 
specifically, called for greater political will in solving 
frozen conflicts and urged Russia to agree to re-establish an 
OSCE and UN presence in the disputed territories. 
- - - - - - - - - - - 
...The "Corfu Process" 
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¶17. (SBU) As the round closed, a series of events outside the 
FSC (the Berlin seminar on the future of arms control in 
Europe, the OSCE informal ministerial in Corfu, and 
U.S.-Russian bilateral Summit) provided delegations with a 
sense of anticipation for reinvigorated discussions in the 
fall.  In particular, the advent of the Corfu process in 
June, which includes an "assessment of current situation in 
each of the three dimensions in order to develop a common 
understanding of...priority common threats," has many 
delegations speculating that the FSC will play a contributing 
role in preparation for the Athens Ministerial in December. 
The Greek CiO has already begun to outline plans to discuss 
all three OSCE dimensions in the fall.  According to the CiO, 
FSC dels will be asked to support perm reps with an 
assessment of the pol-mil dimension. 
- - - - - - - - -  - - - - - 
Cyber Security--An Unexpected Success Story 
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¶18. (SBU)  March 17-18 the FSC held the first FSC workshop on 
Cyber security with more than 200 civil and military 
representatives gathered in Vienna.  This was one of the more 
broadly attended workshops held under the auspices of the 
OSCE, with reps in attendance from Egypt, Japan, the Arab 
League, and  NATO, among others.  Their key aim was to 
identify ways to cooperate on enhancing cyber security and 
examine the potential future role of the OSCE in addressing 
this global problem. 
¶19. (C)  Initially considered by the U.S. a risky topic for 
the FSC, the workshop proved a successful endeavor for 
achieving U.S. objectives, which were to prevent the 
militarization of cyber security, refrain from engaging in 
discussions on constraining state capabilities, and keeping 
USOSCE 00000182  005 OF 008 
the focus on defensive remedies to ensure cyber security. 
USDel assessed that a new CSBM introduced by the U.S. and 
close Allies on cyber security may be in U.S. interest if the 
U.S. wishes to take a proactive stance in the OSCE. 
¶20. (C) Comment:  A presentation on the outcome of the U.S. 
60*day cyber review, even though it was done in the 
Permanent Council, was well received and appreciated by FSC 
dels.  It was viewed by many pS as the first step after the 
March workshop in breaking the U.S. silence on cyber security 
in the OSCE.    If the USG wanted to go further, a 
carefully-considered, new CSBM introduced by the U.S. and 
close allies on cyber security could be in U.S. interest for 
three reasons.  First, it would advance the U.S. approach on 
cyber with the 56 participating States of the OSCE, half of 
whom are not in NATO.  Second, it would offer a positive 
alternative to impractical Russian proposals that would treat 
cyber security as an arms control issue and thus prevent 
Russia from defining the debate.  Third, it would allow the 
U.S. to assert leadership in an area that matters to U.S. 
interests.  Such a CSBM could be centered, for instance, 
around the U.S. recommendations at the workshop (see 
preceding para) or the G-8's eleven agreed points on cyber 
security.  End comment. 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Progress on 1540 BPG, More Work to Do on FFT 
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¶21. (SBU) The U.S. sponsored Food for Thought (FFT) paper on 
a "Further Work on 1540" (FSC.DEL/25/09/Corr.4) gained broad 
support, including eleven cosponsors.  However, opposition 
from Russia has prevented the FSC from pursuing an overall 
strategy on 1540 based on the FFT.  Russia criticized the 
overall tone of the paper and attacked some of the paper's 
specific proposals, finding they "invaded the competency" of 
the UN 1540 Committee or lacked any "added value."  In 
conversations with the incoming UK Chair, Mission assesses 
that movement forward on this initiative will likely depend 
on addressing some or all of Russia's concerns, either 
through a revision to the Strategy paper--a route the future 
UK Chair prefers--or by drafting separate Del papers based on 
the proposals from the FFT.  In either case, the UK will 
likely support moving either option forward this fall.  In 
addition, the UK is still working to obtain extra budgetary 
funding for a 1540 coordinator. 
¶22. (SBU) 1540 Best Practice Guide (BPG): Despite 
aforementioned differences over the FFT, after two years of 
on-off negotiations, Russia and the U.S. did resolve the 
outstanding issues with the draft first chapter of the 1540 
BPG just before the last meeting of the winter/spring FSC 
session.  What should be the final revision was then issued, 
along with a draft decision that will permit publication. 
Russia expressed its full support.  It is expected that the 
first chapter will be adopted soon after the fall session 
opens in September.  Canada circulated its draft chapter (Ch. 
3 on physical security) for comment, but it received 
extensive comments and Canada is reviewing its status. 
- - - - - - - - - -- - 
Decisions and Projects 
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¶23. (SBU) Code of Conduct: After over two years of 
negotiation, the FSC adopted a new Code of Conduct (CoC) 
Questionnaire in April (FSC.DEC/01/09).  Participating States 
also took a decision to postpone 2009 CoC questionnaire 
USOSCE 00000182  006 OF 008 
submissions in anticipation of the new questionnaire's 
adoption.  The first responses to this questionnaire were 
submitted in June. 
¶24. (SBU) SALW: The FSC adopted a decision on the modalities 
and agenda for a September 22-23 meeting to review the OSCE 
Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons (FSC.DEC/05/09). 
The meeting, proposed by the Chair of the Informal Group of 
Friends of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Germany), is a 
response to the 2008 Ministerial decision to review the FSC's 
document on SALW. 
¶25. (SBU) HOV: Participating States agreed to hold a Heads of 
Verification meeting December 14, 2009 in conjunction with 
the annual exchange of military information (FSC.DEC/04/09). 
¶26. (SBU) Turkey and Germany tabled formal proposals on 
improving VD99 implementation that will remain in WG A for 
the fall session.  Germany's paper on Briefings by Military 
Commanders (FSC.DD/05/09) has mixed reviews from pS.  Germany 
seemed prepared to address U.S. concerns, but elected not to 
circulate a new revision after receiving substantial edits 
(deletions) from Russia late in the session.  Based on 
Russia,s edits, Germany is now uncertain whether the 
document will remain viable.  Similarly, Turkey's paper on 
the use of digital cameras and GPS (FSC.DEL/124/09) has run 
into opposition from Ukraine and Belarus, which both oppose 
references to GPS based on national legislation restrictions. 
 While Belarus has informally proposed compromise language 
which would make the measure voluntary, it is unclear whether 
such a change would be acceptable to Russia.  Finally, a 
UK-Russia proposed "Best Practice Guide for Implementation of 
Chapter IV, Contacts" was redistributed as 
¶27. (SBU)  Mission coordinated U.S. support for a U.S.-UK led 
project to assist Cyprus in the destruction of 324 excess 
SA-7 MANPADs.  The project was deemed a success and concluded 
with a public ceremony on June 12. 
- - - - - - - 
Looking ahead 
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-- Revising (or a limited update of) VD99 
¶28. (C) Russia will likely continue its push for a revision 
to VD99.  Building traction will remain difficult for Russia, 
especially when VD99 is viewed within the larger context of a 
protracted discussion on European Security.  However, should 
Russia prove uncompromising on voluntary measures to improve 
VD99 implementation, the U.S. could face a growing call by 
some pS, including Allies, for a compromise approach that 
includes limited revision.  Denmark, supported by Norway, has 
already informally circulated to a number of Allies a 
proposal addressing apprehension over opening VD99.  While 
the proposal was uniformly rejected by the Quad in Vienna, it 
is unclear whether Denmark will attempt to revive it this 
fall.  At the same time, Germany has indicated to the Quad 
that it will soon circulate a non-paper assessing the current 
state of affairs and proposing a package solution to 
revision.  Germany has also asked Mission for the U.S. 
response to Russia's call for a limited revision. 
-- The Corfu Process and European Security 
¶29. (C) Further discussion on European Security, with 
particular emphasis on the "Corfu Process," is expected to 
remain a topic of interest in the fall.  The CiO has 
USOSCE 00000182  007 OF 008 
indicated that it intends to hold weekly meetings to assess 
the current state of affairs in the three security 
dimensions.  Three of those meetings will cover the 
politico-military dimension and one of those is purportedly 
scheduled as a joint FSC-PC meeting (Ref C).  While focal 
point for discussion will likely remain in the PC, the CiO 
has called for an assessment of each dimension and expects 
that FSC delegations will support Perm Reps on the pol-mil 
aspects of the discussion. 
-- 1540 Best Practice Guide (BPG) 
¶30. (SBU) It is likely that the U.S.-authored chapter of the 
1540 BPG will reach consensus early in the UK's Chairmanship 
that begins in September.  Mission recommends leveraging the 
positive exposure generated by this accomplishment to entice 
other delegations to consider authoring the remaining 
chapters.  In this light, Mission requests input as to which 
delegations may be more receptive to U.S. overtures based on 
their nation's involvement with 1540 in other forums. 
-- Further Work on 1540 
¶31. (SBU)  Although the U.S. FFT on Further Work on 1540 has 
gained solid support among pS, it does not seem likely that 
Russia will back an overall strategy for the FSC without 
significant changes.  Ignoring Russia's concerns risks 
stalemate, which in turn jeopardizes the support and momentum 
we have already developed among a number of pS.  USDel 
recommends, therefore, that Washington deemphasize the 
concept of an overall strategy for the OSCE, and increase 
efforts to develop one or more of the proposals from the FFT 
into one or more concrete FSC draft decisions. 
-- VD99 Implementation 
¶32. (SBU) Working Groups A and B will continue to discuss the 
Turkish proposal on GPS and digital cameras, Germany's 
guidelines for presentations by military commanders, UK and 
Russia's BPG for Chapter IV contacts, and Russia's proposal 
on naval CSBMs.  Mission welcomes additional guidance as 
required on any of these proposals. 
-- SALW Conference 
¶33. (SBU)  The SALW Review in September will serve as the 
first significant event on the fall agenda.  Mission welcomes 
Washington's participation and looks forward to a productive 
event in which, like the cyber security workshop in March, 
the U.S. takes a proactive role in articulating and educating 
others on U.S. positions. 
-- Cyber Security 
¶34. (SBU) Participating States have repeatedly approached 
USDel following the March Cyber Security workshop and have 
stated they are waiting to table their own proposals on cyber 
security for fear of putting the U.S. into an awkward spot. 
Mission would welcome Washington's views on further cyber 
security work in the FSC (please see comment para 20). 
-- December's OSCE Athens Ministerial 
¶35. (SBU) Mission welcomes Washington's input regarding FSC 
goals and objectives for the OSCE Ministerial in Athens. 
- - - - - - - - 
Reporting Cables 
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USOSCE 00000182  008 OF 008 
¶36. (SBU) More details:  For further details on FSC plenary 
meetings over the past six months, here follows a list of 
post reporting on the January-July Round: 
  USOSCE 00008, USOSCE 00013, USOSCE 00018, USOSCE 00034, 
  USOSCE 00036, USOSCE 00038, USOSCE 00041, USOSCE 00046, 
  USOSCE 00049, USOSCE 00050, USOSCE 00055, USOSCE 00064, 
  USOSCE 00065, USOSCE 00066, USOSCE 00071, USOSCE 00084, 
  USOSCE 00085, USOSCE 00119, USOSCE 00123, USOSCE 00132, 
  USOSCE 00134, USOSCE 00138, USOSCE 00139, USOSCE 00145, 
  USOSCE 00147, USOSCE 00154, USOSCE 00157, USOSCE 00167, 
  USOSCE 00172.