C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000946




E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2017


Classified By: CDA Michael Gallagher, reasons 1.4 (b,d)

1. (C) Summary: During a tour d'horizon discussion at the
MFA on May 8, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification,
Compliance, and Implementation Paula A. DeSutter addressed
Russian President Putin's April 26 remarks and attempts to
link the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty to
U.S. ballistic missile defense plans. She discussed
post-START talks, funding for the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Iran, the completion of U.S.
chemical weapons stockpile destruction by 2012, and public
outreach efforts related to nonproliferation fora such as the
NPT and BWC. End summary.

2. (U) DeSutter met with MFA Director for Security Affairs
Robert de Groot on May 8. Also in attendance for the Dutch
were Deputy Head of Nuclear Affairs and Nonproliferation Joan
Wiegman and Policy Advisor Walter Wormgoor. U.S. attendees
included VCI Technical Advisor Astrid Lewis, and
political-military officer Jason Grubb.

Adapted CFE Treaty Linkage

3. (C) De Groot began discussion by asking for US views on
Russian President Putin's April 26 speech that attempted to
link the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty to
U.S. ballistic missile defense plans, and suggested Moscow
may suspend CFE-related activities as a result. De Groot
said Putin's remarks "backfired," as NATO Foreign Ministers
at the Oslo ministerial reacted strongly against Putin --
"even the Germans came out publicly against Putin's remarks,"
he said. DeSutter concurred, and referred to on-going
discussions to allay Russian concerns in the NATO-Russia
Council (NRC) and bilateral consultations in Moscow. She
said the USG remains committed to the Adapted CFE Treaty, and
suggested the challenges to persuading Moscow to fulfill its
remaining Istanbul Commitments are not insurmountable. That
said, she referenced her continued discussions with Russian
MFA Director for Security and Disarmament Anatoly Antonov,
who is still skeptical that the USG supports the Adapted CFE
entry-into-force. DeSutter stated that the Adapted CFE
Treaty may need modernization, but noted that
entry-into-force will have to take place first. De Groot
noted that he will meet with Antonov on May 23 in Moscow.

4. (C) Regarding the 1999 Istanbul Commitments, DeSutter
raised the alternative peacekeeping force proposal in
Moldova. She argued that any peacekeeping force would need
to include the Russians, and could be organized through NRC
auspices. She added that she had hoped we could have managed
to allow the Russians to announce the creation of the force
on the anniversary of the NRC. DeSutter added, however, that
now some thought would need to be given to avoid the
perception that NATO was responding to threats from Moscow.
De Groot asked if such a force required EU consideration;
DeSutter said the "need to move quickly" suggested EU
consideration may not be advisable.

5. (C) De Groot noted that the Russians have made the
argument to the Dutch that the A/CFE requires revision, and
it was not clear if Moscow was pushing first for A/CFE
entry-into-force or renegotiation. DeSutter said the
Russians appear more interested in renegotiating, and have
made the Germans "jittery" by claiming that the United States
is not interested. She reiterated that the USG supports
A/CFE entry-into-force, and suggested renegotiation would
present additional challenges.

Missile Defense

6. (C) De Groot noted that the Foreign Ministers' responses
at Oslo to Putin on missile defense (MD) "could not have been
better." DeSutter described the Russians as the "most
consulted people who have allegedly never been consulted."
She said Moscow adopted this line primarily because the
United States did not capitulate to Russian demands during
earlier consultations. She added that we are trying to
better understand the Russian argument, and are willing to
work with the Russians on MD. She suggested the Plutonium
Disposition Agreement might allow the sides to move forward
on the Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC) and additional
cooperation with Moscow.

7. (C) De Groot asked about next MD steps, especially given
"jittery" Berlin and possibly including plans for
verification. DeSutter pointed to a number of recent
high-level Washington visitors to Moscow as efforts to
convince the Russians that the ballistic missile deployment
will not be offensive in nature. She expressed concerns
about the missile defense public debate in Germany; German
op-eds describe MD as "the end of arms control." She
acknowledged the need to make the intellectual argument in
Berlin that MD provides a third option beyond a pre-emptive
strike and retaliation. She suggested convening a MD space
policy conference in Berlin.


8. (C) De Groot raised post-START plans; DeSutter
acknowledged discussions with Moscow on post-START scenarios
such as confidence and security building and transparency
measures. She indicated that neither side wants to simply
extend the START Treaty, but both want some continued
transparency, and Moscow was pushing for another treaty. "We
would like to get to a place with the Russians in which they
act like other countries and trust us" without feeling the
need to sign and ratify an agreement, DeSutter said. De
Groot asked if the post-START scenario will address U.S.
missile defense plans; DeSutter said that efforts to include
our missile defense plans will not work.


9. (C) De Groot noted that the USG was behind in payments for
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
DeSutter cited conceptual problems with both the treaty and
the organization. She said monitoring the globe equally was
not productive, the CTBT was not verifiable, and the
organization is not ready to perform on-site inspections and
susceptible to politicization. She noted the USG currently
has a moratorium on testing, while the reliable warhead
program aims to ensure that our arsenal remains dependable.
But the USG reserves the right to test, she said, to ensure
that our weapons are safe and reliable. De Groot understood
our position, but could not understand the suspension
following years of financial support for the CTBTO. DeSutter
explained that the USG has continued funding for the
International Monitoring System (IMS), and not the CTBTO.
With other competing priorities, including 22 percent funding
for the OPCW and anticipated funding for IAEA inspections in
North Korea, it was difficult to prioritize financial support
for the CTBTO, she said.


10. (C) DeSutter noted a sizable Dutch trade relationship
with Iran, and asked if the Dutch considered doing more on
sanctions. De Groot said the trade relationship was not as
much as some of the larger EU members such as France and
Germany, and almost entirely consists of 1-day old chicken
exports. He said the Dutch are viewed within the EU as
"hard-line supporters" of economic sanctions on Iran, while
EU members such as France and Germany have far too many
economic interests to support increased sanctions. De Groot
noted that Tehran had recently suggested to the Dutch that
Iranian airport maintenance efforts be based in the
Netherlands -- "we have not responded to their offer, and
continue to be quite tough on Iran," De Groot said. He noted
that the Dutch spend 15 million euros per year on a public
diplomacy media diversity program in Iran (Comment: Per
reftel, the Dutch parliament has authorized 15 million, and
the MFA has allocated 13 million. End comment.)

11. (C) Referring to the upcoming IAEA report to be released
on May 23, de Groot acknowledged Iran will continue to be a
"big challenge." However, he said Iran is "overplaying its
hand," including recently during the on-going NPT PrepCom in
Vienna and in the Middle East Peace Process, and has
underestimated the negative reaction from Riyadh. De Groot
added that Iran was "meddling in Afghanistan, and making life
difficult for all of us" -- the P5 Political Directors have
never been so united in opposition to Iran, he noted. That
said, he thought additional resolutions and sanctions will be
difficult to obtain. Responding to a question on new French
President Zarkozy's position on Iran, de Groot suggested that
Zarkozy will cooperate, but "will not take the lead" as he
focuses more on domestic politics.

Chemical Weapons Convention

12. (C) De Groot asked for U.S. views on the 2012 chemical
weapon destruction deadline. Lewis noted that the USG is on
track for meeting the 45 percent destruction deadline of 31
December 2007 that was adopted by the Conference of the
States Parties, and that the USG has opted to tackle
destruction of "the hard stuff" first. She explained that
the USG learning curve for chemical weapon destruction has
increased, including how to deal with mercury contamination,
consequences of CW destruction on safety and the environment,
and subsequent changes to regulations and the changes of
chemical demilitarization technologies. She noted
destruction-related problems with all of the CW possessor
States Parties.

13. (C) Lewis also gave a brief overview of the status of
U.S. destruction assistance in Libya. DeSutter suggested the
Dutch when possible to encourage the Libyans in their
destruction efforts and give them positive reinforcement
whenever possible for making their weapons of mass
destruction elimination decision. De Groot questioned
whether there were adequate controls in place to prevent
proliferation from the Libyan stockpile; DeSutter expressed
confidence in the OPCW Technical Secretariat.

14. (C) De Groot also asked about Lebanon and Syria, and
their possible accession to the CWC. Lewis informed the
group of the OPCW focus on universality and the organization
interaction with the Middle Eastern countries. She noted
that the Lebanese parliament has expressed interest in
acceding, but currently is preoccupied with internal
politics, and Syria continues to express the usual concerns
with Israel. De Groot mentioned that the Dutch have an
on-going dialogue with Israel.

15. (C) De Groot asked if there was room for the OPCW to do
more in the area of counterterrorism. Lewis noted that
counterterrorism was not in the OPCW's mandate, but both the
U.S. and the OPCW have been focusing on States Parties to
fully implement Article VII of the Convention which requires
States Parties to enact penal legislation to address possible
impacts of entities and non-State actors that employ or use
CW on its territories. She noted that inviting debate on
amendments in this area might not be the best course of
action -- focusing on implementation legislation might be a
better strategy.

16. (C) DeSutter raised the need to address investigation of
alleged use of CW and discussed what the U.S. is doing on
this issue. As an example, she cited the number of media
reports alleging chemical use in Darfur, Sudan, and stated
the need to get access to the information sooner. DeSutter
noted the delays in reporting such incidents and that there
may be a need to develop a "library" of chemical weapons to
better track CW use. She suggested reaching out to NGOs in
the area of suspected CW use -- not necessarily to collect
evidence, but as a means to better direct the OPCW's efforts.

NPT/BWC/Public Outreach

17. (C) De Groot said he found a U.S. intervention at the NPT
PrepCom on the Review Conference "tough," and added that "a
sense of moving forward" toward the Review Conference would
be helpful when managing public and parliament expectations.
From that perspective, he said that the Dutch were pleased
with the results of the BWC Review Conference. DeSutter
asked what more the USG could do from the European and
especially Dutch perspective to articulate positive elements
of U.S. positions and provide support to our friends on arms
control and nonproliferation issues. De Groot suggested
"sensitivity" in any U.S. public statement -- "any U.S.
statement that leads to the perception -- even if it is a
misperception -- that we are standing still could be
detrimental," he said. DeSutter suggested a public outreach
tour to European capitals by U.S. Ambassador to the
Conference on Disarmament Christina Rocca; de Groot said such
a tour had promise and the Dutch would give it some thought.

18. (U) A/S DeSutter has cleared on this cable.