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E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2019 TAGS: AORC, CDG, ENRG, KNNP, MNUC, PARM, PGOV, PREL, UNGA/C-1, IAEA, NPT SUBJECT: NPT, CTBT, FMCT DISCUSSED AT P-5 LUNCH IN NEW YORK
Classified By: Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).
1. (C) Summary: Anatoly Antonov, Director for Arms Control, Russian MFA, hosted Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller (also U.S. Head of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) delegation meeting in New York) and other P-5 NPT PrepCom Delegation Heads and Deputy Heads for lunch May 8 at Russia's United Nations mission. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and other disarmament issues, a program of work in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to begin negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), the NPT PrepCom meeting currently underway in New York, and proposals for multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle dominated the conversation. Russia put forward five principles that might form the basis for agreed consensus by the P-5 at the Review Conference (RevCon) of the NPT in 2010, and all P-5 supported working to achieve agreement on a short P-5 press release at the close of current NPT proceedings, to be drafted by the United States. End Summary.
2. (C) In New York to head the Russian delegation to May 4-15 NPT PrepCom meetings at the United Nations, Anatoly Antonov, Director of Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Russia's MFA, hosted fellow P-5 delegation heads and deputy heads for lunch at the Russian UN mission on May 7. P5 attendees included Antonov and four other members of the Russian delegation; for the U.S., Rose Gottemoeller, Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance, (Head of the U.S. Delegation), Ambassador Marguerita Ragsdale, Director of Multilateral Security and Nonproliferation, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (Deputy Head); for China, Cheng Jingye, MFA
Director General for Arms Control and Disarmament, (Head of Delegation), Ambassador Wang Qun, Geneva Mission (Deputy Head); for the UK, Ambassador John Duncan, Geneva Mission (Head of Delegation), Fiona Patterson, Counselor of the Geneva UK Mission (Deputy Head); for France, Ambassador Eric Danon, Geneva Mission (Head of Delegation) and Celine Jurgensen, MFA Deputy Director for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament Division.
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
3. (C) Antonov initiated discussion by noting the encouragement CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Toth had received from U.S. administration statements on CTBT ratification. He said he hoped other countries would follow suit in expressing an intention to sign and ratify the Treaty, adding that it would be important to make progress in this direction before the NPT Review Conference in 2010. He asked Acting Under Secretary Gottemoeller for an update of U.S. Administration progress on CTBT ratification.
4. (C) Gottemoeller said President Obama had begun efforts to seek the advice and consent of the Senate to ratify the treaty, and that she was "judiciously optimistic" about obtaining the votes needed. Inquiries from the Senate had already begun with a list of questions from Senator Kyl, which her Bureau had addressed in the initial days of her tenure at State. She had met with members of Kyl's staff, who seemed pleased about the responsiveness of the Administration to the questions that had been raised. On timing for moving forward, Gottemoeller said she expected that a proposed START treaty would move first to the Senate prior to the Administration requesting the Senate's advice and consent on CTBT.
Disarmament and the New Administration
5. (C) French Ambassador Danon asked if the Nunn-Schlesinger-Kissinger - Perry initiative on disarmament had been helpful in facilitating the work of the new Administration. Gottemoeller said that the two articles produced by these former officials had been very helpful in changing attitudes towards disarmament in the United States and that President Obama had listened to their perspective. To China's question as to whether the Law of the Sea Treaty might also be ripe for approval in the Senate, Gottemoeller responded in the affirmative.
6. (C) Antonov told Gottemoeller that the U.S. Administration is now sending important signals and this must surely mean that the U.S. is ready to "assuage" Russia's security concerns. Gottemoeller responded that the U.S. believes that our joint experience in implementing START will allow both Russia and the U.S. to move forward in talks. Antonov said he was pleased the talks would be taking place in Geneva because of the success countries have had in that venue in moving forward on other important agreements, such as the Chemical Weapons Convention. The UK's Duncan interjected that work in Geneva was far more "pragmatic" than in "polemical" New York.
Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament (CD)
7. (C) On an FMCT and the work of the CD, Antonov said he had heard that CD members do not see a problem in moving forward on a program of work in that body but was not yet convinced this was true of Pakistan. He inquired if Pakistan now held a positive position on moving forward. Ambassador Qun of China said he understood Pakistan was still insisting on the Shannon Mandate, yet had been "reasonably quiet" of late. Qun expressed the view that Pakistan would not want a dispute at the CD over FMCT, even though it has given conflicting signals about whether it could accept the Algerian program of work.
8. (C) France's Danon said Pakistan had told him it had no problems with safety and security concerns France had raised in terms of nuclear materials. It wanted, however, the same regime India has and is keen to see verification of stocks included so that India's holdings are known as they may impact Pakistan's nuclear posture. Danon said he also believes Pakistan will support the proposed program of work, as it does not wish to be isolated in the nuclear world.
9. (C) The best scenario, Danon said, would be to begin negotiations with the January session of the CD. The CD would have been able to take advantage of the Algerian presidency for 15 days prior to ascendancy of Argentina and then Australia. Algeria can change the NAM's views, whereas others that follow will have less influence over the NAM. France does not like the Algerian proposal's language on negative security assurances (NSAs), Danon added, and would prefer that all other items mentioned in the proposal be considered at a different level of importance. Antonov agreed with Danon,s assessment on timing, and the importance of getting a program of work in the CD. He said Russia had not been pleased with the response to PAROS because it was sure PAROS is ripe for negotiation. He also laid down a marker that if there is mention in the CD of proceeding with a treaty on NSAs, but not a treaty on PAROS, then this would be a problem for Russia. Russia was not ready to support discussion of a treaty on NSAs.
10. (C) Antonov told his P-5 guests that Russia is very interested in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and would like to see if there might be a more positive position taken by the U.S. in it on the Russia-China initiative for a treaty banning the placement of weapons in space. He said he did not understand why the U.S. worked against this in the CD and added that Russia will seek, in its consultations with the United States, a report of where matters stand on this issue and whether there can be forward movement. Russia will also work, he said, to persuade others to support the initiative and would prefer a unified P-5 position on it.
11. (C) Gottemoeller responded that in the U.S., four distinct security posture reviews are currently being conducted: the Quadrennial Defense Review, the Nuclear Posture Review, a Space Policy review, and a Missile Defense review. These reviews will stretch out over 2009 but will produce interim results. It is, therefore, good to hear Russia's inquiries and concerns as the U.S. moves forward on those reviews.
12. (C) China's Qun said that since there is reference in the Algeria proposal only to the possibility of negotiations in the context of NSAs, China did not see this as prejudicial to its policies. He said China's representative in the CD was instructed to demonstrate a "constructive attitude" on a program of work and to be "low-key" on NSAs. Also, he continued, China is "low key" on positive security assurances (PSAs) as well, in order to avoid making other P-5 members uncomfortable. If early consensus is to be achieved, he continued, problems will need to be anticipated before they happen. He said he was pleased to see the U.S. raise the expectations of other CD members by its actions. It is still unknown how far forward the CD can move, Qun added, but the next session will be critical.
13. (C) The UK's Duncan interjected that the Chinese position was also a good description of the UK's. There is no cost-free option in mandates before the CD and one must balance options against the cost and consequence of saying "no" to either. Doing less would take the P-5 back to the past. The Algerian proposal is not ideal, Duncan added, but it is not as harsh as the political cost of failing to move ahead. When it comes to NSAs, he continued, the UK will say no to them, but the Algerian proposal remains one with which the UK can live. France's Danon interjected that if consensus in the CD to accept the Algerian proposal is achieved, France will not break that consensus, but the question of Israel's position remains.
14. (C) Gottemoeller noted that the U.S. has invited Israel to come to the United States for discussion on FMCT and the CD prior to the U.S. visit on May 18 of Prime Minister Netanyahu. She said she was very hopeful and optimistic about such discussions. To Ambassador Qun's inquiry as to how the U.S. would address Israeli concerns, and to his observation that Israel may be keen to talk to the U.S. about understandings regarding nuclear materials, Gottemoeller responded that she viewed it inappropriate to talk about U.S. bilateral understandings with Israel.
15. (C) Antonov initiated discussion of P-5 assessments of the current NPT PrepCom. The UK's Duncan expressed fascination over what has happened over the past week. He opined that the P-5 had shown real leadership and its members had come across as united, causing the NAM to "take a step back" compared to the 2008 meeting. He attributed the reversal to the change in U.S. leadership style, and especially to the way the U.S. has presented itself in the conference. There is a change of tone, Duncan observed, that has allowed the center of the NAM to become energized against those on the right in the NAM. Iran this year failed to get some of its points included in the NAM final document at the Cuba summit. He continued that he thought Chairman Chidyausiku and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs had done a good job. He insisted that the P-5 maintain its "intellectual leadership" and "unity" going into the 2010 RevCon. To do this, he recommended that P-5 members focus on just "two to three" issues on which its members could agree.
16. (C) Antonov asked about the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) and its activities in the Prepcom. The UK's Patterson responded that the NAC is divided in strategy over Egypt but is still a serious grouping. It could very well come back with tremendous force at the upcoming United Nations First Committee (UNFC) meeting in October. Antonov lamented that the NAC at the 2000 RevCon appeared to try to speak on behalf of the entire world. He urged the P-5 not to give the NAC "an opportunity to increase its credibility or sell its objectives to the rest of the world."
17. (C) Gottemoeller responded that the atmosphere is good coming out of the PrepCom. Each group has work it needs to do and if there is progress in the PrepCom, momentum can be built for progress on CTBT, FMCT and Middle East issues. Gottemoeller admitted that these would be a "heavy lift and a hard agenda." Still, she expressed hope that progress could be shown.
18. (C) Antonov supported the view that the P-5 must be united going into 2010 and added that this unity will make it easier for the P-5 to cooperate with the NAM. "We should forget our bilateral problems and make an agreement not to attack each other," he said. He endorsed the idea of finding "three to five" issues that could be the basis for the P-5's framing of a final document and offered five that he said Russia could endorse: (1) meet some of the concerns of Egypt, but require reciprocal action from Egypt; (2) support an international conference to deal with all issues that arise under the 1995 Middle East Resolution; (3) appoint a Special Envoy to visit countries of the region and to report on findings. (Comment: Not clear if this would be a Russian envoy, an other P-5 envoy, or from another country. End comment); (4) support establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, which might aid in getting all countries to ratify the CTBT; and (5) come to a common understanding on the meaning of Article X. He said Russia would provide this year some elements for a possible position on withdrawal.
19. (C) By engaging in this way, and on these issues, Antonov continued, Egypt cannot say that the P-5 has put nothing on the table. He noted Russian concerns about the proposals Egypt put forward in its 2008 NPT Prepcom Working Paper on the Middle East, saying those proposals only focused on a NWFZ. According to Antonov, the list he is offering helps get the P-5 away from merely repeating slogans such as "we support the 1995 resolution" and puts forward concrete action. Duncan noted that Russia's proposals would find "a great deal of" resonance in the UK.
20. (C) France's Danon agreed with Antonov that a final document for the RevCon could be based on P-5 consensus on certain issues. The question would be how to organize that consensus. France, he said, is ready to work with the other members of the P-5 toward preparing for the RevCon on the basis of P-5 consensus. On Iran, he said France believes that President Obama has divided its government. The tone of Iran's opening PrepCom statement reflects that division. On Egypt, he said he heard "frustration" in its opening statement. The world is changing, Danon said, and Egypt sees its position only worsening as a result. Iran is growing in power, Israel remains outside the NPT, and nothing is being offered to Egypt. He said he believes Egypt must be offered something in this review cycle.
P-5 statement in the NPT PrepCom
21. (C) Antonov told Danon that he thought the P-5 draft statement France penned and circulated prior to start of the PrepCom was excellent but far too long for a press release. It should contain, he said, "five or six points only" and carry the message, inter alia, that the P-5 has no joint statement but stands united and ready to cooperate with others. (Note: Gottemoeller volunteered to prepare such a draft, which was penned by the NSC and circulated among the P-5 on May 8. End Note)
Multilateral Fuel Cycles
22. (C) Jingye commented that the P-5 has drawn closer, despite pending issues among them. The P-5 is still emphasizing disarmament, where the U.S. and Russia have the real leadership. What should also be considered, he opined, are proposals from Russia and others on multilateral fuel cycles. Is it possible, he asked, to bring any one of those proposals to fruition in the current NPT review cycle?
23. (C) Antonov remarked that he supported the Hans Blix notion that it is important that all countries of a region refrain from exercising the right to develop uranium enrichment capabilities. Gottemoeller noted the emphasis placed on the concept of all countries being able to benefit from peaceful uses of nuclear energy and queried whether the idea of preventing a country from enrichment might encounter difficulties. Antonov said a multilateral approach would simply be offered in place of the right to enrich and he touted the Angarsk proposal, according to which a country would, by his description, "get everything except access to technology." France's Danon closed the discussion by saying that the only valuable proposal on multilateral fuel cycles is one that places all countries on an equal footing.