152217 5/2/2008 13:32 08TALLINN154 Embassy Tallinn CONFIDENTIAL 08TALLINN111 VZCZCXRO4032 OO RUEHBW RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHTL #0154/01 1231332 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 021332Z MAY 08 FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0610 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TALLINN 000154
FOR EUR/NB-KATHERINE GARRY
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/2018 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, MOPS, NATO, EN SUBJECT: ESTONIA'S REACTION TO THE BUCHAREST NATO SUMMIT
Classified by: DCM Karen Decker for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)
REF: TALLINN 111
1. (C) SUMMARY. In an unprecedented joint briefing for the Parliament, the Estonian Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister touted the success of the Bucharest Summit. The Prime Minister praised the strength of the final declaration's statement on membership for Georgia and Ukraine and contested the media's assertion that a "third country" had "vetoed" MAP. Remarks also welcomed inclusion of key issues including cyber security, missile defense and increased civil and military support for Afghanistan in the declaration. Separately, a senior advisor to the Prime Minister expressed frustration at "some countries" positive response to Russian President Putin's remarks, despite his dismissive tone and negative approach. End Summary.
2. (SBU) On April 22, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Defense Minster Jaak Aaviksoo and MFA Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Harri Tiido jointly briefed members of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committees and the diplomatic community in Tallinn on the results of the NATO Summit. PM Ansip characterized the Summit as "extremely successful," emphasizing the fact that Allies not only debated important issues but - more importantly - made decisions at Bucharest. Defense Minister Aaviksoo opined that leaders left Bucharest more confident that NATO can make effective decisions based on common interest.
3. (SBU) While speakers positively highlighted inclusion of cyber security and missile defense in the Final Declaration, the majority of the remarks were devoted to Georgia, Ukraine and Afghanistan. While acknowledging disappointment that Allies did not reach consensus on MAP, PM Ansip asserted that the final Declaration's language is even better than an offer of MAP would have been because it is a very strong statement that both countries are expected to join NATO. Reacting to articles published in international media, PM Ansip strongly contested assertions that 'a third' country had been allowed to veto MAP. FM Paet said he thought some Allies were relieved by NATO's decision not to offer MAP because they feared Russia would block transport routes to Afghanistan. Paet also expressed concerns about Russian efforts to isolate Georgia and undermine political stability in Ukraine. Public support for NATO has increased recently in Ukraine, Paet said, and he hopes Russia will not interfere between now and the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting this December.
4. (SBU) PM Ansip, DefMin Aaviksoo and U/S Tiido all praised the level of Allied commitment to Afghanistan pledged at Bucharest. PM Ansip credited the French with "elevating the atmosphere" with their commitment of troops to the mission. Undersecretary Tiido (Estonia's non-resident Ambassador to Afghanistan) noted the French contribution will free up American troops to support NATO's campaign in the southern region (where Estonian troops also serve). All of the speakers underscored the importance of increasing the international community's focus on civil support for Afghanistan. Defense Minister Aaviksoo cautioned that construction and development of civil society in Afghanistan could take more than ten years. Tiido also stressed the GOE view that the EU needs to increase its presence in Afghanistan.
5. (SBU) While both PM Ansip and FM Paet expressed regret that Macedonia, having fulfilled all requirements for membership, did not receive an offer at Bucharest, they both stated that Greece's position appears firm and that an expeditious resolution to the issue is unlikely. Both emphasized that the issue extends beyond NATO to other international organizations like the EU and UN. FM Paet expressed hope that UN Special Representative Matthew Nimetz will be sufficiently creative in working with both parties to propose a solution.
6. (C) Separately, in a conversation with Pol/Econ Chief, Kyllike Silliste-Elling, Foreign Policy Advisor to PM Ansip, commented on President Putin's participation in the Summit. While noting that she is no longer "surprised" by Putin's remarks, Sillaste-Elling characterized the tone of Putin's Bucharest speech as "dismissive" of NATO and other international organizations. She also expressed frustration about the gratuitously positive reaction "some Allies" had to Putin's speech, despite his negative stance toward NATO. On this front, Silliste-Elling praised German
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Chancellor Angela Merkel for pushing back on Putin's assertion that NATO is directed against Russia. (In contrast, she noted, to Merkel's inflexible position on MAP.)