S E C R E T USNATO 000004
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2020
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, NATO, RS
REF: 09 USNATO 595
Classified By: Political Advisor Kelly Degnan for reasons 1.4 (b/d).
1. (S) A usually reliable source on January 5 conveyed additional details to us about NATO SYG Anders Fogh Rasmussen,s December 17 interactions in Moscow with President Medvedev and PM Putin that were not reflected in the SYG,s report on the visit (reftel).
Based on information from someone present at the Moscow meetings, the source reported that while Russian President Medvedev was polite, neither he nor PM Putin had expressed any real interest in cooperating with NATO. Putin allegedly told Rasmussen that NATO no longer has a purpose and it was in Russias interest that NATO no longer exist.
2. (S) The source claimed that in the SYG meeting with the PM, Putin had not let Rasmussen sit down before challenging him with the allegation that NATO planned to put missiles in Bulgaria, and demanding further information. This reportely threw the SYG off balance, although the source did not indicate how he responded.
3. (C) Private Office Deputy Director Signe Brudeset maintained the same positive tone as the SYG,s trip report, when queried whether START or missile defense were discussed during the Moscow visit. PM Putin and President Medvedev focused on the European Security Initiative, she said, adding that FM Lavrov had observed that Russia was not in debt to the United States for the U.S. change in missile defense plans in the Czech Republic and Poland. In her view, Medvedev and Putin had decided for the time being to try to „play ball“ with NATO to see if it could be useful or beneficial to Russia.