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Viewing cable 08REYKJAVIK188, GEORGIA: ICELAND OPPOSES RUSSIAN RECOGNITION OF S. OSSETIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08REYKJAVIK188 2008-08-27 16:04 2011-01-13 05:05 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO9837
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHRK #0188 2401603
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271603Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3780
INFO RUEHNO/US MISSION NATO BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L REYKJAVIK 000188 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR P, EUR, EUR/CARC, EUR/NB 
USNATO FOR AMB. VOLKER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF GG RU IC
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: ICELAND OPPOSES RUSSIAN RECOGNITION OF S. OSSETIA 
AND ABKHAZIA 
 
REF: STATE 91894 
 
Classified By: Amb. Carol van Voorst for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary: U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker previewed reftel 
demarche in August 25 meetings with the Icelandic Foreign Minister 
and other senior officials, and embassy followed up on August 27 to 
reiterate the points.  In press comments on August 26, Foreign 
Minister Gisladottir immediately condemned the Russian move as 
"unhelpful."  End Summary. 
 
2.  (U) Icelandic Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir 
immediately condemned Russia's decision to recognize South Ossetia 
and Abkhazia as independent states, following a demarche on same by 
the Russian Ambassador here August 26.  Gisladottir described the 
Russian decision as "inexpedient" and noted that responsible leaders 
should be looking for ways to calm the situation, not provoke more 
unrest as Russia has done.  Alluding to Chechnya, Gisladottir said 
that the Russian move may have "consequences that they have not 
thought through completely." 
 
3.  (U) For his part, Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev called a 
press conference on August 26 to announce the Russian Government's 
decision as well as his lobbying efforts with FM Gisladottir earlier 
in the day.  Tatarintsev's comments -- including his statement that 
Russia "naturally insists" that Iceland join in recognizing the two 
regions -- received wide, if incredulous, press coverage. 
 
4.  (C) During meetings with Gisladottir and other senior ministry 
officials on August 25, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker discussed 
the possibility of Russian recognition of the two regions.  All were 
in agreement that the move was a bad one and would be unlikely to 
gain wide support internationally.  PolOff contacted the MFA's 
Director for International Affairs Nick Hannigan on August 27 to 
express embassy's appreciation for FM Gisladottir's statement, and to 
reiterate ref B points.  Hannigan noted that the FM was firm in her 
message to the Russian Ambassador that the Russian decision is 
extremely unhelpful, and would particularly exacerbate the plight of 
Georgian IDPs from the two regions. 
 
van Voorst