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C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000413
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019
Classified By: Charge John Heffern for reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1. (U) This is a Request for Guidance by OOB Brussels, September 30. Please see para 2.

2. (C) NATO Secretary General Rasmussen proposed during his September 18, 2009, speech on NATO-Russia relations that NATO and Russia undertake a „joint threat assessment“ and that the NATO Russia Council (NRC) serve as a forum to discuss the European Security Treaty (reftel).

Discussion of these topics is likely to occur at an informal NAC luncheon on September 30, when we expect the SecGen to explain how he intends to move forward on the initiatives raised in his speech. We request Departments initial reaction and guidance as to how to respond to these initiatives:
— Joint Threat Assessment (JTA): The SecGen proposed undertaking a „joint review of NATOs and Russias common threats and challenges,“ to serve as an analytical platform from which to enhance practical cooperation. This proposal has raised concern among certain NATO members. Allies have suggested that a NATO-Russia JTA should be limited to counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, missile defense, nonproliferation, and maritime security, the very areas the SecGen laid out in his speech as priorities for NATO-Russia cooperation. Unless otherwise directed, we will tell the SecGen that Washington is not yet in a position to agree to discuss this issue with Russia in the NRC. We will note that we need more information regarding a number of questions in order to make a more informed decision on whether/how to move forward. These include: If we go forward, what parameters should be set for the activity and what information/intelligence could we share with Russia through the NRC.
— Discussion of European Security Treaty (EST): The SecGen recognized in his speech that the OSCE was the primary forum for discussion of the EST, but stated that a NATO-Russia dialogue on this issue „could provide real added value.“ He did not elaborate on how he intended to go about this other than to say that it was necessary to develop a European security architecture in which Russia saw itself „reflected“ and did not feel marginalized. Unless otherwise instructed, we will indicate that any NATO-Russia conversation on the EST must wait until after December in order to allow the Corfu Process to run its course.