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UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2013-19468 Doc No.

C05604707 Date: 03/15/2016

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ACTION C-01 RELEASE IN FULL

INFO LOG-00 ADS-00 ONY-00 SSO-00 /001W
A3BC10 232121Z/72
O 232114Z OCT 91
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9328

CONFIDENTIALMOSCOW30461

FOR UNDER SECRETARY ZOELLICK ONLY FROM AMBASSADOR
STRAUSS

E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: EAID, ECON, US, UR
SUBJECT: OFFICIAL-INFORMAL

1. CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT.

2. I RECEIVED YOUR NOTE YESTERDAY, AND I LOOK
FORWARD TO YOUR CALL. I HAVE AN IDEA FOR TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE IN THE COMMERCIAL AREA THAT I CALLED TO
DISCUSS WITH YOU. I WENT AHEAD AND TALKED ABOUT IT
BRIEFLY WITH NICK BRADY AND BOB MOSSBACHER, AND BOTH
SAID IT MADE SOME SENSE.

3. AS FOR YOUR MEETING WITH POPOV AND THE MAYOR'S
PITCH FOR A RUSSIAN-AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, YOU KNOW
THAT I AM VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THE BASIC IDEA, ALTHOUGH
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I WOULD PREFER A STRONG BUSINESS/COMMERCIAL RATHER
THAN A LIBERAL ARTS EMPHASIS AND WOULD SURELY WANT TO
BE HEARD ON THAT SUBJECT. HOWEVER, AS I INQUIRE
AMONG MY STAFF, I FIND THAT THE IDEA ISN'T AS SIMPLE
AS IT SOUNDS.

4. FIRST, SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, I HEARD FROM SENATOR
LUGAR AND ALLAN WEINSTEIN, WHO ARE WORKING WITH
INDIANA UNIVERSITY ON A SIMILAR PROJECT AND WHO ASKED
FOR ASSISTANCE. BECAUSE OF MY LACK OF TOTAL
CONFIDENCE IN VVEINSTEIN'S ABILITY TO PERFORM (HE HAS
MANY DETRACTORS) AND FOR OTHER REASONS, I FINESSED
THE ISSUE WITH LUGAR. HIS SUPPORT, HOWEVER, WOULD BE
INVALUABLE FOR WHATEVER WE DO, AS YOU WELL KNOW.

5. SECOND, WITH RESPECT TO MAYOR POPOV'S PROJECT,

REVIEW AUTHORITY: Robert Homme, Senior
Reviewer

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2013-19468 Doc No. C05604707 Date: 03/15/2016
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2013-19468 Doc No. C05604707 Date: 03/15/2016

WHICH HE DISCUSSED WITH YOU, I ASKED MY STAFF ABOUT
IT AND OFFER YOU THE FOLLOWING FOR YOUR PRESENT AND
FUTURE GUIDANCE ON THE SUBJECT.

--THE PROEJCT IS SURROUNDED BY CONTROVERSY.
MAYOR POPOV IS FIGHTING WITH THE PREVIOUS OCCUPANT OF
THE BUILDING IN QUESTION, THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL
SCIENCE (FORMERLY THE HIGHER PARTY SCHOOL), WHICH
DOESN'T WANT TO VACATE, AND ALSO WITH THE RUSSIAN
GOVERNMENT WHICH CLAIMS TITLE TO HALF OF THE
BUILDING. SOME OF THE STUDENTS FROM THE INSTITUTE OF
SOCIAL SCIENCE RE REFUSING TO LEAVE AND HAVE
BARRICADED THEMSELVES IN.

--AS OF TWO MONTHS AGO, THERE WAS LITTLE, IF
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ANY, SUBSTANCE TO THE PROJECT THAT WE COULD DISCOVER:
I.E., NO FACULTY, NO STUDENTS, AND NO FINANCING. THE
SITUATION MAY HAVE CHANGED, OF COURSE, AND WE ARE
TRYING TO FIND THAT OUT. BUT CALLS TO POPOV'S STAFF
HAVE PRODUCED NOTHING IN THE WAY OF NEW INFORMATION.

--SOME HERE BELIEVE THAT POPOV HAS NOT ALWAYS
ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. A FEW WEEKS AGO, HE CLAIMED
PUBLICLY THAT MARGARET THATCHER AND PRESIDENT BUSH
BOTH SUPPORTED HIS AND LOZANSKY'S PROJECT, A VIEW WE
HAVE NO INDEPENDENT CONFIRMATION OF. WE'VE ALSO
HEARD REPORTS FROM WASHINGTON IN THE LAST FEW DAYS
THAT POPOV CANCELLED HIS SCHEDULED MEETINGS WITH USIA
TO DISCUSS THE PROJECT AND CHOSE INSTEAD TO LOBBY THE
HILL FOR DIRECT FINANCIAL SUPPORT. I MET THIS
MORNING WITH THE BRITISH, FRENCH, AND GERMAN
AMBASSADORS, AND IN CONNECTION WITH ANOTHER SUBJECT
THEY EACH EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT POPOV'S ACTIVITIES.

6. BOB, YOU KNOW THS HIGH REGARD I HAVE FOR MAYOR
POPOV. WE ALSO LIKE VERY MUCH THE IDEA OF A
RUSSIAN-AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, AND WE ARE PREPARED TO
GIVE OUR FULL SUPPORT TO CREDIBLE PROPOSALS. THE
SPECIFIC PROJECT BEING PUSHED BY POPOV AND LOZANSKY,
HOWEVER, SEEMS AT LEAST FOR NOW TO BE LACKING IN THE
KIND OF CREDIBILITY WE WOULD FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH,
AND MY STAFF IS RECOMMENDING CAUTION AS WE CONSIDER
HOW CLOSELY THE EMBASSY OUGHT TO BECOME ASSOCIATED
WITH IT. I HAVE A LIST OF THINGS TO DO ON THE HILL
WHEN I AM HOME IN DECEMBER, AND A VISIT WITH LUGAR ON
HIS INVOLVEMENT IS ON THAT SCHEDULE. STRAUSS
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UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2013-19468 Doc No. C05604707 Date: 03/15/2016
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UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2013-19468 Doc No. C05604707 Date: 03/15/2016