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[alpha] INSIGHT - Russian & German deal over Moldova

Released on 2012-03-05 08:00 GMT

Email-ID 80990
Date 2011-06-16 20:40:23
ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor sources in Washington & Chisinau
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Head of Moldovan Lobby in Washington, but lives
partially in Chisinau & connected to most politicians

During the meeting Tuesday between Merkel and Putin in Geneva, it was
decided that the pair will attempt to strike a deal on Moldova, that would
put the country more security under Moscow's influence.

It is a "German proposal" being offered to the Moldovan and TD governments
though Russia helped write it. The proposal is that the TDs will get
representation (could be 5 or 15 percent, or proportional) inside of the
Moldovan parliament.

This would literally flip the government as the TDs would ally with the
Commies, which would far outnumber the so-called pro-European coalition.
Meaning, Russia would have a stable and pro-Russian government entrenched
in Moldova, not a chaotic one.

In return, Russia has offered to be "open" to allowing EU or OSCE
peacekeepers into TD to help it patrol with its military. Not that Russia
said they will, but that they are open to the possibility. Russia is
comfortable with this as their troops would stay, and then they would have
a firm pro-Russian Moldovan government.

This German-Russian proposal is under the guise of the so-called EU-Russia
Foreign Policy and Security Council-which hasn't even been formed and
isn't even an EU council, as only Berlin and Moscow are talking.

So now the Germans and Russians are talking to the Moldovans and TDs on
this with Putin personally handling the TDs and Merkel the Moldovans.

The reason why the Moldovans are even considering this is because it is a
German proposal. The Moldovans (government and regular people) absolutely
love German attention, as it makes them feel important. Moreover, the
Germans are offering some carrots - economic investment and other ties.

The ones in the ruling coalition who are doing the negotiations are Filat
and the FM Yuri Lyanke, who is in Filat's party. Filat believes that if he
not only gets an agreement on TD, gets Germany econ investment & is
personally linked to Germany, then his popularity will soar. The coalition
in Moldova is already shaky and the members of the coalition are willing
to go their own ways if necessary. This could keep Filat in the political
game no matter what happens. Filat is not pro-Western or pro-Russian, he
is pro-himself, so he is looking out for his political future.

Now, theoretically, any negotiation is not suppose to be German or Russian
proposals, it is suppose to be a 5+2 proposal and be signed off by
Brussels. But that is not how the Germans and Russians are doing this,
because they know no one in Washington or Brussels will sign off on this.
So if they can simply get Moldova and TD to sign off, then it is done.
Washington and Brussels will push on the 21st for this new agreement to go
through them, but Berlin and Moscow don't care and won't agree.

The US is really not happy about any of this, but is not willing to stand
up to the Russian over Moldova at this time, because of the other issues
(LG: Afgh) between Moscow and Washington. So the US is going to ask 3rd
parties to go pressure the Moldovans - mainly the Lithuanians, Poles,
Romanians and Brits. The Romanians won't be any help as they simply have
given up really caring about Moldova. They know the US is their security
guarantee, so why care if the Russians are next door-they have the US.

So, this will all be discussed on the 21st meeting in Moscow. It isn't
that Russia and Germany will get the deal then, but this is the start. Now
it comes down to the Poles, Lithuanians, and Brits convincing Filat that
this is suicide.

Lauren Goodrich
Senior Eurasia Analyst
T: 512.744.4311
F: 512.744.4334