US embassy cable - 90FREETOWN872

SPYING CHARGES AGAINST USSR

Identifier: 90FREETOWN872
Wikileaks: View 90FREETOWN872 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Freetown
Created: 1990-03-01 11:46:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL SOVIET UNION PINR SL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 011146Z MAR 90
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9567
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
C O N F I D E N T I A L FREETOWN 00872 
 
E.O.  12356:  DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, SOVIET UNION, PINR, SL 
SUBJECT:  SPYING CHARGES AGAINST USSR 
 
REF:  A)  FBIS 011418Z FEB 90, B)  MONROVIA 1175, 
 C)  FREETOWN 0443,       D)  STATE 048127 
 
1.  REFTELS REFER TO SOVIET DENIALS OF ALLEGED U.S. 
CHARGES OF THEIR SPYING ON U.S. INSTALLATIONS FROM 
FACILITIES IN SIERRA LEONE. FOLLOWING CONFIRMATION 
THAT IN FACT WE NEVER MADE SUCH ALLEGATIONS, DCM 
TRIED TO CALL HIS COUNTERPART AT SOVIET EMBASSY. 
THE COUNTERPART NEVER RETURNED PHONE CALLS AND WE 
DECIDED TO PUT OUR EFFORTS ON HOLD UNTIL AN OPPOR- 
TUNITY PRESENTED ITSELF. 
 
2.  THAT OPPORTUNITY CAME ON MONDAY 2/27, WHEN DCM 
MET NEW SOVIET POLITICAL OFFICER AT INAUGURATION 
OF A TRAINING COURSE FOR NEW WEST AFRICAN DIPLOMATS. 
DCM TOOK THE OCCASION TO EXPLAIN OUR PUZZLEMENT WITH 
THE REPORTS.  THE NEXT MORNING DCM RECEIVED A CALL 
FROM SOVIET DCM WHO INVITED HIM TO SOVIET EMBASSY. 
 
3.  AT 2/28 MEETING WITH SOVIET DCM GENADI RAISKI 
AND AMBASSADOR'S SECRETARY/TRANSLATOR KONSTANTINE 
ALERSEYEV.  DCM AGAIN EXPLAINED OUR PUZZELMENT AND 
ASSURED SOVIETS WE HAD SENT NO NOTE OR MESSAGE TO 
GOSL COMPLAINING OF SOVIET ACTIVITIES.  RAISKI 
REPLIED THAT HIS EMBASSY WAS JUST AS PUZZLED BY THE 
AFFAIR, INDICATING THEY HAD ALSO HEARD OF THE DENIAL 
FROM TASS THROUGH THE FOREIGN MINISTRY IN MOSCOW. 
THEY HAD HEARD OF NO REPORTS HERE. 
4.  RAISKI ASKED IF THE EMBASSY MIGHT NOT KNOW OF 
THE ACTIVITIES OF OTHER  USG AGENCIES 
DCM REPLIED WE HAD CANVASSED A MULTITUDE OF OTHER 
AGENCIES AND COULD FIND NO POSSIBLE SOURCE OF THE 
ALLEGED ACCUSATION. 
 
5.  RAISKI EXPRESSED RELIEF AT OUR INFORMATION AND 
INDICATED HIS DESIRE TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP BETTER 
RELATIONS BETWEEN OUR TWO EMBASSIES. 
 
6.  TURNING TO OTHER MATTERS, RAISKI EXPRESSED HIS 
CONCERN OVER THE SERIOUS OF THE SITUATION IN THE 
SOVIET UNION AND WONDERED ALOUD IF IT MIGHT HAVE 
BEEN BETTER HAD THEY FIRST TRIED TO INTIATE ECONO- 
MIC BEFORE POLITICAL REFORM.  HE DEFENDED SOVIET 
ACTIONS IN AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA POINTING OUT THAT 
ALL THE GOVERNMENT WAS TRYING TO DO WAS STABILIZE 
THE SITUATION AND STOP THE VIOLENCE.  HE SAID THE 
ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN THE COUNTRY WERE VERY GREAT 
AND IT WOULD TAKE A LONG TIME TO RESOLVE.  HE WAS 
CLEARLY PESSIMISTIC ON THE SITUATION. 
 
7.  TURNING TO THE SIERRA LEONE SCENE, RAISKI EX- 
PRESSED PESSISM ON THE SITUATION ASKING THE DCM 
HIS VIEWS ON DEVALUATION, THE DEFICIT, AND THE IMF. 
INTERESTINGLY RAISKI DID NOT BELIEVE DEVALUATION 
WOULD WORK.  HE ADVOCATED A FLOATING EXCHANGE 
RATE THAT WOULD HELP RECHANNEL EXPORT REVENUES TO 
MORE PRODUCTIVE USES AND WOULD ALLOW FOR A MEETING 
OF THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE.  THE 
DCM'S OBSERVATION THAT HE SOUNDED LIKE A FIRE MAR- 
TIAL ECONOMIST BROUGHT AN APPRECIATIVE LAUGH. 
- 
RAISKI ALSO DISCUSSED SOVIET ATTEMPTS TO NEGOTIATE 
A NEW FISHING AGREEMENT WITH THE GOSL.  HE WAS NOT 
OPTIMISTIC.  (SEPTEL) 
 
8.  COMMENT:  THE ENTIRE SPY CHARGE EPISODE SEEMS 
VERY CONFUSED.  IT WOULD APPEAR HOWEVER, TO HAVE 
ORIGINS OUTSIDE OF SIERRA LEONE.  WE HAVE REPORTED 
ON RAISKI BEFORE.  HE APPEARS GENUINELY INTERESTED 
IN BETTER RELATIONS, BUT LIKE MANY OF HIS COLLEGUES 
UNSURE OF HOW TO PROCEED AND CONCURED ABOUT OUR RECEP- 
TION TO FRIENDLY MOVES ON HIS PART.  PERHAPS WE 
REASSURED HIM. 
 
YOUNG 
 
 
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