07TBILISI304, SPEAKER BURJANADZE ON RUSSIA, UKRAINE, REFORMS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI304 2007-02-14 13:43 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7676
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0304/01 0451343
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141343Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5357
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000304 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: SPEAKER BURJANADZE ON RUSSIA, UKRAINE, REFORMS 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 1. (C) Summary: During a February 9 meeting with Ambassador, 
Speaker Nino Burjanadze was positive on the recent 
rapprochement with the opposition (septel).  She outlined 
steps the Parliament is planning to strengthen property 
rights and offer amnesty for privatization violations 
committed by ordinary citizens in the past.  On international 
affairs, Burjanadze said that although the west had missed 
"numerous chances" to stand up to Russia on energy issues and 
Russia's treatment of its neighbors, she sensed that Europe 
is waking up to the "growing threat from Russia."  Burjanadze 
said the situation in Ukraine is "hopeless," expressing 
disappointment in President Yushchenko's "failure to act." 
She also voiced comments made to her by former PM Timoshenko, 
that Yushchenko had refused "to compromise in any way" with 
her to form an "Orange" government.  Ambassador passed 
Burjanadze a detailed list of recommended reforms identified 
by the Embassy which will help strengthen democratic 
institutions and the rule of law, expand the economy, and 
advance NATO integration.  Burjanadze welcomed the list of 
recommendations (emailed to CARC).  End Summary. 
 
---------- 
Opposition 
---------- 
 
2. (C) During a February 9 meeting with Ambassador, Speaker 
Burjanadze was positive on the February 6 meeting between 
President Saakashvili and the leaders of three opposition 
parties in Parliament.  Burjanadze, who is a champion of 
greater engagement with the opposition on national strategic 
objectives, said the meeting had helped to create a "normal 
dialogue," but stressed it would take work to keep it going. 
Ambassador said that broader cooperation on common issues 
would help Georgia achieve strategic goals such as NATO 
integration and a peaceful resolution of the separatist 
conflicts.  Burjanadze said she would continue to work with 
"reasonable members" of the opposition through her weekly 
outreach sessions with Parliamentary faction leaders. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Property Rights and Privatization Amnesty 
----------------------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Burjanadze said clarifying and strengthening property 
rights would be a key legislative priority when Parliament 
returns to session this month.  Burjanadze said she had 
pushed Saakashvili's adviser on economic affairs, former 
Estonian PM Mart Laar, to raise this with the President.  She 
said it is particularly important that the courts be the 
final arbitrator between the government and private citizens 
when property disputes arise.  Ambassador added that clear 
and strong property protections are also important to attract 
foreign direct investment.  Burjanadze added that the 
Parliament would also focus on offering amnesty for murky 
privatization deals carried out in the past.  She said this 
initiative would help protect "ordinary citizens" but not 
government officials who should expect no immunity from the 
GOG's continuing anti-corruption campaign. 
 
------ 
Russia 
------ 
 
4. (C) Burjanadze said that although the west had missed 
"numerous chances" to stand up to Russia for mistreating its 
neighbors and for using energy resources for political gain, 
she believes "Europe is finally waking up."  In a recent trip 
to France, for example, she said officials were increasingly 
focused on "the growing threat from Russia."  She said 
Russia's recent call for Georgia to be a "neutral country" 
was ridiculous, adding that Russia still fails to acknowledge 
Georgia as an "independent country."  Until it does so, 
relations will likely remain poor. 
 
------- 
Ukraine 
------- 
 
5. (C) Burjanadze said the situation in Ukraine was 
"hopeless" expressing disappointment in President 
Yushchenko's "failure to act."  She added that Saakashvili 
told her that during a recent three day meeting between 
himself and Yushchenko, that Yushchenko refused to engage and 
talk about politics.  Burjanadze also voiced comments made to 
her by close confidante and former PM Timoshenko, that 
Yushchenko had refused "to compromise in any way" with 
Timoshenko to form an "Orange" government.  Burjanadze said 
this was a dire mistake as Timoshenko had been the "main 
player" behind the Orange Revolution. 
 
------------------- 
 
TBILISI 00000304  002 OF 002 
 
 
Recommended Reforms 
------------------- 
 
6. (C) Acknowledging the progress of the last three years, 
Ambassador passed Burjanadze a detailed list of recommended 
reforms developed by the Embassy that will help strengthen 
Georgia's democratic institutions and the rule of law, expand 
the economy, and advance NATO integration.  Burjanadze 
welcomed the list and looking through it, agreed that each 
step was necessary and achievable.  She noted that several 
were already in the process of implementation.  Burjanadze 
asked Ambassador to share the list with other high-level 
members of the GOG.  She said specific recommendations from 
the U.S. were importa
nt to GOG reform efforts and encouraged 
the Ambassador to continue to share reform priorities 
identified by the Embassy. 
TEFFT

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