Monthly Archives: March 2007

07TBILISI674, ABKHAZIA: PRELIMINARY REPORT ON KODORI ATTACK

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI674 2007-03-29 14:15 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9040
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0674/01 0881415
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291415Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5868
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000674 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRIED, DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/28/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: ABKHAZIA:  PRELIMINARY REPORT ON KODORI ATTACK 
 
REF: TBILISI 585 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
 
1. (C)  In a March 29 meeting of the Friends of the Secretary General 
(FSG), UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Jean 
Arnault and UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) Commander General 
Khattak briefed the FSG on the preliminary findings of the Joint Fact 
Finding Group's (JFFG) investigation into the March 11 attack on Upper 
Kodori.  Khattak said that there were 18 impact points, 17 of which wer 
most likely the result of GRAD missiles and one of which was most likel 
the result of an anti-tank missile fired from a helicopter.  He said th 
attacks came from a southerly direction, although could not specify the 
distance they traveled.  Khattak, who was careful in his remarks, said 
that he could not speculate on the timing of the release of the JFFG's 
report. Arnault and Khattak plan to be in New York April 5 to brief 
Missions of the FSG.  End summary. 
 
JFFG TIMELINE 
------------- 
 
2. (C) In a March 29 meeting of the FSG called by German Ambassador 
Flor, SRSG Arnault and UNOMIG Commander Khattak briefed on the 
preliminary, confidential findings of the JFFG's investigation into the 
March 11 attack on Upper Kodori.  Mark Perry (U.S.), Ambassador MacLare 
(UK), Ambassador Le Fort (France), and Vassily Korchmar (Russia) 
represented the FSG. Khattak gave a brief summary of the timeline of th 
JFFG's actions, noting that all sides have been cooperative and 
forthcoming in the investigation. He said the JFFG made two trips to 
Upper Kodori to examine the evidence, one from March 13 to 15 and 
another from March 23 to 25.  During the two trips, the group examined 
all the impact sites. 
18 IMPACT SITES, 17 LIKELY GRAD ROCKETS, 1 ANTI-TANK ROCKET 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
 
3. (C)  Khattak confirmed that there were 18 impact sites, 17 of which 
"in all likelihood" were craters of projectiles from artillery rockets. 
 He said the parties of the JFFG - the Abkhaz, Georgians, CIS 
Peacekeeping Force and UNOMIG - generally agreed that the projectiles 
were likely GRAD rockets.  He said the Georgian Government building in 
Chkhalta was probably hit by an anti-tank guided missile of the kind 
normally launched by a helicopter.  He noted that more investigation 
needs to be done on the kind of rocket fired at the building -- some of 
which, he said, can be fired from a helicopter and some of which cannot 
-- but said that the building was hit by an anti-tank rocket. 
 
AGREEMENT ON NUMBER OF IMPACTS, TYPE OF ARTILLERY, DIRECTION OF FIRING 
--------------------------------------------- ------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Khattak said that he brought in artillery and aviation experts 
to provide expert opinion to the JFFG.  On artillery, he said there is 
agreement in the JFFG on the number of craters (17, 9 of which indicate 
the kind of weapon used), that artillery was used, and that the 
ammunition used was BM-21.  Although the JFFG agreed that the attacks 
came from a southerly direction (all the craters are on the northern 
side of the Kodori Valley), there is no agreement on where exactly they 
came from or what distance they traveled.  He said there was no evidenc 
of small arms fire. 
HELO ROUTE FROM NORTH REQUIRES EXPERTISE AND EQUIPMENT 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
5. (C) On aviation, although he did not believe witness reports of 
identifying a particular type of helicopter, he said that there were 
enough reports of seeing and hearing a helicopter to believe that at 
least one helicopter was present.  Khattak said that any helicopter pat 
from the north would require a pilot both experienced in night flying 
and with night vision equipment due to the difficulty of the terrain. 
 Although he could not say with 100 percent certainty, he noted again 
that it looked like there was at least one helicopter which hit at leas 
one site. 
 
NO SPECULATION ON TIMING OF RELEASE OF REPORT 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) In response to questions, Khattak would not speculate on the 
timing of the release of the JFFG's report.  He noted that the 
investigation continues and that they would like the report to be as 
certain as possible, with the understanding that time is not unlimited. 
 He said it would be possible to have a report with a split opinion.  H 
noted that the artillery impacts were clustered at two points that were 
close together.  When asked if the firings could have been done in a wa 
to avoid casualties, he said that artillery has an impact zone which is 
determined by a number of factors including weather, distance and gun 
barrel size, all of which make exact targeting difficult. 
 
7. (C) As an aside, Arnault said the UN report would be released on 
April 3, and it will ask for appropriate time for the JFFG to complete 
its report. He said that he and Khattak would personally brief FSG 
Missions in New York on the JFFG's preliminary findings on April 5. 
 
 
TBILISI
00000674  002 OF 002 
 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
8. (C) Khattak was extremely cautious in his remarks, prefacing all of 
comments with "highest probability" or in "all likelihood."  Although 
he tried not to rule out any possibility, he conveyed what we had heard 
from SRSG Arnault earlier (reftel), namely, that there was at least one 
helicopter involved, the weapon used in the attack on the Chkhalta 
Government building was an anti-tank rocket (likely fired from a 
helicopter), and there were 17 other impact craters make by BM-21 
rockets fired from a southerly direction. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI656, GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER NOGHAIDELI REPORTS ON HIS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI656 2007-03-28 12:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7723
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0656/01 0871250
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281250Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5851
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000656 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EEB/ISP/IEC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2017 
TAGS: ENRG PREL GG TX
SUBJECT: GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER NOGHAIDELI REPORTS ON HIS 
TRIP TO TURKMENISTAN 
 
REF: TBILISI 632 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: Returning from a March 23 visit to Ashgabat, 
Georgian Prime Minister Noghaideli told the Ambassador on 
March 26 that he found Turkmenistan's President 
Berdimuhammedov interested in learning more about the West 
and exploring sending more oil through the South Caucasus, in 
lieu of current shipments through Iran.  Noghaideli said that 
the GOT is not ready to open up on-shore reserves to 
development by Western companies, but may allow them to work 
off-shore in the Caspian.  He advised Western companies to 
move quickly.  He sees the current period as a window of 
opportunity for the West before internal forces cause 
Berdimuhammedov to become more dictatorial. 
 
2. (C) Noghaideli was disappointed by the cancellation of a 
planned meeting with the Abkhaz de facto prime minister to 
discuss issues related to the Enguri hydroelectric power 
station.  He said that the cancellation is further evidence 
the Abkhaz can take no action without Russian approval.  He 
is concerned by upcoming Abkhaz military maneuvers near 
Kodori and by the recent murder of two policemen in South 
Ossetia.  He asked for a strong condemnation of the latter 
incident by the United States and Europe. 
 
3. (C) Noghaideli said that Georgia filed a human rights case 
in the European Court of Human Rights at this time because 
the Government of Russia was unresponsive to Georgian offers 
to discuss the treatment of Georgians in Russia and because 
court procedures presented a deadline for taking action.  End 
Summary. 
 
TURKMENISTAN VISIT SHOWS PROMISE OF NEW RELATIONSHIPS 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
4. (C)  Noghaideli said that President Berdimuhammedov wants 
more "western legitimacy" than his predecessor did.  He 
reiterated that Berdimuhammedov wants to travel to Europe and 
the United States, and that it will be good if he is invited 
soon, because later it may be hard to convince him to make 
such trips. 
 
5. (C)  The Georgians talked to the Turkmen about using the 
South Caucasus corridor for transport of oil to world 
markets.  Noghaideli said that 65% of Turkmenistan's oil now 
goes to Iran, and Georgia hopes it can capture half of that 
trade.  The reason for Iran's predominance over the South 
Caucasus route is not Iran's strength, he said, but problems 
created by Azerbaijan.  Therefore, Georgia is organizing 
trilateral Georgia-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan discussions.  More 
cooperation from Baku is needed, and the person who will have 
to be convinced is President Aliyev, he said. 
 
6. (C)  Noghaideli said that Turkmenistan's practice is to 
sell its oil in Turkmenistan, and leave transportation up to 
the buyer.  He would like to convince the Turkmen to be more 
active in the South Caucasus corridor and to sell their oil 
on the world market.  He believes Berdimuhammedov likes the 
Georgians' approach.  Noghaideli's goal is to get them to try 
the South Caucasus route, after which he believes more and 
more crude will travel that way. 
 
7. (C) On gas, Noghaideli said that Berdimuhammedov does not 
appear ready now to open up Turkmenistan's on-shore reserves 
to Western companies for development.  However, the 
government has never allowed Russian companies to work 
off-shore in the Caspian and would likely be willing to allow 
western companies to develop its reserves in the Sea.  The 
companies should look into this possibility as soon as 
possible, Noghaideli said.  The Turkmen part of the Caspian 
is not well explored but it likely holds large reserves of 
natural gas, in his opinion.  He suggests that western 
companies first focus on off-shore development, then 
construction of a pipeline to Azerbaijan, and finally seek 
opportunities on-shore.  He is even considering encouraging 
the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) to apply for 
licenses to explore in Turkmenistan, but views Western 
companies' participation as most important. 
 
8. (C)  Noghaideli said that Turkmenistan's exclusive 
contract with Gazprom fixes prices and amounts only through 
2009.  He understands the agreement is more like a memorandum 
of understanding than a fixed contract as it applies to later 
years.  He wants to engage Turkmenistan on supplying Georgia 
with gas, hopefully at a price in the range of $100 per 
thousand cubic meters.  In return, Georgia can offer 
attractive conditions for Turkmenistan goods and oil to 
 
TBILISI 00000656  002 OF 002 
 
 
transit the South Caucasus.  Noghaideli invited 
Berdimuhammedov to come to Tbilisi in May and will continue 
discussions then. 
 
9. (C)  The Georgian delegation did not find Berdimuhammedov 
interested in discussing ideas for economic and political 
reform.  Noghaideli expects tha
t he will inevitably develop 
into a dictator of the usual Central Asian ilk, but now, 
Noghaideli says, he is a better sort.  Therefore, he believes 
now is the time to engage Berdimuhammedov before domestic 
issues force him to take a harder tack.  Although Noghaideli 
is not optimistic about democratic change in Turkmenistan, he 
said he is not entirely pessimistic either.  He said positive 
change will require a lot of patience on the part of the USG 
and other Western governments, since Central Asian 
governments can frequently change direction. 
 
ABKHAZIA AND SOUTH OSSETIA DISAPPOINTMENTS 
------------------------------------------ 
 
10. (C)  Noghaideli was disappointed that a planned meeting 
with Abkhaz de facto prime minister Ankvab (reftel) was 
"canceled by the Russians" -- probably at the urging of de 
facto vice president Khajimba.  The lesson he draws is that 
the Abkhaz can't act without Russian approval, even to 
organize a technical meeting with the Georgians on Enguri. 
He believes the Abkhaz and Russians were spooked by the 
prospect of Georgian media coverage and also by the GOG's 
intention to bring State Minister for Conflicts Resolution 
Merab Antadze to the meeting. 
 
11. (C)  Noghaideli was concerned by Abkhaz military 
exercises in the vicinity of the Georgian-controlled Kodori 
Gorge, which had never taken place in Spring before.  The 
Russians, he said, are bewildered by the events in Kodori and 
the appearance of an alternative government in South Ossetia 
led by Dmitriy Sanakoyev, and they don't know what to do now. 
 He said that the Georgians and their Western friends need to 
be very careful about Abkhazia right now.  While he believes 
it is unlikely the Abkhaz will attack the Upper Kodori area, 
it is a possibility.  The Abkhaz and Russians will have to 
understand that Georgia will respond to an attack, he said. 
He deems the recent murder of two Georgian policemen in South 
Ossetia an unacceptable, terrorist act.  He asked for a 
strong reaction from the US and the EU. 
 
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS CASE 
----------------------------------- 
 
12. (C)  Noghaideli said that Georgia had consulted several 
times with the Russian government on treatment of deportees 
from Russia and gotten nowhere before it filed its ECHR case. 
 After Russia's Ambassador to Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, 
returned to Tbilisi on January 23, the GOG sent messages 
through him that it was ready to talk, but the only message 
it received back was to "come on your knees".  The treatment 
of Georgian citizens is a basic issue on which the GOG cannot 
compromise, he said.  The case was filed because the GOG was 
facing a deadline set by court procedures.  Tensions and 
pressure against Georgians are continuing in Russia, he said. 
 He thinks that he himself would be unable to live in that 
kind of environment. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI652, THE GEORGIAN ECONOMY LOOKS FORWARD TO A YEAR OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI652 2007-03-28 10:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7497
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0652/01 0871028
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281028Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5843
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 000652 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EB/IFD/OMA 
COMMERCE FOR 4231 DANICA STARKS 
TREASURY FOR OIA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON PGOV GG
SUBJECT: THE GEORGIAN ECONOMY LOOKS FORWARD TO A YEAR OF 
GROWTH IN 2007 
 
 
1. (U) This telegram is sensitive but unclassified.  Not for 
Internet distribution. 
 
2. (SBU) Summary:  Georgia's economy overcame Russian 
sanctions and grew 9.3 percent in 2006.  Growth is expected 
to continue at a 7-8 percent rate in 2007.  Prospects for 
increased foreign direct investment are good.  Exports and 
tourism receipts grew in 2006 and similar results in 2007, 
along with investment, would help to keep the economy on 
track despite a large trade deficit.  The main threat to 
macroeconomic stability is inflation, which reached 11 
percent annualized in February 2007.  However, the GOG has 
promised the IMF to maintain fiscal discipline, reduce the 
growth of the money supply and take a more relaxed approach 
to the trend of appreciation of the lari.  End Summary. 
 
GROWTH DESPITE RUSSIAN SANCTIONS 
-------------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) Georgia has entered 2007 with a realistic chance for 
growth, macroeconomic stability, a stepped up pace of 
investment and concomitant job creation -- if it can 
implement the right mix of policies.  Although a thaw in 
Russian-Georgian relations is not clearly in the offing, the 
Russian government reportedly is beginning to recognize what 
the IMF and others in Georgia have been saying for the past 
few months: Russian sanctions didn't cripple the Georgian 
economy as much as the Kremlin hoped, and in fact, they 
opened Georgia's eyes to new markets for its traditional 
products.  Moreover, if it is true that bad news is better 
than no news at all, worldwide publicity generated by the 
Russian sanctions on Georgia may have helped to bring the 
country's three year old westward orientation and accelerated 
reform program to the attention of foreign investors. 
 
4. (SBU) Investors seem poised to act.  For the past few 
years, Georgia's FDI statistics have been buoyed by 
investment in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Shah Deniz 
pipelines, and by privatization of many large state-owned 
enterprises.  With the pipelines' completion in early 2006, 
and the list of major unprivatized state companies rapidly 
growing shorter, the flow of investment seemed to be about to 
dry up.  However, in 2006, despite these changes, Georgia 
received an estimated USD861 million in FDI, 63 percent more 
than in 2005.  The government has been citing an even higher 
figure, USD1.2 billion, in spite of the fact that the USD400 
million sale of UEDC and some hydroelectric plants have been 
delayed into 2007.  In the course of their review of 
Georgia's IMF program, IMF officials interviewed the most 
important investors identified by the GOG as having plans to 
invest in 2007.  The IMF found their plans to be firm.  It is 
conceivable that Georgia may receive up to another USD1.7 
billion in investment in 2007. 
 
5. (SBU) Once official figures are out, the 2006 real growth 
rate of the Georgian economy may be as high as 9.3 percent, 
in spite of Russia's embargo on Georgian exports and 
transport.  In fact, Georgian exports increased by 14.7 
percent percent in 2006. Its most important export was still 
iron and copper scrap metal.  Along with strong growth comes 
strong demand for imports, especially as the lari 
strengthened by 4.5 percent against the dollar over 2006, 
even with a certain amount of National Bank of Georgia 
intervention to control appreciation.  Imports of energy were 
more expensive and pushed up import figures, with the cost of 
natural gas doubling in 2006 and doubling again at the outset 
of 2007.  As a result, oil and gas imports increased by 118 
percent and the trade deficit by 65 percent in 2006 over 
2005.  Tourism receipts, especially from Armenians visiting 
the Georgian coast, helped to offset the increase in imports. 
 The National Bank of Georgia's foreign currency reserves 
nearly doubled from the end of 2005 to the end of 2006.  In 
March 2007 the NBG announced reserves had exceeded USD1 
billion for the first time, sufficient to cover more than 3 
months of imports.  Turkey replaced Russia as Georgia's 
largest export market, with Azerbaijan not far behind.  That 
imports from Russia grew is not surprising in light of 
increased natural gas prices, but imports from Turkey jumped 
85 percent in one year, reflecting a significant redirection 
of trade in goods to Georgia's neighbor to the Southwest. 
 
6. (SBU) The GDP growth figures are encouraging, even if to a 
certain extent they are based on continuing legalization of 
the informal economy that was prominent under the former 
regime.  Construction is booming and is far and away the 
 
TBILISI 00000652  002 OF 003 
 
 
largest component of GDP growth.  Significant growth is also 
occurring in financial intermediation, trade and mining. 
Labor productivity is increasing and helping to push economic 
growth upward.  Agricultural
 production, which constituted 
11.7 percent of Georgia's GDP, contracted in 2006 due to 
drought that caused poor harvests. 
 
7. (SBU) The financial sector saw significant growth over the 
year 2006.  The French bank Societe Generale purchased a 
controlling share of Bank Republic, and NBG officials have 
told us that another major European bank is about to enter 
the market.  The issuance of shares on the London Stock 
Exchange by the Bank of Georgia is another sign of growth. 
The assets of commercial banks increased by 58 percent from 
January 2006 to January 2007.  Because of the increased tempo 
of lending, the quality of the banks' debt portfolios bears 
watching.  However, the overall state of the financial sector 
is generally judged to be good.  The percentage of commercial 
banks' classified debts was 6.4 percent in the third quarter 
of 2006.  Although deposits and lending are strongly 
dollarized (91 percent of individuals' bank accounts are in 
foreign currency, mainly dollars) the growth rate of loans in 
Georgian lari was greater than that of foreign currency 
loans.  Interest rates on loans in the national currency are 
about 20 percent and 16-18 percent on foreign currency loans. 
 
 
THE INFLATION CHALLENGE 
----------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) With food constituting a major portion of the basket 
of goods measured for changes in the Consumer Price Index, 
the poor harvest in 2006 had some effect on inflation, along 
with increases in energy prices.  In August 2006, the 
12-month change in the CPI peaked at 14.52 percent, up from 
5-6 percent six months earlier.  By the end of 2006, 
inflation had subsided somewhat, resulting in a year-end 
inflation figure of 8.9 percent.  However, with inflows of 
foreign investment, and new increases in the cost of food, 
inflation again ticked up in the beginning of 2007, to 10.4 
percent year on year in January and 11 percent in February. 
A revision of the the consumer basket on which the CPI is 
calculated also affected the inflation statistic 
significantly.  The Georgian Department of Statistics says 
that monthly inflation would have been 1.9 percent rather 
than 2.7 percent in January under the old formula.  February 
2007 month-to-month inflation was 0.72 percent. 
 
9. (SBU) The degree to which government policies are 
contributing to inflation is a bone of contention between the 
government and the IMF.  Clearly, NBG interventions to 
purchase foreign currency, aimed at keeping the value of the 
lari from appreciating too strongly, add to the money supply 
and influence the rise in consumer prices.  The national 
bank's decision to reinstate reserve requirements for 
commercial banks and to issue its own deposit certificates 
helped to calm inflation in 2006.  Stronger action by the 
NBG, including increasing reserve requirements and utilizing 
more effective sales of government securities, along with a 
more flexible attitude toward the value of the lari, will be 
necessary to quell inflationary pressures in 2007.  The IMF 
says the government will have to do its part by maintaining 
strict fiscal discipline. 
 
10. (SBU) The government's fiscal stance is a continuous 
compromise between Georgia's pressing need for infrastructure 
and social spending and the goal of macroeconomic stability. 
Government spending added significantly to growth in 2006. 
While revenues increased 33 percent, expenditures increased 
39 percent.  The government's deficit in 2006 was 2.9 percent 
of GDP.  With the IMF still having a strong influence under 
its current Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, the 
government somewhat reined in its spending toward the end of 
the year, which helped to reduce inflationary pressures.  The 
goal for 2007 is a slightly lower deficit, at 2.5 percent of 
GDP.  The government's total debt at the end of 2006 was 
about 29 percent of 2006 GDP, of which 62 percent is held by 
foreign creditors.  Debt service is 2.2 percent of 
consolidated expenditures. 
 
THE CONTINUING PROBLEM OF UNEMPLOYMENT 
-------------------------------------- 
 
11. (SBU) Unemployment remains high in Georgia, around 13.7 
percent.  The total number of employed people has been 
 
TBILISI 00000652  003 OF 003 
 
 
steadily declining since 2000, while the percentage of that 
group in self-employment has increased.  In the third quarter 
of 2006, two thirds of the work-force reported themselves as 
self-employed.  However, wages and salaries are important to 
the average family in Georgia, which may have several 
household members employed.  Wages and salaries constituted 
35 percent of total monthly household income.  The second 
largest share was use of debt, savings and sale of property. 
Remittances from outside Georgia added about 10 percent to 
household incomes, and there is so far no indication that 
they are shrinking despite Russian threats and pressure 
against Georgians living in that country.  48 percent of 
household expenditures went for food, beverages and tobacco. 
 
THE BOTTOM LINE 
--------------- 
 
12. (SBU) The Government of Georgia has stated that 
macroeconomic stability is a crucial ingredient in its 
economic growth strategy.  In part, the economy's ability to 
weather the shocks imposed by Russia on Georgia's economy 
underline the success of the government's reform path. 
Embassy Tbilisi is seeing an increasing number of investors 
exploring the possibilities offered by Georgia's agricultural 
and tourism sectors in response to the improved climate for 
business, although manufacturers are lagging behind. 
Inflation remains the principal threat to macroeconomic 
stability.  The government's target for inflation in 2007 is 
6 percent or less.  This will require a cautious approach to 
spending.  The government has promised the IMF to save any 
greater-than-expected privatization revenues and above-budget 
income to finance the budget deficit.  Ongoing improvements 
in the tax administration process may help to realize that 
goal.  On the other hand, President Saakashvili proposed 
reducing taxes in his recent State of the Union speech, which 
may complicate keeping the government's promise if Parliament 
acts quickly on his suggestion.  On the monetary policy side, 
the NBG seeks to limit the growth of the money supply by 
increasing international reserves.  It says it will deal with 
the increased inflows of foreign investment by allowing the 
lari to appreciate, with only limited, sterilized 
interventions.  It also intends to strengthen its open market 
operations through direct sales and repurchases of government 
securities.  It will push development of the secondary market 
in government securities.  If the government and the NBG can 
stick to their stated intentions, the IMF believes they can 
meet their goal for controlling inflation. 
 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI624, Georgia Bi-Weekly Update March 23

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI624 2007-03-23 13:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3807
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0624/01 0821307
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231307Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5802
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000624 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO GG
SUBJECT: Georgia Bi-Weekly Update March 23 
 
 
1. This cable contains current items of political, economic, and 
social interest concerning Georgia during the weeks of March 11-23. 
 
Investigation of MOD Finances under Okruashvili 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
2. Georgian newspapers are reporting that the Audit Chamber has 
formally forwarded to the Prosecutor General financial records from 
the Defense Ministry during former Minister Irakli Okruashvili's 
tenure.  The Audit Chamber's inspection has reportedly uncovered 
that Okruashvili embezzled GEL 75 million (around USD 44 million). 
According to commentators, if this information is confirmed, the 
Prosecutor General's Office will be obliged to start criminal 
proceedings.  Current Defense Minister Kezerashvili has ordered the 
Ministry's own General Inspection Department to conduct a separate 
investigation.  A month before this story appeared, Okruashvili was 
included on a published list of the richest Georgians with an 
estimated wealth of USD 250 million, most of it presumably from a 
lucrative law practice earlier in his career. 
 
Former Television Director Returns 
---------------------------------- 
3. The Georgian media has paid great attention to the return of 
Erosi Kitsmarishvili, former owner and director of Rustavi-2 
television, who has reportedly agreed to serve as a consultant to 
the Georgian Public Broadcasting Service (GPBS).  In Georgian 
political circles Kitsmarishvili is seen as a kingmaker, famous for 
Rustavi-2's role in the Rose Revolution reporting on the corruption 
of Shevardnadze's regime and keeping the revolutionary movement on 
the nation's television screens.  Afterwards Kitsmarishvili 
reportedly fell out with the new government, and he sold his station 
and moved to New York.  Many commentators suggest the government 
wants Kitsmarishvili to "upgrade" the GPBS so that it can compete 
with rival private stations, including Badri Patarkatsishvili's 
Imedi TV as well as Kitsmarishvili's old station, Rustavi-2, which 
has become strongly pro-government and is believed to have lost much 
of its audience. 
 
Controversy Surrounds Return of Gamsakhurdia's Body 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
4. Georgian media have been filled with speculation on the final 
resting place of former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia after 
Prime Minister Noghaideli issued an order March 5 to bring his body 
back from Russia.  The body, reportedly recovered in a park in the 
Chechen capital of Grozny, is currently undergoing testing in 
Rostov-on-Don, Russia, to confirm its identity.  Members of 
Gamsukhurdia's family have been involved in a highly public spat 
over where in Georgia he should be buried, with his widow and 
younger son wanting the body to be buried in Tbilisi's newly built 
Trinity Cathedral, while Konstantin Gamsakhurdia, an elder son from 
Gamsakhurdia's first marriage, wants the body to be buried in the 
Mtatsminda Pantheon.  When some observers raised the possibility of 
President Saakashvili resolving the controversy, Saakashvili 
demurred, instead suggesting that a commission should make the 
decision. 
 
Tax Cheats in the Left Pocket 
----------------------------- 
5. A law enforcement operation targeting corruption landed 21 tax 
inspectors and 11 businesspeople in detention on suspicion of 
accepting and receiving bribes.  Code-named "Left Pocket," the 
combined operation by the Prosecutor General's Office, the Financial 
Police, and the Interior Ministry's Constitutional Security 
Department used hidden cameras in tax inspection offices to film 
bribes paid by entrepreneurs to conceal their incomes.  Several of 
the enterprises involved had well-established reputations for 
profitability and success. 
 
Shah Deniz Gas Delivery Resumed 
------------------------------- 
6. On March 15, delivery of natural gas to Georgia from the Shah 
Deniz field in Azerbaijan resumed.  Deliveries had been suspended in 
January, reportedly because of technical problems, thus leaving 
Georgia fully dependent on Russian gas, the price of which jumped up 
from USD 110 to USD 235 per thousand cubic meters starting from 
January 1.  The suspension of Shah Deniz gas had cast some doubts on 
Georgia's ability to diversify its energy import sources, but the 
announcement that starting from March 15 Georgia would get 1 million 
cubic meters per day from Shah Deniz, in addition to the more than 1 
million cm per day coming from other Azeri sources, helped alleviate 
these concerns.  The volume of the Azerbaijani gas supply will 
increase after the full commissioning of wells in the field. 
 
New Player Enters Mobile Phone Market 
------------------------------------- 
7. Vimpelcom, the second-largest operator of cellular communication 
in Russia, has entered Georgia's mobile phone market under the name 
"Beeline" through a local subsidiary, Mobitel, Ltd.   Initially, 
Beeline will cover Tbilisi and Rustavi, with plans to expand 
nationwide by the end of the year.  Beeline launched operations in 
Georgia with an initial rate
 of 2 tetri (about 0.85 cents) per 
minute, much lower than the 28.8 tetri (about 17 cents) offered by 
the two other players in the market: the American-owned Magti and 
Turkish-Finnish-Georgian joint venture Geocell. 
 
TBILISI 00000624  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI623, BAGAPSH ALLIES WIN ABKHAZ DE FACTO PARLIAMENTARY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI623 2007-03-23 12:30 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3763
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0623/01 0821230
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 231230Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5799
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 000623 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2017 
TAGS: PGOV GG
SUBJECT: BAGAPSH ALLIES WIN ABKHAZ DE FACTO PARLIAMENTARY 
ELECTIONS 
 
REF: TBILISI 0489 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) After a poor showing in the first round (reftel), 
candidates aligned with de facto Abkhaz president Sergey 
Bagapsh rallied in the parliamentary run-offs March 18 
(likely with the help of "administrative resources") to win 
an outright majority.  According to a UN official, Bagapsh 
supporters won 20 to 21 of the 35 seats in the de facto 
parliament, while the hardline opposition won 7 to 9, and 
independents won the remaining seats.  This result appears to 
strengthen Bagapsh politically.  Despite several incidents 
during the campaign, UN military observers saw no unusual 
tensions in the ethnically Georgian Gali district during the 
voting.  End Summary. 
 
Recovery after a Stumbling Start 
-------------------------------- 
2. (C) UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) Senior 
Political Advisor Atanas Baltov told us March 22 that while 
the Abkhaz had made a conscious and largely successful effort 
during the campaign to conceal the division in society that 
had erupted in the 2004 presidential election, the split came 
into the open with one event that crystallized the race. 
Faced with hostile questions from voters during a February 23 
television appearance, Bagapsh accused one parliamentary 
candidate, de facto general Vladimir Arshba, of plotting a 
coup.  This charge, which Baltov said even members of 
Bagapsh's camp did not support, provided an opening for 
opposition candidates to make their anti-Bagapsh position 
public by signing a letter asking for an explanation.  Out of 
the total 35 parliamentary districts, 18 produced winners in 
the first round March 4.  Baltov said that of these 18, 11 
were pro-Bagapsh, 5 were opposition, and 2 were independents. 
 With most pro-Bagapsh candidates failing to win majorities 
in the first round, Baltov said that at that stage the 
picture did not look good for the de facto government. 
 
3. (C) But things changed in the two weeks between the first 
round and the run-offs March 18.  Baltov said "administrative 
resources" were "apparently used quite a lot," with the 
result that several second-place finishers in the first round 
gained enough votes to win in the second.  One victim of this 
was Arshba himself, an opposition candidate who had led in 
the first round by a large margin, only to lose in the second 
round to a pro-Bagapsh candidate by 29 votes.  Another was an 
opposition journalist who led in the first round only to lose 
in the runoff when every single vote in one distant village 
went to her opponent.  The wife of former de facto president 
Ardzinba, herself a candidate affiliated with the opposition 
(although she had offered words of support for Bagapsh when 
he was criticized for saying he was following Ardzinba's 
policy in not attacking the Georgian-controlled Upper Kodori 
Gorge) lost by 45 votes to an independent after leading in 
the first round.  After all the dust had settled, Baltov 
said, Bagapsh allies had won 20 or 21 of the 35 seats in the 
new parliament, the opposition had won 7 (although they 
claimed 2 independent winners would join them), and 
independents had won the rest. 
 
4. (C) Baltov said that it was not possible to compare the 
results directly with the previous parliamentary election, 
which occurred 5 years ago, before the contentious 2004 
presidential election between Bagapsh and current de facto 
vice-president Raul Khajimba established the current 
political alliances.  Nevertheless, he said the result 
strengthened the hand of pro-government forces in parliament. 
 He said the opposition faction, though small, consisted of 
"die-hard" opponents of Bagapsh who would be unlikely to 
switch sides.  He said the main dividing issues in the 
campaign were economic, including Bagapsh's privatization 
push.  Another was the old issue of rehabilitating the 
Georgia-Russia railway running through Abkhazia, with the 
opposition claiming Bagapsh could not be trusted to protect 
full rights for the Abkhaz if the railway proposal is 
revived.  Khajimba's party newspaper, Forum, had raised 
during the campaign the possibility of de facto prime 
minister Ankvab resigning because of a lack of transparency 
on economic matters, suggesting that he was allowing Georgia 
to become an economic stakeholder in Abkhazia.  Baltov 
stressed that all candidates, whatever their allegiances, 
favored Abkhaz independence and enhanced relations with 
Russia. 
 
Gali Tense but No Major Incidents on Election Day 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
5. (C) The Gali district, the one area of Abkhazia in which 
 
TBILISI 00000623  002 OF 003 
 
 
ethnic Georgians have been allowed to return in significant 
numbers, was a flashpoint for several incidents during the 
campaign, including the February 2 disappearance of Gali's de 
facto district election commission chair David Sigua (still 
unexplained) and the March 1 detention of three Georgian 
student protesters (who remain in Abkhaz custody).  Georgian 
media has claimed that voter turnout in Gali was very low, &
#x000A;while the Abkhaz dispute this.  A number of Embassy sources 
have told us that flyers urging ethnic Georgians to boycott 
the vote were circulating throughout Gali during the 
campaign.  Despite these tensions, Baltov said UN military 
observers did not observe anything unusual on the voting 
days, and saw no evidence to back up claims heard in Tbilisi 
that the Abkhaz authorities had closed the bridge or mined 
the riverside to prevent the population from avoiding the 
election by traveling to the Georgian government-controlled 
side.  Baltov said the Abkhaz had beefed up their security 
presence in Gali for the voting, but the UN believed it had 
remained below the agreed threshold of 600 personnel. 
Bagapsh-backed candidates won in all three parliamentary 
districts in Gali. 
 
List of Winners 
--------------- 
6. (U) (district number, location, name of winner, political 
affiliation, ethnicity) 
 
1) Sukhumi, Talikh Khvatysh, independent, Abkhaz from Turkey 
 
2) Sukhumi, Sener Gogua, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz from Turkey 
 
3) Sukhumi, Rita Lolua, opposition, Abkhaz  (Note: Lolua 
defeated prominent pro-Bagapsh MP Emma Gamasonia.) 
 
4) Sukhumi, Batal Kobakhia, independent, Abkhaz (Note: 
Kobakhia heads an NGO, the Center for Humanitarian Programs.) 
 
5) Sukhumi, Lev Shamba, independent, Abkhaz 
 
6) Sukhumi, Irina Agrba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
7) Sukhumi, Pavel Leshchuk, pro-Bagapsh, Russian (Note: 
Leshchuk defeated general Arshba.) 
 
8) Pitsunda, Roman Benia, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
9) Bzipi. Valery Bganba, opposition, Abkhaz (Note: It is 
rumored Bganba may be offered a deputy speakership.) 
 
10) Gagra, Amra Agrba, independent, Abkhaz 
 
11) Gagra, Valery Kondakov, pro-Bagapsh, Russian 
 
12) Tsandripshi, Valery Mayromyan, pro-Bagapsh, Armenian 
 
13) Otkhara, Garik Samamba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
14) Duripshi, Guram Gumba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
15) Likhni, Mikhail Sangulia, opposition, Abkhaz 
 
16) Gudauta, Vladimir Nachach-ogly, pro-Bagapsh, Turkish 
 
17) Aatsa, Vyacheslav Tsugba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
18) Novy Afon, Vitaly Smyr, independent, Abkhaz 
 
19) Eshera, Lev Avidzba, independent, Abkhaz (Note: Avidzba 
defeated Svetlana Dzhergenia, wife of Ardzinba.) 
 
20) Gumista, Albert Ovsepyan, pro-Bagapsh, Armenian 
 
21) Besleti, Valery Kvarchia, opposition, Abkhaz 
 
22) Pshapi, Sergey Matosyan, opposition, Armenian 
 
23) Machara, Viktor Vasilyev, pro-Bagapsh, Russian 
 
24) Dranda, Adgur Kharazia, opposition, Abkhaz 
 
25) Beslakhuba, Yuri Zukhba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
26) Chlou, Zaur Adleyba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz (Note; Adleyba 
beat independent incumbent Beslan Butba, who is preparing to 
launch a new independent television station.) 
 
27) Kutoli, Nugzar Ashuba, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
28) Atara, Temur Kvitisinia, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
 
TBILISI 00000623  003 OF 003 
 
 
29) Ochamchira, Beslan Dzhopua, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
30) Tkvarcheli, Daur Arshba, opposition, Abkhaz 
 
31) Tkvarcheli, Aleksandr Chengelia, opposition, Abkhaz 
 
32) Okumi, Omari Kvarchia, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
33) Chuburhinje (in Gali district), Yury Kereselidze, 
pro-Bagapsh, Georgian 
 
34) Gali, Vyacheslav Vardania, pro-Bagapsh, Abkhaz 
 
35) Shashikvari (in Gali district), Bezhan Ubiria, 
pro-Bagapsh, Georgian 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI489, ABKHAZIA: UN BRIEFS WESTERN FRIENDS ON KODORI

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI489 2007-03-12 14:27 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2711
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0489/01 0711427
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121427Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5676
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000489 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRIED, DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: ABKHAZIA:  UN BRIEFS WESTERN FRIENDS ON KODORI 
INCIDENT 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 476 
     B. TBILISI 405 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C)  Summary:  On March 12, UN Special Representative of 
the Secretary General (SRSG) Jean Arnault briefed the Western 
Friends of the Secretary General (FSG) on the alleged rocket 
and missile firing on Georgian villages in Upper Kodori on 
March 11 (reftel).  Arnault said that the Georgians had 
agreed to convene the Joint Fact Finding Group to investigate 
the incident, although he signaled that the investigation, 
like past investigations, may not be conclusive.  Separately, 
Arnault briefed on the results of the Abkhaz elections, which 
he said were a loss for the de facto government of president 
Bagapsh.  On the upcoming renewal of the UN Observer Mission 
in Georgia (UNOMIG), Arnault argued for a substantial 
resolution rather than a technical rollover.  He agreed to 
provide the Western Friends an advance copy of his UN report, 
together with recommendations for elements to include in the 
resolution.  In a separate aside, German Ambassador Flor 
raised concerns about MOIA Merabishvili's approach to 
reforming the police force.  End summary. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
UN TO SEND FACT-FINDING TEAM TO UPPER KODORI 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) On March 12, UN SRSG Jean Arnault briefed a previously 
scheduled meeting of the Western FSG called by the German 
Ambassador on the alleged rocket and missile firing on 
Georgian villages in Upper Kodori late on March 11.  U.S. 
Ambassador Tefft, UK Ambassador MacLaren, German Ambassador 
Flor and French Ambassador Le Fort attended.  Arnault said 
that the Georgians had agreed to convene the Joint Fact 
Finding Group (including the UN, CIS peacekeepers, Abkhaz and 
Georgians) to investigate the incident.  There was little 
damage, with most of the missiles entering the ground. 
Because the evidence would have to be excavated and examined, 
he said that the investigation would take some time and, like 
past investigations, may not be conclusive.  He said that the 
CIS peacekeeping force claims that neither it nor the Abkhaz 
have the capability to fly helicopters at night.  Arnault 
said the CIS peacekeepers located closest to Upper Kodori at 
"broken bridge" heard small arms fire and saw flares but did 
not see helicopters, but he had received separate information 
that helicopters were present. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
ELECTIONS APPEAR TO BE A WIN FOR THE OPPOSITION 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
3. (C) On the recent Abkhaz elections, Arnault said that the 
fact that a relatively small number of incumbents were 
re-elected indicates that the elections were a win for the 
opposition and a loss for the de facto government of 
president Bagapsh.  (Note:  Georgian Deputy State Minister 
for Conflict Resolution Abashidze separately told us March 9 
that the Georgians also believed Bagapsh had done worse than 
expected in the first round.  End note.)  A second round will 
take place on March 18.  Still, Arnault was struck that 
despite the setback, members of the de facto government 
expressed confidence that the various political parties would 
be able to work together, in the same way as the current de 
facto government.  He assessed that the outcome speaks to the 
level of discontent in Abkhazia.  In the primarily ethnic 
Georgian region of Gali, he said that one parliamentarian was 
elected, with the other two seats being contested in the 
second round.  Arnault assessed that the UN would not be able 
to make a full assessment until after the second round.  He 
noted that participation was "fairly low," and that the 
campaign to discourage the ethnic Georgians in Gali from 
voting was successful. 
 
----------------------------------- 
MARCH 1 STUDENT PROTEST AT SHAMGONA 
----------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Arnault briefed on the results of the UN investigation 
into the March 1 Georgian student protest at Shamgona.  He 
said that students from Zugdidi - possibly pushed by the 
media - organized a protest against the Abkhaz elections in 
which they crossed the Inguri River into Abkhaz-controlled 
territory and then crossed back and gave an interview to 
local media.  The students then returned back to 
Abkhaz-controlled territory - in what Arnault believes was an 
attempt to appear to be ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia - and 
when they reached the bank three were arrested by Abkhaz 
militia.  A fifteen minute exchange of fire ensued in which 
no one was hurt.  Arnault said he had no reason to believe 
 
TBILISI 00000489  002 OF 002 
 
 
that the protest was not a genuine student protest.  Still, 
he planned to tell the Georgians and the Abkhaz that although 
the UN does not want to stifle free speech, it will 
discourage political actions which are likely to lead to 
ceasefire violations, such as protests along the ceasefire 
line.  He said he did not rule out additio
nal spontaneous 
activities as the second round of elections approaches. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
UN PREFERS SUBSTANTIAL UNOMIG RENEWAL RESOLUTION 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
5. (C) On the upcoming UNOMIG renewal resolution, Arnault 
said that he preferred a substantial renewal, which would put 
down next steps for the parties, rather than a technical 
rollover.  He suggested that any resolution should not offer 
new requests but simply reiterate previous requests including 
a meeting between Saakashvili and Bagapsh.  He updated on 
progress in pushing the sides to complete a series of steps 
before the UN report is submitted at the end of the March 
(reftel B).  On the Abkhaz side, he said that there would be 
an UN Human Rights sub-office in Gali, the formalization of 
an UN Civilian Police contingent, and, he hoped, a public 
statement by de fact president Bagapsh that there would be no 
forced passportization of Gali residents.  He said the school 
issue is more sensitive.  Arnault said that Abkhaz policy is 
to require all schools to teach in Russian but that the 
Abkhaz do not have the capacity to implement the policy.  As 
a result, only 4 of the 15 to 19 schools in Gali teach 
exclusively in Russian.  He offered to check whether the 
Abkhaz commitment to start funding schools as of January 1 
would require that that those schools teach in Russian. 
 
6. (C) On the Georgian side, he said that there was a joint 
UN-CIS peacekeeping patrol of Upper Kodori last week, which 
uncovered no new heavy weapons or serious violations.  He 
said that the Georgians have no offensive capability in Upper 
Kodori.  He noted that the heavy weapons left by warlord 
Kvitsiani remained, although they were stored in one place 
and not hidden.  He said that the number of police, according 
to the Georgians, is now 283, and that the Georgians have 
committed to bring the number in line with the ratio of 
police to citizens in the rest of the country.  Arnault said 
the Georgian intention is to be able to hold for 24 hours 
against any attack, which UNOMIG Commander Khattak believed 
could be done with a smaller force.  All agreed that this may 
be made more difficult by the March 11 incident.  Arnault 
said that the issue of notification and verification of all 
vehicles going into Upper Kodori remained unresolved.  He 
said the UN would meet with the Ministry of Interior today to 
try to improve the procedure. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
GERMAN RAISES CONCERN WITH MOIA APPROACH TO POLICE REFORM 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
7. (C) In a private aside after the meeting, German 
Ambassador Flor conveyed to Ambassador Tefft her concern 
about MOIA Merabishvili's approach to police reform.  She 
said that a German police expert attended and presented at a 
recent conference in Bakuriani for local police, where 
Merabishvili made two statements of concern.  On the issue of 
combating drugs, Flor reported that Merabishvili directed 
police to "criminalize and target the addicted" by depriving 
them of their jobs and denying them the ability to 
participate in normal life.  Of more concern, she said, was 
Merabishvili's alleged directive on the police mandate, which 
he reportedly said was to create dossiers on "fools" -- the 
mentally ill, the opposition, and prostitutes and their 
clients.  This, she said, sounds like the old KGB.  She said 
that Merabishvili talked openly, in the open presence of a 
German police officer.  She said that this would be a 
throwback to the old days and not an example of moving toward 
European and American standards.  The Ambassador agreed. 
(Note:  We intend to follow-up with Merabishvili.  End note.) 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI436, OSCE SAYS THERE IS AGREEMENT TO INFORMAL JCC MARCH

WikiLeaks Link

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Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07TBILISI436.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI436 2007-03-05 14:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5516
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0436/01 0641407
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 051407Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5543
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000436 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: OSCE SAYS THERE IS AGREEMENT TO INFORMAL JCC MARCH 
20-23 IN ISTANBUL 
 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C)  Summary:  Ambassador Tefft called on OSCE Ambassador 
Roy Reeve February 28 to discuss South Ossetia.  On the Joint 
Control Commission (JCC), Ambassador said that the U.S. is 
pressing the Georgians to agree to the JCC.  Reeve said that 
there were some positive signals that a JCC meeting would 
take place.  (Note:  In a March 2 telcon, Deputy Nikolaev 
confirmed that the sides had just agreed to an informal 
meeting of the JCC on March 20-23 in Istanbul.  End note.) 
On Sanakoyev, Ambassador said that the U.S. believes that the 
longer we wait to meet him, the harder it will become.  Reeve 
supported the idea of Ambassadors meeting Sanakoyev but 
stressed that he would have no formal contact.  Reeve 
welcomed the Georgian agreement to allow police cooperation 
in South Ossetia and offered other ideas on what the 
Georgians could do to move forward on conflict resolution. 
On elections, Reeve said the OSCE group would meet soon to 
start planning for the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary 
elections.  End summary. 
 
------- 
JCC ON? 
------- 
 
2. (C) Ambassador Tefft called on OSCE Ambassador Roy Reeve 
February 28 to discuss South Ossetia.  Ambassador told Reeve 
that the U.S. is pressing the Georgians to agree to a meeting 
of the Joint Control Commission (JCC), even as they press for 
the use of new formats.  Reeve thanked him for the 
intervention and said that there were some positive signals 
that a JCC meeting would take place.  (Note:  In a March 2 
telcon, Deputy Nikolaev confirmed that the sides agreed to an 
informal JCC on March 20-23 in Istanbul, possibly followed by 
a formal JCC.  End note.)  Reeve said that both sides were to 
blame for the failure to agree on a date earlier and that the 
Georgian and South Ossetian Co-Chairs had been in discussions 
about a new date. 
 
3. (C) Reeve argued for continued use of the JCC, which he 
said is needed for technical reasons, such as getting a 
checkpoint at Didi Gupta.  He thought that the Georgians 
could use agreement to work in the JCC to achieve their 
objective of having more bilateral contacts with the South 
Ossetians.  He pointed to the fact that there are other 
mechanisms that are not being used, such as the Authorized 
Delegations (AD), which the Georgians could advocate to 
re-start.  When asked whether Russia would agree, Reeve 
assessed that an invitation to a re-start meetings of ADs, 
coupled with agreement to attend the JCC, would be something 
that the Russians could not reasonably refuse. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
REEVE RULES OUT FORMAL CONTACT WITH SANAKOYEV 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Turning to the de facto leader Sanakoyev, Ambassador 
said that the U.S. believes that the international community 
should not confer more legitimacy on one de facto leader over 
another.  He briefed on his approach to the British, French, 
German and EU Ambassadors, noting the need to think about how 
to manage the issue of meeting Sanakoyev, who is gaining 
traction in South Ossetia.  He offered the idea of signaling 
to the MFA that they could hold a meeting where Sanakoyev is 
present.  While acknowledging OSCE concerns, Ambassador said 
that the U.S. concern is that the longer we wait to meet with 
him, the harder it will become. 
 
5. (C) Reeve agreed that Sanakoyev is a factor but thought 
that the Georgians need to back off from overt support and 
let Sanakoyev stand on his own.  Reeve said that he could not 
meet with Sanakoyev on a political level (although he did not 
explain why) but acknowledged that some of the OSCE's Donors' 
Economic Rehabilitation Projects will take place in areas 
controlled by Sanakoyev and he did not rule out a chance 
meeting with someone from Sanakoyev's team at "the opening of 
some school or clinic."  He stressed, however, that he would 
abstain from formal contact.  He noted with interest that the 
Tedeyev brothers, who are linked to the St. Petersberg Tambor 
mafia and who had been instrumental in Kokoity's rise to the 
de facto presidency, had switched sides and now worked for 
Sanakoyev. 
 
------------------------------------- 
GEORGIANS AGREE TO POLICE COOPERATION 
------------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Reeve turned to his highest priority in South Ossetia: 
 reconstruction of the law enforcement agencies, which he 
believes is the key to the withdrawal of the Joint 
 
TBILISI 00000436  002 OF 002 
 
 
Peacekeeping Force (JPKF).  If you can get the two forces 
together with international monitors, he said, then the 
question arises of why you need the JPKF.  He welcomed MOIA 
Merabishvili's recent agreement to allow police cooperation 
between Georgian and South Ossetians, including allowing a 
needs assessment of the South Ossetian militia.  He said that 
Merabishvili understood that there would need to be a police 
force in South Ossetia. 
 
&#18
2;7. (C) When asked what more the Georgians could do, Reeve 
said that the Georgians could remove the military police from 
the Zone of Conflict.  He said that with the Georgian 
battalion (almost at 500 people) and Georgian police, there 
is no role for military police.  He claimed that they are an 
irritant to the situation.  He also suggested that the 
Georgian Government issue and publicize a clear set of rules 
on what goods can be transported to the Zone of Conflict. 
The lack of clear guidelines, he said simply, fuels 
corruption.  In a follow-up phone call with Poloff, OSCE 
offered to come up with a list of items that could be raised 
with the Georgian Government. 
 
---------------------------- 
ELECTIONS GROUP TO MEET SOON 
---------------------------- 
 
8. (C) Ambassador raised the issue of preparing for the 2008 
Presidential and Parliamentary elections.  Reeve said that 
the OSCE elections group was going to call a meeting soon and 
agreed to work on a list of agreed recommended steps the 
group could use with the Government. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI431, GOG CONTINUES ITS ANTI-TIP PUBLIC OUTREACH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI431 2007-03-05 05:32 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4754
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0431 0640532
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050532Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5535
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 000431 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, G/TIP, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG RU
SUBJECT: GOG CONTINUES ITS ANTI-TIP PUBLIC OUTREACH 
 
 
 1.  (U)  On February 27, Poloff participated in a GOG 
sponsored presentation on anti-trafficking in persons (TIP) 
at the University of Foreign Languages -- the second event 
held in Tbilisi this month.  The presentation included a 
showing of the Frontline documentary titled "Sex-Slave" to an 
audience of over 50 students. The documentary followed three 
investigative journalists who were tracking TIP victims from 
Ukraine to Turkey, and highlighted the different tactics used 
by the traffickers to lure in their victims.  Following the 
film, a question and answer session was led by Mari Meskhi, 
Director of the GOG's State Fund for Victim Protection and 
Assistance (SFVPA), representatives from the Embassy and 
local and international NGOs.  Following numerous questions 
about the GOG's role in anti-TIP and public outreach, the 
students were pleased to find out that the SFVPA planned to 
expand the program to universities outside of Tbilisi. 
 
2.  (U) During the dialogue students raised questions about 
the prosecution of those found guilty of TIP, the role of 
border guards in prevention, and how Georgia's consular 
sections abroad combat and prevent TIP.  One student 
suggested a special diplomatic component inside the consular 
section be created to focus on TIP document fraud, and to 
monitor known brothels/night clubs in countries with a 
high-rate of trafficked women from Georgia.  Meskhi noted the 
suggestion and commented that further work needs to be done 
on all levels of interstate cooperation when it comes to TIP, 
specifically citing problems with extradition.  Meskhi also 
mentioned that initial language is being drafted by the 
Prosecutor General's Office to make patronage of TIP victims 
illegal and punishable under the law. 
 
3.  (U) Comment:  The continued efforts of the SFVPA and 
Prosecutor General's Office to increase public awareness 
about the perils of TIP is a step in the right direction.  We 
will continue to support GOG efforts to increase anti-TIP 
public awareness.  It should be noted that the GOG's 
2007-2008 Anti-TIP Action Plan does contain TIP detection 
training for their consular officers abroad. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI405, UN TO USE UNOMIG RENEWAL TO MOVE SIDES FORWARD

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To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07TBILISI405.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI405 2007-03-01 15:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #0405 0601533
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 011533Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5512
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 000405 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: UN TO USE UNOMIG RENEWAL TO MOVE SIDES FORWARD 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C)  On February 27, UN Special Representative to the 
Secretary General (SRSG) for Georgia Jean Arnault briefed the 
 
SIPDIS 
Friends of the Secretary General (FSG) on UN plans to use the 
April 15 deadline for renewal of the UN Observer Mission in 
Georgia (UNOMIG) to push the sides to fulfill their 
obligations under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 
1716.  On the Abkhaz side, he planned to press for opening 
the UN Human Rights Office (HRO) in Gali, allowing additional 
UN Civilian Police (CIVPOL) in Gali, and allowing instruction 
in Georgian in Gali.  On the Georgian side, he planned to 
push for three issues on Upper Abkhazia:  more joint 
patrolling, reduction of police, and an accounting of the 
heavy weaponry left by warlord Kvitsiani.  He also planned to 
press for an airtight regime of notification and verification 
with the Georgians of everything moving into Upper Abkhazia. 
He hoped to have this agenda accomplished by the end of 
March, when the Mission would need to submit its report to 
the UN, and asked for the Friends support with the sides. 
End summary. 
 
2. (C) At a meeting convened by the German Chair of the 
Friends of the Secretary General, UN SRSG Jean Arnault 
briefed the representatives of the Friends (Ambassador Tefft 
(U.S.), Ambassador MacLaren (UK), DCM Fabienne Drout-Lozinski 
(France) Ambassador Flor (Germany) and Ambassador Kovalenko 
(Russia)) on UN plans to use the April 15 deadline for UNOMIG 
renewal to push the sides to fulfill their obligations under 
UNSCR 1716.  He noted that some things were impossible to 
conclude by the deadline, including signing the document on 
the non-use of force and return of internally displaced 
persons (IDPs) as well as a high level meeting between 
President Saakashvili and de facto president Bagapsh.  But 
others, he thought, were possible to conclude before the 
Mission must submit its report to the UN by the end of March. 
 These included: 
 
-- On the Abkhaz side, he would press for the opening of the 
UN HRO in Gali, allowing additional UN CIVPOL in Gali, 
allowing instruction in Georgian in Gali, and guaranteeing 
residency rights for ethnic Georgians living there. 
 
-- On the Georgian side, he would push for three items with 
regard to Upper Abkhazia:  further joint CIS-UNOMIG 
patrolling, which he said had been agreed at a meeting that 
day for an extended two-day patrol the week of March 5 (he 
did not expect the Abkhaz to join this patrol because of its 
proximity to the Abkhaz parliamentary elections March 4); 
further rationalization of Georgian police forces, where he 
assessed there was room for additional downsizing from the 
estimated force of 250 officers; and an accounting of the 
weaponry left by warlord Emzar Kvitsiani, which he said 
included heavy weapons such as anti-aircraft artillery.  He 
planned also to press for an airtight notification and 
verification regime with Georgia for everything moving into 
Upper Abkhazia from Zugdidi. 
 
3. (C) Arnault asked that the Friends reinforce these 
requests with the Georgians and the Abkhaz in order to take 
advantage of the deadline posed by the UNOMIG mandate 
renewal.  He thought that a message that responding to these 
requests would help contribute to a good UNSCR would have 
resonance with the parties, as they would be able to go to 
the renewal as parties in good standing with the UN. 
 
4. (C) Arnault also updated on other outstanding issues in 
response to questions.  On the UN HRO, he said that he hoped 
to have two UN Human Rights Officers in permanent offices in 
Gali by the week of March 5, and that he might suggest that 
the Friends travel there to inaugurate the new office.  On 
the Georgian appointment to the Quadripartite Meetings, he 
said that he has received different names from different 
offices in the Georgian Government and hoped this would be 
resolved soon.  On the UNHCR strategy, he said that initial 
indications from the Georgians were not positive - the 
current position is that the strategy can go forward without 
IDP verification (counting) - but argued against focus on 
this issue at this time.  In response to a question, he said 
the Abkhaz are convinced the security incidents in Gali are 
the result of a Georgian Government backed operation, 
although the UN has no way to confirm or deny this 
allegation. 
TEFFT

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