07TBILISI725, EUR DAS MATT BRYZA’S MARCH 29 MEETING WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI725 2007-04-02 11:35 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3607
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0725/01 0921135
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 021135Z APR 07 ZFR ZFR ZFR ZFR ZFR ZFR
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5911
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 000725 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EEB/EPC/IEC 
COMMERCE FOR 4231/ITA/MAC DANICA STARKS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL ENRG GG AR RU TX UN
SUBJECT: EUR DAS MATT BRYZA'S MARCH 29 MEETING WITH 
GEORGIAN PM NOGHAIDELI 
 
 
TBILISI 00000725  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
///////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////// 
PLEASE CANCEL (ZFR) TBILISI 725 (ALL 3 SECTIONS) IN ITS ENTIRETY. 
SUBJECT CABLE WAS PREVIOUSLY SENT AS TBILISI 711. 
OUR APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVIENCE CAUSED. 
///////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////// 
 
 
TBILISI 00000725  002 OF 003 
 
 
measure.  He described him as a "fascist" and "war criminal". 
 His release, Noghaideli said, would send a message of 
impunity, and his exchange for prisoners held by the Abkhaz 
would only encourage future hostage taking by the Abkhaz.  He 
fears the release of Chakabaria will only increase tensions 
in the long run and damage the security of the people in 
Gali.  The GOG will look for ways to decrease tensions, but 
it cannot enter into a prisoner exchange, he said. 
 
6. (C) Noghaideli said that although his meeting with Abkhaz 
de facto prime minister Ankvab was canceled, the Abkhaz are 
now seeking to reschedule it.  However, they are seeking 
Noghaideli's presence at what is essentially a technical 
meeting, and after Ankvab's first refusal to meet, he is not 
inclined to attend.  The meeting will go forward without his 
participation, however.  (Note: at the meeting an agreement 
on dividing the output of the Enguri power plant will be 
signed.  The agreement included a GOG commitment to finance 
individual electric meters to consumers on the whole 
territory of Abkhazia.)  Bryza suggested that the agreement 
on the Enguri power plant output would be helpful before the 
UNOMIG mandate renewal vote, because it would emphasize 
Georgia's willingness to cooperate with the Abkhaz.  Bryza 
urged Noghaideli to meet with Ankvab.  Noghaideli resisted, 
but he later called Bryza to say he had reconsidered and is 
now willing to meet with Ankvab. 
 
FOCUSING ON TRANS-CASPIAN OIL AND GAS 
------------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) Bryza praised Georgia and Azerbaijan for cooperating 
on meeting their energy needs this year, and especially 
Azerbaijan's willingness to do without Russian gas and to 
stop shipping oil through Novorossisk in response to Russian 
demands that Azerbaijan not supply Georgia.  Noghaideli said 
that Aliyev's decision was mostly a reaction to Russia 
offering better terms for its gas to Armenia than to 
Azerbaijan.  He complained that Azerbaijan is creating 
significant problems for transport of oil through the South 
Caucasus.  He will meet with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan 
leaders in Baku on April 4 to discuss the issue. 
 
8. (C) Drawing on his recent trip to Ashgabat, Noghaideli 
told DAS Bryza that President Berdimuhammedov wants western 
legitimacy.  Trips to Europe and America would give him that 
and would expose him to the West.  Such trips should happen 
soon, Noghaideli said.  He said that Berdimuhammedov can 
become a leader either in the style of Kazakhstan's 
Nazarbayev or, less appealingly, Uzbekistan's Karimov -- 
though he will never be a Saakashvili.  Although human rights 
advocates may object, Noghaideli said, now is the time to 
deal with Berdimuhammedov if the West is to have any 
influence as he grows into his new position. 
 
9. (C) Noghaideli said that Turkmenistan has always sought a 
balance between Russia and Iran, and now will want to do so 
between Russia and the West.  He said that Turkmenistan 
currently sells its oil on an exchange within the country at 
a low price, but forces it to be taken out via Iran and to 
Afghanistan.  Noghaideli thinks that if Berdimuhammedov 
allows the free sale of oil outside the country, 90 percent 
of it would go west through the Caucasus -- but for the 
problems the Azeris are creating in transportation. 
Noghaideli said that Berdimuhammedov will likely be willing 
to license western companies to develop Turkmenistan's 
off-shore reserves of natural gas.  He confirmed that the 
Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation will seek such a license. 
Oil and gas from fields developed by Western companies will 
only flow west, he believes.  Bryza said that Noghaideli's 
view confirms what the USG is hearing from Turkmenistan.  He 
mentioned the U.S. hope to export Turkmen gas from Block One, 
operated by Petronas, to Baku's ACG field. 
 
10. (C) Bryza mentioned that Kazakhstani Prime Minister 
Massimov has expressed interest in shipping compressed 
natural gas across the Caspian.  Noghaideli again complained 
that Azerbaijan has "destroyed a good transport relationship" 
over the past year.  The Georgian-proposed 
Georgia-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan trilateral in Baku on April 4 
is important in that regard, he said. (Note: Massimov is 
scheduled to visit Tbilisi as well as Bak
u.) 
 
11. (C) Noghaideli said that he has given up on getting 
Turkey to share its Shah Deniz gas with Georgia.  Turkey will 
not be ready to receive gas until September, he said. 
Georgia is now discussing getting more gas from the Azeris, 
who he says have enough to cover Georgia's needs.  President 
 
TBILISI 00000725  003 OF 003 
 
 
Saakashvili is calling Azeri President Aliyev to discuss. 
Because of the delays in production of Shah Deniz gas earlier 
this year, Georgia did not get as much gas as it had hoped 
from Azerbaijan, only 20% of its imports, according to 
Noghaideli.  Russian gas will be about 50% of supply this 
year, he said.  The warm winter and good management have 
allowed Georgia to reduce its gas consumption this year, 
however. 
 
ARMENIAS ONLY FRIEND(S) 
----------------------- 
 
12. (C) Bryza and Noghaideli briefly discussed the situation 
in Armenia.  When he was in Armenia for the late Prime 
Minister Andranik Markarian's funeral, Noghaideli was 
surprised to learn that Armenia's government budget is only 
USD 1.1 billion, compared to Georgia's USD 2.7 million. 
Armenia's decision to rely on Russian support has hurt it 
economically and cost it nearly all its friends, other than 
Georgia, he said.  The Government of Armenia is maintaining 
its NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan as a lifeline to 
the West, he said. 
 
13.  DAS Bryza has cleared this telegram. 
TEFFT

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