Monthly Archives: May 2007

07TBILISI1278, SOUTH OSSETIA WATER STANDOFF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1278 2007-05-31 14:44 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1400
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1278 1511444
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311444Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6502
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001278 
 
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DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL OSCE GG
SUBJECT: SOUTH OSSETIA WATER STANDOFF 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
1. (C) As of May 31, the South Ossetian "capital" of 
Tskhinvali has been without water for a week, producing a 
 
SIPDIS 
tense political standoff.  As OSCE officials have described 
it to us, the problem started when residents of the Georgian 
enclave north of Tskhinvali drilled holes in the water 
pipeline to use for irrigation.  This has happened in 
previous years as well -- with South Ossetians long 
complaining about Georgian theft of water intended for 
drinking -- but it was especially acute this year because a 
second irrigation pipe ceased to work in 2006, leaving the 
main pipe to Tskhinvali as the Georgian farmers' only source 
for water.  The incident escalated when Georgian officials on 
the de facto border refused to allow Ossetian repair crews to 
enter the Georgian enclave to repair the pipe, telling OSCE 
monitors that they would not permit the crews in without an 
order from Georgian-backed administrative chief Dmitry 
Sanakoyev. 
 
2. (C) OSCE has facilitated discussions between Georgian 
State Minister for Conflict Resolution Merab Antadze and his 
South Ossetian counterpart Boris Chochiev, but thus far 
without success.  De facto president Eduard Kokoity has 
threatened publicly to cut off the water supply even farther 
north, in separatist-controlled territory, which would deny 
water to the Georgian enclave as well as to the large 
Georgian city of Gori south of South Ossetia.  OSCE reports 
that the South Ossetians carried through on this threat May 
31, but after three and a half hours of no water OSCE 
convinced them to reopen the pipe, at least temporarily.  We 
have stressed to the Georgians the need to find a resolution 
to the impasse. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1267, GEORGIA: DEMARCHE ON PROPOSED RUSSIAN DRAFT OF AN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1267 2007-05-30 12:14 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9940
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6490
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2129

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001267 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/30/2017 
TAGS: OSCE PREL PGOV KTIA GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: DEMARCHE ON PROPOSED RUSSIAN DRAFT OF AN 
OSCE "CHARTER" 
 
REF: SECSTATE 69698 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
(C)  Per reftel request, on May 29 Poloff raised the issue of 
the Russian draft OSCE "charter" with Alexander Nalbandov, 
Director of the Department of International Organizations at 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Nalbandov said that he 
understood U.S. concerns on the issue and would pass our 
message on to the Georgian mission in Vienna, adding that he 
would urge their mission to be "attentive" to the U.S. 
position. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1265, ABKHAZ DE FACTO PRIME MINISTER ANKVAB ON ECONOMY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1265 2007-05-30 12:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9916
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1265/01 1501207
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301207Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6487
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001265 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON GG
SUBJECT: ABKHAZ DE FACTO PRIME MINISTER ANKVAB ON ECONOMY 
AND RELATIONS WITH THE GEORGIANS 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) In a meeting with Ambassador May 23, Abkhaz de facto 
prime minister Alexander Ankvab acknowledged that neither 
economic growth nor Russian investment in Abkhazia were high, 
although he thought both would increase considerably with the 
prospect of the 2014 Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi.  Ankvab 
said the Abkhaz had no interest in a future within Georgia, 
no matter how prosperous Georgia became.  He said the Abkhaz 
side had called off his planned meeting in March with 
Georgian Prime Minister Noghaideli because the Georgians 
intended to discuss issues beyond hydroelectric power -- the 
planned topic of the meeting.  He said he would be willing to 
talk to any Georgian official if his political leadership 
instructed him to do so. 
 
GDP? We Prefer not to Know 
-------------------------- 
2. (C) The Ambassador asked Ankvab about the state of the 
Abkhaz economy, and whether the de facto government 
calculates GDP.  Ankvab said no, adding with a smile that the 
figures might be so low "they would spoil our mood."  He said 
there were calculations of per capita income and "how much 
the state can earn," and these figures were modest but 
improving.  Asked if Abkhazia was benefiting from Russian 
investment, Ankvab said he thought "we will," once serious 
construction gets underway in connection with a Sochi 
Olympics in 2014.  He said Abkhazia would be the closest and 
best source for gravel and other construction materials 
needed for the Games. 
 
3. (C) Ankvab said the Abkhaz administration was working on 
multi-year projects to improve the road from Sochi through 
Abkhazia to the Enguri River, as well as the route to Lake 
Ritsa, in order to attract more summer tourists.  He said 
that there was not yet large-scale industrial investment from 
Russia; thus far, the only major Russian investment was for 
resorts in the Gagra area.  He acknowledged that many of the 
tourists in Abkhazia were day-trippers who came from Sochi to 
take advantage of the free beaches and lower food prices. 
Ankvab said Abkhazia had widened its international economic 
contacts in recent years, including with Turkey.  He said 
Abkhazia was negotiating with large European companies. 
 
Why No Noghaideli Meeting 
------------------------- 
4. (C) Ankvab said he was aware of the new hotels going up in 
the Georgian seaside resort of Batumi, and added that if 
Georgia "would forget about tensions in Abkhazia" it had a 
good chance to develop economically.  He said Georgia 
appeared incapable of using "gentlemanly means" to promote 
its goal of reclaiming Abkhazia, and he cited as examples the 
building of youth camps near Abkhazia, the installation of 
the Abkhaz Government-in-Exile in Upper Kodori, and 
Saakashvili's speech praising three students released from 
Abkhaz custody. 
 
5. (C) The Ambassador said the Georgians had been 
disappointed by the cancellation of Ankvab's meeting with 
Georgian Prime Minister Noghaideli.  Ankvab also expressed 
disappointment, saying he had taken seriously the Georgians' 
interest in discussing the renovation of hydroelectric power 
production from the Enguri reservoir.  Ankvab said, however, 
that he had obtained information that the Georgians planned 
to bring other people to the meeting, including officials 
working on Georgian foreign policy and relations with 
Abkhazia, as well as the press.  He said his message had been 
that Abkhazia was not ready for such a meeting, and had 
agreed only to discuss energy production. 
 
Our People Don't Want to Live with Georgians 
-------------------------------------------- 
6. (C) The Ambassador noted that the failure to have even 
limited meetings with the Georgians was a missed opportunity. 
 Ankvab agreed that personal contacts were useful, but he 
argued that the Georgians gave the Abkhaz nothing to discuss, 
and focused only on making Abkhazia part of Georgia.  Ankvab 
said this was impossible for the Abkhaz, who want to live on 
their own and not be "part of anything."  He dismissed the 
idea of autonomy within Georgia, saying that "our people 
don't want to live with the Georgians" and "there is blood 
between our two nations."  He said there was a real 
competition of views on many political issues in Abkhazia, 
but all forces were united on relations with Georgia; no 
political leader would have support for changing the policy. 
He said the Georgians were "unable to hide" the fact that 
they were not interested in the Abkhaz themselves but in 
their territory.  Asked about the attitudes of the Abkhaz 
 
TBILISI 00001265  002 OF 002 
 
 
younger generation, Ankvab predicted that views toward 
Georgians would be "passed in the genetic code." 
 
UFOs in Kodori March 11? 
------------------------ 
7. (C) Pressed by the Ambassador on the importance of 
dialogue, Ankvab said he was
not opposed but argued that 
conditions for dialogue were not in place.  Among other 
complaints about Georgia, Ankvab asked why it was necessary 
for Georgia to re-take control of the Upper Kodori Gorge. 
The Ambassador explained that under the Moscow ceasefire 
agreement the Georgians have a right to be there, and their 
presence had remained within agreed limits even after the 
missile attack on Georgian positions there March 11.  Ankvab 
then asked rhetorically "was it an attack?" and the 
Ambassador responded that it was a very serious incident, as 
described in the UN report.  Ankvab said that it was more 
like a case of UFOs.  The Ambassador said such incidents 
underscored the need for dialogue, and Ankvab reiterated his 
support for dialogue, saying that if his political leadership 
so instructed him, he would talk to "Noghaideli, Okruashvili, 
or anyone else."  (Note: Until corrected by the Ambassador, 
Ankvab did not seem to know that former Georgian Defense 
Minister Okruashvili left government in 2006.) 
 
Comment 
------- 
8. (C) Georgian officials have told us they believe that 
Ankvab is a major player in Abkhaz politics, especially on 
economic issues.  It is clear from this conversation that a 
major part of the Abkhaz economic plan is to wait for the 
hoped-for Sochi Olympics to rain down investments and jobs on 
Abkhazia.  If in fact the International Olympic Committee 
awards the 2014 games to Sochi in its meeting July 4, it is 
certain that the Olympics will become the centerpiece of the 
de facto authorities' internal public relations campaign.  It 
is interesting that even a high Abkhaz official like Ankvab 
has remarkably little information about what is going on in 
Georgia.  For ordinary Abkhaz, with even less information 
about Georgia's economic development, and potentially with a 
promise from their authorities of economic deliverance in 
2014, the idea of a future within Georgia will likely remain 
a very tough sell.  They never mention, however, that ethnic 
Abkhaz are not all -- and indeed are probably not even a 
majority -- of the population of Abkhazia.  About one-third 
of Abkhazia is composed of ethnic Georgians, and many 
observers believe ethnic Armenians may now outnumber the 
Abkhaz. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1247, EVIDENCE TAMPERING SCANDAL HITS GEORGIAN MINISTRY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1247 2007-05-29 07:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1247/01 1490736
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 290736Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6468

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001247 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE (CAMPBELL AND BARCLAY) AND EUR/ACE 
(ALTMAN-WINANS) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV SNAR GG
SUBJECT: EVIDENCE TAMPERING SCANDAL HITS GEORGIAN MINISTRY 
OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS 
 
REF: 06 TBILISI 1301 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
 1. (C) Summary: A top Ministry of Internal Affairs official 
(MOIA) was arrested May 2 on charges of evidence tampering, 
along with the deputy of the MOIA Forensics Lab and one other 
police officer. Deputy General Prosecutor and National 
Movement activist Nika Gvaramia downplayed the extent of 
evidence tampering at the MOIA Forensic Lab, which reports 
directly to Minister of the Interior Ivane Merabishvili. 
Further charges of planting evidence brought by Public 
Defender Sozar Subari against the MOIA head of Special 
Operations Irakli Kodua on May 23rd, however, may indicate a 
bigger problem. End Summary. 
 
----------------- 
Planting Evidence 
----------------- 
 
2. (C)  MOIA Deputy Chief of General Inspection (Note: 
Georgian Equivalent of Internal Affairs. End Note) General 
Davit Kakua was arrested on May 2 on charges of fabricating 
evidence in the high-profile 2002 murder of AES Telasi 
Finance Director Nika Lominadze. Also arrested were the 
deputy of the MOIA Forensic Lab Zaza Altunashvili and police 
official Mikheil Ivanikashvili. According to a former MOIA 
official familiar with the case, Kakua allegedly planted a 
bullet casing on the scene and then tried to implicate, 
through falsified ballistic evidence involving Altunashvili, 
police officer  Davit Mchedlidze. He was held for six months 
and released in 2003. In May 2006, former AES Telasi 
Commercial Manager Giorgi Gvichiani was sentenced to life 
imprisonment for the murder of Lominadze. 
 
------------------------------------- 
Internal Affairs or Internal Problem? 
------------------------------------- 
 
3. (U) The arrest of MOIA Deputy Chief of General Inspection 
Kakua is the second scandal to hit the MOIA General 
Inspectorate. In March 2006, Chief of General Inspection 
Vasil Sanodze was forced to step down--along with three other 
MOIA top officials--in connection with the February 2006 
murder of Sandro Girgvliani. Sanodze was never charged, and 
four low-ranking MOIA officers were later convicted of the 
manslaughter. 
 
4. (C) For his part, Kakua is reputed to have a violent past. 
Giorgi Chkheidze, former Deputy Procurator and now head of 
the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, told poloff that 
Kakua is implicated in torture, excessive use of force, and 
other human rights violations. (Comment: According to former 
MOIA officials, the MOIA General Inspectorate has been used 
to force out politically undesirable employees with threats 
of criminal charges if the employee does not resign. Former 
Police Academy Rector Levon Izoriya, for example, alleged 
that Sanodze told him in January 2006 that he should resign 
or would face an inspection that would end with criminal 
charges. He resigned and now is the Dean of Law of the 
Georgian University of Social Sciences, where President 
Saakashvili's mother is rector. No charges were ever filed. 
End Comment). 
 
--------------- 
How widespread? 
--------------- 
 
5. (C) Deputy Prosecutor General Nika Gvaramia told INL 
officer on May 16 that the situation "has changed" at the 
MOIA laboratory from the time when Kakua is alleged to have 
planted evidence. He added that the tainted evidence did not 
play a role in the 2006 conviction of Gvichiani. (Comment: 
INL Forensic Adviser Donnell Christian commented that barring 
a full-blown investigation, it is too early to dub the 
incident "only sins of the past." According to him, "it would 
not be a large leap from tampering evidence or fabricating 
evidence to expecting the people under his command to do the 
same." End Comment). 
 
6. (C) On May 23rd, however, Ombudsman Sozar Subari, 
according to press reports, called for the suspension of MOIA 
Special Operations Department head Irakli Kodua for alleged 
involvement in torture, fabrication of evidence, and the 
arrest of innocent men. According to Subari, a probe by the 
Public Defender's office revealed that evidence against three 
men in a February 2007 case had been "fabricated by law 
enforcement agencies." (Comment: In May 2006, an INL 
contact--a former state security operative-told us that Kodua 
was involved in the extortion of money from business men as 
 
well as in illegal privatizations. He could, however, provide 
no concrete evidence. End Comment). 
 
7.(C) Comment: The Ministry of Internal Affairs under 
Minister Merabishvili has done much to boost salaries, 
increase training, and improve equipment and facilities. 
Crime is down, and police--thanks to the visionary dismissal 
of all corrupt traffic police and their replacement by the 
new Patrol Police--enjoy popular support. That said, per 
reftel the MOIA been hesitant to tackle further structural 
reform, such as the appointment of a Police Commissioner, 
creation of a unified Police Department, reform of the 
Criminal Police, or creation of Civilian Review Boards. We 
hope these latest incidents reignite reformist tendencies in 
the
MOIA; bringing Kakua to justice is a good first step. 
 
8. (C) Comment Continued: INL forensic projects are largely 
conducted with the Ministry of Justice's National Forensic 
Lab to achieve the highest level of independence from 
prosecution and investigation. We work where possible with 
the MOIA lab, but since the May 2 scandal we vet any 
candidate for training with the Prosecutor General. End 
Comment. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1213, ANTADZE ON PROSPECTS FOR DIALOGUE WITH ABKHAZIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1213 2007-05-23 09:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3752
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1213/01 1430938
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 230938Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6424
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001213 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/22/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: ANTADZE ON PROSPECTS FOR DIALOGUE WITH ABKHAZIA 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 861 
 
     B. TBILISI 459 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) Georgian State Minister for Conflict Resolution Merab 
Antadze told the Ambassador May 22 that Abkhaz de facto 
officials appeared to have decided to block contacts with 
Georgia at virtually every level of society, rebuffing 
Georgian requests to discuss the security situation in Gali 
and other issues.  He said Georgia strongly opposed inviting 
the Abkhaz to a meeting in New York, saying this invitation 
should be made only after the Abkhaz had taken constructive 
actions.  Antadze responded positively to variety of ideas 
for U.S. initiatives in the separatist regions, including 
American Corners in Gali and Sukhumi, taking a touring 
photographic exhibit to Sukhumi, removal of dangerous 
radioactive sources from Sukhumi, and a concert in South 
Ossetia.  He also responded favorably to the idea of a joint 
investigation with the Abkhaz of the disappearance of de 
facto official David Sigua, saying Georgia favored 
reinvigorating joint investigative mechanisms for a broad 
range of incidents.  On South Ossetia, Antadze said the 
Kokoity regime appeared to be getting conflicting advice from 
the Russian officials inside the South Ossetian 
administration and those in Russia -- suggesting that Russia 
has no clear policy on the region.  End Summary. 
 
Don't Call Me, I Won't Call You 
------------------------------- 
2. (C) Meeting on the eve of the Ambassador's trip to 
Abkhazia, Antadze said that after the Geneva meeting in 
February, the Abkhaz had turned away all Georgian attempts to 
arrange meetings.  He noted that the Georgians had pushed for 
a meeting to discuss the security situation in Gali, as was 
agreed at Geneva, and for a meeting on economic subjects 
between Prime Minister Noghaideli and de facto prime minister 
Ankvab, but these attempts produced no results.  He noted 
that the Abkhaz had also blocked joint study tours and other 
events at the societal level.  Antadze said he believed the 
refusals came on the recommendation of "Russian supporters" 
inside the Abkhaz administration.  He noted that when the 
Georgians had expressed an interest in a meeting between 
President Saakashvili and de facto president Bagapsh, Bagapsh 
had sent a message that such a meeting would be "negatively 
understood by the Russian side and internal forces." 
 
3. (C) Antadze asked for U.S. support for the Georgians' 
newest initiative to re-start dialogue, a call for a meeting 
in Geneva to discuss the return of internally displaced 
persons and security issues.  He said the Georgians strongly 
opposed a meeting with the Abkhaz in New York because they 
feared that the Russians could use it in their propaganda, 
preparing the way for a declaration that Abkhazia is an 
independent state.  The Ambassador stressed that Washington 
had made no decision on a New York invitation, and that the 
decision would depend in part on the restoring of dialogue 
between the two sides. 
 
4. (C) Antadze said Georgia was attempting to restore 
dialogue in other ways as well: trying to arrange a meeting 
of the steering committee for the EC-led economic 
rehabilitation projects in Abkhazia (which the Abkhaz have 
continually delayed for "technical" reasons), and seeking to 
re-start the Quadripartite Meetings (QPMs) in a new format 
that the CIS peacekeepers do not control.  (Note: As noted in 
reftels, UN officials have previously told us the Georgians 
have delayed resumption of the QPMs by failing to appoint a 
representative, as they agreed in Geneva.)  Asked by the 
Ambassador about a possible joint investigation of the Sigua 
disappearance, Antadze said Georgia supported the 
reactivation of a joint Georgian-Abkhaz investigative group 
that had could work on the Sigua case and a variety of 
others.  He added this mechanism, which he said had stopped 
its activity after Russian opposition made it impossible for 
the group to work freely, was one issue he wanted to discuss 
with the Abkhaz in a meeting on the Gali security situation. 
 
Supportive of U.S. Program Ideas 
-------------------------------- 
5. (C) The Ambassador raised a number of ideas for programs 
the USG might support in Abkhazia, and Antadze responded 
favorably to them all.  The Ambassador noted that expanding 
our program of American Corners in Georgian cities to Gali 
and Sukhumi could expose young people in Abkhazia to the U.S. 
 Antadze agreed, saying he personally believed that having a 
"direct source of information" could help break the isolation 
in those areas, and he encouraged the Ambassador to mention 
the idea to the Abkhaz, stressing that it was an expansion of 
 
TBILISI 00001213  002 OF 002 
 
 
programs in Georgia proper.  He added that it might be 
possible to ask the Abkhaz to take some action in exchange 
for the facilities, and stressed the importance of all people 
having free access to them.  Antadze said residents of 
Abkhazia would appreciate being able to see a U.
S.-sponsored 
photographic exhibit that has already toured a number of 
Georgian cities.  He reiterated his support for the removal 
of four radioactive sources in Sukhumi to a facility in 
Mtskheta.  The Ambassador noted that while we had an 
agreement in principle from the sides and a source of 
funding, there had also been talk that the Abkhaz were 
pursuing removal to Russia.  The Ambassador said that Deputy 
Foreign Minister Chechelashvili had recently told DCM that 
the most important thing for the Georgians was to get the 
sources out of Abkhazia, where their security could not be 
assured. 
 
Sanakoyev Slowly on the Rise 
---------------------------- 
6. (C) Turning to South Ossetia, Antadze said he had 
requested a recent visit by Russian envoy Yuri Popov after it 
became clear that Russian-led peacekeepers were not reacting 
to incidents, thereby allowing the situation to escalate.  He 
said that as a result of Georgian demands the peacekeepers 
had finally acted in a few specific cases, although he noted 
that such Georgian interventions should not be necessary.  He 
said that it was clear from recent events that Russia does 
not have a clear position on South Ossetia.  Antadze said 
South Ossetian leader Kokoity was urged by his advisors 
representing Russian special services to escalate tensions to 
a point that the Russian peacekeepers would be brought into 
the equation, perhaps as a justification for increasing the 
number of peacekeepers.  Messages from Russia itself, Antadze 
added, were long-delayed but in the end contradicted the 
advice of Russians based in Tskhinvali. 
 
7. (C) Antadze said the current dynamic was not favorable for 
Kokoity: public opinion is slowly moving toward the 
pro-Georgian Dmitry Sanakoyev, and if the situation remains 
stable this trend will increase, especially as Georgia starts 
serious economic and social development projects in 
Sanakoyev's area and as Sanakoyev gains stature from meeting 
with foreign officials.  The recent "provocations" in South 
Ossetia, Antadze said, were designed to try to stop this 
dynamic.  Antadze was supportive of the idea of staging a 
U.S.-sponsored bluegrass concert in a "neutral" location in 
South Ossetia, where people from both sides could attend.  If 
no appropriate site could be found, Antadze suggested holding 
the concert in one of the Georgian villages. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1212, DFM MANJGALADZE’S READOUT OF HIS MEETING WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1212 2007-05-23 09:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3748
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1212 1430936
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 230936Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6423
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4557

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001212 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: DFM MANJGALADZE'S READOUT OF HIS MEETING WITH 
KARASIN 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  On May 22, Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgi 
Manjgaladze called in the Ambassador and the German Charge 
(representing the EU) to give a readout of his recent meeting 
with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Karasin.  Manjgaladze 
said Karasin did not present anything new and thought the 
main goal of the meeting was to show the Europeans and 
Americans that the two sides were talking.  He said the 
Russians basically presented a "wish list of apologies" that 
they wanted from the Georgians on a number of issues.  The 
one positive to come from the meeting, he said, was an 
agreement between the sides that President Saakashvili would 
meet with President Putin on the margins of the CIS 
conference in St. Petersburg on June 9-10.  Separately, 
Manjgaladze reiterated Georgia's strong opposition to a 
Geneva-style meeting in New York with Abkhaz de-facto foreign 
minister Sergei Shamba, emphasizing that Georgia would  not 
participate in such a meeting.  End Summary. 
 
Russia's 'wish list' of apologies 
--------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  Manjgaladze characterized his two hour meeting with 
Karasin as disappointing, particularly on issues relating to 
resolution of the conflicts.  He said his impression was that 
the Russians had asked for the meeting so that they could 
show the Europeans and the Americans that the two sides were 
talking, but did not have any new messages to deliver. 
Karasin presented what Manjgaladze called a "wish list of 
apologies" that the Russians wanted from the Georgians on a 
number of issues, including: the Georgian case against Russia 
at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the 
Georgian handling of the Russian spy case, Georgia's demand 
to legalize customs checkpoints in Abkhazia and South Ossetia 
as a condition for Georgian approval for Russia's WTO 
membership, and Georgian refusal to sign a non-use of force 
agreement with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  He said the 
Russians still do not know how to handle the new situation on 
the ground in South Ossetia.  He also said he told Karasin 
that Georgia is convinced that Kokoiti cannot act without 
Russian approval and that the GoG would hold Russia 
responsible for any new provocations. 
 
3.  (C)  Manjgaladze said that he confirmed with Karasin that 
Russian President Putin would meet with President Saakashvili 
on the margins of the CIS conference in St. Petersburg on 
June 9-10.  He said that President Saakashvili would raise a 
number of issues with President Putin, but did not elaborate. 
 Manjgaladze noted that Karasin expressed a willingness to 
start negotiations on the resumption of commercial air 
flights and lifting of the Russian boycott on Georgian 
agricultural goods, and said that the Georgians would be 
ready to discuss these issues. 
 
Geneva-style meeting in New York unacceptable to GoG 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
4.  (C)  Separately, Manjgaladze said that Georgia was 
strongly opposed to a proposed Geneva-style meeting for 
Abkhaz de-facto foreign minister Sergei Shamba at the New 
York.  He said that Georgia would not attend such a meeting, 
and added that he would recommend discontinuing Georgia's 
participation in future Geneva-style meetings if the meeting 
went ahead.  He said allowing Shamba to attend would 
undermine the Geneva format and allow Russia to use the 
meeting as a stage for Shamba.  The Ambassador asked what was 
the best way to re-establish communication between the 
Georgians and Abkhaz.  Manjgaladze replied that the Abkhaz 
are finding excuses not to engage in negotiations and have 
adopted a total ban on communication to prevent further 
progress on the resolution of the conflict. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1181, SOUTH OSSETIA SHOOTOUT MAY 19

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1181 2007-05-21 12:56 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1418
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1181 1411256
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211256Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6396
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001181 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL OSCE GG
SUBJECT: SOUTH OSSETIA SHOOTOUT MAY 19 
 
REF: TBILISI 1168 AND PREVIOUS 
 
(SBU) OSCE Deputy Head of Mission Veselin Nikolaev confirmed 
to us May 20 that a three-hour exchange of fire had occurred 
in the South Ossetian conflict zone May 19, lasting from 2000 
to 2300 local time.  Nikolaev said the incident was in a 
usual place: between the South Ossetian asphalt factory south 
of Tskhinvali and the Georgian positions in Ergneti.  He said 
the South Ossetians had provoked the incident, and the 
Georgians then returned fire, including with RPGs.  Two South 
Ossetians were injured, including a woman who was briefly 
hospitalized when she was hit in the foot by a ricochet. 
Neither injury was serious.  Comment: This incident appears 
to both OSCE and us to be similar to others in a long series 
of shootouts on the southern outskirts of Tskhinvali.  At 
present it does not seem to be a renewal of the more serious 
violence precipitated by the South Ossetians a week earlier, 
on the weekend of May 12-13.  End Comment. 
 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1172, FURTHER DETAIL ON MOD PLANS FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1172 2007-05-18 13:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9799
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1172/01 1381333
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 181333Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6392
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3913

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001172 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/15/2017 
TAGS: MARR PGOV EFIN GG
SUBJECT: FURTHER DETAIL ON MOD PLANS FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING 
IN 2007 
 
REF: TBILISI 1065 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) The Georgian Ministry of Defense has provided 
additional information about its priorities for spending the 
proposed GEL 442,100,000 (USD 261.6 million) increase in the 
defense budget reported reftel.  The money will be spent by 
the MOD as follows: 
 
-- GEL 21.8 million (USD 13 million) on salary increases and 
social payments for military personnel.  The armed forces 
will have a unified wage scale based only on rank. 
 
-- GEL 21.1 million (USD 12.5 million) on travel associated 
with participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). 
 
-- GEL 84,716,000 (USD 50.1 million) on ammunition for 
additional training of units for participation in OIF. 
 
-- GEL 23,900,300 (USD 14.1 million) on equipment for 
training reserves. 
 
-- GEL 12 million (USD 7.1 million) on IT system development. 
 
-- GEL 700,000 (USD 414,200) for an Information Center on 
NATO and special programs to increase awareness of NATO in 
Georgia and for equipment and upgrades of the Military 
Hospital. 
 
-- GEL 30 million (USD 17.75 million) to construct houses for 
families of military personnel in Tbilisi. 
 
-- GEL 10 million (USD 5.9 million) to construct houses for 
families of military personnel in Gori. 
 
-- GEL 2 million (USD 1.18 million) to construct a camp for 
reserves in Senaki. 
 
-- GEL 2 million (USD 1.18 million) for repair and 
reconstruction of two camps for reserves in Mukhrovani and 
Telavi. 
 
-- GEL 8,880,300 (USD 5.25 million) for reconstruction of the 
Kutaisi garrison. 
 
-- GEL 2,150,000 (USD 1.27 million) for construction of 
Senaki aviation hangars. 
 
-- GEL 15,410,000 (USD 13 million) for new military base 
construction in Gori. 
 
-- GEL 1.6 million (USD 911,800) for construction of the 
Vashlijvari military base. 
 
-- GEL 50,343,400 (USD 29.76 million) for improving air 
defense capabilities. 
 
-- GEL 2.7 million (USD 1.6 million) for night vision 
equipment. 
 
-- GEL 23.8 million (USD 14.08 million) for NATO 
interoperable portable radio transmitters. 
 
-- GEL 64.2 million (USD 38 million) for upgrade of existing 
tanks to NATO standards. 
 
-- GEL 17,150,000 (USD 10.15 million) for upgrade of existing 
aircraft to be compatible with NATO. 
 
-- GEL 7,650,000 (USD 4.53 million) for upgrade of existing 
helicopters to be compatible with NATO. 
 
-- GEL 40 million (USD 23.6 million) for spare parts and 
equipment procurement. 
 
2. (C) Comment: The level of detail varies from category to 
category, but the MOD's statement appears to be a good-faith 
effort to share with us the way it intends to spend a budget 
increase, if it is approved.  A large part of the spending is 
explicitly tied to NATO integration tasks and support for 
OIF.  Other spending is focused on salaries, family housing 
and reserve training bases.  Such priorities are not 
obviously linked to an increased offensive capability aimed 
at restoring Georgia's territorial integrity by military 
means.  We are concerned, however, that the fact of the large 
 
TBILISI 00001172  002 OF 002 
 
 
increase in spending may be perceived in that way. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI1171, RUSSIAN WTO NEGOTIATOR TO COME TO TBILISI FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1171 2007-05-18 13:18 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9781
PP RUEHAG RUEHAP RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHGI RUEHHM RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHRN
DE RUEHSI #1171 1381318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181318Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6391
INFO RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS TBILISI 001171 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, EB/TPP/MTA AND EB/TPP/BTA 
COMMERCE FOR 4231 DANICA STARKS 
STATE PASS USTR FOR PAUL BURKHEAD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD KTIA USTR GG
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN WTO NEGOTIATOR TO COME TO TBILISI FOR 
TALKS MAY 30-31 
 
REF: A. 06 TBILISI 3265 
     B. 06 TBILISI 3047 
 
1.  (U) This telegram is Sensitive but Unclassified.  Not for 
Internet distribution. 
 
2.  (SBU) DCM met on May 16 with Valeri Chechelashvili, 
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said that Russia has 
approached Georgia to hold further discussions about the 
Georgia-Russia bilateral agreement for Russia's accession to 
the WTO.  Although Russia suggested holding the talks in 
Moscow, the GOG invited the Russians, as the candidate 
country, to come to Tbilisi.  The Georgians consider this 
normal procedure in WTO accession negotiations.  As a result, 
Maxim Medvedkov, the lead Russian WTO negotiator, will come 
to Tbilisi on May 30-31 to meet with Georgian negotiators, 
including Deputy Minister of Economic Development Tamara 
Kovsiridze.  The last discussions between Georgia and Russia 
on WTO accession were in Geneva in January.  To our 
knowledge, the meeting would be the first relatively 
high-level visit by a Russian government official to Tbilisi 
since the October 2006 arrest and expulsion of Russian GRU 
spies. 
 
3.  (SBU) Georgia reopened its bilateral agreement with 
Russia last year, citing Russia's maintaining of border 
crossings into Abkhazia and South Ossetia that the GOG deems 
to be illegal, in that they are not authorized or staffed by 
the Georgian government.  Chechelashvili confirmed that 
Georgia's position has not changed and the border crossing 
issue is the only one preventing finalizing a bilateral 
agreement.  He repeated the GOG suggestion that EU-monitored 
border crossings in Transdnistria could serve as a model to 
resolve the Georgia-Russia impasse. 
 
4.  (SBU) Comment: Georgia shows every intention of sticking 
by its guns on the border crossing issue.  This is Georgia's 
only point of leverage in the strained bilateral relations 
with its giant northern neighbor, and the Georgians are 
determined to use it to establish some control over the 
unregulated, illegal trafficking of goods, HEU, counterfeit 
U.S. dollars, persons and weapons that is thought to take 
place through the conflict regions of Abkhazia and South 
Ossetia.  Any solution acceptable to Georgia will be a tough 
sell to the Abkhaz and South Ossetians, who are supported by 
Russia.  So far, Georgia is keeping the issue in WTO channels 
and avoiding politicizing the issue.  We understand that 
Russia still has more than one bilateral negotiation and 
complex multilateral discussions to complete before the 
Georgian objections are the only remaining hurdle to its 
accession. 
 
TEFFT 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1169, Georgia Bi-Weekly Update May 18

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1169 2007-05-18 12:59 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9745
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1169/01 1381259
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181259Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6388
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001169 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: Georgia Bi-Weekly Update May 18 
 
 
1. This cable contains current items of political, economic, and 
social interest concerning Georgia during the weeks of May 5-18. 
 
Opposition Pulls Out of Parliamentary Group 
------------------------------------------- 
2. Both of the opposition members of the Parliamentary inter-faction 
group on property issues have left the group in protest against the 
majority.  On May 8, as the group was considering a draft law on 
property, New Rights leader David Gamkrelidze announced he was 
leaving the group because the majority refused to consider differing 
arguments.  On May 9, State Minister for Economic Reform Bendukidze 
publicly described the inter-faction group's activity as 
"foolishness," claiming that "it is not able to do anything."  This 
prompted the other opposition member, Zurab Tkemaladze, to leave the 
group and to demand an apology from Bendukidze.  Speaker Burjanadze 
said that while she had not heard Bendukidze's comment personally, 
if he really insulted the inter-faction group he should apologize 
publicly.  In a subsequent television appearance Bendukidze said he 
saw no reason for an apology. 
 
Protests at Parliament 
---------------------- 
3. On May 16, following a week in which various rallies took place 
in front of Parliament, President Saakashvili proposed toughening 
the penalties for unsanctioned demonstrations.  On May 8, opposition 
parties protested against the increase of gas and water tariffs, 
public transportation charges, and a local rehabilitation tax.  At a 
larger rally May 10, initiated by the Labor Party, demonstrators 
burned Saakashvili in effigy.  Elsewhere the same day, employees of 
"Airzena" airline protested the airline's acquiescence in an Israeli 
demand to cut one of Airzena's two scheduled flights to Israel. 
Saakashvili's proposal would establish a 1-month prison term and a 
fine of approximately USD 118 for participation in an unsanctioned 
demonstration.  Georgian opposition leaders expressed their 
discontent with the initiative, saying it is designed to restrict 
their actions in next year's elections. 
 
Prosecutor's Office Launches Anti-Drug Campaign 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
4. On May 15, the Prosecutor General's Office unveiled a wide-scale 
anti-drug strategy, primarily based on proposed legislative changes, 
but also envisaging roles for the Georgian Orthodox Church, media 
and society at large.  The strategy, presented by Deputy Prosecutor 
General Nika Gvaramia, is in line with President Saakashvili's 
message to Parliament on March 15, which stressed the need to fight 
drug addiction.  The Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church 
called on the population to condemn drug addiction during his Easter 
Epistyle.  In addition to tougher penalties, the Prosecutor's 
strategy calls for measures to raise public awareness and more 
focused medical attention to the problem.  Some opposition political 
forces have expressed concern that the proposals do not make a 
sufficient distinction between drug dealers and users, and argue the 
law could be abused.  Parliament will start debate on the 
legislation next week. 
 
New Head of Control Chamber 
--------------------------- 
5. The Parliament has approved the candidacy of Deputy Foreign 
Minister Levan Choladze to lead the Control Chamber, Georgia's main 
state audit agency.  The position had been vacant since the death of 
the previous chairman Zurab Soselia in March 2007.  Some opposition 
faction members objected and called for the appointment of a 
candidate from the opposition.  Parliamentary Chairperson Nino 
Burjanadze responded that the majority had selected a candidate 
whose impartiality was beyond doubt.  Choladze, 29, graduated from 
the Tbilisi State University with a degree in international law.  He 
worked in the Prosecutor's Office from 1996 until 1998.  He 
subsequently worked in different positions in the Defense Ministry 
until 2004, as a secretary of the National Security Council until 
2005, and as a Deputy Foreign Minister from 2005 to the present. 
 
Arrival of Ukrainian Bank 
------------------------- 
6. Ukraine's PrivatBank has entered Georgian banking market by 
acquiring Georgian Tao Bank.  PrivatBank, with total assets of USD 8 
billion, reportedly paid USD 25 million for 75 percent of the shares 
in Tao Bank, which has total assets of about USD 15 million.  Tao 
Bank had been majority owned by Coca Cola Bottlers Georgia, which 
also owns the Coca-Cola production plant in Tbilisi.  On May 15, an 
official from PrivatBank said at the announcement of the sale that 
Tao Bank's ambition is to become Georgia's leading bank.  Georgia's 
banking system, which presently consists of 19 commercial banks, is 
considered one of the most attractive sectors for foreign investors. 
 In the last two years, the banking sector has attracted U.S., 
French, Russian, and Kazakh direct investment. 
 
U.S. Assistance for Tourism Development 
--------------------------------------- 
7. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has approved a 
grant in the amount of $450,000 to the Ministry of Economic

Development to partially fund technical assistance on the Tourism 
Development Strategy Plan project.  The study will be carried out by 
the America-Georgia Business Council (AGBC) and its subcontractors, 
 
TBILISI 00001169  002 OF 002 
 
 
who will contribute $30,230.  Signing of the grant agreement is 
tentatively scheduled for early June, during Minister of Economic 
Development Arveladze's visit in the U.S. 
 
Disease Strikes Pigs in Western Georgia 
--------------------------------------- 
8. The population of the Samegrelo and Guria regions is worried 
about a possible epidemic of so-called circular virus among pigs. 
Over 3,000 pigs were destroyed in Guria and farmers reportedly 
disposed of the dead animals in a river and in the streets, causing 
concern that water contamination could spread the disease.  The 
source of the outbreak is not yet unknown.  An Embassy veterinary 
contact told us he had traveled to the region and is coordinating a 
governmental commission on swine diseases that is attempting to deal 
with the problem.  Officials have said the disease is not contagious 
among people. 
 
TEFFT

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