Monthly Archives: July 2007

07TBILISI1857, DFM MANJGALADZE EXPRESSES GOG CONCERN OVER UNSYG

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1857 2007-07-31 12:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6951
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RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1857 2121243
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7164
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4574

UNCLAS TBILISI 001857 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: DFM MANJGALADZE EXPRESSES GOG CONCERN OVER UNSYG 
REPORT ON ABKAHZIA 
 
 
1.  Summary:  On July 27, Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgi 
Manjgaladze called a meeting of the Group of Friends of the 
Secretary General to express Georgia's concerns about the UN 
 
SIPDIS 
Secretary General's interim report on the situation in 
 
SIPDIS 
Abkhazia.  German, Russian, British, U.S. representatives 
attended.  Manjgaladze said that while the Georgian 
government appreciated the comprehensive nature of the 
report, they had two major concerns:  one, that the United 
Nations Observer Mission to Georgia and the Group of Friends 
are focusing too much on technical issues and not enough on 
broader strategic goals like the resolution of the conflict 
and return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to 
Abkhazia; and two, requested that the Group of Friends and 
UNOMIG continue the investigation into the March 11 attack on 
Georgian government buildings in Kodori.  German Ambassador 
Flor, speaking on behalf of the Friends, assured Manjgaladze 
that they would communicate his message to their respective 
capitals and stressed that it was also important to raise 
these concerns with Special Representative of the Secretary 
General (SRSG) Jean Arnault, as the report was a UN 
responsibility.  End Summary. 
 
Group of Friends "losing the forest for the trees" 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
2.  Manjgaladze began the meeting with some faint praise of 
the report, calling it "comprehensive," and saying that it 
reflects most of the main issues dealing with resolution of 
the conflict.  He also noted that it was the first UN report 
to properly identify the government of Upper Abkhazia by its 
official name, which, he said, reflects an acknowledgment of 
the situation on the ground.  Georgian concerns were twofold. 
 First, he said, UNOMIG and the Group of Friends were "losing 
the forest for the trees" by focusing too much on technical 
issues and not enough on strategic goals like the resolution 
of the conflict and return of IDPs.  Recent attempts by the 
Abkhaz de facto authorities to  privatize and sell IDP 
property in violation of Georgian law, he said, emphasized 
the need for an energetic response from the Group of Friends 
on IDP return.  (Note:  Manjgaladze reiterated in a separate 
meeting to the whole diplomatic corps July 30 that 
acquisition of Georgian property in Abkhazia is illegal and 
risky to the investor.  End note).  He said that these 
strategic goals have become of secondary importance to the 
Group of Friends, which has instead focused on troop 
movements and checkpoints.  This was unacceptable to the 
Georgian government, he said, because there was already a 
framework in place for resolving technical issues. 
 
3.  The second Georgian concern was the investigation into 
the March 11 attack on Georgian government buildings in the 
Kodori Gorge.  According to Manjgaladze, the inconclusive 
nature of the report was a "dangerous development," because 
there was nothing in the report to assign responsibility and 
consequences for the attack, which could lead to further 
provocations.  He called the attack an act of war against 
Georgia and said the international community needs to show 
that they are willing to pursue the perpetrators and punish 
them.  He said the Georgian government was strongly 
requesting the Group of Friends and UNOMIG to continue the 
investigation until it produces conclusive results.  He also 
called on the Russian side to be more cooperative with the 
investigation.  If they do not, he said, then Georgia could 
hardly see Russia as a member of the Group of Friends. 
 
4.  Speaking on behalf of the Friends, German Ambassador Flor 
assured Manjgaladze that they would communicate his message 
to their respective capitals, but that they had no official 
reaction at that time.  She said that the Friends shared 
Georgia's approach on the need to look at the larger picture, 
noting that the Friends' February Non-Paper addresses the 
strategic goals mentioned by Manjgaladze.  She added that it 
was also important for the Georgian government to raise their 
concerns with SRSG Arnault, as the report was a UN 
responsibility.  Manjgaladze replied that the Georgian 
government does not see the Group of Friends and UNOMIG as 
separate, but they would of course raise it with Arnault as 
well. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1781, CEC CHAIR GIVES AMBASSADOR ELECTION UPDATE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1781 2007-07-25 13:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2089
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1781/01 2061306
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251306Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7119
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001781 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/22/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: CEC CHAIR GIVES AMBASSADOR ELECTION UPDATE 
 
REF: TBILISI 1477 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: In a follow-up to the June 18 OSCE 
Ambassadors Group on Elections (reftel), Ambassador met with 
Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Guram 
Chalagashvili on July 18.  Chalagashvili said the CEC is 
close to completing work on the voters' list and inaccuracies 
are now down to "one percent."  He said a door-to-door 
campaign to verify the list will take place in October when 
27,000 election workers will conduct the checks over 25 days. 
 Ambassador commended Chalagashvili on including the 
opposition in preparing and checking the lists. 
Additionally, the CEC is also making progress on minority 
involvement in elections.  Chalagashvili said a hotline will 
be operating in Armenian, Azeri, and Russian ahead of the 
elections.  Chalagashvili said the CEC is emphasizing 
expanding training for election officials, adding that the 
CEC is "focusing on the regions."  He said that a training 
plan is nearly complete.  He stressed that he welcomes 
regular progress updates with Ambassador and will continue to 
work closely with the OSCE Ambassadors Group on Elections 
(AWG).  End Summary. 
 
----------------- 
Checking it Twice 
----------------- 
 
2. (C) Chalagashvili began the July 18 meeting with 
Ambassador offering an update on the AWG goals.  He said the 
voter's lists were "our number one problem, and it is almost 
solved.  The difference is now less than one percent."  He 
said that door-to-door checks will take place in October and 
the final list will be delivered 20 days before the 2008 
Presidential election.  Chalagashvili stated that the CEC is 
working with a known company on a 5-year plan and strategy 
regarding the lists.  They have completed the first phase (of 
18 months), and will issue the lists in Georgian and English 
in 20 days.  A copy will be made available to Ambassador. 
The CEC will also launch its new website in two weeks.  The 
CEC is making working groups with a commissioner for each 
group, in order to support third party involvement 
(international observers, organizers, technical advisers, 
etc.)  The CEC is involving the opposition in the 
door-to-door checks and certification of the lists.  Labor 
and The Industrialists will each have 2 representatives, and 
3 more opposition representatives will be chosen "by the 
competition."  Poloff reiterated that involvement of the 
opposition in checking the lists is extremely positive and 
bears public awareness.  Chalagashvili advised NGO's are also 
invited to participate in the process and a presentation for 
the lists with all parties and NGO's is planned.  He said "We 
want all to participate to ensure fair elections and 
acceptance by all parties." 
 
--------------- 
Minority Report 
--------------- 
 
3. (C)  Chalagashvili said the issue of national minorities 
will again be addressed.  He stressed that the list in 2006 
was the best possible.  Improving the list for minorities  in 
2008 is a priority for the CEC, as is everyone being able to 
vote in their own language.  He said each CEC member will 
work with their own district, and they will have  a hotline 
operating in Azeri, Armenian and Russian for the voters. 
Ambassador emphasized that increasing minority participation 
in 2008 is a core tenet of the AWG.  Chalagashvili is also 
trying to coordinate a public awareness campaign for 
minorities.  He asked if the Embassy could assist with the 
awareness campaign and assistance in training election 
workers.  (Comment: USAID is working on both of these 
issues.) 
 
------------ 
Training Day 
------------ 
 
4. (C) Ambassador asked about the size and training of the 
CEC staff, and how many temporary election workers they have 
(current and future).  Chalagashvili said the CEC has 65 
full-time employees, and 5 full-timers in each district. 
They will temporarily hire 40 additional employees and 5 for 
each district during the election.  9 paid persons for each 
precinct will also be hired for 25 days in order to conduct 
the door-to-door checks.  This will result in 27,000 paid 
election workers.  Opposition members will be included among 
the paid workers.  Talks are also underway with the 
government for a larger building, to accommodate more 
observers and training.  A training plan is complete, but not 
 
TBILISI 00001781  002 OF 002 
 
 
yet signed due to financial issues.  Chalagashvili hopes to 
solve the problem with the CEC's own funding.  Ambassador 
advised Chalagashvili that his recent conversation with 
Council of Europe Representative Igor Gaon was positive 
regarding Georgia's electoral progress.  He also emphasized 
the need to continue the constant struggle against 
corruption. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1780, 62ND UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: HIGH-LEVEL GEORGIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1780 2007-07-25 13:06 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0016
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1780 2061306
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251306Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7118
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4573

UNCLAS TBILISI 001780 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR IO/PPC BATLLE, USUN MCBRIDE, NSC MCDONALD, AND 
EUR/PGI ELDRIDGE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL ITRA OVIP KSEP UNGA GG
SUBJECT: 62ND UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: HIGH-LEVEL GEORGIAN 
ATTENDEES 
 
REF: SECSTATE 101170 
 
A.  The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, will 
attend the 62nd UNGA. 
 
--  Mikheil Saakashvili, President 
 
--  Approximate arrival and departure dates to and from New 
York are September 26-September 28.  Post will provide 
confirmation septel when exact dates are known. 
 
--  Interpretation not required 
 
B.  Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli will not attend the 62nd 
UNGA. 
 
C.  Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili will attend the 62nd 
UNGA. 
 
--  Gela Bezhuashvili, Foreign Minister 
 
--  Approximate arrival and departure dates to and from New 
York are September 26-September 28.  Post will provide 
confirmation septel when exact dates are known. 
 
--  Interpretation not required 
 
D.  Attendance of other Georgian VIPs to be determined. 
 
E.  Attendance of Foreign Ministry officials to be determined. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1765, GEORGIA: UNESCO HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE RESOLUTION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1765 2007-07-25 05:01 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1765 2060501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250501Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7105

UNCLAS TBILISI 001765 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR IO/UNESCO; PARIS FOR USUNESCO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: UNESCO GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA:  UNESCO HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE RESOLUTION 
DEMARCHE DELIVERED 
 
REF: SECSTATE 99971 
 
Per reftel request, Poloff delivered talking points, draft 
explanatory note and proposed draft decision to Alexander 
Nalbandov, Director of the International Organizations 
Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Nalbandov 
said that he agreed with the U.S. position on the issue and 
that the Georgian government would support the UNESCO 
Holocaust remembrance resolution. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1732, RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES IN GEORGIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1732 2007-07-20 12:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8250
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1732/01 2011210
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 201210Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7074
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 TBILISI 001732 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 

EO 12958 DECL: 06/19/2017 
TAGS PREL, PGOV, GG 
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES IN GEORGIA 

REF: A. TBILISI 1605  B. TBILISI 1352  C. TBILISI 1100  D. 06 TBILISI 2601  E. 06 TBILISI 2590  F. 06 TBILISI 2425  G. 06 TBILISI 2390  H. 06 TBILISI 1532  I. 06 STATE 80908  J. 06 TBILISI 1064  K. 06 TBILISI 0619  L. 06 TBILISI 0397  M. 06 MOSCOW 0546  N. 06 TBILISI 0140  O. 05 TBILISI 3171

Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b)&(d).

Introduction and Comment
------------------------ 

1. (C) The strains between Russia and Georgia play out in leaders’ statements, the Russian economic embargo, the separatist conflicts, and a number of other public ways, but they also play out on a level that is at least slightly below the surface: Russian “active measures” (or covert actions) aimed at Georgia. This cable summarizes some of the suspected Russian active measures undertaken in recent years, ranging from missile attacks and murder plots to a host of smaller-scale actions. It is a long list, and it is very much on the minds of Georgian leaders as they make decisions about how to deal with Moscow. For many of the suspected Russian activities, such as blowing up a Georgian police car or plotting to kill an opposition figure -- or even the missile attack in Kodori in March -- it is difficult to understand what the Russians hoped to gain that would be worth the risk of exposure. Georgian officials often tell us that Russia has set out on a policy of regime change in Georgia. No doubt the Russians’ would like to see Saakashvili removed, but the variety and extent of the active measures suggests the deeper goal is turning Georgia from its Euroatlantic orientation back into the Russian fold. Even the smaller of the active measures serve this purpose by promoting a sense of instability, which the perpetrators may hope will scare off Georgia’s would-be European partners and/or provoke the Georgian leadership into a rash reaction that separates Georgia further from the West. As a high Russian FSB official reportedly told a Georgian counterpart recently, Russia’s goal is not Abkhazia or South Ossetia, but all of Georgia (ref C). While the Russians typically make some efforts to reduce their fingerprints on actions -- making it hard to say with 100% certainty that they are responsible for many of them -- the cumulative weight of the evidence of the last few years suggests that the Russians are aggressively playing a high-stakes, covert game, and they consider few if any holds barred. End Introduction and Comment.

Direct Military Attack
---------------------- 

2. (C) Probably the most notorious recent incident was the missile attack on Georgian positions in the Upper Kodori Gorge on the night of May 11-12, 2007. As documented by a UN-led joint investigation, the attack included one or more helicopters that apparently fired a missile into the headquarters of the Georgian-backed “Government-in-Exile” of Abkhazia, as well as ground-fired missiles that struck near other targets in the area. UN investigators have told us privately that they agree with the Georgians that only Russia could have launched the attack, noting that while the final written report does not directly assign blame, “any reasonable person” would conclude from it that Russia was responsible (ref B). Russia did not make any serious effort to cooperate with the investigation, claiming its Caucasus radar systems were turned off at the time of the attack, leaving it with no records to share. Georgian officials strongly suspect that a subsequent violation of their airspace May 20 was a Russian attempt to plant false evidence regarding the ground-based firings, although in the end investigators did not visit the area in question.
3. (C) March 11 was not the first time the Russians were believed to have conducted a bombing raid on Georgian territory. Russian planes were widely believed to be responsible for a bombing of the Kodori in October 2001, and for bombings of the Pankisi Gorge, a Georgian area that borders Chechnya, in 2001 and 2002, drawing criticism from the USG and elsewhere in the international community, despite Russian denials of responsibility.

Murders and Attempted Murders
----------------------------- 
TBILISI 00001732 002 OF 004

4. (U) On February 1, 2005 a bomb exploded in a car at the police station in Gori, the largest Georgian city close to South Ossetia, killing three Georgian police officers. Following an investigation, Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Merabishvili said publicly that the bombing was masterminded by Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer Anatoly Sinitsyn (ref E), leader of the GRU team that was subsequently broken up in the September 2006 spy arrests (see paragraph 8).
5. (SBU) On June 8, 2006, neighbors approached a suspicious man loitering around the home of Koba Davitashvili, a leading opposition politician. The man fired two shots from a gun equipped with a silencer, slightly wounding one of the neighbors, and fled. He left behind a small bag that included a newspaper photo of Davitashvili and Russian cell phone company SIM cards. Following a Georgian investigation, Minister of Internal Affairs Merabishvili publicly identified the suspect as Giorgi Kurtaev, a Russian citizen who had been monitoring Davitashvili for several weeks, with one interruption for travel back to Russia. Following the June 8 incident Kurtaev fled again to Russia, from where Georgian officials unsuccessfully sought to extradite him. Georgian officials have stated publicly that the incident was a provocation perpetrated by a foreign intelligence service, and an attempt to discredit the Saakashvili government (ref H).

Sabotage
-------- 

6. (C) On January 22, 2006, near-simultaneous explosions in the Russian region of Nor
th Ossetia ripped into natural gas pipelines running from Russia into Georgia. Later that day, an explosion in the Karacheyevo-Cherkessia republic in Russia knocked out a high-voltage line supplying Georgia with electricity (ref M). The attacks immediately plunged Georgia into a major energy crisis, with virtually no ability to heat homes in the coldest part of winter. The Russian government claimed these were “terrorist” attacks, but Saakashvili repeatedly suggested the Russian government was responsible for the well-coordinated attacks in a heavily monitored part of the North Caucasus (ref N). This impression was further reinforced in Georgian minds by the fact that the gas magically resumed just as Armenia -- which receives its gas through Georgia -- was about to exhaust its reserves.
7. (C) In September 2006, the Georgian government arrested 29 activists of Igor Giorgadze’s Justice Party on charges of planning an explosion outside the headquarters of the ruling National Movement, intended to be the prelude to a coup. Evidence included seized bombmaking equipment, recorded conversations, and the testimony of ten witnesses. Giorgadze himself is a former Georgian Minister of Security believed to be living in Russia to avoid a Georgian warrant for his arrest in connection with a 1995 assassination attempt against then-President Shevardnadze. His Justice Party has never been popular in Georgia, and it was widely believed that the party was funded almost exclusively from Russia (refs F and G). It is interesting that one of the defendants, Maia Topuria, has hired two U.S.-based lawyers and a Washington law firm to lobby NATO and NATO capitals over alleged rule of law abuses with regard to the case.

Espionage
--------- 

8. (SBU) Georgian authorities arrested four Russian military officers and eleven Georgians for espionage on September 27, 2006. The Georgian government subsequently released evidence collected over a long investigation, including video footage showing money being exchanged for documents, as well as audio tapes and transcripts of incriminating conversations between the Russian officers and their Georgian agents (ref D). According to the Georgian government, this Russian operation was conducted by the same GRU team responsible for the deadly Gori bombing in 2005. Georgia released the officers October 2, after which Russia cut air links to Georgia and began a campaign of deportation and harassment of Georgians living in Russia, reportedly resulting in four deaths of Georgian citizens.
9. (SBU) In April 2006, a pro-Kremlin television journalist in Moscow aired recorded cellphone conversations between Givi Targamadze, chair of the Georgian Parliament’s Defense Committee, and contacts in the Lithuanian MFA and in Washington, in which Targamadze is critical of Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich. In one recording Targamadze appears to speak of having Milinkevich killed. It is widely believed in Georgian political circles that Russian electronic eavesdropping is ever-present; this case appears to confirm that suspicion, with the eavesdroppers apparently deciding that the conversations -- perhaps doctored or
TBILISI 00001732 003 OF 004
selectively edited -- were so embarrassing to Targamadze and Milinkevich that it was worth it to make them public.

Support for Separatists
----------------------- 

10. (C) The Russian government has provided direct, if at times thinly veiled, support to the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, without informing or obtaining the consent of the Georgian government. In South Ossetia, many de facto cabinet ministers and advisors to Kokoity are Russian officials -- in most cases believed to be FSB -- serving a rotation in South Ossetia before returning to work in Russia. It is widely understood that Russia is paying, in full or in part, the salaries of police and other civil servants in South Ossetia -- and that Russia recently increased these payments as a disincentive for South Ossetian officials to defect to the Georgian-backed temporary administrative unit of Dmitry Sanakoyev. The South Ossetians have reportedly received arms and equipment from Russia, including GRAD missiles, on various occasions, including during recent tensions (ref A). The Russians undertook a number of unilateral construction projects in South Ossetia in 2006 that they later claimed were in fulfillment of Russia’s pledge to the OSCE donors’ economic rehabilitation program, but in fact took place outside the donors’ program as well as in violation of a 2000 agreement on Georgian-Russian economic cooperation that calls for economic projects in coordination with all sides. Russia is widely reported to be working on projects to connect South Ossetia to Russian gas and telephone networks. Russia has distributed passports widely to residents of South Ossetia (and Abkhazia) to such an extent that Kokoity has claimed to USG officials that 95 percent of the population of South Ossetia is made up of dual Russian citizens (refs I and O).

11. (C) The de facto government of Abkhazia appears to have a somewhat greater degree of independence from Moscow than does its counterpart in South Ossetia; Russia is considered more aligned with the Abkhaz opposition led by de facto vice-president Khajimba, who despite Russian backing lost the 2004 presidential contest to current de facto president Bagapsh. Nevertheless, it is clear Russia has great leverage over Bagapsh, who frequently travels to Moscow for consultations, not to mention a trip to Moscow for emergency medical treatment in April -- getting there, the Georgians tell us, on an FSB plane. Several sources have also told us that a senior FSB officer actually lives in a separate residence on Bagapsh’s presidential compound. An Abkhaz representative told the Ambassador in the fall of 2006 that Russia was at the time putting strong pressure on Bagapsh to attack the Georgians in response to their successful operation in July in the Upper Kodori Gorge. Georgian officials do not believe that the Abkhaz were aware of the March Kodori missile attacks in advance, but that the Abkhaz are required to accept the Russians’ use of their territory for such incidents. Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia have committed -- or permitted the Abkhaz to commit -- repeated violations of existing agreements (ref L).

Support for Minority Extremists
------------------------------- 

12. (C) Georgian officials in Tbilisi and Akhalkalaki, as well as local community leaders and political activists, have confirmed that the Russian government has funded radical ethnic-Armenian nationalists in Samtskhe-Javakheti in a bid to destabilize this mutli-ethnic, politically fragile region.  Tensions peaked during spring 2006 when scattered violent demonstrations occurred in Akhalkalaki in March (ref K), following the murder of an ethnic Armenian in the city of Tsalka, and on May 2 (ref J), when protesters briefly halted
SIPDIS the first stage of Russian base withdrawal. As the withdrawal moved ahead, disturbances in Akhalkalaki dropped off precipitously, lending credence to Georgian allegations that the tensions were being stoked by elements operating from within the Russian base.

Disinformation
-------------- 

13. (C) It is especially difficult to nail down the origin of any of the multitude of rumors, conspiracy theories, and political speculation in Georgia, but Georgian officials are convinced that Russian services are making an active effort to spread false information designed to undercut the Saakashvili government and to deflect responsibility for provocative actions away from Russia onto other alleged
 culprits. One particularly tangible example of disinformation serving Russian interests was a “Psychological Study” of Saakashvili widely disseminated by e-mail in January 2007 from an address purporting to be the “Georgian Association for Strategic and International Studies.” The study makes a number of highly prejudicial judgments about
TBILISI 00001732 004 OF 004
Saakashvili, and diagnoses him as suffering from an “expansive type of paranoid dysfunction...combined with narcissist type of hysteroid personality.” Post had never heard of the organization that distributed the study -- many recipients likely confused it with the respected Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, which receives support from the U.S. Embassy -- and a check of the Tbilisi street where it was supposedly located revealed that its address did not exist.
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1731, DAVID BAKRADZE TO BE NEW STATE MINISTER FOR

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To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1731 2007-07-20 12:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8235
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1731/01 2011202
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 201202Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7072
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001731 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL GG
SUBJECT: DAVID BAKRADZE TO BE NEW STATE MINISTER FOR 
CONFLICT RESOLUTION 
 
REF: TBILISI 1702 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) Officials in the State Ministry for Conflict 
Resolution have confirmed to us that Minister Merab Antadze 
is departing his post to return to the MFA, and he will be 
replaced by David Bakradze, currently Chairman of the 
Parliamentary Committee on European Integration.  Bakradze is 
a young, talented Saakashvili insider; the Embassy has worked 
well with him in the past.  On other issues, State Ministry 
for Conflict Resolution officials believe we may finally be 
nearing the end of the convoluted water crisis in South 
Ossetia, but they do not believe an acceptable mechanism has 
yet been created to resume (or as the would prefer it, to 
replace) the Quadripartite Meetings (QPMs) on the security 
situation in Abkhazia.  End Summary. 
 
A New Occupant in the Hot Seat 
------------------------------ 
2. (C) In a meeting at the State Ministry for Conflict 
Resolution July 19, Deputy State Minister for Conflict 
Resolution Ruslan Abashidze confided to us that his boss, 
Minister Antadze, would be returning to a position in the 
MFA, and would be replaced by prominent MP David Bakradze. 
Dimitri Manjavidze, the other Deputy State Minister for 
Conflict Resolution, seemed to second this in a chance 
encounter in the hall following the meeting, laughingly 
saying that he and Abashidze had apparently come to the end 
of their assignments.  (Note: It appeared that this news had 
only recently reached the State Ministry, and it is possible 
that Manjavidze and Abashidze do not yet know if they will 
stay on.  End Note.)  Media outlets picked up the story 
shortly thereafter. 
 
Who is David Bakradze? 
---------------------- 
3. (C) A fluent English speaker, Bakradze is an authority on 
NATO accession, the European Neighborhood Policy action plan, 
Russian base withdrawal, and Council of Europe commitments. 
He is considered one of the most active and influential 
pro-government leaders in Parliament, and has often traveled 
with leading MPs such as Giga Bokeria and Nika Rurua on trips 
to the U.S.  In our dealings with him, he has been 
straightforward, honest, and very responsive. 
 
4. (C) On conflict issues, Bakradze has a reputation as a 
voice of moderation.  He was one of the key figures 
responsible for toning down a July 18, 2006 Parliamentary 
resolution calling on the government to withdraw the Russian 
peacekeepers from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, helping ensure 
it was not too radical.  When Speaker Burjanadze has briefed 
the diplomatic corps on the creation of the temporary 
administrative unit in South Ossetia and other issues related 
to the conflicts, Bakradze has typically taken the lead in 
the closed-door portion of the discussion.  Bakradze 
accompanied the head of the temporary administrative unit, 
Dmitry Sanakoyev, on his recent visit to Brussels. 
 
5. (U) Bio of David Bakradze: 
 
DOB: July 1, 1972 
Marital Status: Married with one child 
Languages: Georgian, English, and Russian 
 
Professional Experience: 
 
-- Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European 
Integration; since April 2004 
 
-- various positions at the National Security Council, 
including Head of Security Office, Head of Foreign Political, 
Security, and Conflicts Department, and Head of Political 
Security Department, 2002-2004 
 
-- various positions at the MFA, including Deputy, then Head 
of the Armament-Disarmament Control Office, and Deputy 
Director of the Military-Political Department, 1997-1998, 
2000-2002 
 
-- Lab Assistant, Georgian Technical University, 1991-1992 
 
Education: 
 
-- PhD in Physics and Mathematics 
 
-- Post-graduate studies, Department of General Physics, 
Technical University of Georgia, 1994-1998 
 
TBILISI 00001731  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
-- Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, Master of Public 
Administration, 1996 
 
-- Georgian Technical University, Department of Physics and 
Engineering, Engineer of Electronic Equipment, 1994 
 
A Light at the End of the Water Pipeline? 
----------------------------------------- 
6. (SBU) On other topics, Abashidze said a joint team of 
engineers had inspected the South Ossetian water pipeline 
July 17 (reftel), and found problems in both the Ossetian and 
Georgian areas.  At Andisi, the northernmost point that the 
South Ossetians permitted to be inspected, the pipe was only 
half-full, suggesting problems in the separatist-controlled 
north near Java.  At the same time, however, the team found 
approximately 15 holes in the pipe near Sveri, in the 
Georgian enclave.  Inspectors also confirmed that an 
irrigation canal near Ossetian-controlled Tbeti had been 
blocked, preventing water from reaching the Georgian village 
of Nikozi and surrounding areas.  Abashidze said the 
Georgians wanted to follow through on agreements to
 allow 
engineers to repair the problems without politicizing them, 
and he expressed frustration that Joint Peacekeeping Force 
(JPFK) commander Kulakhmetov had issued a public statement 
about the holes in the pipe. 
 
7. (SBU) Manjavidze subsequently informed us of a 
just-completed agreement to start repairs of the water pipe 
and the irrigation canal on July 20, with each side's workers 
observed by the other side and the OSCE, without the presence 
of the JPKF.  He expressed hope that this was the beginning 
of the end of the long-running water controversy. 
 
8. (SBU) Abashidze also showed us a huge stack of envelopes 
that he intended to deliver to the de facto authorities -- 
invitations to individuals in Tskhinvali, including South 
Ossetian negotiator Chochiev and other de facto officials, to 
take part in consultations on the details of autonomy for 
South Ossetia. 
 
Problems Remain with Gali Meetings 
---------------------------------- 
9. (C) Abashidze said that the Georgians were not happy with 
the draft terms of reference for the resumption of QPMs in 
the Gali district of Abkhazia, stressing that the terms would 
keep the CIS peacekeepers in a dominant position in the 
talks.  He said the Georgian side was eager to resume 
meetings on the security situation in Gali, but Georgia 
wanted it to be an essentially bilateral format between the 
Georgians and the Abkhaz, not a repeat of the old four-sided 
mechanism.  He said the CIS peacekeepers could still have a 
role, but it would be more in the nature of an expert on 
security matters, rather than as an equal (or leading) party 
on political topics. 
 
Comment 
------- 
10. (C) David Bakradze shares the biography and qualities 
typical of the post-Rose Revolution leadership in Georgia: 
bright, multilingual, and hard-working, he first gained 
attention in the late Shevardnadze period (like Saakashvili 
himself) and then made himself a trusted insider in a new 
government of young men in a hurry to transform Georgia into 
a modern, democratic state.  He should bring real political 
muscle in Tbilisi and an infusion of energy to the conflict 
resolution process. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1702, SOUTH OSSETIA: INCHING TOWARD DIALOGUE?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1702 2007-07-17 12:51 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4852
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1702/01 1981251
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 171251Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7036
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001702 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA & EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: SOUTH OSSETIA: INCHING TOWARD DIALOGUE? 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1619 
 
     B. TBILISI 1605 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4(b)&(d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) Georgian and South Ossetian representatives are 
currently negotiating the details of a meeting of the Joint 
Control Commission (JCC) and a joint inspection of the 
contested drinking water pipe that runs through South 
Ossetia.  While the sides have not reached final agreement on 
either issue, both sides have made small moves in the 
direction of compromise.  In the meantime, the Georgian 
government has established a special commission to define the 
status of the new administrative unit in South Ossetia, 
inviting all political forces in the region to take part. 
The latest rotation of the Georgian peacekeeping battalion in 
South Ossetia is larger in number than other recent ones, 
coming closer to the maximum of 500 as we have urged in the 
past.  Georgian Defense Minister Kezerashvili told the 
Ambassador that he does not expect a major eruption of 
violence in the region.  He said de facto leader Kokoity is 
nervous that some of his staff will switch sides.  End 
Summary. 
 
Close to a Tbilisi JCC? 
----------------------- 
2. (SBU) The sides have been exchanging counterproposals for 
a JCC meeting for several weeks, with the Georgians dropping 
their earlier condition that JCC working groups should first 
agree on an agenda for the full JCC meeting.  While this 
eliminated a potential source of delay, the Georgians 
continued to insist that the meeting be held in Tbilisi -- 
where the South Ossetians have refused to go in recent years 
-- or, failing that, somewhere in Europe.  On July 13, three 
of the JCC co-chairs (Russia, North Ossetia, and South 
Ossetia -- all but Georgia) met in Tskhinvali and expressed a 
willingness to convene the JCC in Tbilisi.  South Ossetian 
co-chair Boris Chochiev, citing alleged security concerns, 
insisted that such a meeting be held in the Russian Embassy. 
The Georgians counter-proposed the OSCE Mission as the site. 
OSCE officials tell us that, in addition to the continuing 
dispute over location, there is also some difference of 
opinion on the agenda, with the Georgians now favoring an 
"open agenda" while the South Ossetians are calling for a 
"preliminary agenda" to be agreed in advance. 
 
Another Try at Water Pipe Inspection 
------------------------------------ 
3. (C) OSCE has been trying to broker a way out of the 
ongoing controversy over water (ref A).  Several attempts 
over the last week to organize expert meetings or field 
visits to inspect the pipe have been postponed, with the 
South Ossetians explaining July 12 that their engineers first 
needed time to repair a section of the pipe in an 
Ossetian-controlled area north of Java.  Georgian Deputy 
State Minister for Conflict Resolution Ruslan Abashidze told 
us July 12 that he saw this as an encouraging indication that 
de facto authorities had come to recognize that the problems 
inhibiting the flow of water to Tskhinvali were in their 
area.  OSCE has told us they would again try to set up a 
meeting July 17 with two engineers from each side, with the 
hope that after the meeting the four engineers would divide 
into two mixed teams that would conduct separate inspections 
in Kheiti and in the area around Andisi and Kekhvi. 
 
Autonomy Commission Established 
------------------------------- 
4. (U) It was reported July 13 that President Saakashvili had 
signed a decree to establish a special commission, headed by 
Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, to define the status of 
South Ossetia, granting it broader autonomy within Georgia's 
borders.  All political forces in the region, including the 
Georgian-backed temporary administrative unit of Dmitry 
Sanakoyev and the de facto authorities in Tskhinvali, were 
publicly invited to join in the commission's work. 
 
Kezerahsvili on South Ossetia 
----------------------------- 
5. (C) In a meeting with the Ambassador July 12, Defense 
Minister Kezerashvili said that the number of Georgian 
peacekeepers in the South Ossetia conflict zone had increased 
from 350 to 450 during the recent rotation.  He said the new 
rotation was equipped with BMP armored vehicles.  The new 
number is closer to the agreed maximum of 500 peacekeepers 
for a single side, and we have long encouraged the Georgians 
to get closer to their authorized strength, though in the 
past they have argued that stretched resources limited the 
size and length of the deployments. 
 
 
TBILISI 00001702  002 OF 002 
 
 
6. (C) Echoing the assessment of Minister of Internal Affairs 
Merabishvili (ref B), Kezerashvili indicated that he did not 
expect a major explosion of tensions in South Ossetia this 
summer.  Kezerashvili said that clearly Kokoity was nervous, 
and in particular he was worried that some of his staff would 
jump to Sanakoyev.  Kezerashvili said the Russians continue 
to distribute money in the region in an effort to keep people 
loyal to the de facto regime.  Ke
zerashvili said he had 
information that Russia had recently conducted a training of 
the 58th division in Russia just north of the Georgian 
border, in an exercise designed to prepare them to "help" 
Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia if needed. 
Kezerashvili said two Russian SU 25 aircraft had recently 
crossed into Georgian territory, coming in over Kazbegi, and 
that such unauthorized overflights had become a regular 
occurrence. 
 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1701, GEORGIAN RESPONSE TO US CANDIDATE FOR IOM DIRECTOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1701 2007-07-17 12:51 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1701 1981251
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171251Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7035
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0840

UNCLAS TBILISI 001701 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR PRM 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC EUN PREF PREL SMIG GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIAN RESPONSE TO US CANDIDATE FOR IOM DIRECTOR 
GENERAL 
 
REF: SECSTATE 93920 
 
Per reftel request, on July 16, Poloff delivered talking 
points to Merab Manjgaladze, Director of the UN Department at 
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Manjgaladze said that he 
would consult with MFA colleagues on the issue and would 
inform us once they have reached a formal decision on which 
candidate they would support.  He said he was confident that 
the Georgian government would support the official U.S. 
candidate for the position, Ambassador William Swing. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1687, SCAM – FRAUDULENT FAXES CLAIMING TO BE FROM FDIC:

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1687 2007-07-16 12:14 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3706
RR RUEHLMC
DE RUEHSI #1687 1971214
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161214Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7023
INFO RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS TBILISI 001687 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN KCRM PREL GG
SUBJECT: SCAM - FRAUDULENT FAXES CLAIMING TO BE FROM FDIC: 
NOTICE DELIVERED 
 
REF: A. A. SECSTATE 97303 
 
     B. B. SECSTATE 65313 
 
1. On July 13, Econoff delivered ref A notice to Guram 
Abashidze of the National Bank of Georgia and Tina 
Burjaliani, Head of the Legal Department in the Office of the 
Prosecutor General of Georgia.  Econoff also delivered ref B 
notice to Abashidze on 15 May.  Post is not aware of any 
fraudulent faxes claiming to be from the Federal Deposit 
Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sent to banking institutions in 
Georgia.  We will continue to query appropriate host 
government officials and report if banking institutions 
receive such faxes. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

07TBILISI1675, GEORGIA BI-WEEKLY UPDATE JULY 13

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1675 2007-07-13 13:34 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2164
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1675/01 1941334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131334Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7006
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001675 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ECON ENRG GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA BI-WEEKLY UPDATE JULY 13 
 
1. This cable contains current items of political, 
economic, and social interest concerning Georgia during the 
weeks of June 30-July 13. 
 
Education Minister Disputes Corruption Charges 
--------------------------------------------- - 
2. A corruption controversy surrounding Education Minister Alexander 
Lomaia reached a crescendo on June 29 when the embattled Minister 
testified before Parliament.  Repudiating a report issued in May by 
the Chamber of Control which implicated Lomaia's Ministry in the 
embezzlement of funds up to 40 million Georgian lari (USD 25 
million) from projects in 2006, Lomaia dismissed the claims as 
"absurd and groundless."  An influential member of the government 
and rumored future contender for higher office, Lomaia struck a 
combative tone at the hearing, accusing opposition MPs of settling 
political scores and the Chamber of Control of being a corrupt 
bureau in need of reform.  A number of MPs, including Parliament 
Speaker Burjanadze, expressed dissatisfaction with Lomaia's 
aggressive comments.  Following the heated parliamentary session, 
President Saakashvili publicly expressed support for Lomaia on July 
6. 
 
More Speculation on Government Reshuffle 
---------------------------------------- 
3. In the latest round in the popular media pastime of reporting on 
expected changes in the Georgian government, the newspaper Versia 
predicted that in September Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli will be 
appointed Head of the National Bank and his current position will be 
offered to Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava.  The article notes that 
recent scandals have taken some luster off two other perceived 
candidates for Prime Minister, former Defense Minister Irakli 
Okruashvili and Education Minister Alexander Lomaia.  The article 
has current National Bank Head Roman Gotsiridze, the target of 
recent criticism in Parliament, becoming Ambassador to the Czech 
Republic. 
 
Corruption Arrests in Kutaisi 
----------------------------- 
4. On July 2, the Constitutional Security Department arrested 24 
officials of the municipal government of Kutaisi, Georgia's 
second-largest city, during a meeting in municipal headquarters. 
Charges brought against them include embezzlement of 600,000 
Georgian lari (USD 375,000) of government funds. 
 
Georgia Reacts to Sochi Olympics 
-------------------------------- 
5. The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2014 Winter 
Olympics to Sochi, on Russia's Black Sea coast near Georgia's 
separatist region of Abkhazia, on July 4.  President Saakashvili 
publicly welcomed the decision, saying it would draw international 
attention to the Caucasus region and to "peaceful settlement of 
frozen conflicts."  Georgian Foreign Minister Bezhuashvili 
congratulated the Russian Ambassador in a meeting July 5, expressing 
confidence that the Games would be an opportunity for improved 
cooperation between Georgia and Russia.  Some Georgian commentators 
expressed concern about the decision, however, arguing that Russia 
will try to use Abkahzia's infrastructure for the Games, and that 
this may help keep the conflict frozen for another seven years. 
Abkhaz leader Sergei Bagapsh congratulated Russian President Putin 
saying "we view this victory as our own victory." 
 
Constitutional Court Re-Locates to Batumi 
----------------------------------------- 
6. On July 5, Georgia's Constitutional Court moved to Batumi, in the 
autonomous region of Adjara.  The decision on the transfer was made 
by President Saakashvili last year, when he initiated amendments to 
the Law on the Constitutional Court.  The major motivation for the 
transfer, as it was explained at the time, was to help increase the 
role of territorial units outside Tbilisi in state decision making. 
It has also been implied (though not stated explicitly) that 
physical distancing the Court from the capital would increase its 
independence.  Opposition figures and the Georgian Young Lawyers 
Association (GYLA) have questioned the need for the move, arguing 
that it will increase costs and make access more difficult for many 
people, without significantly changing the court's role or 
independence. 
 
UN Secretary General Makes Unexpected Visit 
------------------------------------------- 
7. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in Georgia on June 29 
for a short, unannounced visit.  He was met by Georgian President 
Mikheil Saakashvili, Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze and Foreign 
Minister Gela Bezhuashvili.  The Secretary General requested that 
journalists not be allowed to film his visit.  Media reports 
suggested that the discussions dealt with Georgia's separatist 
conflicts.  Ban's predecessor, Kofi Annan, made a similar 
unannounced visit to Georgia early in his tenure as Secretary 
General. 
 
EnergoPro's Contract Enters into Force 
-------------------------------------- 
8. On July 6, the Czech company EnergoPro officially assumed 
ownership over the assets of the United Energy Distribution Company 
 
TBILISI 00001675  002 OF 002 
 
 
of Georgia (UEDC), the Energy Distribution Company of Adjara and six 
hydropower plants.  EnergoPro now owns 70 percent of Georgia's 
electricity distribution assets.  EnergoPro signed the privatization 
agreement with the Georgian government in February 2007, with 
EnergoPro assuming a total cost of USD 417 million.  EnergoPro has 
already paid USD 132 million to the state budget.  According to the 
contract, EnergoPro will spend USD 85 million to rehabilitate the 
hydropower plants, USD 100 million to rehabilitate the electricity 
distribution infrastructure, and USD 100 million to construct new 
hydropower generation facilities.  EnergoPro owns 11 hydropower 
plants in the Czech Republic and 8 hydropower plants in Bulgaria. 
 
Georgia Plans New Hydropower Projects 
------------------------------------- 
9. The Georgian Government has announced a 10-year energy program, 
which envisages the construction of a number of new hydropower 
generation facilities in Georgia.  Recent steps in this direction 
include the Ministry of Energy's memorandum with the British company 
Continental Energy for a feasibility study on construction of the 
Khudoni hydropower plant on the Enguri River, 30 kilometers from 
Georgia's largest Enguri hydropower plant.  The World Bank will 
provide USD 3.3 million for the study, which will envisage the 
construction of a 700 Megawatt plant and a 500 kV electricity 
transmission line.  Eventual construction is estimated to cost USD 
500-600 million.  The GoG has also signed a memorandum with a 
Turkish Company, Urban, to build the 78 MW Paravani hydro plant in 
the Samtskhe-Javakheti region in southern Georgia.  Total cost of 
investment in this project is estimated at USD 100-120 million.  The 
government has signed another memorandum with the Russian state 
company Inter RAO UES to build one or more plants with a total 
capacity of around 100 MW, and to transit electricity between 
Georgia and Russia. 
 
Baker Center Interested in Energy Strategy 
------------------------------------------ 
10. On July 9 Marian K. Thompson the U.S. Department of Energy 
visited Georgia to discuss the Howard H. Baker Center's interest in 
establishing a dialogue with Georgian public and private energy 
sector officials to help Georgia strengthen its ability to develop 
energy policy.  The Department of Energy provided USD 15,000 in seed 
money for the project.  The Baker Center envisions providing initial 
support in creating a central database on energy sector statistics, 
sponsoring symposia, and hosting exchange programs for energy sector 
representatives.  Energy company representatives stressed Georgia's 
need for more stable and reliable energy distribution.  The Georgian 
Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) expressed 
interest in working with the Baker Center to develop training 
modules for officials in the Ministries of Economic Development and 
Energy.  Post will work closely with the Baker Center and GFSIS to 
ensure these efforts align with our current assistance strategies. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks