07TBILISI1573, SOUTH OSSETIA REOPENS ONE IRRIGATION CANAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1573 2007-07-02 13:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1104
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1573 1831336
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021336Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6871
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001573 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: SOUTH OSSETIA REOPENS ONE IRRIGATION CANAL 
 
REF: TBILISI 01563 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C)  OSCE confirmed on July 2 that the South Ossetians 
have re-opened one of the two irrigation canals that bring 
water to Georgian farms both inside and outside the zone of 
conflict (reftel).  The move came either during or after 
South Ossetian de-facto president Kokoiti's visit to Moscow, 
suggesting Russia was at least partially successful in 
pressuring Kokoiti to re-open the canals.  OSCE Head of 
Mission Roy Reeve told us on Friday that the South Ossetians 
had opened both canals, but Deputy State Minister for 
Conflict Resolution Ruslan Abashidze insists that water is 
still not flowing through one of the canals. Georgian farmers 
have resumed their protest against the canal shutdown and 
have blocked the road leading to Ergneti to all traffic, 
including international donors and the OSCE. 
 
2.  (C)  The drinking water pipeline, which provides drinking 
water to both Georgian villages and Tskhinvali, is still 
operating below capacity.  At a July 2 joint Steering 
Committee meeting to discuss joint monitoring and repair of 
the pipeline, the two sides failed agree on the starting 
point for the monitoring trip.  The Georgians wanted to begin 
in the South Ossetian village of Java, while the South 
Ossetians insisted on starting in the Georgian village of 
Kheiti. 
 
3.  (C)  Shootings continued in South Ossetia over the 
weekend.  The heaviest occurred near the Georgian village of 
Tamarasheni on Saturday, June 30, wounding one Georgian and 
two Ossetian civilians.  OSCE confirmed that small arms and 
RPGs were used during the incident, but no mortars, which 
OSCE told us would be a sign of serious escalation.  An OSCE 
monitoring group sent to investigate the situation also came 
under fire, but it did not appear that they were deliberately 
targeted.  No one was hurt. 
TEFFT

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