Monthly Archives: August 2007

07TBILISI2170, PEACEKEEPING ACCIDENT SPURS DISPUTE OVER MOSCOW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2170 2007-08-30 13:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4617
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2170 2421357
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301357Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7458
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002170 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: PEACEKEEPING ACCIDENT SPURS DISPUTE OVER MOSCOW 
AGREEMENT 
 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY:  On August 28, a CIS Peacekeeping Force 
(PKF) contingent collided with a civilian minibus in the 
Georgian city of Khobi.  According to the UN, Georgian police 
responded and detained 14 CIS PKF, 6 of whom the Georgians 
claimed were Chechens armed with silencers.  The Georgian 
police took the PKF to the local police station and after a 
period of detention, released them later that night.  The 
Georgians claim that the PKF violated the Moscow Agreement by 
traveling into the Restricted Weapons Zone (RWZ) without 
prior agreement by the Georgians; the Russians deny this 
although the Office of the Georgian State Minister for 
Conflict Resolution claims that it received a hand-written 
note from the PKF Chief of Staff which apologized for the 
violation and promised to inform of such movements in future. 
 The UN is reviewing whether a violation took place with 
regard to the movement of the PKF.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) At approximately 4:00 p.m. on August 28, a CIS 
Peacekeeping Force GAZ-66 truck collided with a civilian 
minibus in the Georgian city of Khobi.  (Note:  Khobi is on 
the southern edge of the Georgian side of the Restricted 
Weapons Zone.  End note.)  Georgian police responded and 
found 14 PKF in the truck, 6 of whom they claimed were 
Chechens armed with silencers.  The Georgians took the 
peacekeepers to the local police station and detained them 
until around 1200 a.m., at which time the Georgians released 
the detainees.  When asked by the UN for the reason of the 
detention, the Georgians said that the detention was a result 
of the suspicion aroused by the peacekeepers origin and 
armaments.  According to the Georgians, the Chechens could 
not answer even basic questions about the mandate of the PKF. 
 The UN was unable to verify these allegations or press 
reports that the peacekeepers were inebriated because the 
Georgians did not allow UN personnel access to the detainees. 
 
3. (C) Ruslan Abashidze, the Deputy Minister for Conflict 
Resolution, reported to Poloff on August 30 that the PKF 
Chief of Staff sent a hand-written note on plain paper to 
Minister Bakradze which apologized for the violation and 
promised to inform the Georgian authorities of such movements 
in future.  Abashidze claimed that the movements of the PKF 
were a violation of Article 2 of the Moscow Agreement. 
(Note:  Article 2 (f) of the Moscow Agreement requires that 
"the movement of units or subunits of the peace-keeping force 
and of the international observers outside the security zone 
in the relevant areas shall be subject to agreement with the 
parties."  Separately, the UN told Poloff that the UN is 
reviewing whether or not a violation took place with regard 
to the movement of the PKF.  UNOMIG quoted the Protocol to 
the Moscow Agreement which states that the PKF "shall enjoy 
freedom of movement in the security zone and the 
restricted-weapons zone..." which indicated some area for 
interpretation. 
 
4. (C) COMMENT:  As we have seen regarding issues related to 
Upper Kodori, the Moscow Agreement is unclear and open to 
interpretation.  Tensions in Georgia with regard to its 
relations with Russia are heightened following the August 6 
missile incident.  Accidents like these have the potential to 
spiral out of control.  We will urge the UN to work with both 
sides to agree on a common interpretation of the Moscow 
Agreement to prevent future such incidents.  END COMMENT. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI2151, PROSECUTOR GENERAL ON MAIA TOPURIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2151 2007-08-29 12:05 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3163
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2151 2411205
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291205Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7450
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002151 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: PROSECUTOR GENERAL ON MAIA TOPURIA 
 
REF: TBILISI 2139 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 1.  (C) On August 29, Ambassador used a previously scheduled 
meeting with Prosecutor General Adeishvili to raise concerns 
about the Maia Topuria case (reftel) and noted the high level 
of interest in the case, including by members of 
Congress. Ambassador said there were allegations from 
Topuria's lawyers of due process violations during the trial. 
 Ambassador said that GoG may have the right under Georgian 
law to close the courtroom, but added that such measures 
could invite suspicion. He requested a copy of the judgment, 
which will explain the reasoning behind the sentencing, when 
it becomes available.  Adeishvili told the Ambassador that a 
copy of the judgment will be available within 15 days, as 
required by law, and that he would ensure post receives a 
copy.  He also stated that he is 95 per cent sure that the 
appeal trial will be open to the public. Post will continue 
to follow up on issues related to the case, and will make 
available to the desk a copy of the judgment when received. 
End Comment. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI2139, MAIA TOPURIA CASE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2139 2007-08-27 14:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1004
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2139/01 2391410
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271410Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7436
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002139 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/27/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: MAIA TOPURIA CASE 
 
REF: 2006 TBILISI 1630 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C). Summary:  On August 24, the Tbilisi City Court found 
all 13 defendants accused of plotting to overthrow the 
country's leadership in September 2006 guilty. Most of the 13 
are linked with Igor Giorgadze's Justice Party.  Igor 
Giorgadze is a Georgian fugitive wanted for attempted murder 
of President Eduard Shevardnadze in 1995.  Georgian officials 
say Russia finances the Justice Party. Giorgadze's niece, 
Maia Topuria, was one of the 13 sentenced to eight and half 
years imprisonment. Her U.S. counsel questioned the legality 
of closing the case to the public and of witness statements, 
which they claimed were remarkably similar.  American Bar 
Association (ABA) Central Eastern European Law Initiative 
(CEELI) analysis of the case concludes that closing the 
courtroom is allowed under Georgian Law and is also 
consistent with international law. Prosecutor General 
Adeishvili was adamant that irrefutable evidence tied the 13 
defendants to the necessary criminal elements and that 
closing the court was a measured and justified response. 
Public response to the verdict is muted: aside from a brief 
mention during an Imedi television broadcast on Friday 
evening, and a small article buried deep within one local 
newspaper today, lack of public outcry is surprising, given 
the very strong advocacy of her legal defense to raise the 
profile of the case in Washington and European capitals.  End 
Summary. 
 
-------------------- 
The Verdict...Guilty 
-------------------- 
 
2.  (C) On August 24, the Tbilisi City Court found 13 
defendants guilty of plotting to overthrow the Georgian 
government in September 2006.   Most of the 13 are linked 
with Igor Giorgadze's Justice Party.  Igor Giorgadze is a 
Georgian fugitive wanted for the attempted assassination of 
President Eduard Shevardnadze in 1995.  Georgian officials 
say Russia finances the Justice Party. Giorgadze's niece, 
Maia Topuria, was one of the 13 sentenced to eight and a half 
years imprisonment. Those sentenced have the right to appeal 
the judgment to the Court of Appeals one month after 
sentencing. The court's legal reasoning for finding the 
defendants guilty will be published in two weeks as required 
by Georgian law. 
 
------------------------- 
Drilling Down to the Crux 
------------------------- 
3.  (C)  Post met with Topuria's counsel, Mr. Larry Barbella 
and Ms. Melinda Serafa on at least three occasions.  Both 
lawyers claimed there were serious procedural irregularities 
with the case which would result in an unfair trial. First, 
they objected to closing the courtroom to the public. They 
stated that the judge could close the courtroom to protect 
the identity the of witness or national security. However, 
they negated the validity of this reasoning stating that the 
witnesses' names appeared in open media almost daily. They 
also claimed that no state secrets were revealed during the 
case.  (Interestingly, ABA/CEELI concluded that the GoG was 
well within its domestic and international rights to close 
the case.)  Secondly, counsel claimed that witness statements 
appeared to them to be blatantly coached, as the testimony, 
regardless of witness, they claimed, was virtually the same, 
word for word. Thirdly, counsel argued that the trial judge 
violated the nine month rule.  The nine month rule requires a 
detainee to be released if he/she is not sentenced within the 
nine month timeframe they believe applicable.  Barbella and 
Serafa both said that the judge arbitrarily chose the 
detention start date as other than was proscribed by the 
Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code.  The result was 
that the court illegally detained their client. As instructed 
by Washington, we told Topuria's counsel that post is not in 
a position to comment on the merits of the decision to close 
the trial, and that the Department's policy is not to 
interfere or comment on ongoing cases.  We noted that the 
information could be used in our annual Human Rights Report, 
if a clear violation of human rights occurred.  We encouraged 
Topuria's counsel to seek redress of procedural 
irregularities with the Prosecutor General and the Public 
Defender offices. 
 
------------------------ 
The Georgian Perspective 
------------------------ 
4. (C)  Ambassador and DAS Bryza both raised concerns with 
Prosecutor General Adeishvili about the international 
community's perceptions of procedural improprieties in the 
Topuria case and advocated for increased transparency.  He 
 
TBILISI 00002139  002 OF 002 
 
 
was adamant that irrefutable evidence proved the 13 guilty of 
the charged crimes and closing the court was a measured and 
justified response. Adeishvili's office rejects the argument 
that closing the proceedings denied the defendants' rights 
under Georgian law.  Defense lawyers have had full access to 
their clients, full access to the evidence, and full access 
to court proceedings.  Both Post and DAS reminded Adeishvili 
that he may well be within the legal boundaries to close the 
trial, but intern
ational misperceptions could have an 
influence on their strategic goals, such as  confidence in 
the rule NATO membership.  Both stressed that any decisions 
need to be procedurally perfect to withstand scrutiny. 
 
------------------------ 
No ROL backsliding Here 
------------------------ 
5.  (C) ABA/CEELI analysis of the case is that closure of the 
courtroom is clearly allowed under Georgian Law, which is 
consistent with international law.   Observers on the ground 
believe that the rule of law is moving forward in Georgia and 
do not believe the case is not indicative of widespread 
backsliding. 
 
---------------------- 
The Mouse that Roared 
---------------------- 
6.  (C) Public response to the verdict is muted: aside from a 
brief mention during an Imedi television broadcast on Friday 
evening, and a small article buried deep within one local 
newspaper today, lack of public outcry is surprising, given 
Topuria's legal team's very strong efforts to raise the 
profile of the case.  Unlike the Girgvliani case, where there 
was a large Georgian civil society and press outcry, 
sentencing in the Topuria cases hasn't raised any discernible 
public eyebrows (reftel A). 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
7.  (C) The verdict in the Topuria case is not surprising 
given the gravity of the case.  What is surprising is the 
lack of public reaction in the form of media coverage. True, 
Giorgadze's party is neither popular in Georgia nor well 
supported.  Perhaps the lack of strong response is due to the 
fact that Topuria's counsel dedicated many resources to her 
defense, but targeted those whom they felt could sway 
Georgia's decision makers--with influential people in 
Washington and Europe--rather than on Georgian popular 
opinion.  The question of who is funding Topuria's defense, 
which includes two Washington lawyers traveling back and 
forth to Tbilisi and Europe and a lobbyist remains a 
question, although there is considerable speculation that the 
Russian government is paying. 
 
8.  (C)  ABA/CEELI's analysis reflects that of post in that 
Georgia is not where it needs to be on judicial reform, but 
is well on the way.  While we strongly believe that Georgia 
should be mindful of international opinion as this ultimately 
will support or complicate her entry into NATO, we support a 
judicial system that is free from executive or third party 
interference.  All our training in the judicial realm here 
fully supports this independence and any other approach would 
countermand the accountability to which we urge the Georgians 
to aspire. 
 
9.  (C)  Although Topuria's counsel has arguably demonstrated 
a strong advocacy for their client, no other nongovernmental 
organization or disinterested party has come forth to voice 
the same concerns.  In fact, ABA/CEELI specifically 
recognizes that the GoG acted within its right to close the 
trial. 
TEFFT

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07TBILISI2131, GOG PROPERTY GRANT TO JUDGES’ ASSOCIATION RAISES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2131 2007-08-24 12:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9307
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2131 2361219
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241219Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7424
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002131 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, EUR/RPM AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/24/2017 
TAGS: PGOV ECON GG
SUBJECT: GOG PROPERTY GRANT TO JUDGES' ASSOCIATION RAISES 
EYEBROWS 
 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mark X. Perry, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1.  (U) On June 5, in accord with Georgia's effort to fight 
corruption among judges, President Saakashvili issued a 
decree directing the Ministry of Economic Development to sell 
a building and adjoining property in the Tbilisi suburb of 
Saburtalo to a "community-based organization," Temida.  The 
decree further stated that the members of Temida, who are 
current judges of the Georgian Supreme Court, the Tbilisi 
Court of Appeal and the Tbilisi City Court, should be granted 
apartments in the building.  The sales price of the property 
was USD 200,000, or USD 17.50 per square meter.  The Ministry 
completed the transfer of the building to Temida on June 25. 
 
2.  (U) The opposition Republican Party, in particular, 
objected strongly to the sale.  They contend that buildings 
and land in the same area are being sold for USD 1690 per 
square meter, although we are unable to confirm this is the 
going price in the area of the building.  According to real 
estate experts, finished apartments can sell for from USD 
350-1500 per square meter in Tbilisi, depending on location. 
We have no information about the condition of the building or 
whether it is intended to be demolished or renovated by the 
new owners. 
 
3.  (C) On August 20, Charge met with Zurab Adeishvili, 
General Prosecutor of Georgia.  Charge suggested to 
Adeishvili that selling property at a discount price to the 
judges' organization, for the use of judges while they are in 
office, may be justifiable.  However, granting property to 
judges in their individual capacities and their heirs could 
reasonably call into question the independence of the judges 
from government influence.  Such an impression defeats 
government efforts to improve the reputation of the judiciary 
for fairness.  Adeishvili said that he had personally opposed 
the grant of property to the judges, but had lost the 
argument within the government.  He said the government has a 
statutory obligation to provide housing benefits for sitting 
judges, and this was the manner in which the government 
decided to fulfill it.  He would have preferred to see a cash 
grant to the judges to meet their housing needs.  He 
suggested that it would be better for the Embassy to raise 
the issue with the Chairman of the Supreme Court, Kote 
Kublashvili, because, according to Adeishvili, it was the 
judge's organization that had made the decision to transfer 
the property to individual judges after taking title to it. 
We intend to raise the issue with Kublashvili at the next 
opportunity. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2117, GEORGIA BORDER SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2117 2007-08-24 03:16 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2117/01 2360316
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240316Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1022
RHMFIUU/USCBP WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7411

UNCLAS TBILISI 002117 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/ACE - KBILGE AND SALTMAN-WINANS 
USCBP FOR INA RWATT AND KCHAISSON 
BERLIN FOR ICE ATTACHE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:N/A 
TAGS: GBSLE GG
SUBJECT:  GEORGIA BORDER SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM 
MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORTING CABLE - JUNE AND JULY 2007 
 
ITEMS OF INTEREST TO ADVISORS AND AGENCY MANAGERS: 
 
1. July 7, 2007 GBSLE Program Manager Karen Chaisson arrived from 
CBP Headquarters to conduct a program review and visit Embassy 
Officers and other high level Georgian Revenue and Border Police 
Officials. During the course of her stay she visited Border Crossing 
Points and Radar Stations currently under construction. 
 
2. During the reporting period the Radar Station at Chakvi was 
turned over to the Georgian Border Police's Coast Guard Division on 
July 30, 2007. The total cost of the project was $594,800. 
 
 
EQUIPMENT DELIVERED: 
 
None 
 
PENDING DELIVERIES AND PROCUREMENTS: 
 
ASYCUDA SOClass Software for the Revenue Service valued at $90,000. 
 
TRAINING CONDUCTED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD: 
 
On June 12 through June 25 GBSLE Advisor Schroeder accompanied a 
group of 20 Customs and Border Police Officers on a trip to 
Charleston, SC for ISIT Training. 
 
TRAINING PLANNED FOR AUGUST 2007 
 
IRID Training is planned for August 24 through September 2, 2007 in 
El Paso, TX for members of the Border Police and Customs. 
 
EMBASSY ASSISTS: 
 
1. June 8 - Embassy requested GBSLE to facilitate entry of African 
Swine Flu (ASF) Response Teams. 
 
2. July 24 - Embassy Consular Section requested GBSLE to facilitate 
the recovery of U.S. Property at the Tbilisi Airport with assistance 
of the Georgian Border Police. 
 
MEETINGS: 
 
June 1 - GBSLE Advisor Schroeder flew with Border Police to remote 
camps on the Chechnya Border in the Khevsurete (Barisakhlo) Region. 
 
June 4 - GBSLE Advisors Nelson and Schroeder attended DCM's SLEWG 
meeting and presented program briefing to CODEL (Senator Lugar's 
Office) representatives Paul Clayman and Manisha Singh. 
 
June 5 - GBSLE Advisors Nelson and Schroeder briefed CODEL members 
Clayman and Singh with a border tour of GBSLE Port of Entry 
construction project at Sadakhlo. 
 
June 7 - GBSLE Advisor Schroeder met with GBP Deputies, Titan and 
IOM Representatives to discuss the C-3 project. 
 
June 8 - GBSLE Advisors met with the Head of the Revenue Service and 
delivered the Letter of Invitation to Mindia Gadaevi for the 
Executive Orientation Program. 
 
June 13 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson met with the ACOE and Local 
contractor to discuss the progress of the Ladodeki Border Crossing 
Project. 
 
June 14 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson met with the Head of the Revenue 
Service, Mindia Gadaevi to present an overview of the EOP trip 
planned for September 2007. 
 
June 18 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson met with the DCM to provide a 
briefing on the Grif Boat Contract with the Batumi Shipyard. 
 
June 22 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson escorted Mr. Kerem Bilge, Security 
and Law Enforcement Advisor, EUR/ACE to the Border Crossing at 
Sadakhlo for a tour and briefing. 
 
June 22 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson attended an evening donors meeting at 
the office of Revenue Service and gave a presentation on the GBSLE 
Program to members of the International Donors Community. 
 
June 27 - GBSLE Advisor Schroeder met EU Team Leader Haakan Rapp to 
discuss training plans for FY 08. 
 
June 28 - GBSLE Advisors met with Lt. General Bitsadze to deliver 
the Batumi Shipyard Grif/Orbi Contract letter. 
 
July 8 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson met with 
Richard Wissler and James O'Niell of L3 Titan to discuss the C-3 
project. 
 
July 10 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson met the 
GPB to discuss the turnover of the C-3 plans and future assistance 
to the GBP. 
 
July 10 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson met with 
Public Affairs to discuss the filming of the GBSLE documentary film 
project. 
 
July 11 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson met with 
Ambassador Tefft and DCM Perry to discuss the GBSLE Program. 
 
July 11 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson met with 
the Head of the Revenue Service, Mindia Gadaevi to discuss the GBSLE 
Program. 
 
July 12 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson traveled 
to Tbilisi Airport and met with Border Police and Customs Officers 
and discussed Airport Operations. 
 
July 13 - GBSLE Advisors and Program Manager Karen Chaisson travel 
to the Kazbegi Border Crossing.  They met with the Border Police and 
Customs and discussed the progress of the new Border Construction 
Project. 
 
July 15 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson and Program Manager Karen Chaisson 
traveler to Batumi to meet with Shipyard officials. 
 
July 16 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson and Program Manager Karen Chaisson 
visited Chakvi Radar Station to view the completed construction 
project. 
 
July 17 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson and Program Manager Karen Chaisson 
met with Tamaz Kordzahia the Contract Manager at the Batumi Shipyard 
to discuss the Grif/Orbi Boat Contract. 
 
July 17 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson and Program Manager Karen Chaisson 
travel to Poti Coast Guard Base to attend the Coast Guard Day 
Celebration and
met with General Gulua. 
 
July 20 - GBSLE Advisors met with Program Manager Karen Chaisson and 
had a close out meeting with her and discussed the GBSLE Program 
Plans for FY 08. 
 
July 25 - GBSLE Advisor Nelson met with the ACOE to discuss the 
progress of construction at the border crossing points and the radar 
stations. 
 
July 25 - GBSLE Advisors attended the Security and Law Enforcement 
Security Working Group chaired by the DCM. 
 
LIAISON AND COORDINATION: 
 
1. GBSLE advisors met with EU Donors at two donor meetings during 
the months of June and July to discuss future training needs of the 
GBP and coordinate donors' activity. 
 
2. GSBLE Advisors continued participation in the Security and Law 
Enforcement Working Group meetings held twice during the months of 
June and July. 
 
3. GBSLE Advisors attended the Country Team Meetings held once a 
week during the months of June and July. 
 
CONSTRUCTION: 
 
Kazbegi Border Crossing Station 
Contractor - Inzhmsheni 
Current contract completion date - 30 Sept 2007 
Contract value - $2,311,630.50 
Percentage of completion - 48% 
 
Sadaklo Border Crossing Station 
Contractor Archstudia 
Current contract completion date - 17 June 2007 
Contract value - $2,069,679.54 
Percentage of completion - 78% 
 
Mestia Grass Airfield 
Contractor - Alioni 
Current contract completion date - 19 May 2007 
Contract value - $851,879.00 
Percentage of completion - 77% 
 
Chakvi Radar Station   Completed 30 July 2007 
Contractor - Lindsay 
Current contract completion date - Completed 30 July 2007 
Contract value - $594,800.00 
Percentage of completion - 80% 
 
 
Anaklia Radar Station 
Contractor  Alioni 99 
Current contract completion date - 21 May 2007 
Contract value - $373,000 
Percentage of completion date - 52% 
 
 
Gonio Radar Station 
Contractor - Lindsay 
Current contract completion date - 18 September 2007 
Contract value - $501,700,00 
Percentage of completion - in design 95% 
 
 
Lagodekhi Border Crossing Station 
Contractor - Alioni 99 
Current contract completion date - 17 November 2007 
Contract value - $775,270.00 
Percentage of completion - in design 95% 
 
Remote Border Posts (Task Order 0002) 
Contractor - Alioni 99 
Current contract completion date - 17 November 200 
Contract value - $1,040,315.0 
Percentage of completion - in design 95% 
 
Remote Border Posts (Task Order 0004) 
Contractor - Alioni 99 
Current contract completion date - 17 November 2007 
Contract value - $720,797.00 
Percentage of completion - in design 95% 
 
Lilo Customs Training Facility 
(Ministry of Finance Training Facility) 
Contractor - Lindsay 
Current contract completion date - 17 Nov 2007. 
Contract Value - $704,800 
Percentage of Completion - Construction begun 
13 May 2007 after a series of delays were 
Resolved by the contractor with the help of 
ACOE and GBSLE Advisors. 
 
RED FLAG ISSUES: 
 
Border Police - None 
 
Customs - None 
 
POC for this report is Christopher M. Nelson, Chief of Party GBSLE. 
 
PERRY

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2114, IMPACT OF RUSSIAN SANCTIONS ON GEORGIAN ECONOMY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2114 2007-08-23 10:41 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8023
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2114/01 2351041
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231041Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7406
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2142

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002114 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT PASS TO DEPT OF AGRICULTURE - PRIORITY 
DEPT OF COMMERCE FOR 4231 DANICA STARKS 
MOSCOW PASS TO USDA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/15/2027 
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD PREL GG
SUBJECT: IMPACT OF RUSSIAN SANCTIONS ON GEORGIAN ECONOMY 
 
REF: A. 06 TBILISI 419 
 
     B. 06 TBILISI 624 
     C. 06 TBILISI 709 
     D. 06 TBILISI 871 
     E. 06 TBILISI 1069 
     F. 06 MOSCOW 5104 
     G. 06 TBILISI 1647 
     H. 06 TBILISI 1730 
     I. 06 TBILISI 1786 
     J. 06 TBILISI 2601 
     K. 06 TBILISI 2626 
     L. 06 TBILISI 2846 
 
TBILISI 00002114  001.2 OF 002 
 
     M. 06 TBILISI 3069 
 
1. (U) Summary.  A recent report by the International School 
of Economics at Tbilisi State University provides a rigorous 
analysis and confirms the widely held view that Russian 
economic sanctions on Georgia have not had the intended 
overall negative effect on the Georgian economy.  Although 
growth would have been higher had they not been imposed, the 
sanctions came at a time when Georgia -- buoyed up by 
increased foreign direct investment and economic aid from 
donors -- was able to cushion the negative impact.  The 
blockade prompted maturation and diversification of the 
Georgian export sector, and in fact, Georgian exports have 
only increased since the beginning of 2006.  At the 
microeocnomic level, however, the ban caused losses of USD 
600 million to key Georgian industries, affecting most 
notably the wine sector and other agricultural industries 
whose main export destination was Russia.  Nevertheless, even 
these industries were not as devastated as had been 
predicted.  If the GoG continues to seek new markets and then 
is able to renew its ties with the Russian market, the cloud 
on the Georgian economy caused by the sanctions will be seen 
to have a silver lining.  End Summary. 
 
Timeline of the ban 
------------------- 
 
2. (U) A series of economic sanctions by Russia started in 
late 2005 and are still in place to this day: 
 
- (C) December 2005: Russia restricts imports of agricultural 
products from Georgia, citing problems with falsified export 
certificates.  GoG officials learn about the ban from the 
press.  Preliminary analysis indicates a negative effect on 
exports (ref A). 
 
- (U) January 2006: Gazprom doubles the price of gas to 
Georgia to $110 per thousand cubic meters. 
 
- (U) March 2006: Ban on imports from any country shipping 
through Georgia; Russia cites falsified documents as a reason 
(ref B).  Two weeks later, Russia bans Georgian wine.  The 
Georgians cry foul claiming the wine meets U.S. and EU 
standards (ref C). 
 
- (C) March 2006: The ban is extended to cognac and 
champagne.  Minister of Foreign Affairs says privately the 
ban would not be serious until the end of the harvest that 
fall and hints the GoG will take the issue to the WTO 
committee on market access and trade facilitation.  In 
Moscow, Russia's Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennadiy 
Onishchenko refuses to meet with then Agricultural Minister 
Svimonishvili.  The GoG postpones tax collections for wine 
producers for three months, and officials across the board 
engage in a push to find new markets for wine (ref D). 
 
- (C) May 2006: The ban is extended to mineral water, despite 
Borjomi's strong working relationship with Onishchenko.  The 
ban follows then Minister of Defense Okruashvili's derogatory 
statement about the purchasing preferences of Russian 
consumers: that even fecal matter could be sold in Russia 
(refs E and F). 
 
- (C) July 2006: Russia closes the only official border 
checkpoint with Georgia at Upper Lars (ref G), driving trade 
into illegal smuggling routes in the separatist regions of 
South Ossetia and Abkhazia (ref H).  The Ministry of 
Agriculture reports that Georgia had lost between USD 35-70 
million because of the ban on wine and mineral waters (ref 
I).  The GoG continues helping the private sector develop a 
long-term solution--looking to European markets for fresh 
produce, improving standards, fighting falsified appellations 
of origin, fighting smuggling of Georgian goods, and 
 
TBILISI 00002114  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
encouraging more food processing plants (ref H). 
 
- (SBU) September, October 2006: Russian spy row prompts 
Russia to recall its Ambassador and most of the diplomatic 
corps (ref J) and to begin deportation of Georgians accused 
of immigration violations.  People die in the process of 
deportation. 
 
- (SBU) October 2006: Russia suspends all rail, air, road, 
sea, and postal links to Georgia (ref K) prompting a request 
for another donation of wheat from USDA (ref L)
. 
 
- (U) Janaury 2007: Gazprom again doubles the price of gas 
imports to Georgia to $235 per thousand cubic meters. 
 
By the numbers 
-------------- 
 
3. (SBU) The Russian blockade, though it continues, has not 
had the intended or expected disastrous effect at the 
macroeconomic level.  The IMF initially predicted the longer 
the economic blockade was in place, the worse the damage to 
the economy, and that GDP growth in 2006 would be only 7 
percent (ref M).  However, the economy actually grew 9.4 
percent in 2006 and is estimated to have grown by 11.4 
percent in Q1 2007.  Foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2006 
was USD 1.1 billion and is predicted to be as much as USD 2.1 
billion in 2007.  Inflation accelerated in summer 2006 but 
dropped below 10 percent by the end of the year and is 
currently in the 7-8 percent range.  Unemployment edged up 
slightly, reaching 15.3 percent in early 2007, when 
unemployment usually reaches a seasonal peak. 
 
4. (SBU) This is not to say the blockade had no effect, 
however.  Extrapolating from trends over 1999-2005, exports 
to Russia were reduced by about USD 175 million from those 
predicted for 2006, largely because of the ban on 
agricultural goods.  According to time series analysis by the 
Tbilisi State University economists, the Georgian economy 
lost a total of USD 635 million (current dollars) from the 
predicted value of GDP, about 7.8 percent, between January 
2006 and March 2007.  The agriculture sector took the greatet 
hit, dropping 25 percent (USD 425 million) from predicted 
output.  The manufacturing sector dropped by only 2.6 percent 
(USD 24 million) of its predicted output and construction 
dropped 15 percent (USD 127 million) below the predicted 
output.  The remaining USD 24 million can be attributed to 
various other sectors.  The effect on migration patterns was 
limited as Russia already had a strict visa regime in place 
prior to the escalation in sanctions.  Remittances from 
Russia, averaging about USD 30-35 million per month, did not 
decrease significantly, but there was a sharp drop -- 
averaging about USD 7.3 million per month -- in the outflow 
of remittances to Russia after October 2006.  Expansionary 
measures taken by the NBG aimed at redirecting resources only 
partially offset the impact of the Russian sanctions. 
Georgia's economy was already on an increasing trajectory 
prior to the blockade.  Ironically, the Russian blockade 
appears to have done more good than harm to the Georgian 
economy, by forcing producers to look for alternative 
markets, including the U.S. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
5. (SBU) The analysis -- using official government data -- by 
economists at Tbilisi State University appears to be 
statistically sound, although its projections of potential 
GDP and exports is limited by the short, 6 year time series. 
We will continue to work with the GoG on further 
business-friendly changes, including improvements to its 
judicial system.  We will look for ways to help Georgia 
diversify its trade and industrial production and increase 
its global competitiveness.  End Comment. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2092, HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN GALI–SAME PROBLEMS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2092 2007-08-21 13:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5856
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2092/01 2331324
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211324Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7380
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 TBILISI 002092 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/08/2017 
TAGS: EAID PGOV PHUM PREF PREL GG
SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN GALI--SAME PROBLEMS 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1604 
     B. TBILISI 861 
     C. 2006 TBILISI 3045 
     D. TBILISI 2000 
 
Classified By: CDA Mark X. Perry for reasons 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary: On 31 July-2 August, an Embassy team 
traveled to Abkhazia to review the human rights situation 
there. The team participated in a patrol with the UN Observer 
Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) in the ethnically Georgian Gali region, 
visited local NGOs in Gali and Sukhumi, and met with the Abkhaz 
de facto authorities. Georgian-Abkhaz tensions have calmed recently, 
but concerns over the lack of security with the run up to 
hazelnut/mandarin season, forced conscription of Georgians 
in the Abkhaz militia, and unclear passportization 
implementation procedures remain. UNOMIG representatives 
relayed that the Abkhaz militia closed the Ceasefire 
Line (CFL) to all vehicular and commercial traffic, 
forcing the residents of Gali to buy items in the 
more expensive Gali market, rather than in the cheaper 
Zugdidi market. By the end of the year, the Abkhaz 
intend to close all unofficial checkpoints, and limit 
vehicular and foot traffic across the CFL to four 
points: Inguri River Bridge, Nabakevi Bridge, Meore 
Otobaya, and Lekukhona. De facto foreign minister 
Shamba was resistant to allowing Georgian officials 
to send Georgian textbooks to Gali schools. He was 
not open to changing the new law which currently does 
not permit property to be returned to Georgians who 
left Abkhazia after the war, or the law which does 
not allow for dual Georgian-Abkhaz citizenship, noting 
that Abkhazia is at war with Georgia. Shamba reiterated 
his position in Bonn that the Abkhaz would not be open 
to official contacts (between Abkhaz and Georgian officials) 
until Georgian troops leave Upper Kodori Valley (reftel A.) 
End Summary. 
 
Human Rights in Gali--Same Problems 
----------------------------------- 
 
2. (C)  On July 31- August 2, an Embassy team including 
Pol-Econ Chief, Defense AttachQ, USAID Deputy Mission 
Director and Poloffs visited Abkhazia to follow up on 
the human rights situation there (reftel B,C.)  The UNOMIG 
Human Rights (HROAG) Officer in Gali, Zarko Petrovic, 
briefed the group that Georgian-Abkhaz tensions have 
calmed but reported that the situation remains tense 
as the Abkhaz are tightening control in the region by 
closing the CFL to vehicular and commercial traffic 
across the CFL and limiting pedestrian traffic only 
to official crossing points. By the end of the year, 
the Abkhaz Militia plan on limiting all vehicular and 
pedestrian crossings to four official crossing points: 
Inguri River Bridge, Nabakevi Bridge, Meore Otobaya, 
and Lekukhona.  Officially, there should be no fee to 
cross the Inguri but pedestrians often would rather pay 
a 2-10 GEL bribe to the Abkhaz militia.  The closing of 
the CFL has made life more difficult for locals who prefer 
to cross into Zugdidi to purchase foodstuffs; with the 
closure of the crossing, locals in Lower Gali must buy 
foodstuffs in Gali which are more expensive as they are 
shipped from Sukhumi. These additional controls will make 
life difficult for those residents who depend on the yearly 
hazelnut/mandarin harvest for their total annual income by 
complicating getting their produce to market and making it 
more expensive to do so. Once the four checkpoints are open 
and operating, locals anticipate that there will be 
customs charges leveled on any items which are brought 
across, also cutting down on profits. Currently, there 
are three U.N. Civilian Police (UNCIVPOL) (Czech, 
Russian, Swiss) on the ground, rather than the nine 
the U.N. had expected to be in place by this time 
(reftel B.)  Petrovic noted an expected spike in 
criminal activity associated with the upcoming 
hazelnut/mandarin harvest season. 
 
Plans for Human Rights Center 
----------------------------- 
 
3. (C) The team visited the house selected as the future 
NGO Human Rights Center in Gali, which is just a short 
walk from the U.N. base in Gali. The U.N. is planning 
to pay to repair the house for its use as the center, 
which will house five local NGOS, a library, a training 
area and an office for the UN HROAG in Gali. The Human 
Rights Center will work off a Memorandum of Understanding 
between UNOMIG and the local NGO Institute of Democracy. 
(NOTE: The Human Rights officer previously worked in Gali 
from Sukhumi with frequent trips to Gali but established 
a permanent presence in Gali in March (reftel B) END NOTE.) 
 
TBILISI 00002092  002 OF 005 
 
 
Although the current officer is alone in Gali, there are 
plans to bring a second officer from France as soon as 
the lead Human Rights position in Sukhumi is filled. The 
NGO Human Rights Center plans to offer legal aid to 
citizens of Gali district, regular monitoring of human 
rights, human rights training, a human rights resource 
center,
 an information service, and promote advocacy for 
human rights.  The four projects currently proposed are a 
human rights monitoring project, addressing multiple 
discrimination of women in Abkhazia, and a Youth Resource 
Center and a Legal Aid Center in Gali. However, funding 
remains an issue and the center will rely entirely on 
international donors for its operations. The five local 
NGOs which will be represented are the Institute of 
Democracy, Alert, Avangard, Raduga, and Spektr. 
 
Forced Conscription Still an Issue 
---------------------------------- 
4.  (C) According to Petrovic, there are still incidents of 
Georgians who are being forced to serve in the Abkhaz 
militia. The conscription periods occur 1 April-30 June 
and 1 October-31 December. All eligible males who reach 
the age of 14 years are put on the conscription list and 
upon reaching the age of 18 are sent notification twice 
by mail before being picked up at their residences if 
they fail to show. They are eligible for service until 
they are 35 years of age.  Often Georgians are picked 
up during night raids if they are eligible for service 
and have not reported.  Some pay bribes to avoid service 
and others leave for Zugdidi to avoid being caught.  If 
eligible men are caught not having served, they are given 
the option to serve or do jail time.  Per UNOMIG 
representatives, fewer than 15 per cent of Georgian 
males who are eligible serve.  The grounds for release 
from service are poor health, prior military service 
elsewhere, or status of convicted felon.  The grounds for 
postponement are poor health, family situation, exceptional 
political function or ongoing education, or status as 
conscientious objector.  There is no requirement to speak 
Russian and most Georgians who serve speak Mingrelian. 
Ethnic Georgian locals do not look down upon those Georgians 
who have served in the Abkhaz militia, but there is clearly 
no interest by locals in serving absent the Abkhaz 
requirement. 
 
5.  (C) Poloffs talked to local residents about two local 
ethnic Georgian males who had been taken during a night 
raid and pressed into the Abkhaz militia.  The locals 
understood that the two in question had previously served 
in the Georgian military which meant that they were exempt 
from the Abkhaz militia. Local residents explained to Poloffs 
that the Abkhaz took the Georgians despite their prior 
military service, saying that they had only served six months 
in Georgia and that they would still be required to serve in 
the Abkhaz militia.  (NOTE: There were various interpretations 
of this law given to Poloff during the stay in the Gali region, 
none of them clear as to how much previous service was required 
and what constituted proof of this time already served.  It 
was clear that the rules of service are not widely known and 
that some of the techniques for enforcing the law were 
instilling a sense of insecurity and fear among the residents. 
END NOTE.) 
 
Youth Camp--Not all Fun and Games 
-------------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Petrovic said that the Georgian Youth Camp in Ganmukhuri 
is not in the immediate area of a PKF checkpoint but it is 
within the PKF patrol area on the Georgian controlled side of 
the CFL.  Georgian security guards at the camp previously 
denied access to PKF when they wanted to see for themselves 
the activities of the camp.  Abkhaz de facto authorities are 
concerned about the camp because they claim not just minors 
below the age of 18 are involved.  According to Petrovic, the 
de facto authorities expressed concern about the camp because 
they claimed that there are participants at the youth camp who 
are 21 years of age or older and that instructors at the camp 
range from 25-28 years old.  The implication being, according 
to Petrovic, that the Abkhaz believe these individuals are of 
military age and therefore a potential threat. Still, Roman 
Sishchuk, the U.N. Civil Affairs Officer in Gali, said that he 
had been to the camp before it opened and reported that it 
appeared to be a youth camp without any military overtones or 
activities.  UNOMIG representatives said that the Georgians 
have a similar youth camp in Zugdidi. (NOTE: Speaker 
Burjanadze told DAS Bryza that these camps are just for 
children, are not close to Abkhazia, and she herself 
had considered sending her own son there. END NOTE) 
(reftel D.) 
 
Teachers Get the Dough--Textbooks Still Under the Table 
 
TBILISI 00002092  003 OF 005 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
7.  (C) In Lower Gali, the team met with Beusan Uberiya, one 
of two ethnic Georgians serving in the de facto Abkhaz 
parliament, Upper and Lower Bargebi school administrators 
and their deputies, and the school's doctor who worked 
in the dispensary.  According to the school officials, 
teachers are now regularly getting paid.  Teachers receive 
a flat rate of 100 USD per month from Tbilisi and the 
equivalent of 30 USD a month from Sukhumi.  All schools 
in Upper and Lower Gali are receiving these funds.  As 
a result, schools no longer are charging a per student 
fee for school attendance (reftel B.) Although teacher's 
salaries are taken care of, there is no funding for 
the upkeep of the building for repairs.  Currently, 
Sukhumi is not charging them for electricity. 
 
8.  (C) With regard to textbooks, officials told Poloffs 
that last year they managed to quietly bring in more 
than 42,000 books, and the de facto authority turned 
a blind eye to the practice.  School administrators 
said that they would welcome assistance from the 
Georgian Education Ministry, but it would have to 
be done quietly without any press fanfare from the 
Georgian side.  (COMMENT: Previously Poloff had 
pressed Kishmaria to allow the Georgian government 
to give Georgian textbooks on non-controversial 
subjects to the Gali schools, but after consultation 
with other de facto authorities, he said it could 
not be done. END COMMENT.) 
 
9.  (C) The school's doctor voiced concern that 
the dispensary was inadequate for the number of 
students which attended, and the neighboring 
school's dispensary was even in more dire straits. 
She said that the Abkhaz government-in-exile used 
to fund dispensaries in Gali but that the money had 
stopped last year. She asked for U.S. intervention 
with the GoG to continue to provide such funding. 
 
10.  (C) Next to the school is a PKF checkpoint. 
Locals told our group that the PKF does nothing 
to prevent/stop local crimes or mediate between 
local citizens, which according to the PKF mandate, 
they should.  Residents told the team that recently 
there was a robbery in the house behind the school, 
which resulted in the death of the elderly homeowner, 
and the PKF did nothing to stop the crime.  Local 
residents see the PKF sole function as checking car 
trunks for contraband and question the relevance 
of their presence. 
 &#x000A
;Georgian in de facto parliament:  All by Myself 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
11.  (C) De facto parliamentarian Uberiya told the 
team that although the Georgian minority has two 
representatives in the de facto parliament, 
nothing comes of their efforts as two people can't 
change outcomes.  All of their proposals are 
considered, but none are acted on.  Uberiya stated 
that if the number of Georgians who had returned 
to the Gali region were 50,000, as the Abkhaz 
claim, then consideration should be given to 
raising the number of Georgians in the de facto 
parliament to reflect their proportion in 
Abkhazia.  (NOTE:  The current de facto parliament 
has 36 representatives, three from the Gali 
region. Of those three, two are ethnic Georgian. 
END NOTE.)  When asked if he had been threatened 
for his participation in the de facto parliament, 
Uberiya shrugged.  The Administrator for Upper 
Bargebi School told us that Uberiya had received 
threatening calls on his mobile from a number 
within Georgia, but they were not able to determine 
the source. 
 
Abkhaz Passports, a Necessary Evil 
---------------------------------- 
 
12.  (C) Poloffs talked to UNOMIG representatives, 
local residents and NGOs about the passportization 
of Abkhazia following last year's new citizenship 
law, which required anyone who participates in 
political life to obtain an Abkhaz passport.  The 
law allows dual Abkhaz-Russian citizenship but not 
dual Abkhaz-Georgian citizenship (reftel B.)  As a 
result, the concern remains that Georgians would 
need to give up their Georgian citizenship in order 
to obtain an Abkhaz passport, which is required not 
only to vote in Abkhaz elections but also to obtain 
 
TBILISI 00002092  004 OF 005 
 
 
a driver's license, register a car, open a bank 
account and conduct any other official transaction 
in Abkhazia.  The Abkhaz law appears to be widely 
and loosely interpreted.  No Georgians that we met 
told us that they had been forced to give up their 
Georgian passports:  they did tell us, however, 
that the first question on the application for the 
Abkhaz passport was, "Do you have another citizenship 
other than that of Abkhazia?"  Several Georgians 
told us that they checked "No" to this question, as 
the Abkhaz have no way of verifying if they possess 
a Georgian passport.  Still, there remains much 
confusion among residents (and even de facto officials) 
about how passportization of the Gali region will 
take place, with the de facto foreign minister Shamba 
noting that the idea under consideration was to issue 
"green cards" to those who carry said Georgian 
passports. Poloff heard that passportization was 
complete in Ochamchire and Tkvarcheli, but had yet 
to start in Gali. 
 
Gali NGOs: Training OK, Jobs Better 
----------------------------------- 
 
13. (C) NGOs in the Gali region told us that their 
main concerns were human rights concerns, lack 
of good access to health care, and wide-scale 
corruption. Most NGOs serve as a mediator 
between the administrative heads or law enforcement 
bodies and residents.  NGOs expressed that 
local residents were afraid to open businesses 
for fear of being robbed, if they should make 
more than a small sum. None of them felt that 
they could get justice through the de facto 
court system and did feel trying to do so was 
not even worthwhile. Most of them said that 
they are interested in increased economic 
development in Abkhazia and that training and 
consultations are beneficial but didn't 
necessarily lead to the creation of new jobs. 
Gali NGOs don't have regular ties with Tbilisi 
NGOs, but on occasion do communicate with 
those in Kutaisi. They said Gali NGO affiliation 
with Georgian NGOs or the Ombudsman's Office 
would require prior coordination with de facto 
officials and for them it boils down to 
uncomfortable politics. NGO representatives 
explained to the team that since the impasse 
over the Georgian presence in the Upper Kodori 
Valley, matters have become more complicated 
in contacts between the Abkhaz and Georgians. 
 
It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know 
---------------------------------------- 
 
14. (C) Nona Tarbaia, director of the Nabakevi 
village hospital, relayed to the team the 
difficulty in getting treatment for local 
patients and in particular, medicines.  She often 
drives to Tbilisi and back, often taking patients 
with her.  When we asked her about any difficulties 
getting through the checkpoints, she told us that 
instead of crossing at the Inguri Bridge crossing, 
which is now closed, she crosses at an unofficial 
crossing point near the hospital which is near a 
PKF checkpoint. She told us that she does not have 
problems crossing at PKF checkpoints, not because 
she is a doctor, but because she now knows the PKF 
personnel at the checkpoints and this personal 
relationship makes it easier to cross with needed 
supplies and patients. (COMMENT:  This echoes 
comments by Petrovic that personal relationships 
trump professional ones in getting business done 
in Abkhazia.  END COMMENT.) 
 
Play it Again Shamba, The Chakaberia-Sigua Tune 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
15.  (C) The team met with Abkhaz de facto foreign 
minister Sergey Shamba and his deputy Maxim Gvinja. 
Poloff encouraged Shamba to consider allowing the GoG 
to distribute textbooks on non-controversial subjects 
to Gali schools.  She also encouraged him to revisit 
the new property law, which does not permit property 
to be returned to ethnic Georgians who left Abkhazia 
after the civil war, and to revisit the citizenship law 
which does not allow dual Georgian-Abkhaz citizenship. 
She noted that both of these issues would again be noted 
in the Human Rights Report.  Poloff said that the U.S. 
would likely be willing to fund a joint Georgian-Abkhaz 
NATO tour if the Abkhaz decided to participate.  Shamba 
 
TBILISI 00002092  005 OF 005 
 
 
initially was not receptive, focused on the Chakerbaia 
and Sigua cases, and tied any proposal to resolution of 
the Sigua case first.  After much back and forth, Shamba 
said that he would have to consult with his de facto 
minister of education on the textbook issue, but did not 
seem open to changing his position about this or on the 
property or citizenship laws.  He claimed that the Abkhaz 
remain ready to follow-up on the Bonn agreement (reftel A) 
to restart the Quadripartite Meetings and participate in a 
joint investigation of the Sigua case, but that the Georgians 
were holding it up. 
 
16.  (C) With regard to passportization, Shamba said that the 
Abkhaz are not able to verify if ethic Georgians already have 
Georgian passports when they apply for Abkhaz passports.  As 
for passport issuance, he stated that only 20 per cent of 
Abkhazia currently has passports. He denied that the lack of a

Abkhaz passport would prevent ethnic Georgians from voting, 
implying that how to handle this sensitive political issue 
was yet to be decided by the de facto authorities.  He stated 
that during the last elections all were allowed to vote, 
noting that Form 9s were accepted for this purpose, although 
he admitted that Abkhaz passports were not widely available 
at the time.  Shamba said however, that all would have Abkhaz 
passports prior to the next Presidential election.  He 
expressed frustration at what he referred to was constant 
criticism from the international community regarding Abkhaz 
passports and other issues of import to only the Georgians. 
Shamba stated that perhaps a green card system would work and 
he was open to new solutions to the problem. Poloff encouraged 
Shamba to implement the legislation in a way that does not 
force ethnic Georgians to give up their citizenship in order 
to participate in political life in Abkhazia. 
 
Sukhumi Council for the Civic Minded 
------------------------------------- 
 
17.  (C)  Poloffs had lunch with representatives from the NGO 
community in Sukhumi on 2 August.  NGOs noted problems similar 
to those reported by Gali NGOs including the lack of a fair 
judicial system, widespread corruption and de facto control 
over media sources.  Representatives there told us of a new 
civil council formulated to liaise between government structures 
and local citizens in resolving issues.  NGO representatives 
told us that there is not much opportunity for local press 
to report other than the government's official word.  Most 
NGOs focused on legal assistance to local residents and 
improving conditions for prisoners in Abkhazia's prison 
(reftel B.) 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
18.  (C)  In our meetings with Shamba we sensed a slight 
hardening in the Abkhaz position. When Shamba continued to 
focus on Chakerbaia and Sigua, we reminded him that 
Chakerbaia was released due to DAS Bryza and Ambassador 
Tefft's intervention and that we fully supported an 
investigation into Sigua.  Strikingly, there were a lot 
of Russian tourists in Sukhumi (and even more we heard 
from farther North) making the newly renovated hotel where 
we stayed a lively place.  There were numerous Russian 
tourists at the train station, in the hotel bar, on the 
street, and in the restaurants.  Still, traveling back 
from Sukhumi, the stark difference between the potholed 
streets and decayed infrastructure in Abkhazia (and especially 
in Gali) and across the Inguri Bridge to Zugdidi (where the 
GoG has just paved a new road) remains a palpable reminder 
of the difference in outlook, mindset and opportunity 
between the two sides of the river.  End Comment. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2091, REVENUE SERVICE HEAD POSITIVE ABOUT TAX AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2091 2007-08-21 13:21 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5850
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2091/01 2331321
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211321Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7378
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002091 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EB/IFD/OMA 
COMMERCE FOR 4231 DANICA STARKS, MOSCOW FOR USDA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON PGOV GG
SUBJECT: REVENUE SERVICE HEAD POSITIVE ABOUT TAX AND 
CUSTOMS REFORMS 
 
REF: A. 06 TBILISI 2698 
 
     B. TBILISI 01791 
     C. TBILISI 01456 
 
TBILISI 00002091  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. Summary.  On August 8, Mindia Gadaevi, head of Georgia's 
Revenue Service, discussed with Econoffs the progress made to 
date in the reorganized service, which includes customs and 
tax departments and elements of the former Financial Police. 
Tax revenues are up by one third year on year in the first 
quarter of 2007 as the gray economy becomes legalized.  The 
Revenue Service is targeting its tax auditing and customs 
resources and looking to the Internet as a medium for 
taxpayer obligations.  Gadaevi dismissed predictions that an 
increase in the personal income tax effective next year will 
have negative consequences on employees.  End Summary. 
 
2. On August 8, Econoffs met with Mindia Gadaevi, head of 
Georgia's Revenue Service to discuss progress made during his 
first five months in office.  He said he sees his role as a 
strategic manager instead of the head tax or customs 
investigator.  He and his staff have developed a strategy for 
the Revenue Service, which combines the tax administration 
and customs, as well as elements of the former Financial 
Police--following the Estonian model (ref A).  Although an 
IMF expert gave advice on development of the strategy, 
Gadaevi said, the Revenue Service decided to do almost 
everything the opposite way.  Nevertheless, the IMF reviewed 
the strategy, he said, and accepted it as a good effort.  The 
Service aims to increase revenues, reduce the shadow economy, 
prevent corruption, maintain a positive image, and increase 
customer satisfaction. 
 
Revenue Increases 
----------------- 
 
3. Gadaevi said that statistics for the first quarter of 2007 
show tax revenues increased by 30-35 percent from the same 
period last year.  Gadaevi attributes the continuing strong 
growth in tax revenue to a combination of economic growth, 
more efficient tax administration, tougher enforcement and 
the legalization of the gray economy as more businesses 
decide it is better to be on the legal side of the law.  The 
Revenue Service is in the process of closing various informal 
markets, or bazrobas.  The action will cost many people their 
jobs, but Gadaevi contends the cost to the economy of the 
illegal and unaccountable commercial activity is greater than 
than the social cost of the lost jobs.  Business owners are 
realizing there is a competitive advantage to being 
compliant, and the tax system is now more or less stabilized, 
he said.  One advantage to compliance, he said, comes in the 
form of Value-Added Tax (VAT) refunds.  Some businesses claim 
that the Revenue Service is exceedingly slow to refund VAT. 
Gadaevi said he has met personally with several 
businesspeople who raised such complaints and discovered that 
many had never even applied for their refunds in the first 
place.  The Revenue Service is launching an advertising 
campaign to urge businesses to apply for their VAT refunds 
and promising a one-month turnaround for straightforward 
cases. 
 
Targeted use of Resources 
------------------------- 
 
4.  Gadaevi said that the current pace of reform in both the 
tax and customs departments cannot continue because almost 
all necessary improvements are in place.  He joked that there 
will be no job for him next year.  Now the Service will focus 
on risk management to more effectively target its resources, 
he said.  In the Tax Department, 350 auditors will target 
companies where the risk of not paying is high.  According to 
Gadaevi, 640 large companies produce 70 percent of state tax 
receipts.  At the same time, the Customs Department is 
developing a Gold List of high-volume, thoroughly vetted 
businesses which can submit customs clearance documents 
electronically.  Gadaevi said the Revenue Service has not 
been involved at all with developing the Poti Free Trade Zone 
(ref B), but he expects the zone will create new jobs. 
Gadaevi expects taxpayers will be able to perform more and 
more of their obligations via the Internet in the future. 
 
Merger of Income and Social Security Taxes 
------------------------------------------ 
 
5. Gadaevi was confident that after the recently enacted 
elimination of the social tax and increase of the personal 
 
TBILISI 00002091  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
income tax from 12 to 25 percent takes effect in January 2008 
(ref C), employers will increase wages to compensate their 
employees, despite widespread concern to the contrary.  He 
predicted that when the state raises gross salaries by 20 
percent, as it intends to do after the social tax is 
abolished, all large businesses will raise salaries 
accordingly.  Busine
sses that fail to follow will lose their 
competitive advantage and have internal problems with their 
employees, he claimed.  Since the combined taxes will be 
withheld from employee's paychecks, employees would 
immediately feel the pinch if their net wages are not 
increased.  Thus, an employer's failure to increase wages 
would not escape his employees' notice.  Gadaevi said there 
will be no benefit gained for businesses who do not increase 
the net salaries. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6. Comment: AmCham officials confirmed that large employers, 
especially American ones, are planning to keep their bottom 
line the same, which actually will result in a net increase 
of 2.7 percent for the employee.  AmCham officials could not 
confirm, however, that all small and medium-sized 
enterprises, especially in the regions where unemployment is 
higher, will follow the larger companies' lead.  Elguja 
Meladze, President of the Georgian Employers' Association, 
told Econoff that the majority, 60-65 percent, of employers 
will increase employees' gross salaries.  We will continue to 
urge our contacts within the private sector to keep their 
bottom-line operating costs the same and not let the 
employees take the tax hit.  End Comment. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2090, ABKHAZIA: UN BASE ESTABLISHED IN UPPER KODORI

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2090 2007-08-21 13:20 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5845
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2090/01 2331320
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211320Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7376
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002090 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM GG
SUBJECT: ABKHAZIA:  UN BASE ESTABLISHED IN UPPER KODORI 
VALLEY 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1604 
 
     B. TBILISI 2043 
 
Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES MARK X. PERRY.  REASONS: 
1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C)  Summary:  On August 16, the UN Special Representative 
of the Secretary General (SRSG) Jean Arnault and the Chief of 
the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) General Khattak 
provided the Friends of the Secretary General (FSG) an update 
on the situation in Abkhazia, following the Geneva-style 
meeting in Bonn (reftel A.)  On the Upper Kodori Valley, 
Khattak said that the UN had now set up a permanent base in 
the village of Azhara.  On the Sigua case, Khattak reported 
that the first meeting of the Joint Fact Finding Group was 
August 6 and a follow-on meeting is scheduled for August 21. 
On the patriotic camp in Ganmukhuri, Khattak relayed 
continued Abkhaz concerns but said there were no reports of 
military activities at the camp, which he believed would be 
closed by October.  On resumption of the Quadripartite 
Meetings (QPM), Arnault said the UN expected a positive 
response soon from the Georgians to the new format proposed 
by the UN.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) On August 16, UN SRSG Arnault and UNOMIG General 
Khattak briefed the FSG on the situation in Abkhazia as a 
follow-up to the Geneva-style meeting in Bonn.  German 
Ambassador Flor, British Ambassador Keefe, French Ambassador 
Fournier, U.S. Charge Perry and Russian Third Secretary 
Kurenkov participated on behalf of the Friends. 
 
UPPER KODORI:  UN BASE ESTABLISHED, NEED TO SEPARATE FORCES 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
 
3. (C) Khattak began with a briefing on the situation in the 
Upper Kodori Valley (UKV).  He said the UN had established a 
team base in the village of Azhara, although it was too newly 
established to provide an assessment of the security 
situation.  He expressed some concern over the strength of 
the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) presence in the UKV, 
which he assessed to be more than the 576 officers declared 
by the Georgians based on log books maintained by UNOMIG 
checkpoint 302.  He noted a Georgian report of five 
helicopters observed on the evening of August 5, which the UN 
is investigating, and the UN report of helicopters seen above 
UKV on August 11, which he said were the President's escort 
helicopters scrambled in response to a morning incident in 
which Russian planes were spotted on the hills above the UKV 
(in Russian territory) on the same day as the President's 
visit.  The most important issue, Khattak underscored, is 
creating a line to separate the forces in UKV, as the Moscow 
Agreement is unclear on this point. 
 
4. (C) Khattak reviewed two complaints by the Georgians over 
checkpoints in Abkhazia.  He said Georgia registered a 
complaint about CIS Peacekeeping Force (PKF) checkpoint 302, 
which is on the main access road to the UKV.  Following an 
incident on July 28 involving a near confrontation between 
the PKF and a senior Georgian official, the Georgians 
complained that they had not been consulted on the 
establishment of the checkpoint and that the checkpoint did 
not have the right to inspect vehicles.  Khattak said that 
the checkpoint had been established in 1995 and had been 
making inspections since Georgia retook control of the UKV in 
2006.  He made a case for the importance of this checkpoint 
as well as two others (307 and 107) for monitoring what goes 
into the UKV.  Khattak said that following a meeting between 
the head of the PKF and the Georgian Ministry of Defense, the 
sides agreed that the checkpoint would inspect MIOA vehicles 
but not civilian traffic. 
 
5. (C) Separately, Khattak said Georgia registered a 
complaint about CIS PKF checkpoint 107 A, which is on the 
southern side of the de facto line of demarcation between 
Upper and Lower Kodori at broken bridge.  He said that 107 A 
was established as an outpost of checkpoint 107 following 
Georgia's retake of the UKV in July 2006.  Following the 
calming of tensions after the operation, the UN withdrew this 
position but re-established it on August 6.  Khattak 
characterized the outpost, which has line of sight into the 
UKV, as an appropriate step by PKF commander Chaban.  Khattak 
also briefed on a planned exercise by the Abkhaz militia 
August 20-24 which the Abkhaz said would include 6,000 
forces.  Khattak said the Abkhaz assured the UN that there 
would be no large exercises and said that UNOMIG had never 
seen a mobilization of more than 2-3,000 forces.  He said 
UNOMIG would monitor the exercises. 
 
SIGUA:  INVESTIGATION STARTED, SO FAR, SO GOOD 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
TBILISI 00002090  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
6. (C) Khattak said the Joint Fact Finding Group's first 
meeting, which he chaired, on the investigation into the 
disappearance of David Sigua, an ethnic Georgian who worked 
in the de fact administration, took place on August 6.
Mrs. 
Sigua and another relative were presented as witnesses.  He 
said the JFFG has not been able to establish a motive in the 
case.  He characterized the first meeting as professional and 
said that the next would take place on August 21 and would 
examine the alleged escape route and talk to Abkhaz militia 
who reportedly pursued Sigua's captors. 
 
PATRIOT CAMP:  NO EVIDENCE OF MILITARY ACTIVITY 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
7. (C) Khattak reported continued Abkhaz concerns over the 
Georgian patriot camp at Ganmukhuri, near the Abkhaz-Georgian 
ceasefire line.  The Abkhaz claim that foreign youth from 
GUAM countries are participating in the camp, although the UN 
could not confirm this.  He said 250-300 youth are 
participating in cultural activities and there are no reports 
of any military activities being conducted in the camp. 
Khattak assessed that there is a decrease in posturing on 
both sides over the camp and believed that the camp would be 
closed by October. 
 
QPMS:  GEORGIANS EXPECTED TO RESPOND POSITIVELY TO UN FORMAT 
--------------------------------------------- --------------- 
 
8. (C) On the resumption of the QPMs, Arnault said that the 
UN is expecting a positive response from the Georgians soon. 
The issue is with State Minister for Conflict Resolution 
Bakradze, whom he characterized as a good change because of 
his closeness to the President and his credibility within the 
ruling party.  German Ambassador Flor said she raised this 
with Bakradze, who said the issue was now before an 
inter-ministerial meeting including the MOIA and MOD.  He was 
aware the UN is owed an answer and noted that there are only 
small issues of concern such as whether the meetings could 
alternate between Zugdidi and Gali.  British Ambassador Keefe 
said he heard the same from Bakradze. 
 
CBMS:  IMPORTANT POINT OF CONTINUED FOCUS 
----------------------------------------- 
 
9. (C) Flor urged continued focus on the confidence building 
measures from the Bonn meeting, including a link with the 
Turkish diaspora, the opening of the port, and the return of 
internally displaced persons (IDPs.)  Arnault responded that 
the Georgian approach to the IDP issue has been ideological, 
demanding a return to all of Abkhazia without preconditions. 
He said a more measured, slower approach set out in a 2001 
declaration supporting a return to Gali in the first instance 
has been abandoned by the Georgian side.  He argued for the 
Georgians to adopt a practical solution and suggested one way 
for the Friends to help would be to ask the Georgians to come 
up with a realistic IDP strategy. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
10. (C) This meeting, which included Arnault, was a much more 
positive assessment of the situation than the one led by his 
deputy, Ivo Petrov, just two weeks before (reftel B).  Still, 
Khattak -- and by extension the UN's -- focus on the 
intricacies of checkpoints is at the heart of the complaints 
by the Georgians.  This issue is important and we will urge 
them to respond quickly and positively to the proposed format 
for the resumption of the QPMs, but at the same time, we need 
to press the UN to raise its sights to focus on the more 
strategic aspects of conflict resolution, including the 
return of IDPs and movement toward a political solution that 
resolves the conflict within Georgia.  We believe that absent 
some movement on the strategic front, it will become harder 
and harder to get Georgia to agree to confidence building 
measures as Georgia moves closer to Presidential and 
Parliamentary elections in 2008.  End comment. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

07TBILISI2089, GEORGIA MISSILE INVESTIGATION UPDATE — AUGUST 21

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2089 2007-08-21 11:52 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5767
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2089/01 2331152
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211152Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7374
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA IMMEDIATE 0027
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0081
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA IMMEDIATE 0018
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA IMMEDIATE 0017
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA IMMEDIATE 0012
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA IMMEDIATE 0017
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE 0013
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 0014

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002089 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV OSCE GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA MISSILE INVESTIGATION UPDATE -- AUGUST 21 
 
REF: TBILISI 2075 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mark X. Perry for reasons 1.4(b&d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) A second round of the International Group of Experts 
(IGE) has completed a report on the August 6 missile impact, 
endorsing the conclusions made by earlier experts while 
providing additional detail and more specific information to 
confirm that Georgian aircraft could not have fired the 
missile.  In a candid meeting with Charge halfway through his 
visit to Tbilisi, visiting OSCE representative Miomir Zuzul 
indicated it was clear to him that the August 6 missile came 
from a Russian plane that crossed into Georgia.  He said the 
Russian Ambassador had hotly disputed this charge, leading 
Zuzul to believe the Russians will not change their story, 
regardless of the evidence.  While saying the general picture 
of the incident was clear, Zuzul noted there was some 
difference of opinion on the motive: Georgian investigators 
tend to believe the missile was released as part of evasive 
maneuvers, while members of the current installment of the 
International Group of Experts (IGE) have spelled out in 
their report a "possible scenario" of an intentional attack. 
End Summary. 
 
New International Report Builds the Record 
------------------------------------------ 
2. (SBU) On August 21 post obtained (and e-mailed to EUR/CARC 
and elsewhere) the report produced by the second version of 
the IEG, consisting of two experts from Estonia, two from 
Poland, and one from the U.K.  The report endorsed the 
conclusions of the earlier IGE report, and added further 
technical details about the firing of the missile and the 
reaction of Georgian personnel manning a nearby radar 
installation, who turned off the radar when they spotted the 
missile.  The experts reported examining all Georgian SU-25 
aircraft and confirming that none of them could have fired 
the missile.  According to the report, the missile was made 
in Russia in 1992, and "within the region Russia is the only 
feasible nation capable of using the weapon correctly." 
While noting that the IGE is not claiming that the radar was 
deliberately attacked, the reports lays out a "possible 
scenario" in which the missile was launched intentionally, 
but then missed the target because it was unable to home in 
on the radar after it was deactivated. 
 
3. (SBU) The report makes a number of recommendations for 
further investigation, including seeking information from the 
Russian manufacturer, from pilots who fly this type of 
aircraft and use this missile, and radar tracks from 
neighboring countries.  In particular, the IGE argued that 
"more information about the incident could be determined if 
Russia supplied the military (primary) radar tracks in 
addition to the secondary tracks already received." 
 
Zuzul Sees a Clear Picture 
-------------------------- 
4. (C) Accompanied by Spain's Charge to OSCE Perez and Acting 
OSCE Head of Mission in Georgia Nikolaev, Zuzul, a former 
Croatian Foreign Minister acting as a Personal Representative 
of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, told Charge August 20 that 
there was a "clear general picture" of the August 6 incident, 
with compelling evidence that Russia was responsible.  He 
noted that there remained some disagreement about why the 
incident happened: members of the second wave of the IGE were 
inclined to the view that it was a planned Russian attack, 
while Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) 
investigators believed the missile was dropped as the plane 
tried to evade an attack by the South Ossetians, who 
apparently believed the plane was Georgian.  While 
acknowledging he was a layman and the IEG experts were 
impressive, Zuzul said he personally found the MOIA 
explanation more convincing, adding that it was notable that 
the Georgians favored an interpretation that cast Russian 
intentions in a less negative light. 
 
5. (C) Zuzul said his Georgian interlocutors had taken a 
constructive approach to the investigation, in contrast to 
Russian Ambassador Kovalenko.  Zuzul said Kovalenko had been 
highly agitated in their meeting, pitching a story that the 
Georgians fabricated the attack and showing no readiness to 
listen to other arguments.  Zuzul was not impressed with 
Kovalenko's "evidence," saying the Russian's arguments defied 
 
TBILISI 00002089  002 OF 002 
 
 
logic and contradicted themselves in a number of ways.  When 
Kovalenko criticized the IGE investigation, Zuzul told him 
the IGE was willing to meet with Russian experts, but 
Kovalenko did not respond to the offer.  Zuzul said that, 
despite the strong evidence, he thought it highly unlikely 
the Russians would "change their story" and admit 
responsibility. 
 
6. (C) Zuzul agreed with Charge on the importance of 
responding to this incident in a way that will deter future 
such incidents, recognizing that another missile attack could 
produce fatalities and lead to even greater problems.  Zuzul 
said that, in order to produce an even more credible and 
clear report of what happened, he was close to deciding to 
recommend that OSCE or the UN invite a higher-level group of 
experts for a more official report.  He said he envisioned 
Russia and Georgia being invited to participate, but he took 
Charge's point that it would be problematic to include the 
accused parties in the investigation.  He also expressed 
interest in the idea of OSCE providing a radar expert to work 
with the Georgians, in order to provide an independent 
confirmation of airspace incursions, at least until Georgia 
is linked up to NATO radar this fall. 
 
Comment 
------- 
7. (C) We are somewhat skeptical of supporting another 
higher-level investigation by the OSCE or the UN.  We wonder 
how Zuzul, as a representative of the OSCE, can argue 
effectively at the OSCE for a higher-level investigation that 
excludes the Georgians and the Russians.  If the Russians and 
Georgians are included in the investigation, we would expect 
an outcome similar to the UN-led report on the March 11 
Kodori attack, which took months to generate and did not 
explicitly point out responsibility for the attack. 
 
 
PERRY

Wikileaks