07TBILISI2812, DAS BRYZA’S NOVEMBER 13 MEETING WITH GEORGIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2812 2007-11-14 14:05 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5952
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2812 3181405
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141405Z NOV 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8180
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002812 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA & EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: DAS BRYZA'S NOVEMBER 13 MEETING WITH GEORGIAN 
DEFENSE MINISTER KEZERASHVILI 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Georgian Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili told EUR 
DAS Matthew Bryza on November 13 he was concerned about a 
Russian build-up of peacekeeping forces at Ochamchira in 
Abkhazia, calling it a clear violation of the CFE treaty. 
Kezerashvili said the MOD was going to share with Embassies a 
video showing five newly-delivered T-72 tanks, artillery 
equipment, and between 200-300 troops at the base. 
Kezerashvili added he would not share the video with media 
until the embassies had seen it and been given a chance to 
react.  Kezerashvili said the Russian Peacekeeping Forces 
were also reinforcing checkpoints in Chkortali in South 
Ossetia and two checkpoints in Gali.  He said he feared this 
build-up was preparation for a possible Russian response to 
the anticipated declaration of Kosovo independence. 
 
2. (C) Kezerashvili also said Russian leadership was making a 
move during the 45-day period before the January 5 elections 
because the Russians perceive Saakashvili as too weak to 
react.  He said the build-up of Russian tanks and artillery 
equipment are a message from Russia.  He said Georgia would 
likely react in some way if the build-up is not stopped, but 
denied any plans to re-integrate Abkhazia or South Ossetia by 
force at this time.  He felt that while Georgia's 
international image is suffering, the Russians might be 
encouraged by a muted international reaction to the build-up. 
 Kezerashvili emphasized he wants to send a message to Europe 
that Georgia only wants Russia to withdraw the new troops and 
equipment. 
 
3. (C) Kezerashvili said he believes MAP is still possible, 
but it will depend on how the elections went in January.  He 
could make no guarantee there wouldn't be another incident in 
Abkhazia in the meantime.  DAS Bryza told the Minister he 
felt Georgia's chances for MAP suffered a serious blow during 
the latest domestic crisis, but if Georgia can restore faith 
in the electoral process and continue defense reforms, the 
United States could resume a full push for MAP for Georgia. 
Bryza emphasized his efforts with the Russians to avoid 
further incidents in Abkhazia to discourage them from sending 
more troops to Abkhazia.  He also assured Kezerashvili that 
the United States is pressing the Russians to stop the 
"revolving door" of Russian Peacekeeping forces training 
Abkhaz armed forces. 
 
4. (C) Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia offered a readout 
of his briefing of the NATO allies in Brussels, saying NATO 
did not react negatively to the Georgian plans to add a fifth 
brigade to its armed forces.  He said the brigade cannot be 
created in two months, but hoped it would be fully 
operational in one year, with part of it ready as early as 
Spring 2008. 
 
5. (U) DAS Bryza has seen this message. 
 
 
 
 
TEFFT

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