08TBILISI714, RUSSIA INCREASING NUMBER OF PEACEKEEPERS IN ABKHAZ

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI714 2008-04-29 14:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0826
PP RUEHBW RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0714/01 1201423
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291423Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9357
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000714 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/30/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: RUSSIA INCREASING NUMBER OF PEACEKEEPERS IN ABKHAZ 
CONFLICT ZONE 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  On April 29, the commander of the CIS 
peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia, Sergei Chaban, sent a letter 
to Georgian Minister of Defense David Kezerashvili informing 
him that the CIS PKF will increase the size of its 
peacekeeping contingent in the Abkhaz conflict zone.  In the 
letter Chaban expresses his support for the peaceful 
resolution of the conflict and draws attention to recent 
Georgian violations of the 1994 Moscow agreement, including 
continued presence of Georgian troops in the Upper Kodori 
Gorge and overflights of Georgian UAVs.  Chaban concludes the 
letter by saying that "to ensure stability in the region the 
CIS CPF Command has made the decision to increase (the number 
of) the peacekeeping contingent in the conflict zone in 
Abkhazia, Georgia, within the limits defined by the Decision 
of the Council of the Heads of CIS States signed on August 
22, 1994."  That agreement calls for a peacekeeping force 
composed of "2-3 thousand people, as well as military 
observers."  UNOMIG estimates the current CIS PKF strength to 
be 1,800 personnel in the Security Zone plus an additional 
200 stationed in Sukhumi and Gaudauta.  President Saakashvili 
told the Ambassador that the Russians would bring an 
additional 1,000 troops, which he saw as a further attempt at 
Russian annexation of Abkhazia.  An additional 1,000 
peacekeepers would bring Russia at or near the upper limit of 
the 1994 CIS agreement.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (U)  Letter from Chaban to Kezerashvili 
 
Begin text: 
 
Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Conflict Zone 
Unified Staff of the Peacekeeping Group in the Zone of 
Georgia-Abkhazia Conflict 
 
Sukhumi, No. 536 
April 29, 2008 
 
To Minister of Defense of Georgia 
D. Kezerashvili 
 
Dear Mr. Minister: 
 
First of all please allow me to express my respect to you and 
the hope for regulation of the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict. 
 
I deem necessary to assure you that the CIS CPF Command 
supports the idea of solving all disputed issues between the 
Georgian and Abkhaz sides solely by peaceful ways at a 
negotiation table. 
 
A significant stabilizing role of the CIS CPF, (and) 
effectiveness of their cooperation with UNOMIG was noted 
again in Resolution 1808 adopted by the UNSC on April 15, 
2008. 
 
At the same time, the Georgian side is continuing voicing 
groundless claims against the Russian peacekeepers.  The 
commitments of the Moscow Agreement "On Cease-fire and 
Separation of Forces" of May 14, 1994, are not fulfilled and 
the UNSC recommendations are ignored.  In the upper part of 
the Kodori Gorge, which according to the agreements, should 
be a demilitarized zone, is still located a grouping of the 
Georgian power structures.  Near the line of separation of 
the sides along the Inguri River in the Security Zone and in 
the Kodori Gorge as well, contrary to the UNSC 
recommendations, are continuing functioning the patriotic 
camps, on the basis of which a rather serious armed grouping 
may be deployed. 
 
Besides that, recently above the security zone have been 
frequently flying UAVs and combat air forces of Georgia, this 
is something that menaces the CIS CPF activity. 
 
Our concerns are caused by the fact that Georgia does not 
agree to sign with the de-facto Abkhaz authorities the 
protocol on non-use of force and continues the buildup of its 
military potential in the Kodori Gorge, in Western Georgia, 
near the line of separation of the conflict sides.  This fact 
is violation of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the "Moscow Agreement 
on Cease-fire and Separation of Forces" of May 14, 1994, 
which states that in the Security Zone should be located no 
armed forces of the conflicting sides, as well as Paragraph 2 
of the "Gali Meeting of the Georgian and Abkhaz Sides 
concerning the Issues of Stabilization of the Situation in 
the Security Zone", according to which the personnel of armed 
groupings in the Security Zone should not exceed 600 men. 
 
Against the Russian peacekeepers is waged a campaign of 
 
TBILISI 00000714  002 OF 002 
 
 
slander, provocations and threats.  Contrary to the UNSC 
Resolution No. 1808, which calls to the conflicting parties 
to ensure proper security and freedom of movement of the CIS 
CPF, are taking place the facts of restriction of the CIS CPF 
servicemen in the armament restriction zone and in separate 
parts of the Southern Security Zone. 
 
The power cut-off of the posts in the Southern Security Zone 
with no prior notification demonstrates disregard by the 
Georgian side of Article 7 of the Protocol "On the Status of 
the Group of Military Observers and Collective Peacekeeping 
Forces" adopted by the Council of Heads of CIS on May 15 1992. 
 
Such actions by the Georgian leadership are causing grounded 
concerns over the process of peaceful regulation of the 
Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. 
 
To ensure stability in the region the CIS CPF Command has 
made a decision to increase (the number of) the pe
acekeeping 
contingent in the conflict zone in Abkhazia, Georgia, within 
the limits defined by the Decision of the Council of the 
Heads of CIS States signed on August 22, 1994. 
 
I draw your attention to the fact that when making this 
decision the CIS CPF Command has been guided solely by the 
intention to preserve peace and not to allow casualties on 
the part of the sides to the conflict, as well as the CIS CPF 
servicemen and UNOMIG personnel. 
 
With respect, 
 
Commander of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the 
Conflict Zone in Abkhazia, Georgia 
 
S. Chaban 
Major-General 
 
End text. 
TEFFT

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