08TBILISI1204, GEORGIA RECALLS AMBASSADOR, ASKS FOR HELP IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1204 2008-07-11 12:58 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4952
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1204 1931258
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111258Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9742
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001204 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/11/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA RECALLS AMBASSADOR, ASKS FOR HELP IN 
PROTESTING RUSSIAN FIGHTERS 
 
REF: 1170 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Georgia Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Vashadze 
called in the Ambassadors representing the Western Friends of 
the Secretary General to the MFA on July 11 to ask for 
Western support in the UNSC and OSCE regarding July 8 
overflights by Russian fighter planes over South Ossetia. 
The Russian MFA admitted July 10 that Russia conducted the 
flights.  Deputy FM Vashadze said Georgia recalled its 
Ambassador to Russia the same day to protest the flagrant 
violation of Georgia's sovereignty.  He said the overflights 
were timed to coincide with Secretary Rice's July 9-10 visit. 
 Vashadze said the only such example he could recall of a 
nation openly admitting it had violated another nation's 
sovereignty occurred when "Israel bombed Osirak."  He said he 
believes Russia's next provocative step will be to establish 
representative offices in Sukhumi next week. 
 
2. (C) Vashadze said the incursion ended any chance for a 
possible summit between Presidents Saakashvili and Medvedev 
this summer.  The Georgians believe PM Putin is continuing to 
direct Russia's policy toward Georgia.  Recent reports of 
Russian casualties in Ingushetia led Vashadze to believe a 
wider war in the Northern Caucasus is possible.  Vashadze 
said "any armed conflict would be the end of Georgia as we 
know it."  (Note: On July 11 Interfax carried a story 
claiming Nika Rurua, Deputy Chairman of Parliament's Defense 
and National Security Committee, said Georgia would shoot 
down any future Russian intruders into Georgian airspace. 
End note.)  Ultimately, Vashadze believes Russia is 
increasing tensions so the Europeans will oppose MAP for 
Georgia.  He claimed that the postponement of MAP in April 
had only resulted in Russia's "military aggression and the 
threat of all-out war."  Vashadze said the "only medicine for 
all this conflict is MAP in December." 
 
3. (C) The Ambassador told the group the U.S. will likely 
support Georgia in both the UNSC and OSCE, but that he 
understood UNSC consideration would have to wait until next 
week after Friday's consideration of the Zimbabwe question. 
 
4. (C) The French Ambassador said "it was no coincidence" the 
July 8 violation of Georgia's airspace took place the same 
day the OSCE Ambassadors met in Kurta, South Ossetia.  He 
said Georgian FM Tkeshelashvili will meet French FM Bernard 
Kouchner next week, and this timely visit should show French 
support to the process.  The German Ambassador thanked 
Georgia for its continuing restraint and encouraged the 
government to maintain it.  She said Russia's actions 
strengthen Georgia's position in Europe and "Western capitals 
are coming together on this" and support Georgia.  She 
confirmed that "we will never let Russia influence our 
decision" on MAP for Georgia.  She noted that German Special 
Envoy Hans-Dieter Lucas will arrive in Tbilisi this weekend 
to express Germany's high-level support regarding the 
conflict regions. 
TEFFT

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