08TBILISI1833, GEORGIA: HEAD OF EU MONITORING MISSION GIVES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1833 2008-10-02 15:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7164
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1833/01 2761521
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021521Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0195
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0124

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001833 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: HEAD OF EU MONITORING MISSION GIVES 
OPERATIONAL OVERVIEW 
 
REF: TBILISI 1810 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary and comment.  On October 2, Head of the EU 
Monitoring Mission in Georgia, Ambassador Hansjorg Haber, 
informed diplomatic colleagues about the mission and its 
plans.  Although all 225 civilian monitors are in place, the 
mission expects all 127 support staff will arrive only by the 
end of October.  The mission is still getting organized and 
making plans.  Three patrols successfully passed Russian 
checkpoints October 1 outside South Ossetia, but patrols in 
western Georgia have not yet approached Russian checkpoints 
there.  The mission will not seek to enter Abkhazia or South 
Ossetia proper until after October 10, when the Russians have 
left undisputed Georgian territory.  Haber sees the mission's 
mandate as fourfold: stabilization, normalization, confidence 
building, and reporting.  He is already thinking about 
tailoring the mission's structure to handle such sensitive 
areas as the Enguri Dam and Georgian villages north of the 
Enguri.  Post notes the mission still has some wrinkles to 
work out, including information flow between the mission and 
its EU member country embassies in Tbilisi.  End summary and 
comment. 
 
GETTING THINGS GOING 
 
2. (C) In a briefing for EU member diplomatic missions, UN 
agencies (including UNOMIG), the OSCE, and the U.S. Embassy, 
Haber provided a detailed update on the EU Monitoring Mission 
(EUMM), its progress getting established, its purpose and its 
plans.  Placing a priority on getting the monitors themselves 
in country, the EUMM successfully placed 225 civilian 
monitors -- 25 more than the 200 originally planned -- in 
their posts by October 1.  It will take a bit longer to get 
all administrative support systems established, but Haber 
expects to have 127 support staff in place by the end of 
October (including 87 at the Tbilisi headquarters), as well 
as 50 armored vehicles.  Their communication systems, 
provided by Sweden, are already good.  Although the field 
offices are doing well, the main headquarters in Tbilisi, 
currently co-located with the OSCE, is suffering the most 
gaps, with personnel for such areas as procurement, 
logistics, interpretation, health care and accounting still 
being selected.  When fully staffed, the EUMM will include an 
operations room, reporting officers, an analytical cell, and 
three political advisors. 
 
3. (C) Haber explained that the EUMM's primary partner within 
the Georgian government would be the Interior Ministry, for 
whom the mission would have three liaison officers.  He noted 
that careful coordination with the Georgian police will be 
crucial leading up to Russia's presumed October 10 departure 
from undisputed Georgian territory. and thereafter the 
mission would continue to coordinate its movements in the 
areas adjacent to South Ossetia with the police.  He noted 
that tension has been highest in the areas along the 
administrative boundary, and therefore the final withdrawal 
from that area of Russian troops, and the subsequent arrival 
of Georgian police and the monitors, would therefore need to 
be carefully orchestrated.  The mission will also be 
coordinating with the OSCE and UNOMIG in Georgia.  Haber 
called them "mutually reinforcing institutions, but made 
clear that the three have different mandates and would 
therefore maintain independence. 
 
4. (C) The mission is also coordinating with Russian forces, 
with General Kulakhmetov in the South Ossetia region and 
Colonel Rogozin in the Abkhazia region.  Haber suggested that 
the Russians consider South Ossetia more sensitive and 
therefore have more senior military officials there than in 
Abkhazia.  EUMM representatives have found Kulakhmetov to be 
an inconsistent interlocutor; Haber described him as "frosty" 
at times.  Kulakhmetov's statements were apparently the 
source of the September 30 press story that EU monitors would 
not be allowed past Russian checkpoints on October 1 (the 
monitors did in fact pass the checkpoints).  Kulakhmetov has 
also made a series of unreasonable demands in order for the 
EUMM to have access to South Ossetia.  Haber suggested he 
would stay open to discussion of any proposals from the 
Russian side, but would not accept any preconditions and 
would continue to seek to fulfill the mission's mandate. 
 
THE MANDATE 
 
5. (C) Haber outlined the EUMM's basic mandate as having four 
parts: 1) stabilization; 2) normalization; 3) confidence 
building; and 4) reporting.  To stabilize the situation, 
Haber said the monitors would focus on the movements of 
troops, on the work of police, and on irregular forces. 
 
TBILISI 00001833  002 OF 002 
 
 
Although the mission has no "executive mandate," he said the 
monitors would try to observe these particular elements 
carefully.  To normalize the situation, the monitors would 
try to help establish conditions that allow for the return of 
the civilian population and Internally Displaced Persons &#x00
0A;(IDPs).  To build confidence, the monitors would look for 
opportunities to undertake "transboundary tasks."  One 
example Haber offered was the cooperation of law enforcement 
officials from the two sides.  Finally, to cover the 
mission's reporting responsibilities, Haber said his team 
would seek to provide a steady stream of information to 
Brussels, in particular leading up to the Geneva talks, and 
to avoid gaps in the information.  He noted this might be a 
difficult task at times, considering a "troika" of EU 
officials all working in same area: Haber himself, the EU 
Special Representative for the Georgia Conflict Pierre Morel, 
and EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter 
Semneby. 
 
6. (C) Because of the special sensitivity of some areas, 
Haber said the mission is considering some special 
arrangements.  He is considering setting up a satellite 
office, run out of the Zugdidi field office, near the Enguri 
Dam.  The mission is also discussing ways to keep careful 
tabs on the portions of undisputed Georgian territory north 
of the Enguri River, such as Ganmukhuri and Khurcha, which 
have seen considerable tension in recent weeks.  Haber also 
said the mission would eventually undertake night patrols, 
because so many incidents are reported to have occurred at 
night.  He noted, however, that he is waiting for rules of 
procedures on such steps from Brussels. 
 
COMMENT: AN IMPRESSIVE EFFORT, BUT STILL SOME KINKS 
 
7. (C) Sitting in a briefing given by an EU mission to 
representatives of fellow EU member states was quite telling. 
 One ambassador asked to what extent the EUMM, rather than 
bilateral embassies, would be providing support to the 
citizens of that country; it was clear that the EUMM had not 
yet discussed the issue at length with the bilateral 
missions.  When told that monitors' reports would be edited 
in Brussels before they would be provided locally, a British 
official, clearly suspicious, asked in what way the reports 
would be edited, pointedly asking whether "really unpleasant 
incidents" would be edited out.  Although Haber and his team 
have clearly done an impressive job getting a complex mission 
up and running in a short time, they still have some work to 
do to provide useful information in an efficient manner to 
the outside world.  End comment. 
TEFFT

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