09TBILISI358, GEORGIA: MONITORS FIND NO BUILD-UP OF GEORGIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI358 2009-02-23 14:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9910
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0358 0541426
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231426Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1024
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 000358 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: MONITORS FIND NO BUILD-UP OF GEORGIAN 
FORCES ALONG ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARY 
 
REF: TBILISI 0082 
 
Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A.I. KENT LOGSDON 1.4(B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  According to recent briefings by the EU and 
UN in Tbilisi, European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and 
United Nations Observation Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) 
monitors conducted no-notice inspections of Georgian Ministry 
of Internal Affairs (MOIA) police stations and checkpoints 
along the administrative boundaries with South Ossetia and 
Abkhazia the week of February 17.  They found no evidence to 
substantiate Russian allegations of Georgian special forces 
(spetznaz) build-up.  Both organizations characterized the 
Georgians as cooperative, showing good will to honor their 
commitment to the Georgian Memorandum of Agreement on prior 
notification of movement of forces.  End Summary. 
 
No-Notice Inspections 
--------------------- 
 
2.  (C)  Both EUMM and UNOMIG conducted no-notice inspections 
at MOIA police stations and check points, as well as Senaki 
military base, during the week of February 17.  On February 
19, Ambassador Haber told representatives at an EUMM weekly 
update that on the previous day EUMM monitors had visited 33 
police stations and checkpoints along the administrative 
boundary with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  The EUMM observers 
noted that the number of Georgian police forces were 
approximately the same as when EUMM monitors first got access 
to the former "buffer zone" on October 7, 2008.  He noted 
that EUMM monitors generally received full access and 
Georgians counterparts were  cooperative.  UNOMIG reports 
indicated that Russian allegations were that there were 
approximately 2000 Georgian MOIA and military personnel with 
heavy weapons in the areas adjacent to Abkhazia. 
 
3.  (C)  According to a February 23 briefing by the UN, on 
February 19-20 UNOMIG launched patrols to all MOIA 
observation points along the cease-fire line and Senaki 
military base.  UNOMIG reports noted that the Commander of 
the Second Department of the Special Task Force (MOIA) 
confirmed that his men (numbering 200) were being replaced 
temporarily by 177 policemen from the third department. 
During this transition phase, the commander would remain in 
charge and one officer from the second department would 
remain at each of the four main MOIA stations.  The temporary 
change was to permit second department to conduct training in 
Tbilisi.  The MOIA listed 14 observation points along the 
cease-fire line, which corresponded to UNOMIG figures.  The 
Georgian MOD representative, Colonel Pashtiani, told UNOMIG 
monitors on February 20, that there were no Georgian military 
troops adjacent to the Cease-Fire Line (CFL).  UNOMIG 
monitors confirmed that lack of heavy weapons on the Georgian 
side of the CFL and absence of any unusual activity at Senaki 
military base.  EUMM teams, who had also been at Senaki base 
earlier, also confirmed this finding. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
4. (C)  Both EUMM and UNOMIG verified Georgian MOIA strengths 
during the same week, ostensibly without coordinating with 
each other.  In a Febuary 23 meeting, UN SRSG Ambassador 
Verbeke discussed with the Charge, and British and German 
Ambassadors the future of the UNOMIG observer mission, how 
coordination between EUMM and UNOMIG could work, and 
provisions that would be acceptable to all sides involved. 
He suggested that the UN and EU needed to intensify 
cooperation given the distinct possibility that there would 
be no OSCE future monitoring mission.  There was a 
discrepancy on how UNOMIG and EUMM report violations, 
specifically the quantity and type of equipment in the 
Qspecifically the quantity and type of equipment in the 
restricted zone.  UNOMIG, OSCE, and EUMM representatives met 
on February 19, to discuss how an incident management scheme 
would work and will meet again February 23 to submit various 
proposals to the group.  Even if these parties who have a 
stake in the continuing monitoring missions have not signed 
an agreement on how it would work for now, the three 
monitoring missions themselves are beginning to talk amongst 
themselves about technical aspects of how future operations 
would work. 
LOGSDON

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