09TBILISI593, GEORGIA: OSCE CIO BAKOYANNIS BRINGS LITTLE TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI593 2009-03-24 14:54 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5972
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0593/01 0831454
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241454Z MAR 09 ZDK ZUI HKB4562
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1250
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0191
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4812
RUEHUNV/UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 4015

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000593 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2019 
TAGS: PREL MOPS KBTS GR RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: OSCE CIO BAKOYANNIS BRINGS LITTLE TO 
TBILISI 
 
TBILISI 00000593  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  In a March 23 visit to Tbilisi, OSCE 
Chairman-in-Office Bakoyannis reviewed progress in 
negotiating a new OSCE mandate for Georgia with Foreign 
Minister Vashadze.  According to Georgian MFA and OSCE staff, 
Bakoyannis praised Georgia for its flexibility both privately 
and publicly, but offered no new ideas, saying that she is 
waiting for Russian feedback.  Vashadze expressed his 
approval of the current Greek proposal, even offering to sign 
it on the spot, but urged Bakoyannis to push for resolution 
of the process, both to put pressure on the Russians and to 
give sufficient time to plan for an alternate scenario, 
should no new mandate be approved.  Bakoyannis said she had 
no alternate scenario; her goal is to focus all her energy on 
a renewed mandate.  On March 24, post received word of a new 
Greek proposal that apparently incorporates Russian comments 
on the previous version.  In a later conversation, Vashadze 
told the Ambassador this new proposal was completely 
unacceptable and said it was time to bring the process to a 
close based on the proposal he discussed with Bakoyannis.  He 
also suspected the Russians are seeking to kill the OSCE and 
possibly the Geneva process, with a view to focus on the UN 
and their Security Council veto.  End summary. 
 
MFA: NOTHING NEW 
 
2. (C) MFA Director of International Relations Sergi 
Kapanadze told EmbOff that CiO Bakoyannis brought nothing new 
to her March 23 meeting with FM Vashadze.  She told the 
minister that she was waiting for feedback from the Russian 
side on the Greek proposal from the previous week, which 
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov promised her within a few 
days.  Kapanadze said Vashadze made clear that the Georgians 
could accept the Greek proposal, even offering to sign it 
right then and there.  Vashadze also urged Bakoyannis, 
however, to push for resolution of the process and not to 
allow the Russians to drag it out indefinitely.  Kapanadze 
explained that the Georgians would be willing to consider 
Russian comments on the Greek proposal, and in fact (despite 
his minister's offer to sign on the spot) had a few comments 
of their own, but they would not be willing to consider a new 
proposal from the Russians. 
 
3. (C)  Kapanadze added that it was important to push for a 
conclusion of the process for two reasons.  First, it would 
put pressure on the Russians to take a position.  Second, 
should the effort to renew the mandate fail, it would provide 
sufficient time for an alternate scenario to be worked out. 
According to Kapanadze, however, Bakoyannis made clear to 
Vashadze that she currently has no such "Plan B" -- that her 
focus is on achieving a compromise mandate.  She also said 
she would try to be as flexible as possible and exhaust all 
avenues in achieving that compromise.  She added that she 
hoped to reach some kind of resolution by April 15. 
 
4. (C) Kapanadze noted that several "Plan B" ideas were 
circulating in Vienna, such as running programs in Georgia 
through ODIHR, or through the High Commissioner for National 
Minorities, or through a restructured Economic Recovery 
Program (ERP).  The Georgian side does not yet have a formal 
position on these ideas, and it would take some time to 
determine which would be the most useful and then to work out 
Qdetermine which would be the most useful and then to work out 
a plan for implementation.  The OSCE would therefore need to 
start such discussions well before the mandate expires in 
June.  He thought Bakoyannis's choice of April 15 as a 
deadline for movement on the mandate discussion seemed 
arbitrary and suggested there was no reason to wait nearly 
another month.  Furthermore, Kapanadze noted that OSCE Head 
of Mission Hakala has indicated that the process of shutting 
down the mission will become irreversible by the end of April 
-- so the window of opportunity for considering alternate 
arrangements is closing soon. 
 
OSCE: NOT MUCH TO REPORT 
 
5. (C) In a separate meeting, Special Assistant to the OSCE 
Head of Mission Matthew Goodstein confirmed that Bakoyannis's 
meeting with Vashadze was not too substantive.  He 
characterized the situation as bringing us "back to square 
one," because we are once awaiting Russian feedback on a 
Greek proposal.  He offered a bit more explanation for 
Bakoyannis's focus on achieving a new mandate: she suggested 
to Vashadze that closure of the OSCE mission in Georgia would 
have a very negative impact on the Geneva process, and that 
the EU Monitoring Mission could not replace the OSCE 
 
TBILISI 00000593  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
monitors.  Bakoyannis also made clear that she was absolutely 
commit
ted to Georgia's territorial integrity, and this 
principle was not-negotiable in the discussions of a new 
mandate. 
 
VASHADZE: THE RUSSIANS MIGHT WANT TO KILL OSCE AND GENEVA 
 
6. (C) Shortly after the meetings with Kapanadze and 
Goodstein, post received a copy of a brand new Greek proposal 
that apparently adopted suggestions recently given the Greeks 
by the Russians.  In a separate meeting with the Ambassador, 
Vashadze indicated this new proposal, which does not provide 
for free movement for military monitors across the South 
Ossetian administrative boundary and incorporates Russian but 
not Georgian comments, was completely unacceptable.  He said 
it was time to push for a final conclusion of the 
negotiations based on the proposal he discussed with 
Bakoyannis.  He also reported hearing from French sources a 
readout of a recent conversation between Russian Deputy 
Foreign Minister Karasin and the French politial director in 
Moscow, in which Karasin skipped past a discussion of the 
OSCE to focus on the UN mandate.  Vashadze told the 
Ambassador he suspects the Russians may be looking to kill 
not only the OSCE mission, but the Geneva process as well, to 
focus solely on the UN, where they have a Security Council 
veto. 
 
COMMENT: HERE WE GO AGAIN 
 
7. (C) Despite Bakoyannis's declared commitment to 
territorial integrity, it seems her focus on exhausting all 
avenues to achieve a compromise, combined with the Georgians' 
continued flexibility, has enabled the Russians -- who do not 
respect Georgia's territorial integrity -- to maintain the 
upper hand in the negotiations. 
TEFFT

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