09TBILISI841, GEORGIA: EUMM CONFIRMS COMPLIANCE WITH MOU ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI841 2009-05-01 14:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4404
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0841/01 1211419
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 011419Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1497
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0213
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4831
RUEHUNV/UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 4028

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000841 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/01/2019 
TAGS: PREL MOPS KBTS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: EUMM CONFIRMS COMPLIANCE WITH MOU ON 
MILITARY MOVEMENTS 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 171 
     B. OSCE MISSION TO GEORGIA DAILY PATROL REPORT FOR 
        29 APRIL 2009 
 
Classified By: Amb. John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary and comment.  The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) 
released a public statement April 28 announcing the automatic 
renewal of its MOU with the Georgian Ministry of Defense 
(MOD) and Georgia's continued compliance with its provisions. 
 The statement notes that the EUMM has not been able to 
substantiate any of the numerous allegations of Georgia's 
violations of the MOU; the EUMM informed post that it 
released the statement to respond not only to these 
allegations, but also to Russian concerns that the MOU's 
validity was about to expire.  The EUMM and OSCE have 
observed numerous trenches and other positions dug by the 
Georgian military in recent weeks along the main east-west 
highway, but no equipment is installed in any of the 
positions.  The MOD stated these are defensive positions 
only, and the EUMM and OSCE have determined this is the case. 
 This fairly categorical statement will be useful in 
rebutting continued unfounded allegations of Georgia's 
alleged buildup and putting the onus for reducing tensions on 
the other side of the boundaries.  End summary and comment. 
 
2. (SBU) The EUMM's MOU with the MOD was signed on January 
26, 2009 (see ref A) and contains a provision that it will 
automatically be renewed every three months unless one of the 
sides decides to withdraw.  Since neither side did so, the 
EUMM released its statement April 28 announcing the automatic 
continuation of the agreement (see paragraph 5 for text). 
The MOD released a similar statement, also on April 28 (see 
paragraph 6).  EUMM Head of Mission Hansjoerg Haber told a 
group of diplomats April 30 that the EUMM decided to release 
the statement partly in response to concerns Russia has 
raised with EUMM that the validity of the MOU would expire 
after the initial three-month period.  Head of the MOD's 
Analytical Department David Nardaia told PolOff and Acting 
DATT, also on April 30, that the MOD sees no reason to change 
any of the MOU's provisions and expects to continue to 
maintain the agreement into the forseeable future. 
 
3. (C) The EUMM and OSCE have both observed in recent weeks 
the digging of trenches and emplacements for military 
equipment, such as tanks, at various locations along the main 
east-west highway south of South Ossetia.  The two 
organizations have not oberved any military personnel or 
equipment occupying the positions.  On April 29, for example, 
OSCE monitors observed a "500-meter-long system of unoccupied 
trenches, foxholes, earthworks and armored vehicle positions 
between Mokhisi and Agara" (ref B).  The same patrol observed 
similar positions west of Agara.  These locations are 
straight west from Gori; the organizations have observed 
similar positions east of Gori as well, on either side of the 
highway, but not near the South Ossetian administrative 
boundary.  Nardaia explained that the positions are part of 
Georgia's defense plan and are designed to allow Georgia to 
take up defensive positions in case of another attack on 
Georgia.  He stressed that they are defensive positions only, 
noting that it would be difficult to move positions dug into 
the ground for offensive purposes.  At his meeting with 
Qthe ground for offensive purposes.  At his meeting with 
diplomats, Haber said the EUMM has determined that the 
positions are indeed defensive in nature; OSCE monitors have 
made the same determination. 
 
COMMENT: Saying Georgia is Building Up Doesn't Make it True 
 
4. (C) Haber was almost embarrassed to note the statement's 
very "flattering" assessment of the MOD's compliance, but he 
said he and his colleagues has been genuinely impressed with 
the level of the MOD's cooperation.  The sweeping nature of 
the finding that, of all the numerous allegations of Georgian 
violations, the EUMM has not been able to substantiate a 
single one is impressive.  It stands in stark contrast to 
Russian allegations that surfaced again on April 29, when an 
Interfax story cited Kremlin sources as alleging the presence 
of 2,500 Georgian forces in the areas adjacent to Abkhazia 
and South Ossetia.  That same story suggested that active 
fortification works were underway, which may be a reference 
to the Georgians' new trenches and other positions.  The use 
of the EUMM's (as well as the OSCE's and UNOMIG's) judgments 
about these developments will help ensure that such wild 
allegations do not gain currency through the sheer force of 
repetition.  The EUMM's closing sentence, which proposes an 
 
TBILISI 00000841  002 OF 002 
 
 
arrangement similar to the MOU for the other side of the 
boundaries, will help put the burden of avoiding an 
escalation o
f tensions back on the other parties.  Ensuring 
that these objective voices are not drowned out will be 
especially important in the runup to the NATO exercise, 
beginning May 6, and the May 18-19 Geneva talks. 
 
THE STATEMENTS 
 
5. (U) Begin text of the April 28 EUMM statement. 
 
EUMM satisfied with the compliance of the Georgian Ministry 
of Defense with restrictions on military movements 
 
After three months in force, the Memorandum of Understanding 
between the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and the 
Ministry of Defense of Georgia was automatically prolonged on 
26 April for another three months.  None of the sides used 
its right to terminate the agreement. 
The Memorandum of Understanding stipulates certain 
restrictions on the movements of the Georgian armed forces in 
the vicinity of the administrative boundary lines of Abkhazia 
and South Ossetia as well as giving advance information of 
movements to EUMM. 
EUMM is very satisfied with the compliance of the Georgian 
authorities with the Memorandum of Understanding.  EUMM has 
followed up all allegations of infringements of the 
Memorandum of Understanding, but was not able to substantiate 
any of them.  The Georgian Ministry of Defense has provided 
the necessary transparency to ensure that our monitors can 
fulfill their duties under these arrangements. 
EUMM recognizes that this is a unilateral confidence building 
measure by Georgia.  Security in the post conflict region 
could be further enhanced if similar arrangements could be 
agreed on the other side of the administrative boundary lines. 
 
End text. 
 
6. (U) Begin text of the April 28 MOD statement. 
 
Agreement on Provisional Arrangement for the Exchange of 
Information between the Ministry of Defense of Georgia and 
EUMM was prolonged 
 
The Agreement on "Provisional Arrangement for the Exchange of 
Information" between the Ministry of Defense of Georgia and 
the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) has been 
automatically prolonged for another three months. 
The Ministry of Defense of Georgia and European Union 
Monitoring Mission signed the document on January 26, 2009. 
The document has been based on the EU-mediated Six-Point 
Ceasefire Agreement.  The document sets out the effective 
mechanisms of information exchange and interaction between 
Defense Ministry of Georgia and EUMM with a view to further 
strengthening the confidence and security between the sides. 
It should be mentioned, that since the date of signature, the 
Parties to the Agreement have been faithfully fulfilling the 
commitments under the Agreement. 
The Ministry of Defense of Georgia expresses its high 
willingness for further close collaboration with EUMM and 
will provide the necessary support to ensure that the 
Mission's monitors carry out their duties and obligations 
duly mandated to them. 
 
There follows a reference to the EUMM statement.  End text. 
TEFFT

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