Monthly Archives: October 2009

09TBILISI1962, GEORGIA:COUNTERING RUSSIAN CLAIMS OF TERRORISTS IN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1962.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1962 2009-10-30 14:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4812
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1962/01 3031449
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301449Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2379
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 001962 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RU GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA:COUNTERING RUSSIAN CLAIMS OF TERRORISTS IN 
THE PANKISI GORGE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Bass for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C)  Summary:  A visit to Pankisi revealed no evidence of 
Russian claims of increased terrorist activity in the region. 
 Stopping in each village after reaching the gorge, CDM 
leader Giorgi Targamadze facilitated discussion among locals, 
police officials, and community leaders on the situation in 
the Pankisi, and the lack of an Islamic extremist presence. 
During a tour of the single Wahhabi mosque, residents in the 
gorge unanimously commented that the gorge was thoroughly 
devoid of militants, the border was virtually impossible to 
cross, and the only important issue in the area was 
unemployment.  Georgian law enforcement stated that in 
comparison to 2001-2003, the calm security situation had 
allowed for a reduction of forces in the area, and their 
primary focus was on petty crime.  The assembled diplomatic 
corps, along with an at least equal number of press, left 
with the impression that the Russian accusations were 
meritless. End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  With nearly every embassy in Tbilisi 
sending a representative, and large numbers of press from 
both inside and outside of Georgia, the mission was clearly a 
success for the CDM party, while also providing an important 
opportunity to publicly demonstrate Georgia's interest in 
transparency in a region supposedly a haven for terrorists. 
The impromptu nature of the travel, and the ability of 
diplomats and press to talk privately with resdents in the 
area, further contributed to the positive nature of the 
visit.  By the end, the Swedish representative openly toasted 
Targamadze for the trip, saying it was clear that the next 
time he came, he would be sure to bring his family given how 
secure it was.  While it is certainly not the last word on 
the issue, and Georgian government officials expect continued 
statements from Moscow, this initial attempt to push back on 
the issue, employing the international community and media as 
its outlet, will likely be looked upon as a successful 
strategy in the future.  End Comment. 
 
---------------- 
GEORGIAN CONCERN 
---------------- 
 
3.  (SBU)  Seeking to counter Russian claims of a terrorist 
safehaven in the Pankisi Gorge of northern Georgia, the 
Christian-Democratic Party (CDM) organized a tour of the 
gorge on 29 October.  Recent items in Russian press in 
October regarding the possibility of terrorist activity in 
the Pankisi Gorge, and the Russian belief that Chechen 
terrorists were using the gorge as a safehaven have drawn 
significant attention in Georgian media, government and 
academic circles.  In particular, FSB Chief Alexander 
Bortnikov's reported statements received wide attention when 
he accused Georgian security services with assisting 
"Al-Qa'ida emissaries."  In response, comments ranging from 
denouncements of the statements as Russian propaganda to 
concern about so-called "Wahhabism" in the Pankisi have 
flourished in local media.  Of note, opposition leadership, 
including CDM party leader and MP Giorgi Targamadze and 
Alliance for Georgia leader Irakli Alasania, appear to have 
taken the lead in countering the Russian claims, with 
Alasania calling on the government to organize a trip of 
diplomats and journalists to the Pankisi, and Targamadze 
doing just that. 
 
4.  (C)  With Georgian admissions in 2002 that the Pankisi 
was a safehaven for militants, the idea to counter claims 
now, with Georgia/Russian relations near their nadir, 
Qnow, with Georgia/Russian relations near their nadir, 
achieved wide support across the political spectrum.  While 
Georgian government officials publicly state their lack of 
concern about the "groundless accusations," privately they 
note significant worries that these types of statements could 
be used as pretexts for additional anti-Georgian diplomatic 
efforts at the UN.  Alasania told us of his concerns that the 
Russian government could use old recordings or documents, 
possibly fraudulent or forged, as new "evidence" of Georgian 
complicity with Chechen militants.  These concerns resulted 
directly in the apparently unanimous support for a fact 
finding trip to the Pankisi gorge with diplomats and 
journalists. 
 
------------------------- 
OBSERVATIONS AND SECURITY 
------------------------- 
 
5.  (C)  Attended by over 20 foreign diplomats, including the 
Ambassadors of Iran and China, as well as at least 30 members 
of the press, Targamadze led a convoy of approximately 15 
vehicles and one large tour bus into the Pankisi gorge. 
 
TBILISI 00001962  002 OF 003 
 
 
Prior to departure he made sure to conduct multiple media 
interviews and appeared quite pleased with the turnout. 
Stopping at the first large Pankisi village of Duisi, 
Targamadze immediately gathered a crowd of villagers and 
began asking questions about the security situation in the 
Pankisi, and the villagers' thoughts on Russian comments 
a
bout Al-Qa'ida support.  Of particular note was that while 
it was clear, at least in the first village, that locals knew 
the delegation was coming, Targamadze generally picked random 
people from the street to ask questions, and encouraged the 
diplomatic corps to talk with villagers on their own as well. 
 
6.  (C)  In discussions with PolOff, locals made it clear 
that they had significant concerns regarding the Russian 
comments, worrying about everything from Russian provocations 
at the border to a Russian military excursion in the area. 
In a common trend, each villager noted the near impossibility 
of crossing the border (some noted this with a hint of 
disappointment, as it had obviously hurt the illicit economy 
in the area), with Georgian border guards being exceedingly 
strict, and Russian border troops not preventing the crossing 
of any would-be travelers from the Pankisi area. 
Additionally, they stressed that from November to March, the 
small road, inaccessible to vehicles even during the summer, 
was also nearly impossible to cross via horse or on foot. 
Villagers also made it clear that the situation had greatly 
changed from 2002, when shopping for grenades and 
Kalashnikovs was as easy as going to the market.  They tended 
to credit the Saakashvili government for these changes, but 
also stressed that unemployment was a primary concern of 
residents, with some estimating that unemployment bordered on 
90 percent.  Residents in each village also made clear to the 
assembled diplomats that, of the approximately 800 Chechen 
refugees in the Pankisi, most had assimilated completely into 
the Georgian and Kist communities, with intermarriage, joint 
schooling (in Georgian), and joint worship at churches or 
mosques. 
 
7.  (C)  As the road show continued, Targamadze's decisions 
on when to make random stops at different points appeared to 
be solely based on when he saw villagers lingering on the 
streets.  Beyond the first village, it clearly was a surprise 
for locals to see such a massive convoy.  However, statements 
and criticisms remained the same: the peace in the area was 
better than it had been in at least ten years, and no 
fighters had passed through in recent memory, nor would they 
likely be able to without notice.  Villagers seemed genuinely 
surprised that there were reports of such travel, as most 
Chechen refugees had given up even attempting tocontact 
relatives in Russia due to the extreme difficulty in actually 
traversing the border, by legal or illegal means.   The 
convoy stopped and toured the one Wahhabi mosque in the 
gorge, a clearly well-built structure from 2001 (reportedly 
from Saudi funds) that dominated the village.  The Imam 
provided answers to questions, stating that there were 
approximately 7,000 Muslims in the gorge; 90 percent 
Georgian, five percent Kist, and the remainder refugees from 
Russia.  Of these, approximately 150 Muslims prayed at his 
mosque, with the majority being young men.  There were three 
other mosques in the Pankisi gorge; however, these followed a 
less stringent version of Islam, and were clearly more 
Qless stringent version of Islam, and were clearly more 
popular and traditional among the locals.  The Imam, in 
response to a diplomat's question, stressed that the local 
government had submitted a special order to not hinder any 
activities of the mosque, which was much appreciated. 
 
8.  (C)  In a private discussion, CDM MP Nika Laliashvili, a 
former Ministry of State Security Colonel who worked 
extensively in the Pankisi gorge in 2001-2002, emphasized the 
changes since his time in MSS.  He said that while he travels 
frequently to the area, it still shocked him to view 
firsthand the changes from the days of Al-Qa'ida influence. 
Of particular interest to him was the lack of visible 
weaponry (PolOff never saw any during this trip), whereas in 
2002 one could buy heroin, grenades and RPGs as simply as 
fruit at the local market.  Stressing that he certainly was 
not a strong supporter of Saakashvili, he said the changes in 
this area clearly were a victory for the government.  When 
asked about current security service activity in the Pankisi 
area, he noted that all Georgian special forces and other 
MOIA counterterrorism units had departed the area, and only 
minimal MOIA liaison from these units with the local MOIA 
police was necessary.  The most troubling current issues of 
importance to the local police is marijuana usage by local 
male youths; certainly not the hard drugs or weapons 
smuggling that were so prevalent when he served in the area. 
 
---------------- 
PUBLIC RELATIONS 
 
TBILISI 00001962  003 OF 003 
 
 
---------------- 
 
9.  (C)  Ending the fact-finding mission approximately eight 
kilometers from the border on an empty river basin, 
Targamadze led a dinner in which he continued to stress the 
importance of democracy and openness in Georgia, replete with 
toasts expressing appreciation to the villagers for their 
hospitality, and the diplomats for their interest. 
Targamadze worked the crowds of villagers as a seasoned 
politician, and the Georgians with whom he interacted all 
seemed to appreciate it.  Targamadze's ability to build 
support among the villagers, and his clear comfort in doing 
so, was noted by most diplomats as impressive, and a method 
of politicking usually only attributed to Saakashvili among 
the leading political figures.  Additionally, the fact that 
CDM organized this trip, with every Georgian press outlet 
stressing it as such, also demonstrated the party's efforts 
to build a base of support among the international community, 
and to be looked upon by Georgians as a serious player on one 
issue that generally unifies the populace: Russia. 
 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1949, GEORGIA: ASD VERSHBOW LEADS SECURITY WORKING GROUP

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1949.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1949 2009-10-29 15:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3690
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1949/01 3021555
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291555Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2365
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0312
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4926
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 TBILISI 001949 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: ASD VERSHBOW LEADS SECURITY WORKING GROUP 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Bass for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary. Under the umbrella of the U.S.-Georgia 
Charter on Strategic Partnership, Assistant Secretary of 
Defense Alexander Vershbow, Ambassador Bass, and an extended 
USG team jump-started the U.S.-Georgia Charter Working 
Groups.  The meeting on October 20 with Georgian Deputy 
Defense Minister Vashakidze, Deputy Foreign Minister Bokeria, 
and other Georgian interagency counterparts was the inaugural 
meeting of the Security Working Group.  ASD Vershbow said the 
U.S. viewed the Charter as a vehicle for strengthening the 
U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership and deepening defense 
cooperation.  Vershbow expressed appreciation for Georgia's 
ISAF contribution; he also noted continued U.S. commitment to 
Georgia's security and defense reform, with an initial focus 
on doctrine, education, training and building the 
intellectual capacity of the Georgian Armed Forces. 
Vashakidze and Bokeria both emphasized the continued Georgian 
commitment to reform, and Bokeria reaffirmed Georgia's 
commitment to strategic patience and a peaceful resolution of 
the conflicts over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  Bokeria also 
observed that Georgia still faces real and immediate threats 
that pose an existential threat to Georgia and can complicate 
reform efforts.  An international presence was required to 
prevent destabilizing actions by Russia.  Regarding NATO, ASD 
Vershbow said the U.S. supported Georgia's membership 
aspirations and encouraged continued efforts to implement the 
Annual National Program (ANP); Bokeria sought language in the 
next NATO Ministerial declaration that would reflect some 
progress since the Bucharest Summit, but said Georgia did not 
oppose MAP for Montenegro.  The sides also discussed maritime 
incidents on the Black Sea; U.S. missile defense plans; a new 
agreement on the Central Reference Laboratory; efforts to 
combat nuclear smuggling; and exchange of classified 
information. End summary. 
 
---------------- 
GENERAL OVERVIEW 
---------------- 
 
2. (C) ASD Vershbow began by echoing a central theme of the 
U.S.-Georgia Charter: that a strong, independent, sovereign 
and democratic Georgia, capable of responsible self-defense, 
contributes to the security and prosperity not only of all 
Georgians, but of a Europe whole, free and at peace.  He 
expressed continued U.S. commitment to Georgia's sovereignty, 
territorial integrity and economic prosperity.  At the same 
time, he noted the importance of continued progress on 
democratic reform and of avoiding provocative actions that 
could escalate into renewed violence.  He expressed support 
for Georgia's NATO membership aspirations, for which he 
pledged U.S. support through the Georgia-NATO Commission.  He 
also expressed appreciation for Georgia's planned 
contribution to ISAF. 
 
3. (C) Vashakidze responded with an expression of Georgian 
gratitude for the various military assistance programs the 
United States has provided since 2004, which he described as 
crucial to Georgian military development.  Noting Georgia's 
previous contribution to the effort in Iraq, he expressed 
Georgia's continued commitment to sending a series of 
battalions to Afghanistan.  He also expressed interest in 
continued U.S. support for deepened defense assistance 
programs, in terms of both military education and equipment. 
Qprograms, in terms of both military education and equipment. 
He also proposed organizing U.S. support for Georgia's 
military reform efforts under a U.S.-Georgia Defense 
Cooperation Plan. 
 
--------------- 
FOCUS ON REFORM 
--------------- 
 
4. (C) Calling for 2010 to be the "year of reform," Vershbow 
congratulated Georgia's progress thus far, but noted that 
continuing to make significant progress was a prerequisite 
for Georgia's NATO aspirations.  The U.S. stood ready to 
assist, and is focusing the first phase of assistance efforts 
on building the intellectual component of the Georgian Armed 
Forces -- the so-called "brains before brawn" approach. 
Noting that, in the whole of Eurasia, the U.S. has its 
busiest schedule of bilateral cooperation in Georgia, ASD 
Vershbow said that those programs have come under close 
scrutiny, and that their continuation depended on Georgia's 
continued progress in reform overall, including on the 
political and economic side, as well as responsible behavior 
in the region.  If Georgia made real progress and met 
established milestones, bilateral defense cooperation could 
deepen; on the other hand, lagging reforms would hamper 
 
TBILISI 00001949  002 OF 004 
 
 
deepened cooperation.  ASD Vershbow stressed the benchmarks 
of NATO's Annual National Program (ANP), such as reform of 
the acquisition and procurement process, as necessary first 
steps, emphasizing
 that the U.S. and other NATO allies were 
watching for a clear delineation of responsibility between 
the Ministries of Defense and Internal Affairs. 
 
5. (C) Deputy Defense Minister Nodar Kharshiladze offered an 
update on Georgia's efforts at military reform.  In terms of 
broad planning, he said the government is in the process of 
updating its threats assessment and completing both a 
Strategic Defense Review (SDR) and a National Strategic 
Review (NSR), all with a view to determine what the Georgian 
Armed Forces should look like in 2015.  He said a top 
priority was to develop an efficient use of resources, in 
order to be in a position to respond to threats while 
reflecting budget realities.  The military is working on 
doctrine development, with a view in particular toward a 
doctrine that reflects Georgia's unique needs.  Military 
education is a primary focus, with three specific objectives 
described: the establishment of a four-year officer academy; 
a Command General Staff College (CGSC); and training for 
NCOs.  Other areas of focus include human resources reform 
and cooperation with NGOs on strategic planning. 
 
----------------------- 
REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE 
----------------------- 
 
6. (C) Head of the Georgian Joint Staff's Strategic Planning 
and Military Policy Department, Col. Nikoloz Janjghava, 
listed a number of areas in which Georgia requires additional 
U.S. assistance.  Janjghava reiterated Georgia's capability 
gaps as a result of the August 2008 war, in particular, 
anti-air, anti-tank and radar capabilities.  Not only did 
Georgia lose equipment, but the lack of spare parts has 
further decreased the level of operational capacity. 
Janjghava also requested additional U.S. assistance in 
educational programs, as Georgia continued to strive to 
develop its military education system on western models. 
Finally, Georgia needed additional U.S. assistance in 
developing the General National Defense Plan (NDP).  This was 
particularly important request, as it would affect Georgia's 
force structure, training plan and procurement requirements. 
The U.S. DATT and ODC Chief noted U.S. cooperation efforts, 
 including the CGSC, initial consultations on the NDP, 
doctrine development, and International Military Education 
and Training (IMET) slots. 
 
7. (C) Deputy Minister Bokeria indicated that there was wide 
acceptance within the Georgian government of the approach of 
"strategic patience" on the conflicts, and that they could 
not be resolved militarily.  Acknowledging current 
geopolitical considerations, Bokeria reiterated Georgia "got 
the message" on the brains before brawn approach. 
Nevertheless, he pointed out that such development of 
intellectual capacity without some kind of accompanying 
development of actual physical capacity could not continue 
forever.  U.S. assistance with Georgia's NDP is particularly 
vital at the current time.  ASD Vershbow acknowledged the 
perilous situation facing Georgia, including the damage done 
during the war, but made clear that the preliminary stages of 
reform had to be done right first, so that, when the time 
came, it would be possible to incorporate new equipment into 
Qcame, it would be possible to incorporate new equipment into 
the military more effectively. 
 
------------------ 
AFGHANISTAN UPDATE 
------------------ 
 
8. (C) Janjghava reflected on the ISAF deployment, noting 
preparation was well underway to send a Georgian battalion to 
ISAF.  He also noted that Georgia had plans to send personnel 
to serve with French, Turkish and Lithuanian units as well. 
Bokeria added that Georgia was ready to increase its 
contribution to the transit of military supplies to 
Afghanistan, so that Coalition partners would have a number 
of different alternatives.  Vershbow agreed that a variety of 
routes was desirable and welcomed Georgia's proposals. 
 
---- 
NATO 
---- 
 
9. (C) Bokeria reaffirmed that Georgia has not changed its 
goal of NATO membership, which he described as crucial to 
Georgia's existence as a state.  He asked for additional 
clarity on a possible path for Georgia to membership. 
 
TBILISI 00001949  003 OF 004 
 
 
Expressing an understanding that a breakthrough at this time 
may not be possible, Georgia needed to have some indication 
that it has moved further down the road since the Bucharest 
Summit -- otherwise, the perception that Russia has an 
effective veto over Georgia's (and Ukraine's) membership will 
be strengthened, with resulting effect externally and 
internally in Georgia.  Expressing his support for NATO's 
overall expansion, and for the possible extension of 
Membership Action Plans to additional countries at the 
upcoming summit, Bokeria nevertheless suggested that, if 
Georgia would not be receiving a MAP, then it needed at least 
a change in language from the NATO ministers indicating some 
progress.  One possibility would be a statement that MAP is 
not the only path to membership.  Finally, Bokeria said that, 
in the context of the discussions in Geneva about a non-use 
of force (NUF) agreement, Georgia might be willing to go 
forward with such an agreement if it received a clear message 
from NATO on its path forward. 
 
10. (C) ASD Vershbow encouraged Georgia to stay engaged with 
NATO, in particular by responding to the areas for 
improvement expressed in the ANP.  By continuing to 
demonstrate its seriousness, Georgia would be in a good 
position when the situation for a political decision matured, 
although it was not clear when that would be.  ASD Vershbow 
confirmed that the U.S. believes there are multiple paths to 
NATO membership, and the Bucharest Summit, by declaring that 
Georgia and Ukraine would gain membership, had established 
these two countries as unique cases, with ANPs and 
Commissions that could serve as functional equivalents to 
MAP.  ASD Vershbow affirmed the U.S. will work with the 
Alliance toward adopting such a position.  Regarding a NUF 
agreement, ASD Vershbow said that Georgia should not have to 
meet additional standards to gain membership, but suggested 
that Georgia might want to hold on to that idea in case it 
became useful. 
 
-------------------- 
SECURITY ENVIRONMENT 
-------------------- 
 
11. (C) Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Eka Zguladze 
offered an overview of the current security situation. 
Pointing to the presence not only of some 8,000 Russian 
forces in the occupied territories but also large amounts of 
heavy armaments, Zguladze said that Russia was in a position 
to take further action in Georgia at any time.  The Russian 
presence in South Ossetia is close to sensitive targets, 
including the main East-West highway, and Georgia was 
therefore vulnerable to terrorist attacks coordinated from 
within the occupied territories.  Zguladze reflected on the 
recent attack on electrical power lines in Georgia as a case 
in point.  Georgia's ma
in concern at the moment, however, was 
the ethnic Georgian population of Gali; Russian Border Guards 
were making it increasingly difficult to cross the 
administrative boundary, and that population was therefore 
increasingly vulnerable.  Although the EU Monitoring Mission 
(EUMM) had been effective within the limits imposed on it 
(primarily its inability to enter the occupied territories), 
and the frequency of security incidents had gone down, 
Georgia was worried by recent Russian statements that Georgia 
was fomenting terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus. 
 
12. (C) Bokeria acknowledged that the Georgian government 
considered the threat of a large-scale invasion by Russia 
Qconsidered the threat of a large-scale invasion by Russia 
unlikely (due largely to political support from the United 
States); he pointed out, however, that a Russian policy of 
small-scale provocations would nevertheless greatly 
complicate Georgia's reform efforts.  Accepting the logic of 
focusing on the further reform and development of undisputed 
Georgia for the time being, he suggested this logic was 
flawed if Georgia did not have a stable environment in which 
to pursue reforms and development.  Georgia would itself 
refrain from provocative actions, because any headlines of 
destabilizing events in Georgia -- no matter who provoked 
them -- were damaging to the international perception of 
Georgia.  Bokeria suggested that some kind of international 
presence to guarantee stability was crucial to Georgia's 
security and progress (although not at the price of degrading 
Georgia's territorial integrity), and that even discussion of 
a possible departure of the EUMM was harmful to Georgia's 
security.  Bokeria encouraged the United States to be open to 
any invitation by the EU to participate in the EUMM; ASD 
Vershbow said the United States had not received any such 
invitation, but would consider one if asked. 
 
13. (C) On the Geneva talks, Bokeria described a positive 
process which was a good deterrent.  While expressing 
 
TBILISI 00001949  004 OF 004 
 
 
skepticism that it would lead to anything substantive in the 
near future, with neither the Russians, Abkhaz nor South 
Ossetians ready to discuss serious issues at the moment, 
Bokeria said the establishment of the Incident Prevention and 
Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) was positive.  Russia's recent 
unwillingness to respond to an urgent call on the hotline 
indicated continued problems.  Bokeria explained that a clear 
redline for Georgia was full implementation of Point 5 of the 
August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement (which calls for the 
withdrawal of Russian forces to previously held positions). 
Not only did the Russians need to fully comply, but the 
Georgians could not accept any additional agreements or 
arrangements that undercut that commitment, made by the 
Russian president, or otherwise legitimized the current 
Russian presence. 
 
14. (C) The Director of State's Office of Caucasus Affairs 
and Regional Conflicts, Ethan Goldrich, expressed U.S. 
support for the Geneva process and looked forward to 
coordinating with the Georgians on how best to proceed.  The 
United States supported an international presence, although 
not at the expense of Georgia's territorial integrity.  The 
Ambassador noted that, in the past, the OSCE's Border 
Monitoring Mission had helped alleviate concerns about 
movements into the North Caucasus, suggesting that perhaps a 
preliminary discussion about a similar arrangement to help 
prevent pretexts would be useful. 
 
------------ 
OTHER TOPICS 
------------ 
 
15. (C) Regarding maritime incidents on the Black Sea, 
Bokeria explained that Georgia was currently in discussions 
with Turkey to find a way to enable vessels to travel to 
Abkhazia within the scope of Georgian law.  He also explained 
that Coast Guard personnel now have orders not to engage in 
hot pursuit and not to take any actions in Georgia's economic 
zone, (i.e., beyond the 24 nautical miles of Georgia's 
territorial waters), so that there was little likelihood of 
provocative incidents.  Nevertheless, he pointed out that 
Georgia still had concerns about smuggling.  A ship on the 
way to undisputed Georgia was recently detained by Abkhaz de 
facto naval forces for 30 minutes (then fortunately released 
with no further consequences); thus it was not only Georgia 
that needed to avoid provocative actions.  Ultimately it was 
Russia that was occupying Georgian territory, and public 
condemnations of Georgia for questionable actions in defense 
of its territorial integrity were in danger of distracting 
the world's attention from Russia's fundamentally illegal 
actions. 
 
16. (C) ASD Vershbow offered an overview of the new U.S. 
approach to missile defense, noting the United States had not 
yet begun consultations on the placement of land-based SM-3 
missile sites or other elements, with the exception of Poland 
and the Czech Republic, but that in any case the United 
States was not discussing the placement of elements of the 
new system with any non-NATO members. 
 
17. (C) Vashakidze noted the recent conclusion of the 
Umbrella Agreement between the United States and Georgia for 
the Central Reference Laboratory, agreeing to continue to 
hold bilateral consultations to work on the details of 
implementation.  Deputy Director of the Georgian Foreign 
Ministry's International Security Policy and Euro-Atlantic 
Integration Office Giorgi Dolidze expressed his appreciation 
QIntegration Office Giorgi Dolidze expressed his appreciation 
for U.S. support of efforts to combat nuclear smuggling and 
noted that President Saakashvili planned to participate in 
the Nuclear Security Summit in 2010.  Finally, Deputy 
Minister Kharshiladze proposed an agreement on the exchange 
of classified information, which he described as a practical 
step to legalize the exchange of information necessary for 
deepened cooperation. 
 
18. (U) This message was cleared by Assistant Secretary of 
Defense Vershbow. 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1935, GEORGIA: INCIDENT PREVENTION – LOTS OF MEETINGS,

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1935.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1935 2009-10-27 14:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1290
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1935/01 3001433
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271433Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2356
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0310
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4924
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001935 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: INCIDENT PREVENTION - LOTS OF MEETINGS, 
FEW RESULTS 
 
REF: TBILISI 1714 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN R. BASS FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) AND (d). 
 
1. (C) Comment. The Incident Prevention and Response 
Mechanisms (IPRMs) have become more routine and therefore 
there is less "breaking news" to report out of them.  This 
has led to more regular contact and a general reduction of 
tension among the participants.  However, the same themes are 
discussed at each IPRM with little progress.  The Abkhaz side 
appears to be using the IPRM as a way to keep a window open 
with the Georgians while they await the closing of the 
boundary, while the South Ossetians continue to inject status 
issues into procedural negotiations, thereby delaying 
substantive discussions.  The OSCE, which has proposed a 
three-person roving support team to support its participation 
in the IPRMs and the Geneva process, has tried to stay 
involved with its separate initiatives.  While their efforts 
to resolve gas delivery to Akhalgori are making progress, the 
missing and detained persons meeting was ineffective, largely 
because the OSCE does not have current on-the-ground 
knowledge and is therefore unable to bring much substance to 
the meeting. End comment. 
 
ABKHAZ IPRMs - SCHOOLCHILDREN IN GALI 
 
3. (C) The two most recent Abkhaz incident prevention and 
response mechanisms (IPRM) met in Gali on October 6 and 20. 
In both these meetings, the discussions focused on 
schoolchildren crossing the administrative boundary line 
(ABL), security incidents, and maritime incidents.  During 
the October 20 meeting, Ruslan Kishmaria, lead for the Abkhaz 
de facto authorities, became very angry when discussing the 
education of Georgian schoolchildren.  He accused the 
director of one village school in Nabakevi of being a 
provocateur for refusing to replace the bilingual Georgian 
and Russian sign on the school with a trilingual one (Abkhaz, 
Georgian and Russian).  Kishmaria further stated that there 
was no need for Georgian children to leave Abkhazia for 
school, as there is ample opportunity for them to receive an 
education in Gali, but that the Abkhaz will tolerate the 
boundary crossing, "for now."  Kishmaria predicted that the 
problem would be resolved when winter arrives and children 
are unable to cross the boundary regularly.  In one positive 
development, Kishmaria did suggest a joint Georgian-Abkhaz 
visit to a local school which the Georgian side agreed to. 
 
ABKHAZ IPRMs - SECURITY INCIDENTS 
 
4. (C)  Security incidents in Gali were raised during the 
meetings.  On October 20, EUMM representatives asked the 
Abkhaz about a report on Rustavi-2 that Georgian teachers in 
Gali were being beaten.  According to EUMM Ambassador Haber, 
the Abkhaz side convincingly refuted these allegations, and 
Haber noted that the EUMM will be more cautious about raising 
such news stories in the future.  The Georgian side then 
presented videos supposedly showing overflights of undisputed 
Georgin territory by Russian helicopters, but according to 
the EUMM, the videos were inconclusive.  MOIA's Director of 
the Division for Analysis Shota Utiashvili, lead for the 
Georgian side, did not pursue the issue after Kishmaria's 
denial of the incidents, and according to Haber, Shota 
appeared to be merely going through the motions on that 
particular point. 
 
5. (C) The maritime incidents were also raised, with the 
Abkhaz side demanding the organization of a fact-finding 
QAbkhaz side demanding the organization of a fact-finding 
group.  Utiashvili noted that Georgia and Turkey were engaged 
in bilateral negotiations to determine a process for Turkish 
ships wanting to go to Abkhazia.  Abkhaz de facto "deputy 
foreign minister" Maxim Gunjia, contrary to his usual 
friendliness at the IPRMs, threatened that Georgian ships 
would be sunk if they ventured into Abkhaz "territorial 
waters." 
 
SOUTH OSSETIA IPRMs 
 
6. (C) The South Ossetian IPRMs met most recently on 
September 24 and October 22.  As usual, these IPRMs were less 
constructive than the Abkhaz ones, with procedural issues 
continuing to dominate.  The main substantive issues 
discussed on September 24 were missing and detained persons 
and Russian desertions, while the October 22 meeting focused 
on access to land, incidents involving cattle theft, 
delineation of the ABL and EUMM access to Perevi. 
 
7. (C) During the October 22 meeting, Russian representatives 
refuted press reports that the ABL at Akhalgori would be 
 
TBILISI 00001935  002 OF 002 
 
 
closed on November 1.  Delineation of the ABL was also 
discussed for the first time in this forum.  The village of 
Kveshi, where an OSCE patrol was detained and arrested last 
year, continues to be a problem, and the South Ossetian de 
facto authorities offered a joint visit to the village to 
look at t
he boundary line.  The Georgian side complained that 
some villagers were having difficulty accessing their farm 
land, and South Ossetian de facto representative Chigoev 
acknowledged that farmers should be allowed to work up to the 
ABL.  During this meeting, Haber asked for regularized access 
to Perevi for both the EUMM and Georgian law enforcement 
authorities, but the South Ossetian side denied this request. 
 EUMM received unescorted access to Perevi on October 15, 21 
and 22, but was denied access on October 16 and 17. 
 
8. (C) In both IPRMs, the chairmanship was discussed and the 
South Ossetian representatives expressed willingness to 
accept a Secretariat which would be responsible for 
agenda-setting and establishing a general meeting protocol. 
However, the South Ossetians are looking for ways to inject 
status into the mechanism, insisting, for example, that the 
discussion of agenda points should be chaired by the side 
proposing the specific point.  According to EUMM, some type 
of proposal needs to be agreed upon and signed, because the 
IPRMs cannot keep continuing with so many procedural issues 
unresolved. 
 
OSCE HOLDS MEETING ON MISSING AND DETAINED PERSONS 
 
9. (C) On October 19, an OSCE Conflict Prevention Center 
staff member traveled to South Ossetia for a meeting with 
representatives from Georgia, South Ossetia and Russia to 
discuss the issue of missing and detained persons, beyond 
similar discussions with the IPRM.  This idea had been raised 
in the Geneva talks on September 17, as a way to allow expert 
third parties (such as ICRC) to engage in the discussion of 
this particular issue.  EUMM was not invited to the meeting, 
however, and noted their displeasure with this, saying that 
since OSCE has no presence on the ground, they had little to 
contribute.  Tasked with making logistical arrangements, the 
OSCE staff member attending the meeting bought folding chairs 
and a beach umbrella and set them up on the boundary line 
between Georgian and South Ossetian checkpoints in Dvani, 
where the meetiQ occurred.QPerhaps signified by this feeble 
set-up, the meeting was deemed unsuccessful by all, including 
the OSCE. 
 
10. (C) Only days after this meeting, on October 25, 16 
villagers from Gremiskhevi, located east of Akhalgori in 
undisputed Georgian territory, were detained by Russian 
forces while they were chopping wood.  The Georgians were in 
direct contact with the Russians regarding the incident, and 
the Russians indicated that the 16 villagers would be 
released within a few hours.  Nevertheless, on October 26 the 
Russians informed the Georgians that the 16 had instead been 
handed over to the South Ossetian de facto authorities. 
After conducting a survey, EUMM reports that the villagers 
may have strayed across the boundary by a few meters while 
cutting wood, but EUMM determined by GPS and a local witness 
that the arrest itself occurred in undisputed Georgian 
territory. 
 
11. (C) EUMM reports Russian and South Ossetian de facto 
authorities have so far been reluctant to meet, but have 
provisionally agreed to meet the Georgians and the EUMM on 
Qprovisionally agreed to meet the Georgians and the EUMM on 
October 28 at the site of the incident to determine the 
precise location in reference to the administrative boundary. 
 Haber also plans to follow-up with Moscow regarding the 
incident.  Although the hot line connections between the 
Georgians and Russians worked during the incident, they did 
not lead to a resolution of the situation.  The Georgian side 
has reacted to this event without resorting to a state of 
panic, which suggests to us they are focused on working the 
problem. 
 
OTHER OSCE EFFORTS IN SOUTH OSSETIA 
 
12. (C) On October 21, after having made advance arrangements 
with de facto South Ossetian authoities and the Georgian 
government, an OSCE staff member drove a gas expert into 
Akhalgori to investigate the possibility of providing gas to 
the region.  This is the first time that OSCE staff entered 
South Ossetia in an OSCE vehicle since shortly after the 
August 2008 war.  The gas expert was able to obtain some 
information that might help facilitate gas deliveries to 
Akhalgori. 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1932, GEORGIA: PUBLIC MORE OPTIMISTIC, BENEFITTING

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1932.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1932 2009-10-23 16:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8476
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1932/01 2961618
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231618Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2353
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001932 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/22/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PUBLIC MORE OPTIMISTIC, BENEFITTING 
SAAKASHVILI, BUT ECONOMY AND TERRITORIES STILL DOMINATE 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN R. BASS FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) AND (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  Georgians are more optimistic about their 
futures even as they struggle economically, according to the 
International Republican Institute's (IRI) latest poll.  The 
shift in mood and economic stabilization have benefited the 
President and his party; Saakashvili received a 10 point 
personal bounce.  Opposition parties and leaders fared 
poorly, a carryover from last spring's counterproductive, 
unpopular street protests.  The big question is how 
Saakashvili will interpret the results.  We are working to 
persuade him to use this bounce to move smartly on several 
key democratic reforms.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment: The ruling National Movement leaders likely 
view these numbers with confidence -- a confidence which 
could lead them to inaction.  It will be important that we 
and our European partners urge quick action on reform in the 
window before municipal elections in May 2010.  The November 
Democracy Working Group provides an excellent venue for this 
discussion.  Another take-away from the data below is the 
breadth of concern in Georgia's society for reintegration of 
the territories -- the President's focus reflects the 
thinking of the citizens of Georgia, not just his own 
pre-occupations.  End Comment. 
 
OVERALL OUTLOOK IS IMPROVING, AND THE PUBLIC OVERWHELMINGLY 
CONDEMNS PROTESTS 
 
3. (C)  The October results shows that Georgians are more 
optimistic than in the past about both political stability 
and the economy.  The percentage of Georgians who think the 
country is going in the right direction jumped 15 points 
(from 26 percent in June to 41 percent in October).  The poll 
seems to indicate the perception that the economic situation 
is stabilizing with most Georgians responding that their 
economic situation has improved or at least stayed the same 
(59 percent in October as compared to 42.3 percent in June). 
Fifty-nine percent of respondents evaluate President 
Saakashvili and the GOG's performance during the financial 
crisis as positive which is up compared to 47 percent in 
June. 
 
4.  (C)  The number one issue of importance to Georgians 
remains unemployment.  When those polled were asked to self 
identify the most important issue facing the country, they 
chose unemployment (59 percent) though territorial integrity 
remained second at 45 percent.  Respondents overwhelmingly 
indicated that the government should carry out economic 
reforms first before other fields such as healthcare, 
education, and defense (73 percent in Tbilisi, 72 percent in 
the regions).  Internal politics has almost copletely fallen 
off Georgians' radar and was mentioned by only four percent 
of those polled as a concern.  In June, that number was 50 
percent.  Fear of war (translation: another Russian invasion) 
 is the number one Georgian fear (mentioned by 58 percent). 
 
5.  (C)  Respondents are strongly against aggressive forms of 
protest with 90 percent responding that actions including the 
occupation of buildings and the blocking of roads, buildings, 
railway lines, and airports are unacceptable.  Georgians even 
appear to be against peaceful forms of protest with at least 
50 percent responding that petitions, legal demonstrations, 
and legal strikes are unacceptable forms of protest.  An 
overwhelming majority (72 percent) said they do not support 
further street protests in the fall.  The IRI Country 
Qfurther street protests in the fall.  The IRI Country 
Director (strictly protect), who briefed many of the 
political parties on the poll results, said that Salome 
Zourabichvili, leader of the Way of Georgia Party, was 
questioning the future of her party's direction given the 
strong aversion to protest action in the country. 
Zourabichvili's party has relied almost exclusively on street 
action as its means of political engagement in the past. 
Interest in politics in general decreased with 40 percent of 
respondents saying they have a low interest as compared to 34 
percent in June. 
 
IF ELECTIONS WERE HELD TODAY... 
 
6. (C) Respondents want the GOG and opposition to maintain a 
dialogue (81 percent in June, 85 percent in October).  A 
majority of respondents, 62 percent, say that the 
non-parliamentary opposition should unite to elect a single 
leader.  Almost all the respondents (95 percent) believe that 
relations with the United States are good and a majority (60 
percent) feel that the United States is Georgia's most 
important partner.  NATO increased in popularity with 54 
percent supporting joining the institution versus 45 percent 
in June.  38 percent of those polled saw joining NATO as more 
important than joining the EU, an increase of ten percent 
 
TBILISI 00001932  002 OF 002 
 
 
from June.  Thirty-eight percent of respondents blamed Russia 
and the existence of conflicts (35 percent) as the biggest 
hindranc
e to Georgia's NATO membership as opposed to a lack 
of reforms (9 percent). 
 
7.  (C)  The Georgian Orthodox Church continues to garner the 
most confidence from respondents (93 percent) closely 
followed by the army (84 percent) and the police (82 
percent).  The constitutional commission and the electoral 
working group only received a 28 percent favorable confidence 
rating; only trade unions (25 percent) and the Mafia network 
(10 percent) received lower.  The ruling United National 
Movement (UNM) continues hold the top spot as the party that 
can best deal with Georgia's problems (35 percent) followed 
by the Christian-Democratic Movement (13 percent), Alliance 
for Georgia (12 percent), and the Labor Party (9 percent). 
Trust in the UNM rose 8 percent from June.  The biggest leap, 
however; was Alasania's Alliance for Georgia which doubled 
its numbers in this trust measurement from June (6 percent). 
8. (C) If parliamentary elections were held today, the ruling 
UNM would garner 43 percent of the vote followed by 
Alasania's Alliance (10 percent), Natelashvili's Labor (7 
percent), and Targamadze's Christian-Democratic Movement (6 
percent).  In this poll, Alasania bested Natelashvili and 
Targamadze who were tied for the second spot in June's poll. 
Nino Burjanadze's Democratic Movement-United Georgia took the 
number one spot for the party that respondents would never 
vote for (20 percent).  Saakashvili continues to lead in 
favorable ratings (70 percent) followed by Sozar Subari (64 
percent), Irakli Alasania (63 percent), and Giorgi Targamadze 
(62 percent).  If presidential elections were held without 
Saakashvili, Alasania would garner 20 percent of the vote 
followed by Targamadze (16 percent).  However with 
Saakashvili as a candidate, Alasania drops to 14 percent, and 
Targamadze and Natelashvili both to 8 percent.  Saakashvili 
himself had 39 percent (Embassy note: Saakashvili is 
term-limited and may not run again. End note).  IRI's Country 
Director said that, during the briefing to parties, many of 
the opposition parties had expected a drop in their ratings 
and were pleasantly surprised to see that they were not 
lower.  UNM told the Country Director that they were pleased 
that their ratings confirmed their own private polling 
results and were not surprised by their increase in 
popularity. 
 
MORE TRANSPARENCY WANTED 
 
9. (C) The poll also indicated that Georgians do not feel 
they receive sufficient information -- 85 percent responded 
that they are not well informed, not at all informed, or 
don't know about the activities of their local government. 
Most respondents said that are not receiving enough 
information on the Constitutional Commission (58 percent) and 
the electoral code working group (60 percent).  Almost all 
respondents receive their information from television (94 
percent).  Rustavi 2 (88 percent) and Imedi (87 percent) 
remain the most-watched and most-trusted TV channels.  Media 
freedom was rated somewhat better with 52 percent of 
respondents saying that media was at least somewhat free as 
compared to 45 percent in June.  Within the 34 percent who 
said that the media was not free, 70 percent said it was due 
to government pressure on the media.  Weekly internet usage 
increased slightly from 17 percent in June to 20 percent in 
Qincreased slightly from 17 percent in June to 20 percent in 
October.  There is a large gap in weekly internet usage 
comparing Tbilisi (49 percent) to the regions (12 percent). 
 
10.  (SBU)  The International Republican Institute (IRI) 
conducte a nationwide poll from September 29 to October 5, 
2009 and put questions to 1500 Georgians aged 18 years and 
older in face-to-face interviews. 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1931, GEORGIA IDENTIFIES SHERPA FOR NUCLEAR SECURITY

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1931.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1931 2009-10-23 15:16 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1931 2961516
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231516Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2352
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 001931 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC PLEASE PASS TO LAURA HOLGATE (LHOLGATE@NSC.EOP.GOV) AND 
JOYCE CONNERY (JCONNERY@NSC.EOP.GOV) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AORC ENRG PREL PTER TRGY IAEA GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA IDENTIFIES SHERPA FOR NUCLEAR SECURITY 
SUMMIT 
 
REF: STATE 104896 
 
The Government of Georgia has identified Ministry of 
Environment's Head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety 
Service (NRSS) Zaal Lomtadze as Sherpa for the Nuclear 
Security Summit.  We have not yet received confirmation if 
Georgia will participate in the sous-Sherpa/Experts meeting 
on November 4-5 but will report as soon as we have a 
response.  President Saakashvili will attend the Nuclear 
Security Summit in April. 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1920, GEORGIA: GOVERNMENT SUBMITS NOTIONAL BUDGET TO

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1920.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1920 2009-10-21 12:52 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5919
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1920/01 2941252
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211252Z OCT 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2346
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001920 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2019 
TAGS: ECON EINV PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: GOVERNMENT SUBMITS NOTIONAL BUDGET TO 
PARLIAMENT 
 
REF: TBILISI 1840 
 
Classifid By: Deputy Chief of Mission Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4 (b) 
 and (d). 
 
1. (C) The Government's notional draft of the 2010 budget 
submitted to Parliament shows the economic difficulties 
facing the country and contains cuts across the board (except 
in key social spending areas).  While the draft meets the 
Government's technical and legal requirements, it does not 
provide exact amounts or line items.  The Government is 
required to submit a more detailed budget to Parliament by 
November 1.  Later in November, parliamentary debates will 
begin in earnest.  Undoubtedly, based on parliamentary 
concerns and interests, the budget will be amended repeatedly 
before a final document is approved in December.  The 
significant decreases in government revenues for 2009 and 
expected revenues in 2010, coupled with the GOG's pledge to 
the IMF to decrease the budget deficit from nine to seven 
percent of GDP in 2010 will require significant and painful 
budget cuts.  Nearly all government ministries and the 
President's office itself are facing large cuts, with some 
losing upwards of 60 percent of their 2009 budgets.  In pure 
dollar terms, the Ministry of Defense is the biggest loser as 
its budget will shrink by USD 88 million. 
 
2. (C) The draft budget submitted to Parliament is 
intentionally scant on details, as the government has yet to 
decide where the deepest cuts will occur.  The submitted 
draft sets revenues at GEL 4.865 billion (USD 2.913 billion) 
and expenditures at GEL 5.28 billion (USD 3.161 billion). 
The deficit will likely be financed by a combination of 
budget support from international donors and an expansion of 
domestic debt issuance.  The draft budget presupposes two 
percent GDP growth and three percent inflation in 2010.  It 
also forecasts no significant changes in the value of the 
lari.  In comparison, the projected revenue for 2009 was GEL 
5.510 billion (USD 3.053 billion) and projected expenses were 
GEL 5.252 billion (USD 3.145 billion). 
 
FINANCING SOCIAL PAYMENTS AND POLITICS 
 
3. (SBU) In a move to decrease government expenditures while 
maintaining social services and payments, all but one 
ministry will take budget cuts.  Based on GOG information, 
only the Ministry of Education and Science will see a budget 
increase (from GEL 519 million (USD 310.78 million) in 2009 
to GEL 527 million (USD 315.57 million) in 2010).  The 
Ministry of Labor, Healthcare and Social Protection,s budget 
will decrease slightly from GEL 1.534 billion (USD 919 
million) in 2009 to GEL 1.529 billion (USD 916 million) in 
2010. 
 
4.  (SBU) The Parliament is also slated to receive a slight 
increase from GEL 39.9 million (USD 23.89 million) in 2009 to 
GEL 43 million (USD 25.75 million) in 2010.  The Central 
Election Committee (CEC) will also see a slight increase to 
cover the cost of conducting local elections in 2010.  Out of 
the GEL 36.3 million (USD 21.74 million) budgeted for the 
CEC, GEL 6.3 million (USD 3.77 million) is earmarked to fund 
political parties.  Public Broadcasting was cut slightly from 
GEL 25.5 million (USD 15.27 million) in 2009 to GEL 22 
million (USD 13.17 million) in 2010.  The Public Defender's 
Office is budgeted to receive GEL 1.9 million (USD 1.14 
million) versus the GEL 2 million (USD 1.20 million) received 
in 2009.  The official budget for the Georgian Orthodox 
Qin 2009.  The official budget for the Georgian Orthodox 
Church will remain unchanged at GEL 25 million 
 
PAINFUL CUTS IN DEFENSE, INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING 
 
5.  (SBU) For the second year in a row, the Ministry of 
Defense will take the largest budget cut in dollar figures. 
The proposed 2010 budget shaves off another GEL 147 million 
(USD 88 million), bringing the total proposed defense budget 
to GEL 750 million (USD 449.11 million).  In 2008, the 
Ministry of Defense received 1.547 billion (USD 926 million) 
and in 2009 GEL 897 million (USD 537 million).  The Ministry 
of Regional Development and Infrastructure will receive a GEL 
94 million (USD 56.29 million) cut in its budget.  While the 
GOG,s aggressive infrastructure program will be slowed, many 
of the most essential projects will be continued off budget 
with international donor funding.  The Ministry of Economic 
Development (MOED) and the Ministry of Energy both took 
significant percentage cuts in their budgets, with MOED 
losing 67 percent of its 2009 funding and Ministry of Energy 
72 percent.  A MOED official said that the serious budget 
cuts would likely require structural reforms within the 
Ministry, but that he hoped layoffs would not be necessary. 
 
TBILISI 00001920  002 OF 002 
 
 
Both the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Refugees and 
Accommodations lost nearly 60 percent of their funding when &#x00
0A;compared with 2009 levels.  The Presidency and the Government 
administration accounts will decrease from GEL 50 million 
(USD 29.94 million) in 2009 to 25 million (USD 14.97 million) 
in 2010. 
 
COMMENT:  THINGS MIGHT BE LOOKING UP, BUT NOT FAST ENOUGH 
 
6.  (C) Many in the government believe that Georgia 
experienced the worst of its economic crisis in May and June 
2009, and that things have started to look up.  While 
consumer confidence seems to be slowly returning, government 
revenue collection remain lower than expected (reftel).  The 
Government's decision to announce a new round of 
privatizations may also be intended to help increase revenue. 
 Nevertheless, the painful cuts required by this new revenue 
reality will affect nearly every government entity -- 
including those areas important to the President.  In many, 
it will undoubtedly require structural reform including 
layoffs and even mandate changes.  Rumors have long 
circulated that the Ministry of Economic Development and 
Ministry of Energy might merge.  It is possible, given the 
serious projected cuts in budget for these two ministries, 
that a merger could be ahead. 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1919, GEORGIA: RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL CROSSES THE BORDER

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1919.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1919 2009-10-21 12:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5918
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1919 2941249
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211249Z OCT 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2345
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEANFA/NRC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHUNV/UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY
RHMFISS/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001919 

SIPDIS 

EO 12958 DECL: 10/19/2019 
TAGS PARM, PGOV, PREL, KNNP, DOE, GG 
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL CROSSES THE BORDER 

REF: TBILISI 207

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4 (b)  AND (d).

1. (C) Summary. On August 26, a car carrying three Armenian citizens entered Georgia from Armenia at the Sadakhlo border crossing. The car set off a gamma alarm on the radiation detection portal monitor. The driver provided a cursory explanation for the alarm, and the patrol police did not detain the group. On August 27, the same car returned to Armenia through the Sadakhlo crossing, and again set off a gamma alarm. At this point, the patrol police detained the occupants and searched the vehicle. Georgian officials determined that the car was contaminated with Cesium-137. However, because the search did not produce any radioactive material, the occupants were released and returned to Armenia. An FBI officer is currently following up with the Government of Armenia on the case. End summary.

2. (C) Comment. This incident shows the value of radiation detection portal monitors at ports of entry in Georgia, which have been installed across the country over the last several years by the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration/Second Line of Defense (SLD) program. Without the monitors, this car would have probably entered and exited Georgia with no one knowing that radioactive material may have been brought across the border. Officers with the Patrol Police, Border Police and Georgian Customs have received, and continue to receive, training from the United States on detecting and deterring radioactive and nuclear material smuggling. This includes instruction on how to operate the portal monitors. This incident also reveals that some training gaps remain within the patrol police on how to appropriately handle alarms. This vortex of knowledge likely results from the fairly recent (January 2009) assumption of responsibility of ports of entry by the patrol police (reftel). End comment.

GAMMA ALARM ON THE WAY INTO GEORGIA

3. (C) On August 26, a car carrying three Armenian citizens entered Georgia from Armenia at the Sadakhlo border crossing.  As the car passed through the radiation detection portal monitors, it set off a gamma alarm. The patrol police manning the port of entry briefly detained the vehicle to try and determine the reason for the alarm. The driver of the vehicle said that he had recently had surgery, during which time a radioactive isotope was injected into his body. The patrol police accepted this explanation, requiring no documentation or proof from the driver, and allowed the vehicle and occupants to enter Georgia (Note: According to standard procedures, the driver should have had a doctor’s note or some documentation confirming this. End note).

GAMMA ALARM ON THE WAY OUT OF GEORGIA

4. (C) On August 27, the same car, carrying the same three Armenian citizens, returned to the Sadakhlo border crossing to exit from Georgia. The car again set off the gamma alarm on the radiation detection portal monitor. At this point, the occupants were detained and the patrol police, using a handheld pager, determined that the car was contaminated with Qhandheld pager, determined that the car was contaminated with Cesium-137 (Cs-137). However, a search of the vehicle failed to produce any radioactive material. An official with Georgia’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety Service (NRSS) was called to the site, and confirmed that there was Cs-137 contamination covering almost the entire car, even in the ventilation system. A cloth in the car produced the highest radiation reading.

5. (C) The occupants of the vehicle were questioned, and one of the detainees told the investigator that he may have been contaminated while at a radio station near his village in Armenia. Because no radioactive material was found, the occupants were released and sent back to Armenia. Using pictures of the alarms from the monitors as evidence that the alarm did go off as the car entered Georgia, thereby establishing that the material originated in Armenia vice Georgia, the FBI’s Regional WMD Coordinator is currently following up with the Government of Armenia on this case. BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1915, GEORGIA: SAAKASHVILI ACKNOWLEDGES HIS IMAGE

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1915.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1915 2009-10-19 14:32 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3545
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1915/01 2921432
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191432Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2338
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001915 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: SAAKASHVILI ACKNOWLEDGES HIS IMAGE 
PROBLEM, BUT SEES CONTINUING RUSSIAN THREAT TO THE REGION 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN R. BASS.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary.  During a lunch following the Ambassador's 
credentials ceremony, President Saakashvili acknowledged the 
international community's questions about the Georgian 
Government's reform program.  However, he insisted that he 
was committed to using the remaining four years of his term 
in office to fulfill his legacy of creating a sovereign, 
independent and prosperous Georgia with democratic 
institutions that worked.  Saakashvili portrayed Russia as 
intent on dominating both Georgia and the region; Georgia's 
determination to root out its soviet past threatened Russian 
PM Putin's plans.  He said that others in the region were 
closely watching bilateral efforts to implement the 
U.S.-Georgian Strategic Partnership Charter and that the 
Charter as a guarantor of stability for Georgia.  Belarus had 
already reached out to Georgia to ask for continued U.S. 
engagement with Minsk in order to counterbalance Russian 
pressure.  On democratic reform, Saakashvili said that the 
opposition was hesitating to engage in dialogue and he asked 
the U.S. to continue to promote engagement.  The Ambassador 
urged the Government to engage with the opposition and civil 
society as well, noting specifically that introduction of a 
draft electoral code could focus opposition-government 
discussions and make it harder for the opposition to eschew 
engagement.  He also reiterated U.S. support for 
implementation of the Charter as a way to promote reform and 
development.  End Summary. 
 
2. (C)  Comment.  Saakashvili was relaxed during the October 
16 lunch, but was particularly animated in recounting key 
parts of his vision for Georgia's future -- economic 
investment, democratic reform and engagement with the 
opposition, new cultural and educational exchange programs 
and a strong bilateral relationship with the U.S. 
(specifically through the implementation of the Charter), 
while stressing the Russian threat to the region.  He 
specifically highlighted continuing Russian pressure not only 
on Georgia, but also Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia. 
Although the President's emphasis on the Russian threat plays 
to his advantage politically, it also reflects a conviction 
shared across Georgian society.  Saakashvili understood that 
many in the West now see Georgia mainly in terms of a 
disagreement between Russia and the U.S. and emphasized that 
he planned to change that image by redoubling his commitment 
to reform and democratic development.  President Saakashvili 
was accompanied to lunch only by his Amcit advisor Daniel 
Kunin.  DCM and USAID Mission Director also attended the 
lunch.  End Comment. 
 
We Have an Image Problem 
------------------------ 
 
3. (C)  President Saakashvili began lunch by discussing his 
recent trip to Kuwait and the UAE, as well as ongoing 
conversations with the Egyptians about trade development and 
potential investment.  He noted that it was important to find 
new sources of foreign direct investment and that this had 
been the reason for this trip.  Saakashvili then asked the 
Ambassadr about how the Tagliavini Report had been received 
in the U.S., noting his belief that it was a very good and 
factual report even though many of the conclusions were 
"wrong."  Saakashvili said that he had observed a "strong 
anti-American bias" in much of the report.  The Ambassador 
responded that we were still reviewing the report, but that 
much of the attention of Washington policymakers was on 
looking ahead rather than back. 
Qlooking ahead rather than back. 
 
4.  (C)  The Ambassador noted the war had changed perceptions 
among many in the U.S. regarding Georgia's overall 
trajectory, especially the Georgian Government's commitment 
to continued reform and democratic development.  Georgia 
could no longer take for granted international support for 
its efforts; many now saw Georgia primarily through the lens 
of an irritant in U.S.-Russian relations rather than a model 
for reform.  Therefore, the Government needed to do a better 
job of explaining its vision and demonstrating progress on 
reform.  Saakashvili acknowledged that Georgia now had an 
image problem, and reiterated that his commitment to 
realizing his vision had not changed.  He insisted that his 
government would use the remaining four years of his term in 
office to fulfill his legacy of creating a Georgia that was 
sovereign, independent and prosperous -- and that had 
democratic institutions that worked.  Georgia would regain 
its international reputation as a leader in reform by 
redoubling his commitment to reform and democratic 
development. 
 
5.  (C)  According to Saakashvili, democratic reforms were 
continuing, but the opposition was "hesitating" to engage. 
He urged the U.S. and other international partners to 
continue to encourage opposition leaders to remain engaged in 
 
TBILISI 00001915  002 OF 002 
 
 
dialogue.  (Embassy note: This may refer to o
pposition leader 
Alasania's decision not to participate in the latest NSC 
meeting to which opposition leaders were invited.  End note.) 
 Saakashvili said that the constitutional commission was in 
the process of proposing changes that would make the 
government more representative and give parliament more 
powers, although he did not think that Georgia was ready for 
or could afford to move to a full parliamentary system.  The 
Ambassador said that we would remain engaged on democratic 
reform and are committed to supporting dialogue between the 
government and opposition as well as wider civil society. 
However, he noted, it would also be useful for the Government 
to demonstrate its engagement by moving ahead with the 
introduction of a draft of the new electoral code, thereby 
giving a focus to ongoing government-opposition discussions. 
The Ambassador also suggested that clarity on the direct 
mayoral election in Tbilisi (this change has not yet been 
made in the law) would also give the opposition confidence 
that engagement was paying off. 
 
6.  (C)  Saakashvili was enthusiastic about the upcoming 
meetings of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission 
Working Groups, beginning with ASD Vershbow's chairing of the 
Security Working Group in Tbilisi on October 20.  Other 
governments in the region were watching this effort closely, 
especially the fact that we were continuing to use the 
Charter as a framework for the development of relations.  In 
Saakashvili's view, the Charter was acting as a guarantor of 
the U.S. commitment to Georgia and was bringing much-needed 
stability to Georgia.  He looked forward to all the 
Commission working groups taking place this fall. 
 
But Russia Remains the Problem 
------------------------------ 
 
7.  (C)  President Saakashvili noted that in many ways, "the 
worst was behind us," as the situation had stabilized on the 
ground along the administrative boundary lines and the 
economy was showing signs of recovery.  However, the 
geopolitical problem with Russia remained.  He said that 
Russia was not looking for a pretext or a provocation that 
would let them invade Georgia to "finish the job;" instead, 
Russia was looking for a situation in the world that would 
allow them to do this without international condemnation.  In 
Saakashvili's opinion, this was the only factor holding 
Russia back -- an inability to know how exactly the 
international community would react if Russia used force 
against Georgia again. 
 
8.  (C)  In fact, Russia's aggressive approach toward Georgia 
was threatening the entire CIS, in Saakashvili's view.  He 
noted that no one had wanted to attend the most recent CIS 
Summit, but he had persuaded his Ukrainian counterpart and 
several others to attend in order to support Voronin in the 
face of Russian pressure to dictate next steps on 
Transdnistria.  With the Georgians were absent, there was 
very little that the CIS had to offer.  Saakashvili expressed 
concern about Ukraine's future, predicting that there could 
be trouble in Crimea after the election, and explicitly 
suggesting that Russia could use force to "secure Crimea," 
causing an immediate political crisis for whatever new 
President took office in Kyiv. 
 
9.  (C)  Saakashvili said that Belarus was also under 
enormous pressure from Russia, especially to recognize the de 
facto "governments" in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  He 
reported that recently Lukashenko had been in touch to ask 
for Georgian help in getting the U.S. to reengage with Minsk, 
Qfor Georgian help in getting the U.S. to reengage with Minsk, 
as a possible way to counterbalance some of Russia's 
pressure.  Saakashvili suggested this might be a fruitful 
topic for discussions with senior USG officials.  This showed 
that Russia was not only attempting to control Georgia, but 
was also trying to dominate the entire region. 
 
10.  (C)  Indicating that he was doing his best to shore up 
European and international support for Georgia, Saakashvili 
ended the lunc by giving the Ambassador a sense of the large 
number of Georgian cultural figures and artists who would be 
performing in Europe and the West.  In this way, he hoped to 
demonstrate to international (especially European) publics 
the country's existing cultural connections to Europe and the 
importance of continued international support for Georgia. 
BASS

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1884, EXBS: GEORGIA MONTHLY REPORT SEPTEMBER 2009

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1884.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1884 2009-10-13 09:57 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1884/01 2860957
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130957Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2313
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//DCO-I//
RUEANFA/NRC WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TBILISI 001884 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC - ACHURCH, EMCPHERSON AND LSPRINGER 
DEPT FOR EUR/ACE - DFROMAN 
CBP/INA FOR ESEYMOUR-REDD AND RORME 
USDOE/NNSA FOR TPERRY, EDESCHLER, AND RTALLEY 
COAST GUARD FOR SATAMAN, SHABTEMICHAEL, AND JCAIRL 
NRC FOR JRAMSEY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETTC MNUC PARM PREL KSTC KNNP GG
SUBJECT: EXBS: GEORGIA MONTHLY REPORT SEPTEMBER 2009 
 
I.  BROAD ITEMS OF INTEREST TO ADVISORS AND AGENCY 
MANAGERS: 
 
   A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the 
Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) Police Academy, Border Police of 
Georgia and the Batumi Maritime Academy for Georgia Coast Guard 
(GCG) personnel to receive training at the Maritime Academy. 
According to the MOU, the signatory agencies will use combined 
efforts to train GCG personnel in basic law enforcement, marine 
engine repair and electrical maintenance. This initiative is an 
important step toward establishing in-country specialty training. No 
resident training existed within the GCG prior to this initiative, 
making international training support and on-the-job training the 
only options for developing critical competencies. The first law 
enforcement class graduated on 28 Sep and the first 
electrical/mechanical course will commence in early Oct. 
 
  II. COMPLETED ACTIONS FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD. 
 
A. SITE ASSESSMENTS AND MEETINGS DURING REPORTING PERIOD 
 
1- 2 Sep: The Maritime Advisor (MA) and the Program Coordinator (PC) 
visited a GCG base in Poti for a meeting with the Captain of the 
Poti based 82 foot, U.S donated patrol boat. The purpose of the 
meeting was to identify material discrepancies for use in developing 
a statement of work for the upcoming dry-dock and maintenance 
overhaul. 
 
The MA also met with Captain Giorgi Kveselava, Head of Operations 
and Commander Vepkhvia Bibileishvili, Head of Resources. MA assisted 
with providing recommendations for the GCG re-organization study 
currently in progress, which included development of a naval 
engineering element for vessel maintenance. Additionally, MA 
provided Head of Operations with recommendations on how to organize 
their operations division. 
 
8 Sep:  The EXBS Advisor (EA), MA and PC attended a donor 
coordination meeting at the European Commission (EC). The attendees 
included border agency representatives from the International 
Organization of Migration; United Nations Development Program; EC; 
Georgia Border Security and Law Enforcement program (GBSLE); and 
representatives from the Turkish and German Embassies. The purpose 
of the meeting was to share information related to each attendee's 
current and planned initiatives. 
 
 
9 Sep: The EA, MA and PC met with MOIA Police Academy Director 
Khatia Dekanoidze and the Academy's Head of Training Madlen 
Khelashvili. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss GCG training 
at the Batumi Maritime Academy. The Police Academy has requested 
assistance with the development of course curricula. 
 
22 Sep: The EA, MA, PC and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 
Deputy Attach Glenn Spindel met with the Director of the Police 
Academy. The purpose of the visit was to plan for the upcoming 
controlled deliveries training. 
 
24 Sep: The EA, MA and PC were invited guests at the graduation 
ceremony of the basic police training course at the Police Academy. 
A memorandum of understanding and cooperation was signed between the 
Academy and their counterparts from the State of Georgia. 
 
29 Sep: The MA and PC attended the graduation ceremony for the first 
Q29 Sep: The MA and PC attended the graduation ceremony for the first 
GCG basic law-enforcement course provided by the Batumi Maritime 
Academy. The ceremony was held at the Chakvi radar station, and the 
MA provided brief remarks congratulating the students and expressing 
appreciation to all agencies involved in supporting the training. 
Also in attendance were Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Head 
of the Border Police Major General Zaza Gogava; Director of the 
Coast Guard Captain Besik Shengelia; and Director of Batumi Maritime 
Academy Nadim Varshanidze. The event received national media 
coverage. 
 
30 Sep: The MA and PC met with the Batumi Maritime Academy Director, 
Nadim Varshanidze, and the Academy's Head of Administration, 
Teimuraz Gatserella. The purpose of the meeting was to tour the 
Academy, particularly the classrooms where the GCG will conduct 
training, as well as discuss possible training opportunities for the 
future. 
 
B. TRAINING CONDUCTED DURING REPORTING PERIOD: 
 
None 
 
C. EQUIPMENT DELIVERED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD: 
 
None 
 
  D. IMMINENT TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT STATUS UPDATE: 
  --UPCOMING TRAINING: 
 
1) Date TBD: 
 
 
Tracker system administration training and installation of equipment 
and software has been delayed pending availability of equipment. 
 
  2
) October 5 - 9: 
 
  Incident Command Systems 300 
 
Training will be delivered by the USCG as an advanced follow-on to 
the Incident Command Systems 200 course. The same participants will 
attend from the Coast Guard, Patrol Police, and Emergency Management 
Service. 
 
3) November 9-11 
 
Commodity Identification Training 
 
Training will be conducted in Batumi by INECP and provided to (30) 
officers from Customs and Coast Guard. 
 
4) November - December (Exact date TBD) 
 
Controlled Delivery Training 
 
Training will be conducted by ICE and will include participants from 
the MOIA Special Operations Center, Special Operations Department, 
and Anti-terrorist unit. A selection of covert surveillance 
equipment will be provided as part of the course. 
 
  --EQUIPMENT STATUS: 
 
  --PENDING PROCUREMENT OR DISTRIBUTION: 
 
  (1170)Utility Belts and Equipment - BP (NSOI)          $286,916 
  Spare Parts, Equipment - GCG                   70,000 
  (5)Radioactive Source Containers - NRSS (GTRI, EXBS)         TBD 
  (109) Thermal Imaging Cameras - BP (NSOI, EXBS)        TBD 
  E.  SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN EXPORT CONTROLS, 
   NON-PROLIFERATION OR RELATED BORDER SECURITY: 
 
   None 
 
  III. RED FLAG ISSUES: 
 
  None 
 
  POC for this report is Charles Hiscock, EXBS Program Advisor. 
  Telephone +995 32 277312. 
 
  LOGSDON

Wikileaks

09TBILISI1881, GEORGIA: ROUGH RECEPTION FOR DANISH FOREIGN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI1881.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1881 2009-10-09 15:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6917
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1881/01 2821506
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091506Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2309
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001881 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV DA RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: ROUGH RECEPTION FOR DANISH FOREIGN 
MINISTER IN ABKHAZIA 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1665 
     B. TBILISI 1713 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires a.i. Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4 (b) 
and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  During an October 6 visit to Abkhazia, 
Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller met with de facto 
"foreign minister" Shamba and "president" Bagapsh.  In 
meetings described by the Danish Honorary Consul, who 
accompanied the FM, as "disastrous," "poorly timed," and 
"awkward," Moeller received a barrage of criticisms and 
arguments from Shamba, and only a slightly more welcoming 
tone from Bagapsh.  With Abkhaz "presidential" elections set 
for December 12, the Danes noted that the timing likely 
contributed to a combative reception for the most senior 
non-Russian visitor in a year.  For now, the Abkhaz have 
clearly decided to maintain a tough line on status.  The 
Danish representative in Tbilisi stressed that his Foreign 
Minister had been deeply disappointed, and left Georgia 
contrasting his reception in Abkhazia with a very different 
visit in July 2008.  End Summary. 
 
DISAPPOINTING AND AWKWARD 
 
2. (C) In a meeting with Poloffs, Danish Honorary Consul and 
former head of Amcham in Georgia Esben Emborg (please 
protect) provided an assessment of the October 6 travel to 
Abkhazia by Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller.  As the 
only "official" Dane in Tbilisi, Emborg was responsible for 
planning the visit on his own, and accompanied the minister 
throughout his travels.  Emborg made it clear that the visit 
was unsuccessful, with the minister angered by his treatment, 
the attitudes of Abkhaz officials, and the lack of any 
movement in a positive direction.  Emborg noted that all EU 
foreign ministers desire to play roles in important areas of 
the world, and Moeller's decision to take this trip stemmed 
from his to make Abkhazia his area for his attention.  The 
trip was coordinated in advance with the Georgian government 
which, as in the case with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister 
Unal Cevikoz in September, provided transportation to the 
Abkhaz administrative boundary.  Emborg communicated with 
Abkhaz de facto officials about the trip through the Danish 
Refugee Council and used UNHCR vehicles for travel inside 
Abkhazia.  He stated that this requirement for a cut-out 
instead of direct communications was "disastrous," and likely 
further angered the Abkhaz interlocutors, with whom they 
planned to meet. 
 
3. (C) In a sign of things to come, when the Danish 
delegation arrived at the de facto Abkhaz "ministry of 
foreign affairs" for the meeting with Shamba, no one came to 
greet them at the door, nor did they know where to go.  They 
had to ask a cleaning lady the way to Shamba's office.  With 
this inauspicious start, the subsequent meeting, labeled by 
Emborg as disastrous, awkward, and bad, provided Shamba an 
opportunity to condemn EU policy, which he stated was only 
pushing Abkhazia further towards Russia, and to argue with 
the Danish minister about the lack of recognition.  While the 
subsequent meeting with Bagapsh proceeded with slightly less 
animosity, it also did not result in anything substantive, 
and Bagapsh stressed the principles on which the Abkhaz base 
their "independence."  Emborg said the two had clearly 
coordinated their messages to present the Danes with a united 
front.  Although Emborg had proposed a lunch afterwards, 
Shamba pretended he knew nothing about it - so after the 
Bagapsh meeting, the Danes unceremoniously left. 
GEORGIANS HAPPY 
QGEORGIANS HAPPY 
 
4. (C) Following the meetings, Moeller returned to Tbilisi 
and had dinner at the Honorary Consul's house, where the 
minister expressed his deep disappointment with the trip. 
Emborg stated that the Minister compared this trip with his 
prior visit to Abkhazia in 2008, when he was treated much 
better.  Additionally, Emborg stressed, that with the 
upcoming Abkhaz elections, the Abkhaz leaders wanted to 
appear tough on the international community.  These factors, 
coupled with the need for the Danish government to organize 
the visit through an NGO, all played a role outcome of the 
visit, according to Emborg.  In his subsequent meetings with 
Georgian fficials, Moeller was told that they were not 
surprised with the reception, and did little to hide their 
good feelings about this result.  Georgian press focused on 
Shamba's comments about the incomprehension in Abkhazia of 
the EU's "unrealistic approach" that would not contribute to 
the resolution of the conflict. 
 
ABKHAZ "PRESIDENTIAL" ELECTIONS 
 
 
TBILISI 00001881  002 OF 002 
 
 
5. (U) According to the website of the "president" of 
Abkhazia, the Abkhaz "parliament" has set the date for 
"presidential" elections in Abkhazia for December 12 (ref A). 
 As reported in Georgian press, the current political 
opposition is accusing Bagapsh of trying to rig the 
elections, claiming th
at Bagapsh is using administrative 
resources to pressure ethnic Georgians in Gali to support 
him, as they did in the previous "election."  Reportedly, 
Bagapsh is taking more forcible measures as well, including 
arresting Valmer Butba, a relative and close associate of 
likely "presidential" candidate Beslan Butba.  Another 
possible candidate is Stanislav Lakoba, who resigned as 
national security "secretary" in August (ref B).   Georgian 
media has speculated that Moscow will again support former 
"vice-president" Raul Khajimba in the elections. 
 
6. (C) Comment: The Danish Foreign Minister left Georgia 
quite disappointed.  The Abkhaz de facto officials ensured 
that they were on message about their distrust of the 
majority of the world, and their expectation of success 
sooner or later, delivering their message to the most senior 
western official to visit Abkhazia since the war.  Unable to 
cite even one positive aspect of his meetings with Abkhaz 
officials, the Danish foreign minister, whom Emborg stated 
was strongly committed to develop solutions for the region, 
was highly disappointed in his inability to move the 
conversation forward.  It appears that at least until after 
the elections, Abkhaz officials will remain intransigent in 
their dealings with outside officials, particularly from the 
west.  End Comment. 
LOGSDON

Wikileaks