Monthly Archives: November 2009

09TBILISI2066, GEORGIA: UN SEES ABKHAZ INCIDENT PREVENTION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2066 2009-11-27 13:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2823
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2066/01 3311300
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271300Z NOV 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2464
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0326
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4947
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0051
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2311
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002066 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/27/2019 
 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: UN SEES ABKHAZ INCIDENT PREVENTION 
MECHANISM GELLING 
 
REF: TBILISI 1935 
 
TBILISI 00002066  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A.I. KENT LOGSDON FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) 
AND (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  UN officials see the Abkhaz Incident 
Prevention and Response Mechanism as a useful mechanism to 
defuse tensions that provides a constructive vehicle for 
engaging all sides.  The UN reported that most IPRM 
procedural issues were resolved within the first meeting. 
They also noted that the Abkhaz de facto authorities and 
Russians are now sending the same representatives to each 
meeting, which has lead to confidence and familiarity among 
all participants (all other delegations have had consistency 
in their representatives for the onset).  According to the 
UN, four main themes are discussed at all IPRMs: security 
incidents; criminal incidents; civilian incidents; and other 
concerns which cross all these issues (i.e. human rights and 
freedom of movement).  They added that 50 percent of 
incidents raised are clarified or resolved during the IPRM. 
End summary. 
 
2. (C) Comment. While it may be early to define tangible, 
concrete achievements of the Abkhaz IPRM, the increase in 
confidence and transparency among the participants is an 
accomplishment in its own right.  This confidence and 
openness has been built up over only nine meetings and is 
paving the way for more substantial discussions and hopefully 
results, such as joint Georgian-Abkhaz site visits.  It is 
important to consider long-term what can be achieved on the 
IPRM level and what should be discussed in Geneva, especially 
as the South Ossetian IPRM has not yet reached a similar 
level of success.  We may be able to hold up the Abkhazia 
example as a model - and consider offering incentives to the 
Abkhaz for further cooperation, both to encourage them and to 
send a message to the South Ossetians.  In addition, while we 
do not think that the Abkhaz "presidential elections," 
scheduled for December 12, will derail the IPRM, there may be 
a period of transition for any new participants. End comment. 
 
 
QUICK RESOLUTION OF PROCEDURAL ISSUES 
 
3. (C) The three-member roving UN team for Georgia provided 
their overall thoughts and impressions of the Abkhaz Incident 
Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) during a November 
meeting with the Tbilisi-based diplomatic corps following the 
ninth IPRM in Gali.  We attended the meeting along with 
representatives from the British, French, German and Turkish 
Embassies.  There have been nine meetings of the Abkhaz IPRM, 
and the UN team reported that most procedural issues were 
resolved in the first meeting on July 14.  At that meeting, 
the participants agreed on the frequency of the meetings 
(biweekly), that the chairmanship would be held by the UN, 
and that the agenda would be drawn up one week in advance by 
the UN and circulated among the participants a few days 
before the meeting.  The one issue not resolved was the 
location of subsequent meetings; while in principle all sides 
had agreed in Geneva that the meetings would be held 
alternately on both sides of the administrative boundary line 
(ABL), the Abkhaz participants have asked to meet in Gali 
until after the December 12 "elections."  The Georgian side 
has acquiesced to this for now in order not to derail the 
IPRMs, but will likely propose meeting in undisputed Georgia 
QIPRMs, but will likely propose meeting in undisputed Georgia 
after December 12.  By the second meeting on July 28, 
arrangements for the establishment of a "hotline" were also 
finalized.  Because there is no capacity for a crisis center 
in which to house such a hotline, the participants agreed to 
exchange contact numbers, and in this way, the hotline was 
launched. 
 
ABKHAZ AND RUSSIAN PARTICIPANTS CONSISTENT 
 
4. (C) The participants from all parties have been fairly 
consistent and have become even more so over the last several 
meetings.  The Abkhaz typically send "presidential" 
representative for the Gali district Ruslan Kishmaria, who 
acts as the lead, and de facto representatives from the 
"ministry of foreign affairs" (usually de facto deputy 
foreign minister Maxim Gundjia), "ministry of defense," and 
"state security."  The fifth participant depends on the 
agenda items; for example, when maritime incidents were 
discussed the Abkhaz sent a legal representative.  The 
Russians have been more consistent in their participants 
since the fifth IPRM on September 22.  All current Russian 
participants are based in Abkhazia and include 
 
TBILISI 00002066  002 OF 002 
 
 
representatives from their "embassy" in Abkhazia, Ministry of 
Defense, and the FSB, and are usually at the level of a 
colonel.  The UN team noted that in order to further 
depoliticize the IPRM and make it more practical, they would 

like to see the level of participants come down one or two 
more levels, including on their own side (Note: This is not 
the official UN position. End note). 
 
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES ACTIVELY DISCUSSED 
 
5. (C) The UN team said that there are four recurring 
substantive themes in the IPRMs.  These are security 
incidents, criminal incidents, civilian incidents, and other 
crosscutting topics which touch on these issues.  Included in 
the last category are such issues as human rights and freedom 
of movement; they are not part of the official agenda because 
they are political and not pure security topics.  However, 
these issues do have an effect on security, and in fact take 
up the majority of discussion time. 
 
6. (C) Of the incidents raised during the IPRM, the UN said 
that approximately 50% of the incidents are clarified or 
resolved in a way acceptable to all participants.  One 
example provided was Russian helicopter overflights of 
undisputed Georgian territory.  The Russians finally admitted 
that their helicopters do probably cross the ABL because of 
how the helicopter has to approach the landing, and the 
Georgians did not push the issue after this explanation was 
given.  In another example, the issue of schoolchildren 
crossing the ABL to go to school in undisputed Georgia is no 
longer an agenda item.  Although the issue has not been 
resolved politically, it is no longer considered a security 
matter, and all sides agreed that it should now be raised in 
other venues. 
 
SHARING A CIGARETTE AND A JOKE 
 
7. (C) The UN team observed that there was a surprisingly 
quick progression in the IPRMs in terms of engagement on 
substantive issues.  There is now a frank and open exchange 
of views and information which has quickly led to a less 
confrontational and more businesslike environment.  The 
regularity of meetings has been instrumental in establishing 
rapport and confidence among the participants.  The team 
noted that the participants often engage in side 
conversations during breaks, and can even be seen sharing a 
cigarette and a joke.  Particularly in the last few meetings, 
the participants have come prepared to respond to questions 
and provide detailed information on specific incidents. 
 
CONCRETE RESULTS AROUND THE CORNER 
 
8. (C) The major results thus far have been greater 
transparency, confidence and familiarity among the 
participants.  Though there have been few concrete results 
yet, several are close.  The UN team reported that the 
participants are getting closer to developing a code of 
conduct for crossing of the ABL.  In addition, they have 
begun working together on investigating criminal activities, 
and are discussing a standard procedure for this.  The idea 
of joint Georgian-Abkhaz visits to observe or investigate 
specific incidents has also been raised, specifically in 
terms of a joint visit to a school in Gali.  The UN team 
reported that they are  hopeful that they can begin to work 
on the modalities of this after the Abkhaz "presidential 
elections." 
LOGSDON

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09TBILISI2063, GEORGIA: U.S. POSTURE ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2063 2009-11-25 15:15 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8767
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHSI #2063 3291515
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251515Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2461
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 002063 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL IR GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: U.S. POSTURE ON IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM 
AND NEXT STEPS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 120288 
 
1. (SBU)  On November 25, we delivered the points detailed in 
reftel on the U.S. posture towards the Iranian nuclear 
program to Levan Nizharadze of the Americas division in MFA. 
We also noted that this information would likely be the first 
step as we continued to work with our international partners 
on the Iranian nuclear issue, and that we would greatly 
appreciate the support of Georgia now and in the future on 
this issue.  Nizharadze expressed his appreciation for the 
details, stated that he would immediately brief the relevant 
offices on the information provided, and promised to be in 
contact with us should any follow up questions arise as they 
compose their report for senior MFA officials. 
BASS

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09TBILISI2056, GEORGIA: SPEAKER BAKRADZE WORKING TO SALVAGE THE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2056 2009-11-24 14:58 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7176
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2056/01 3281458
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241458Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2453
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002056 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: SPEAKER BAKRADZE WORKING TO SALVAGE THE 
ELECTORAL LAW WORKING GROUP 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 2028 
     B. TBILISI 1755 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN R. BASS.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Speaker of Parliament David Bakradze told 
the Ambassador on November 20 that he was working to find 
consensus that would allow all parties who participated in 
the Electoral Law Working Group (ELWG) to sign on to a 
package of reforms.  Bakradze said that he hoped to develop a 
vehicle that captured the broad consensus on most of the 
reform package and acknowledged Irakli Alasania's Alliance's 
objection to the 30 percent threshold proposed by UNM for the 
May Tbilisi mayoral elections.  Alliance leader, David 
Usupashvili (Republicans) said it was unlikely the Alliance 
would agree to such a proposal, and that they would continue 
to insist upon a 40 percent threshold.  Usupashvili indicated 
that whatever the outcome of the ELWG, the Alliance would 
almost certainly participate in these local elections.  End 
Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  Bakradze believes his credibility is tiedto finding consensus on new electoral legislation, as he 
initiated the ELWG on his own accord.  Bakradze seemed 
confident that despite the recent setback, a broad consensus 
across parties can be reached.  The Alliance seems unlikely 
to agree to the UNM election package in its current form 
because it believes it has little to gain since it will 
participate in local elections regardless of the outcome. 
Finding as broad a compromise as possible appears to be in 
the UNM and GoG's best interest in order to further 
incorporate more moderate voices into the political process 
while discrediting the more radical non-parliamentary fringe. 
 We will continue to encourage the UNM to pursue as broad a 
compromise as possible while refraining from urging a 
specific outcome on individual agenda items.  Alliance leader 
Alasania will return to Tbilisi on November 25 (he has been 
away since the ELWG deadlocked).  End Comment. 
 
Bakradze Committed to Getting a Deal 
 
3.  (C)  Bakradze told the Ambassador that he was committed 
to getting a deal done in the ELWG framework.  In Bakradze's 
view, having the electoral law return to the Parliament for 
modification absent agreement within the working group would 
be a significant set back.  The Ambassador stressed that 
continuing the process itself was important regardless of 
whether the parties could ultimately agree on a specific 
outcome.  Bakradze said that he would try to reach some sort 
of deal with the Alliance where they would agree to the UNM 
package, but sign with the caveat that they did not agree to 
a 30 percent threshold.  Bakradze observed that the Alliance 
had their own reasons to participate in elections so they 
should also be flexible in their demands.  Bakradze said he 
was open to further compromise if possible, and that he was 
determined to make sure the process did not end without 
result.  He also agreed with the Ambassador's point that the 
further the UNM could go on electoral concessions, the better 
the internal and international perception of the process 
would be.  Bakradze seemed open himself to compromise on the 
threshold question, but said the UNM has had many heated 
discussions on the issue, and that he would need to speak 
with other key players to see if there was any wiggle room 
for further negotiations on thresholds. 
 
The Alliance - the Other Player in Town 
 
4.  (C)  Poloff spoke to Alliance member David Usupashvili 
(Republicans) who was unaware of Bakradze's proposal for a 
potential compromise on consensus between the UNM and 
Qpotential compromise on consensus between the UNM and 
Alliance.  Usupashvili confirmed that quiet discussions 
between the UNM and Alliance had been ongoing.  Usupashvili 
said that the Alliance told the UNM that it would agree on a 
40 percent threshold.  Usupashvili confirmed to Poloff that 
the Republicans would participate in elections regardless of 
what the ELWG achieved making it unlikely (and in his view 
unnecessary) that they would agree to support part of the UNM 
proposal with reservations.  Usupashvili said he was 
confident the Alasania-led Our Georgia - Free Democrats and 
David Gamkrelidze-led New Rights would also participate in 
local elections regardless of the outcome of discussions. 
Usupashvili noted that this limited the Alliance's bargaining 
power, but felt there was no other alternative.  Usupashvili 
shared the Alliance's internal numbers for Tbilisi mayor with 
Poloff that showed current mayor Gigi Ugalava (UNM) with 31 
percent support, followed by Alasania with 21 percent, then 
Shalva Natelashvili (Labor) at 7 percent, and a Christian 
Democratic Movement (CDM) Candidate at 5 percent with Levan 
Gachechiladze and a National Forum candidate both polling at 
just under 5 percent.  (Embassy Comment:  Other polling 
indicates a wider spread between Ugulava and everyone else. 
End Comment.) 
 
TBILISI 00002056  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
A Tough Political Neighborhood 
 
5.  (C)  Usupashvili explained t
hat the Alliance would be 
criticized by the non-parliamentary opposition regardless of 
what agreement they struck, therefore they had decided to 
proceed ahead on their own.  Usupashvili lamented that a 
number in the non-parliamentary opposition were already 
naming candidates (Zviad Dzidziguri (Conservatives) and Koba 
Davitashvili (People's Party)) and trying to extract a 
political price to throw their support behind a single 
candidate.  Usupashvili lumped Levan Gachechiladze into the 
category of those looking for some sort of political payoff 
and dismissed the idea of a primary as unserious. 
Usupashvili said that the Alliance preferred to run on its 
own and for that, a 40 percent concession was essential. 
Usupashvili explained to Poloff that the Alliance did not 
want to join some sort of grand united opposition, and he 
hoped the UNM would realize that the Alliance, CDM, and UNM 
all had a vested interest in working together to sideline a 
number of more marginal radical players in the 
non-parliamentary opposition.  (Embassy Comment: 
Usupashvili's logic is correct in that a higher threshold and 
potential second round greatly reduces the leverage the 
non-parliamentary opposition can exert on the more moderate 
Alliance.  If the threshold is lower, Alasania will likely 
have to make significant political concessions to 
Gachechiladze and other more radical members in order to gain 
their support to win a first round over Ugulava outright. 
End Comment.)  Usupashvili said that he hoped the UNM would 
see that a concession on threshold would ensure that the 
moderates in the non-parliamentary opposition gained an upper 
hand which in his view over the long term, benefited the UNM, 
CDM, and Alliance alike. 
BASS

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09TBILISI2053, GEORGIA: RESPONSE TO BLUE LANTERN CHECK ON LICENSE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2053 2009-11-24 14:21 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2053 3281421
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241421Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2450
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0192
RULSDMK/NSA US WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 002053 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETTC KOMC IS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: RESPONSE TO BLUE LANTERN CHECK ON LICENSE 
050197949 
 
REF: STATE 113525 
 
1. (SBU) Per reftel, Deputy Head of MOIA's International 
Relations Main Division, Eka Machavariani, confirmed that the 
MOIA did order the exact quantity of ammunition listed on the 
application.  She also confirmed that Mamuka Kakabadze is an 
employee of MOIA and is authorized and assigned to implement 
all relevant technical details for the order.  She further 
confirmed that he is not being compensated in any extra way 
for the services provided. 
 
2.  (U) POC is Nicole O'Brien, Email: o'briennl@state.gov; 
SIPRNET: obriennl@state.sgov.gov 
BASS

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09TBILISI2028, GEORGIA: ELECTION LAW WORKING GROUP STALLS, BUT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2028 2009-11-19 14:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2765
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2028/01 3231438
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191438Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2437
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 002028 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: ELECTION LAW WORKING GROUP STALLS, BUT 
TALKS CONTINUE 
 
REF: TBILISI 2005 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4 (b) 
 and (d). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  The United National Movement (UNM) 
announced that it would pull out of the Election Law Working 
Group (ELWG) on November 18 after consensus could not be 
reached, but informal talks among the parties continue.  A 
wide-ranging package had been agreed to by all parties except 
for those in Alasania's Alliance (reftel).  The area of 
disagreement was the question of mayoral threshold.  The 
Alliance proposed adding a 45 percent threshold, down from 
its earlier 50 percent demand, to the overall UNM package 
while the UNM stuck to its 30 percent proposal.  Both 
measures were taken to a vote and neither received consensus. 
 After the session, UNM representative MP Pavel Kubliashvili 
(Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) announced that no 
further consensus could be achieved making further ELWG 
meetings pointless.  Nevertheless, behind-the-scenes talks 
are continuing, and Embassy Tbilisi will urge all sides to 
continue the dialogue.  It has become clear that there is not 
agreement among all members of the Alasania-led Alliance for 
Georgia on issues related to the local elections, as the 
political calculus for the parties are divergent, further 
complicating the quest for consensus.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  The threshold issue is of crucial 
importance primarily to Alasania who, in the absence of 
united opposition support behind one candidate, sees it as 
the key to gaining broad opposition support for his candidacy 
for Tbilisi mayor.  The threshold is of minimal, if any, 
importance to other stakeholders who will likely sign on to 
any compromise proposal between the Alliance and UNM.  UNM 
representatives have indicated both publicly and privately 
that they remain open to discussions outside the ELWG forum. 
Following on discussions in the Democracy Working Group 
(septel), we will approach the GoG and convey the importance 
of being as accommodating and flexible as possible to 
encourage participation in the electoral process but will no 
promote any specific area of compromise.  End Comment. 
 
Threshold is the Key 
 
3.  (C)  The ELWG reached unanimous consensus on the makeup 
of the CEC, makeup of the Tbilisi city council, voter lists 
and a number of other issues (reftel).  The threshold for the 
Tbilisi mayor race remained the only major sticking point 
when the ELWG convened November 18.  Alasania wanted a high 
threshold, as he understands that this is the only way he can 
push the election to a second round, thereby escaping having 
his votes diluted by a number of opposition candidates.  To 
date, Koba Davitashvili (People's Party) and Zviad Dzidziguri 
(Conservatives) have also announced their candidacy.  Labor 
and Christian Democrats are also expected to announce 
candidates.  Alasania's political calculation is to finish 
second to likely UNM candidate and current mayor Gigi 
Ugulava, and then win a runoff in opposition leaning Tbilisi. 
 The higher the threshold, the better chance Alasania has of 
forcing a second round runoff.  More radical 
non-parliamentary opposition leaders have a vested interest 
in seeing Alasania's more moderate tack fail, and therefore, 
do not support Alasania's position.  The UNM likewise, sees 
no political benefit in a higher threshold as they are 
confident their candidate will win an easy plurality of the 
vote and want to avoid a second round in the opposition 
Qvote and want to avoid a second round in the opposition 
leaning capital.  (Embassy Comment:  Currently, UNM's 
internal poll numbers for Ugulava are approaching fifty 
percent.  End Comment). 
 
Current State of Play 
 
4.  (C)  Alasania ally Alex Petriashvili (Our Georgia - Free 
Democrats) told Poloff that his party has told the GoG and 
UNM that a 40 percent threshold is their red-line.  Before 
the UNM pulled out of the ELWG, UNM representative MP Akaki 
Minashvili (Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations 
Committee) told Poloff that UNM had an intense internal 
debate over the electoral package.  Minashvili doubted that 
much room for further flexibility or compromise remained. 
CDM leader Giorgi Targamadze told Poloff that he viewed the 
current impasse as political posturing between Alasania and 
the UNM and would sign off on any agreement on which the two 
sides agree.  CDM ELWG representative Vice Speaker of 
Parliament Levan Vepkhadze told Poloff that Zurab Abashidze 
(Our Georgia - Free Democrats) told him that the Alliance had 
no backup plan if UNM did not agree to the forty percent 
threshold, but that they would participate in local elections 
in some form.  Alex Petriashvili confirmed to Poloff that Our 
Georgia - Free Democrats would have to evaluate how and if 
 
TBILISI 00002028  002 OF 002 
 
 
they participate in elections if no agreement is reached. 
 
An Unsteady Alliance 
 
5.  (C)  Both Targamadze and Vepkhadze tol
d Poloff that 
Alasania announced his candidacy for Tbilisi before the 
modalities of the election were clear, and now he is looking 
for a way out, as he has realized the significant political 
challenge.  Targamadze and Vepkhadze also questioned how 
committed Alasania's partners, party leaders David 
Gamkrelidze (New Rights) and David Usupashvili (Republicans), 
were to his candidacy.  Interactions between the 
representatives of Our Georgia - Free Democrats, the 
Republicans, and New Rights at the ELWG gave the clear 
impression that the allies had not coordinated their 
positions ahead of time and that they did not have a 
consensus position.  Other Embassy contacts have raised 
concerns that New Rights and Republicans ultimately want to 
find a pretext to pull out of local elections.  Gamkrelidze 
and Usupashvili both view themselves as national players and 
would be unlikely to accept any municipal position in an 
Alasania mayoral administration.  If Alasania should lose the 
mayoral election, Gamkrelidze and Usupashvili's stature would 
be further diminished giving both incentive to avoid 
involving themselves in an Alasania mayoral race altogether. 
BASS

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09TBILISI2027, GEORGIA: DEMARCHE ON U.S. PRIORITIES FOR NEW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2027 2009-11-19 14:31 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2729
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHSI #2027 3231431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191431Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2436
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 002027 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL AF GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: DEMARCHE ON U.S. PRIORITIES FOR NEW 
AFGHAN GOVERNMENT 
 
REF: SECSTATE 118297 
 
(SBU)  On 19 November 2009, PolOff delivered reftel demarche 
to Elene Khurtsilava, Americas Department, Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs.  Khurtsilava stated that she was unaware of 
any Georgian representatives attending the 19 November 
meeting in Kabul, and added that the Ministry appreciated the 
information and would share it with relevant offices working 
on Afghanistan. 
BASS

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09TBILISI2026, GEORGIA: DEMARCHE OPPOSING UNGA RESOLUTIONS WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2026 2009-11-19 14:30 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2727
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHSI #2026 3231430
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191430Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2435
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4946

UNCLAS TBILISI 002026 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL UNGA KPAL IS SY LE GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: DEMARCHE OPPOSING UNGA RESOLUTIONS WITH 
ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 118799 
 
(SBU) On 19 November 2009, Poloff delivered reftel demarche 
to Elene Khurtsilava, Americas Department, Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs.  Khurtsilava stated that she would pass the 
information immediately to the UN Department and assured 
Emboff that any substantive responses would be conveyed 
immediately to post. 
BASS

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09TBILISI2025, GEORGIA: MISTRAL SALE COULD DESTABILIZE BLACK SEA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2025 2009-11-19 12:35 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2568
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2025/01 3231235
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191235Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2433
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0324
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4944
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECRITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002025

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/19/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: MISTRAL SALE COULD DESTABILIZE BLACK SEA

REF: PARIS 1529

Classified By: Ambassador John R. Bass for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C)  Summary and comment.  On November 13 and 16 Foreign
Minister Grigol Vashadze voiced serious concerns about the
potentially destabilizing influence of France's possible sale
of Mistral-class helicopter carrier ships to Russia (reftel)
to DAS Tina Kaidanow and the Ambassador.  As the broker of
the August 2008 ceasefire agreement with which Russia has
still not complied, France would not only provide Russia with
arms that its own officers admit would have helped them in
the war against Georgia, but would send a powerful signal
that NATO and the west are no longer concerned about Russia's
intentions.  At a time when Georgia faces a "silent embargo"
on arms shipments, other countries -- notably Spain and the
Netherlands -- await such a signal to begin their own sales
to Russia.  Such an opening of the floodgates could render an
already out-of-balance military confrontation even more
lopsided, allowing the Russians to assert themselves with
impunity -- and delivering the implicit message that the west
will not interfere.  Vashadze requested that the United
States push back against this sale and said President
Saakashvili would make the same request at more senior
levels.  We recommend doing so, in both Paris and Brussels --
or at the very least seeking a commitment from Russia that
these ships will not be deployed in the Black Sea.  End
summary and comment.

VASHADZE'S CONCERNS

2. (C) Foreign Minister Vashadze raised his concerns with us
about the sale twice, during a November 16 meeting with
Deputy Assistant Secretary Kaidanow and in a November 13
dinner with the Ambassador.  He registered several specific
objections.  First, the fact that it is France considering
the sale carries significant symbolic weight.  President
Sarkozy, representing the French presidency of the EU,
brokered the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement between
Georgia and Russia and effectively pledged the EU as the
guarantor of that agreement.  Point 5 of the agreement
requires Russia to withdraw its forces to those positions
held previous to the war -- a provision that Russia has not
complied with.  In fact, Russia has done the opposite,
increasing its military presence in both Abkhazia and South
Ossetia, and expanding its positions beyond their August 6,
2008 positions.  Thus, if France were to approve the sale of
any significant military equipment to Russia, it would
implicitly intimate that the broker of the ceasefire
agreement was satisfied either that Russia had complied with
those commitments, or that the commitments were no longer
binding.

3. (C) Second, Vashadze noted that the specific ship in
question represents a direct threat not only to Georgia, but
to the entire Black Sea region.  Third, the sale is being
contemplated in the context of what Vashadze called a "silent
embargo" against Georgia, making Georgia's attempts to
rethink its physical security even more difficult.   Russia
would improve substantially its ability to project military
power across the Black Sea littoral.  Finally, Vashadze said
that other countries -- notably Spain and the Netherlands --
were waiting for just such a sale from a major NATO ally to
open the door to their own arms sales to Russia.  A Mistral
sale would thereby open the floodgates to new procurements
Qsale would thereby open the floodgates to new procurements
for Russia -- procurements that could lead to even more
destabilizing steps in the Black Sea region.

PUBLIC DISCUSSION

4. (U) The newspaper 24 Saati (24 Hours) published a
front-page article November 18, written by a American analyst
based in Tbilisi, that registers strong protest against the
proposed sale.  Calling the sale potentially the "biggest
ever NATO country military supply to Russia," the article
notes that quotes Russian Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir
Vysotskiy as saying in September that "In the conflict in
August last year a ship like that would have allowed the
Black Sea Fleet to accomplish its mission in 40 minutes, not
26 hours, which is how long it took us."

COMMENT:  THE WRONG SHIP FROM THE WRONG COUNTRY AT THE WRONG
TIME

5. (C) Despite reassuring its people that Russia is not
likely to undertake further military action in the near
future, the Georgian Government privately is concerned by the
steady stream of aggressive Russian rhetoric.  The symbolism
of France, the broker of the ceasefire and a major NATO ally,

TBILISI 00002025  002 OF 002

taking this particular opportunity to make one of NATO's
biggest sales ever to Russia will not be missed in Moscow or
in Tbilisi.  Not only on the symbolic level is the sale
problematic; this type of ship will give Russia a new
capability to enforce, or threaten to enforce, its will in
the Black Sea.
  This sale would render the already difficult
task of getting Russia to comply with its ceasefire
commitments nearly impossible, and it would potentially
increase the militarization of, and instability in, the Black
Sea region.  Although Georgia, despite the introduction of
vastly increased Russian military forces into its territory,
has so far refrained from actively rearming itself, the
acquisition by Russia of such a ship could exacerbate public
fears and virtually force Georgia to seek ways to prepare to
respond.  The United States should take steps to discourage
this sale, i Paris and Brussels, or at the very least impose
appropriate conditions on the sale -- such as firm
commitments from Russia that the ships will not be deployed
in the Black Sea -- that would put any Russian assertions
about overall capabilities, versus their intentions in this
region, to the test.
BASS

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09TBILISI2024, GEORGIA: RISKY SITUATION IN THE BLACK SEA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2024 2009-11-19 12:20 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2557
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2024/01 3231220
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191220Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2431
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0322
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2309
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4942
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002024 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/18/2019 
TAGS: PREL PBTS PHSA EWWT MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: RISKY SITUATION IN THE BLACK SEA 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1949 
     B. TBILISI 1665 
     C. TBILISI 1729 
     D. STATE 94922 
     E. TBILISI 1643 
     F. MOSCOW 2360 
     G. TBILISI 1627 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John R. Bass for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  Georgian officials confirm that they are 
neither interdicting vessels outside their territorial waters 
nor patrolling the waters north of the Enguri River in the 
Black Sea, and they continue to seek a way forward on 
shipping with Turkey.  There have been no additional maritime 
incidents on the Black Sea involving the Georgian government 
since we raised concerns in August.  One ongoing concern is 
the threat of smuggling in the Black Sea -- a high-threat 
region for WMD transshipment.  Another is a provocation from 
the Russian or Abkhaz sides; the Russians and Abkhaz have not 
committed to avoiding provocations, and Russia seems intent 
on increasing its naval presence in Abkhazia, despite its 
cease-fire commitments.  This is evidenced by Russia's 
interest in purchasing a Mistral amphibious assault ship from 
France (septel).  By staking a claim to Abkhaz "territorial" 
waters but not defining them, the Russians and Abkhaz have 
created a gray area that has already caused an incident.  On 
November 10, Russian forces detained five Georgian fishermen 
in the Black Sea near the Abkhaz administrative boundary, who 
were fined and released.  The Russian presence ensures 
continuing tension and possibility of escalation, as well as 
a weakened border control regime.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) Comment: The Georgian side has acknowledged the 
international community's concerns about their actions in 
August and September and the potential for escalation, 
including those expressed by the United States (refs C-E) and 
has taken steps to prevent future incidents.  The other 
parties inside Georgia -- the Russians and Abkhaz -- have not 
acknowledged the same danger and committed to taking 
comparable steps on their part.  Although Russian officials 
report they have urged restraint by the Abkhaz(ref F), 
Russian forces are patrolling these waters.  The undefined 
claim to Abkhaz "territorial" waters, and initial efforts to 
enforce that claim, in fact suggest they have taken a more 
aggressive stance oward enforcing their view of the 
political situation.  Furthermore, the ambiguous situation 
widens the gap in Georgia's overall border protection regime, 
increasing the threat of destabilization in the Black Sea 
from nuclear, arms or other smuggling.  As noted in ref G, 
the tension ultimately stems from the ongoing Russian 
presence in Georgia.  Engaging all sides on any destabilizing 
actions, be they detentions and seizures or military build 
up, is the way to ensure stability in the Black Sea.  End 
comment. 
 
GEORGIAN COAST GUARD AVOIDING PROVOCATION, SEEKING WAY FORWARD 
 
3. (C) An Embassy officer recently met with the Head of Coast 
Guard Operations in Poti, who confirmed that the Georgian 
Coast Guard is not patrolling the waters north of the Enguri 
River in order to avoid any provocation with the Abkhaz or 
Russians.  He added that, in general, they have not patrolled 
north of the Enguri since the early 1990s.  Likewise, First 
Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria announced during the 
U.S.-Georgia Security Working Group in October that Coast 
Guard personnel have orders not to engage in hot pursuit and 
QGuard personnel have orders not to engage in hot pursuit and 
not to take any actions in Georgia's economic zone (i.e., 
beyond 24 nautical miles - see ref A).  We are unaware of any 
Georgia-initiated incidents since August, and Georgian 
Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze told EUR DAS Tina Kaidanow 
November 16 that Georgia is aware that six vessels have 
sailed to Abkhazia since the last Georgian seizure.  He added 
that Georgia wants to enable trade with Abkhazia, and a 
Georgia-Turkey working group will meet November 19 to find a 
way forward that facilitates trade but does not jeopardize 
Georgian security or territorial integrity.  Vashadze said 
that Turkey has already turned down one idea to address 
possible smuggling concerns -- basing Georgian officials in 
Turkish ports. He noted that U.S. encouragement may be 
necessary to help reach an agreement between Georgia and 
Turkey. 
 
RISK OF SMUGGLING REMAINS HIGH IN BLACK SEA 
 
4. (C) Stability in the Black Sea remains a serious and 
time-sensitive issue.  The waters off Abkhazia continue to be 
 
TBILISI 00002024  002 OF 002 
 
 
"off limits" to the Georgians, and there are no
mechanisms to 
inspect cargo entering or leaving Abkhazia.  The Caucasus and 
Black Sea are high-threat regions for WMD transshipment, and 
the Coast Guard's ability to detect, interdict and 
investigate possible smuggling activities is severely limited 
without internationally accepted Georgian jurisdictional 
authority to inspect vessels off Abkhazia.  Currently there 
is no visibility into what type of cargo is moving into 
Abkhazia.  This remains a major weak link in preventing 
nuclear, arms, drug or other types of smuggling, and has been 
consistently noted as such by the international community. 
The situation undermines many of the programs we undertake to 
buttress Georgian and regional efforts to control borders and 
combat smuggling of all kinds.  Although Georgia's lack of 
authority in Abkhazia has been a source of concern ever since 
the 1990s, the international community's explicit message to 
Georgia to avoid potentially provocative confrontations -- 
and Georgia's willingness to comply -- potentially creates an 
even wider gap. 
 
GEORGIANS FACE A RISKY SITUATION IN THE BLACK SEA 
 
5. (C) Though the Abkhaz de facto authorities claim the 
existence of territorial waters, neither they nor the 
Russians have spelled out a precise geographic delimitation. 
Therefore, the Georgian Coast Guard and Georgian citizens 
cannot know whether or not they entering what is being 
claimed as Abkhaz waters.  Georgians sailing close to the 
administrative boundary are therefore subject to the whim of 
the Russians and Abkhaz at any given time, which could lead 
to confrontational situations. 
 
6.  (C)  On November 10, five fisherman, including residents 
of both Abkhazia and undisputed Georgian territory, were 
detained by Russian forces in the water off Anaklia, a town 
located in undisputed Georgian territory just south of the 
administrative boundary line.  Russian forces claimed that 
the fishermen were detained for illegal fishing in Abkhaz 
"territorial" waters, and that the Russian border guards 
acted in accordance with Russian-Abkhaz agreements when 
detaining the fishermen.  The residents of undisputed 
Georgian territory received a large fine, imposing a 
significant economic impact on the livelihoods of the 
fishermen.  The Abkhaz de facto authorities reacted quickly 
to resolve the incident; they acknowledged the incident 
during the November 11 Geneva talks, promised to release the 
detainees promptly, and then did so.  Nevertheless, other 
efforts to enforce so-called Abkhaz waters may not end so 
peacefully. 
 
BLACK SEA BUILD UP? 
 
7. (SBU) In addition, press reports indicate that Russia 
intends to increase its military naval presence in Abkhazia. 
One report, for example, quoted a Russian Border Guard 
official as saying that ten patrol boats, including Sobol and 
Mangust types, would be based in Ochamchire to deploy along 
the coast of Abkhazia by mid-November.  Ochamchire will also 
reportedly be the site of a new Russian naval base.  The 
Russian Coast Guard's Novorossiysk, described as an 
"artillery ship," has reportedly been deployed in Abkhazia 
since September.  These deployments would seem to represent 
further violations of Point 5 of the August 12, 2008 
cease-fire agreement, which calls for Russian forces to 
withdraw to positions held before the war.  Russian interest 
Qwithdraw to positions held before the war.  ussian interest 
in purchasing a Mistral amphibious assault ship from France 
only adds to concerns about a military build up in the Black 
Sea (see septel). 
BASS

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09TBILISI2013,

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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. #09TBILISI2013.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI2013 2009-11-16 13:25 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #2013 3201325
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 161325Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2425
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 4045


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