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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04BRUSSELS2610
2004-06-18 12:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

EU UPDATE ON GEORGIA, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE

Tags:   PREL  UP  BO  MD  RS  EUN  USEU  BRUSSELS 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 002610 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/ERA, EUR/UMB, EUR/CACEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2009
TAGS: PREL UP BO MD RS EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU UPDATE ON GEORGIA, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE

Classified By: USEU POLOFF LEE LITZENBERGER; REASON 1.5 (B,D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 002610

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/ERA, EUR/UMB, EUR/CACEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2009
TAGS: PREL UP BO MD RS EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU UPDATE ON GEORGIA, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE

Classified By: USEU POLOFF LEE LITZENBERGER; REASON 1.5 (B,D)


1. (C) Summary. On June 17, EU High Rep Solana's advisor
for the CIS, Kees Van Rij, reviewed developments in Georgia,
Moldova and Ukraine with visiting Coordinator for Assistance
to Europe and Eurasia Pascual. Van Rij gave a readout of EU
High Rep Solana's meeting the day before with Georgian PM
Zhvania, who discussed Georgia's improved relations with
Russia, its policy to win the "hearts and minds" of South
Ossetians, next steps on Abkhazia, and how good ties to
Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey may enable Georgia to help
resolve regional tensions. On Moldova, Van Rij provided an
update on EU efforts with Moscow to relaunch pentagonal
talks, relayed Moldovan concerns that Russia may try to push
a "Kozak II" plan, and offered EU views on Moldova's proposed
stability pact. On Ukraine, Van Rij said the EU would take a
tough line at its July 18 summit with Kuchma on elections and
arms exports. End Summary.

Georgia: Russia, S. Ossetia, Abkhazia, N-K and Turkey
--------------

2. (C) On the margins of the June 16-17 Georgia Donors'
Conference in Brussels (septel), visiting Coordinator for
Assistance to Europe and Eurasia Pascual met with Council
Secretariat Senior Policy Advisor Kees Van Rij, and his

SIPDIS
assistant, Carl Hartzell, to discuss Georgia, Molodova and
Ukraine. On Georgia, Van Rij said EU High Rep Solana's June
16 meeting with Georgian PM Zhvania confirmed the EU's
impression that Zhvania plays a key "balancing" role in the
cabinet, and acts as a moderating influence on President
Saakashvili. Zhvania stressed the priority Georgia is
placing on improving relations with Moscow, noting
Saakashvili's frequent contact with Putin. Zhvania also said
his personal contact with Igor Ivanov is key to improved
relations; Ivanov is much more important an interlocutor than
Lavrov. Georgia is working to "bridge the remaining gaps"
with Russia on an agreement to close Russian bases in
Georgia. One idea that seems to have caught Moscow's

attention is the Georgian offer to open a joint
Georgian-Russian Counterterrorism Institute in Tbilisi as
"compensation:" the Institute would permit Russia to
maintain a limited military advisory presence.


3. (C) On South Ossetia, Zhvania told Solana that Georgia
has no plans to use force; rather Saakashvili is pursuing a
medium- to long-term "soft" strategy to "win the hearts and
minds" of Ossetians. Zhvania said Georgia was pleased that
Moscow had rejected South Ossetia's request to join Russia.
On Abkhazia, Zhvania told Solana that Georgia was working for
the return of refugees to Galia, under UN/Russian guarantees.
Finally, Zhvania claimed he had good relations with Azeri
President Aliyev; the latter is very interested in how
Georgia resolved the Ajaran crisis without resort to
violence. Zhvania said he also has close ties to Armenian
President Kocharian and intimated Georgia may seek a
mediating role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Zhvania
also told Solana that Georgia is working with Ankara to help
Armenia reopen its border with Turkey.

Georgia: EU Rule of Law Program
--------------

4. (C) In response to a question from Ambassador Pascual,
Van Rij clarified the recently-announced EU Rule of Law
Program for Georgia, which is being run as a European
Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) program, rather than as a
traditional assistance program under the European Commission.
Van Rij explained that under ESDP, the EU can launch civil
preparedness programs in cases designated to be "emergency"
situations. The EU maintains for this purpose lists of
European experts in various civil preparedness areas. In the
case of Georgia, the EU's Political and Security Committee
(PSC) designated the need to reform Georgia's law enforcement
and judicial institutions an "emergency."


5. (C) The EU is currently in the process of identifying
about ten civilian experts who will be working out of
ministries and police HQ in Tbilisi. The program will be
under the supervision of the EU's envoy to the South
Caucasus, Heikki Talvitie, and will report to EU High Rep
Solana. Van Rij said the team would coordinate closely with
U.S. advisors already working in this area in Georgia. The
EU designation was, in part, designed to send a clear
political signal to the new Georgian government of EU
commitment to support key reforms. (Comment. Designating the
Georgia Rule of Law program an ESDP activity also serves EU
institutional goals: the EU can now claim to have launched
ESDP operations in the Balkans, Africa and the Caucasus. End
Comment.)

Moldova: Russia, Stability Pact, and the EU Action Plan
--------------

6. (C) The EU continues to seek ways to relaunch the
pentagonal political talks with Russia to move the
Transnistria issue forward. Van Rij said he had met with the
resident Russian Charge in Brussels, and told him the EU was
looking for a response to Irish PM Ahern's letter raising,
inter alia, EU interest in the pentagonal talks (reftel).
Van Rij said he also reminded the Russian that the EU wants
to have an "agenda" with Moscow to discuss frozen conflicts,
and the EU wants Russia to be "predictable" and not launch
unilateral surprises like the Kozak plan. Van Rij said the
EU's PSC committee will have its monthly meeting with the
Russians next week and will ask for Moscow's views on
Voronin's stability pact proposal.


7. (C) Van Rij said the Moldovans, who were in Brussels
earlier in the week to finalize the EU-Moldova "Action Plan"
under the EU's European Neighborhood Policy, had expressed
concern that Russia would push a "Kozak II" plan in coming
months. The Moldovan reasoning, which Van Rij said he has
not completely accepted, is that with elections coming up
"everywhere" -- the U.S., Ukraine, Romania -- and with the
changeover of the European Commissioners, Russia may try to
press Voronin, just before Moldovan elections, to accept a
new version of the Kozak plan. Van Rij speculated that
Moldova's stability pact proposal may have been an effort to
avert a Russian initiative; Van Rij also saw it as an attempt
by Voronin to show Moldovans there was movement on
Transnistria in the run up to elections. Van Rij and
Hartzell made clear that the only utility the EU sees in the
stability pact proposal is as a vehicle to re-engage Russia
and moving forward the political talks on Transnistria.

Ukraine: Tough talk at July summit?
--------------

8. (C) Van Rij and Pascual discussed the upcoming elections
in Ukraine, and whether or not Kuchma would run. Van Rij
said the EU's next summit with Ukraine will be on July 8.
The EU debated whether to hold the summit before or after
elections, but decided to go ahead in order to be able to
send a strong signal to Kuchma on the need for fair
elections. The EU was disappointed in the manipulation of
local elections earlier this year, and Solana had earlier
warned Kuchma not to mix up the issue of constitutional
changes with the presidential elections, so the EU will take
a tough line at the summit. Van Rij said the EU will also
speak frankly about non-proliferation concerns with Kuchma,
in particular regarding Ukrainian arms sales to Africa and
Burma.

SCHNABEL