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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09TBILISI593
2009-03-24 14:54:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tbilisi
Cable title:  

GEORGIA: OSCE CIO BAKOYANNIS BRINGS LITTLE TO

Tags:   PREL  MOPS  KBTS  GR  RS  GG 
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DE RUEHSI #0593/01 0831454
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241454Z MAR 09 ZDK ZUI HKB4562
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1250
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0191
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4812
RUEHUNV/UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 4015
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000593 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2019
TAGS: PREL MOPS KBTS GR RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: OSCE CIO BAKOYANNIS BRINGS LITTLE TO
TBILISI

TBILISI 00000593 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000593

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2019
TAGS: PREL MOPS KBTS GR RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: OSCE CIO BAKOYANNIS BRINGS LITTLE TO
TBILISI

TBILISI 00000593 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary. In a March 23 visit to Tbilisi, OSCE
Chairman-in-Office Bakoyannis reviewed progress in
negotiating a new OSCE mandate for Georgia with Foreign
Minister Vashadze. According to Georgian MFA and OSCE staff,
Bakoyannis praised Georgia for its flexibility both privately
and publicly, but offered no new ideas, saying that she is
waiting for Russian feedback. Vashadze expressed his
approval of the current Greek proposal, even offering to sign
it on the spot, but urged Bakoyannis to push for resolution
of the process, both to put pressure on the Russians and to
give sufficient time to plan for an alternate scenario,
should no new mandate be approved. Bakoyannis said she had
no alternate scenario; her goal is to focus all her energy on
a renewed mandate. On March 24, post received word of a new
Greek proposal that apparently incorporates Russian comments
on the previous version. In a later conversation, Vashadze
told the Ambassador this new proposal was completely
unacceptable and said it was time to bring the process to a
close based on the proposal he discussed with Bakoyannis. He
also suspected the Russians are seeking to kill the OSCE and
possibly the Geneva process, with a view to focus on the UN
and their Security Council veto. End summary.

MFA: NOTHING NEW


2. (C) MFA Director of International Relations Sergi
Kapanadze told EmbOff that CiO Bakoyannis brought nothing new
to her March 23 meeting with FM Vashadze. She told the
minister that she was waiting for feedback from the Russian
side on the Greek proposal from the previous week, which
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov promised her within a few
days. Kapanadze said Vashadze made clear that the Georgians
could accept the Greek proposal, even offering to sign it
right then and there. Vashadze also urged Bakoyannis,
however, to push for resolution of the process and not to
allow the Russians to drag it out indefinitely. Kapanadze
explained that the Georgians would be willing to consider

Russian comments on the Greek proposal, and in fact (despite
his minister's offer to sign on the spot) had a few comments
of their own, but they would not be willing to consider a new
proposal from the Russians.


3. (C) Kapanadze added that it was important to push for a
conclusion of the process for two reasons. First, it would
put pressure on the Russians to take a position. Second,
should the effort to renew the mandate fail, it would provide
sufficient time for an alternate scenario to be worked out.
According to Kapanadze, however, Bakoyannis made clear to
Vashadze that she currently has no such "Plan B" -- that her
focus is on achieving a compromise mandate. She also said
she would try to be as flexible as possible and exhaust all
avenues in achieving that compromise. She added that she
hoped to reach some kind of resolution by April 15.


4. (C) Kapanadze noted that several "Plan B" ideas were
circulating in Vienna, such as running programs in Georgia
through ODIHR, or through the High Commissioner for National
Minorities, or through a restructured Economic Recovery
Program (ERP). The Georgian side does not yet have a formal
position on these ideas, and it would take some time to
determine which would be the most useful and then to work out
Qdetermine which would be the most useful and then to work out
a plan for implementation. The OSCE would therefore need to
start such discussions well before the mandate expires in
June. He thought Bakoyannis's choice of April 15 as a
deadline for movement on the mandate discussion seemed
arbitrary and suggested there was no reason to wait nearly
another month. Furthermore, Kapanadze noted that OSCE Head
of Mission Hakala has indicated that the process of shutting
down the mission will become irreversible by the end of April
-- so the window of opportunity for considering alternate
arrangements is closing soon.

OSCE: NOT MUCH TO REPORT


5. (C) In a separate meeting, Special Assistant to the OSCE
Head of Mission Matthew Goodstein confirmed that Bakoyannis's
meeting with Vashadze was not too substantive. He
characterized the situation as bringing us "back to square
one," because we are once awaiting Russian feedback on a
Greek proposal. He offered a bit more explanation for
Bakoyannis's focus on achieving a new mandate: she suggested
to Vashadze that closure of the OSCE mission in Georgia would
have a very negative impact on the Geneva process, and that
the EU Monitoring Mission could not replace the OSCE

TBILISI 00000593 002.2 OF 002


monitors. Bakoyannis also made clear that she was absolutely
committed to Georgia's territorial integrity, and this
principle was not-negotiable in the discussions of a new
mandate.

VASHADZE: THE RUSSIANS MIGHT WANT TO KILL OSCE AND GENEVA


6. (C) Shortly after the meetings with Kapanadze and
Goodstein, post received a copy of a brand new Greek proposal
that apparently adopted suggestions recently given the Greeks
by the Russians. In a separate meeting with the Ambassador,
Vashadze indicated this new proposal, which does not provide
for free movement for military monitors across the South
Ossetian administrative boundary and incorporates Russian but
not Georgian comments, was completely unacceptable. He said
it was time to push for a final conclusion of the
negotiations based on the proposal he discussed with
Bakoyannis. He also reported hearing from French sources a
readout of a recent conversation between Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Karasin and the French politial director in
Moscow, in which Karasin skipped past a discussion of the
OSCE to focus on the UN mandate. Vashadze told the
Ambassador he suspects the Russians may be looking to kill
not only the OSCE mission, but the Geneva process as well, to
focus solely on the UN, where they have a Security Council
veto.

COMMENT: HERE WE GO AGAIN


7. (C) Despite Bakoyannis's declared commitment to
territorial integrity, it seems her focus on exhausting all
avenues to achieve a compromise, combined with the Georgians'
continued flexibility, has enabled the Russians -- who do not
respect Georgia's territorial integrity -- to maintain the
upper hand in the negotiations.
TEFFT