06MOSCOW11690, GEORGIA UPDATE: OCTOBER 18

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11690 2006-10-18 14:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO2999
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1690 2911436
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 181436Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4134
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 011690 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/18/2016 
TAGS: PREL MARR PREF GG RS
SUBJECT: GEORGIA UPDATE:  OCTOBER 18 
 
REF: MOSCOW 11629 AND PREV. 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel A. Russell.  Reason 1.4 ( 
b, d) 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (C) Deportation orders against Georgian continue; the 
Georgian Embassy claims about 1000 Georgians have been told 
to leave without being detained.  Georgians are expected to 
take Russian citizenship in greater numbers as a protective 
move.  Georgian restaurants are reopening.  The official mood 
remains dour.  Russian officials still say the time is not 
yet ripe for renewed dialogue with Georgia; Georgians expect 
continued confrontation.  End Summary. 
 
Deportations and Georgian Nationals 
----------------------------------- 
 
2. (C) The body of the Georgian who died at Domodedovo 
Airport October 17 while awaiting deportation will be flown 
to Tbilisi October 19 at Georgian government expense, 
Georgian Ambassador Chubinishvili told us.  After the October 
17 flight, some 7-8 Georgian nationals remain detained in St. 
Petersburg.  In addition to those detained in Moscow 
(reftel), reports are arriving of detentions in Sochi, 
Kaliningrad and elsewhere, but the Georgian Embassy cannot 
get specific numbers until it sends its consular officers to 
the sites.  Chubinishvili claimed that 1000 Georgians have 
received orders to leave the country, though they have not 
been detained and are supposed to depart by themselves. 
 
3. (C) Chubinishvili said that of the 250,000 Georgian 
nationals in Russia, many have dual nationality (formally 
illegal, but the Georgians turn a blind eye).  The Georgian 
Embassy therefore has no idea of the numbers of vulnerable. 
Chubinishvili cited cases of Georgian nationals with 
professional positions and high social standing who have been 
told by friendly officials that their residence/work permits 
could not be extended when they expire, but if they choose to 
seek Russian citizenship their applications will be 
facilitated.  One such person was the grand-daughter of 
former President Shevardnadze, who refused to consider 
changing nationality. 
 
Reopenings 
---------- 
 
4. (C) Chubinishvili met us at the re-opened Tiflis 
restaurant (Moscow's best Georgian food), and the lights are 
back on at Pirosmani (which once hosted President Clinton). 
Both had closed voluntarily for a week, though inspectors had 
combed through Tiflis looking for violations. The Kristal 
Casino has reopened.  Its owner is not Georgian, but an 
Armenian with Russian citizenship who had the misfortune of 
being born in Tbilisi.  This allowed corrupt officials to 
close it down -- and demand large bribes to let it reopen. 
 
No Mood for Talk 
---------------- 
 
5. (C) Russian MFA South Ossetia negotiator Yuriy Popov told 
us Moscow is still not in the mood for dialogue with Georgia 
at any level.  "The dust will have to settle," he said, 
adding that Georgia will have to make the first approach to 
Russia.  He bemoaned the stalemate at the Joint Control 
Commission on South Ossetia, and asked the U.S. to persuade 
Georgia to participate in the current format, and drop 
demands that it change, as a goodwill gesture to Russia.  He 
had no suggestions on next steps or how to re-package the 
negotiations to allow all to save face and get back to work. 
 
Prospects for Conflict 
---------------------- 
 
6. (C) Popov said Russian officials believe (from 
intelligence sources, he intimated) that Georgia will soon 
show a display of "muscle" in South Ossetia to disrupt the 
referendum and elections planned for the separatist entity. 
He dismissed Georgian fears that Russia was urging the Abkhaz 
and Ossetians to confront Georgia militarily.  Chubinishvili 
reiterated those fears, saying the likelihood of 
confrontation in Kodori is high.  Russia will continue to 
press for the withdrawal of all Georgian arms from Kodori and 
then, "as they did in Sukhumi," occupy the region. 
BURNS

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