07MOSCOW1104, RUSSIAN MFA REACTION ON KODORI INCIDENT

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. #07MOSCOW1104.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW1104 2007-03-14 14:56 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5239
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1104/01 0731456
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141456Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8255
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001104 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2017 
TAGS: PREL MOPS MARR GG RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN MFA REACTION ON KODORI INCIDENT 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 534 AND PREV. B. MOSCOW 405 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reason:  1.4 (b, d) 
 
1. (C) Summary:  DFM Karasin told Ambassador March 12 -- and 
the MFA repeated March 13 -- that Russia was not involved in 
the March 11 firing incident in Georgia's Kodori Gorge.  The 
CIS PKF had observed firing in the region, but the GOR had no 
further information and would await the results of the UNOMIG 
investigation. An MFA official suspected a Georgian 
"provocation" and denied that the MFA's March 12 press 
statement on Kodori was an accusation against the Georgians, 
a change in position on Abkhazia negotiations, or rhetorical 
excess.  Ambassador repeated our concerns March 14 to Acting 
FM Denisov, who replied that the GOR would see what UNOMIG 
concluded, and would try to "calm the situation."  End 
summary. 
 
2. (C) Ambassador called DFM Karasin March 12 to ask for 
information on the March 11 firing incident in the Upper 
Kodori Valley (Ref. A).  Karasin denied Russian involvement, 
but had no information beyond that.  Ambassador urged that FM 
Lavrov accept a call from Georgian FM Bezhuashvili.  Karasin 
assured Ambassador the two foreign ministers would talk. 
 
3. (C) On March 13 we met with Dmitriy Tarabrin, MFA 4th CIS 
Department Deputy Director.  Tarabrin repeated the denial of 
Russian involvement.  He claimed that the Georgian DCM had 
called him about it at 10:45 P.M. Moscow time (11:45 PM 
Tbilisi time) on March 11 -- 15 minutes, he said, before the 
incident even began.  (Comment:  Tarabrin is off on the 
timing as we understand it.  End comment.)  The Georgians 
control the entirety of the Upper Kodori Valley.  Their 
involvement "cannot be ruled out," Tarabrin claimed. 
 
4. (C) Tarabrin said the CIS PKF had observed three bursts of 
automatic weapons fire and two explosive flashes.  He said we 
would have to wait for the results of investigations. 
Tarabrin was aware that UNOMIG was going to the scene, but 
was unaware that this was a joint investigation with the CIS 
PKF, Abkhaz and Georgians as well.  Tarabrin categorically 
denied any Russian helicopters were involved in the incident. 
 The terrain, weather and darkness at the time of the 
incident made such a flight next to impossible, and besides, 
he asked, what could Russia possibly gain from such an 
incident? 
 
5. (C) We said we hoped the incident would not become an 
occasion for mutual accusations and sharp rhetoric.  We 
welcomed the March 12 Lavrov-Bezhuashvili phone call, but 
drew Tarabrin's attention to the MFA's March 12 statement to 
the press on the issue, which accuses Georgia of creating the 
basic tensions in the region.  In addition the statement, by 
its use of terminology, appears to be trying to lend 
legitimacy to the de facto Abkhaz authorities.  Tarabrin said 
the Russians are not accusing the Georgians of anything, but 
the cause of the basic tension in the region is the presence 
of Georgian armed forces and the "irritating" deployment of 
the "Abkhaz Government in Exile" in the Upper Kodori Valley. 
We replied that we did not see any connection between the 
Georgian or "G-i-E" presence and this incident. 
 
6. (C) We asked Tarabrin about the press statement's 
reiteration of a demand to withdraw "Georgian armed 
formations."  The U.S. recognizes Georgia's right and duty to 
provide security for the region with armed police.  Moreover, 
we understood from Russian statements -- to PolMinCouns here 
in Moscow (Ref B) and to EUR DAS Bryza during the February 
FSG meeting in Geneva -- that Russia's concern was with an 
"offensive" capability, not with an armed police presence per 
se.  Was Russia changing its constructive policy?  Tarabrin 
checked the statement and confirmed that Russia is not 
changing its policy, just using the wording of UNSCR 1716. 
He added that the Georgian police presence should be 
"appropriate" for the population of the Upper Kodori Valley. 
In that regard, Tarabrin called for building confidence 
between the Abkhaz and Georgian sides, including through the 
renewal of quadripartite security talks in Chuburkhinja 
involving the Georgians, Abkhaz, CIS PKF and UNOMIG. 
 
7. (C)  Ambassador repeated our concerns March 14 both to 
Acting FM Denisov and Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov. 
 Denisov replied that the GOR would see what the UNOMIG 
investigation concluded and try to "calm the situation." 
 
8. (C) Comment:  The Russian MFA statement seems to have been 
written on auto-pilot.  It sounded old themes from the 
Abkhazia negotiations without thinking through their 
implications in this context.  The insinuation that the 
Georgians were somehow responsible for the incident is also 
an atavism.  As we all await whatever conclusions UNOMIG and 
the joint investigation may be may be able to draw, the task 
 
MOSCOW 00001104  002 OF 002 
 
 
at hand is to ensure that, whatever the perpetrators had in 
mind, the incident does not e
scalate beyond minor damage to a 
few buildings. 
BURNS

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: