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Cablegate: Tfgg01: Germany Cites French-Led "Progress"

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #1095 2241518
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 111518Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1888
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU IMMEDIATE 0081
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0023
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 1949
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI IMMEDIATE 0201
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN IMMEDIATE 0072

C O N F I D E N T I A L BERLIN 001095

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018
TAGS: NATO PARM KCFE RU GG
SUBJECT: TFGG01: GERMANY CITES FRENCH-LED "PROGRESS"
AUGUST 11, CAUTIOUS ON NAC STATEMENT

REF: STATE 85678

Classified By: Acting...

C O N F I D E N T I A L BERLIN 001095 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018 TAGS: NATO PARM KCFE RU GG

1. (C) Acting DCM delivered reftel points August 11 to Chancellor Merkel's Deputy National Security Advisor Rolf Nikel and to Foreign Office acting Political Director Emily Haber. We also discussed Georgia with Office Directors for NATO and Caucasus affairs. Chancellor Will Go to Sochi August 15 ------------------------------------- 2. (C) Asked whether Merkel still planned to visit Sochi August 15 in light of Russia's disproportionate response to events in South Ossetia, Nikel confirmed that the visit is still on. 3. (C) Nikel said Germany had received readouts from French Foreign Minister Kouchner's visit to Tbilisi, and was aware of President Sarkozy's planned August 12 visit to Moscow. Nikel said Kouchner had made progress in getting from Georgian President Saakashvili a Non-Use of Force pledge, and he would take this "in his pocket" to Moscow. Added to the Georgian unilateral cease-fire, this might present a basis for movement in Moscow, Nikel said. There were indications that Russia might be ready to talk, according to Nikel, including an alleged public statement by Medvedev August 11 that Russia had achieved most of its military objectives. Nikel said the Russians also had affirmed that they were not pursuing a "regime change" policy in Georgia but was not able immediately to cite the source of the information. Germans Cautious on NAC Statement --------------------------------- 4. (C) Nikel objected to the word "condemn" in U.S. key points for a NAC statement. He said that "naming and shaming" the Russians would undercut Sarkozy's and Kouchner's efforts at a time when France believed progress was possible. Acting Political Director Haber did not offer an opinion on the points in a conversation that was interrupted on the German side by a call involving Minister Steinmeier. Later in the day the MFA NATO Office Director Schlageck said the MFA was coming around on the idea of a NAC statement. He said he shared the U.S. analysis of the situation but did not believe the direct language proposed in the U.S. draft would complement other international efforts. The MFA was waiting for the results of an August 11 Quad meeting in Brussels, and would prepare instructions based on that conversation. FM Steinmeier's August 10 Conversation with Lavrov --------------------------------------------- ----- 5. (C) Haber confirmed that FM Steinmeier spoke on the evening of August 10 with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. She said Steinmeier emphasized that Russia "had crossed a Rubicon" and needed to reciprocate the Georgian cease-fire immediately and withdraw any troops that had crossed from South Ossetia or Abkhazia into other parts of Georgia. Lavrov reportedly rejected Steinmeier's demand, saying that Georgian forces were still fighting (as of evening August 10) in four areas of South Ossetia. TIMKEN JR

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