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Cablegate: Tfgg01: French View Osce Monitors in Georgia As

VZCZCXRO5973
OO RUEHAG RUEHKW RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHFR #1616/01 2341811
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211811Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4164
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMUC/EU CANDIDATE STATES PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0534
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2949
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 2384
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 3260
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1586

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001616

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2018
TAGS: PREL PBTS PHUM MOPS OSCE UNSC FR GG RU RS UN
SUBJECT: TFGG01: FRENCH VIEW OSCE MONITORS IN GEORGIA AS
EMERGENCY STEP ONLY

REF: STATE 89769

Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Kathleen Allegrone for reas
ons 1.4 (B & D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: On August 21, French Elysee Advisor Boris
Boillon and MFA A/S for Eurasia Roland Galharague, who
traveled with FM Kouchner to the region, provided us with a
consistent interpretation of the arrival of OSCE monitors:
the new monitors are responding to the emergency situation;
they are not the new international mechanism referred to in
point 5 and do not prejudge the eventual international
arrangements. Galharague welcomed reftel demarche. Pol M-C
emphasized the need for Russia to respect its commitments to
retreat, and encouraged active consideration of what will
happen on August 22 if Russian forces have not fully
withdrawn. Post will remain seized of these and related
questions in the days to come. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) On August 21, French Elysee Advisor Boris Boillon
(Middle East advisor with acting responsibility for this
portfolio) explained that the arrival of the OSCE monitors in
the coming days are part of the security measures mentioned
in point 5 of the six point document, but only in the sense
of meeting the immediate emergency. The 500 Russians who
will continue their patrols will be in contact with (work
with) the OSCE monitors and others, undefined, in the zone.
But this is just a preliminary measure to meet the urgent
conditions. There still needs to be an international
discussion to find an international mechanism to put in
place. Until then, these other temporary measures will be
needed to meet the emergency.

3. (C) Later on August 21, MFA A/S-equivalent for Eurasia
and the Balkans Roland Galharague described the coming days
as critical and decisive for the situation in Georgia as well
as relations with Russia. Whether this crisis is a "one-off"
for Russia or the beginning of a new dynamic is not yet fully
clear. France's current goal is to advance the political
process for implementation of the Sarkozy-brokered six-point
plan. He said that beyond a long-term stop to hostilities
and a Russian retreat, the key priority is establishing
international arrangements as soon as possible to deny Russia
a pretext for maintaining its presence in Georgia.
Galharague stated that the EU GAERC conclusions created a
mandate to pursue a UN Security Council Resolution, but that
France is further motivated to pursue one due to the belief
that it would create the best basis for protecting Georgian
interests. In order to implement point 5 of the cease-fire,
one and only one "international mechanism" is needed, and one
to which Russia is not a third party.

4. (C) Galharague said the French Mission to the UN is
working on a revised draft UNSCR today that would cite in
extenso the six-point plan and refer to an international
mechanism. To establish more clarity on the ground in
Georgia as quickly as possible, existing mandates such as the
OSCE monitoring one should be taken advantage of, and can be
followed by missions that first require new mandates. Both
our current ground information and the signs coming from the
Russian government are contradictory and often unverifiable.
It is not clear whether they are taking steps to withdraw by
the 22nd. He said the primary European and Allied interest
is to establish a new international dynamic permitting the
rest of the international community to regain some control
over Russia's actions. He said France had not established
any concrete benchmarks for Russia's retreat from Georgia, in
the belief that more flexibility meant more opportunity to
exert political pressure on Russia. He noted that Russia's
goal would be to consolidate their positions while changing
their force posture to "peacekeeping" mode. Regarding
France's definition of point 5, he referred us to President
Sarkozy's letter stating that while awaiting an international
mechanism, Russian forces can remain in the immediate
proximity of South Ossetia. He reiterated the need for a
UNSCR, this time to replace the 1992 cease-fire agreement
(and a 1999 understanding) that Russia currently uses as its
point of reference for "500 troops" and to give the
international community more flexibility. He pointed out
that the same 1990,s agreements posit a similar number of
Georgian and South Ossetian patrols, and noted that,s
obviously a mandate Georgia can,t fulfill now and another
reason to supercede it. He said that a strengthened OSCE

PARIS 00001616 002 OF 002


monitoring mission would be due to urgency only, and would
not prejudge the political process or the eventual
international arrangements for long-term resolution.
COMMENT: Galharague's interpretation was fully consistent
with what we heard from Boillon shortly beforehand. END
COMMENT.

5. (C) Regarding the EU's role, Galharague said that whether
a European Council might be convened would depend on
developments. He said there was more consensus than expected
at the GAERC, as France had not planned to issue conclusions.
He said the EU has a consistent objective to gain more
control of Russia's actions in the international arena, and
that that shared basis for action would remain unanimous.

6. (C) Galharague hypothesized that Russia's strategy for
Georgia was to produce "Kosovo in reverse," only accelerated,
with Saakashvili in the role of Milosevic, Russia in the role
of NATO, etc. However, he said it was too early to speculate
about whether the crisis in Georgia was just "tit for tat"
for Kosovo. He said in his view, Russia viewed the situation
as a "win-win" - regardless of the outcome of the status of
South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia has had its revenge for
Kosovo. He noted that Russia will have more presence and
operate "more easily" in a more tense international climate.
Galharague welcomed reftel demarche, while expressing
interest in further information regarding U.S. strategy in
the crisis, including at the UN. Pol M-C emphasized the need
for Russia to respect its commitments to retreat, and
encouraged active consideration of what will happen on August
22 if Russian forces have not fully withdrawn.


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Fran ce

PEKALA

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