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Cablegate: Tfggo1: Czechs Engaged On Situation in South

VZCZCXRO8313
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHPG #0535 2250634
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 120634Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0605
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0772
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 0111

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRAGUE 000535

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018
TAGS: NATO PARM KCFE EUN RU GG EZ
SUBJECT: TFGGO1: CZECHS ENGAGED ON SITUATION IN SOUTH
OSSETIA

REF: A. STATE 85678
B. PRAGUE DAILY 08.11.20...

C O N F I D E N T I A L PRAGUE 000535 SENSITIVE SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2018 TAGS: NATO PARM KCFE EUN RU GG EZ

SUBJECT: TFGGO1: CZECHS ENGAGED ON SITUATION IN SOUTH OSSETIA REF: A. STATE 85678 B. PRAGUE DAILY 08.11.2008
Classified By: Acting POLEC Counselor Martina Strong for reasons 1.5 (b ) and (d).
1. (SBU) Summary: Emboffs discussed the upcoming August 12 NAC with Czech MFA Director of Security Policy, Veronika Kuchynova-Smigolova, who noted that the Czechs share a similar perspective to the USG and offered her assurance that they want to coordinate closely with us. As noted in Ref B., Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg feels strongly that a tough message needs to be conveyed to Russia, and he has been reaching out to his colleagues to advance this cause. The Czech FM is planning to travel to Brussels August 12 so that the EU Foreign Minister Troika (French FM Kouchner, Swedish FM Bildt and Czech FM Schwarzenberg) can meet tomorrow evening, in advance of the Emergency GAERC August 13. End Summary.
---------- Schwarzenberg Advocating a Strong Message to Russia ---------- 2. (C) Czech Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg, who was on leave last week, returned early because of the worsening situation in Georgia. With his return, the MFA has released daily statements since August 8, appealing to both parties to stop military operations, conclude a cease-fire, and start negotiations. Schwarzenberg has spoken recently with both FM Kouchner and Georgian FM Tkeshelashvili (who reportedly will remain in Brussels through the EU GAERC meeting). He has also spoken with German FM Steinmeyer, who reportedly "was shaken" by Russian actions. FM Schwarzenberg plans to press hard at the EU FM Troika discussion August 12 for the strongest possible language. According to the MFA, contact from the USG with France, Italy (particularly given PM Berlusconi's close ties to Russia) and Germany would be helpful as the EU works to form a consensus.
---------- Czech Message at NAC and GAERC ---------- 3. (C) The Czechs plan to press for language out of the NAC calling for an international peacekeeping force. According to Kuchynova-Smigolova, the Czechs would prefer a NATO-led peacekeeping force, but thought it was unlikely that all EU NATO members would support such a force. The next logical alternative, from the Czech perspective, would be a force led by the EU or, as they would prefer, "EU plus friends." The Czechs also plan to press for references to Russian "occupation forces" in Georgia. While they would like a strong message out of the NAC, they also want to achieve a strong message at the Emergency GAERC scheduled for Wednesday, August 13 at 10:00am. Kuchynova-Smigolova was candid in her assessment regarding building consensus to condemn Russia. The Czechs feel that action through the UN is "impossible," while they are not optimistic that they will get as strong a message as they would like out of NATO; they appear slightly more optimistic that at the EU GAERC they will be able to achieve more. Thompson-Jones

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