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Cablegate: Estonia Participates in Georgian Missile

VZCZCXRO5246
RR RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHTL #0541 2330456
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210456Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0091
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1215
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 0170
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2542

UNCLAS TALLINN 000541

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
FOR EUR/NB -- KATHERINE GARRY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA PARTICIPATES IN GEORGIAN MISSILE
INVESTIGATION

REF: TBLISI 1993

1. (U) Along with France and the UK, Estonia will
participate in the international team investigating the
missile incident in Georgia (reftel). Estonia's
contribution includes two experts: a radar expert and the
Estonian Defense Attach to the U.S., Brigadier General
Vello Loemaa. In his August 16 announcement of Estonian
participation, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said Estonia
would assist Georgia to "find the culprits." FM Paet has
also raised the Georgian missile incident at the Nordic
and Baltic Foreign Ministers Meeting (September 16-17).

2. (SBU) On August 15, we met with Arti Hilpus, MFA
Director for Security and Arms Control. Hilpus called
the missile incident "outrageous" and fully "deplored who
was behind it." The MFA continues to argue that the
investigation be conducted under aegis of, or in
participation with, a respected international
organization to give it more credibility. While Hilpus
expressed disappointment that more EU countries have not
stepped up to support Georgia and/or participate in the
investigation, he assured us that the Government of
Estonia (GOE) is fully committed to aiding Georgia.

3. (SBU) Despite Parliament being closed for the summer,
the Estonia-Georgia parliamentary group (with 27 Members
of Parliament) met on April 13 and called on the GOE to
offer Estonia's full support to the Government of
Georgia. In an August 17 discussion, Andres Herkel, MP
and chairman of the group, told us that the GOE's support
for Georgia enjoys strong cross-party support in his
group and within the Parliament. Herkel said that even
though Moscow's complicity in the incident has not been
confirmed, Europe and the international community "must
not appear uninterested or lukewarm about what has
happened because this would only add to the instability
in the region." Herkel said that his group is in close
and regular contact with its Georgian parliamentary
counterparts and the Estonian MFA in order to monitor the
situation.

PHILLIPS

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