Cablegate: Georgia: Hmg Predicts Tough Diplomatic Road Ahead
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHLO #2107 2261400
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131400Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9485
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1242
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0629
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 002107
DEPT FOR EUR/WE, EUR/RPM, EUR/RUS, EUR/CARC
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/13/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV RU GG UK
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: HMG PREDICTS TOUGH DIPLOMATIC ROAD AHEAD
REF: STATE 86108
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Greg Berry for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) OSCE -----
1. (C/NF) FCO Georgia Task Force Director (and South Caucuses Office Director) Louise Savile predicted a tough diplomatic struggle ahead to return the situation in Georgia to the status quo ante August 6. As an example, she cited part of an August 13 telephone exchange between FM Miliband and Russian FM Lavrov. While Lavrov confirmed the Russian pledge to cease fire as long as its own troops are not attacked, he also responded negatively to Miliband's suggestions that more international monitors, possibly OSCE since it already had a mandate, be sent to Ossetia and Abkhazia. Lavrov said that if any more monitors were sent in, their mandate should be to monitor Georgian troops within Georgia itself to prevent any further incursions into Ossetian or Abkhazian territory.
2. (C/NF) FCO NATO Team Leader Omar Daair said the UK shared U.S. disappointment that the August 12 North Atlantic Council meeting did not result in a statement condemning Russian actions, but was encouraged by SYG De Hoop Scheffer's statement after the meeting, and the language in the current draft of the Secretariat statement (the French have asked that the statement not be released until after the August 13 EU GAERC). Daair also confirmed that FM Miliband will attend the special NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting on August 19.
3. (C/NF) FCO Russia Team Leader Nick Latta confirmed that FM Miliband will head the UK delegation to the August 13 EU GAERC, during which he will continue to push for a strongly worded statement along the lines proposed in reftel. The UK also concurs with the French view that if consensus cannot be reached on strong language, a weak statement would be worse than none at all. HMG in that case would back a Presidency Statement which contained the elements outlined in reftel.
Consular Situation ------------------
4. (SBU) Approximately 40 UK nationals have crossed overland from Tbilisi to Yerevan, where the British Embassy is assisting those who require onward transportation. The Task Force reports that with the situation calming in Georgia, some of the evacuees are opting to return to Tbilisi. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX TUTTLE