Cablegate: Fsc: Russia and Georgia Exchange On Tagliavini


DE RUEHVEN #0221/01 2880638
R 150638Z OCT 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary: The exchange between Russia and Georgia on
the release of the report of the Independent International
Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFMCG or
Tagliavini Report) dominated the October 7 FSC discussion.
Russia underscored Georgia's responsibility for the outbreak
of the conflict, and noted that support from "some EU and
non-EU members" had emboldened Georgia to violate
international norms and law. Georgia's response accepted a
measure of responsibility for initiating the attack on
Tskhinvali as an act of self-defense, but it challenged
Russia to commit to an OSCE dialogue regarding the
recommendations--presumably the 12 "observations"--contained
within the Tagliavini Report, rather than polemics. End
Presentation on Principles of German Defense Policy
2. (SBU) German State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense
Rudiger Wolf presented "Principles and Policies of German
Defense Policy. Wolf reviewed the German perspective on the
twenty-first century's security risks and challenges. Wolf
emphasized cross-sectoral mechanisms that would build
linkages among civil society political and civil-military
entities as priorities in German security policy. He said
Germany required multilateralism for its international
engagement. He also underscored Germany's commitment to
NATO, EU and OSCE, as well as to the UN, as
mutually-reinforcing institutions that focus energies towards
addressing common threats including, terrorism, WMD
proliferation, organized crime (e.g., cybercrime, trafficking
in persons), and dealing with weak or failed states (e.g.,
the absence or rule of law, democracy and good governance).
He noted there was no longer a clear dividing line between
national and international security.
Russia and Georgia Spar on Tagliavini Report
3. (SBU) Russia Ulyanov highlighted the Tagliavini report's
conclusion that Georgia bore responsibility for initiating
the August 2008 war. Russia then proceeded to read the
Russian Federation's official statement regarding the
conclusions of the report. Ulyanov did, however, ad lib
remarks about the involvement of "other" OSCE state members
that were directly or indirectly involved in training and
supplying the Georgian military. He admonished those members
to follow the report's recommendations for "maximum restraint
and caution in the future" involving arms supplies.
4. (SBU) Ulyanov also noted "vagaries" in the report's
reference to the disproportionate use of force by Russian
troops during the conflict. He justified Russian actions
under Article 51 of the UN Charter and the requirement to
stop Georgia's aggression, "using only the force that was
necessary to remove the threat to South Ossetia. Ulyanov
also attributed some of the "vague conclusions" in the report
to "political clout held by some EU states." He concluded
that, contrary to those who do not want to focus on the
initiator of the conflict but want to focus on the future,
"if it (the origin of conflict) is not important, then they
would indulge future military adventurism," and hoped OSCE
was not of the same mind.
5. (SBU) Georgia (Gaprindashvili) responded by agreeing with
Russia on the importance of continuing discussion in the
OSCE, especially the FSC, to find ways "to resolve the
conflict between Russia and Georgia." Gaprindashvili
expressed "astonishment" that Ulyanov repeated the Russian
MFA statement that focused on only two pages out of hundreds
containing analysis and observations. Gaprindashvili asked
if Russia subscribed to the full findings of the whole
report, and not limit its interests solely on the shelling of
Tskhinvali? He then began a point-by-point refutation of the
Russian position, and challenged Russia to discuss at OSCE
the recommendations contained within the Tagliavini report.
6. (SBU) Sweden (Byren) issued a reserved statement on
behalf of the EU. The U.S. (Neighbour) made a statement
drawn from Assistant Secretary Crowley's September 30
remarks. Following the EU and U.S. statements, first Russia
and then Georgia had a second exchange; Russia continued to
bring the discussion back to blaming Georgia for the war, and
Georgia challenging Russia to discuss the recommendations in
the FSC. Gaprindashvili said, "We don't disagree on who
started the August action, but we want to focus on the
future. Please come up with an answer to how we proceed with
the report's recommendations."
OSCE Project on Stockpiles in Ukraine
7. (SBU) Denmark (Petersen) as FSC Coordinator on Stockpiles
of Conventional Ammunition (SCA) reported on the
late-September donors' visit to Crimea to assess the OSCE
project of the Removal of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).
Noting WWII ERW contaminated areas within the vicinity of two

cities in Ukraine, Petersen reported on the efforts to remove
52,000 unexploded objects since 2001 (and the problems of 150
casualties in Ukraine over the last ten years). He thanked
the Ukraine Ministry of Emergency Situations and the U.S. for
their support.
Russia on Naval CSBM (again)
8. (SBU) Russia Ulyanov introduced the revisions to its
Proposal for a Draft Decision on CSBM measures in the naval
area (FSC.DEL/120/08/Rev.2). Ulyanov said the language on
tonnage (page 1) for warships and submarines was amended upon
the recommendation from Kazakhstan. He asked for reactions
to the Russian desire for an exchange of military information
on naval vessels. Discussion ended because no delegation
responded to the Russian appeal. (Comment: Russia is
keeping this issue on the agenda. End Comment.)
Working Group "A"
9. (SBU) No current implementation issues were raised for
discussion under Agenda Item 1. Under Item 2, VD99, Russia
Ulyanov deferred consensus on the draft decision on the
Agenda and Modalities of the Twentieth Annual Implementation
Assessment Meeting (FSC.DD/9/09) until it received
instructions from Moscow. Ulyanov suggested, however, the
possibility of improvements to the AIAM agenda to reflect
"shifting activities" and consequently "a change in
modalities." The UK Chair (Gare) noted the document was
identical to last year's, and placed the draft decision on
the next agenda.
-- The draft decision on the Best Practice Guide for
Implementation of VD99, Chapter IV, Contacts
(FSC.DD/6/09/Rev.2) was moved out of the Working Group and
will be on the agenda for the Joint FSC-PC plenary on October
-- Turkey advised that it would soon release a revised
version of its proposal for a draft decision on the use of
digital cameras and GPS (FSC.DEL/124/09).
10. (SBU) Under Agenda Item 3, the Coordinator for SA/LW
(UK-Hartnell) referred to his Food-For-Thought paper on SA/LW
(FSC.DEL/151/09) as a technical update to the assistance
request procedures. Sweden, Denmark and France confirmed
their co-sponsorship of the paper.
11. (SBU) There were no issues for discussion under Agenda
Item 4 (SCA), Item 5 (Code of Conduct) or Item 6 (CSBMs).
Under Item 7 (AOB) the CPC drew the FSC's attention to the
Third Quarterly CPC Survey on CSBM Information Exchange in
2009 (FSC.GAL/102/09) was circulated. The CPC would welcome
any report of omissions or inaccuracies.
12. (SBU) The next meeting of FSC Working Groups "B" and "A"
will follow immediately after the Joint FSC-PC plenary on
October 14.

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