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Viewing cable 08PARIS1616, TFGG01: FRENCH VIEW OSCE MONITORS IN GEORGIA AS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08PARIS1616 2008-08-21 18:06 2010-12-01 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
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withdrawn.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