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Viewing cable 08STATE90980, GEORGIA: REBUTTING SPURIOUS RUSSIAN CLAIMS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08STATE90980 2008-08-23 18:06 2010-12-01 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
O 231803Z AUG 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 090980 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/2028 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPKO MARR GG RU
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: REBUTTING SPURIOUS RUSSIAN CLAIMS 
REGARDING THE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT 

Classified by EUR A/S Daniel Fried; reason: 1.4 (b) and 
(d). 

Ref: Moscow 2522 (NOTAL) 

1. (U) This is an action request for all posts, see end 
of para 2. 

2. (C) Reftel lays out Russian efforts to misinterpret 
the August 12 Georgia ceasefire agreement mediated by 
French President Sarkozy. Among other things, Russia is 
claiming that the ceasefire allows for creation of a 
?buffer zone? around South Ossetia, gives Russian forces 
unlimited rights to "implement additional security 
measures" in and outside of South Ossetia, and allows 
Russia to "blue helmet" an unlimited number of forces to 
implement these additional security measures. ACTION 
REQUEST: These Russian assertions are blatantly false, 
and posts should strongly rebut them with host country 
officials and media, using the facts laid out in the 
following paragraphs. As the French negotiated these 
documents and are in the lead in ensuring that they are 
being carried out, Posts should not take the initiative 
in deploying these points (i.e. public releases, opeds, 
other press, diplomatic demarches), but rather draw on 
them immediately if/when issues related to Georgia are 
raised by host governments, media, etc., as well as in 
explaining our larger Georgia policies. END ACTION 
REQUEST. 

3. (SBU) Posts should be careful not to openly 
characterize President Sarkozy’s or other French 
positions, but rather provide factual information. 

4. (SBU) Sarkozy made clear in his August 14 letter to 
Georgian President Saakashvili and in supplementary 
paragraphs attached to that letter that "?additional 
security measures" are limited to "patrols" (not a 
?buffer zone? or even checkpoints) by Russian 
peacekeeping forces that were in South Ossetia prior to 
the outbreak of hostilities on August 7, and that these 
patrols are limited to an area "not further than a few 
kilometers" outside of South Ossetia, excluding other 
parts of Georgia, the city of Gori and other significant 
urban zones, and must not impede freedom of movement on 
major highways and railways. 

5. (SBU) Russia?s actions and statements in recent days 
raises suspicions that it does not intend to respect 
these restrictions on its forces in Georgia, and is in 
fact angling to retain a larger zone of control than 
held prior to the invasion. These actions include 
Russian forces -- not peacekeepers from pre-August 7 -- 
digging into positions in and around Poti (200 
kilometers from South Ossetia), north of Gori and other 
locations outside the zone prescribed for patrols; 
Russian military checkpoints impeding movements at the 
port of Poti, near the main East-West highway, and near 
Gori and other urban areas; and continued Russian 
destruction of civilian and military infrastructure. 

6. (U) Posts are encouraged to review the following 
documents: the August 12 ceasefire agreement, the August 
14 letter from Sarkozy to Saakashvili, and the 
supplemental paragraphs attached to the August 14 
letter. All of these documents are now in the public 
domain. These documents are also available at 
www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Crisis_Geor gia . 

7. (U) Begin text of August 12 ceasefire agreement: 

Agreed Protocol 

(1) No resort to force. 

(2) A definitive halt to hostilities. 

(3) Provision of free access for humanitarian 
assistance. 

(4) Georgian military forces must withdraw to the 
places they are usually stationed. 

(5) Russian forces must withdraw to their positions 
prior to the outbreak of hostilities. While awaiting an 
international mechanism, Russian peacekeeping forces 
will implement additional security measures. 

(6) Opening of international discussions on security 
and stability modalities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

For the European Union, 
The French Presidency 

s/s 

Nicolas Sarkozy 

End text 

8. (U) Begin text of Sarkozy letter to Saakashvili: 

Paris, 14 August 2008 

Mister President: 

Regarding point 5 of the six-point accord to which you ? 
after President Medvedev ? gave your approval 12 August 
during our meeting in Tbilisi, and which states that 
"Russian military forces should withdraw to positions 
prior to the outbreak of hostilities"? and that "while 
waiting for an international mechanism, Russian forces 
will implement additional security measures," I wish to 
share with you the following points for the sake of 
precision: 

-- As I made clear at our joint press conference in 
Tbilisi, these "additional security measures" may only 
be implemented in the immediate proximity of South 
Ossetia to the exclusion of any other part of Georgian 
territory. 

-- More precisely, these "measures"? may only be 
implemented inside a zone of a depth of a few kilometers 
from the administrative limit between South Ossetia and 
the rest of Georgia in a manner such that no significant 
urban zone would be included ? I am thinking in 
particular of the city of Gori. Special arrangements 
must be defined to guarantee the liberty of movement and 
traffic along the length of the major highways and 
railways of Georgia. 

-- These "additional security measures"? will take the 
form of patrols undertaken solely by Russian 
peacekeeping forces at a level authorized by existing 
agreements, with other Russian forces withdrawing to 
their positions prior to 7 August in conformity with the 
agreed protocol; 

-- These "measures" will have a provisional character 
while awaiting the establishment as quickly as possible 
of the ?international mechanism? whose nature and 
mandate are still the subject of discussion by different 
international entities, in particular the OSCE, the 
European Union, and the United Nations. 

Armed with these points of precision, I ask that you 
confirm the agreement that you gave me and that you 
announced publicly in Tbilisi while affixing your 
signature at the bottom of the six-point agreed protocol 
that I had myself signed as a witness and guarantor in 
the name of the European Union. President Medvedev 
yesterday assured me that your signature would lead to 
the withdrawal of Russian forces pursuant to the accord 
concluded. 

I ask that you accept, Mister President, the assurance 
of my highest consideration. 

s/s 

Nicolas Sarkozy 

End text. 


9. (U) Begin text of supplementary paragraphs attached 
to August 14 Sarkozy letter to Saakashvili: 

-- In the letter accompanying the cease-fire document, 
the mentioned territory is defined as in the immediate 
proximity of the zone of conflict, as defined by 
previous agreements, to the exclusion of any other part 
of Georgian territory. Any measure referred to in this 
document shall be implemented within an area not further 
than a few kilometers, around Tskhinvali within the zone 
of conflict. 

-- In no way can these measures limit or jeopardize 
freedom of movement and traffic along the length of the 
major highways and railways of Georgia. 

-- Other aspects of the conflict resolution process will 
be discussed in the near future. 

End text. 


RICE