04 April, 2013
Before the war Matthew Bryza warned the authorities…

‘As declared by Matthew Bryza, the Group of Friends calls on the Parliament of Georgia not to take on June 15 emotional and confrontational Resolution on Russian Peacekeeping Forces in Abkhazia. According to him it will be good if the Resolution evades the issue of Russian Peacekeeping Forces and makes emphasis on necessity of deploying of big contingency of International Police Forces in Gali region under the UNO aegis’– a letter with
this content was sent in June, 2006 by Davit Sikharulidze, Georgia’s former Ambassador to USA to Gela Bezhuashvili, former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
This letter, being unknown to the people for more than six years, was made public by Gia Volsky, Chairman of Provisional Parliamentary Commission on restoration of territorial integrity. The letter reflects the recommendations given to Georgian authorities by the American side before the August war.
G.V. – I knew about the meeting between Bryza and Sikharulidze. The date coincides with that when the authorities’ approach drastically and roughly changed and breakup of peace process started.
Several weeks earlier, when the Parliament adopted the resolution regarding the foreign policy, there was confrontation whether it was possible for the West, USA and European Union to align the positions with regard to Georgia. I’ve brought this letter as an example to demonstrate that it was not only possible but it actually was already done. When the process of settlement reached its pinnacle, it failed.
By that time the Abkhazian issue got moving. Joint economic council was set up and work of coordination council was restored. All these formats were international and I have no answer as to why they failed. Negotiations of all formats came to a halt and were taken to another area. As declared by Saakashvili in December, he knew from Russians that Tskhinvali didn’t interest them. In 2007 he gave a guarantee to the voters that in case he was elected as President we would meet the New, 2008Year in Sukhumi. There are two answers to the question as for why the process supported by the West, and Russia being persuaded, failed: either there was some conspiracy or Saakashvili’s powers were deceived.
Q. – What do you mean by conspiracy?
A. – When Russia saw that its role and influence in peace-keeping processes was brought to minimum, exactly at that time they thought that to fail peace process it was necessary to instigate some provocations and they did it by the hands of Georgian authorities. On July 15 our military police detained Yuri Popov, co-chairman of Joint Commission, high-ranking diplomat and Evnevich, deputy chief of land forces who at the same time headed the withdrawal of Russian military bases from Georgia. On July 17 it was OSCE that made a declaration that Georgia was infringing the Venice Convention and acting against the peace process. This was followed by Georgian Parliament’s July 18 resolution demanding the CIS Peace Forces promptly leave Georgia; and this happened despite the West’s warning that the Russians could take off their blue helmets and put on khaki ones but not leave Georgia. On July 20 a delegation was to arrive from Tskhinvali but they didn’t come. On July 22 at the ‘Big Eight’ summit Georgian issue wasn’t put on the agenda any more. After this, elections were held in Tskhinvali region; they allegedly elected an alternative president but actually without the international involvement the on-going processes wouldn’t yield positive results. In his letter Matthew Bryza was warning us exactly about this. The letter contains his words – in case Georgia still chooses the way of confrontation, it will lose the West’s support.
Condoleezza Rice writes in her memoirs – I was sent to Georgia by the President of USA to make Saakashvili abstain from foolishness but his efforts had no result. It’s a fact that processes that began to shape from 2006 brought us to August 2008.
Matthew Bryza, former assistant to US Secretary of State in European and Eurasian issues reciprocated to the letter of Giorgi Volski, Chairman of Provisional Parliamentary Commission on restoration of territorial integrity, who made some recommendations public: ‘In 2005-2009 when I represented the Secretary of State, the aim of USA was to yearly renew the UN Monitoring Mission in Abkhazia. This required adoption of resolution of diplomatic negotiations of United Nations Security Council and reaching of compromises as a result of negotiations. At these negotiations my main recommendation always was like this: - to protect the people’s security the UN Police Forces should by all means be positioned on the territory of Gali region because the Russian Peace contingent couldn’t secure people’s security in Abkhazia. In other words, I believed that deeds were more than words’
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