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06KIEV341, UKRAINE: BILATERAL COORDINATION GROUP TALKS:

January 26, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV341 2006-01-26 10:26 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kyiv
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

UNCLAS KIEV 000341 

SIPDIS 

SENSITIVE 

DEPT FOR DS/OFM/TC, EUR/UMB, DS/C/DC, L (SUSAN BENDA) 
AND DS/IP/EUR 

DEPT ALSO FOR IRM/BPC/CST/LD, A/LM/PMP/DPM 

FRANKFURT FOR RIMC AND FRDCD 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AMGT ADPM ADCO PREL KREC ASEC KRIM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: BILATERAL COORDINATION GROUP TALKS: 
DIPLOMATIC POUCH PROBLEMS 

REF: A)05 KIEV 1746 B)05 KIEV 1451  C)05 KIEV 178 and 
prior 

Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for internet 
distribution.  Please handle accordingly. 

1. (SBU) During Bilateral Coordination Group talks 
January 24, the U.S. side raised the year-long inability 
of the Embassy to dispatch diplomatic pouches by air 
given a Ukrainian law requiring x-ray inspection. 

2. (SBU) As Acting Chair for the U.S. side, EB A/S Tony 
Wayne noted that the Ukrainian law on pouch inspection 
was a violation of GOU commitments under the Vienna 
Convention, adding that Ukrainian diplomatic pouches 
entered and departed the U.S. without hindrance.  The 
U.S. was able to maintain high security standards and 
meet our commitments to the Vienna Convention, and we 
expected no less from the GOU.  The GOU's compromise to 
use sniffing dogs to inspect diplomatic pouches was not 
a viable option for the U.S. because of the potential 
for false positives that would have nothing to do with 
the actual contents of the diplomatic bag.  U.S. pouch 
bags travel all over the world and were constantly re- 
used. 

3. (SBU) As an interim measure, the U.S. was dispatching 
diplomatic pouch shipments overland to Belarus, and then 
onward by air from Minsk.  Overland shipments were 
costly and time consuming for the U.S. Embassy to 
maintain.  (Note:  Given the earlier discussion of the 
U.S. views on the current situation in Belarus, this 
comment elicited groans of embarrassment from our 
Ukrainian counterparts.) 

4. (SBU) Deputy FM Khandohiy noted that this was a new 
issue for him and promised on behalf of the MFA to look 
into it.  He asked Valeriy Baronov, Deputy Head of the 
Ukrainian Aviation Security Service, to provide 
additional information.  Mr. Baronov noted that the 
Aviation Security Service had prepared amendments to 
current GOU law that mandated x-ray inspection of 
diplomatic pouches.  As currently drafted, the 
amendments would allow -- on a reciprocal basis -- 
exemption from screening for those countries that 
ensured safety procedures for transit of diplomatic 
pouches and couriers.  He asserted that the amendments 
were being processed now, and he hoped that they would 
be approved soon.  (Comment:  The GOU informed the 
Embassy about these legislative amendments in August 
2005.  Their "almost ready" status appears not to have 
progressed much, if at all, since then.) 

5. (SBU) Post Management Counselor noted that the 
Department of State had acted quickly to ensure free 
passage of diplomatic shipments following 9/11, and we 
were looking to the MFA for reciprocal assistance in 
Ukraine.  This problem was shared by all diplomatic 
missions in Kiev, but it was having a significant 
operational impact on U.S. Embassy operations. 

6. (SBU) Khandohiy responded that the MFA would monitor 
the situation closely, noting that the amendments to the 
law were almost complete and would be examined shortly. 
He commented, however, that the parliament was 
preoccupied with the March parliamentary elections, 
implying that adoption of the new legislation on 
diplomatic pouches might have to wait until after the 
elections. 

7. (U) A/S Wayne did not have a chance to clear this 
cable. 

HERBST

 

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