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06KIEV382, UKRAINE: FM TARASYUK WARNS KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE

January 30, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV382 2006-01-30 15:08 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 000382 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/30/2016 
TAGS: PREL PBTS KDEM PINR YI UP UNMIK OSCE
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: FM TARASYUK WARNS KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE 
DESTABILIZING, FANS SEPARATIST FLAMES ELSEWHERE 

REF: KIEV 336 

Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 

1. (C) Summary:  Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said, during 
a January 30 meeting with visiting Project for Transitional 
Democracies Head Bruce Jackson and Ambassador, that the 
Ukrainian government did not favor Kosovo independence.  Such 
an outcome would destabilize the political situation in 
Serbia and Montenegro and act as a bad precedent for 
Transnistria and fuel other separatist sentiments in the 
"frozen conflicts" of the Caucasus.  Jackson responded that 
the international community could not "force the victims of 
ethnic cleansing to return to Belgrade's control."  He said 
that Kosovo's independence was a given, although it might be 
achieved in a gradual manner.  End summary. 

A Useful Visit 
-------------- 

2. (C) Tarasyuk, Second Territorial Department Deputy 
Director Ihor Prokopchuk, and other MFA officials met January 
30 with Jackson, Ambassador, and Poloff (notetaker) 
principally to discuss Ukraine's progress toward NATO and EU 
membership.  Tarasyuk also raised his visit to Kosovo and to 
Serbia and Montenegro.  During a January 24 visit to Kosovo, 
Tarasyuk said, he had met with representatives of the ethnic 
Albanian and Serbian communities and the UNMIK leadership. 
He also visited locations where Ukrainian troops were 
deployed and met with the U.S. general commanding the U.S. 
brigade.  All his interlocutors were quite positive about the 
Ukrainian contribution (per Tarasyuk, 262 troops with KFOR 
and 170 policemen with UNMIK).  From Kosovo, Tarasuk noted, 
he had proceeded to Belgrade, where he met with the SaM 
President, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister. 

Kosovo Independence?  Don't Go There! 
------------------------------------- 

3. (C) Tarasyuk said his meetings in Belgrade provided him 
with a better understanding of the Serbian position on Kosovo 
independence, which Tarasyuk said would only grant Kosovo a 
status "more than autonomy, but less than full independence." 
 Belgrade was facing a referendum in Montenegro, which 
Tarasyuk said would probably lead to Montenegro's separation 
from its union with Serbia.  If Serbia were also to lose 
Kosovo, the SaM government's opponents would seize on the 
developments to undermine the government; thus, the loss of 
Kosovo would be a serious blow domestically.  Tarasyuk's 
interlocutors in Belgrade had advised Tarasyuk that they 
could not accept Kosovo independence because it would upset 
the existing balance of political forces in Serbia and 
Montenegro. 

4. (C) Furthermore, Tarasyuk continued, in addition to the 
destabilizing impact on Serbia domestically, Kosovo 
independence would reinforce separatist sentiments in the 
so-called "frozen conflicts" in places such as Transnistria, 
Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh.  Transnistria 
affected Ukraine directly, while the other conflicts would 
have impacts in Georgia and Azerbaijan, countries with whom 
Ukraine enjoyed friendly relations.  Kosovo independence 
could also influence the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina 
negatively, Tarashuk warned.  Who could say whether the 
Albanians would stop at the formation of an ethnically 
Albanian state just with Kosovo?, Tarasyuk asked 
rhetorically.  For these reasons, Tarasyuk concluded, the 
Ukrainian government was not enthusiastic about the prospect 
of Kosovo's independence. 

An Out-of-Step Ukraine 
---------------------- 

5. (C) Jackson responded that the presence of ethnic 
Hungarians outside of Hungary, or ethnic Romanians outside of 
Romania, did not mean national boundaries must be adjusted to 
create ethnically uniform countries.  Geopolitical realities 
dictated that Kosovo would be independent.  The Serbians 
could not be allowed to argue that they were so weak and 
politically unstable that nothing could happen in the 
Balkans, Jackson retorted with some heat, and the 
international community should not force the victims of 
ethnic cleansing to return to Belgrade's control.  Jackson 
allowed that there could be some long-term process, but he 
frankly could not see any outcome other than independence for 
Kosovo.  He did not think the issue was a matter of debate 
any longer.  The Ukrainian position was completely 
out-of-step with the U.S. and Western European perspective, 
but he could understand that the implications for the frozen 
conflicts should be carefully considered. 

6. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
HERBST

 

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