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06KIEV479, UKRAINE: TYMOSHENKO LIEUTENANT TURCHYNOV ON GAS

February 3, 2006

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06KIEV479 2006-02-03 16:23 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 03 KIEV 000479 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2016 
TAGS: PGOV
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: TYMOSHENKO LIEUTENANT TURCHYNOV ON GAS 
CONTRACTS, PROSPECTS FOR MAIDAN REUNITED 

REF: A. KIEV 466 
     B. KIEV 459 
     C. KIEV 367 
     D. KIEV 408 

Classified By: Ambassador, reason 1.4 (b,d) 

1. (C) Summary:  Ex-PM Tymoshenko lieutenant Oleksandr 
Turchynov told Ambassador February 3 that he thought the 
Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) would obtain the additional 
unpublicized documents related to the January 4 gas deal and 
the newly arranged joint venture by the end of the day; he 
thought the documents would be made public within days and 
promised to pass copies to the Embassy.  Turchynov dampened 
expectations of any deal to reunite the Maidan team prior to 
the March 26 election, despite talks between Our Ukraine, 
BYuT, and the Socialists, citing the mutually differing 
preconditions.  Turchynov claimed that Our Ukraine governors 
were committing administrative resource abuses and showed 
Ambassador "dirty" campaign advertisements, which he said had 
appeared recently in western Ukraine seeking to denigrate 
Tymoshenko; one sought to play on anti-Semitic sentiments. 
End summary. 

Unpublicized gas deal documents to go public soon 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 

2. (C) Former Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) chief and 
Tymoshenko lieutenant Oleksandr Turchynov told Ambassador 
February 3 that BYuT hoped to secure copies of documents 
related to the January 4 gas deal with Gazprom and 
RosUkrEnergo (RUE) by the end of February 3 and would make 
them public soon thereafter.  The RUE role was not just a 
problem for Ukraine; it involved the criminalization of 
European capital and handing over Europe's energy security to 
organized crime kingpin Mogilievich and his cronies.  As head 
of the SBU, he had launched an investigation of RUE and 
queried his counterparts in Hungary, Austria and Germany 
about the anonymous shareholders who were the true 
beneficiaries behind the front companies and who were not 
listed on the primary documents.  He did not succeed prior to 
resigning September 8; such information would have been very 
useful at this juncture. 

3. (C) Turchynov claimed that there had been five agreements 
signed January 4, not just one, as Naftohaz Chair Ivchenko 
and Government of Ukraine (GOU) officials had initially 
announced.  The documents gave the Russians fixed transit 
prices for another 25 years and access to Ukraine's storage 
facilities, in effect handing control over Ukraine's entire 
gas infrastructure to the Russians.  Ambassador noted that 
the emerging details of the agreements had surprised us as 
well, and we had registered our concern with senior GOU 
officials.  In response to a question about whether licensing 
of the newly formed joint venture might offer an opportunity 
to clarify points and improve elements of the deal, Turchynov 
stated that receiving  a license in Ukraine was no more than 
a technicality: once certain documents were signed properly, 
license issuing was automatic. 

4. (C) Turchynov suggested that GOU officials would attempt 
to hold back information on the gas deal through the March 26 
elections to avoid a negative impact on Our Ukraine ratings 
that public reaction to full disclosure would likely trigger. 
 It was ridiculous to expect that the Rada would not demand 
to see all documents related to the gas deals.  Ambassador 
noted that the current Cabinet secrecy surrounding the gas 
deal stood in contrast to the behavior of the Tymoshenko 
cabinet and of the Yekhanurov government prior to this issue. 
 Turchynov agreed, claiming that the colossal sums of money 
involved in this deal and the inevitable corruption had 
overcome any resistance Ukrainian officials might have 
initially offered. 

5. (C) Ambassador noted that several journalists had been 
allowed to review copies of the documents February 2 and that 
their resulting stories seemed to stress that the deal would 
give Ukraine gas at a price of USD 95/thousand tcm for five 
years.  Turchynov responded that the "good news" line was 
part of the GOU effort to distract critical attention through 
the March elections.  The idea that Russia would wage a "milk 
war" on Ukraine (ref A) and cut a deal on gas that was good 
for Ukraine at the same time was nonsensical, he added. 
Turchynov scoffed at PM Yekhanurov's bravura February 2 
statement that he had signed the final approval for the joint 
venture himself because ministers with shaking hands and 
knees were afraid to act; Turchynov knew of many Naftohaz 
executives who had suddenly "taken ill" to avoid any 
association with documents that would come back to haunt 
anyone who approved them, he predicted. 

Will the Maidan team reunite?  Not soon 
--------------------------------------- 

6. (C) Turchynov dismissed chances for a pre-election deal 
between the main Maidan parties (note:  see ref B for claims 
by Our Ukraine campaign operative Roman Zvarych that such a 
deal might be imminent; ref C for the launch of the process). 
 Turchynov confirmed consultations had occurred, with 
Socialist Party (SPU) leader Moroz and deputy leader Iosyp 
Vinsky participating along with Our Ukraine figures.  But 
mutually exclusive conditions by BYuT and Our Ukraine meant 
no deal was likely.  Turchynov claimed that BYuT's proposal 
had introduced the concept of rotational selections of j
obs: 
the top finishing party could fill the PM slot, the second 
party the Rada Speaker, the third party a position of their 
choice, and the rest to be divided on a proportional basis. 
But BYuT also insisted that no names should be fixed prior to 
election results, and that in the meanwhile the parties 
needed to agree upon a government platform -- what the 
principles, policies, and priorities would be for the 
coalition. 

7. (C) Turchynov said that Our Ukraine, for its part, had 
countered that all positions should be approved by the 
President as head of the coalition.  With the reality of 
constitutional reform, the idea of a presidential veto was 
patently ridiculous, as was the Our Ukraine insistence that 
the agreement also express support for the current, Our 
Ukraine-dominated government.  The talks were about the 
future coalition, future government, and future program, not 
boosting Our Ukraine before the elections, he stressed.  At 
the same time, Turchynov added, the BYuT representatives in 
the consultations expressed a willingness to acknowledge 
Yushchenko's leadership of the coalition...if Our Ukraine 
endorsed Tymoshenko as the next PM.  With Our Ukraine 
rejecting that offer, BYuT returned to its earlier stance, 
confident that BYuT would finish ahead of Our Ukraine on 
March 26. 

BYuT campaign going well, but dirty PR appearing 
--------------------------------------------- --- 

8. (C) Turchynov acknowledged BYuT had conducted discussions 
with Yanukovych's Regions but claimed that the parties' 
perspectives differed so much that there was little chance 
they could work together.  Turchynov suggested that BYuT 
(near 20 percent) was currently in clear second place to 
Regions (27-28 percent), with Our Ukraine fading at 13-14 
percent.  BYuT aspired to secure 25-30 percent of the vote 
and was mounting a strong campaign in the "light blue" 
regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, Kherson, and 
Zaporizhzhya (note:  see ref D for another BYuT campaign 
insider assessment that these efforts had made no impact). 
Regions had Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea locked up, said 
Turchynov. 

9. (C) Turchynov complained that Our Ukraine governors were 
engaged in administrative resource abuse, specifically citing 
ex-deputy Interior Minister and current Luhansk governor 
Henadiy Moskal as pressuring policemen to vote Our Ukraine. 
(Note:  Moskal replaced Oleksiy Danylov, dismissed by 
Yushchenko without a stated cause but allegedly for pushing 
the BYuT line in Luhansk; Danylov had been the Yushchenko 
2004 presidential campaign chair for Luhansk.  Turchynov 
acknowledged BYuT was running second to Regions in Luhansk, 
with Our Ukraine support negligible.) 

10. (C) Equally troubling was dirty PR that Turchynov claimed 
had appeared in western Ukraine in recent days.  Turchynov 
showed posters purportedly pulled off of lamp posts that 
sought to associate Tymoshenko with people presumably thought 
to discredit her.  One had Tymoshenko in the center, 
surrounded by all the party leaders who had joined in the 
January 10 vote to dismiss the Yekhanurov Cabinet -- 
Yanukovych, SPDU(o)'s Medvedchuk, the Communist Party's 
Symonenko, plus Rada Speaker Lytvyn, surrounded by a shower 
of U.S. dollars and a Russian flag.  A small handflier 
featuring Tymoshenko advertised a feminine product to enhance 
orgasms.  A third product was a parody of a Christmas scene. 
The "Merry Christmas" poster featured the faces of Tymoshenko 
and other BYuT leaders in the roles of a traditional mountain 
Christmas caroling party.  Instead of a Christian star 
mounted on the pole, however, Mykhaylo Brodsky carried a blue 
and white Star of David on a pole, and Bohdan Hubsky a flag 
of Israel; the caption read,  "Yuliya and her friends." 
(Note:  Brodsky is Jewish; we are not aware of Hubsky's 
ethnic or religious background.  Others depicted were 
Turchynov and Mykola Tomenko.  Not surprisingly, absent were 
prominent BYuT nationalists like Levko Lukyanenko, who has 
expounded anti-Semitic views in the past.)  Turchynov said he 
would try to get a second copy of the poster to pass to the 
Embassy and predicted more such dirty PR would appear in the 
coming weeks. 

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

 

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