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February 3, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV483 2006-02-03 17:10 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 000483 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2016 

REF: A. STATE 17796 

     B. KIEV 365 

Classified By: Political Counselor Aubrey A. Carlson for reasons 1.4(b, 

1. (C) Summary:  In a February 3 briefing, Ukrainian Special 
Envoy Tkach said the February 1 Ukraine-Moldova meeting had 
failed to make progress, but a second round would occur at 
the level of Ministers of Economy in the hope of resolving 
Ukraine's objections to Moldovan government registration 
procedures for Transnistrian business enterprises.  If the 
February 6-7 meeting of Economy Ministers failed to make 
progress, the Ukraine-Moldova "Joint Trade Commission" would 
meet February 9 to discuss the issue further.  Tkach, who 
defended himself against charges of corruption, is on his way 
to a second stint as ambassador to Hungary.  End summary. 

No Meeting of Minds 

2. (C) Ukrainian Special Envoy for Transnistria Dmytro Tkach 
briefed U.S and EU diplomats February 3 on bilateral 
Ukraine-Moldova discussions on Ukrainian enforcement of the 
agreed 2003 customs protocol with Moldova.  He said the 
Ukrainian government had reached a decision not to begin 
enforcement of the customs protocol after First Deputy Prime 
Minister Stanislav Stashevsky, to whom President Yushchenko 
had given overall responsibility for Transnistria, convened a 
meeting on the evening of January 24.  The heads of the State 
Border Guards (SBGS), Customs, and Tax Services and "7-8 
ministers" attended.  During the meeting, the Minister of 
Transportation and Communications, SBGS chief, and the head 
of the Customs service jointly declared that the Moldovan 
government had failed to meet its obligations as required in 
the December 30 joint statement of the Ukrainian and Moldovan 
prime ministers.  They said Ukraine would be unable to handle 
problems that would ensue if the GOU enforced the protocol. 

3. (C) Tkach highlighted the same issues as DFM Veselovsky 
had (ref B) with respect to Moldovan implementation of its 
Resolution 815 -- requirement for Transnistrian business 
entities to be current on taxes for permanent registration 
with resulting double taxation, temporary registrants' 
inability to receive certain certificates of origin with 
associated re-exporting privileges, and shorter validity 
period for temporary registrations.  Tkach added to the list 
of problems the lack of a mechanism for restitution of 
Moldovan government-collected taxes to the Transnistrian 
authority.  He also noted the Moldovan Economy Minister's 
declaration that privatized Moldovan enterprises would be 
ineligible for either permanent or temporary registration, 
since Moldova does not recognize the process of privatization 
conducted by the Transnistrian authorities. 

4. (C) Tkach said the February 1 discussions in Odesa between 
Ukrainian and Moldovan representatives had not resolved 
Ukrainian issues with Moldovan procedures for registering 
Transnistrian businesses.  Since discussions at a technical 
level had been unfruitful, Tkach said a meeting at the 
"government level" would take place in Kiev February 6-7. 
Tkach specified that he thought the Moldovan Minister of 
Economy, Minister for Reintegration Sova, and perhaps the 
head of the Customs Service would attend the meeting for the 
Moldovan side.  If the next round could not resolve the 
impasse, the Ukraine-Moldova joint "trade commission" would 
meet on February 9.  In the February 9 meeting, Ukrainian 
First DFM Stashevksy would have the opportunity to exchange 
views with Moldovan President Voronin and Prime Minister 
Tarlev, which Tkach hoped would lead to a resolution of the 
problem.  Responding to a question, Tkach said discussions on 
the issue were purely bilateral, because the Moldovan side 
did not want to include Transnistrian representatives. 
(Note:  A Tiraspol-based website reported that Transnistrian 
authority representatives were present at the February 1 
meeting, but the Moldovans refused to acknowledge them. 
Other press reporting described the meeting as a trilateral 
one among Ukraine, Moldova, and the Transnistria region.) 

Scurrilous Lies 

5. (C) When he opened the meeting, Tkach spent an unusual 
amount of time defending himself against charges that he had 
caused the Ukrainian government to delay enforcement of the 
customs protocol due to his financial interest in 
Transnistria.  Dismissing the possibility that he had the 
power to bring about such a decision, Tkach said the rumors 
about his ownership of Transnistrian property had been a 
"provocation" originating from the Moldovan Azi website that 
he owned shares in a Transnistria-based telephone company. 
The Moldovan customs chief had repeated the allegations.  As 
a result, the Ukrainian government had sent a diplomatic note 
of protest asking the Moldovan government to provide evidence 
to substantiate the claims.  To date, the Moldovan government 
had not replied. 

6. (C) Tkach said the Ukrainians had obtained documents on 
the company from Transnistria, which established that the 
company had only two owners.  The company's financial 
documents had established no links with Tkach.  Tkach said 
copies of the documents were sent to five-plus-two 
negotiators; he was prepared to send t
he same documents to 
the Austrian government as EU president or to any other 
interested party.  (Note:  At the same time, Tkach never made 
a statement categorically denying that he had no financial 
interest in Transnistria.) 

A Border Incident 
7. (C) Tkach recounted an incident as evidence of a positive 
outcome from Ukraine's cooperation with the EC Border 
Assistance Mission (BAM).  He said the head of the EU BAM 
team at a border checkpoint noted the slipshod and cursory 
examination of Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov's entourage 
when he crossed the border.  (EC official Sabine Stoehr told 
us this happened January 21.)  Tkach said the customs agents, 
familiar with Smirnov because of his frequent crossings, had 
quickly leafed through the ten passports they were handed and 
failed to conduct any customs inspection of his vehicles. 
After EU BAM protested the behavior to the Ukrainian customs 
service chief, Ukrainian customs scrupulously carried out 
their duties when Smirnov re-crossed the border into 
Moldova/Transnistria.  Tkach said the customs agents' 
behavior had been reported to President Yushchenko, who had 
then issued orders that Smirnov was to be carefully inspected 
each time he crossed the Ukrainian border. 

Moving On 

8. (C) On the way out, Hungarian DCM Laszlo Horvath confirmed 
reports that Tkach was on his way as ambassador to Hungary, 
unusually, for a second time.  Horvath confirmed Tkach's 
statement that he had been ambassador to Hungary once before 
in the early 1990s after Ukrainian independence.  The 
Hungarian government felt Tkach was acceptable, since he 
spoke a little Hungarian and seemed to have reasonably good 
ties with Tarasyuk and leading officials of the "Orange Team." 

9. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 




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