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February 15, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV610 2006-02-15 15:46 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 KIEV 000610 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/15/2016 

REF: A. KIEV 553 
     C. 05 KIEV 4590 

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

1. (C) Summary:  In the aftermath of the February 9 failure 
of the Rada (parliament) to approve the measure authorizing 
foreign troops to participate in military exercises in 
Ukraine in 2006 (ref A), Defense Minister Hrytsenko asked 
Ambassador late February 14 to approach Party of Regions 
leader Yanukovych ahead of an expected revote the week of 
February 20, stressing the importance of such exercises to 
Ukraine's national interest.  Ambassador met Yanukovych 
February 15 and noted that Yanukovych had supported such 
annual resolutions during his tenure as PM, and that a vote 
in favor could signal Regions' intent to govern responsibly 
were it to return to power after the elections.  Yanukovych 
said that he would discuss the issue with his faction leader 
and get back to Ambassador on the issue.   End summary. 

Handwritten note from DefMin Hrytsenko:  please help 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 

2. (C) Defense Minister Hrytsenko sent a handwritten note to 
Ambassador late February 14 requesting assistance in securing 
Rada approval for the bill approving foreign troop 
participation in military exercises on Ukrainian soil.  (The 
bill had failed to secure the 226 votes necessary for passage 
in a 215-to-11 vote February 9.)  Noting that Yanukovych 
seemed willing to listen to Ambassador's counsel, Hrytsenko 
suggested that Yanukovych might prove receptive to a pitch 
that, as Prime Minister, he had annually sent similar such 
bills to the Rada for approval, and that the bill was about 
Ukraine's credibility and predictability as a partner.  For 
his part, Hrytsenko pledged to work with the rest of the 
Rada.  (Note:  Only two members of the governing coalition 
partner Socialist Party voted for the bill February 9; ten 
members of Rada Speaker Lytvyn's faction also failed to vote. 
 The 215-11 February 9 vote fell 11 votes shy of approval, 
with 200 MPs not present or choosing not to vote.) 

Yanukovych:  I'll look into it and get back to you 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

3. (C) Ambassador met Yanukovych February 15.  Noting the 
February 9 vote and Regions' non-participation, Ambassador 
reminded Yanukovych that he had supported such bills while 
PM, that the training was important for Ukraine's military, 
and that a supportive vote by Regions when the measure came 
up for reapproval would send a signal that it intended to 
govern responsibility were he/the party to return to 
government after the elections. 

4. (C) Yanukovych replied that while he was aware the vote 
had occurred, he had not been in Kiev February 9 and did not 
know the reason for his party's non-vote.  He said that he 
would look into the issue, talk to the Party's Rada faction 
leader, and get back to Ambassador. 

Comment:  a pitch worth making 

5. (C) Comment:  Yanukovych told us last November that, while 
his pre-election actions and public comments in the lead-up 
to March parliamentary elections would be focused on 
protecting his base against the incursions of the further 
left Communists and Natalya Vitrenko, he would be ready to 
work constructively on a range of issues after the election, 
presuming he and Regions returned to government (ref C).  The 
pitch for a constructive vote on an issue of Ukraine's 
national interest before the election provides an interesting 
opportunity for Yanukovych to send a signal that he and his 
party can and are willing to approach matters of national 
interest in a non-partisan manner.  The bill could pass even 
without Regions' support if the government succeeds in 
maintaining party discipline among pro-government forces, 
keeping Tymoshenko bloc votes on board, and convincing the 
coalition-member Socialist Party and Rada Speaker Lytvyn to 
provide additional votes, but none of these is necessarily a 

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





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