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06KIEV1123, UKRAINE: DEFENSE MINISTER ON NATO, JOB SECURITY

March 23, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1123 2006-03-23 14:32 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 001123 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2016 
TAGS: MARR PGOV PINR NATO
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: DEFENSE MINISTER ON NATO, JOB SECURITY 

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

Defense Minister On: NATO... 
----------------------------- 

1. (C) During a March 22 meeting with Ambassador, Defense 
Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko said that he was in the process of 
reorganizing his general staff to meet the NATO "J-System" 
requirement.  He added that he hoped a Membership Action Plan 
(MAP) for Ukraine could be approved at the next NATO defense 
ministers' meeting; Ukraine would be ready to move forward on 
the MAP in the fall. 

2. (C) In response to Ambassador's observation that much 
depended on the upcoming parliamentary and local elections 
and the coalition government that followed, Hrytsenko argued 
that the new government would be supportive of Ukraine's NATO 
aspirations -- even if it was an Our Ukraine and Party of 
Regions coalition.  Hrytsenko asserted that "Regions does not 
care" about foreign policy issues; Hrytsenko dismissed 
Regions' anti-NATO rhetoric as being solely for "domestic 
consumption prior to the elections."  When Ambassador noted 
that Regions' leader Yanukovych in private had expressed 
interest in cooperation with NATO but not NATO membership, 
Hrytsenko reiterated that "Regions does not care about 
foreign policy." 

...And Job Security 
------------------- 

3. (C) Hrytsenko related that he had spoken last week with 
Regions' financial patron, oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.  He had 
briefed the Donetsk clan godfather on NATO, seeking 
Akhmetov's support for Rada approval of a joint Ukraine-NATO 
training exercise (reftel).  According to Hrytsenko, Akhmetov 
said that Regions MPs would vote to approve the exercise 
after the elections -- not before.  The oligarch also 
allegedly told Hrytsenko that he was doing a good job as 
defense minister, a view Akhmetov claimed was shared by 
"others" in Regions.  Hrytsenko said the conversation with 
Akhmetov suggested that he might stay on as defense minister 
in an Our Ukraine-Regions coalition government, continuing to 
direct the military/defense component of Ukraine's 
Euro-Atlantic integration. 

Comment 
------- 

4. (C) The anti-NATO public position of Regions is an 
election device, but not only that.  As Ambassador told 
Hrytsenko, Yanukovych has said privately that he does not see 
Ukraine seriously seeking NATO membership.  If Regions would 
be willing to permit Hrytsenko to stay on as defense minister 
in a coalition government, it would be a clear sign of 
Regions not wanting to dramatically alter a major aspect of 
Ukraine's foreign policy course. 
Herbst

 

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From → CONFIDENTIAL

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