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06KIEV1444, UKRAINE: NSDC SECRETARY ON TRANSNISTRIA, BELARUS,

April 11, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1444 2006-04-11 15:25 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO9648
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1444/01 1011525
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111525Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8747
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 001444 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2016 
TAGS: PREL PBTS ENRG ETRD PINR OSCE MD BO RS UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: NSDC SECRETARY ON TRANSNISTRIA, BELARUS, 
RUSSIA 

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

1. (C) Summary:  In an April 11 meeting, National Security 
and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Kinakh told Ambassador 
the Ukrainian government was concerned that Transnistrian 
authorities might provoke an armed confrontation at one of 
Transnistria's "border crossings" with Moldova.  The Russians 
had agreed to a meeting of guarantors and observers (Ukraine, 
Russia, EU, and OSCE, but not Moldova and Transnistria) in 
Moscow, and Kinakh hoped the U.S. would join the April 19 
meeting.  Kinakh said he did not expect President Yushchenko 
to meet Belarusan President Lukashenka during commemorations 
of the April 26 twentieth anniversary of the Chornobyl 
disaster.  (An MFA official separately confirmed Kinakh's 
understanding and committed to alert us if discussion of a 
meeting did start up again.)  A new Ukrainian government was 
unlikely to annul the natural gas agreement with Russia, but 
attention would turn to an intergovernmental agreement 
governing Ukraine and Russia's energy relationship.  The 
Ukrainian government was not considering imposing a 
tit-for-tat measure in response to Moscow's prohibition on 
the import of Ukrainian dairy products.  End summary. 

Transnistria -- April 19 Moscow Meeting 
--------------------------------------- 

2. (C) NSDC Secretary Anatoliy Kinakh told Ambassador April 
11 that the Ukrainian government continued closely to monitor 
the "serious" situation in Transnistria.  Ukrainian Black Sea 
ports continued to lose revenue from the Transnistrian 
authorities' decision to close its borders in response to 
Ukraine's implementation of a customs agreement with Moldova. 
 With the exception of a handful of companies, Transnistrian 
leader Igor Smirnov continued to forbid Transnistrian 
companies from registering with the Moldovan government, 
leading to financial losses from their inability to export 
their product, but, Kinakh said, the Ukrainian government 
suspected Moscow of providing funds to compensate these 
losses.  Without specifying his reasons for saying so, Kinakh 
said the Ukrainian government was concerned that the 
Transnistrian authorities might provoke an armed 
confrontation at Bender (the Moldova-Transnistria "border 
crossing" point on the rail line between Tiraspol and 
Chisinau). 

3. (C) Kinakh said the key to resolving the present impasse 
lay in Moscow and also with the OSCE and the United States. 
Plans were moving forward to hold a meeting in Moscow April 
19 of Ukraine, Russia, the EU, and OSCE.  Kinakh said he 
hoped the U.S. would participate, and he confirmed the 
Russian government had agreed to the meeting.  The meeting 
participants would discuss the issue of Russia's fulfillment 
of its Istanbul commitments and Transnistria's self-imposed 
economic blockade. 

Belarus - No Presidential Summit 
-------------------------------- 

4. (C) On Belarus, Kinakh said there had been agreement in 
principle to hold a Ukraine-Belarus summit since the 
September 2004 CIS summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.  These 
plans, however, had not been made concrete, and a meeting 
during April 26 commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the 
Chornobyl disaster was unlikely.  In addition to the badly 
flawed presidential election, Belarusan President Lukashenka 
had taken a number of steps unfriendly to Ukraine recently. 
As an example, around April 6, he had sent Transnistrian 
leader Igor Smirnov a letter of support that promised to 
provide Transnistria with "humanitarian shipments."  Kinakh 
agreed that this was probably at Moscow's bidding.  Kinakh 
noted, in view of the high volume of trade between the two 
countries, that Ukraine would continue to endeavor to 
cooperate on the economic front with Belarus. 

5. (C) Note:  Later on April 11, MFA 2nd Territorial 
Department Director Anatoliy Ponomarenko separately told us 
there were no discussions ongoing concerning a possible 
meeting of the two presidents.  He noted Ukraine had 
originally set two pre-conditions for such a meeting:  1) 
signing of a consular accord regarding visas for workers at 
Chornobyl and 2) signing of an agreement to permit transit of 
construction materials for the new Chornobyl Shelter 
Implementation Program.  Belarus had not come back to the GOU 
on the agreements.  Ponomarenko said MFA would let us know if 
discussions on a possible meeting began anew, but he was 
quite dubious that there would be any movement on the 
agreements or a meeting soon.  Further on Belarus, 
Ponomarenko added MFA had asked Ukrainian Ambassador to the 
U.S. Oleh Shamshur April 10 to inform the Department that 
Ukraine was looking at the possibility of hosting an informal 
"donors" meeting on Belarus democracy in Kiev April 28-29. 

KIEV 00001444  002 OF 002 

Ponoma
renko said the meeting would be modeled on a similar 
meeting held in Stockholm.  End note. 

Russia - Trade and Natural Gas Friction 
--------------------------------------- 

6. (C) Kinakh said the trade war with Russia was continuing. 
Although Moscow had authorized six Ukrainian companies to 
export their dairy products to Russia, no resolution of the 
general prohibition was in sight.  Beginning April 1, Russia 
had prohibited the import of Ukrainian alcoholic spirits. 
Russia, however, had been more flexible after Ukrainian 
officials warned Russia they would advise Ukrainian 
businesses to turn to pro-Russian political forces in Ukraine 
to overturn the embargo.  Kinakh said the Ukrainian 
government had not really considered a tit-for-tat imposition 
of an embargo on Russian imports since such a move would 
merely aggravate the situation and the economic impact on 
Russia would be negligible. 

7. (C) Kinakh said a new Ukrainian government was unlikely to 
seek to annul the January 4 Ukraine-Russia natural gas supply 
agreement.  The focus of attention would instead turn toward 
the signing of an inter-governmental protocol defining 
Ukraine and Russia's obligations to one another in the energy 
field.  Such a protocol would address the process of moving 
toward market prices not only for Russia's supply of natural 
gas to Ukraine but also for the transit of natural gas across 
Ukrainian territory.  Unfortunately, the current agreement 
would not ensure the same gas price from Russia after July 1. 
 The Russians were warning that the price had been predicated 
on supplies of Turkmen gas, which might not be available in 
the near future.  In fact, Kinakh noted, Russian agreements 
with Central Asian countries gave Russia a virtual monopoly 
to supply Central Asian natural gas.  Kinakh urged the USG to 
work with the EU and within the G-8 to obtain a Russian 
commitment to guarantee access to its energy transport system. 

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

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