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06KIEV1540, UKRAINE: YUSHCHENKO’S PARTY “ENDORSES” PREVIOUS

April 14, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1540 2006-04-14 15:13 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO3933
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1540/01 1041513
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141513Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8850
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KIEV 001540 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2016 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: YUSHCHENKO'S PARTY "ENDORSES" PREVIOUS 
DAY'S COALITION PROTOCOL, BUT REJECTS KEY COMPONENT 

REF: A. KIEV 1481 

     B. KIEV 1443 

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

1. (C) Summary:  President Yushchenko's Hamlet-like dance 
over whether or when to endorse ex-Premier Yuliya 
Tymoshenko's claim on returning to her old job in the 
"Coalition of Democratic Forces" continued April 14 when the 
Executive Council of the People's Union Our Ukraine (PUOU) 
party's Political Council endorsed the protocol signed April 
13 with one significant reservation: they withheld support 
for a key point (paragraph 6 in the protocol) that 
effectively would give Tymoshenko the PM job.  FM Tarasyuk, 
head of the Rukh party that is one of the six parties in the 
Our Ukraine electoral bloc, told Ambassador early April 14 
that Our Ukraine (OU) electoral bloc negotiators Roman 
Bezsmertny and Roman Zvarych had exceeded their instructions 
April 13 in signing the protocol with the inclusion of 
paragraph 6.  Bezsmertny explained to Ambassador later April 
14 how Yushchenko had called him late April 13 and again 
early April 14 with a supportive comment about moving forward 
in negotiations while making clear he should not exceed 
instructions, i.e. he should not have agreed to a point on 
who will occupy the premiership.  Bezsmertny said that 
coalition negotiations would continue April 17-18; both 
Bezsmertny and Zvarych did not think Our Ukraine had any real 
options other than eventually to accept Tymoshenko as PM. 
(Note:  A primer on the confusing multiple layers of decision 
making authority in Our Ukraine (both the electoral bloc and 
the PUOU party) is included at the end of this cable.) 

2. (C) Comment:  Bezsmertny and Zvarych appeared giddy 
throughout the conversation in describing the difficulties of 
dealing with Tymoshenko on the one hand and their Our Ukraine 
colleagues on the other.  At one point Bezsmertny commented: 
"I look over at Zvarych and he's grinning like a boy at the 
circus," to which Zvarych replied: "This is a circus."  The 
PUOU decision and Yushchenko's telephonic remonstrations 
constitute the third time that "the Romans" have been 
upbraided for going too far in accommodating Tymoshenko too 
quickly (in negotiating the never-signed pre-election 
coalition memorandum, and in endorsing Tymoshenko's right to 
lead the coalition after the exit polls came out on election 
night).  It is a strange dynamic within Our Ukraine, which 
seemingly has a clear understanding of where it will 
eventually go, slaps Bezsmertny and Zvarych on the wrist, but 
then keeps them in place to continue what they started 
because they are the ones who are viewed as able to close a 
deal with Tymoshenko.  By characterizing a Rada dismissal as 
the only alternative to accepting Tymoshenko as PM, 
Bezsmertny is ruling out an Orange-Blue coalition.  End 
summary and comment. 

The Romans exceeded their authority 
----------------------------------- 

3. (C) FM Tarasyuk, head of the Rukh Party and thus a member 
of the seven-person Political Council for the Our Ukraine 
electoral bloc, alerted Ambassador early April 14 that 
Bezsmertny and Zvarych, the two OU negotiators in discussions 
with the Tymoshenko, had exceeded their instructions in 
signing the protocol on forming a coalition of democratic 
forces late April 13 (ref A). 

4. (C) The concluding clause in the April 13 protocol read 
that the protocol was subject to the final approval of the 
political councils of the three blocs.  Ambassador met 
Tymoshenko at 1400 hours April 14, just after BYuT had 
ratified the protocol (septel).  Ambassador then met with 
Bezsmertny and Zvarych at 1500 hours April 14, immediately 
after the PUOU Executive Council (Presidium) had met to 
consider the protocol.  While PUOU endorsed the protocol, 
they did so with one significant exception:  a pointed 
non-endorsement of paragraph 6, which referenced the 
principles of the coalition memorandum negotiated before the 
election by OU, BYuT, and the Socialists but never signed. 
That memorandum gave the right to select the PM to the 
coalition party finishing with the largest vote total (as it 
turned out, the Tymoshenko bloc). 

5. (C) Both Tymoshenko and Bezsmertny apparently realized 
Bezsmertny was taking a risk in signing the protocol 
including paragraph 6, because they both claimed authorship 
of the final clause requiring endorsement by the political 
councils of the three blocs when talking to Ambassador April 
14.  Tymoshenko said she did so "to protect the Romans"; 
Bezsmertny said he had insisted on the clause to avoid the 
accusation that he had exceeded his negotiating authority. 

Our Ukraine still torn over Tymoshenko 

KIEV 00001540  002 OF 003 

-------------------------------------- 

6. (C) Bezsmertny said that the PUOU meeting, which included 
all of the party heavyweights save Tymoshenko nemeses Petro 
Poroshenko and David Zhvaniya, mostly expressed support for 
the protocol but also included significant criticism of 
Tymoshenko.  In addition, Yushchenko had call
ed Bezsmertny to 
discuss the negotiations both late on April 13, after the 
protocol had been signed, as well as early in the morning 
April 14.  The message the first time was:  "It is good that 
you are working at negotiations, but don't exceed your 
instructions."  The second time:  "It is good to negotiate, 
but do not give answers before you should.  Treat it like a 
play in the theater; people should not applaud too early." 

7. (C) Bezsmertny stated that it was clear sitting at the 
coalition negotiating table April 13 that Tymoshenko would be 
Premier; he was not sure why she insisted on inclusion of 
paragraph 6 in the protocol text, since the reaction of PUOU 
was predictable.  He added:  "We will get to the right 
answer, but it could take a month or two."  Negotiations 
would resume April 17-18.  Our Ukraine had passed to BYuT and 
the Socialists a substantive draft of the first two sections 
of the proposed coalition agreement, covering the proposed 
programmatic elements and rules for mediating disputes that 
arose when the three coalition members disagreed on policies 
and decisions.  The toughest part, though, would be part 
three:  division of responsibilities and positions. 

8. (C) It was not a matter of Our Ukraine wanting or not 
wanting Tymoshenko as PM, asserted Bezsmertny; OU ultimately 
had no choice but to accept Tymoshenko, since the alternative 
of dismissing the Rada seemed unlikely.  Ambassador asked 
Zvarych, who had said April 11 that Yushchenko would not 
dismiss the Rada (ref B), whether he still felt that way. 
Zvarych replied yes. 

9. (U) Begin text of the PUOU decision: 

PRESIDIUM OF THE COUNCIL OF THE POLITICAL PARTY PEOPLE'S 
UNION OUR UKRAINE 

"On Approving the Protocol on the procedure of forming the 
Coalition of Democratic Forces" 

The Presidium of the Council of the Party, having heard the 
report of the member of the Party's Strategic Council R. 
Zvarych, decided to: 

1. Approve the actions of the Chair of the Party's Council R. 
Bezsmertny regarding the creation of the Coalition of 
Democratic Forces comprised of the Our Ukraine Bloc, Yuliya 
Tymoshenko's Bloc, and the Socialist Party of Ukraine in the 
Fifth Convocation of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada (note: 
parliament). 

2. Approve the Protocol on the procedure of forming the 
Coalition of Democratic Forces with the exception of 
paragraph 6 of the Protocol. 

3. Authorize the Chair of the Party's Council R. Bezsmertny 
to defend the above position at the meeting of the Political 
Council of the Our Ukraine Bloc, and to convey this decision 
to the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialist Party of 
Ukraine. 

Chair of the Council R. Bezsmertny 

End Text. 

Primer on the multiple kitchens of Our Ukraine 
--------------------------------------------- - 

10. (SBU) In comparison to the unambiguous line of authority 
in BYuT (Tymoshenko personally decides everything, with 
long-time Batkyvshchina deputy leader Turchynov also 
participating in the coalition negotiations), and for the 
Socialists (Moroz is the unquestioned leader, with deputy 
leader Iosef Vinnsky the designated negotiator), Our Ukraine 
has a confusing four layers of formal authority.  Two are 
related to the Our Ukraine electoral bloc of six parties; two 
are related to the People's Union Our Ukraine Party, which is 
the electoral bloc's main element/primary funder, along with 
an honorary party chair (President Yushchenko) who wields a 
clearly influential voice.  The old proverb: "Too many cooks 
in the kitchen" comes to mind.  The chefs who belong to all 
four kitchens and the negotiating process but clearly do not 
determine all the recipes: Roman Bezsmertny and Roman 
Zvarych. 

11. (SBU) Six parties comprise the Our Ukraine Electoral 

KIEV 00001540  003 OF 003 

Bloc, whose seven member Political Council includes the six 
party heads listed below and Roman Zvarych serving as 
Secretary: 

SIPDIS 

--Bezsmertny-led People's Union Our Ukraine (PUOU) Party 
--FM Borys Tarasyuk's Rukh (People's Movement of Ukraine) 
--NSDC Secretary's Anatoliy Kinakh's Union of Industrialists 
and Entrepreneurs (UIE) 
--Naftohaz Chair Oleksiy Ivchenko's  Congress of Ukrainian 
Nationalists (KUN) 
--Presidential Secretariat Deputy head Anatoliy Matviyenko's 
Sobor 
--MP Volodymyr Stretovych's Christian-Democratic Union 

The OU bloc's named negotiators for coalition talks with BYuT 
and the Socialists are: Bezsmertny (lead), and Zvarych 
(deputy negotiator). 

12. (SBU) The Our Ukraine electoral bloc also has a 
little-mentioned Strategic Council which resolved 
"operational issues" and day-to-day decisions related to the 
election campaign (what advertising to purchase, etc).  If 
the Political Council acted like the bloc's board, the 
Strategic Council acted as the campaign's management 
executives.  All six are members of PUOU; two stayed in 
government after the September 2005 shakeup; three were 
"orange oligarchs" forced from office after unproven 
allegations of corruption. 

--Bezsmertny 
--Zvarych 
--PM Yekhanurov 
--Petro Poroshenko 
--Oleksandr Tretyakov 
--David Zhvaniya 

13. (SBU) The People's Union Our Ukraine Party formed in 
mid-2005 on the basis of two of the five parties which had 
formed the 2002 Our Ukraine electoral bloc: Razom 
(Bezsmertny), and Solidarity (Poroshenko).  Of the other 
three forces, Tarasyuk's Rukh refused to join the new PUOU 
party but eventually returned to the 2006 edition of the Our 
Ukraine electoral bloc.  In contrast, Finance Minister 
Pynzenyk's Reforms and Order Party and Yuri Kostenko's 
Ukrainian People's Party refused to join both the new party 
and the electoral bloc, contested the March 26 elections 
separately, and failed to make it past the three percent 
threshold.  In the immediate aftermath of the March 26 
elections, PUOU was the last of the six forces in the Our 
Ukraine electoral bloc to endorse pursuit of a "Coalition of 
Democratic Forces" with BYuT and the Socialists. 

PUOU's Executive Council ("Presidium") has seven members, 
plus Zvarych as secretary.  According to Bezsmertny's 
assistant, Zhvaniya often "shows up" but is not a formal 
member. 

--Bezsmertny (Chair) 
--Yekhanurov 
--Tretyakov 
--Poroshenko 
--Mykola Martynenko (note: OU Rada faction leader in the 
outgoing Rada) 
--Pavlo Zhebrivsky (note: former Zhytomyr governor, 
associated with Poroshenko) 
--Borys Bespaly (note: has a generally good reputation for 
integrity) 

14. (SBU) The wider PUOU Political Council currently has 178 
members, roughly a third of which come from provincial party 
branches. 

Plus: &#x
000A; 
PUOU Honorary Chair: President Yushchenko 

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

Wikileaks

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