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06KIEV1662, UKRAINE: RADA MAJORITY COALITION TALKS RESUME;

April 27, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1662 2006-04-27 16:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO6922
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1662/01 1171600
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271600Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9052
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 001662 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2016 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: RADA MAJORITY COALITION TALKS RESUME; 
SOCIALIST NEGOTIATOR VINSKY'S TAKE ON PROGRESS AND PROSPECTS 

REF: A. KIEV 1540 

     B. KIEV 1081 

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

1. (C) Summary:  After a ten-day hiatus, coalition 
negotiations between President Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, the 
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and the Socialists resumed 
April 25, deputy Socialist Party leader Iosyp Vinsky told 
Ambassador April 27.  Our Ukraine's Roman Zvarych, Tymoshenko 
(standing in for her hospitalized deputy Turchynov), and 
Vinsky signed two documents:  joint instructions to oblast 
and local party branches about formation of local coalitions, 
and a one-page description of the structure of a national 
coalition agreement.  The former was required to stop the 
uncertainty and hemorrhaging of some local deputies to 
"non-democratic" parties, said Vinsky.  The latter envisaged 
a preamble, a three-part policy section (basic principles of 
foreign and domestic policy, tasks for the coalition Cabinet 
of Ministers, and issues of disagreement between the three 
blocs and how to resolve them), a coalition rules and 
regulations section, and a section on division of government 
positions.  Vinsky characterized the negotiations as complex 
and tough, but said they would be completed "if the political 
will to reach agreement exists; it all ultimately depends on 
one person -- Viktor Yushchenko."  The negotiators were 
working to hammer out the full coalition agreement in time 
for a hoped-for May 17 opening of the new Rada. 

2. (C) Vinsky said the biggest obstacle to agreement was the 
lack of a clear decision making structure in Our Ukraine, 
which he said was not a party but a group of individuals and 
interests around President Yushchenko.  The Socialists 
strongly supported Tymoshenko as Prime Minister because they 
believed in the need to launch Ukraine's new 
parliamentary-presidential republic with a strong Prime 
Minister, and Tymoshenko was now arguably the country's most 
popular and dynamic politician; she had earned the right to 
lead.  Ambassador underscored U.S. support for the formation 
of a reform-oriented Orange coalition, and the need for the 
parties involved to come to agreement, particularly on the 
details necessary to form a lasting, effective coalition. 
Comment:  Vinsky's comments on the red-line issues identified 
by Yushchenko (NATO, land privatization, and privatization) 
confirm that deep policy differences remain, particularly 
between Our Ukraine and the Socialists.  It is interesting as 
well that the Socialists continue to meet with Tymoshenko to 
agree on common positions before engaging Our Ukraine.  It is 
welcome news that serious discussions have resumed.  End 
summary and comment. 

Slippage in a vacuum before getting back to work 
--------------------------------------------- --- 

3. (SBU) Negotiators for the proposed "Coalition of 
Democratic Forces" (the "pink" Socialists asked that it not 
be called an Orange coalition) had not met since signing the 
protocol of intent to form a coalition April 13, and the 
subsequent partial rejection of the protocol by the Our 
Ukraine party April 14 (ref A).  In the interim, speculation 
built about Our Ukraine's true intentions, particularly after 
Our Ukraine paired with Party of Regions to announce a 
majority in the Zakarpattya Oblast Council, worked with 
Regions in a failed attempt to block the Tymoshenko bloc's 
nominee to become head of the Kiev Oblast Council, and 
backed out of announced plans to partner with BYuT and the 
Socialists in Chernivtsi and Vinnytsya oblast councils. 

Joint instruction to local branches 
----------------------------------- 

4. (C) Tymoshenko, Vinsky, and Zvarych resumed so-called 
"working group" meetings April 25 after the conclusion of the 
Orthodox Easter holidays, as promised by Our Ukraine Chair 
Roman Zvarych April 20.  The Socialists in particular were 
concerned about developments in the provinces the previous 
two weeks, since uncertainty about the fate of the national 
coalition discussions had allowed "opposition" parties, 
particularly the Lytvyn bloc and Regions, to start poaching 
Socialists elected to district/local councils; the problem 
was particularly acute in Kirovohrad and Vinnytsya, said 
Vinsky. 

5. (C) Vinsky confirmed press reports that he and his 
Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine bloc counterparts in the latest 
talks had signed a joint instruction to provincial/local 
party branches about forming local alliances between the 
three parties.  He acknowledged that it would be impossible 
to undo all the damage from the past several weeks, but said 
that sending a clear signal of intent was important to 
stabilize the situation and move forward.  Vinsky would meet 

KIEV 00001662  002 OF 003 

with 800 local Socialist leaders May 1 to deliver the message 
in person; the bigger issue was whether Our Ukraine would 
take action.  He claimed that certain Our Ukraine provincial 
factions controlled by Petro Poroshenko, such as in Vinnytsya 
and Zhytomyr, would likely not cooperate with BYuT and would 
continue to seek alliances with Regions and Lytvyn's bloc,

the latter of which did not make it into the national Rada 
but did win seats in provincial and local councils. 

Agreed structure for coalition agreement 
---------------------------------------- 

6. (C) The second achievement of the April 25 coalition talks 
was an unpublicized, signed one-page framework of a coalition 
agreement.  The outline stipulated that the coalition 
agreement would include a preamble; a three-part policy 
section (basic principles of foreign and domestic policy, 
specific tasks for the coalition Cabinet of Ministers, and 
issues of disagreement between the three blocs); a rules and 
regulations section; and a section on division of government 
positions.  Vinsky characterized the Rules section as "80% 
complete," adding that once Tymoshenko came up to speed after 
taking over from her deputy Turchynov (hospitalized with 
hepatitis, also dodging an arrest warrant for allegedly 
authorizing destruction of SBU files), that section could be 
finished relatively quickly.  Vinsky would meet Tymoshenko 
later April 27 to reach agreement on the Rules section, since 
two-way sessions were more productive than three-way 
negotiations. 

7. (C) The policy section was also "80% complete in technical 
terms," since the three parties had agreed that the basis 
would be Yushchenko's "Ten Steps for the People" campaign 
platform, the proposals Yushchenko as President had submitted 
to the Rada, and the program of the Tymoshenko government 
that had been passed by the Rada.  On substantive terms, 
Vinsky allowed that the parties were only "50% in agreement," 
since major issues remained to be addressed, and both Our 
Ukraine and BYuT had proposed "adjustments."  The 
"disagreement" section would list the major issues on which 
the parties differed; the parties then needed to find a 
formula to unite behind a position, form a compromise, put 
the issue aside, or otherwise agree how to address it. 
Vinsky stated that agreeing on policy and rules regulating 
coalition formation was not just an issue of "boxing in" 
Tymoshenko; it was also about creating the basis of stable 
governance with checks and balances that Ukraine needed, 
including a role for the opposition. 

Hoping to finish before the new Rada meets 
------------------------------------------ 

8. (C) The negotiating process was very complicated, 
acknowledged Vinsky, but if the political will to seal the 
deal were there, the talks would succeed; it all depended on 
Yushchenko.  The negotiators had set themselves a target of 
finishing the coalition document in time to send it to 
various party/bloc political councils for review/approval; 
the hope was to have it ready to sign on the first day of the 
new Rada.  Vinsky claimed that since the Rada rules mandated 
a minimum of 20 days after the promulgation of official 
election results prior to the opening of the next Rada, the 
earliest possibly opening date was now May 17.  (Note:  After 
court delays brought by legal challenges to the March 26 
election results, the official results were officially 
published in the April 27 editions of the government's and 
the Rada's official newspapers.)  The Socialists were pushing 
Our Ukraine to open the Rada and form a government as soon as 
possible, because the country and democratic forces were the 
losers the longer the process of government formation lasted. 
 Vinsky acknowledged that an influential group within Our 
Ukraine sought to delay the process as long as possible. 

Dealing with Our Ukraine, Tymoshenko, not Regions 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 

9. (C) The biggest obstacle to forward progress, claimed 
Vinsky, was the decision making structure in Our Ukraine. 
While Vinsky and Tymoshenko were fully empowered to make all 
decisions for their blocs/parties, Roman Bezsmertny and 
Zvarych had no such mandate.  Even though the two Romans were 
in favor of the coalition, they knew they negotiated with 
second-guessers (comment:  or worse, saboteurs) behind their 
back within Our Ukraine.  Vinsky scoffed at characterizing 
Our Ukraine as a party, stating that it could better be 
called a group of individuals and interests clustered around 
Yushchenko. 

10. (C) Vinsky declined to characterize either Yushchenko or 
Tymoshenko as a true democrat, adding that Yushchenko aspired 
instead to be the "good tsar."  Yushchenko's handling of his 

KIEV 00001662  003 OF 003 

family, his entourage, and his Sumy clique supported this 
assessment, Vinsky asserted.  Vinsky claimed he had raised 
the matter with Yushchenko directly in early 2005, telling 
him, "If you are a democrat, then act like one, and choose 
people who will lead the country democratically, not the 
people who ran the campaign" (i.e., Poroshenko, Zhvaniya, 
Chervonenko, etc.).  An infuriated Yushchenko did not respond 
and had not talked to him since, Vinsky said. 

11. (C) The Socialists strongly supported Tymoshenko's claim 
to be Premier, stated Vinsky, because only she could be a 
real leader of a democratic coalition with the strong support 
of the Ukrainian people.  Still, since her own commitment to 
cooperative approaches to governing was in question, it was 
important to come up with legal mechanisms and personnel 
agreements to curtail any concentration of power.  However, 
in the new parliamentary-presidential republic which Ukraine 
had become since constitutional reform came into effect, 
Ukraine could not afford to have a weak politician or a 
technocrat as PM.  Vinsky claimed that Tymoshenko's current 
popularity was likely over 30%, even greater than 
Yanukovych's; she might make mistakes, but she was the one to 
lead Ukraine's government at this time.  He had told 
Bezsmertny and Zvarych, "Look, either embrace her as PM now 
or watch her go into opposition and become President in 2009." 

12. (C) The Socialists did not want to deal with Yanukovych 
and Regions -- even though their social policies coincided 
more closely than with those of Our Ukraine and BYuT, said 
Vinsky -- because Regions represented "Asia," 
authoritarianism, and Kuchmaism, all the things that the 
Socialists fought against.  When the Socialists had backed 
Yushchenko in 2004, they had lost half their previous voter 
base and many local leaders, particularly in eastern Ukraine, 
but they had reconciled themselves to their six-percent base 
and were proud of their principles. 

Still disagreement on NATO, land, privatization 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

13. (C) Vinsky's characterizations of Socialist positions on 
the red-line issues identified by Yushchenko as important to 
resolve -- NATO, land, and privatization/reprivatization -- 
indicated clear policy differences remain to be bridged (ref 
B).  On NATO, an issue that Vinsky noted was not included in 
Yushchenko's campaign policy platform, the Socialists were 
for full cooperation b
ut believed that membership was not for 
the President or the parties to decide; it was for the people 
of Ukraine via referendum. 

14. (C) On land privatization, the Socialists would support 
sales of land as a normal form of property, with the notable 
exclusion of agricultural land, which Vinsky said comprised 
roughly 50% of Ukraine.  There needed to be greater 
definition and clarity on the principles and procedures 
involved, a fundamental overhaul of agricultural sector 
policy, plus restrictions to ensure that speculators did not 
simply drive the process to the exclusion of farmers, before 
moving forward. 

15. (C) On privatization, the Socialists could support 
privatization of enterprises but not of infrastructure or 
monopolies that served the people, since a monopoly in the 
hands of a rapacious businessman would be no better run than 
a state monopoly.  Under this rationale, the Socialists 
opposed privatization of UkrTeleKom.  However, the Socialists 
were also against monopolies; the way forward was to open up 
the sector, grant additional licenses, and let market 
competition improve service and quality. 

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

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