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06KIEV1940, UKRAINE: KINAKH AND FM TARASYUK ON COALITION

May 19, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1940 2006-05-19 12:13 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO0729
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1940/01 1391213
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191213Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9401
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 001940 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/19/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PARM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: KINAKH AND FM TARASYUK ON COALITION 
NEGOTIATIONS AS OF MAY 17 

REF: A. KIEV 1913 

     B. KIEV 1851 

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

1. (C) Summary:  In Ambassadorial farewell calls May 17 on 
outgoing National Security Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary 
Anatoliy Kinakh and Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Kinakh 
and Tarasyuk, both of whom lead minor parties that contested 
the March 26 elections as part of President Yushchenko's Our 
Ukraine bloc, spoke about the need to form an Orange 
coalition and the prospects for it, though neither with 
conviction.  Kinakh said that the situation demanded an 
Orange coalition, and claimed that the coalition document 
(principles, program, rules, and positions) was 70% done, but 
he was not sure that Yushchenko would accept Tymoshenko as 
Premier; he rated the chances of forming an Our Ukraine 
(OU)/Tymoshenko bloc (BYuT)/Socialist ("Orange Coalition") 
Rada majority within the mandated 30 days after the Rada 
convenes May 25 as "60-40."  A coalition with Regions was a 
serious possibility, but Regions still did not embrace key 
Our Ukraine policy priorities, such as NATO and abandoning 
the Russian language and federalism issues.  Tarasyuk 
likewise claimed that there would be a Orange Coalition, that 
the coalition document was almost done, and that such a 
document would make it possible to control PM Tymoshenko, but 
declined to answer whether Yushchenko would accept Tymoshenko 
as PM.  He added that Yushchenko and OU would not accept the 
Socialists if they did not support key policies such as NATO 
membership and market reform.  Comment:  Given the math of 
securing a Rada majority of 226 seats, that begs the question 
of the only alternative for OU: a coalition with Regions. 
Kinakh is suspected of actually favoring Orange-Blue, and his 
detailed comments about the nature of a theoretical 
OU-Regions alliance suggested as much, but he knows our 
preferences.  End Summary and Comment. 

Kinakh: Likely Orange, but OU-Regions a serious alternative 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 

2. (C) Outgoing NSDC Secretary Kinakh, also leader of the 
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, one of five 
parties that joined Yushchenko's People's Union Our Ukraine 
Party to contest the March 26 elections as part of the Our 
Ukraine (OU) bloc, told Ambassador May 17 that he looked 
forward to the opening of the Rada May 25 (note:  Kinakh had 
to resign his NSDC post in order to be registered as a Rada 
MP).  He expressed less confidence of when a Rada majority 
might officially form and a coalition government emerge. 
Kinakh, who has not been involved in coalition negotiations 
directly but sits on the OU Political Council that must 
approve any agreement, characterized the OU-BYuT-Socialist 
draft coalition document, which covers principles, programs, 
rules, and positions, as 70% complete.  That said, he gave 
OU-BYuT-Socialists only a 60-40 chance of forming a majority 
within the 30 days from the Rada's opening allowed by the 
Constitution, with a total of 60 days (through July 24) 
allowed to appoint a government.  Ambassador noted that 
President Yushchenko had the right but not the obligation to 
dismiss the Rada after 60 days if no government emerged. 
Kinakh stated flatly that Yushchenko would not dismiss the 
Rada, because that would only complicate government-Rada 
relations in the aftermath of constitutional reform and would 
not be a welcome sign of political stability. 

3. (C) Ukraine needed a focused government, Kinakh 
maintained, because there was a concentration of very real 
risks facing Ukraine, political and economic, and the ongoing 
delay in forming a coalition exacerbated the situation.  The 
effectiveness of governmental administration and management 
was a real concern; the lack of clarity of implementation of 
constitutional reform and the changing power relations 
between President, government, and the Rada continued; the 
Constitutional Court as final arbiter lacked a quorum and 
could not work.  Kinakh stated this was why it was important 
to form an Orange coalition sooner rather than later, based 
on openess between the three parties and a clear agenda of 
continued reform and conditions for the dynamic pursuit of 
Euro-Atlantic integration.  While negotiations revolved 
around such a format, there was no agreement yet; if an 
agreement were reached, he did not rule out that such a 
coalition could be long-lasting, in contrast to predictions 
that such a coalition was doomed to be short-lived. 

4. (C) Commenting on Tymoshenko's public claim on the 
Premiership and suggestion that Socialist leader Moroz should 
be made Rada Speaker because Our Ukraine had the Presidency 
(Yushchenko), Kinakh rejected efforts to "drag the 
Presidency" down to a bargaining chip in coalition 
negotiations.  In response to Ambassador's question about 
whether OU would accept Tymoshenko as Premier if she were to 

KIEV 00001940  002 OF 003 

accept an OU Speaker, Kinakh hedged, replying: "basically, 
yes."  Poroshenko was not a serious OU candidate for Speaker, 
Kinakh suggested, his name mentioned more to
 make him feel 
good and to increase pressure on Tymoshenko; Yushchenko would 
not back Poroshenko as Speaker.  Yekhanurov and Bezsmertny 
were more realistic, and Moroz would eventually back down 
because he knew he would have more influence inside an Orange 
coalition than outside the alternative (OU-Regions). 

5. (C) The real issue, Kinakh continued, would be whether 
Tymoshenko could secure 226 votes in the Rada, even with a 
signed coalition agreement behind her.  Kinakh claimed that 
in all three potential factions with 243 MPs -- OU, 
Socialists, and even BYuT itself -- there were MPs who would 
vote against Tymoshenko's PM candidacy.  Regions was working 
hard at peeling away MPs, claimed Kinakh.  With 186 MPs of 
their own and 21 Communist MPs "willing to vote however they 
are paid," Regions only needed to find another 19 MPs to 
block action.  Were they to succeed and defeat a Tymoshenko 
premiership vote, that would be a serious blow to the Orange 
team and to the system.  As a result, if OU were to embrace 
the Tymoshenko option, there would have to be a guarantee of 
success.  Kinakh suggested that Yushchenko was not yet ready 
to cut the final deal with Tymoshenko, but that unspecified 
others were already at work preparing ways of forcing her 
eventual resignation were she to emerge as PM.  (Note: 
Tymoshenko has told us Poroshenko is leading this charge; see 
ref B.) 

6. (C) The alternative to the OU-BYuT-Socialist coalition was 
OU-Regions; Kinakh confirmed that Regions was conducting 
"very intensive work" on an alternative coalition document 
and list of positions (note:  the Regions' coalition proposal 
was released May 18, on the web at: 
http://www.glavred.info/archive/2006/05/18/13 0240-8.html). 
Kinakh discounted the chance of Yanukovych emerging as PM and 
suggested that, rumors to the contrary, current PM Yekhanurov 
had no chance of staying on even in an OU-Regions coalition, 
since Regions would not accept working under the No. 1 party 
list candidate of a distant third-place finisher.  While 
Regions' MP Azarov was a possibility, more likely would be a 
nonpartisan technocrat with strong economic credentials. 
Kinakh mentioned current Economics Minister Yatsenyuk or 
Industrial Union of the Donbas VP Hayduk, though the latter 
would have to divest himself of his business holdings to meet 
Yushchenko's demand to separate government from business. 

7. (C) The main stumbling block to an OU-Regions coalition, 
said Kinakh, was that Regions still did not accept key 
elements of Yushchenko's agenda.  While Regions was ready to 
support the general strategy on NATO, they would not accept 
the tempo and intensity favored by Yushchenko; for instance, 
Regions was "categorically against" a Membership Action Plan 
(MAP) in 2006.  Similarly, Regions had not yet abandoned its 
unacceptable positions on Russian as a state language and 
federalism. 

Tarasyuk: A new coalition by mid-June 
------------------------------------- 

8. (C) Tarasyuk made reassuring noises regarding the 
likelihood of a parliamentary ruling coalition being formed 
by June 21.  Neither President Yushchenko nor his Our Ukraine 
bloc were interested in dragging the current state of affairs 
to the June 24 constitutional deadline to form a 
parliamentary majority.  While no one could give a guarantee 
about the future, Tarasyuk expressed optimism that the 
process would be completed "by mid-June or June 20, at the 
latest." 

9. (C) Detailing the state of coalition negotiations, 
Tarasyuk said President Yushchenko on May 16 uttered publicly 
for the first time what he had been saying privately.  If 
there were no change in the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) 
stance on certain issues, SPU might not be part of a future 
coalition.  While SPU had leverage on this issue, OU also had 
its leverage, since SPU had no desire to be in opposition, 
Tarasyuk commented.  OU would not forsake gains by 
accommodating outdated SPU positions, many of which resembled 
the Communist Party's positions.  OU was discussing 
intensively the SPU's positions regarding membership in NATO, 
the EU, and WTO, rights to ownership of land, 
reprivatization, and other similar issues. 

10. (C) Responding to Ambassador's observation that Tarasyuk 
was skirting the crucial issue of Tymoshenko's future status, 
Tarasyuk laughed in wry agreement.  While acknowledging that 
he had no way of divining Yushchenko's views, he said OU's 
approach was clear.  OU had managed to obtain Tymoshenko's 
assent that the first priority would be to develop a 
statement of principles, then allocate government positions. 

KIEV 00001940  003 OF 003 

Of course, while there was no enthusiasm in some quarters for 
Tymoshenko's return to the prime ministership, once agreement 
was obtained on basic principles, the way forward would be 
clear.  OU was interested in forming a durable coalition, not 
one that would fall apart again after a few months, so OU was 
seeking to develop the "tightest straitjacket" possible to 
constrain Tymoshenko.  Tarasyuk claimed that, of course, 
there were still some people who were working "the other 
option," but he stoutly asserted that they would not gain the 
upper hand. 

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

 

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