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May 24, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1992 2006-05-24 14:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
DE RUEHKV #1992/01 1441449
P 241449Z MAY 06


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 001992 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/24/2016 

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

1. (C) Summary:  Ambassador paid his farewell call on 
PM-aspirant Yuliya Tymoshenko May 24, the day prior to the 
opening of the new parliament (Rada) May 25.  Tymoshenko said 
she and her team had stayed up "all night" analyzing the 
completely new coalition proposal Our Ukraine (OU) had sprung 
on the Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and the Socialists May 23, a 
day on which "all of my optimism (on coalition prospects) 
fell away."  Tymoshenko, who had just completed a phone call 
with President Yushchenko trying to agree on the way forward 
in the coming days, felt slightly better about the coalition 
May 24.  However, she complained again about maneuvering by 
her archrival Petro Poroshenko, who she said was forging 
working arrangements with ex-PM Yanukovych's Regions Party, 
lining up support for a potential vote in favor of Yanukovych 
as PM, and spiking chances for an Orange coalition.  While 
BYuT could live with the OU-proposed program elements on 
foreign and domestic policy and the program for the next 
government, the suggested new coalition rules were a recipe 
to destroy an effective Orange coalition, not to maintain it; 
the section on personnel choices was also objectionable. 
Tymoshenko said she and Moroz would make a joint public 
appeal at 1300 May 24 to send a positive signal to Ukrainian 
society about coalition prospects and seek to secure a joint 
meeting with Yushchenko after the Rada opening; she would 
meet OU chief negotiator Bezsmertny at 1500 hours to sort 
through what exactly the new OU proposal was intended to 
accomplish.  Tymoshenko thanked Ambassador for his 
contributions to Ukraine over the past three years, 
particularly during the Orange Revolution, and suggested it 
was regrettable to have a gap between Ambassadors at this 
critical moment of coalition formation.  End summary. 

Expected "May Surprise" Emerges from OU, Poroshenko 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 

2. (C) Yuliya Tymoshenko, accompanied by foreign policy 
adviser and MP Hryhoriy Nemyrya, told Ambassador that she and 
her team had stayed up all night assessing the "completely 
new" OU coalition proposal passed by courier mid-day May 23. 
Two months of work had been lost, with the Rada opening May 
25.  BYuT had been expecting such a maneuver from OU from the 
beginning.  While BYuT could accept the foreign, domestic, 
economic, and social policy programs, as well as the proposed 
agenda for the new government, the new rules and personnel 
sections were completely unacceptable; they were designed to 
destroy an Orange coalition, not keep it intact.  Poroshenko 
had secured the OU Political Council's endorsement of his 
candidacy as Rada Speaker, which would be a disaster; his 
collaboration with Regions in the Rada Working Group (below) 
would continue, voting one day with Regions and the next with 
the government, dooming any effectiveness of an Orange 
coalition.  Poroshenko's team also aimed to have presidential 
confidant Oleksandr Tretyakov return to the Presidential 
Secretariat, ex-Ministers Zhvaniya and Chervonenko to the 

Cabinet, Martynenko as head of OU's Rada faction, and PM 
Yekhanurov as the head of the National Security and Defense 
Council (NSDC), she claimed. 

3. (C) May 23 had been a down day for Orange prospects across 
the board, since Poroshenko had maneuvered within the Rada 
Working Group working with Regions, not BYuT and the 
Socialists, on planning for the next Rada, including folding 
the Euro-Integration Committee (note: which took the lead on 
NATO issues) into the Foreign Policy Committee, and splitting 
the National Security and Defense Committee into a Defense 
Committee to be headed by OU and a National Security 
Committee to be headed by Regions.  BYuT deputy leader 
Turchynov had met with Poroshenko, but the trilateral 
OU-BYuT-Socialist preparatory work on both the coalition 
document and in the working group had been ignored. 

4. (C) For its part, Regions was busy attempting to buy MPs 
to secure a majority that would vote in favor of Yanukovych 
as PM, alleged Tymoshenko.  She was aware of 16 BYuT MPs who 
had met with Regions at Regions' invitation; the money 
offered to support Yanukovych ranged from $1.5 million to $10 
million; in addition, Poroshenko had secured roughly 12 OU 
MPs willing to turn.  The alleged plan was for Regions to 
"spontaneously" raise a vote for a possible PM candidate, 
attain roughly 230 votes in favor of Yanukovych (Regions plus 
bought deputies from the Communists as well as BYuT, OU, and 
the Socialists), and then use that as leverage against 
Yushchenko, forcing his hand in favor of an OU-Regions 
coalition.  Tymoshenko warned that this was a dangerous but 
potentially successful gambit, particularly if the prices 
rose to $15 million; few MPs could resist the lure to secure 
the future of themselves and their children. 

Whither Yushchenko? 

KIEV 00001992  002 OF 002 


5. (C) Nonetheless, Tymoshenko had just completed a phone 
conversation with Yushchenko, initiat
ed by Yushchenko, which 
had left her feeling slightly more optimistic.  She had 
raised her concerns about how the proposed rules section 
would be an obstacle to a successful coalition; Yushchenko 
had not read any of the three versions of the OU coalition 
proposal but promised to get involved.  Yushchenko and she 
had also talked about the need to strengthen the laws and 
regulations regarding the imperative mandate, to protect 
against the buying of deputies.  In order to send a positive 
public signal about coalition chances, she and Moroz would 
hold a joint press conference at 1300 expressing support for 
the developing coalition and express a readiness to meet 
Yushchenko to iron out details.  She would sit down with 
Bezsmertny at 1500 to go through details.  (Note:  At the 
press conference, Tymoshenko mentioned the Yushchenko phone 
call and stated that there would be a meeting of Yushchenko 
and leaders of the three putative coalition parties May 25 
after the formal opening of the Rada to hammer out details of 
the coalition agreement, a different spin than the one she 
shared with us privately, perhaps meant to pressure 
Yushchenko to follow through on the meeting.  While 
Tymoshenko and Moroz "signed" the coalition proposal BYuT and 
the Socialists had passed to OU previously, Tymoshenko 
acknowledged that negotiations on a new document would 

6. (C) Ambassador asked about Yushchenko's views on 
Poroshenko's play for the Rada Speakership.  Tymoshenko 
replied that she did not sense Yushchenko supported 
Poroshenko, but acknowledged the situation was complex; 
Yushchenko did not seem to have an entirely free hand to run 
his party.  BYuT had mapped out the various OU MP groupings 
and leaders and was engaging them.  Kinakh, Rukh (Tarasyuk), 
Katerynchuk, and Stretovych's small factions seemed to be 
approaching the coalition negotiation process normally. 

Changing colors, changing of the guard 

7. (C) Noting that each day brought a different dynamic to 
the coalition process, Tymoshenko expressed regret that there 
would be a gap between U.S. Ambassadors.  Ambassador replied 
that coalition negotiations were likely at least three weeks 
from the end game; Tymoshenko agreed, but stressed that the 
coming days would shape the issues and set the stage for the 
ultimate outcome.  Tymoshenko thanked Ambassador for the 
positive role he played in promoting U.S. and Ukrainian 
interests, first and foremost during the "breakthrough" of 
the Orange Revolution.  Ambassador suggested Tymoshenko build 
on her initial steps in recent weeks to increase business 
confidence in her economic policy perspectives to foster 
increased investment in Ukraine, since if she were to return 
to the Premiership, she could be guaranteed to face a vocal 

8. (SBU) Note:  BYuT staff had changed the color of the large 
poster-sized photos on the walls of the party headquarters of 
Tymoshenko and cheering Ukrainians on the Maidan in recent 
days, from 100 percent Orange dating from November-December 
2004 to half white, black and red (heart) of BYuT's 2006 Rada 
and local election campaign, a reminder of the political and 
psychological distance 18 months after the displays of Orange 
unity.  Escorting Ambassador out of the building, Tymoshenko 
commented half-apologetically on the changed colors:  "it was 
time to update the images and look forward." 

9. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website at: 





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