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06KIEV2038, UKRAINE: EUR DAS KRAMER AND OVP DNSA WOOD’S 5/23

May 26, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2038 2006-05-26 08:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO8785
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2038/01 1460845
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 260845Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9515
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 002038 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/24/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PINR SOCI UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: EUR DAS KRAMER AND OVP DNSA WOOD'S 5/23 
MEETING WITH OUR UKRAINE'S ROMAN BEZSMERTNY 

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

Summary 
------- 

1. (C) In a lengthy May 23 discussion with Ambassador, EUR 
DAS David Kramer, and OVP Deputy NSA Joseph Wood, Our 
Ukraine's (OU) lead negotiator in the coalition formation 
talks predicted that an "Orange variant" would soon prevail 
and that a new government would be in place by mid-July.  The 
new Team Orange would feature Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime 
minister and her rival, Petro Poroshenko, as the new Rada 
speaker.  Poroshenko was tainted by credible corruption 
allegations, but wielded significant influence within OU; 
Poroshenko's price had to be paid.  Given the bad blood 
between Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, Bezsmertny said he had 
serious doubts about the coalition's viability.  He argued, 
though, that President Yushchenko could force the two 
antagonists to "behave" by threatening to call new Rada 
elections -- a scenario both wished to avoid.  Bezsmertny 
read from an updated copy of the Orange coalition agreement, 
which he said was detailed and would provide fixed boundaries 
for both Tymoshenko and Poroshenko.  The holdup right now was 
Yushchenko, as the President continued to review his options 
and insist that the Party of Regions be brought on board in 
some fashion -- something Bezsmertny strongly opposed.  End 
summary. 

Latest On Coalition Talks 
------------------------- 

2. (C) During a May 23 meeting with Ambassador, EUR/DAS David 
Kramer, and Deputy National Security Adviser to the Vice 
President Joseph Wood, Our Ukraine's point man in the Rada 
majority coalition formation negotiations Roman Bezsmertny 
predicted that an Orange coalition would be formed by 
mid-June and that Ukraine would have a new government in 
place by early July. 

Speaker Poroshenko, or Else 
--------------------------- 

3. (C) According to Bezsmertny, the new Team Orange would 
feature Yuliya Tymoshenko in an encore performance as prime 
minister and her rival Petro Poroshenko as the new Rada 
Speaker.  In response to questions about the logic of making 
Poroshenko Rada speaker, Bezsmertny said there was no other 
way to create an Orange coalition.  Poroshenko's reputation 
was tainted by serious corruption allegations, but he wielded 
significant influence within Our Ukraine, and his interests 
had to be accommodated -- it was as simple as that, 
Bezsmertny emphasized.  Current Prime Minister Yuriy 
Yekhanurov could be expected to head the National Security 
and Defense Council (NSDC), while recently resigned NSDC 
chief Anatoliy Kinakh would become the head of the Rada's 
National Security and Defense Committee.  (Note:  It is not 
clear how this jibes with reports that this committee has 
been split into two committees.)  Socialist Party leader 
Oleksandr Moroz would shepherd the Rada majority, Bezsmertny 
said. 

How Long Will It Last? 
---------------------- 

4. (C) Bezsmertny acknowledged that, given the bad blood 
between Tymoshenko and Poroshenko, he had "serious doubts" 
about the viability of an Orange coalition; he declined to 
predict how long the arrangement would last.  He argued, 
though, that President Yushchenko could "make them behave" by 
threatening to dissolve parliament and call new elections -- 
a prospect that Bezsmertny said Tymoshenko and Poroshenko 
both dreaded.  Noting that "there is a thin line between love 
and hate," Bezsmertny suggested that Tymoshenko and 
Poroshenko might appear in public, shake hands, agree to "do 
business" together, and jointly blame former State Secretary 
Oleksandr Zinchenko for causing last September's political 
blowup that prompted President Yushchenko's Solomonic 
decision to sideline both Tymoshenko and Poroshenko. 

Good Luck 
--------- 

5. (C) Responding to questions about whether a 
Poroshenko-controlled Rada would be able and/or willing to 
pass needed legislation, Bezsmertny read selected passages 
from the latest version of the Orange coalition agreement, 
which both Tymoshenko and Poroshenko would be obligated to 
heed.  Bezsmertny asserted that the extremely detailed 
document would form the "boundaries" for Tymoshenko and 
Poroshenko; failure to stick to the agreement would be cause 
for Yushchenko to step in and call new elections.  In 

KIEV 00002038  002 OF 002 

response to a question from Ambassador, Bezsmertny 
acknowledged that Tymoshenko had not read, let alone agreed 
to, this latest text. 

The Yushchenko Factor 
--------------------- 

6. (C) Bezsmertny pointedly blamed President Yushchenko for 
the slow pace of the coalition negotiations and the fact 
that, nearly two months after parliamentary and local 
elections, Ukraine still had no new government in place. 
Yushchenko was still reviewing all his options, Bezsmertny 
said, grousing that he "had no idea" when the president would 
act.  Bezsmertny related that he had recently told Yushchenko 
that there were two real options:  an Orange coalition or an 
Orange-Blue
 deal with the Party of Regions.  Yushchenko was 
inclined to choose the "Orange variant," but was still 
insistent on getting Regions inside the proverbial tent. 
Bezsmertny emphasized that he opposed working with Regions, 
noting that Regions wanted the Ministries of Finance and 
Justice, the NSDC and the Rada Speakership as the price of 
joining Yushchenko's Grand Coalition.  "If you give them all 
that," Bezsmertny commented, "then who will really control 
the government?" 

7, (U) OVP DNSA Wood cleared this message. 

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

 

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