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06KIEV2207, UKRAINE: QUICK GOU FIX TO “SEA BREEZE” LIMBO

June 7, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2207 2006-06-07 17:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO1254
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2207/01 1581738
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071738Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9775
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 002207 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2016
TAGS: PGOV MARR PREL NATO PINR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: QUICK GOU FIX TO "SEA BREEZE" LIMBO
UNLIKELY 

REF: KIEV 2190 

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, a.i., for reasons 1.4(b,d) 

1. (C) Summary:  The Ukrainian parliament (Rada) resumed June
7 and, without addressing the issue of foreign military
participation in joint exercises in Ukraine, ended its
session almost immediately, adjourning until June 14.  A
possible special session of the Rada could come before June
14, but there is no guarantee the Government would be able to
shepherd a piece of legislation to a successful vote at
either a special session or on June 14.  Barring an
unexpected turnaround in GOU ability to change the situation
on the ground in Crimea to allow the current planned
construction activities to go forward, Post suggests planning
begin to withdraw the deployed construction personnel and
arrange appropriate disposition of the materials.  Rada and
GOU action in the coming days and few weeks will provide
additional data upon which to make a decision on joint
exercise Sea Breeze, for which the currently deployed assets
were preparatory.  Meanwhile, Party of Regions leader
Yanukovych sent a disingenuous letter to the NATO Secretary
General expressing regret that the GOU invitation of U.S.
military personnel without Rada approval had damaged
Ukraine's relations with NATO; judging by Regions' actions,
the party's intent, in addition to sullying the Yushchenko
government's reputation, is to do just that.  Perhaps
unrelated to current tensions in Crimea, but emblematic of
the type of indicident that Russian-backed anti-Americanism
can spark, two apparently inebriated individuals roughed up
an American DoD contract hire in the Crimean city of
Sevastopol.  Post plans to send out a Department-approved
warden message.  End summary. 

An Open and Shut Session
------------------------ 

2. (SBU) Contrary to earlier GOU statements, Parliament
(Rada) failed to take up a measure to authorize the
participation of foreign militaries in exercises on Ukrainian
soil when it resumed June 7.  The Rada session opened, then
Our Ukraine, Tymoshenko Bloc and Socialists quickly voted
(with a bare majority of 227 votes) to adjourn until June 14
(septel).  While MPs from the Party of Regions and Communist
Party met to consider their options, Communist Party leader
Petro Symonenko took the rostrum to criticize the U.S. for
Sea Breeze and accused U.S. Embassy military attaches of
pressuring local officials in Crimea.  (Note:  Symonenko's
charges are groundless.  Embassy Military Attaches have had
no contact with local civilian authorities since the problems
began with the arrival of the Marines on June 1.)  Symonenko
called for the resignations of Foreign Minister Tarasyuk and
Defense Minister Hrytsenko and an ad hoc Rada investigation
into the exercise. 

3. (C) Regions MP Kozhara told PolCouns later that the
party's political council was considering having its MPs call
a special session of the Rada to convene as soon as today.
Presidential chief of staff Oleh Rybachuk told Charge that
the GOU, after meeting to discuss the issue, had decided to
try to use any special session to get passage of legislation
approving joint military exercises this year.  He told Charge
that once a coalition deal giving Socialist leader Moroz the
Rada Speakership was done, the Socialists would back the
legislation.  (Note:  Socialist support would provide the
votes necessary to pass the legislation.  Rybachuk told the
same thing to the British Ambassador today, according to the
British DATT.  The British have an exercise "Tight Knot" that
is supposed to start in another week that is dependent on the
legislation.) 

Further Crimean Developments
---------------------------- 

4. (SBU) The situation in Feodosiya was mostly static, with
demonstrators following a predictable pattern of collecting
at the sanatorium about 7:00 a.m. then dispersing at about
8:30 p.m.  The GOU continued to promise action in support of
our personnel and have beefed up security with border guards
and naval infantry, but showed a continuing inability to come
through on other promises despite vigorous efforts by the
Embassy.  Our cargo in customs remains stuck.  Our personnel
remain confined to a sanatorium.  Our joint and agreed
mission remains unfulfilled.  Additionally, Regions MPs
arrived at the port today and have promised remain in the
area and insist upon examining the cargo.  Regions MP Kozhara
told us June 7 that the deputies had no legal basis to
examine the cargo and that he would look into the situation. 

KIEV 00002207  002 OF 002 

5. (SBU) In what could be an unrelated development, a U.S.
military contractor in the Crimean city of Sevastopol was
roughed early on June 6 up by two individuals after being
asked if he was an American.  Since the contractor speaks
neither Russian nor Ukrainian, he was unable to understand
what his assailants were yelling at him.  Sevastopol is th
ree
or four hours by car away from Feodosiya. 

Time to Pull the Plug?
---------------------- 

6. (C) Comment:  Whether the next Rada session begins June 14
or sooner, Rada approval of a bill on foreign military
participation in Ukrainian exercises is at this point
difficult to predict with any certainty.  Socialist Party and
Regions deputies have been muttering that, before the Rada as
a whole takes up the measure, the bill would need to follow
Rada procedures and be considered in the appropriate
committees, which still need to be formed.  Even if Socialist
Party leader Oleksandr Moroz becomes Rada Speaker, he may
well be averse to having the Government insist on summary
treatment of the issue.  With GOU statements that the
Ukrainian government will not proceed on Sea Breeze until the
Rada has authorized foreign military participation, the Sea
Breeze-related construction project that our personnel on the
ground are supposed to do might not be possible within the
time constraints for U.S. military reservists' participation.
 The current group of construction personnel are scheduled to
depart on June 16, the day a charter aircraft is scheduled to
fly in their replacements to Simferopol, Crimea's capital.
Even with Rada-approved legislation in place, we would need
to be fully certain that GOU preparations for the arrival of
additional personnel were in place before we would recommend
deploying them.  The go/no-go decision day for Sea Breeze, as
we understand it, is July 1. 

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

Wikileaks

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