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06KIEV2281, UKRAINE: TYMOSHENKO SAYS COALITION TALKS ARE

June 12, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2281 2006-06-12 20:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO6183
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2281/01 1632033
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 122033Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9846
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 002281 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/2016 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINR SOCI PREL RS UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: TYMOSHENKO SAYS COALITION TALKS ARE 
DEADLOCKED; BEZSMERTNY SAYS CRUCIAL DECISION TO COME JUNE 13 

REF: KIEV 2280 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Sheila Gwaltney for reasons 1.4 
(b) and (d). 

Summary 
------- 

1. (C) Yuliya Tymoshenko told DCM on June 12 that talks on 
forming an Orange coalition were deadlocked over Socialist 
Party leader Oleksander Moroz' insistence on being made Rada 
Speaker.  Tymoshenko had tried to reason with Moroz, but he 
was dug in, knowing that this would be his "political 
swansong."  The key player now was President Yushchenko, who 
could easily give in to Moroz, as the Speaker would be a 
figurehead bound by the coalition agreement, Tymoshenko 
argued.  Yushchenko, however, was disengaged and refusing to 
meet with Tymoshenko and Moroz; during a meeting on June 9, 
Tymoshenko asserted that Yushchenko had been agitated, at 
times yelling at her.  The president was being fed 
misinformation by Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko, 
Tymoshenko claimed.  Addressing reports that OU was preparing 
to negotiate with the Party of Regions, Tymoshenko emphasized 
that Yushchenko was foolish to believe he could control 
Regions in a coalition.  Regions would quickly buy off 
Yushchenko's advisers and dominate the coalition, making its 
influence felt in foreign policy and other areas.  During the 
June 14 scheduled Rada session, Tymoshenko related that it 
was likely that Regions would call for secret vote to elect a 
new Speaker and two deputies; with defectors from OU and the 
Socialists, Regions had the votes to make it happen. 
Tymoshenko spoke at length about the negative role that 
Russia has played in the coalition formation process, and 
alleged that the Russian FSB was behind recent anti-U.S. and 
anti-NATO protests in Crimea; she appealed for senior USG 
intervention with Yushchenko to revive the Orange talks. 
Separately, OU's point man in the negotiations, Roman 
Bezsmertny, told DCM that he, Prime Minister Yekhanurov and 
Yushchenko would meet on the morning of June 13 to make a 
coalition decision.  He predicted that Yushchenko would "give 
in" to Moroz so the Orange coalition can form.  Bezsmertny 
added that Yushchenko told Yekhanurov earlier on June 12 that 
they should support the Orange coalition.  End summary. 

Flatline For Orange Coalition 
----------------------------- 

2. (C) During a June 12 evening meeting with DCM, Bloc 
Tymoshenko (BYuT) leader Yuliya Tymoshenko confirmed that 
talks on forming a renewed Orange coalition had deadlocked 
over Socialist Party (SP) chief Oleksander Moroz's insistence 
on being named Rada Speaker.  Tymoshenko had spoken with 
Moroz for nearly two hours in an effort to get him to back 
down; she claimed that Moroz' position was "like steel."  The 
Socialist leader knew that this was his "political swansong" 
and wanted the Speakership to be his last hurrah.  Tymoshenko 
stressed that, for President Yushchenko, giving Moroz the 
Speakership would be "no big deal."  In a new Orange 
coalition, the Speaker would largely be a figurehead whose 
actions would be guided by the extraordinarily detailed 
coalition agreement.  Moreover, all of the key ministries and 
governships would remain in Yushchenko's hands, Tymoshenko 
stressed.  Why let such a minor issue bring a premature end 
to the Orange period of modern Ukrainian history, she asked 
rhetorically?  She also would not exclude the possibility 
that Moroz' resolve was being fortified with money from the 
Party of Regions. 

Yushchenko "Not Himself" 
------------------------ 

3. (C) The key player now, Tymoshenko said, was Yushchenko. 
The president had spoken about his desire to be a peacemaker, 
bridging differences within the Orange camp, and 70% of the 
Ukrainian public wanted to see an Orange coalition, 
Tymoshenko claimed.  This was a "second chance" for the 
Orange Team.  Unfortunately, Tymoshenko asserted, Yushchenko 
was doing nothing.  She had called the president three times 
on June 12 asking him to meet with her and Moroz, separately 
if need be; she had received no response.  Tymoshenko said 
she had met with Yushchenko on June 9, and he had clearly 
"not been himself"; he had been agitated, at times yelling. 
Tymoshenko claimed that the president was in an information 
bubble, with "people around him" telling him that OU deputies 
strongly opposed giving Moroz the Speakership.  In fact, she 
said, it was only a small group of OU deputies, led by Petro 
Poroshenko, who "radically" opposed Moroz.  Tymoshenko noted 
that the president was currently behaving like he did just 
before he sacked her last September.  (Note: On the way out 
of the meeting, Tymoshenko's foreign policy guru, BYuT MP 
Hryhoriy Nemirya, added that Yushchenko had used his Saturday 

KIEV 00002281  002 OF 003 

national radio address to make Tymoshenko the scapegoat for 
deadlocked talks.) 

Regions Will Own Yushchenko 
--------------------------- 

4. (C) Addressing reports that Our Ukraine (OU) was now &#x000
A;preparing to work out a coalition deal with the rival Party 
of Regions, Tymoshenko said that Yushchenko was wrong to 
think that he could control Regions.  She predicted that all 
of Yushchenko's key advisers would be paid off by Regions 
"within a week."  The president would be isolated in such a 
coalition, Tymoshenko said, dependent on OU oligarchs cut 
from the same cloth as Regions godfather Rinat Akhmetov and 
"those behind RosUkrEnergo."  The Prosecutor General, she 
asserted, would listen not to the president but to "Petro 
Poroshenko."  Tymoshenko predicted that within six months, 
Regions would completely dominate the coalition with OU, 
making its influence felt in foreign policy, relations with 
Russia, and by chilling press freedoms gained during the 
Orange Revolution.  She said she "did not want to see that 
happen" to Ukraine. 

Rada On Wednesday 
----------------- 

5. (C) Turning to the Rada's scheduled session on June 14, 
Tymoshenko asserted that she expected Communist MP Adam 
Martenyuk, a member of the Provisional Presidium, to take the 
Speaker's chair and call for a secret vote to elect a new 
Speaker and two deputies.  Tymoshenko said that Regions 
appeared to have the election pre-wired; 226 votes were 
needed, and Regions likely had 230 (186 Regions, 21 
Communists, 20 from the Poroshenko and Kinakh factions of OU, 
and 3 defectors from the SP.)  There was still time to 
prevent such a scenario from unfolding at the Rada, but the 
Orange team needed to get a deal done immediately.  (Note: It 
is not clear if a vote on the Speaker is possible from a 
procedural standpoint in the absence of the formation of a 
coalition majority.  But in Ukraine's fluid political 
landscape, we rule out nothing.) 

The Russia Card 
--------------- 

6. (C) Grimly joking that "if the Ukrainian president won't 
form a coalition, the Russian president will," Tymoshenko 
spoke passionately about the active and negative role that 
Russia was playing in the coalition formation process, and in 
Ukraine more generally.  It was the Russian FSB, working 
through rabidly pro-Moscow Regions MP Yevhen Kushnaryov, that 
had instigated the anti-U.S., anti-NATO protests in Crimea 
against "Sea Breeze," she said.  Another Regions MP allegedly 
on the Kremlin's payroll, Donetsk clan heavyweight Borys 
Kolesnikov, had brazenly asserted in a Fifth Channel 
interview that Regions would "roll back the Orange 
Revolution."  And, Tymoshenko added, First Boston Bank 
officials had told her June 12 that Naftohaz Ukraine was on 
the verge of financial collapse; all of the company's income, 
she claimed, "has been going directly to Moscow."  In 
closing, Tymoshenko asked for senior USG intervention with 
Yushchenko to revive the Orange coalition talks.  Stressing 
again that she did not want to see Regions take power and 
"alter Ukraine's foreign policy vector," Tymoshenko said that 
she sees U.S. intervention as "the only way to prevent the 
absorption of Ukraine by 'another country.'" 

Late Word From Bezsmertny 
------------------------- 

7. (C) In a brief telephone conversation the evening of June 
12, Our Ukraine,s (OU) lead negotiator Roman Bezsmertny told 
DCM that President Yushchenko, PM Yekhanurov, and he would 
meet Tuesday, June 13 at 1000 hours (local time) to decide 
whether to concede the Speakership to Moroz and thereby form 
an Orange Coalition.  Bezsmertny opined that Yushchenko would 
give Moroz the Speakership.  (Note: Bezsmertniy also 
predicted that Yushchenko would give in to Moroz on the 
Speaker,s job early last week, before the Orange Coalition 
talks stalled June 10.  See reftel.)  Bezsmertny added that 
earlier on June 12, Yushchenko had told Yekhanurov that they 
needed to support the Orange Coalition. 

8. (C) Bezsmertny also said that, after the breakdown in the 
talks with the Socialists and Tymoshenko, OU had begun to 
explore options with the Party of Regions regarding coalition 
building and had made "unofficial working contact" with 
Regions.  OU sent Regions a list of seven questions whose 
answers, if positive, could serve as the basis for 
preliminary talks with Regions.  The seven subject areas were 
Feodosiya (a reference to Regions' public criticism of the 

KIEV 00002281  003 OF 003 

GOU for its handling of cooperative military training with 
the U.S. in the run-up to the Sea Breeze 2006 exercise), 
NATO, the EU, the World Trade Organization, the single 
economic space, Ukrainian language and federalization. 
Bezsmertny said that the answers Regions provided were more 
or less alright, except for the answer on the language 
question.  He offered to send the Embassy a set of the 
Regions responses the following day. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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