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06KIEV2403, UKRAINE: ANOTHER RADA SESSION ENDS WITHOUT A

June 20, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2403 2006-06-20 15:58 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO5184
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2403/01 1711558
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 201558Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0022
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 002403 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PINR SOCI MARR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: ANOTHER RADA SESSION ENDS WITHOUT A 
COALITION 

REF: A. KIEV 2359 

     B. KIEV 2329 

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

Summary 
------- 

1. (C) The Rada (parliament) held two short sessions June 20 
but adjourned until June 21 without forming a majority 
coalition.  Before the morning session, Our Ukraine (OU) MP 
Roman Zvayrch claimed to us that talks with OU's Orange 
partners were deadlocked over Yuliya Tymoshenko's refusal to 
accept checks on her power as prime minister and on the 
Socialist Party's (SPU) opposition to a NATO Membership 
Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine.  In contrast, Zvarych said, 
OU's talks with the Party of Regions were going smoothly, 
adding that Regions had agreed to support a MAP as early as 
September.  Speaking from the rostrum at the morning session, 
OU's point man in the coalition talks, Roman Bezsmertny, 
called for the creation of a "stable coalition" and for all 
MPs to "find common ground."  Tymoshenko used her turn at the 
microphone to assert that OU's leadership simply did not want 
to form an Orange coalition.  Separately, a BYuT MP told us 
that the FM Tarasyuk-led Rukh faction of OU had voted on June 
19, despite the opposition of its leader, to abandon OU if it 
entered into a coalition with Regions.  Senior Regions MP 
Mykola Azarov denounced Tymoshenko as a "demagogue" and 
emphasized that the question of NATO membership could only be 
decided by the people of Ukraine through a referendum. 
Azarov warned that if a coalition were not formed by June 21, 
Regions reserved the right to seek a vote on a new Rada 
Speaker.  Following the brief afternoon session, Zvarych told 
reporters and diplomats at the Rada that OU's talks with its 
potential partners were continuing.  A longtime BYuT MP said 
that the bloc would be urging President Yushchenko to meet 
with OU MPs on June 20, discuss coalition options, and make a 
decision.  Regions MP Leonid Kozhara asserted that Regions 
was ready for anything:  a coalition with OU, going into hard 
opposition, or even new elections.  End summary. 

No Coalition Announced 
---------------------- 

2. (U) The Rada held short morning and afternoon sessions 
June 20, and adjourned until 10:00 a.m. local time on June 
21.  There was no announcement about the formation of a 
coalition government. 

Morning Session: The Our Ukraine View... 
---------------------------------------- 

3. (C) Our Ukraine (OU) MP Roman Zvarych told us privately 
before the morning session that OU's talks with its Orange 
partners were again deadlocked.  According to Zvarych, the 
two main sticking points were Tymoshenko's refusal to accept 
checks and balances on her power as prime minister, and what 
Zvarych said was the Socialist Party's (SPU) refusal to agree 
to a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine.  The 
Socialists, he complained, said one thing to the press and 
another thing at the negotiating table.  In contrast, he 
related, "consultations" with Regions were moving relatively 
smoothly, including on NATO membership.  Zvarych asserted 
that Regions had agreed to support a MAP for Ukraine "as 
early as September," while the Socialists, he reiterated, 
flat-out opposed a MAP.  (Note:  SPU leader Moroz told 
reporters and diplomats on June 20 that he did not oppose 
NATO membership, but insisted that membership be determined 
by a nationwide referendum.) 

4. (U) Once the session started, the SPU member/acting 
chairman of the Rada's provisional presidium, Ivan Bokiy, 
offered each faction an opportunity to speak.  Roman 
Bezsmertny took to the rostrum for OU, calling for the 
creation of a stable coalition capable of implementing a 
reform program; looking in the direction of the Bloc 
Tymoshenko (BYuT) contingent, he pleaded for MPs to "find 
common ground" and work for the interests of Ukraine -- and 
not simply themselves. 

...Tymoshenko Blasts OU... 
-------------------------- 

5. (SBU) Yuliya Tymoshenko used her turn at the microphone to 
attack OU, whose leaders, she snapped, did not want an Orange 
coalition.  Whenever progress was made during the troika 
talks, OU would immediately throw up new roadblocks to a 
coalition deal; BYuT and the SP could agree, a priori, to 
every precondition stipulated by OU, and OU's leaders would 
still refuse to seal a coalition deal.  She warned OU that 
oblast and municipal councils in western Ukraine favored an 

KIEV 00002403  002 OF 002 

Orange coalition and could not be expected to support "an 
unnatural" alliance between OU and Regions.  Separately, BYuT 
MP and Tymoshenko foreign policy guru Hryhoriy Nemyrya told 
us privately that the Rukh faction of OU (7 MPs) voted on the 
evening of June 19 to abandon OU if the party formed an 
Orange-Blue coalition.  This occurred despite what Nemyrya 
called the "unprincipled" effort of Rukh's leader, Foreign 
Minister Borys Tarasyuk, to convince his colleagues to stay 
with OU no matter what kind of coalition emerged. 

...And Regions Calls Yuliya a "Demagogue" 
----------------------------------------- 

6. (U) Tymoshenko ended her remarks by "calling out" Regions 
on NATO.  Wagging her finger at the Regions contingent, who 
whistled and catcalled back at her, Tymoshenko said "she 
knew" that Regions had agreed with OU to accept NATO 
membership for Ukraine.  As Tymoshenko headed back to her 
seat, Regions MP Mykola Azarov moved quickly to the podium to 
denounce Tymoshenko as a "demagogue" who was "misinforming" 
the Rada.  Speaking in Russian, Azarov emphasized, to the 
cheers of his Regions colleagues, that it was the position of 
the Party of Regions that the question of NATO membership 
could only be decided by the people of Ukraine through a 
referendum.  Azarov then issued a threat, warning that if a 
coalition was not formed by June 21, Regions reserved the 
right to choose a new Rada Speaker -- a move that "the people 
will support" because they were tired of "never-ending 
talks."  (Note: Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych told the 
press on the afternoon of June 20 that Regions "had the 
votes" to elect a new Rada Speaker on June 21.) 

Afternoon Session: OU Says Talks Continue... 
-------------------------------------------- 

7. (U) Following the brief afternoon session, which approved 
an adjournment until the morning of June 21, Zvarych told a 
group of reporters and diplomats that OU was continuing its 
talks with both sides, and stressed again that the Team 
Orange discussions were stuck on Tymoshenko's reluctance to 
accept checks on her power as prime minister.  In particular, 
Zvarych said, OU was insisting that the Minister of Internal 
Affairs, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, and the 
Prosecutor General should all be professional bureaucrats; 
these "power" positions should not be divided up among the 
Orange parties and then used to attack political enemies. 

...BYuT Says Yushchenko Needs to Focus... 
----------------------------------------- 

8. (SBU) Echoing what we have heard repeatedly at the Rada 
during the past few days (reftels), BYuT MP Hryhoriy 
Omelchenko, a longtime Tymoshenko partisan but not a member 
of the bloc's inner circle, stressed to us that the key was 
Yushchenko.  BYuT, he said, was urging Yushchenko to gather 
all of OU's MPs, have an open discussion about forming a 
coalition, and then make a decision. 

...And Regions Claims Yushchenko Is in Ashgabat 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

9. (SBU) Omelchenko's view was separately seconded by Regions 
MP and foreign affairs advisor Leonid Kozhara, who told us 
Yushchenko had to "get serious" and make a decision, and 
needed to be fully focused on domestic affairs.  Asked to 
explain, Kozhara claimed that Yushchenko had been virtually 
summoned to Ashgabat on the afternoon of June 20 for 
face-to-face gas negotiations with President Niyazov. 
Kozhara asserted that Yushchenko was expected back in Kiev 
late on the evening of June 20.  (Note:  Presidential 
Protocol denied to us that Yushchenko was out of the country, 
and news reports had Yushchenko meeting with Tymoshenko at 5 
p.m.  There were also media reports that Yushchenko spoke by 
telephone with Niyazov today.)  Kozhara confirmed that OU was 
still negotiating with Regions, and emphasized that Regions 
was "ready for anything": a coalition with OU, going into 
opposition, or even new elections.  Kozhara warned that if 
Regions were in the opposition, it would be aggressive, 
deadlocking the Rada when possible and generally hindering 
the work of an Orange government.  He added that, in his many 
years of government service, he had never seen a Ukrainian 
government so "disorganized and dysfunctional." 

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

Wikileaks

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