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06KIEV2678, UKRAINE: ORANGE OPTIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE

July 10, 2006

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06KIEV2678 2006-07-10 17:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO4505
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2678/01 1911745
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101745Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0375
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 KIEV 002678 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/10/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: ORANGE OPTIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE 
MOROZ-REGIONS MANEUVER 

REF: KIEV 2651 

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

1. (C) Summary: Ambassador met with Presidential Chief of 
Staff Rybachuk, former PM Tymoshenko, Our Ukraine (OU) Party 
leaders Roman Bezsmertny and Roman Zvarych, and OU Political 
Council member and former National Security and Defense 
Council Secretary Anatoliy Kinakh July 8 and Acting Foreign 
Minster (and OU Political Council Member) Tarasyuk July 10 to 
discuss orange options in the wake of the stunning 
collaboration between Socialist Party Leader Moroz and Party 
of Regions to elect Moroz Speaker and form a new majority of 
Regions-Socialists-Communists (reftel).  The options 
included: President Yushchenko dismissing the Rada, which 
looked very unlikely as of July 10 (though Tymoshenko said 
she was ready to facilitate a dismissal through a blockade of 
the Rada if Yushchenko found the courage to take the tough 
decision); OU joining Regions in a broad coalition (which OU 
leaders said could happen if someone other than Yanukovych 
was PM and if the coalition accepted Yushchenko's strategic 
external and domestic policy directions); or OU going into 
opposition with Tymoshenko's bloc (BYuT).  Rybachuk said that 
Yushchenko was closely examining the first two options; 
Bezsmertny indicated July 8 he thought OU would most likely 
end up with the third option; Tarasyuk's comments late July 
10 suggested the broad coalition was most likely.  Tymoshenko 
was a firm advocate of Rada dismissal and warned she would go 
into hard opposition to both a Regions-OU broad coalition and 
Yushchenko if OU cut a deal. 

2. (SBU) Yushchenko himself sent mixed signals in his public 
messages on the political turmoil, both in a July 8 Radio 
address and a July 10 public statement.  Seemingly ruling out 
the Rada dismissal option, he said he would "not accept any 
confrontational scenarios which can harm the people of 
Ukraine and undermine the country's stability.  I impartially 
demand that parliamentary parties legitimately form a 
coalition."  Setting up a potential confrontation, he said he 
would not forward a PM nominee to the Rada until 
Constitutional Court judges were sworn in.  Attempting to 
shape the policies of the government, he said: "there will be 
no return to Kuchmism.  Ukraine will move forward towards the 
European Union.  The chosen domestic and foreign policies 
will remain the same." 

3. (C)  Comment:  Given Yushchenko's character, it is not 
surprising he seems to have ruled out the path of 
confrontation a Rada dismissal and a new election campaign 
would entail.  It is clear that Regions intended the 
Socialists-Communist pairing as an "in the bag" Option B, 
useful leverage on Our Ukraine to force a broad coalition, 
which has always been Regions' preferred Option A.  The major 
downside for Our Ukraine in agreeing to a broad coalition, 
even on its own terms: an energized Tymoshenko in opposition 
to both the coalition and President Yushchenko, with her eyes 
set on the Presidency in 2009. End Summary and Comment. 

Three Options for Orange 
-------------------- 

4. (C) Orange leaders Tymoshenko, Bezsmertny, Kinakh, and 
Rybachuk separately described the three options currently 
under consideration by Yushchenko and the two orange parties 
to Ambassador July 8: 

--Rada dismissal/New elections: Yushchenko dissolves the Rada 
and calls for new elections (strongly favored by Tymoshenko, 
attractive to Bezsmertny, under consideration by Yushchenko, 
according to Rybachuk).  Would require coordinated action, 
including blockage of Rada business until Yushchenko had 
authority to dismiss the Rada, and agreement on how to run in 
repeat elections (OU wants a single list, Tymoshenko separate 
but coordinated).  Yushchenko's public statement July 10 
seemed to rule dismissal out. 

--Broad Coalition (OU joins Regions): OU joins Yanukovych's 
Party of Regions in a broad coalition to pursue Yushchenko's 
stated external/domestic agenda; Tymoshenko goes into hard 
opposition and prepares for the 2009 Presidential campaign. 
(All OU interlocutors claimed that Yushchenko/OU would not 
accept Yanukovych as PM in this arrangement.  Acting PM 
Yekhanurov and Kinakh were the two OU candidates mentioned, 
with Yushchenko favoring Yekhanurov.  Given OU's weak record 
of negotiating competence, though, Yanukovych should not be 
ruled out.) 

--United opposition: OU follows Tymoshenko into opposition 
together against a Regions-Socialist-Communist government 
that would have to attract another 60  defectors from OU and 
BYuT to override Yushchenko vetoes (note: 238 MPs supported 

KIEV 00002678  002 OF 004 

Moroz as Speaker; 300 votes are required to override a 
Presidential veto). 

What does Yushchenko want? (avoid conflict) 
------------------------------------------- 

5. (C) Yushchenko's Chief of Staff Oleh Rybachuk told 
Ambassador July 8 that Yushchenko received PM-hopeful 
Yanukovych in the Presidential Secretariat for well over an 
hour earlier July 8.  Tymoshenko claimed to Ambassador during 
a mid-day meeting that Yushchenko was receiving Regions 
financier Rinat Ak
hmetov as they spoke (note: when Yanukovych 
was headlining a Regions Party Conclave).  Yanukovych was 
pushing hard for the broad coalition option, which Regions 
had formally broached with OU late July 7, when the ink on 
Regions' coalition agreement with the Socialists and 
Communists was barely dry.  Rybachuk said that Yanukovych 
promised fealty to all of Yushchenko's policies and 
Yushchenko's reelection in 2009...if Yushchenko would endorse 
Yanukovych's PM candidacy.  Rybachuk said that Yushchenko 
listened but did not commit.  Yushchenko/OU really wanted to 
name one of their own as PM; otherwise, they would get little 
out of such a coalition.  The two names floated had been 
Acting PM Yekhanurov and former PM Kinakh. (Note: Yanukovych 
told a visiting delegation in May that Regions would consider 
supporting Yushchenko's reelection in 2009 if OU joined a 
broad coalition with Regions.) 

6. (C) According to Rybachuk, Yushchenko was also seriously 
considering the option of dismissing the Rada and calling new 
elections.  While Regions had been pushing for new elections 
during their blockade of the Rada, they now had gone silent, 
with the prospect of a Regions-led government in hand.  OU 
was seriously looking at the new elections prospect, said 
Rybachuk (note: with opinion polls showing current OU support 
ratings a fraction of the less than 14% they received in 
March, running separately from BYuT would be close to 
political death.  OU Chair Roman Bezsmertny told Ambassador 
July 8 that OU would agree to new elections only if BYuT 
agreed to a single orange list.  For the same reasons, 
Tymoshenko told Ambassador July 8 that she would not agree to 
a single list, only close cooperation between two orange 
camps that needed to include all national-patriotic forces). 

7. (SBU) Yushchenko himself sent mixed signals in his public 
messages on the political turmoil, both in a July 8 Radio 
address and a July 10 public statement.  The latter seemingly 
ruled out the Rada dismissal option when he called for the 
formation of a coalition and presentation of its program as 
the next step forward, adding that he would "not accept any 
confrontational scenarios which can harm the people of 
Ukraine and undermine the country's stability."  But 
Yushchenko also laid a marker down for new Speaker Moroz and 
aspirant PM Yanukovych, stressing that he would not forward a 
PM nominee to the Rada until Constitutional Court judges were 
sworn in (note: the Court has been without a quorum since 
October 2005 because the previous Rada, with Yanukovych and 
Moroz colluding with former Speaker Lytvyn, prevented the 
judges nominated by Yushchenko and the judiciary from being 
sworn in, out of fear that the Court might overrule the 
changes in the Constitution which took power away from the 
President in favor of the Rada). 

8. (SBU) Yushchenko made some effort to shape the policies of 
the government, stating publicly what OU said it was 
demanding in private from Regions as a condition for a 
possible broad coalition: "there will be no return to 
Kuchmism.  Ukraine will move forward towards the European 
Union.  The chosen domestic and foreign policies will remain 
the same." 

What does Tymoshenko want? (dismissal and new elections) 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 

9. (C) In fighting form July 8, Tymoshenko told Ambassador 
that dismissal and new elections was the only option, but 
Yushchenko the problem.  She appealed for like-minded forces 
inside the country and out to work together to convince 
Yushchenko to dismiss the Rada and avoid the fatal mistakes 
of a Broad coalition or what a narrow coalition would 
represent: the return to (Russian) empire and/or communism. 
She claimed that all of Yushchenko's closest people save 
Yekhanurov, who wanted to be a PM in a Regions-OU coalition, 
agreed with her "for the first time."  Yushchenko's mentality 
and character would be the biggest challenge. 

10. (C) Time was short, because BYuT would need to arrange a 
blockade before the Rada resumed work July 11. A blockade 
could prevent official registry of the new coalition and 
forwarding of the nomination of Yanukovych as PM to the 
Presidential Secretariat, which had received her own 

KIEV 00002678  003 OF 004 

nomination July 7 and could act on it, even though it faced 
certain defeat in the Rada, "a loss I could bear." 
Acknowledging the lack of complete legal/constitutional 
clarity in such a situation, Tymoshenko said the President 
had sufficient authority to act; he simply needed to use it. 
(note: on this point, Tymoshenko and OU Chair Bezsmertny were 
in complete agreement; Bezsmertny sounded nostalgic when 
recalling Kuchma's iron will in times of crisis, such as the 
1994-95 Crimean flirtation with separatism.  Yushchenko 
needed to find such will, said Bezsmertny, or find a "bastard 
who can terrorize people for him."  He jokingly suggested 
calling Kuchma out of retirement, before adding: "or appoint 
Yuliya to run the National Security and Defense Council for 
him.") 

11. (C) Tymoshenko said that BYuT and OU's negatives would 
compound each other if they were to run together; instead 
BYuT and OU needed complete coordination and gather all 
national-patriotic-Maidan forces under two tents (note: the 
"run separately" strategy would clearly result in BYuT 
eclipsing OU as the only full-fledged Orange political 
force).  New elections would produce a better Rada that the 
current swamp; "Moroz would have betrayed us eventually 
anyway," she added. 

12. (C) In contrast, if OU-Regions allied in a broad 
coalition, Tymoshenko vowed to be in hard opposition to both 
the coalition and Yushchenko as president; she would start 
preparing her run for President in 2009.  She claimed that 
Akhmetov would dangle the prospect of Yekhanurov or Kinakh as 
PM to Yushchenko.  She saw the broad coalition as more 
dangerous than the narrow one because Yushchenko/OU would 
provide temporary cover for Regions as it consolidated power 
via controlling the rest of the government.  Regions would 
seek to buy out Yekhanurov/Kinakh (both could be bought, she 
said) or jettison them after six months. 

What does Moroz want? (Presidency after the Speakership?) 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 

13. (C) Comments from Socialist insiders made clear that 
Moroz was willing to agree to anything to become speaker 
again (reftel).  While some OU types still harbored hopes 
July 10 that Moroz could be enticed to work with Orange 
again, Tymoshenko claimed to Ambassador July 8 that Moroz was 
lost forever to democratic forces.  Sounding like a 
Mediterranean father whose daughter has eloped, she said: 
"forget about Moroz; he no longer exists in Ukraine for our 
efforts."   His betrayal and ambition were greater than first 
appeared, she claimed.  Moroz and Akhmetov had agreed to more &#x000
A;than just the Speakership and a Regions-led coalition; Moroz 
would be "the East's" candidate for President in 2009, since 
Akhmetov had concluded that Donetsk could not elect one its 
own (note: Regions' deputy leader Makeyenko, originally from 
Chernihiv, told us the same last May).  Tymoshenko also 
predicted an elated Kremlin would soon invite Moroz to Moscow 
to resolve the gas issue "personally." 

What does OU want? (doesn't know) 
--------------------------------- 

14. (C) Separate meetings with Bezsmertny/OU Secretary 
Zvarych and OU Political Council member Kinakh July 8 and 
Tarasyuk July 10 showed OU wavering between the possible 
options.  Bezsmertny analyzed the Rada dismissal, broad 
coalition, and go into opposition options, giving the 
coalition with Regions a 15% chance of happening, implying 
that he favored Rada dismissal/new elections if Tymoshenko 
would agree on a single list, but suggested OU going into 
opposition was the most likely course.  OU's terms for 
Regions were: Yanukovych could not be PM (OU wanted one of 
its own), and Yushchenko's policy directions needed to guide 
the next government's policy. 

15. (C) Noting Regions' formal invitation to OU late July 7 
to open coalition negotiations, Kinakh indicated that he had 
already carried out informal consultations with Yanukovych 
and would have another session with him later July 8.  Kinakh 
said that OU's two conditions were steadfast; OU was prepared 
"in principle" to go into opposition; its political council 
would meet late July 10 to assess options and the way forward 
after consulting with Yushchenko. 

16. (SBU) OU and BYuT MPs held a joint caucus meeting at the 
Rada mid-day July 10.  OU Press Secretary Tatiana Mokridi 
told us that OU still harbored hope that Moroz might "come 
back" to the orange team, though Socialist outcast Iosef 
Vinsky warned them to forget such "prodigal son" scenarios. 
Tymoshenko pushed for the dissolution/new elections option 
and said her supporters were ready to start picketing the 
Rada July 11; OU did not commit on any course of action, 

KIEV 00002678  004 OF 004 

merely noting that its Political Council would meet late July 
10. 

17. (C) Tarasyuk told Ambassador late July 10, prior to 
joining the OU Political Council meeting, that the preferred 
outcome would be a broad coalition with Regions on OU's 
terms.  Going into opposition "would be very awkward for the 
President's party."  It would be better for OU to be inside 
the government and affect policy; otherwise, Regions could 
more easily change the country's strategic direction. 
Tarasyuk's party Rukh had met July 8 and given him new 
flexibility in pursuing a different coalition; the previous 
mandate had been narrow, only for the orange option.  OU had 
told Yanukovych that it did not want either the Communists or 
the Socialists as partners; Yanukovych had told them fine on 
the Communists but that the Socialists would stay. 

What does Regions want? (coalition with OU, Yanu as PM) 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 

18. (C) Note: Septel will report Ambassador's July 10 meeting 
with Yanukovych.  It makes clear what we have known all 
along: Regions prefers partnering with OU and is willing to 
jettison the Communists.  For now, Yanukovych resists the OU 
demand on the PM's slot.  The remaining question on what 
increasingly appears to be the most likely alternative: who 
will give?  While OU appears to think it has leverage on this 
point, Yanukovych is very confident of his return as PM. 

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

Wikileaks

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