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06KIEV2900, UKRAINE: WAYS OUT OF THE POLITICAL IMPASSE: FOUR

July 25, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2900 2006-07-25 15:29 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO0749
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2900/01 2061529
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251529Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0666
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 002900 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2016 
TAGS: PGOV UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: WAYS OUT OF THE POLITICAL IMPASSE: FOUR 
SCENARIOS FOR YUSHCHENKO 

REF: A. KIEV 2855 
     B. KIEV 2805 
     C. KIEV 2888 
     D. KIEV 2677 
     E. KIEV 2899 

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

1. (C) Summary: With the window for a Presidential decision 
to disband the Rada now open and the "Anti-Crisis Coalition" 
nomination of Viktor Yanukovych for PM on his desk, 
Yushchenko and Ukraine face four scenarios: accept Yanukovych 
as PM; reject Yanukovych's nomination but not dissolve the 
Rada; dissolve the Rada and call new elections; or take no 
action heading into the August break.  Each scenario in turn 
has two options: if Yushchenko accepted Yanukovych as PM, Our 
Ukraine (OU) could either join the Regions-led coalition in 
part or in whole, or remain in soft opposition; if he 
rejected Yanukovych's nomination, Yushchenko could try to 
convince Regions' financier Akhmetov to forward a new name or 
face a constitutional crisis; if he dissolved the Rada and 
called new elections, Yushchenko could face a rebellious rump 
Rada or successfully call Speaker Moroz/Regions' bluff, with 
new elections proceeding; if he took no action, Yushchenko 
could try to convince all parties to use the traditional 
August vacation time as a cooling off period or face a 
determined Rada taking matters into its own hands. 

2. (C) The absence of a Constitutional Court quorum, 
competing claims of constitutionality, confusing legal moves 
by the Rada, and fiery accusations and counter-charges by 
Regions and Speaker Moroz on the one side and OU and 
Tymoshenko bloc (BYuT) members on the other complicate the 
current messy situation.  The decision is ultimately 
Yushchenko's to make, and his record is one of waiting until 
the last possible moment to make difficult decisions.  Moroz 
told the evening session of the Rada July 25 that Yushchenko 
had agreed to participate in a roundtable on the political 
crisis with various political forces, academics, and 
journalists at Maryinsky Palace at 2 pm July 26. 
Yushchenko's deputy press spokesman clarified that Yushchenko 
has agreed to the idea of such a meeting, but at a time and 
place of his choosing.  It appears for now Yushchenko 
continues to weigh seriously both an agreement with Regions 
and the dismissal option, with even OU insiders at a loss to 
predict what his final decision will be.  End Summary. 

Scenario 1: Accept Yanukovych as PM after cutting a deal 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 

3. (C) The Regions'-led coalition is placing heavy pressure 
on Yushchenko to forward Yanukovych's nomination back to the 
Rada for approval, thereby confirming Yanukovych as PM.  This 
is the most-talked about option.  There are two sub-options: 
parts or all of OU joins the coalition after negotiating 
ministerial seats; or OU remains in soft opposition to a 
Regions-Socialists-Communists coalition, perhaps with an 
agreement on coordination. 

4. (C) OU and Regions sources along with Rada Speaker Moroz 
indicated to us July 24-25 that such coalition talks continue 
in detail.  Regions' deputy leader Makeyenko told us July 24 
that Yushchenko met with three Regions deputy leaders 
(Kluyev, Azarov, Bohatyrova) plus Socialist faction leader 
Tsushko and OU leader Bezsmertny July 23.  Regions financier 

SIPDIS 
Akhmetov expressed frustration to Ambassador July 24 over OU 
demands to increase its share of Ministries in a possible 
coalition.  Moroz suggested to Ambassador early July 25 that 
current discussions center around which party would get the 
First Deputy PM and Ministry of Interior; current 
Zaporizhzhya Governor and ex-Transport Minister Yevhen 
Chervonenko is Yushchenko's preference for the latter job, 
according to OU Rada staffer Petro Pynzenyk.  Media reports 
mid-day July 25, citing Regions sources, claim that 
Yushchenko had told Regions he would submit Yanukovych's 
nomination only if OU were given the posts of: First Deputy 
PM, Minister of Interior; Minister of Justice; Minister of 
Economy; Minister of Finance; and Minister of Industrial 
Policy. 

5. (C) Yushchenko and other key OU figures like Acting FM 
Tarasyuk have repeatedly said publicly and privately since 
the July 6 emergence of the Regions-Socialist-Communist 
coalition that, despite French and Polish precedents, they 
find the idea of cohabitation, with the President's party in 
the parliamentary opposition, unnatural.  That said, if 
Regions rejects OU's portfolio demands, Yushchenko/OU could 
still sign an agreement on coordinating activity with the 
anti-crisis coalition without openly joining the coalition, 
remaining in soft opposition.  OU Leader Bezsmertny told the 
press July 25 this was an active possibility.  OU deputy 

KIEV 00002900  002 OF 004 

leader Katerynchuk favors this option as well to give OU a 
chance to rebuild (ref a).  It is also possible that OU could 
break up, with some factions joining the coalition and others 
remaining in opposition. 

6. (C) Acting Interior Minister Lutsenko told Ambassador July 
24 of the possibility of crea
ting a cleaner, younger, new 
pro-Presidential political force that could avoid the 
inherent weaknesses of OU and, if given time, carve out space 
between Regions and BYuT.  Lutsenko estimated such a project, 
tentatively called "Force Ukraine," might need 18 months to 
establish itself, presuming an initial Yanukovych-led 
government and an eventual Presidential dismissal of the Rada 
to contest new elections (note: Socialist deputy leaders 
Mendus and Rudkovsky claimed to us July 20 that the idea for 
such a Lutsenko-led project was initiated by Yushchenko 
himself in conjunction with Acting National Security and 
Defense Council Secretary Horbulin, see ref A).  Presidential 
chief of staff Rybachuk told the Ambassador that he fully 
supported Lutsenko's plan and would be prepared to join the 
new party himself. 

Scenario 2: Reject Yanukovych, no dismissal, but what then? 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 

7. (C) Dismissal appears for now to be less likely. 
Yushchenko and OU would dearly like to avoid accepting 
Yanukovych as PM.  They cling to an all-but-extinguished hope 
that it might be possible to revert to a June 20 coalition 
deal between Regions and OU, initialed but never consummated, 
for Yuri Yekhanurov to serve as PM in a Regions-OU dominated 
government (ref b).  However, OU lost its leverage July 6 
when Regions paired with the Socialists instead.  Akhmetov 
reiterated to Ambassador July 24 that Regions/coalition would 
not change its position on Yanukovych's nomination.  It is 
extremely difficult to see how Yushchenko could reject 
Yanukovych and realize OU's hope of claiming the PM slot. 

8. (C) Yushchenko already rejected the first nomination of 
Yanukovych July 11, citing a procedural technicality (the 
defunct "Coalition of Democratic Forces" continued to exist 
de jure for ten days, until July 17).  The new coalition 
resubmitted the nomination July 18; the fifteen days the 
President has to put the nomination forward (in Ukrainian: 
"vnositi") ends August 2, though Presidential spokeswoman 
Herashchenko tried July 25 to push the clock back to August 
5, claiming that the document submission on Yanukovych to the 
Presidential Secretariat was not completed until July 21. 

9. (C) Rejecting Yanukovych's candidacy a second time, 
however, would enter untested constitutional ground and a 
likely constitutional crisis in the absence of a 
Constitutional Court able to rule on the matter.  There 
literally is no precedent, since the relevant constitutional 
clause on the presidential nomination of the PM (Article 106, 
subparagraph 9) was amended December 8, 2004, went into 
effect only in January 2006, and does not lay out the precise 
procedures in any detail (ref d).  Article 106 lays out 
Presidential powers, not obligations.  After the enumeration 
of 31 powers, it reads: "The President of Ukraine shall not 
transfer his or her powers to other persons or bodies" -- 
suggesting, as OU has claimed, that any Rada effort to act on 
his behalf or his absence would be an usurpation of 
Presidential authority. 

Scenario 3: Dismiss the Rada - crisis, or new elections? 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 

10. (SBU) The second option Yushchenko appears to be 
considering most seriously, besides accepting Yanukovych as 
PM, is dismissing the Rada and calling new elections.  His 
power to do so in the Constitution is covered in Article 90, 
in the event a (new) Cabinet of Ministers is not formed 
within sixty days of the resignation of the (old) Cabinet of 
Ministers.  Regions/Moroz, for their part, have tried to 
reject the validity of this constitutional right to dismiss 
the Rada, based on manipulation of two legal terms in 
Ukrainian which are both usually translated as resignation in 
English (Ukrainian: "vidstavka" and "skladennya 
povnovazhennya," the latter technically translated as 
"divestiture of its powers").  To buttress their technical 
case, the Regions-led majority passed a resolution late July 
25 to revoke its January 10 resolution (Ukrainian: 
"postanova") to dismiss the Yekhanurov government. 

11. (SBU) The reason?  Such a "postanova" combined with the 
legally-mandated resignation (Ukrainian: "skladennya 
novnovazhen") of the Yekhanurov government at the start of 
the new Rada session May 25 is considered a completed 
resignation ("vidstavka"), according to one reading of the 
Rada Rules of Procedure.  Article 90 uses the word 

KIEV 00002900  003 OF 004 

"vidstavka," not "skladennya povnovazhen."  It is not yet 
clear whether this legal effort will succeed.  Former MPs 
involved in drafting laws and the Constitution say such 
semantics do not carry legal weight, though strict 
constructionalists would likely differ; in the absence of a 
Constitutional Court ruling, no one can speak with legal 
certainty. 

12. (SBU) Tymoshenko strongly advocates the Rada dismissal 
option, since she has nothing to lose and stands to gain at 
OU's expense.  BYuT has attempted to shape 
perceptions/influence Yushchenko by staging a Rada walkout of 
her faction, threatening a mass resignation in an attempt to 
make the Rada inquorate, and having BYuT MP Lyashko hold a 
July 24 press conference in which he alleged there are tape 
recordings of conversations between Regions' heavyweight 
Kluyev and a Russian citizen in which Kluyev discusses a $300 
million payoff to Moroz to join Regions in a coalition and to 
support an eventual impeachment motion against Yushchenko, 
tentatively planned for December. 

13. (C) One possible result of a dismissal is a full-fledged 
constitutional crisis fueled by a rump Rada meeting in 
defiance of the Presidential decision, possibly taking 
actions to seat Yanukovych and a new government and daring 
Yushchenko to use force to prevent them from doing so.  The 
Rada laid the groundwork for a rump session July 24 by 
passing a resolution empowering Speaker Moroz to convene a 
"special session" if Yushchenko moved towards a dismissal 
option (ref C).  Moroz followed that with a prime-time 
appearance on state television in which he warned of the 
possibility of civil conflict and bloodshed if there were to 
be a Presidential-parliamentary showdown, twice citing the 
Russia 1993 example (when then President Yeltsin used tanks 
to quell the rebellious Russian Duma).  Notably for someone 
who stood on the Maidan stage as an ally of Yushchenko, Moroz 
did not mention the peaceful resolution of Ukraine's own 2004 
crisis/Orange Revolution, instead calling any potential 
Yushchenko dismissal action anti-constitutional.  Moroz 
repeated that claim to Ambassador early July 25. 

14. (C) Another option is that Moroz/Regions' tough talk 
bluff would be called by a dismissal; rather than choosing 
confrontation, Regions would contest new elections, confident 
in its ability to secure an outright majority and form the 
nex
t government alone.  Moroz told Ambassador July 25 that 
Regions could secure 50 percent in the next election, with 
the Socialists providing the balance.  Kluyev told the press 
July 25 that if new elections were called, Regions and the 
Socialists would bloc together and might even include the 
Communists.  Such a bloc in theory could build out from 
Yanukovych's 2004 Presidential showing, which surpassed 
Regions' March 26 electoral results by a full ten percent. 

15. (C) Yushchenko/OU's dilemma over new elections is that 
their popular support has continued to plummet after OU's 
dismal third place showing in the March 26 elections.  A 
significant number of Ukrainians place primary blame for the 
collapse of the Orange Coalition on Yushchenko's indecision 
and refusal to form an orange coalition quickly.  New 
elections risk OU's near total marginalization as a political 
force and likely do not provide enough time for Lutsenko to 
jump start the alternative political project he described to 
Ambassador July 24. 

16. (C) While Tymoshenko has publicly called for a union of 
all national patriotic forces to contest a new election, she 
has notably remained silent about the specifics of possible 
cooperation with OU.  It is clear that she would expect to 
set the terms and head the union as the politician currently 
leading the counter charge against the Regions- 
Socialist-Communist majority.  Indeed, in the current 
standoff and street politics maneuvering, the total absence 
of any orange/OU presence is striking.  New elections would 
likely accelerate Ukraine's move towards an effective 
two-party system, with Regions and Tymoshenko the two 
dominant forces, as they have been on the streets of Kiev 
since July 7. 

Scenario 4: Do nothing 
---------------------- 

17. (C)  While Yushchenko has a track record of making tough 
decisions at the very last moment, former Prime Minister 
Yehkanurov and at least one prominent 
commentator/businesswoman/politician, Inna Bohoslovska, 
suggested to the Ambassador that Yushchenko might just not 
make any decision at all (refs B, E).  In such a scenario, as 
Yekhanurov outlined, Yushchenko might try to convince 
political forces to allow the traditional August vacation 
break to pass by as a cooling-off period, pushing off 

KIEV 00002900  004 OF 004 

resolution of the political impasse until September. 
However, given the resoluteness of Speaker Moroz and Regions 
to force a decision in the short term, the do nothing option 
appears to us to be the least likely outcome.  Were 
Yushchenko to not act by August 2 or 5, i.e., within 15 days 
of receiving the Yanukovych nomination, we believe that it 
would more likely spark an constitutional crisis, including a 
possible attempt by the Rada to take matters into its own 
hands, such as seating a PM and government directly (refs A, 
D). 

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

Wikileaks

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