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06KIEV2932, UKRAINE: YUSHCHENKO-LED ROUNDTABLE POINTS TOWARD

July 28, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2932 2006-07-28 08:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO3735
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2932/01 2090849
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 280849Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0701
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 002932 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/28/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PARM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: YUSHCHENKO-LED ROUNDTABLE POINTS TOWARD 
BROAD COALITION OF "NATIONAL UNITY"? 

REF: KIEV 2900 

Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon, reason 1.4 (b,d) 

1.  (SBU) Summary.  President Yushchenko moderated an 
extraordinary six-hour marathon roundtable July 27 involving 
all Ukrainian political leaders and additional eminent 
figures to discuss a way out of the current political 
impasse.  Yushchenko ended the session at 10 pm with a plea 
for the parties to reconcile their remaining differences and 
agree on a shared vision as part of a Pact of National Unity 
that could be signed July 28, in what many observers presume 
might serve as a basis for a new "national unity" coalition 
likely involving Party of Regions, Yushchenko's Our Ukraine 
(OU), and the Socialists.  Yuliya Tymoshenko announced she 
would not sign the unity document and that her bloc (BYuT) 
would go into active opposition.  The Communists, whom OU 
does not want in the coalition, sparred with Yushchenko and 
OU leader Bezsmertny during the roundtable about Ukraine's 
NATO membership aspirations.  As of 1230 Kyiv time July 28, a 
working group made up of representatives of all the parties 
continued to work out the final details. 

2. (C) Comment: After weeks of a seemingly aloof, passive 
stance as Ukraine faced a serious political impasse, 
Yushchenko is now actively engaged in the process, first in a 
relatively hard-hitting prime-time TV appearance July 26 and 
then by moderating a six-hour marathon round-table which gave 
the impression that Yushchenko was in charge of the process. 
The roundtable was very successful in showing the public that 
the political leadership is serious about reaching agreement. 
 It was also held in the wake of an apparent internal 
Yushchenko/OU decision to accept Regions' leader Yanukovych 
as a PM if Regions agrees to OU's red-line demands for the 
continuation of Yushchenko's foreign and domestic policies 
and the immediate formation of a Constitutional Court. 
According to Moroz, if the President confirms Yanukovych as 
Prime Minister, then the Rada will vote Yanukovych into 
office after 30 minutes, and then approve a full government 
slate of ministers within three hours.  And if the result of 
the roundtable is a "national unity coalition" between 
Regions, OU, and the Socialists with Regions' leader 
Yanukovych as Premier, the primary question looking forward 
will be to what extent Yushchenko remains locked in and 
projecting Presidential authority with an expected 
Regions-dominated government operating out of the Cabinet of 
Ministers and the Rada (parliament).  End Summary and Comment. 

Yushchenko starts to act Presidential (finally) 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

3. (SBU) Yushchenko actively and publicly reengaged in 
Ukraine's messy political impasse July 26 with a strong 
prime-time TV appearance on multiple channels in which he 
called for national unity and chastised the unnamed forces in 
the Rada who had used dangerously inappropriate language to 
inflame the situation (note: a particular rebuke to Speaker 
Moroz for the latter's July 24 comments, reftel).  He 
followed the public message with the convening of a six-hour 
roundtable at the Presidential Secretariat, televised live, 
involving Speaker Moroz, Acting PM Yekhanurov, the five party 
faction leaders in the Rada (Regions' Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, 
OU's Bezsmertny, Socialists' Tsushko, Communists' Symonenko), 
plus a handful of other "eminent persons."  During a July 28 
meeting with visiting DAS David Kramer and the Ambassador, 
Moroz stressed that the roundtable had been Yushchenko's idea 
from the start and was an attempt to chart Ukraine's future 
domestic and foreign policy direction for the future. 

4. (SBU) Yushchenko opened the roundtable by stressing his 
standard themes: the importance of national unity; the 
Ukrainian language; economic development; and the European 
direction of foreign policy.  Of more importance perhaps was 
his projection of Presidential authority over the succeeding 
six hours, of being in charge of coordinating the nation's 
political forces in a very public and transparent way in an 
attempt to resolve the current political impasse. 

Political leaders reiterate positions, debate NATO 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

5. (SBU) Speaker Moroz and the faction leaders played off of 
Yushchenko's themes in various ways while also pushing their 
narrower partisan agendas throughout the roundtable.  While 
in favor of the proposed Pact of National Unity and a broad 
coalition, Moroz asked to eliminate language on land sales 
and gut the description on foreign policy.  OU's Bezsmertny 
stressed the need to swear in all Constitutional Court 
judges, the importance of Ukraine's aspirations to join the 
WTO, NATO, and EU, and the desirability to exclude the 
Communists.  Tymoshenko criticized Moroz' proposed excisions 

KIEV 00002932  002 OF 002 

and his early profligacy as Speaker, stressed the need for 
Ukraine to have a civilized opposition, and continued to 
support early elections.  Yanukovych stressed the themes of 
unity and the ability
of Regions and OU to work together. 

6. (SBU) The extended second half of the roundtable featured 
lengthy exchanges on NATO and related language in the 
proposed National Unity Pact and the best way to 
conceptualize national security.  Symonenko, and to a softer 
extent Moroz, attacked the NATO-related language, engaging in 
an extended debate with both Yushchenko and Bezsmertny. 
Yushchenko stressed Ukraine's need to properly address the 
conceptual nature of national security through the European 
approach of collective security, which was the most 
dependable and cost effective approach.  Yushchenko 
specifically mentioned Tuzla Island, the focus of a 2004 
crisis with Russia; he also mentioned Ukraine's need for 
massive investment to maintain its defense technology, 
implying NATO might be able to help as well as reinforcing 
his greater point about collective security.  Bezsmertny said 
that OU would never back off the point expressing Ukraine's 
NATO membership aspirations. 

Horbulin: The rationale behind Yushchenko's choice 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

7. (C) Prior to the start of the July 27 roundtable, acting 
National Security and Defense Council Secretary Volodymyr 
Horbulin shared with Ambassador the rationale underlying 
Yushchenko's apparent choice to endorse a broad coalition of 
"national unity" instead of dismissing the Rada and calling 
new elections.  Both options were possible, stressed 
Horbulin, but Rada dismissal could have completely 
unpredictable consequences, particularly if Moroz and Regions 
attempted to provoke a constitutional crisis. 

8. (C) The key to securing a broad coalition agreement with 
Regions, stressed Horbulin, was to ensure a range of 
conditions were met.  Regions clearly staked maximum 
importance on Yanukovych becoming PM; Yushchenko appeared 
more inclined now to agree.  Yushchenko's own starting points 
were the continuation of his foreign and domestic policy 
agendas; the three "non-negotiable" points were: exclusion of 
the communists from the coalition; Presidential right to 
appoint the full "power" personnel, not only the 
constitutionally mandated Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, 
Security Service (SBU) chief, and General Prosecutor, but 
Interior Minister too; and the seating of the Constitutional 
Court.  Resolution of the Constitutional Court disagreement 
was perhaps the key "necessary condition" for Yushchenko to 
support Yanukovych's PM candidacy, suggested Horbulin, who is 
non-partisan. 

9. (C) The driving rationale behind formation of a coalition 
of national unity would be to avoid further artificial splits 
(raskol) in society, said Horbulin.  The last two election 
cycles had unfortunately done much to split Ukraine; it was 
essential now to heal the divisions and make forward progress 
achieved in the past two years irreversible.  In Horbulin's 
mind, a broad coalition offered the best chance at this 
juncture for Ukraine to move forward, both on foreign and 
domestic policy.  Horbulin expressed hope that changes in 
society and Ukraine's freer media, combined with the 
authority of Yushchenko as President, meant that Yanukovych 
would be more constrained as PM in 2006 than he had been from 
2002-2004. 

What next?  Textual haggling, no guaranteed outcome 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 

10. (C) Note: The exchanges between potential broad coalition 
partners Regions, OU, and Socialists were not entirely 
harmonious, with OU's Bezsmertny and Regions' Azarov arguing 
towards the end, and Bezsmertny accusing Regions of trying to 
rewrite agreed-upon sections of text.  While Regions claimed 
the pact could be signed in "half an hour," delays in the 
resumption of the roundtable discussions July 28 indicated 
that behind-door negotiations continued, with the suggested 
time for a 12 noon signing time mentioned by Moroz and 
Yanukovych in separate meetings with DAS Kramer and the 
Ambassador already passed.  Moroz emphasized to DAS Kramer 
that the document to be signed was a political rather than a 
legal agreement and particularly important as a public 
gesture.  While the outcome is by no means certain, it is 
increasingly possible that Ukraine might see its third new 
coalition line-up in a span of five weeks.  However, as 
Yanukovych put it - at this point, it is all "in God's hands." 

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

Wikileaks

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