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July 31, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2964 2006-07-31 14:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #2964/01 2121447
P 311447Z JUL 06


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 002964 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2016 


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

1. (C) Summary:  In July 28 meetings with Party of Regions 
leader Viktor Yanukovych, Socialist Party leader Oleksandr 
Moroz, and Deputy Foreign Minister (and special negotiator on 
Transnistria Issues) Andriy Veselovsky, EUR DAS David Kramer 
praised Ukraine's leadership in resolving problems arising 
from Moldova's separatist Transnistria region.  He singled 
out the Ukraine-Moldova customs agreement as a setback for 
Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, since the majority of 
Transnistria-based enterprises had signed on to it despite 
Smirnov's opposition.  DAS Kramer countered Yanukovych's 
observation that both Moldovan President Voronin and 
Transnistrian leader Smirnov needed to take steps toward a 
compromise noting that Voronin was the legitimately elected 
head of an internationally recognized country and Smirnov, as 
the leader of an illegitimate regime, had to do more.  Moroz 
assured DAS Kramer of his support for the customs agreement. 
Veselovsky said Ukraine planned to hold a conference on 
international aspects of the Transnistrian conflict in 
Brussels in late October/early November.  He criticized 
recent unhelpful Romanian statements on Transnistria and 
warned that, if Moldova does not agree to open rail routes 
through Transnistria, the Ukrainian government would deal 
directly with the Transnistrian authorities to do so.  End 

Yanukovych's Partiality toward Transnistria 

2. (SBU) In response to DAS Kramer's question about whether a 
Regions-led Government would  support keeping the 
Ukraine-Moldova customs union in force, Yanukovych said that 
Regions wanted to see a stable territory and the conflict 
resolved.  He noted that it was important to establish order 
along the border and that the border should be protected. 
When DAS Kramer pressed on the specific customs agreement, 
Yanukovych finally said that he knew the really difficult 
time was over and a new Ukrainian government would "not make 
it worse,... it would even improve it." 

3. (C) Yanukovych said that he knew both Moldovan President 
Voronin and Transnistrian leader Smirnov well and that he 
would help them reach agreement -- "both have to make steps 
toward each other and find a compromise."  DAS Kramer agreed, 
but noted that Smirnov, as the leader of a separatist region 
rather than a country, needed to do more.  Yanukovych said he 
understood, but Smirnov had been pushed into a corner with no 
way out.  It was important psychologically to give him a way 
out and provide some guarantees.  Noting that this answer 
made him nervous, DAS Kramer stressed that Smirnov's support 
from "the neighbor to the north" meant he did not need Kiev's 
sympathy.  Yanukovych came back, stating he was not talking 
about support, but simply finding a way out for Smirnov. 
Both agreed to discuss this issue further during Kramer's 
next visit. 

Moroz Better, Backs Customs Agreement 

4. (SBU) Moroz said many mistakes were made in the early 
1990's that had led to the current situation in Transnistria; 
the solution would involve some kind of autonomy for the 
region or a federal structure.  However, with regard to the 
customs agreement, Ukraine was committed to helping Moldova 
improve the situation, and the Rada had no competency to 
review or change the agreement.  Indeed, Ukraine was very 
concerned about problems of smuggling and contraband along 
the border and was committed to maintaining control. 

Veselovsky Praises New York Bar Report 

5. (SBU) Veselovsky said the Moldova-based diplomatic corps 
had been favorably impressed by the Association of the Bar of 
the City of New York (ABCNY) (ref A) report on international 
law aspects of the Transnistrian conflict.  Some other 
post-Soviet countries, such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, had 
also been interested in the report's conclusions, since 
separatist movements had the potential to arise in Central 
Asia.  To follow up potentially on the report's 
recommendations, Veselovsky said MFA had tasked the Ukrainian 
Embassy in Brussels with organizing an international 
conference on the international law aspects of the 
Transnistria conflict, to which European parliamentarians had 
already been invited, to be held in Brussels in late 
October/early November.  MFA had also contacted good 
specialists on legal aspects to prepare a draft agenda. 

KIEV 00002964  002 OF 002 

6. (C) DAS Kramer said, although he had a positive and 
constructive meeting with Yanukovych earlier in the day, 
Yanukovych's comments on Transnistria had made him nervous. 
Kramer had pushed for a commitment to maintain the 
Ukraine-Moldova customs agreement and had made clear the
positions on Transnistria by the end of the meeting. 
Nevertheless, Veselovsky would face a challenge ensuring that 
a new Ukrainian government maintained its positive role on 

Romania a Recent Problem 

7. (C) Veselovsky noted that Romanian officials, such as 
President Basescu and Foreign Minister Severin, had made 
statements that had alarmed Transnistria and thereby 
complicated efforts to resolve the Transnistria issue. 
Kramer agreed.  Embassy Bucharest had responded immediately 
to Basescu's statements and they were likely to be raised 
again during Basescu's meetings in Washington, where he was 
currently visiting.  Veselovsky said some Romanians still 
believed Moldova could be enticed into uniting with Romania 
as a back-door into the European Union.  The Ukrainian 
Foreign Ministry planned to issue a statement noting that 
friends of Moldova should seek to help Moldova on the basis 
of Moldovan unity.  DAS Kramer said he hoped to stop in 
Bucharest in early September en route to a conference in the 
region to reinforce the same point. 

A Ukraine-Moldova Bilateral Issue 

8. (C) Pulling out a map of Moldova, Veselovsky said Ukraine 
had a bilateral issue with Moldova regarding Moldova's 
transit fees for Ukrainian railroad cargoes.  When 
Transnistria blocked railroad traffic after the 
Ukraine-Moldova customs agreement entered into force, 
millions of dollars worth of Ukrainian cargo had to take a 
substantially longer route around Transnistria to reach 
destinations in Western Europe.  The increased transit 
distance had raised transit fees by U.S. $3.40 per ton of 
cargo.  This was a significant sum when multiplied by the 
large volume of Ukrainian shipments.  Transnistria was now 
ready to reopen the rail routes, but the Moldovan government 
was resisting, raising spurious objections.  The Ukrainian 
government suspected the Moldovan objections were based on 
the desire to continue collecting the additional fees.  The 
Ukrainian Minister of Transportation would soon send a letter 
to Chisinau stating that, if Moldova was not ready to open 
the rail routes, the Ukrainian government would deal directly 
with Transnistria to do so.  Veselovsky promised to provide 
an unofficial copy of the letter to the U.S. Embassy. 

9. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 




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