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06KIEV3041, UKRAINE: FOREIGN POLICY OF A REGIONS-LED GOVERNMENT

August 4, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV3041 2006-08-04 14:28 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO0930
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #3041/01 2161428
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 041428Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0826
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KIEV 003041 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/04/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ETRD WTO NATO OREP PINR RS UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: FOREIGN POLICY OF A REGIONS-LED GOVERNMENT 

REF: A. KIEV 3026 
     B. KIEV 2964 
     C. KIEV 2530 
     D. KIEV 1693 
     E. KIEV 1642 
     F. KIEV 1530 
     G. KIEV 643 

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

1. (C) Summary:  In an August 3 meeting, parliamentary deputy 
and Party of Regions foreign-policy expert Kozhara was 
sketchy on the details of how a Regions-led government might 
modify Ukraine's foreign policy approaches.  He affirmed that 
Regions would work to pass WTO-related legislation, but also 
suggested that the new cabinet would first "review" the 
language of the bills and invite private sector comment. 
Kozhara did not disagree that Yanukovych would work actively 
toward a NATO membership action plan (MAP) at the Riga 
summit.  In various comments, Kozhara suggested Yanukovych 
would exercise personal diplomacy to make progress in 
Ukraine's relations with Russia, Belarus, and with Moldova on 
the Transnistria issue. 

2. (C) Comment:  During a July 27 lunch, four leading 
political analyst guests were unanimous and remarkably 
downbeat about the implications of a Regions-led government. 
They suggested that a government under Yanukovych would 
virtually reverse all the gains made since the Orange 
Revolution, stop Ukraine's westward progress dead in its 
tracks, and restore Russian influence on Ukraine's foreign 
policy.  In the end, however, they grudgingly accepted that 
any government would be better than the uncertainty and 
doldrums existing at the time and that we would have to judge 
this government by the concrete actions it took.  Kozhara, 
and Yanukovych, however, have been noticeably conservative in 
their suggested approaches to foreign policy.  Kozhara was 
careful to convey the point that President Yushchenko, 
through his choice of foreign minister, would take the lead 
in developing and executing foreign policy.  As we have noted 
previously, we agree that we will have to to judge the nature 
of the Yanukovych prime ministership based on actions, not 
words, especially in the areas of foreign economic policy, 
such as WTO accession, normally considered part of the prime 
minister's portfolio.  End summary and comment. 

The Formal Commitment 
--------------------- 

3. (U) In refusing to sign the "universal" declaration August 
3, leader of her eponymous political bloc Yuliya Tymoshenko 
observed that 90 percent of the declaration consisted of 
empty statements on social and economic issues and that the 
remaining ten percent with real content had been rewritten in 
Party of Regions' favor.  While she singled out provisions on 
language and religion, Tymoshenko was probably also thinking 
about the last four clauses (24-27) of the declaration having 
to do with foreign policy. 

4. (U) The universal declaration lists the following 
Ukrainian priorities: 

-- In clause 24, "establishing effective economic cooperation 
with all interested foreign partners, based on Ukraine's 
interest."  This includes a adopting legislative changes 
without delay and "joining WTO by the end of 2006 on 
conditions acceptable to Ukraine"; 

-- In clause 25, "continuing the direction of Ukraine's 
European integration, with the prospect of Ukraine joining 
the European Union."  "Steady implementation of Ukraine-EU 
Action Plan, immediate start of negotiations on formation of 
the free trade zone between Ukraine and EU." 

-- In clause 26, "completing . . . Ukraine's participation in 
the Single Economic Space" and "creation at the first stage 
of the free trade zone without restrictions and exclusions." 

-- In clause 27, "mutually beneficial cooperation with NATO 
in accordance with the 'Law of Ukraine on the Foundations of 
the National Security of Ukraine,'" including "making a 
decision about joining NATO based on the results of 
referendum that takes place after Ukraine fulfills all 
necessary procedures." 

5. (C) In an August 3 meeting, former Ukrainian ambassador to 
Sweden, Party of Regions foreign policy guru, and 
parliamentary deputy Leonid Kozhara commented on the 
universal declaration, its specific points, and the likely 
approach a Regions-led government would take to other key 
foreign policy issues.  Kozhara voiced moderate approaches, 
trying to put the best spin on Regions' world view, but his 

KIEV 00003041  002 OF 003 

comments also closely tracked with the comments (reftels C-G) 
of his boss, next Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich. 

The Universal Declaration 
------------------------- 

6. (C) Kozhara prefaced his remarks by noting that much would 
depe
nd on the personality of the next Foreign Minister.  He 
professed to have no knowledge of who might be the leading 
candidate, although he was certain that a selection had been 
made and the information kept close hold.  Earlier, he had 
opined to us that there were four leading candidates (former 
FM Konstantin Hryshchenko, former First DFM Oleksandr Chaliy, 
Ukrainian Ambassador to France Yuri Sergeev, and Ukrainian 
Ambassador to Austria Volodymyr Yelchenko) and he now said 
that, as far as he knew, they were still the leading 
candidates. 

7. (U) Kozhara was also certain acting Foreign Minister Borys 
Tarasyuk would not continue in the position.  Regions policy 
called for improving relations with Russia, and Tarasyuk had 
antagonized Moscow to a degree that mending fences would be 
impossible if Tarasyuk continued in his position.  As for 
MFA's top leadership, Kozhara knew them personally and 
recognized that they were top-notch professionals.  While 
their professional futures would be in the hands of the next 
FM, Kozhara did not expect that a wholesale housecleaning 
would necessarily occur.  DFM Andriy Veselovsky (special 
negotiator for Transnistria), for example, might stay on. 
(Note:  At this point, it looks clear that Tarasyuk will be 
Yushchenko's choice to continue as FM.  Kozhara holds a 
personal grudge against Tarasyuk, so he might have been 
voicing his personal hope that Tarasyuk would be forced out.) 

8. (C) Kozhara noted the universal declaration was a 
political document of uncertain impact that was not legally 
binding.  The new cabinet's actual program and policies would 
probably need to be detailed in a written workplan that would 
be submitted to Parliament (Rada) for ratification.  Similar 
workplans in the past, however, had focused on economic and 
social priorities and touched upon foreign policy only 
through the lens of trade and economic policies.  While the 
universal declaration could act as a reference guiding future 
government decisions, the workplan was the legally 
enforceable document. 

The Declaration's Specific Provisions 
------------------------------------- 

9. (C) Kozhara said, if the Communists were to sign the 
universal declaration, Communist participation would be a 
real breakthrough since the document explicitly referenced 
Ukraine's NATO aspirations.  (Note:  In the end, Communist 
leader Petro Symonenko signed, but with five opt-outs, 
including the NATO clause.  See ref A.)  When asked, he said 
a Yanukovych letter to the NATO Secretary General requesting 
MAP would not be inconsistent with Yanukovych's approach to 
NATO.  He affirmed that with respect to the Single Economic 
Space (SES), Ukraine would continue to put an emphasis first 
on the creation of a free trade zone within the four SES 
countries.  Access for Ukrainian goods to a market spanning 
"Vladivostok to Kaliningrad" would be a tremendous advantage, 
Kozhara noted.  The Rada would address WTO-related 
legislation but, he claimed, the Cabinet would not simply 
forward the legislation.  The Cabinet would first invite 
comments from industry on the legislation, then review the 
draft laws to ensure that they met WTO and Ukrainian economic 
requirements.  On EU membership, Kozhara said he pinned hopes 
on the German presidency to achieve additional progress.  He 
had heard that, within the EU, Germany was championing an 
initiative to establish a special EU-Ukraine relationship 
that would remove Ukraine from the EU's "New Neighborhood" 
category. 

Russia 
------ 

10. (C) Kozhara said a Regions-led government would put an 
emphasis on restoring relations with Russia, which had 
worsened under President Yushchenko.  As Prime Minister, 
Yanukovych would follow the tradition of new Ukrainian prime 
ministers and make an early visit to Moscow.  There, 
Yanukovych would meet with Russian President Putin and would 
work to lay the groundwork for the long-promised Putin visit 
to Kiev later in the year.  Yanukovych and the new cabinet 
would also work to make progress on bilateral issues with 
Russian that had been stalled.  In particular, Yanukovych 
would focus his efforts on getting Russia to lift the various 
prohibitions and obstacles to the import of Ukrainian 
foodstuffs.  (Kozhara observed progress toward SES could be 
one useful avenue to this goal.)  Yanukovych also wanted to 
make progress on practical issues regarding demarcation of 

KIEV 00003041  003 OF 003 

land and sea borders (especially in the Kerch Strait) between 
Ukraine and Russia. 

11. (C) Kozhara noted the Yushchenko-Putin interstate 
commission was supposed to work on such issues but had been 
ineffective (note: principally because the Russians have 
refused to meet).  He suggested that an intergovernmental 
commission, at the level of prime ministers, should be 
established to supplant the Yushchenko-Putin commission. 
(Comment:  Kozhara might have been reflecting thinking within 
Party of Regions, but we find it difficult to believe that 
Yushchenko would allow Yanukovych to infringe on his foreign 
policy prerogatives in such a fashion, especially since 
establishment of a "Yanukovych-Fradkov" commission would 
implicitly suggest the Yushchenko-Putin commission had been a 
failure.) 

Transnistria and Belarus 
------------------------ 

12. (C) Kozhara suggested Yanukovych would not roll back 
elements of Ukraine's current approaches to Belarus and 
Transnistria and, in particular, would continue to observe 
the Ukraine-Moldova customs agreement.  In both cases, 
however, he argued that "isolation" was a poor approach that 
simply bolstered popular support for Igor Smirnov in 
Transnistria and Aleksandr Lukashenka in Belarus.  Yanukovych 
knew Lukashenka, Smirnov, and Moldovan President Voronin 
personally.  A key step toward settling the Transnistria 
issue would be to have both Voronin and Smirnov sit at the 
same table (which they have not done to date) to work on 
resolving the issue of Transnistrian separatism.  Just having 
the two sit at the same table would be a confidence booster 
and a breakthrough, Kozhara argued, and Yanukovych would 
provide his good offices toward achieving this outcome.  We 
reiterated EUR DAS Kramer's point, ref B, that the two 
figures were not equal. 

13. (C) We briefed Kozhara on MFA's plans to host a Belarus 
donors' conference in September.  When Kozhara opined the 
Belarusan government should welcome additional international 
assistance, we clarified that donor contributions were 
primarily directed at development of civil society.  We said 
we hoped MFA would press forward with preparations for the 
conference once the next Foreign Minister had been appointed 
and the new cabinet was in place. 

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

Wikileaks

From → CONFIDENTIAL

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