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06KIEV3185, UKRAINE: POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNIFIL FACE

August 16, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV3185 2006-08-16 14:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO2037
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #3185/01 2281423
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161423Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1010
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0138
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 003185 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

DEPT FOR PM, IO, EUR/UMB 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/16/2016 
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL LE UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNIFIL FACE 
TIMELINE AND AUTHORIZATION OBSTACLES 

REF: STATE 134133 

Classified By: Charge a.i., reason 1.4 (b,d) 

1.  (C) Summary.  The Government of Ukraine (GOU) is actively 
considering what contribution Ukraine might offer to the 
expanded UNIFIL mission and has conducted consultations in 
New York with UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping 
Operations Annabi but faces an August 17 deadline from UN PKO 
to provide an answer, deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Kostenko 
told Charge August 16.  GOU initial thinking has focused on 
transport and logistical components.  However, because of the 
current August vacation break and a multi-step process for 
authorizing and initiating any military unit deployment 
overseas, including Presidential and parliamentary approval 
and the need for unit preparation and training, it is 
unlikely such an immediate decision will be forthcoming in 
the next 24 hours to meet UN PKO's timeline. 

2. (C) Comment: The Ukrainian MFA is more forward leaning in 
attempting to make a serious offer to the UN solicitation 
than several other key GOU components.  The legacy of the UN 
having curtailed Ukraine's UNIFIL contingent in 2005 and 
canceled a planned Ukrainian deployment to the Golan Heights 
mission after an audit found evidence of corruption by 
several Ukrainian contingent commanders sent to UNIFIL in 
2004, combined with what some in the GOU feel was UN SYG Kofi 
Annan's rude treatment of President Yushchenko when 
Yushchenko raised the issue in late 2005, may color Ukrainian 
consideration of the force request; we do not know whether it 
might affect UN PKO consideration of any Ukrainian offer to 
return to UNIFIL.  We have urged the GOU to consider taking 
advantage of this opportunity to rejoin UNIFIL, put the 
bitterness of the 2005 experience behind them, and move 
forward.  End Summary and Comment. 

A Ukrainian contribution to UNIFIL? 
----------------------------------- 

3. (SBU) Charge delivered ref A's request for contributions 
to the enhanced UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to 
deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Kostenko and Ambassador-at-large 
for the Middle East Oleksiy Rybak August 16, following a 
series of previous discussions starting July 28 by EUR DAS 
Kramer, Ambassador, and Charge with Foreign Minister 
Tarasyuk, Acting Foreign Minister Maysmekul, Deputy FM 
Veselovsky, Defense Minister Hrytsenko, and Acting Defense 
Minister Polyakov. 

4. (SBU) DFM Kostenko said that the GOU felt that it was very 
important for Ukraine to be involved in the international 
effort to stabilize the situation in Lebanon; the MFA had 
issued a statement immediately after UN Security Council 
Resolution 1701 passed supporting the resolution and the 
expanded UNIFIL mission.  The Ukrainian DCM at their UN 
mission in New York had discussed force needs with UN ASG 
Hedi Annabi August 15; the real challenge was that UN PKO 
demanded a firm answer from Ukraine by August 17 at the 
latest, combined with a readiness to commit to a field 
deployment in the next 10-15 days. 

5. (SBU) Acting FM Khandohiy and acting Defense Minister 
Polyakov had discussed theoretical Ukrainian contributions 
early August 16, said Kostenko.  These included: an airmobile 
battalion with rotary wing (helicopter) capability; 
engineers; military police; and logistical support.  There 
were two significant problems, however: deployment 
preparation time--the MoD said that the General Staff would 
need two-three months to prepare units for deployment; and 
the authorization process for deployments. 

Authorizing deployments not simple, especially in August 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 

6. (C) DFM Kostenko expressed some frustration that some GOU 
colleagues in the MOD and Presidential Secretariat had been 
slow to react to the MFA's active press on the issue of a 
potential UNIFIL contribution, which FM Tarasyuk initiated 
the week of July 31 in the wake of EUR DAS Kramer's July 28 
visit to Kyiv.  On the one hand, the GOU would like to 
participate and resume operations in Lebanon.  On the other, 
Ukrainian bureaucratic realities work against a quick 
response in August: the Rada is out of session until 
September 5; President Yushchenko is in Crimea on his annual 
vacation; and the military has its prep time cycle built 
around solicitation for volunteers to deploy. 

7. (SBU) Ukraine's constitutionally-mandated decision and 

KIEV 00003185  002 OF 002 

authorization processes for an overseas military deployment 
has four stages, most recently described by Defense Minister 
Hrytsenko on an August 15 TV program about NATO aired by 
Channel 5.  The General Staff, MOD, and MFA first coordinate 
details of a possible deployment; the National Security and 
Defense Council in executive session (chaired by the 
President) then would meet to discuss and approve the plan; 
the President then must sign an
 authorizing decree (ukaz); 
and finally the Rada (parliament) must pass an authorizing 
resolution. 

8. (C) The MFA has brainstormed on possible workarounds.  DFM 
Veselovsky told DAS Kramer July 28 that personnel 
deployments, as opposed to full unit deployments, did not 
need a Rada authorizing resolution, only a Presidential 
decree (note: this is the mechanism under which up to 50 
Ukrainian staff officers currently work in Iraq), and a 
personnel deployment should be possible within a month. 
Kostenko asked whether the UNIFIL mandate under UNSCR 1701 
had changed from UNIFIL's previous mandate; if the mandates 
were close enough, unit deployments might be possible under 
the previous Rada resolution.  Kostenko noted to Charge that 
the UN PKO tight deadline and the Ukrainian military 
pre-deployment prep time appeared ultimately incompatible. 

Bitter taste from UN action in 2005 lingers 
------------------------------------------- 

9. (C) Several conversations with Acting Defense Minister 
Leonid Polyakov between August 10 and 15 revealed lingering 
resentment of the way the UN curtailed the Ukrainian UNIFIL 
deployment in 2005 and canceled the expected Ukrainian 
deployment to the mission on the Golan Heights after a 
mid-2005 audit uncovered evidence of corruption 
(skimming/reselling fuel allotments) on the part of three 
Ukrainian force commanders deployed to UNIFIL in 2004, prior 
to the Orange Revolution.  From the Ukrainian perspective, 
the audit--which they feel was triggered by a tip-off by 
someone working for the Russians intending to cause 
embarrassment to President Yushchenko and Ukraine in the 
aftermath of the Orange Revolution--uncovered roughly $10,000 
in inappropriate actions over three months, but not enough 
evidence for Ukrainian authorities to pursue prosecution. 

10. (C) Notwithstanding Yushchenko and Defense Minister 
Hrytsenko's pledges to attack corruption--Hrytsenko was the 
most active minister in the new "orange" government which 
came into office in 2005, sacking several dozen generals and 
civilian ministry officials involved in corruption--Polyakov 
claimed that UN SYG Annan had rudely dismissed Yushchenko's 
personal plea in late 2005 to allow at least the Golan 
Heights mission to go forward, suggesting Yushchenko fight 
corruption in Ukraine rather than worrying about deployments. 
 Polyakov suggested that this negative experience continued 
to color the General Staff's attitude to rejoining UNIFIL and 
might affect the attitude of Yushchenko and the Presidential 
Secretariat.  He personally favored an increased Ukrainian 

SIPDIS 
deployment to Kosovo which could allow a country with troops 
deployed there to reallocate to UNIFIL, but he said he would 
work with the MFA to explore possibilities vis-a-vis UNIFIL. 

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

 

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