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September 8, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV3464 2006-09-08 15:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #3464/01 2511557
P 081557Z SEP 06


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KIEV 003464 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2016 

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

1. (C)  Summary:  While acknowledging PM Yanukovych's 
inevitable influence in shaping Ukrainian foreign policy, FM 
Tarasyuk asserted to EUR A/S Fried during their September 6 
dinner that President Yushchenko could still maintain his 
primacy on foreign policy, as established in the 
Constitution, by actively issuing policy instructions. 
Tarasyuk expressed confidence that Yushchenko would engage. 
Defense Minister Hrytsenko and his wife, journalist Yuliya 
Mostova, separately said one idea being mooted to preserve 
presidential authority was to combine the Presidential 
Secretariat and the National Security and Defense Council 

(NSDC) into one institution and appoint a powerful head, 
since Yushchenko alone could not act as an effective 
counterbalance.  Tarasyuk aired his concerns regarding 
declining Polish influence in Europe under the Kaczynski 
brothers due in significant part to Polish quarrels with 
Germany, which in turn diminished Warsaw's ability to act as 
a Ukrainian advocate in European and Euro-Atlantic 
institutions.  Georgia's difficulties and vulnerability to 
Russian pressure were also a mutual concern for Ukraine and 
the U.S.  In a September 7 meeting (reported separately), PM 
Yanukovych said his visit to Poland had been a great success. 
 Tarasyuk said Ukraine would continue with its implementation 
of the Ukraine-Moldova customs agreement, a decision which 
had disappointed Tiraspol and Moscow.  End Summary. 

A Condominium Foreign Policy 

2. (C) Tarasyuk frankly acknowledged the different views on 
foreign policy between President Yushchenko and PM Yanukovych 
and the real role Yanukovych would play, accepting A/S 
Fried's point that a truly independent Ukraine and its 
foreign policy depended in great part on its energy policies. 
 Both agreed that there was no such thing as a completely 
energy independent country.  There was also no 100 percent 
guarantee that Yanukovych and the Cabinet would accept 
Yushchenko's lead.  Tarasyuk nevertheless contended that the 
ultimate direction depended on Yushchenko asserting himself, 
given his constitutional role for determining foreign policy; 
the President needed to use his rights and more actively 
issue policy instructions. 

3. (C) Tarasyuk said that he had engaged Yushchenko earlier 
September 6 on the need to push back on recent statements by 
Yanukovych, his advisers, and others which contradicted 
Yushchenko's foreign policy objectives on issues like NATO, 
the EU and the WTO; such comments could not be left 
unanswered.  In the roundtable discussions leading up to the 
Universal and the appointment of Yanukovych as PM, all 
parties had agreed that EU membership was a strategic 
priority and that WTO requirements should be finished by the 
end of 2006.  The central issue of discussion had been NATO, 
but Yushchenko had convinced Yanukovych that Ukraine had no 
strategic alternative but to join NATO. 

4. (C) Tarasyuk stressed that the Presidential decree on the 
conduct of foreign policy made clear that only the President, 
PM and FM had the right to pronounce on foreign policy on 
behalf of Ukraine;  Yushchenko could not let other political 
players infringe on his area of responsibility.  Tarasyuk 
expressed confidence that Yushchenko would engage.  First 
Deputy Defense Minister Polyakov suggested that the issue of 
how best to manage and exercise Presidential powers remained 
an open question.  Under Kuchma, the Presidency was so strong 
that the issue was moot; Yushchenko had not yet ensured 
stronger Presidential coordination. 

5. (C) Over lunch September 7, Defense Minister Hrytsenko and 
his wife Yuliya Mostova, Ukraine's leading political 
journalist, told Fried that Yushchenko alone was not a strong 
enough actor; he needed a strong implementer either at the 
National Security and Defense Council or in the Presidential 
Secretariat.  Current Acting NSDC Secretary Horbulin was 

literally too old; pushing 70, he exceeded the mandatory 65 
year civil servant limit, but he also was "too professional." 
 One idea being considered was combining the Secretariat and 
NSDC as a single institution of presidential authority and 
place it under the command of someone like former PM 
Yekhanurov to foster a real institutional counterweight to 
the Donetsk clan.  Hrytsenko, who served at the NSDC under 
Horbulin from 1996-98, stressed that the NSDC did serve as 
just such an effective powerbase at that time. 

Poland - shared concern 

6. (C) FM Tarasyuk, aware that A/S Fried would travel to 
Warsaw after Kyiv, raised Ukraine's concern about Poland's 

KIEV 00003464  002 OF 003 

eroding standing in Europe since the end of the Kwasniewski 
Presidency, particularly in Polish-Germa
ny relations; the 
Poles were making emotional mistakes which helped no one. 
While he liked new Polish FM Anna Fotyga, she was 
inexperienced and faced a steep learning curve.  Tarasyuk 
frankly acknowledged that Ukraine was affected by Poland's 
declining influence, since Poland served as Ukraine's chief 
advocate in European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. 

7. (C) Fried shared Tarasyuk's concerns about Poland's 
approach to Germany, adding that his German interlocutors in 
Berlin had raised the issue as well.  Kwasniewski had played 
a key role in mediating Ukrainian roundtable discussions 
during the Orange Revolution in November-December 2004.  The 
Kaczynski brothers were not as comfortable with Poland's 
place in Europe and seemed driven by a 19th-century style of 

8. (C) Tarasyuk revealed that President Yushchenko had hoped 
to broker better German-Polish communications and relations 
on the margins of the upcoming Babyn Yar commemorations, but 
that neither side would send their President or a 
particularly high government official; the Bundestag head 
would represent Germany, and Poland remained undecided.  He 
also noted that President Putin would represent Russia. 

9. (C) In a meeting September 7 with A/S Fried (reported 
separately), Yanukovych was upbeat about the results of his 
September 6 talks in Poland, which he described as useful and 
necessary.  PM Jaroslav Kaczynski had agreed to an official 
visit in November, during which he may visit Crimea to see 
the AN-70 transport aircraft project, in which Yanukovych 
hoped the Poles might replace the Russians as partners. 

Georgia - shared concern 

10. (C) A/S Fried said that Tbilisi needed friendly advice 
from natural supporters like Ukraine in order to learn to 
be patient and to understand what not to do, in particular he 
mentioned overreacting to provocations.  Sakaashvili 
needed to understand that Tbilisi's horizons needed to be 
broader than merely Georgia, South Ossetia, Abhazia, and 
Russia.  Tarasyuk said that Georgia was Ukraine's closest 
regional partner and faced much greater challenges than 
Ukraine did.  Both agreed GUAM had a real purpose, despite 
the irritation it clearly caused to Moscow.   Fried described 
Europe's reluctance to advance Georgia's integration with 
Euro-Atlantic structures, but if Georgia successfully stuck 
to a moderate approach vis-a-vis Russia and pushed 
democratization, it deserved to be taken seriously. 

Moldova and Transnistria 

11. (C) A/S Fried praised Ukrainian cooperation on addressing 
the Transnistrian problem since Yushchenko became President 
and urged the GOU to continue constructive policies, 
particularly on implementing the customs regime with Moldova 
which protected Moldovan sovereignty and allowed Ukraine, the 
EU, and U.S. to work together.  Tarasyuk stressed that Moscow 
and Tiraspol had been disappointed that the GOU had not 
changed its stance on the customs agreement after 
Yanukovych became PM.  Ukrainian interests remained 
unchanged: resolve the only immediate factor of instability 
and potential threat to national sovereignty on its borders 
that Transnistria represented. 

12. (C) Tarasyuk acknowledged that the new government had 
taken action to close a railroad connection between Moldova 
and Ukraine without coordinating with the MFA; the MFA had 
scrambled to broker the solution which had allowed passenger 
traffic to resume earlier September 6, warning others in the 
government of the damage the closure action could do to 
Ukraine's image and interests.  However, Tarasyuk stressed 
that the Moldovans were not easy partners.  They had taken 
advantage of Ukraine after the March self-blockade by the 
Transnistrians to jack up the freight rates charged to 
Ukrainian business by USD 3.50 per ton, profiting from the 
situation at Ukraine's expense.  Yushchenko, former PM 
Yekhanurov, and Tarasyuk had made no headway on resolving the 
problem since March; new DPM/Finance Minister Azarov and 
Transport Minister Rudkovsky had used "their own instruments" 
in taking a different tact in defending Ukrainian interests, 
resulting in a resumption of freight rail along the much 
shorter rail line through Transnistria used before March. 

13. (U) A/S Fried has cleared this cable. 

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

KIEV 00003464  003 OF 003 






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