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06KIEV3569, UKRAINE: PM YANUKOVYCH ADVANCES RELATIONS WITH EU

September 18, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV3569 2006-09-18 14:58 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO6287
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #3569/01 2611458
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181458Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1486
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 003569 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE PLS PASS USTR FOR CKLEIN/LMOLNAR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2016 
TAGS: PREL ECIN ETRD EPET EUN UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: PM YANUKOVYCH ADVANCES RELATIONS WITH EU 
 
REF: USNATO 538 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(b,d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: While media attention had focused on PM 
Yanukovych's comments regarding a NATO Membership Action Plan 
during his September 14 visit to Brussels, MFA European Union 
Department acting director Dir argued that Yanukovych had 
made significant statements and substantial progress on EU 
relations.  Yanukovych had affirmed that European integration 
remained a priority goal of Ukrainian foreign policy and that 
he was still working toward WTO membership.  Dir noted 
Ukraine and the EU were progressing toward negotiations on a 
successor basic agreement to the Ukraine-EU Partnership and 
Cooperation Agreement, due to expire in March 2008.  Ukraine 
hoped to include a reference to "association" in both the 
title and text of the new basic agreement; the European 
Commission had prepared a draft text with the likelihood that 
it would receive negotiating authority by year's end. 
Ukraine also hoped to initial or formalize in some other way 
an understanding regarding a visa facilitation agreement 
during the October 27 summit in Helsinki.  The pace of 
preparations was picking up, with five more bilateral 
meetings scheduled before the summit.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) During a September 15 meeting, Acting Director of 
MFA's European Union Department Ihor Dir bemoaned the fact 
that media reporting had focused almost exclusively on PM 
Yanukovych's comments regarding NATO during his September 14 
visit to Brussels.  In fact, Dir asserted, Yanukovych had 
made significant statements and substantial progress in 
Ukraine's relations with the EU in several areas.  Dir 
himself had traveled with Yanukovych's party, which arrived 
late on September 14 then started the next day's program at 
7:00 a.m., and participated in the Ukraine-EU Cooperation 
Council session.  He had not accompanied Yanukovych to his 
NATO meetings or participated in Yanukovych's lunch, with its 
more restricted guest list, when regional foreign policy 
issues such as Transnistria had been discussed. 
 
Affirming Ukraine's Existing Goals 
---------------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Media reports of Yanukovych's press conference in 
Brussels track Dir's account, but Dir also highlighted the 
fact that Yanukovych had clearly stated that European 
integration was a priority task of Ukrainian foreign policy. 
During the Cooperation Council meeting, both sides reviewed 
progress under the Ukraine-EU Action Plan, with generally 
laudatory EU comments regarding progress in many areas, but, 
as Yanukovych himself told the media, the EU side noted 
further progress that Ukraine needed to make regarding 
efforts to combat corruption and improvements in the 
investment climate, especially for small and medium 
enterprises.  The EU, however, cited the March parliamentary 
elections as good evidence of Ukrainian progress toward more 
democratic structures and practices. 
 
4. (C) During a fairly extended discussion on the topic, 
Yanukovych had also said his cabinet would put a priority on 
WTO accession and assured his EU counterparts that he would 
work to achieve WTO membership as quickly as possible. 
Regarding a possible free trade agreement, Dir said Ukraine 
and the EU had held three to four rounds of unofficial 
consultations since May.  Such consultations should continue 
as long as they made progress, even if the EU side had not 
received official authorization to negotiate. 
 
The Next Basic Agreement 
------------------------ 
 
5. (C) Noting the current Ukraine-EU Partnership and 
Cooperation Agreement was due to expire in March 2008, Dir 
said Yanukovych has also discussed a new "basic treaty" 
defining Ukraine-EU relations.  Negotiations needed to start 
soon, Dir observed, in order to allow time for negotiations 
plus the ratification process by 25, soon to be 27, 
parliaments on the EU side.  EU representatives had informed 
the Ukrainian delegation that the European Commission had 
finished a draft text and was circulating it among EU member 
states in order to receive authority to initiate 
negotiations, which should start in early 2007. 
 
6. (C) Dir also discussed the importance of the new basic 
agreement's name, arguing that the word "association" needed 
to be incorporated into both the title and text.  The 
successor to the current agreement needed to be an 
enhancement of the current agreement.  This enhancement 
needed to be reflected not just in its specific terms but 
also by referring to the new agreement as one of 
 
KIEV 00003569  002 OF 002 
 
 
"association" so that the general public would immediately 
understand its importance.  "Everyone understands that 
'association' is a closer and deeper relationship than either 
'cooperation' or 'partnership,'" Dir observed.  Ukraine would 
not insist that association meant an automatic right to EU 
accession, but wanted an a
cknowledgement that, by virtue of 
its geographic location, Ukraine was eligible for membership. 
 Ukraine was hoping for a political signal at the Helsinki 
Ukraine-EU summit that the new basic agreement would be a 
type of agreement on association. 
 
Visa "Facilitation" versus "Visa-free" 
-------------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) Dir said Ukraine expected some result at Helsinki 
after two years of negotiations over a visa facilitation 
agreement.  Both sides were continuing to make progress over 
the remaining technical issues, but the approval process on 
the EU side would not allow a visa-facilitation agreement to 
be signed by the Helsinki summit.  Dir hoped for some kind of 
"formalizing" of the draft text during the summit.  He also 
noted Ukraine would view the visa facilitation agreement as 
the first step to free movement in both directions across the 
Ukraine-EU border. 
 
8. (U) Third Secretary Serhii Leshchenko from Dir's office, 
and Dir's notetaker at our meeting, had earlier explained to 
us what a visa facilitation agreement provides for Ukrainian 
travelers.  Although EU citizens can travel visa-free for up 
to 90 days to Ukraine, EU member states currently apply very 
strict requirements on Ukrainian citizens.  Typically, a 
Ukrainian will receive a visa for a few days duration that 
covers the dates of his/her travel.  The visa facilitation 
agreement would relax these requirements so that a qualified 
Ukrainian would receive a one-, two-, or five-year, multiple 
entry visa as a matter of course.  The agreement would also 
standardize the documents and fees required. 
 
9. (C) While the visa facilitation agreement was at the point 
of being initialed, the sticking point was the EU insistence 
that Ukraine accept a "readmission agreement."  Leshchenko 
confirmed that the agreement required Ukraine to accept 
illegal immigrants deported from the EU if the illegal 
immigrants had entered the EU from Ukraine.  Ukraine was 
objecting on the grounds that the agreement would impose 
costs on Ukraine in terms of expanded detention facilities 
and deportation in turn of the illegal immigrants to their 
country of origin.  The Ukrainians were arguing for a 
three-year suspension of the terms of the agreement, which 
was what Russia and the EU agreed regarding the EU-Russian 
readmission agreement. 
 
Technical Discussions 
--------------------- 
 
10. (C) Dir said Yanukovych's visit to Brussels had yielded 
beneficial progress in other areas when members of his 
delegation held separate meetings.  (Note:  Interfax reported 
Justice Minister Roman Zvarych, DFM Volodymyr Khandohy, 
Deputy DefMin Leonid Polyakov, and Deputy Energy Minister 
Serhiy Titenko accompanied Yanukovych.)  Participants had not 
only reviewed current programs but also resolved to intensify 
future cooperation.  Deputy Energy Minister Titenko had 
signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that resulted from a 
broader agreement on energy cooperation signed at the last 
Ukraine-EU summit.  Members of the visiting party had also 
met with representatives of the European Bank for 
Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment 
Bank to discuss a concrete project that could result in an 
investment of 200,000-400,000 euros to develop a metering 
system, currently lacking, for natural gas deliveries 
throughout Ukraine.  Other Ukrainian officials had also had 
good discussions with their EU counterparts for Justice and 
Home Affairs. 
 
11. (U) While Dir had alluded to progress in preparations for 
the Ukraine-EU summit, he said the pace was picking up with 
five different meetings before the October 27 summit.  He was 
leaving for New York to participate in a September 19 EU 
Troika Foreign Ministers' meeting.  Ukrainian participants 
would be involved in a COEST meeting in Brussels at the level 
of political directors.  In October, there would be two other 
meetings, including a Political and Security Committee 
meeting on October 12. 
 
12. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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