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November 15, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KYIV4285 2006-11-15 16:04 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #4285/01 3191604
P 151604Z NOV 06

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 004285 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2016 
REF: KYIV 4251 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
1. (C) Summary.  The Rada's November 15 decision not to vote 
for now on dismissing Foreign Affairs Minister Tarasyuk and 
Defense Minister Hrytsenko following an 8-hour marathon 
meeting between President Yushchenko and Prime Minister 
Yanukovych November 13 suggests the two sides are still 
making a last-ditch effort to cooperate.  However, the 
decision by the People's Union Our Ukraine party on November 
11 to move into opposition to the government and continued 
comments by coalition members about the removal of the last 
two remaining Ministers on the Our Ukraine quota from the 
Cabinet, underscore the deteriorating relationship between 
the two leaders.  Remaining "orange" minister Lutsenko is 
also under fire.  Although Our Ukraine underscored that they 
still supported the President and Yushchenko said that he 
stills wants cooperation with Yanukovych, the lack of 
prospects for a broad coalition make cooperation difficult. 
End summary and comment. 
The Key Test: Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko 
2. (SBU) The most important test of where the relationship 
between Yushchenko and Yanukovych stands is the status of the 
two presidentially-nominated ministers, FM Tarasyuk and 
DefMin Hrytsenko.  Over the November 10-12 weekend, 
Yanukovych had publicly called for Tarasyuk's removal and 
questioned Hrytsenko's integrity, claiming publicly and 
privately that there was evidence of significant corruption 
in the MOD during Hrytsenko's tenure (reftel).  In response, 
Yushchenko said that attempts to remove Tarasyuk would "deal 
a significant blow" to cooperation between the Presidential 
Secretariat, Cabinet, and Rada.  On November 15, the Rada was 
scheduled to hear mandated performance accounts by the two 
ministers, with many predicting a follow-on vote on their 
removal.  Instead, the Rada deputies listened to both 
ministers give twenty-minute performance reviews, engaged in 
more than two hours of debate, and then voted to have the 
Committees on Foreign Affairs and National Security and 
Defense draft a resolution on what to do with the ministers. 
The resolution will be tabled in the next plenary week, 
November 28-December 1. 
3. (C) The postponement could be the result of a marathon 
meeting between Yushchenko and Yanukovych on November 13. 
Sources close to Yanukovych told us November 15 that the two 
had met for eight hours to try to work through some of their 
differences.  Reportedly at least half of that meeting was 
focused on whether they could save the five remaining 
"orange" ministers (including Lutsenko).  Yanukovych said 
that he was happy to have them remain in the Cabinet, but 
they needed to officially withdraw their resignation requests 
from the Rada.  Yushchenko was not sure of the political 
viability of this.  In the Rada debate, Regions MPs and their 
coalition partners the Communists attacked Tarasyuk for 
neglecting Russia in favor of the West and railed against 
Hrystenko's alleged destruction of the military, but the 
delay in the vote suggests that Yanukovych might still order 
his faction not to vote against the Ministers if he finds 
accommodation with Yushchenko. 
Party Congress 
4. (C) If Yushchenko is still seeking compromise, a number of 
decisions made at People's Union Our Ukraine (PUOU)'s party 
congress on November 11 put the presidential party at odds 
with the government.  They voted to go into opposition to the 
Anti-Crisis Coalition and the Yanukovych Cabinet; to 
authorize the Our Ukraine Rada faction to initiate a call of 
no-confidence in the Yanukovych government and to form a 
shadow cabinet; to amend constitutional reforms; and to start 
negotiations with Tymoshenko's bloc on a unified opposition. 
All of these actions tie Yushchenko's hands to some degree, 
if he wants to remain head of the party and pursue 
cooperation with Yanukovych. 
"Orange Ministers" Still Could be Removed 
5. (C) Questions about the level of cooperation remain.  Many 
Rada observers still believe that the last two ministers 
officially appointed on the Our Ukraine quota--Health Minster 
Polyachenko and Youth, Family, and Sports Minister 
Pavlenko--will still be removed in the near future.  In 
addition, OU deputies are arguing that the Cabinet cannot 
initiate the removal of the two presidential ministers 
(Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko), which could turn this into a 
KYIV 00004285  002 OF 002 
constitutional court issue that could drag on for months. 
(Note: In fact, Regions Faction Leader Bohatyreva told the 
media in the Rada lobby November 15 after the 
Tarasyuk/Hrytsenko session that one reason Regions is looking 
for compromise is to avoid having the issue tied up in the 
court for months.)  And the press reported November 15 that 
Deputy Prosecutor General Kuzmin has announced that 
prosecutors have uncovered evidence of corruption against 
Internal Affairs Minister Lutsenko. 
Our Ukraine Losing Ke
y Players 
6. (C) On a side note to the broader political games, the 
firm control of the "dear friends" and Bezsmertniy over PUOU 
has caused at least one potential leader of the future, 
Mykola Katerynchuk, to resign in frustration.  While he has 
left only the party, not the OU Rada faction, his resignation 
could portend a growing rift in the party.  Katerynchuk had 
called for reform within the party and a more clearly-defined 
opposition stance, but he was not even allowed to speak at 
the November 11 Congress.  Katerynchuk said November 13 that 
the time was near for a new political force and named other 
up-and-comers Yatsenyuk, Stetskiv, and Lutsenko as possible 
collaborators.  Lutsenko, the only other to publicly comment, 
acknowledged that this was a possibility for the future. 
7. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 




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