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07KYIV214, UKRAINE: UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR COMMUNITY OF

January 30, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV214 2007-01-30 14:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO2548
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #0214/01 0301410
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301410Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1049
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 000214 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL KDEM GG UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR COMMUNITY OF 
DEMOCRATIC CHOICE 
 
REF: A. 06 VILNIUS 442 
     B. 06 TBLISI 642 
     C. 05 KIEV 5100 
     D. 05 KIEV 4029 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(b,d) 
 
1. (C) Summary.  The Community of Democratic Choice (CDC), as 
described in an August 2005 joint statement by Ukrainian 
President Yushchenko and Georgian President Saakashvili, was 
to be a continuing dialogue and series of meetings to promote 
democracy, human rights, and civil society in former Soviet 
republics and Warsaw Pact countries (refs C and D). However, 
for the past six-eight months, there has been little action. 
FM Tarasyuk is committed to keeping the Community of 
Democratic Choice from fading into oblivion and hopes to hold 
a forum in 2008 focusing on energy related political issues. 
However, his colleagues in the MFA say that meaningful 
planning for a CDC forum is not possible until the struggle 
between Yushchenko and Yanukovych over the MFA's leadership, 
in particular Tarasyuk's own future, is resolved.  Some NGO 
analysts are very negative about CDC's future, arguing that 
the Yanukovych Government has little interest in promoting it. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  The CDC was hailed as a powerful impetus for 
democratic change in the region after its inaugural December 
2, 2005 forum that was attended by U/S Dobriansky, presidents 
of nine countries in the area, several other government 
delegations, and observers from the EU and the OSCE.  After 
the inaugural meeting, several conferences were held under 
CDC auspices in 2006 (refs A and B), including a May 4 
conference in Vilnius which attracted worldwide attention for 
Vice President Cheney's keynote address critical of Russian 
interference in new democracies.  Since the future of the CDC 
depends upon the struggle over who controls the Foreign 
Ministry and the attitude of the Yanukovych government, which 
may be reluctant to fully embrace what is widely seen as a 
Yushchenko and Tarasyuk initiative, the prospects for CDC are 
uncertain.  End Summary and comment. 
 
 
Ukrainian MFA is Still Pushing the CDC 
-------------------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) Although there has been little to report on the CDC 
since the May 2006 Vilnius Summit, FM Tarasyuk raised this 
issue in a January 12 meeting with the Ambassador arguing 
that Ukraine remains strongly committed to the organization. 
He noted that CDC completed all the meetings agreed to in New 
York in September 2005 and asked that the U.S. pay more 
attention to the CDC and not let the process wither away. 
Tarasyuk would like to set up a schedule of meetings for the 
next few years and said that he had already talked to the 
Poles about hosting the next one.  When we checked with out 
Polish Embassy colleagues here, they knew nothing about the 
proposal. 
 
4. (C) On January 23, MFA Political Department First 
Secretary Ihor Kulish, responsible at the working level for 
 
SIPDIS 
CDC, said he recently spoke with First Deputy Head of the 
Presidential Secretariat Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who said Ukraine 
should take the initiative in organizing another CDC forum. 
Kulish felt that the CDC meetings should be annual and the 
topic, "practical."  MFA favored an energy related topic for 
the next CDC meeting and envisioned convening an "Energy 
Dialogue of Three Seas."  The forum would address political 
questions of "predictability and stability" and not just be a 
meeting of energy ministers.  The MFA had sounded out 
participants at the May 3-5 CDC meeting in Vilnius regarding 
possible hosts for the next CDC meeting.  Macedonia, Estonia 
and Poland had been approached, but none had replied.  More 
recently, the MFA had approached the Czech Republic about 
hosting the forum in Prague.  Although Kulish was not 
optimistic about the prospects of a meeting in 2007, he said 
there were very good signs that the Czechs would be willing 
to host such a gathering in 2008. 
 
5. (C) Kulish explained that the current discord between 
President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovych precluded 
detailed preparations for a CDC meeting.  He noted that an 
organizing committee for such an event would be headed by a 
Deputy Prime Minister -- an unimaginable prospect under 
current circumstances in which FM Tarasyuk was barred from 
weekly cabinet meetings.  He also remarked that there are 
budget constraints both in Kyiv and Prague to consider before 
organizing a CDC event. 
 
Growing Doubts Elsewhere 
------------------------ 
 
6. (U) Oleksandr Sushko of the Institute of Euro-Atlantic 
 
KYIV 00000214  002 OF 002 
 
 
Cooperation sounded a pessimistic note.  He opined that the 
CDC was overly dependent on the political situation in 
Ukraine immediately after the Orange Revolution and that the 
current Ukrainian government did not share the same ideals or 
priorities.  Sushko claimed that those who founded the CDC 
had not filled it with specific substance and that its goals 
remained amorphous.  He said that
 the forum held in Vilnius 
did not have the word "community" in its official documents 
and cited this as evidence that countries in the region were 
no longer taking the organization seriously. 
 
7. (SBU) Comment.  Although the CDC is mentioned in passing 
in the fourth paragraph of the Joint Communique found on the 
Vilnius conference website (www.vilniusconference 2006.lt) 
the lack of emphasis on the CDC antecedents to the conference 
does call into question the commitment of participants to a 
future for CDC.  Since CDC is viewed as the brainchild of 
Yushchenko and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, as 
implemented by FM Tarasyuk, it reflects their vision for the 
region.  Although Yushchenko will retain influence at MFA, a 
further Ukrainian commitment to CDC's future will depend in 
large part upon the attitude of the Yanukovych government. 
With Yushchenko's authority under fire, the future of CDC 
seems uncertain at best as Yushchenko will be distracted and 
unlikely to be able to expend much political capital to 
ensure CDC's viability in the near term. 
 
8. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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