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07KYIV224, UKRAINE: REACTION TO MISSILE DEFENSE MEDIA REPORTS

January 31, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV224 2007-01-31 16:40 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO3917
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #0224/01 0311640
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311640Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1065
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 000224 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2017 
TAGS: MARR MCAP PREL PINR US UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: REACTION TO MISSILE DEFENSE MEDIA REPORTS 
 
REF: A. WARSAW 127 
 
     B. PRAGUE 52 
     C. STATE 7446 
     D. STATE 7445 
     E. 06 STATE 27075 
     F. 06 KIEV 1772 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
1. (U) This is an action request.  See para 9. 
 
2. (C) Summary:  Defense Minister Hrytsenko told Ambassador 
January 29 that the U.S. announcement about its preparedness 
to locate missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech 
Republic had the unintended consequence in Ukraine of 
reinforcing the positions of opponents of Ukraine's closer 
relations with NATO.  The media and Ukrainian politicians 
have had questions about the announcement and its 
implications for Russia.  The Foreign Ministry sought to 
reassure the public with its own statement.  End summary. 
 
Ukraine Reacts 
-------------- 
 
3. (U) News reports on January 22 that the U.S. government 
had offered to locate missile defense facilities in the Czech 
Republic and Poland (refs A and B) created ripples of 
concern, if not actual alarm, in the Ukrainian media and 
elicited a political reaction.  A journalist asked Ambassador 
January 23 about the news reports during a press conference 
for a visiting Millennium Challenge Corporation delegation 
and, on January 24, press accounts reported his assurances 
that the deployment would not threaten neighboring countries. 
 On January 30, however, Prime Minister Yanukovych was 
implicitly critical of the U.S. at a press conference in Lviv 
for not consulting beforehand with the two countries' 
neighbors and noted the move would alarm Russia.  During a 
January 30 television interview after tendering his 
resignation as Foreign Minister, Borys Tarasyuk said the U.S. 
had not offered to locate any missile defense facility in 
Ukraine and noted that Ukraine should proceed deliberately 
and consult with Poland and the Czech Republic before taking 
a position on the issue. 
 
4. (U) Responding to allegations carried in the Russian media 
regarding Hrytsenko's personal role, the Defense Ministry 
released a statement January 30 that "Defense Minister 
Anatoliy Hrytsenko has not articulated any initiatives (sic) 
regarding Ukrainian-U.S. cooperation in the missile 
technology or missile defense areas."  Also on January 30, 
MOD spokesman Andriy Lysenko told the media the Ministry of 
Defense would not comment on the possibility of Ukrainian 
missile defense cooperation with the U.S., since this was a 
policy decision for Ukraine's leadership, the National 
Security and Defense Council, and parliament to make. 
 
5. (U) MFA handled the issue smoothly with a January 23 
response to media inquiries that cited Ukraine's cooperation 
with Russia on radar early warning systems and noted the U.S. 
deployment of a missile defense system should "enhance the 
international community's potential in combating the 
proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction." 
Offering his personal opinion, Deputy Defense Minister 
Volodymyr Tereshchenko also told the press January 29 that 
the U.S. missile defense facilities should not concern 
Ukraine. 
 
Losing the Information Campaign 
------------------------------- 
 
6. (C) Defense Minister Hrytsenko was blunt, however, during 
his January 29 meeting with Ambassador.  He had concluded 
Ukraine and the U.S. lost the information campaign when they 
failed to properly lay the groundwork for the announcement 
that missile defense systems would be installed in countries 
neighboring Ukraine.  The Ministry of Defense had worked to 
dispel incorrect stereotypes and misinformation causing 
Ukrainians to oppose NATO membership, such as that NATO would 
base nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil or force Ukraine to 
accept foreign bases.  The sudden announcement was a set-back 
that had reinforced the positions of NATO opponents such as 
the Communist Party of Ukraine or (far-right agitator) 
Nataliya Vitrenko of the Progressive Socialist Party. 
 
7. (C) Hrytsenko continued that Ukraine and the U.S. needed 
to play catch-up by thoroughly explaining that the missile 
defense systems were not directed toward Russia and Ukraine 
but at threats originating from the Middle East.  Ukrainian 
officials could use a globe to demonstrate that, despite the 
 
KYIV 00000224  002 OF 002 
 
 
contrary impression created by viewing a flat map, Poland and 
the Czech Republic lay on a direct route between the Middle 
East and the U.S.  Hrytsenko then inquired whether the 
missile defense installation's capabilities were 360 degrees. 
 If the technical capabilities of either the missiles or 
radars were limited to a particular direction, this 
information could be used to buttress the argument that they &#x
000A;were solely a defense against a Middle Eastern threat. 
 
8. (U) Request any information that we could share and would 
be responsive to Hrytsenko's question in para 7. 
 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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