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March 20, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV643 2007-03-20 17:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #0643/01 0791749
P 201749Z MAR 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 000643 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2017 
Classified By: Ambassador, reason 1.4 (b,d) 
1. (C) Summary: Internal friction inside both the opposition 
and the majority coalition came to a head March 20 with the 
latest failed vote to approve a foreign minister seeming to 
spark a realignment of political forces in Ukrainian 
politics.  The morning began with parts of the coalition 
seemingly poised to back President Yushchenko's choice for 
FM, Volodymyr Ohryzko, but after the communists threatened to 
pull out of the coalition if Ohryzko were approved, the vote 
failed.  PM Yanukovych subsequently announced that Our 
Ukraine (OU) MP Anatoliy Kinakh, leader of one of OU's six 
constituent parties, would join the Cabinet March 21 as a 
First Deputy PM in charge of reform.  Concurrent with this 
appointment, according to several contacts, will be the 
defection of Kinakh's ten-odd MPs, either into an independent 
faction or into coalition with Regions.  Many expect that 
former PM Yekhanurov's group within OU may also leave in the 
near future over dissatisfaction with confrontational tactics 
led by BYuT leader Tymoshenko. 
2. (C) Comment: This emerging new alliance is motivated on 
one side by long-standing distrust and dislike by many OU MPs 
for Tymoshenko and her tactics, and on the other by Regions' 
frustration with having to cater to Communist and Socialist 
demands in order to keep the coalition intact.  If Kinakh's 
group joined the coalition formally, Regions could remove the 
Communists, who were never comfortable in the coalition and 
have seen firebrand Progressive Socialist Natalya Vitrenko 
eat into their base.  If Kinakh's faction stayed outside, it 
could still give Regions votes on key measures on which the 
Communists balk, such as the vote for Ohryzko.  How the 
shifting alliances affect the unresolved dynamic between 
Yushchenko and Yanukovych remain to be seen.  End Summary and 
Ohryzko fails again, but triggers change? 
3.  (SBU) Before the vote on Ohryzko's candidacy, an academic 
contact in the Rada told us that the Socialists would vote 
for Ohryzko, and that Regions would provide 20 votes as well. 
 Twenty minutes later, the vote failed with only 195 in 
favor, from BYuT, OU, one Socialists, and two independents. 
After the vote, Communist MP Holub proudly told us that the 
Communists had stopped Regions from supporting Ohryzko, an 
assessment later confirmed by Regions and OU MPs.  Had the 
Communists pulled out of the coalition, it would have dropped 
the coalition under the 226 MP minimum and triggered a 
resignation of the Yanukovych government. 
Orange joins blue: Kinakh makes a move 
4.  (SBU)  The major development came several hours later. 
PM Yanukovych, attending the 15th anniversary gathering of 
Kinakh's Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, 
announced that he had offered Kinakh, who had served as PM 
under Kuchma from 2001-02 after Yushchenko and before 
Yanukovych, the position of First Deputy PM in charge of 
reform.  Although the announcement did not mention Kinakh's 
sub-faction of OU (an estimated ten of 79 MPs), speculation 
is that they will depart the OU faction currently in hard 
opposition to the government.   Opposition leader Tymoshenko 
warned visiting EUR DAS Kramer and NSC Director Sterling 
March 19 about the possibility of Kinakh's departure; 
Committee of Voters of Ukraine head Ihor Popov told us a 
similar story earlier March 20.  Kinakh's public comments 
after Yanukovych's announcement were vague, but he did say he 
wanted to deepen cooperation with the majority. 
OU split over cooperation with Tymo vs. Yanu 
5. (C) Chair of the EuroIntegration Committee Natalya 
Prokopovych, aligned with Yekhanurov, told Sterling March 20 
that many OU MPs were frustrated with the faction's decision 
to cooperate with Tymoshenko and be in staunch opposition. 
She said that post-election discussions in 2006 between OU 
and Regions showed that they agreed on 80 percent of their 
policy agendas (note: a coalition agreement was actually 
initialed June 20, only for Yushchenko to change his mind and 
back the alternate deal with BYuT and Socialists; Regions and 
OU also almost formed a broad coalition August 4 after 
Yushchenko named Yanukovych PM, but that deal foundered over 
Poroshenko's insistence at being named first deputy PM). 
6. (C) Prokopovych said that in roundtable discussions March 
19 after a Yushchenko-Yanukovych-Moroz meeting, Regions had 
agreed to support Yushchenko's proposed judicial reforms; the 
issue had been placed on the Rada's March 20 agenda. 
KYIV 00000643  002 OF 002 
However, when the vote on Ohryzko failed, the opposition 
resumed its boycott of the plenary session, postponing 
discussion of judicial reform.  In her view, such behavior 
was pointless and unproductive;  cooperation with Regions was 
necessary in some form.  Prokopovych believed that 34 OU MPs 
were ready to form their own faction (note: separate from MPs 
led by current faction leader Kyrylenko now cooperating with 
Tymoshenko.  This number tracks o
ur estimates of intra OU 
faction splits after the March 2006 election, when 30 MPs 
appeared to favor a broad coalition with Regions, 30 MPs 
favored working with BYuT and the Socialists, and 20 were 
willing to support Yushchenko's preference.) 
Regions welcoming defectors with open arms 
7. (C) Comment: There have been signs for months, including 
occasional open sniping between the coalition members, that 
Regions was frustrated with the Socialists and Communists. 
Similarly, OU has been split since the March 2006 elections 
over whether to cooperate with Tymoshenko or Regions.  Budget 
Committee Chair Makeyenko (Regions), long an open proponent 
of cooperation with OU, told NSC Director Sterling March 20 
that Regions was fed up with having to kow-tow to demands 
from the Communists and Socialists, factions of 21 and 30 MPs 
respectively, to Regions' 185.  The latest example was the 
vote on Ohryzko as FM.  If, Makeyenko argued to us, there 
could be a broader coalition that included some or all of OU, 
Regions could ignore the Communists.  Yanukovych, in his 
March 19 meeting with DAS Kramer and Director Sterling, also 
talked of a broader coalition (septel), although not in 
detail.  How these developments may affect the wider 
Yushchenko-Yanukovych dynamic and relations between the 
President's team and the Regions-led Cabinet, however, remain 
an open question. 
8. (SBU) Note: late in the evening March 20, the Presidential 
Secretariat announced that President Yushchenko would 
nominate Deputy Presidential Secretariat Head Arseniy 
Yatseniuk for FM.  Yatseniuk previously drew positive reviews 
as Minister of Economy in the Yekhanurov government. 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 




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