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March 22, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV663 2007-03-22 15:22 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #0663/01 0811522
P 221522Z MAR 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 000663 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/21/2017 
REF: 06 KYIV 3570 
Classified By: Ambassador, reason 1.4 (b,d) 
1. (C) Summary: EUR DAS David Kramer and NSC Director Adam 
Sterling discussed Ukraine-NATO relations and security issues 
with a range of Ukrainian officials March 18-20, in addition 
to energy, domestic politics, Belarus, and Transnistria 
(septels).  Presidential adviser Oleh Rybachuk described his 
plans to expand an informal NATO information campaign sending 
cultural rather than political figures to the provinces, 
rather than holding policy-focused roundtables of experts in 
Kyiv.  Rybachuk and PM adviser Kostantin Gryshchenko agreed 
that Russia liked Ukraine weak and divided, unable to move 
forward on NATO.  Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko 
stressed that NATO membership and energy security were the 
two requirements to safeguard Ukrainian sovereignty. 
Hrytsenko and PM adviser Andriy Fialko claimed Yanukovych was 
delivering on practical cooperation with NATO, while former 
FM Borys Tarasyuk and Tymoshenko bloc (BYuT) MP Hrihoriy 
Nemyria countered that Yanukovych and the Cabinet had not 
delivered on the information campaign promises made in the 
PM's September 14 speech at NATO.  DAS Kramer stressed to all 
officials the importance of Ukraine naming a foreign minister 
within the week if there were to be any chance of a 
NATO-Ukraine Council (NUC) Ministerial in Oslo in April 
(note: Arseniy Yatsenyuk was approved as FM March 21). 
Carrying the info campaign forward informally 
2. (SBU) Presidential adviser Rybachuk described the current 
state of NATO information campaign efforts.  Despite what 
Yanukovych had said in Brussels in September and Washington 
in November, the PM and the Regions-led government were not 
prepared to talk about NATO domestically.  Except for a few 
advisers and MPs able to engage westerners, most Regions were 
locked in Soviet mentalities.  Close Yanukovych associate 
Eduard Prutnik, Head of the State Radio and TV Committee, 
seemed to be willing to be cooperative, even if few resources 
were being made available.  It was essential to have some 
participation by the Regions' team. 
3. (SBU)  Rybachuk felt that civil society, rather than the 
political elite, gave reason for optimism.  He was focused on 
conducting an informal information effort on Ukraine's 
European and Euro-Atlantic choice, launched with a March 2 
conference in Kyiv, using more cultural and intellectual than 
political figures, and focused on efforts outside Kyiv.  He 
had solicited leading businessmen, including the country's 
two richest billionaires, Regions' financier Rinat Akhmetov 
and Kuchma son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk, for support.  Even 
though they were more enthusiastic about EU-related efforts 
than NATO, they agreed to consider providing financial 
support for a budget for efforts in 2008.  In the meantime, 
Rybachuk was building a network of proven NGOs and figures 
who could be credible in electronic media, not politicians, 
but activists and cultural figures like Slava Vakarchuk, the 
country's leading rock star, Ruslana, 2004 Eurovision winner 
and now an OU MP, folk rock legend Oleh Skrypka, who lived in 
Paris for seven years, and the boxing brothers Klitchko, who 
spent a decade in Germany, all of whom would be more 
effective than politicians in promoting western values. 
The Russia factor: liking Ukraine weak and divided 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
4. (C) Rybachuk stressed that Russia was comfortable with a 
weak and divided Ukraine, since that would keep the issue of 
NATO membership off the table.  Once public support for 
membership started increasing, Russia would react even more 
vigorously than it was now.  PM adviser Gryshchenko 
underscored Rybachuk's assessment that Yanukovych was not 
doing Moscow's bidding, leading Russia to seek other 
political figures to front for their interests (see septel on 
energy issues and controversial Energy Minister Boiko). 
Rybachuk suggested the Russians used marginal political 
forces like the Communists and Progressive Socialist Natalya 
Vitrenko to represent Moscow's interests and to stir up 
trouble in Crimea.  The Russian Black Sea Fleet played an 
important role as well, coordinating anti-NATO actions and 
fomenting anti-Tatar sentiments. 
Hrytsenko's views: domestic reforms, external support 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
5. (SBU) Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko said that energy 
security and NATO membership were the two keys to defending 
Ukrainian sovereignty.  Preparing for NATO membership was 90% 
about internal reforms, achieving western values, 
transparency, and standards that could provide security for 
KYIV 00000663  002 OF 002 
society and ordinary citizens, not just the state. 
6. (C) Hrytsenko said that the U.S. could assist the 
information campaign effort by supporting easy to understand 
success stories.  Addressing melange (rocket fuel) disposal 
could make up to a million Ukrainians live more safely; 
tary-industrial cooperation could provide jobs; the 
experience of new NATO members had more relevance in shaping 
perceptions in the NATO-skeptical east and south.  Most 
importantly, however, would be a presidential visit to 
Ukraine, at least in 2008, with Secretaries of State and 
Defense before.  Hrytsenko hoped that SecDef Gates could 
commit to attend the 2007 Southeastern Europe Defense 
Ministerial (SEDM) to be held in Kyiv sometime in 
October-December.   Hrytsenko asked for dates that might work 
for SecDef Gates. 
Is Yanukovych Helping or Hindering NATO aspirations? 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
7. (SBU) Despite the lagging information campaign effort, 
Hrytsenko claimed Yanukovych's CabMin had acted quickly on 
decisions affecting Ukrainian participation in NATO-related 
operations, from Operation Active Endeavor to the Kosovo 
mission and Ukrainian participation in the Afghanistan-ISAF 
force as part of a Lithuanian PRT, an assessment shared by PM 
adviser Andriy Fialko. 
8. (SBU)  Such optimism was countered at a dinner attended by 
Fialko as well as former FM Tarasyuk and BYuT foreign policy 
adviser Nemyria.  Tarasyuk noted that Yanukovych had 
abolished the governmental coordinating committee on European 
and Euro-Atlantic Integration soon after returning to power. 
Yanukovych also had stripped information campaign budgets 
from two pro-NATO bodies, the MFA and Horbulin's Center for 
Euro-Atlantic Integration, and given it to the Ministry of 
Education, run by a Socialist skeptic on NATO and overseen by 
DPM Tabachnyk, a vocal NATO opponent.  Yanukovych was just 
like Kuchma, claimed Tarasyuk.  Kuchma had made pro-NATO 
declarations, but pursued an alternate reality.  Nemyria 
recalled his late February appearance with DPM Tabachnyk on a 
"Freedom of Speech" talk show focused on US foreign policy 
and missile defense.  According to Nemyria, only he and OU's 
Petro Poroshenko had defended the U.S. and NATO against 
fierce criticism from Tabachnyk, the Socialists, and 
Communists.  In his view, DPM Azarov also was a confirmed 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 




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