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07KYIV757, UKRAINE: PRESIDENT-PM NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE;

March 30, 2007

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07KYIV757 2007-03-30 14:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO0399
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #0757/01 0891446
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301446Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1754
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KYIV 000757 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: PRESIDENT-PM NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE; 
RALLIES ON THE STREETS BEGIN 
 
REF: KYIV 746 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary.  President Yushchenko and PM Yanukovych's 
late-night March 29 meeting ended without agreement, with the 
PM's team pushing for a "gentleman's agreement" and the 
President's advisors arguing for a written, negotiated "rules 
of the game" to resolve the political conflict over the 
coalition's push to gain a 300-vote "supermajority" in the 
Rada (reftel).  Discussions between DPM Kluyev, as the PM's 
negotiator, and Presidential Administration officials Chaliy 
and Vasenyuk continued through March 30 without success. 
Opposition leaders Tymoshenko, Lutsenko and OU faction leader 
Kyrylenko met with Yushchenko March 30 to urge new elections, 
but by all indications, Yushchenko still has not made up his 
mind.  Yushchenko has called a meeting with the Prime 
Minister, Speaker and the heads of all Rada factions for the 
afternoon of April 2, a constitutionally-required step prior 
to issuing a decree to dissolve the parliament, but the 
meeting has not yet been confirmed.  Activity on Kyiv's 
streets is heating up, with a Party of Regions-organized 
rally in European Square attracting 10,000 people.  Less 
street activity so far from the Orange camp, who continue to 
call for people to come out to the Maidan at 5 pm on March 31 
to show their support for new elections.  The government 
coalition will also hold rallies around Kyiv on March 31. 
End summary. 
 
PM's Team - Let's settle this with a Gentleman's Agreement 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
2.  (C)  PM Yanukovych's top foreign policy advisor 
Konstantin Gryshchenko told the Ambassador that Yanukovych 
and Yushchenko met into the wee hours on March 29 (until 1 
am), but did not reach agreement.  According to Gryshchenko, 
the PM's view is that the President cannot be both the leader 
of the country as well as the top opposition leader. 
Yanukovych believed that after the meeting, he and Yushchenko 
had agreed to meet again April 2 at 2 pm, but Gryshchenko 
said that Tymoshenko had again gotten involved and the 
meeting was up in the air.  Echoing the sentiments expressed 
by the PM and his other top advisors in previous meetings, 
Gryshchenko stated that he simply did not understand the hold 
that Tymoshenko seemed to have over Yushchenko -- a 
"mesmerizing effect." 
 
3.  (C)  Gryshchenko opined that Yushchenko simply does not 
know what to do.  He is worried that if he doesn't agree to 
dissolve the Rada and call new elections, then Our Ukraine 
would split and Tymoshenko would take her supporters on to 
the streets.  According to the PM's count, there are only 
about 50 "radical" BYuT and Our Ukraine members left in the 
Rada who are pushing Yushchenko to call for new elections. 
And in Gryshchenko's view, Yushchenko's argument that the 
constitutional court could "introduce" an imperative mandate 
system for the Rada was impossible. 
 
4.  (C)  The PM's approach is to find a political solution to 
the conflict -- avoid confrontation and reach a gentleman's 
agreement.  As Gryshchenko described the deal, this would be 
an "armistice."  The PM would not move to get the 300 votes 
in the Rada, Yushchenko would receive some undefined 
"blocking powers," and he would get to keep his Our Ukraine 
deputies in his camp.  Even more specifically, if Yushchenko 
agreed to use his veto sparingly, then the PM would agree not 
to move ahead with legislation giving Russian the status of a 
second official language. 
 
5.  (C)  Gryshchenko concluded by noting that the PM "wants 
the President on the team.  He is a valued asset, but not a 
necessity."  Recalling 2004, Gryshchenko noted that "last 
time, one side was on the streets and the other side wasn't." 
 This time would be different, he vowed.  "If they have 
people in the streets, then we will have more." 
 
View from the President's Office - a Negotiated Solution 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
6.  (C)  During a March 30 meeting with the Ambassador, 
Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Oleksandr Chaliy restated 
the terms of the "deal" described above by Gryshchenko; in 
short, the PM had promised the President "undefined powers" 
as part of a gentleman's agreement that would be personally 
made between the two Viktors.  Chaliy acknowledged that 
Yanukovych had proposed a "moratorium" on the shifting of 
parties by Rada deputies to end the crisis that would stop 
the coalition from gaining 300 votes.  However, in his view, 
"no one could trust Yanukovych to keep his word." 
 
7.  (C)  Chaliy said that what the President's team wanted 
was a written-down, legitimate agreement -- the "rules of the 
 
KYIV 00000757  002 OF 003 
 
 
road" -- that would guide the relationship further -- rather 
than a verbal gentleman's agreement that could break down. 
According to Chaliy, the President's demands have not 
changed.  He wants: agreement on imperative mandate to keep 
deputies from straying from
their factions; Rada agreement on 
and passage of a package of laws on the Presidency, CabMin 
and the Opposition; establishment of a working group on 
constitutional reform, approval of Our Ukraine candidates to 
be Minister of Interior (not a position included in the 
presidential prerogatives listed in the constitution) and the 
Prosecutor General, an agreement on intra-governmental work 
procedures. 
 
8.  (C)  According to Chaliy, Yanukovych's chief negotiator, 
DPM Andriy Kluyev, was more flexible in today's meetings than 
in yesterday's and was ready for compromise if the 
constitution could be changed.  In Chaliy's view, there was 
no need to change the constitution.  The problem is that the 
constitution refers to "withdrawal" rather than "expulsion" 
of deputies and that point needed to be clarified.  It was 
important that the constitutional court approve the 
legitimacy of an imperative mandate law -- so that it would 
be retroactively applied to all those deputies who had 
already strayed from their factions.  According to Chaliy, a 
new law passed by the Rada approving imperative mandate would 
be less effective, since it would only apply from the date of 
passage to Rada deputies in the future who decided to leave 
their factions.  The March 2006 election results were clear 
and agreed -- what Chaliy and the President want is the right 
to kick the defectors out of the Rada and replace these 
deputies with their loyalists from their party lists, 
restoring a balance of 248 to 202.  Any western democratic 
country, he argued, who saw 50 legislators suddenly switch 
parties would see something fishy and undemocratic in the 
move -- they just wanted elected officials to represent the 
interests of the voters who supported them. 
 
9.  (C)   Chaliy summed up by saying that Regions wants a 
political handshake now; the President and Secretariat want 
fixed rules of the game.  He had met with Lutsenko, 
Tymoshenko, and Kyrylenko and told them of Yushchenko's offer 
of compromise to Yanukovych, which Tymoshenko outright 
rejected.  The three were pushing Yushchenko hard to dismiss 
the Rada.  The President had not made up his mind yet, but 
probably would by late Monday.  In the end, Chaliy saw three 
scenarios.  One was that Yushchenko would get his imperative 
mandate.  The second was that Yushchenko would issue the 
decree and call new elections--at the latest, new elections 
would be 3-4 months from now.  A third option would be for 
Yanukovych to see the inevitability of new elections and 
agree to help organize them, removing the contentiousness and 
problems that would arise from Yushchenko calling for 
elections unilaterally.  Chaliy said that Yushchenko's final 
words to Yanukovych on parting ways at 1 am summed up the 
presidential position.  "As President, I want nothing from 
you as Prime Minister.  As President, I have a constitutional 
duty to keep the balance between the coalition and the 
opposition and guarantee rights for everyone, including the 
opposition.  Please do everything possible to achieve 
imperative mandate and fix the system that brought us to this 
situation.  That is my only request." 
 
Taking it to the Streets 
------------------------ 
10,  (SBU)  As closed-door negotiations continued between 
presidential and prime ministerial advisors, both sides began 
to organize their supporters for rallies in Kyiv.  The 
government coalition struck first, holding a March 30 rally 
in Kyiv's European Square.  "Stability and unity" was the 
theme of the rally. The crowd of about 10,000 appeared 
relaxed; with the audience giving the speakers from the Party 
of Regions, Socialists, Communists, and defectors from the 
Our Ukraine, no more than polite applause.  There were about 
300 police scattered around the periphery.  The speakers, 
including newly appointed Economy Minister Anatoliy Kinakh, 
Communist Martynyuk, Rada Regions faction leader Raisa 
Bohatyryova, and Emergencies Minister Nestor Shufrych - whose 
appearance drew laughter from a group of young men standing 
near observing poloffs.  Speakers stressed their concern for 
the well-being of all Ukrainians, their willingness to work 
with the President, and argued that they are ready for 
dialogue while the oppos 
ition wants confrontation.  PM Yanukovych addressed the 
meeting near the end, calling for the crisis to be resolved 
legally and peacefully. 
 
11.  (SBU)  Many of the participants carried flags from their 
various political parties and forces; interestingly unlike 
2004, there were many in the crowd carrying Ukrainian flags. 
Some of the younger attendees seemed to have been paid for 
 
KYIV 00000757  003 OF 003 
 
 
their efforts; such as the young man carrying a sign that 
said 'Ternopil' who cast a puzzled glance at his placard when 
asked if he was from that city.   Many of the older audience 
members said that they did not want Ukraine to incur the 
expense and uncertainty of another election which they said 
would accomplish little.  One audience member voiced sympathy 
for Yushchenko, while another seemed particularly critical of 
Tymoshenko.  Several members of the audience were circulating 
a petition that asked the president not to hold elections and 
to cooperate with the government. 
 
12.  (C)  The "orange" team and former Interior Minister 
Lutsenko's "Self-Defense Movement" are holding their fire for 
a large concert/demonstration on the Maidan scheduled for 5 
pm on March 31.  Speaking to the press late in the afternoon 
of March 30, opposition leader Tymoshenko, Lutsenko and OU 
faction leader Kyrylenko announced that the President now has 
more grounds to dissolve the parliament, with Lutsenko boldly 
stating that "the President has heard them."   Tymoshenko 
said that "if the President loves Ukraine and respects 
Ukrainians, he will either dissolve the parliament or lose 
the remaining support in society."  They called on all 
Ukrainians to come out to the Maidan on March 31 to support 
them.  (Note:  Ambassador will meet Tymoshenko late in the 
evening of March 30.  End note.)  The Regions-led ruling 
coalition has announced that they will be holding their own 
rallies at numerous sites around Kyiv the afternoon of March 
31 as well.  (Note:  Embassy officers and the RSO will have 
observers around the city to watch and report on the rallies. 
 End note.) 
 
13.  (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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