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07KYIV853, UKRAINE: YANUKOVYCH AND YUSHCHENKO AGREE EU

April 11, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV853 2007-04-11 15:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO1638
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #0853/01 1011546
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111546Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1914
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 0010

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 000853 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/UMB 
MUMBAI FOR KLEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2017 
TAGS: PREL ECIN ETRD ENRG EUN UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: YANUKOVYCH AND YUSHCHENKO AGREE EU 
MEMBERSHIP REMAINS THE GOAL 
 
REF: KYIV 646 
 
KYIV 00000853  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: DCM Sheila Gwaltney for reasons 1.4(b,d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: During his March 27 visit to Brussels, PM 
Yanukovych said he wanted Ukraine to adopt a long-term 
strategy for EU membership and thanked his interlocutors for 
their help so far.  Echoing President Yushchenko's earlier 
comments, Yanukovych urged the incorporation of a reference 
to Ukraine's eligibility for membership in the EU-Ukraine 
"New Enhanced Agreement."  EU European Commission Delegation 
acting head Dirk Schuebel suggested to us April 5 the EU 
might be slowly warming to the idea of Ukraine's eventual EU 
entry, adding that the latest round of negotiations for the 
EU-Ukraine agreement went smoothly, with working groups 
established to facilitate detailed negotiations in specific 
areas.  Although the working group on economy and trade would 
not start its work until the WTO Working Party had issued a 
positive report on Ukraine's WTO accession, discussion within 
the other three working groups was proceeding well.  In the 
working group on foreign and security policy, the EU had 
pressed Ukraine to ratify the Rome Statute of the 
International Criminal Court and to adopt a position on 
Kosovo more consistent with the EU's.  Negotiations on a visa 
facilitation agreement could be "tricky."  Schuebel said he 
expected negotiations overall to last at least a year. 
 
2. (C) Comment: In contrast to partisan disagreement over the 
timing and tactics to pursue Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic 
aspirations and eventual NATO membership and low public 
support, the last several months have seen repeated 
statements by both PM Yanukovych's camp and President 
Yushchenko's team emphasizing that Ukraine's EU aspirations 
are backed by consensus in Ukraine's ruling elite as well as 
by popular support.  This marks a shift from the 2004 
election cycle, in which Yanukovych's team consciously 
highlighted Ukraine's ties with Russia and the future of the 
Single Economic Space (SES) project rather than an EU-centric 
future.  Pushing "Europe" as a values-based concept as 
embodied in the Copenhagen criteria -- rather than a narrow 
definition focused around the EU as an institution -- can 
thus be an effective rhetorical tool in encouraging Ukraine 
to continue to move in the right direction on political, 
economic, judicial, and social reforms, despite ongoing sharp 
partisan politics.  End Summary. 
 
Yanukovych Pushes EU Membership in Brussels 
------------------------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) EU European Commission Delegation in Kyiv's acting 
head Dirk Schuebel told us April 5 that PM Yanukovych "made 
no mistakes" during his March 27 one-day visit to Brussels; 
Schuebel was also encouraged that FM Yatsenyuk, a Yushchenko 
appointee, accompanied Yanukovych to most meetings. 
Yanukovych told his Brussels interlocutors that he favored a 
long-term strategy for Ukraine's EU membership and was 
grateful for the EU's help.  Both Yanukovych and Yushchenko 
(speaking during a mid-March visit to Copenhagen) stated 
Ukraine would focus on meeting the EU's membership criteria 
over the next decade, while sidestepping for the time being 
any direct discussion of possible eventual Ukrainian 
membership.  While in Brussels Yanukovych met with European 
Commission Chairman Jose Barroso, EU High Representative for 
Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, European 
Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering, and EU Commissioner 
for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.  He also 
signed an amendment to the agreement on textiles and an 
extension of the current Partnership and Cooperation 
Agreement that added Bulgaria and Romania. 
 
4. (SBU) Schuebel remarked that Yushchenko and Yanukovych 
could barely be distinguished when they spoke about Ukraine's 
integration with the EU (reftel), a further sign of apparent 
genuine consensus on the issue.  Yanukovych understood that 
Ukraine would not be able to join the EU for many more years, 
but he pushed for some mention of the prospect of eventual 
membership in the EU-Ukraine "New Enhanced Agreement." 
During the visit, Yanukovych for the first time voiced his 
support for an extension of the EU Border Assistance Mission 
(EU BAM) on the Ukraine-Moldova border.  Yanukovych also said 
that he was still optimistic about the prospect of Ukraine 
joining the WTO by summer. 
 
5. (C) Schuebel said newly appointed FM Yatsenyuk made a 
positive impression in Brussels, where he is well known from 
his time as Minister of Economy in the Yekhanurov cabinet 
(2005-06).  While in Brussels, Yatsenyuk said Ukraine had one 
 
KYIV 00000853  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
foreign policy, which Schuebel interpreted as part of 
Yatsenyuk's efforts to work with Yushchenko and Yanukovych 
and find common ground for Ukraine's external relations. 
Schuebel opined that Yatsenyuk's good intentions had be
en 
somewhat overtaken by recent events, since he was forced to 
take sides in the current crisis, supporting Yushchenko on 
parliamentary dissolution; Schuebel suspected Yatsenyuk may 
not remain in office long. 
 
"New Enhanced Agreement" Negotiations Proceeding Smoothly 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
6. (C) Schuebel expressed satisfaction with the progress made 
during the last round of negotiations on the  EU-Ukraine "New 
Enhanced Agreement" held April 2-3 in Kyiv.  He said Ukraine 
was not insisting on wording that mentioned Ukraine's EU 
membership prospects, but that the Ukrainian side called for 
inclusion of a reference to Article 49 of the Treaty on the 
European Union that says that any European country that 
respects European values is entitled to apply for membership. 
 While the EU logically should not object to a reference to 
its own basic document, Schuebel said EU negotiators objected 
even to this oblique reference, since there was a general 
feeling that the EU "went too far, too fast with Turkey." 
 
7. (C) Schuebel said four working groups were established: 
foreign and security policy; justice and home affairs; 
sectoral cooperation; and economy and trade.  Schuebel said 
the economy and trade working group would not start its 
negotiations until the WTO Working Party had issued a 
positive recommendation on Ukraine's WTO accession, since its 
main subject would be negotiations on a free trade area. 
(Comment:  This is a small concession by the EU on timing, as 
previously the EU had insisted the talks could not start 
until Ukraine had completed its WTO accession.  The 
difference between the approval of the Working Party report 
and final accession, however, is likely to be only a few 
months.)  Schuebel said he expected negotiations would take 
at least a year.  Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy 
Veselovskiy expected to remain chief negotiator for the 
EU-Ukraine talks, but could move on after agreements were 
reached on the main issues, allowing someone else to receive 
credit for concluding the agreement.  The next round of 
negotiations would be held May 23-24 in Brussels, prior to 
moving back to Kyiv in early July. 
 
8. (C) Schuebel said he took part in the foreign and security 
policy working group meetings and did not foresee particular 
difficulties; he noted that Ukraine was already in agreement 
with 92% of EU foreign policy positions.  Schuebel mentioned 
the EU wanted Ukraine to ratify the Rome Statute of the 
International Criminal Court and adopt a position on Kosovo 
more in keeping with the EU's.  Schuebel noted Ukraine's 
aversion to support independence for Kosovo was motivated by 
a reluctance to set a precedent that would adversely affect 
Crimea and the "frozen conflicts" in Georgia.  He also said 
that Ukraine had not agreed to restrict travel or freeze 
assets of high ranking Belarusian officials as the EU would 
like. 
 
9. (C) Reaching agreement in the working group on justice and 
home affairs could prove to be "more tricky," noted 
Schuebel.  The Ukrainians had complained about the visa 
policy of several EU member states (note: which recently 
introduced high contractor fees for processing visa 
applications.  end note).  Ukrainian negotiator had also, 
Schuebel thought perhaps tongue-in-cheek, requested that 
Ukraine be allowed to enter the Schengen zone.  Schuebel was 
optimistic that compromises were possible. 
 
10. (C) Schuebel expressed the opinion that acceptance of the 
idea that Ukraine might someday join the EU was gradually 
growing.  He noted that Ukraine's biggest promoters were in 
the EU Parliament, particularly the EU - Ukraine 
Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, which contained many 
members from Eastern European states.  Schuebel compared the 
current skepticism over Ukraine to the situation Poland faced 
in 1994; he saw a similar slow change in attitude toward 
Ukraine.  Schuebel noted with some amusement that several 
Ukrainian politicians were unaware that Romania and Bulgaria 
had been on schedule to join the EU at the beginning of 2007; 
he admitted it was not entirely easy answering their 
question: "What do they have that we do not?" 
 
11. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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