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October 19, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV2653 2007-10-19 12:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #2653/01 2921203
P 191203Z OCT 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 KYIV 002653 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2017 
REF: A. KYIV 02533 
     B. KYIV 002634 
KYIV 00002653  001.2 OF 004 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
1. (C) Summary. As they await the official promulgation of 
the election results, which has been slowed by court appeals, 
the major parties are clarifying their positions on coalition 
formation.  Prime Minister Yanukovych rejected the idea of 
the technocratic government outlined by members of the 
president's team (refs A and B), and emphasized that a broad 
coalition was the only reasonable option, while an orange 
coalition would be ineffective and unstable.  Deputy Prime 
Minister Klyuyev indicated to the Ambassador in a separate 
meeting that Regions might now be willing to form a broad 
coalition that did not include Yanukovych as PM.  First DPM 
Azarov said that he thought both orange and broad coalitions 
would be unstable as everyone looked toward the presidential 
election.  From the President's side, Secretary of the 
National Security and Defense Council Plyushch and Defense 
Minister Hrytsenko both indicated that they do not think 
Tymoshenko will be confirmed.  Plyushch and Klyuyev both 
thought that Tymoshenko, knowing that she does not have 
enough support, will not let her nomination go to a vote. 
Just a day after the coalition agreement was signed, the 
President and a number of Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense 
members have come out to publicly criticize several of 
Tymoshenko's platform positions as populist and unrealistic, 
showing that there is still opposition to her within the 
President's party as well. 
2. (C) Comment.  The positions articulated by Yanukovych, 
Klyuyev, Plyushch, and Hrytsenko suggest that there is some 
common ground between Regions and Our Ukraine on a future 
coalition, if they can overcome personal ambitions and 
concern about the presidential election in 2009/2010, and 
agree to a format that meets both sides' political needs. 
The court challenges, which no one expects to change the 
outcome of the election, give the parties more time to 
negotiate, but we are unlikely to see any public 
acknowledgment of a possible broad coalition until after the 
Rada is seated -- still expected to take place within 30 days 
after the election results are promulgated, and probably on a 
Tuesday.  We also should not count Tymoshenko out.  She may 
be as actively soliciting support from MPs in the Lytvyn Bloc 
and Regions as Regions is soliciting MPs in the orange camp 
to not vote for her.  She may also be calculating that the 
best way to the presidency is to go up for the vote, and 
either win the Prime Ministership, or be stabbed in the back 
by her allies and move into radical opposition.  End summary 
and comment. 
Yanukovych: Calm, Waiting for Broad to Happen 
3. (C) A more relaxed, but unsmiling Yanukovych on October 18 
reiterated Party of Regions' position on coalition formation: 
either Regions would be in a broad coalition or in 
opposition, but there would be no temporary or technical 
third variant, nor would Regions take deputy PM and minister 
jobs in a Tymoshenko government.  He repeated throughout the 
conversation that an orange coalition will be unstable and 
unable to work effectively and its failure could lead to 
another round of elections.  His underlying message, although 
he only directly said it once, was that a broad coalition was 
a much better alternative.  He did, however, indicate the 
Regions will take their seats in the new Rada and repeated 
the statement he made at the October 17 Cabinet meeting that 
Regions does not want new elections. 
4. (C) Regions expects the promulgated election results by 
October 25, once all the court challenges are addressed. 
Yanukovych said Regions would then like to see the Rada get 
started as soon as possible.  Once the Rada convenes, 
factions will be formed and their leaders identified.  Only 
then can faction heads sign a coalition agreement.  Moreover, 
he said, MPs from the factions in the coalition must sign 
their consent to the coalition agreement, meaning there must 
be at least 226 signatures on the document.  The PM said that 
the orange team will undergo several tests indicative of its 
staying power -- the votes on Speaker, PM, and the Cabinet. 
5. (C) Most of what happens next, the PM said, depends on 
Yushchenko.  He expressed the wish that the President would 
be open and direct about his plans rather than play games. 
Right now, Yanukovych said, "we are still partners."  He 
believed that Regions' proposal to Yushchenko for cooperation 
would make him strong and bring stability to all branches of 
government.  But they were not interested in a temporary 
variant - they wanted only long-term stability 
KYIV 00002653  002.2 OF 004 
6. (C) Yanukovych was dismissive of constitutional change 
initiated by the orange camp.  He argued that the 
constitution could only be amended with Regions' help -- they 
would need Regions for a t
wo-thirds vote in the Rada to make 
amendments and they would need Regions to help get a 
50-percent turnout to validate a referendum on a new 
constitution.  He added that Regions has no interest in 
constitutional reform unless it is part of the process of 
writing the amendments. 
Klyuyev: Next PM Will Not Be Tymoshenko, Maybe Not Yanukovych 
--------------------------------------------- ---------------- 
7. (C) An equally calm Deputy Prime Minister Klyuyev told the 
Ambassador October 19 that Tymoshenko did not have the votes 
-- there would be defections from both OU-PSD and BYuT.  In 
the next few weeks there will be a lot of accusations of vote 
buying and he did not want to be in the country when the 
storm breaks.  (Note.  It is no wonder Klyuyev wants to be 
out of Kyiv if a vote-buying scandal breaks.  Lutsenko told 
us Klyuyev had offered him five million dollars to stop 
publicly supporting Tymoshenko and others have said Klyuyev 
was in charge of buying defectors.  OU-PSD MP and PORA head 
Vladyslav Kaskiv told us he had been offered three million to 
be "sick" during the confirmation vote, but he did not say by 
whom.  End note.)  Eventually, there will be a broad 
coalition of Regions, Lytvyn Bloc, OU-PSD, and some members 
of BYuT.  Klyuyev said he has been meeting with Tymoshenko 
regularly to convince her to join the broad coalition, but 
she has not agreed.  In response to the Ambassador's question 
about who would get tp posts in this coalition, Klyuyev said 
Regions would propose Yanukovych for PM, but did not care 
about other positions.  The Ambassador pointed out that a 
number in OU-PSD will not accept Yanukovych as PM, and 
wondered what Regions would do in that case, to which Klyuyev 
replied "we will agree," implying that he sees a possible 
coalition without Yanukovych.  In a final mysterious 
statement, Klyuyev said that Regions has plans in the next 
six months to seriously reduce Tymoshenko's chances of 
winning the next presidential election.  He would not divulge 
any details, saying only three people in the whole world know 
the plan. 
Azarov: No Government Will Be Stable Until 2010 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
8. (C) First Deputy Prime Minister Azarov told the Ambassador 
October 18 that BYuT/OU-PSD's majority would simply be too 
small to govern effectively.  There would be many times when, 
for various reasons, the orange coalition would not have 
enough votes to get things done.  At such times, it would be 
unfair and difficult to expect Regions to jump in so things 
can get passed.  In fact, Regions would do just the opposite, 
"and do everything we can to destabilize the coalition."  A 
large coalition might be somewhat more stable for a limited 
period of time, but not for longer.  Presidential elections 
were looming in two years.  Regions would face a dilemma 
since it would be called upon to support the coalition at the 
time when it would need to actually draw a clear line between 
itself and its coalition partners in the run-up to the 
9. (C) In addition, in the coming two years any government 
needed to adopt difficult and painful reforms for the good of 
the country, "and by this I don't mean reimbursing the 
victims of the Sberbank (Oshchadbank in Ukrainian) collapse." 
  The government in power would lose significant amounts of 
popular support when it started to reform the country; the 
measures would be unpopular and weaken the position of the 
party in power leading up to the elections.  Hence it was 
better to stay in the opposition.  President Yushchenko 
understood the predicament. 
Plyushch: Moving Towards National Unity Coalition 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
10. (C) NSDC Secretary Plyushch outlined for the Ambassador 
on October 19 his variation of the same plan for the 
formation of the East-West Coalition of National Unity that 
we have heard from Chief of Staff Baloha, his deputy 
Bezsmertniy, and OU-PSD leader Lutsenko.  His argument was 
that a 228-member majority was unstable and would never be 
able to develop and implement the policies Ukraine needs 
right now.  In addition, Tymoshenko made so many impractical 
populist promises on the campaign trail, the best way for the 
President to contain her was to co-opt her by supporting her. 
 Plyushch argued that Yushchenko has raised himself above the 
political fray now and is the force for stability and 
democracy in Ukraine.  The presidential team wanted a path 
KYIV 00002653  003.2 OF 004 
that would unite all of Ukraine. 
11. (C) Plyushch thought it would be better to avoid the 
confirmation vote for Tymoshenko altogether.  OU-PSD would 
look bad going back on its campaign promise to vote for an 
orange government and would set a bad precedent for their 
faction to not all vote the same way.  Tymoshenko and OU 
leader Kyrylenko should understand she will never be 
confirmed and drop the issue.  Plyushch was very vague on how 
the Unity coalition would be brought about, but he thought it 
would include OU-PSD, Regions, Lytvyn Bloc, and some MPs from 
BYuT.  He argued there was no difference in ideology between 
the three main parties and all of them had oligarchs and 
clans, the only things keeping them apart were egos and 
12. (C) Plyushch said that the presidential team wanted the 
Rada seated within 20 days of the Central Election 
Commission's promulgation of the election results.  He did 
not want to see the process drag on for two or three months 
as it had in 2006.  As to when the Unity coalition would be 
formed, he could not say.  The President, Plyushch said, has 
been consistent since April that after the Rada elections, 
the constitution needed to be reformed.  They needed to fix 
the power structure at the national and local levels.  The 
goal was a clear delineation of power so that there was never 
another incident like the clash at the Prosecutor General's 
Office in May.  (Note. Plyushch is referring to the clash 
between two government security forces sent by the Cabinet 
and President to fight for control of the PGO.  End note.) 
13. (C) Plyushch was very dismissive of OU-PSD MPs, 
especially the younger and newer ones.  He criticized them 
several times for being too impatient to get into the Rada 
and get the orange coalition formed.  He also rejected that 
they had any decision-making power regarding the future 
coalition, saying that it was Yushchenko who got them into 
the Rada, why were they not respecting the President's wishes? 
Hrytsenko: I Won't Vote for Tymoshenko 
14. (C) Defense Minister Hrytsenko told the Ambassador 
October 17 that he would not vote for Tymoshenko as Prime 
Minister because of their mutual enmity.  He said that 
Tymoshenko opposed him for his criticism of her promise to 
abolish conscription in such a speedy
and ill-advised manner, 
his calling the Tender Chamber corrupt, when it was 
benefiting her faction, and because she saw him as a rival 
for the presidency.  He said that he had Yushchenko's 
blessing to sign the coalition agreement with reservations, 
and to withhold his vote for Tymoshenko as PM.  He also said 
that if Tymoshenko is not confirmed, they will work for a 
technocratic government.  This PM would preside over a 
cabinet of technocrats "people had never heard of" and the 
new PM would have to promise not to run for president in the 
upcoming elections. 
OU-PSD Already Expressing Discontent with Tymoshenko 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
15. (SBU) Just a day after Tymoshenko and OU head Kyrylenko 
signed the preliminary coalition agreement, Our Ukraine 
members publicly criticized several of Tymoshenko's proposed 
plans for her Cabinet -- all of them specifically included in 
the coalition agreement.  Yushchenko, Baloha, Plyushch, and 
PORA leader Kaskiv criticized her idea to abolish 
conscription in the army beginning January 2008.  Plyushch 
said it was harmful to Ukraine's national security.  In 
addition, Kaskiv criticized Tymoshenko's plans to repay the 
Oshchadbank debts in the next two years and said he will 
never support a law on imperative mandate, which Tymoshenko 
advocates.  OU MP Zvarych said he saw no financial basis for 
the Oshchadbank and conscription plans, but since BYuT will 
control the economic portfolios, it will be up to them to 
work it out. 
Court Challenges are Minor Delay 
16. (SBU) The High Administrative Court has now received four 
appeals of the election results, from: the Socialists, 
Communists, Free Democrats Party, and All-Ukraine Party of 
People's Trust.  According to the law, the Court should hear 
all the cases within five days, but politicians and analysts 
we have spoken with say that it could take longer.  No one, 
however, expects the Court to issue a ruling that would 
change the outcome of the vote. 
17. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
KYIV 00002653  004.2 OF 004 




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