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07KYIV2678, UKRAINE: FORMER PM YEKHANUROV ON TYMOSHENKO,

October 24, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV2678 2007-10-24 12:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO8179
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2678/01 2971246
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241246Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4178
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 002678 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: FORMER PM YEKHANUROV ON TYMOSHENKO, 
POLICY PRIORITIES, AND HIS FUTURE 
 
KYIV 00002678  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense Rada 
deputy and former Prime Minister Yekhanurov told the 
Ambassador October 24 that he did not believe Tymoshenko 
would be a good prime minister, but he will vote for her if 
that is the decision his bloc makes.  He added, however, that 
his continued membership in the bloc, and perhaps in the 
Rada, is predicated on the bloc's agreement that any 
coalition they join should support a list of concrete 
economic reforms, including land market, anti-corruption, and 
investment-related laws.  Yekhanurov believed Tymoshenko 
might last one year as Prime Minister, before resigning to 
run for president while accusing Yushchenko and his allies of 
preventing her from making good on campaign promises.  He 
also talked about the rifts inside OU-PSD and its main party, 
People's Union Our Ukraine, saying that when Tymoshenko 
leaves office, assuming she is confirmed as PM, she will take 
up to 20 percent of OU with her.  He saw problems with Party 
of Regions as well, believing a stint in the opposition could 
break up the party.  In other coalition-related news, the 
High Administrative Court continued to hear the case 
contesting the elections, with a verdict possibly expected by 
the end of October 25. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  Other interlocutors have described 
Yekhanurov as a proponent of a broad coalition who is 
plotting with the Presidential Secretariat to betray 
Tymoshenko.  In person, however, Yekhanurov comes across as 
earnest, principled, and plainspoken, stressing his belief 
that it is not cooperation with Regions that is necessarily 
good for Ukraine, but that an unchecked Tymoshenko would be 
bad for the country.  Therefore, he has insisted on her 
agreeing to very specific reform proposals before his party 
agree to confirm her.  Yekhanurov discussed at length the 
need for reform to make Ukraine attractive for foreign 
investment and to support Ukraine's growing small and medium 
business class.  He was at pains to make clear that we should 
not read too much into his letter to the OU-PSD leadership; 
it was not written for the public and was instead a call for 
the party to take itself seriously.  End summary and comment. 
 
 
Tymoshenko or Not, Talks Should Focus on Substance 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
3. (C) A sincere and straightforward former Prime Minister 
Yekhanurov tried to lay out his position regarding Tymoshenko 
and an orange coalition.  His bottom line was that he does 
not play games, a point he stressed several times. 
Yekhanurov said that he did not think Tymoshenko would be a 
good prime minister, but if his bloc decided to support her 
nomination, he would vote for her. 
 
4. (C) In reference to his letter widely circulated in the 
press in which he criticized Tymoshenko, Yekhanurov said he 
had never intended the letter for public consumption.  He had 
written it for the President and OU-PSD leadership in order 
to admonish OU-PSD leaders for what Yekhanurov saw as a poor 
job handling the negotiations with BYuT.  Yekhanurov thought 
that people like OU leader Kyrylenko were inexperienced and 
did not know how to handle Tymoshenko.  In addition, they 
were only focused on the distribution of positions, whereas 
they should be discussing the substance of a future 
government program.  Yekhanurov and his allies were demanding 
that attention be paid to important questions, issues OU 
stood for in its campaign -- a land market now, a realistic 
timeframe for ending conscription, passing the law on joint 
stock companies that has been languishing in the Rada for 
years, and taking real steps to fight corruption.  Yekhanurov 
said his task within the party was to make sure an orange 
coalition did not neglect these issues. 
 
Tymoshenko Will Last A Year at Most 
----------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) The former PM also laid out what he saw as the 
progression of a Tymoshenko government.  This new government 
would pass a budget quickly and then the political games 
would start.  By March, Tymoshenko will be attacking Defense 
Minister Hrytsenko for not letting her immediately abolish 
conscription.  Beginning in April, she will increase 
repayments to people who lost savings from the Soviet 
Sberbank to about 1 billion UAH a month ($ 200 million), 
which she will only be able to sustain for about seven 
months.  Then, by November, she will be out of money and will 
turn on the President, saying that he is blocking her work, 
and she will resign.  Yekhanurov predicted that Tymoshenko 
could take as much as 20 percent of OU with her once she left 
government and began to prepare for the presidential 
 
KYIV 00002678  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
elections. 
 
6. (C) Now was the time, Yekhanurov argued, for sober 
analysis of the September 30 elections.  Politicians needed 
to understand why young people did not vote and pensioners 
voted in such high numbers that they had influ
ence 
disproportionate to their percentage of the electorate.  He 
thought that it was important to know why people in the 
non-Donbas East who did not like Regions chose to stay home 
rather than vote for BYuT or OU-PSD.  Instead, Tymoshenko was 
running ads and putting up billboards saying that all her 
campaign promises would be fulfilled. 
 
OU-PSD and Regions Could Be Headed for Splits 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) Yekhanurov said that there were serious problems 
within OU-PSD and within People's Union Our Ukraine, the core 
party within the bloc.  He predicted that the nine 
constituent members of OU-PSD, in the end, will decide not to 
form a single, pro-presidential party, because they all want 
to remain independent.  Within PUOU, there was a struggle 
between Kyrylenko, representing the national democratic wing, 
and Baloha, representing the non-ideological pragmatists. 
Yekhanurov said he has been trying to bring these wings 
together to have a frank talk, but they refuse to meet or 
even admit there is a problem.  Yekhanurov thought Kyrylenko 
himself might be part of the 20 percent to join BYuT if 
Tymoshenko and Yushchenko parted company. 
 
8. (C) Yekhanurov also saw problems within Regions. 
Dissatisfaction with the party was high, especially in the 
oblasts that Regions dominated.  If the party ended up in the 
opposition, it could split.  Neither Yanukovych nor Regions 
knew how to surrender.  In Yekhanurov's view, they will all 
look for someone to blame for the election results.  This 
split in Regions could be an opportunity for OU and BYuT to 
expand their presence in eastern Ukraine, but they will be 
too busy eating each other up to care. 
 
Yekhanurov Will Be Active In or Out of the Rada 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
9. (C) As for himself, Yekhanurov shrugged.  He said that he 
would vote for Tymoshenko if his bloc made that decision and 
if he got support for his policy demands.  If he got no 
concessions, there was a good chance he would not stay in 
OU-PSD, maybe not in the Rada at all.  He would go back to 
working for small and medium businesses -- he was also 
working with UNESCO on cultural heritage programs in 
Dnipropetrovsk and Kyiv, with an eye to expanding into 
Crimea.  He said he is also preparing to start a new lecture 
series for university students on the impact of politics on 
Ukraine's investment climate. 
 
Court Continues to Hear Election-Related Case 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
10. (SBU) As of midday on October 24, the High Administrative 
Court had heard testimony from the five parties that lodged 
complaints -- the Specialists, Communists, Free Democrats, 
Progressive Socialists, and the Al-Ukrainian Party of 
People's Trust.  Deputy CEC Chairman Andriy Mahera has also 
already testified, denying the CEC was inactive or did 
anything wrong.  The Court is also reviewing materials 
provided by the Interior Ministry showing possible election 
falsification.  Next, the Court will hear testimony from BYuT 
and OU-PSD as interested third parties.  According to the 
administrative code, the Court should be done with the 
proceedings five work days after the appeals were filed -- 
the press has calculated the date to be October 25.  However, 
many worry the Court may take longer to issue a decision, 
thereby continuing to delay the CEC's promulgation of the 
official final results. 
 
11. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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