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07KYIV2810, UKRAINE: Black Sea Strategy Presented to German Marshall

November 13, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV2810 2007-11-13 10:15 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #2810/01 3171015
P 131015Z NOV 07

E.O. 12958: N/A 
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: Black Sea Strategy Presented to German Marshall 
Fund Conference 
REFS: A. KYIV 2753 
      B. ANKARA 2491 
      C. BRUSSELS 3046 
      D. STATE 132171 
1. (SBU) Summary:  Academics and NGO representatives considered the 
Euro-Atlantic community's approaches to the "Eastern European 
neighborhood" during a conference held in Kyiv October 26-27. 
Despite the theme, conference participants were focused on Ukraine 
and particularly Ukraine's prospects for both EU and NATO 
membership, although we also presented the U.S. Black Sea strategy 
(ref D) and suggested that U.S. and EU common interests in Black Sea 
security formed a solid basis for a new Eastern European 
neighborhood approach.  At a practical and concrete level, Ukraine 
continues to exercise leadership in the Black Sea region, with its 
sponsorship of a Proliferation Security Initiative exercise, 
chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and its 
plans to hold BSEC-related meetings on "frozen conflicts" and energy 
security.  One highlight of the conference was the participation of 
Tymoshenko foreign policy advisor, and FM dark-horse candidate, 
Hryhoriy Nemyria.  End summary. 
2. (U) On October 26-27, the German Marshall Fund of the United 
States, the Center for Applied Policy Research, and the Heinrich 
Boell Foundation jointly held a "Transatlantic Roundtable" in Kyiv 
dealing with current developments and challenges in the "Eastern 
European neighbourhood."  Fifty distinguished experts and high-level 
policymakers discussed the topic of "The Euro-Atlantic Community and 
its Changing Eastern Neighbourhood: A New Policy in the Making?" 
(At least one other roundtable was held in Kyiv, from January 28-30, 
2005, on the theme "Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Community: A 
Strategic Dialogue.")  The presenters and participants ranged 
widely, from former Slovak Foreign Minister Pavol Demes (one of the 
organizers); Pirkka Tapiola, Senior Advisor to EU High 
Representative Javier Solana; and James Sherr of the UK Defense 
Academy to researchers and NGO directors who seemed to have been 
invited based on personal connections with the organizers. 
3. (U) In addition to a dinner on the first evening with a keynote 
speech by European Commission Ambassador Ian Boag, the conference 
was divided into four sessions.  The first session addressed 
"Ukraine after the parliamentary elections: internal and external 
challenges."  Given the absence of a new government, the 
conversation focused on the prospects for an "orange" coalition and 
policy priorities for any new Ukrainian government.  The second 
session addressed "Challenges for democracy, stability, and Western 
integration: the view from the Eastern Neighborhood" (with 
presentations by a Belarusan, Georgian, Russian, and a German).  The 
third session addressed "European and U.S. strategies to Eastern 
neighbors: Is there a trans-Atlantic framework?"  And the fourth 
session addressed "Outlining the contours of a new European Eastern 
strategy."  We attended the first, third, and fourth sessions as 
well as delivering informal remarks at the third session. 
4. (U) In Session III, Arkady Moshes, a Russian who is now a senior 
researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and 
James Sherr presented their views.  They both noted their particular 
qualifications to comment on both EU and U.S approaches to Eastern 
Europe, with Moshes having just finished a two-month stint, ending 
in August, as a public policy scholar with the Kennan Institute's 
Woodrow Wilson Center and Sherr noting his time in the U.S. and his 
dual U.K. and U.S. citizenship.  Despite the supposed 
"trans-Atlantic" flavor to the roundtable, they both focused their 
comments on the EU's relationship to Ukraine (especially the 
inadequacies of the EU's European Neighborhood Policy) and the 
implications of the EU-Russia and U.S.-Russia relationship for 
Ukraine, with a nod toward the role of Ukraine's NATO aspirations. 
Moshes threw out the provocative statement that "Russia is a factor, 
but not the decisive factor in the region." 
5. (U) In Session III, invited to respond first, we drew on ref D's 
talking points to make the case that the EU and U.S. common 
approaches to Black Sea security formed a basis for a common 
approach to the region.  We stressed that the U.S. does not seek to 
supplant existing international agreements, especially not to seek 
changes to the Montreux Convention, or advocate the creation of new 
organizations or institutions in the Black Sea region.  We detailed 
the U.S. assistance efforts in the region, and, especially relevant 
given the sponsorship of the roundtable, noted the U.S. Government 
had provided $10 million to the German Marshall Fund's Black Sea 
Trust, which would provide grants to support democrat
ic development, 
regional civil society cooperation, and good governance. 
Unfortunately, most of the remaining comments continued to examine 
the role and relevance of Russia's views in forming approaches to 
the Eastern neighborhood.  Susan Stewart, a U.S. citizen and 
research fellow with the German Institute for International and 
Security Affairs in Berlin, did support the need to develop 
KYIV 00002810  002 OF 002 
cooperative and practical approaches to Black Sea security, while 
Kirk Mildner, principal economist with KfW-Bankengruppe in 
Frankfurt, argued that substantially larger sums of money needed to 
spent on the Black Sea region in order to be effective. 
6. (SBU) Session IV was highlighted by the participation of Yulia 
Tymoshenko's foreign policy advisor, Hryhoriy Nemyria, who is 
considered a dark horse candidate for the FM slot in a possible 
Tymoshenko-led government.  Nemyria focused his comments on the need 
for Ukraine to balance its approach between Russia and the West, 
arguing that a future Tymoshenko government would have to first 
address the energy relationship with Russia before addressing 
NATO-related issues.  He also noted that Ukraine might be effective 
in bringing Russia closer to the EU, acting as an interlocutor and 
stabilizer.  The reaction among participants to Nemyria's last point 
was highly skeptical, with several other panel members noting that 
any attempt by Ukraine to "freelance" between Russia and the EU 
would be unsuccessful and expose Kyiv to further pressure from 
7. (SBU) Comment:  While academics debate theoretical and 
politically unrealistic proposals (for example, arguing that Ukraine 
should not be lumped in with other countries in the EU's European 
Neighborhood policy and should be offered the immediate prospect of 
EU membership), Ukraine continues to implement practical and 
concrete steps to exercise leadership in the Black Sea region.  It 
has sponsored, with Poland, a Proliferation Security Initiative 
exercise/demonstration, the first ever for the Black Sea (ref A); 
assumed BSEC chairmanship November 1; and, as part of its BSEC 
program, will host a BSEC ministerial meeting in Kyiv in January 
2008 that will also feature a BSEC-EU bilateral meeting to consider 
the EU policy paper "Black Sea Synergy - a new regional cooperation 
initiative."  Ukraine is also holding a BSEC-related conference 
November 14-15 on "Security and Stability in the Black Sea Region: 
Regional Cooperation and Settlement of 'Frozen' Conflicts.'" 
8. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 


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