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07KYIV2833, UKRAINE: ODDS MOUNTING AGAINST A TYMOSHENKO

November 16, 2007

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07KYIV2833 2007-11-16 14:59 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO8594
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2833/01 3201459
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161459Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4338
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 07 KYIV 002833 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/16/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: ODDS MOUNTING AGAINST A TYMOSHENKO 
PREMIERSHIP 
 
REF: A. KYIV 2766 
 
     B. KYIV 2813 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary: After visiting EUR DAS Kramer's series of 
meetings with top Ukrainian political figures, it is clear 
that the path to the premiership for Yuliya Tymoshenko will 
be difficult and is still far from certain.  Presidential 
Administration head Baloha said that he was "101%" certain 
that an orange coalition and Tymoshenko premiership was 
assured by November 30, but only if she met all the 
pre-conditions laid out by the President, now to include 
explicit statements in the coalition agreement backing NSDC 
Secretary Plyushch as Speaker and the President's nominee (to 
 
SIPDIS 
be named) as Kyiv Mayor.  Otherwise it would be impossible. 
OU Defense Minister Hrytsenko noted additional presidential 
preconditions -- including canceling "objectionable 
provisions" in the coalition agreement and signing a letter 
on applying for a NATO Membership Action plan (also mentioned 
by Baloha), and an assumption that Plyushch would be Speaker. 
 Plyushch told DAS Kramer that he "would do whatever the 
President asked" although his goal in the process has been to 
find a formula leading to a coalition of more than 300 that 
could change the constitution and return stability to the 
political process.  OU-PSD head Lutsenko worried that a 
presidential decision to put Plyushch forward as Speaker 
could irretrievably damage the orange coalition and spike 
Tymoshenko's chances to head the government.  Tymoshenko 
Advisor Nemiryia said that he was 70% confident that 
Tymoshenko would succeed in forming a coalition, but if not, 
she was prepared for opposition.  PM Yanukovych was confident 
that he would remain in office as PM, and in several 
conversations, assuming that Tymoshenko failed, Yanukovych 
was mentioned as a likely "acting PM" for the next months or 
years.  He also was ready to go into opposition.  Potential 
spoiler Lytvyn argued that his bloc would not "join" any 
existing bloc, but he did not rule out helping to create a 
bloc if approached. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment.  Although Baloha oozed confidence that he 
(and the President) were in control of the situation, many in 
Kyiv still see the situation as in flux, with some going so 
far as to suggest that Yushchenko has not yet made up his 
mind about which way to go.  With the Rada now scheduled to 
open on November 23, the parties are entering the political 
end game and although Baloha suggested that the Presidential 
Administration was orchestrating everything, it seems clear 
that there are many unknowns about what will actually happen 
over the next few weeks (as Baloha suggested) or the next 
month (the Rada has 30 days after opening to form a coalition 
and a government).  Although we laid out numerous scenarios 
in ref B, it looks like there are two main choices: 
Tymoshenko will succeed in getting her orange coalition and 
the premiership; or if she fails, Yushchenko will attempt to 
prompt a coalition-less Rada to begin its work and leave 
Yanukovych and his Cabinet in acting status, remaining in 
office as long as they cooperate with the President.  During 
his meetings, DAS Kramer stressed the USG policy that we have 
no favorites among the potential coalitions, but urged the 
political parties to reach agreement on a government as soon 
as possible so that we could get down to business in managing 
the important issues in the bilateral relationship.  End 
Comment. 
 
Baloha - In Control of the Situation 
------------------------------------ 
 
3.  (C)  Leading off with the statement that "Plyushch will 
be the Speaker, unless the President changes his mind," 
Presidential Administration head Baloha laid out what he 
termed "the one option regarding the future prime minister." 
He said that on November 23 after the Rada opened, OU faction 
head Kyrylenko and BYuT leader Tymoshenko would sign a 
coalition agreement -- one that "we, without a doubt, will 
support."  However, whether Tymoshenko becomes PM would 
depend on whether she agreed to several conditions, 
specifically and explicitly included in the coalition 
agreement.  First, the name of the future Speaker, Plyushch, 
would be included.  And second, the name of the next mayor of 
Kyiv (to be proposed by the President and supported by 
Tymoshenko) would also be noted.  Later Baloha said that the 
name of the next mayor would come from a list of 5-7 nominees 
proposed by Yushchenko; Tymoshenko could choose from these 
names.  If this was agreed, Baloha said that Tymoshenko would 
be approved as Prime Minister by "the end of the month. 
There are no other conditions, everything else was taken care 
of (including legislation prepared under his leadership), -- 
only these two points remained."  Interestingly, Baloha 
thought that Tymoshenko would be able to accept the idea of 
 
KYIV 00002833  002 OF 007 
 
 
Plyushch as Speaker much more easily than surrendering her 
right to influence the nomination of the orange candidate to 
be the next Mayor of Kyiv.  He also noted that Yushchenko had 
supported OU-PSD head Lutsenko a
s the mayoral candidate, a 
position Lutsenko had long-talked about, but that Tymoshenko 
had rejected the idea.  (Note.  Per ref b, many here see this 
position as the fourth-most powerful post in the country, 
after President, PM and Speaker, and an excellent place from 
which to launch a presidential bid, even though the position 
is not currently empty and could only be opened up through 
complicated recall legislation through the Rada.  End note.) 
 
4.  (C)  Baloha acknowledged that it would be problematic for 
Tymoshenko to get the votes for PM -- 100% of coalition 
members must vote and if some of the coalition members do not 
vote for Plyushch as Speaker, then the same number would not 
vote Tymoshenko as PM.  When DAS Kramer asked how the 
coalition would know who voted (since the vote for Speaker is 
a secret ballot; the PM vote an open ballot), Baloha said 
only that he would know, but the bottom line was that if 
Plyushch did not win the vote for Speaker, there would be no 
vote for Tymoshenko as PM.  Regarding the ability of OU-PSD 
and BYuT deputies to follow party discipline and vote as 
instructed, Baloha said that OU-PSD was in good shape. Prior 
to these elections, the OU list had been cleaned up and he 
was confident about the support of these deputies.  However, 
Tymoshenko had not done the same with her list and he had 
doubts about the loyalty of all of her deputies.  For example 
in the spring, prior to the dissolution of the Rada, a group 
of 40 BYuT deputies were widely-known to be about to jump to 
the Government.  Suprisingly, in the run-up to the pre-term 
elections, Tymoshenko had not dropped these people, many of 
whom had money, from her list and therefore, he was not sure 
that these people would support her. 
 
5.  (C)  Denying that Yanukovych had any chance to be 
selected as PM, Baloha said that Yushchenko was committed to 
laying the foundation for a stable government that could stay 
in power for a full five-year term.  If Tymoshenko could meet 
all of the President's pre-conditions, then she could count 
on being in power for a long time.  She had already agreed to 
give up her presidential aspirations and support Yushchenko 
for re-election in the coalition agreement.  However, Baloha 
cautioned, written agreements and promises would not be 
enough to guarantee Tymoshenko the post.  In Baloha's view, 
Yanukovych had signed all of the required papers to become 
Prime Minister and "look what happened.  We're not that 
stupid to do it again with Tymoshenko."  Baloha thought that 
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko needed to look into each other's 
eyes and reach agreement; he was still waiting for this to 
happen.  Although denying that it was a precondition, Baloha 
mentioned that Tymoshenko also needed to sign the proposed 
letter regarding Ukraine's request for a MAP from NATO.  In 
his words, "this is a game that will have to end; she will 
need to sign that letter." 
 
6.  (C)  Wrapping up, Baloha said that three months ago, 
Yushchenko said that he supported the formation of an orange 
coalition -- and he said it again today.  He noted that there 
have been small misunderstandings between members of the 
orange team, but that these misunderstandings stemmed from 
uncoordinated actions.  Baloha said that he had been open and 
honest in laying out the way ahead and that he stuck by his 
101% chance that there would be an orange government and a 
Tymoshenko premiership as long as she met all of the 
conditions.  However, if not, then he would have to "take 
back all of my words.  Everybody gets what they deserve." 
 
Hrytsenko - More Work Ahead for Tymoshenko 
------------------------------------------ 
 
7.  (C)  Defense Minister Hrytsenko asserted that there was a 
"90%" likelihood that NSDC Secretary Plyushch would be Rada 
speaker.  In order for Tymoshenko to become Prime Minister, 
however, she had to demonstrate that she could exercise the 
appropriate leadership, fashion an effective coalition, and 
form a Cabinet of Ministers that would work well with the 
Rada.  She had not demonstrated this capability when she was 
unable to overcome the impasse that delayed the functioning 
of the Rada Working Group.  Tymoshenko would blame the Party 
of Regions, but Yushchenko would ask whether she had 
attempted to meet with Yanukovych to persuade Regions to take 
its seats on the Working Group. Tymoshenko could argue that 
she could not meet with Yanukovych and that he would 
manipulate such a meeting for his benefit, but Hrytsenko 
faulted her for not being willing to make the effort. 
Hrytsenko noted strong leadership would be necessary since, 
after the vote for the Prime Minister and Speaker, the Rada 
would immediately take up the Ukrainian budget. 
 
 
KYIV 00002833  003 OF 007 
 
 
8.  (C)  Hrytsenko noted that Yushchenko had told him 
November 10 that he was concerned about the Working Group,s 
failure to meet; this was a factor in his evaluation of 
Tymoshenko,s prospects to become prime minister, but she 
would also have to meet other conditions.  Hrytsenko wryly 
noted that the conversation had been carried in the press. 
(Note: Kommersant Ukrayina, in its November 12 edition, 
reported that microphones had not been turned off during 
Yushchenko,s participation at a swearing-in ceremony for new 
soldiers.  The paper noted that Yushchenko had met with 
Tymoshenko and OU-PSD political council chairman Vyacheslav 
Kyrylenko November 9 to urge both political factions to enter 
into negotiations with Party of Regions regarding a broad 
coalition.  During the overheard conversation, Yushchenko 
disparaged Kyrylenko, implying that he did not want Kyrylenko 
to become Rada speaker and bemoaned BYuT and OU-PSD,s 
unwillingness to negotiate with Regions.) 
 
9.  (C)  Hrytsenko continued that Tymoshenko would need to 
agree cancel objectionable provisions of the coalition 
agreement -- the early abolishment of the military draft, 
refunds of savings in three years, and the moratorium on land 
sales.  In addition, Tymoshenko would need to agree to sign a 
draft letter to the NATO Secretary General formally 
requesting a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine. 
Hrytsenko said he had signed the letter of support for the 
coalition without reservations because the letter did not 
itself incorporate the coalition agreement, and its 
objectionable provisions, but simply said the signatories 
would approve the coalition agreement once it was introduced 
into the Rada.  Later in the conversation, Hrytsenko said the 
draft letter was ready and had room for two signatures -- the 
President,s and the Prime Minister,s.  Although Yushchenko 
could change his mind, Hrytsenko opined that the signature on 
the letter would be a prerequisite for Yushchenko,s backing 
of a prime ministerial candidate.  Hrytsenko noted that the 
coalition agreement set MAP not as a rhetorical goal but 
specifying the legislation to be amended and that all other 
necessary steps would be taken to fulfill MAP.  Tymoshenko 
had signed
the coalition agreement. 
 
10.  (C)  If these conditions were met, Hrytsenko said, 
Yushchenko would back Tymoshenko as Prime Minister and 
Plyushch as Rada speaker.  OU-PSD would put forward serious 
candidates for its Cabinet allocations, which Tymoshenko 
would not oppose since OU-PSD had its agreed quota.  OU-PSD 
would also support Plyushch if Yushchenko asked.  In response 
to Kramer,s question regarding who was really in control, 
Hrytsenko pointed to the selection of Plyushch as evidence 
that, while Baloha might be an influence, Yushchenko 
ultimately made his own decisions.  When Kramer sought 
confirmation that Plyushch and Baloha do not get along, 
Hrytsenko quipped, "They get, but not really 'along.'" 
 
11. (C)  Hrytsenko laid out the possibility of a caretaker 
government, with the Rada speaker elected but not the Prime 
Minister.  While Yanukovych had zero chance of being selected 
as the next prime minister, he could continue on as an acting 
prime minister of this caretaker government, which could 
remain in place as long as a year.  Yanukovych, unlike a 
month ago, was ready to stay on in this role.  When Kramer 
mentioned that Yanukovych, in Kramer,s meeting, had appeared 
confident that he could become prime minister, Hrytsenko 
again quipped that Yanukovych was like the cuckolded husband 
who was the last to know that his wife was cheating. 
Hrytsenko said he would remain as Defense Minister if asked, 
giving up his Rada seat when the Cabinet was formed.  He 
opined that Yatsenyuk might prefer the position of National 
Bank governor or to return to working in a government 
economic or financial position, but he did not definitely 
know.  If Yatsenyuk were to leave, then presumably 
Presidential Adviser Oleksandr Chaliy might be a leading 
candidate for foreign minister. 
 
Plyushch - Looking for a 300 plus Majority 
------------------------------------------ 
 
12.  (C)  Noting that those who thought that the pre-term 
elections would change nothing were wrong, NSDC Secretary 
Plyushch said that the main goal right now was not to form a 
coalition, but instead was restore stability to political 
life.  The constitutional amendments agreed in 2004 were 
clumsy and had upset the system of checks and balances.  In 
Plyushch's view, what was needed now was a 300-vote coalition 
in order to change the constitution.  He acknowledged that 
the constitution could also be changed via referendum, but 
that a referendum was an instrument that needed to be used 
carefully -- in March 1991, 70% of Ukrainians wanted to stay 
in the USSR; in December the same year, 90% had supported 
independence.  According to Plyushch, the President is the 
 
KYIV 00002833  004 OF 007 
 
 
sole legitimate entity in the country and bears the 
responsibility for creating the conditions of political 
stability and prosperity.  He argued that it was impossible 
to support a decision endorsed by only one part of the 
population; that force alone could not implement the needed 
political reforms to secure the balance of power.  He noted 
that 228 votes for a coalition was not enough to bring 
stability.  No matter how much Yushchenko might like the 228 
votes, he could not forget that he represented all political 
forces and all Ukrainians. 
 
13. (C)  When DAS Kramer asked specifically how it would be 
possible to get the support of 300 deputies in the Rada, 
Plyushch said that this would only come about as a result of 
a political understanding between OU-PSD, Regions and BYuT. 
Once this general understanding was reached, Lytvyn's bloc 
would join in as well.  Arguing that BYuT had more members 
than just Tymoshenko, who would definitely oppose this larger 
grouping, Plyushch said that some in OU-PSD would also oppose 
it, at a minimum the 13 OU-PSD field commanders who performed 
well only during revolutions.  Yushchenko was not afraid of 
Tymoshenko or the 2010 elections.  In the next two years he 
was committed to fulfilling his original campaign goals -- 
Ten Steps Toward the People -- but to do this he needed 300 
votes.  It was critical for Yanukovych and Tymoshenko to 
subordinate their efforts to form a coalition to the greater 
good of achieving political stability.  Plyushch acknowledged 
that getting 300 votes was the goal, but if he failed, there 
would be no regrets for trying.  In Plyushch's view, 
accepting a 228-vote coalition would be admitting that 300 
was unattainable and then trying to choose the best of all 
the bad options. 
 
14.  (C)  In Plyushch's mind, the ideal set-up would be for 
Yanukovych to be Speaker and Tymoshenko to be PM, but as of 
today, they could never negotiate a deal.  Yanukovych is now 
willing, but Tymoshenko refuses.  He said that he did not 
oppose Kyrylenko as Speaker -- "being young is not a 
drawback," however, as Speaker, Kyrylenko would not be a 
political participant, but a "non-factional deputy" 
responsible for the functioning of the Rada.  When asked 
whether he would be Speaker, Plyushch said that no one had 
offered him the job and that he would prefer to stay at NSDC. 
 However, he had come to NSDC because Yushchenko had asked 
him; if Yushchenko asked him to go to the Rada, he would 
fulfill his request. Plyushch was scathing in his criticism 
of Tymoshenko's campaign promises that were included in the 
draft coalition agreement, especially regarding the costs of 
abolishing military conscription and repaying the lost 
savings of Ukrainian depositors after the break-up of the 
USSR, noting that she did not yet have 228 votes for the 
orange coalition quipping "I won't give my vote easily." 
 
Lutsenko - Against Plyushch As Speaker 
-------------------------------------- 
 
15. (C)  OU-PSD head Lutsenko said that Baloha and his group 
have not learned any lessons from the past and think they 
have much more bargaining power than they really do.  He laid 
out several variants: Kyrylenko as speaker with Tymoshenko as 
PM; Plyushch as Speaker with a 90% chance that Yanukovych 
remains as acting PM and 10% that a coalition is formed to 
back Tymoshenko; Yanukovych as Speaker with Baloha as PM 
(Lutsenko believes this scenario is only possible in 
Baloha,s mind, but at a later meeting Regions Deputy 
Bohoslovska laid it out for the Ambassador as a serious 
option, with Baloha, Yatsenyuk or Lytvyn as PM); and Lytvyn 
as Speaker with Tymoshenko as PM.  Lutsenko said he would 
support any basic orange democratic coalition.  Any other 
result would mean that he would go into the opposition with 
Tymoshenko.  He does not hold her in high regard, referring 
to her several times as "neo-communist" (Bohoslovska's term 
was "neo-Bolshevik"), yet her policy goals of European 
integration, WTO, and steps to create an independent Ukraine 
track with his political vision.  Lutsenko indicated that 
Baloha initially supported the first variant of Kyrylenko as 
Speaker and Tymoshenko as PM, but was convinced by Regions 
financier Rinat Ahkmetov politically and personally (Lutsen
ko 
said Baloha has hundreds of thousands of dollars as a gift 
from Ahkmetov in his safe) to support the variant of Plyushch 
as Speaker and Yanukovych as Acting PM. 
 
16. (C)  In Lutsenko's view, Yushchenko,s political future 
is virtually dead regardless of what comes out of the 
negotiations.  The only thing Yushchenko can do that isn't 
political suicide is go with the first variant of Kyrylenko 
as Speaker and Tymoshenko as PM.  Even then, Lutsenko could 
not see how Yushchenko could win a second term without a 
radical change in the election law.  He said that his 
electorate would not forgive him for betraying the Orange and 
 
KYIV 00002833  005 OF 007 
 
 
that Ukraine would turn into a two party system which 
Lutsenko thinks would be a tragic result for Ukraine.  He 
says he joined OU because of his fear of a two party system 
and that as a practical matter, he needed OU,s support on 
election committees.  (Embassy Note:  As a 
recently-established political organization, People's Self 
Defense did not have standing under the election law to 
participate as an independent party.  End note.)  Lutsenko 
did not regret the decision and would make the same one in 
hindsight in spite of OU,s poor electoral showing and OU,s 
electoral mismanagement.  However, if push came to shove, 
Lutsenko would go with BYuT into opposition and break away 
from OU.  Lutsenko noted that Yushchenko is particularly 
frustrated with Baloha because once again, Yushchenko is 
faced with no good alternatives and needs to get his hands 
dirty in the negotiation process.  Lutsenko noted one aspect 
of the close Yushchenko/Baloha relationship is a genuine 
friendship; another is that Baloha has been very active in 
pushing the President,s agenda by any means necessary. 
Lutsenko wryly noted a number of times this has allowed 
Yushchenko to distance himself from the day to day political 
fighting and focus on less urgent issues such as the 
Holodomor commemoration. 
 
17.  (C)  Lutsenko did not believe that any coalition would 
be achieved before late December which means Yanukovych will 
remain as Acting PM and be able to use his position to 
bludgeon the Orange side on a daily basis.  Lutsenko thought 
that a broad coalition between OU/Regions can't happen 
because at least half of OU (including his group) would not 
agree to a broad coalition and go into the opposition.  Any 
broad coalition between OU/Regions would almost assuredly 
need the support of the Communists, a scenario that is 
unpalatable to both OU and Regions.  He said that 
negotiations are even more complicated because Regions 
(encouraged by Baloha) are acting as if they won the 
election.  According to Lutsenko, Lytvyn is a wildcard. 
Lutsenko claimed that Lytvyn was happy with the chaos because 
he is positioning himself to be the "man on the white horse" 
who could save Ukraine from its bickering politicians. 
Another reason Lytvyn was trying to stay above the fray was 
that he only represented himself and a few others in his 
bloc; he could not be certain that the other members of his 
bloc would support any deal that he made. 
 
18,  (C)  Lutsenko lamented the politics of personalities 
among the "three dinosaurs".  He noted his desire to become 
mayor of Kyiv, something that none of the three dinosaurs 
want, and described the overall political situation as 
dysfunctional, lacking any strategic vision or thinking. 
However, the Big Three are very careful not to allow up and 
coming politicians a platform to provide a better alternative 
and vision.  Lutsenko does not personally care for Lytvyn but 
noted he at least can speak and think strategically.  He says 
Lytvyn has little popular support (funding from Firtash among 
others) and it is unclear what if any agenda Lytvyn has to 
offer.  However, if Lytvyn enters the fray on one side or the 
other, a coalition could form that would provide stability 
and could help make politics "normal" for a year to a year a 
half until the Presidential elections. 
 
BYuT - Orange Still Possible 
---------------------------- 
 
19.  (C)  Tymoshenko Foreign Policy Advisor Nemiryia told DAS 
Kramer that Tymoshenko was out of the country relaxing -- 
that's how confident she was in the outcome of the Rada 
coalition negotiations.  He explained that Tymoshenko would 
only consider two outcomes: either the premiership, which he 
put at about 70 percent, or opposition.  Surprisingly, he 
mentioned that if Tymoshenko were to become prime minister, 
she was considering Beijing as her first official visit.  He 
expressed regret that current NSDC Chairman Plyushch had a 
very good chance of becoming the Rada speaker, but seemed 
resigned to this outcome.  Nemiryia said that that Krylenko 
from Our Ukraine, who had been considered a potential 
candidate for the Rada Speaker, had been undermined by 
Presidential Administration head Baloha.  He opined that 
Lutsenko would make a good chairman of the NSDC, which he 
thought was poorly run by Plyushch.  Nemiryia confirmed that 
Tymoshenko has not changed her position on refusing to sign 
the letter with Yushchenko on asking NATO for a MAP and that 
she would not sign unless it was modified.  In her view, 
concern about Ukrainian energy security and ongoing gas 
negotiations with Russia further complicated the matter. 
 
 
Yanukovych: Broad Coalition by mid-December 
------------------------------------------- 
 
 
KYIV 00002833  006 OF 007 
 
 
20.  (C)  A relaxed and confident PM Yanukovych told DAS 
Kramer that he expected a broad coalition of Party of 
Regions, OU-PSD and the Lytvyn Bloc to be formed no later 
than mid-December, with 268 MPs and agreement that Yanukovych 
would remain PM.  Otherwise, he said, Regions was ready to go 
into opposition, which would "not be a tragedy".  He said 
that a three vote majority "orange coalition" could not 
function and cited his previous experience in 2004 when he 
needed a majority of 243 votes to run the Government 
effectively.   Once the broad coalition was in place, he 
would be able to promote stability and undertake 
constitutional reform.  When pressed on whether an orange 
coalition would even go up for a vote, he said if he were a 
betting man, the odds were 100 to 1 against it. 
 
21.  (C)  DAS Kramer praised Yanukovych and other Ukrainian 
leaders for resolving their differences peacefully through 
elections and encouraged Yanukovych to continue to make 
Ukraine a good example of a functioning democracy for the 
region.  However the USG hoped to see a government formed as 
soon as possible and that we would continue to have good 
cooperation with whatever coalition is formed.  He warned 
that Western leaders could lose interest and ignore Ukraine 
if it did not put an end to the endless political wrangling. 
 
 
22.  (C)  Yanukovych criticized Yuliya Tymoshenko for 
resorting to "populist" rhetoric during the final weeks of 
the election campaign and believed that her promis
es were 
unrealistic and meant to deceive voters.   He said that 
Tymoshenko's campaign promises to professionalize the 
military by 2008 and return lost savings from Soviet-era 
banks created a rift in the BYuT/OU-PSD pre-election 
agreement forcing OU-PSD into an awkward position.  He added 
that Tymoshenko's hopes for the presidency in 2009 would be 
shattered if she publicly went back on her campaign promises 
and hinted that some in BYuT may not support the coalition 
out of "principle".  When asked by DAS Kramer about efforts 
to pressure BYuT and OU-PSD MPs to vote against the 
coalition, Yanukovych in a veiled reply said that Regions had 
not made any efforts to pressure MPs, but some individual MPs 
might have done so because they saw no other option. 
 
 
Lytvyn: Waiting in the Wings 
---------------------------- 
 
23.  (C)  Lytvyn told DAS Kramer that his position on 
coalitions remained the same -- he was ready to participate 
in the formation of a coalition, but he would not join a 
coalition that had already been formed.  He said that he 
wanted to support President Yushchenko, who had taken a 
consistent democratic position since 2004, but that he would 
not serve the interests of "those who speak on his behalf." 
According to Lytvyn, in the Rada, his bloc would support 
legislation proposed by Yushchenko, but that he could not 
join the orange coalition on the terms that they have 
proposed -- he did not want to "be a Moroz."  He suggested 
that Yushchenko had not yet made a decision regarding the 
shape of the future coalition.  If Tymoshenko was not 
successful, Lytvyn did not have another candidate in mind - 
his bloc would abstain.  In Lytvyn's view, the best coalition 
would be a grand coalition of Regions, BYuT and OU-PSD; 
second choice would be orange; and third would be Regions, 
part of OU-PSD and the Communists.  He thought that if 
Yushchenko allowed Tymoshenko to become PM, then he would be 
giving her his blessing as the next President.  According to 
Lytvyn, if Yushchenko proposes Tymoshenko as PM, he would not 
support her candidacy or her campaign promises.  Lytvyn said 
that he would consider supporting her nomination as PM if she 
had a real plan for achieving her promises, but that she had 
no plan.  All in all, he predicted that it would take at 
least a month for the political game to play out, although it 
would move faster if orange succeeded in getting 228 votes 
for a coalition and a prime minister. 
 
24.  (C)  In Lytvyn's view, his bloc will be a 
politically-neutral, friendly force that will support any 
proposals and legislative work that won't cause problems 
within the faction.  A budget was a critical first step.  He 
said that if Tymoshenko wanted to work hard and avoid her 
leftist leanings, then she would be successful.  However, if 
she saw the premiership as a first step toward the 
presidency, then she would fail.  Lytvyn urged that the Rada 
convene and be allowed to begin work and follow the 
procedures.  However, he was concerned that some in Regions 
would not accept the idea of being in the opposition; it was 
critical that the President and a future PM ensure that 
Regions' deputies were turned into friends not foes.  Lytvyn 
said that Yushchenko could not choose Kyrylenko to be 
 
KYIV 00002833  007 OF 007 
 
 
Speaker; he would become Tymoshenko's deputy in the Rada.  He 
thought it was likely that Yushchenko would support Plyushch 
for the job and that Tymoshenko would also support it.  In 
his scenario, some in OU-PSD would not support Plyushch, but 
others in Regions would.  At that point, it would be clear 
that Tymoshenko could not be elected as PM or form a 
government and Yanukovych would remain in place as Acting PM. 
 After a year, if the government did well, Yushchenko could 
take the credit.  If not, he could disband it.  The future 
would be determined by Yushchenko in concert with Plyushch 
and Yanukovych.  The only remaining issue would be what to do 
with Tymoshenko. 
 
25. (U)  DAS Kramer did not have an opportunity to clear this 
cable prior to departing from Kyiv. 
 
26. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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