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08KYIV109, UKRAINE: PM TYMOSHENKO TO LEAD DELEGATION FOR

January 18, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV109 2008-01-18 13:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #0109/01 0181323
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181323Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4751
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 000109 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT ALSO FOR EUR/UMB AND EUR/PRA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/27/2017 
TAGS: UP PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: PM TYMOSHENKO TO LEAD DELEGATION FOR 
SAAKASHVILI INAUGURATION 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 
1.4(b,d) 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary:  President Yushchenko has asked Prime 
Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to lead the Ukrainian delegation 
for the January 20 inauguration of Georgian President Elect 
Mikhail Saakashvili.  Although some here were surprised that 
Yushchenko was not attending himself, both he and Tymoshenko 
have very close warm personal relations with the Georgian 
President cemented during Ukraine's 2004-05 Orange 
Revolution.  Tymoshenko will lead a delegation of six, 
although as of late January 18, the Ukrainian MFA still did 
not know who would be accompanying the PM to Tbilisi.  This 
will be Tymoshenko's first foreign trip since becoming Prime 
Minister -- a testament to both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko's 
belief that it is essential to show strong support for their 
Georgian counterparts and the fact that relations with 
Georgia will remain a top GOU foreign policy priority.  End 
Summary. 
 
TYMOSHENKO TO REPRESENT UKRAINE AT INAUGURATION 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
2.  (C)  According to Georgian DCM Zurab Dvalishvili, the 
Georgian Government is happy to welcome PM Tymoshenko as 
Ukraine's representative for the inauguration.  Dvalishvili 
said that the Georgian side did not know why Tymoshenko would 
attend rather the Yushchenko, but speculated that since 
President Yushchenko had visited Georgia just before the 
January 5 Presidential elections to lend his personal support 
to President Saakashvili, Tymoshenko's visit might be a way 
to show broad Ukrainian governmental support for Georgia. 
Dvalishvili quipped that maybe during his visit, Yushchenko 
had asked Saakashvili to act as a sort of marriage counselor 
or therapist to help them with their volatile relationship 
since President Saakashvili has a close personal relationship 
with both.  Joking aside, Dvalishvili emphasized 
Saakashvili's excellent relations with both Ukrainian leaders 
and Georgia's desire to work closely with them to deepen 
bilateral economic and political relations. 
 
3.  (C)  As of late afternoon on January 18, the make-up of 
the Ukrainian delegation was still unknown.  MFA Georgia desk 
officer Oleksandr Pushkarskiy said the delegation will be no 
more than six members, but still did not know who would go 
with Tymoshenko.  Pushkarskiy confirmed that President 
Yushchenko had deliberately decided that PM Tymoshenko's 
first trip abroad as PM should be to Georgia.  Pushkarskiy 
said Tymoshenko plans to travel to Tbilisi early on January 
20 and return the same evening.  Georgian DCM Dvalishvili 
said the Georgian side is working hard to arrange bilateral 
meetings on the margins of the inauguration, but was 
uncertain whether anything could be arranged.  Dvalishvili 
blamed the PM's hectic schedule.  Pushkarskiy said Tymoshenko 
would like to spend more than one day in Tbilisi, but her 
schedule could not accommodate a longer stay.  (Embassy note: 
 Tymoshenko has a busy week of travel scheduled, including 
trips to Moscow on January 23 and to Brussels on January 
28-29.  End Note.) 
 
WARM RELATIONS BASED ON MUTUAL INTERESTS AND RESPECT 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
4.  (C)  Dvalishvili said that Ukraine and Georgia had very 
close relations and there were positive feelings between 
Georgians and Ukrainians on multiple levels.  Dvalishvili 
pointed to Ukraine and Georgia's similar interests and the 
fact that both face similar "unfair treatment" from Russia. 
Dvalishvili stated that if you listen to Russian news 
commentary and substituted Yushchenko or Tymoshenko for 
Saakashvili or vice versa, the sarcastic and belittling 
statements are almost indistinguishable.  Dvalishvili does 
not underestimate the personal support the leaders give to 
one another, jokingly referring to it as "crying on each 
other's shoulders".  Turning serious, Dvalishvili says that 
it is no secret that Saakashvili, Yushchenko, and Tymoshenko 
want Russia to stay out of their internal affairs and treat 
them with respect; not as petulant leaders of vassal states. 
Dvalishvili said the three leaders generally agree on policy 
matters such as: economic and political integration with the 
West; the importance of attracting Western investment; 
liberalization and diversification of their economies; 
decreasing dependence on Russian energy; and entry into NATO. 
 In addition to personal warmth, the common vision that 
Saakashvili, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have for their 
countries reinforces close Georgian-Ukrainian bilateral 
relations. 
 
5.  (C)    Both the Georgian Embassy and the MFA believe that 
Georgian-Ukrainian relations will only continue to get 
better.  Dvalishvili said Georgia and Ukraine have already 
agreed to place the highest priority on establishing a Kerch 
to Poti ferry line.  Both the GOU and GOG desire to increase 
the volume of trade between their respective countries. 
Dvalishvili believes the ferry line and the ensuing increased 
trade will quickly become a reality under the Tymoshenko 
government.  The MFA's
 Pushkarskiy confirmed that this is 
also a GOU priority.  Dvalishvili noted that establishing 
pipelines for Central Asian oil and gas via Georgia and 
Ukraine into Europe will be discussed in detail during future 
meetings.  Pushkarskiy confirmed that the GOU views further 
discussion on this issue as a priority, but that these 
discussions are preliminary at this point. 
 
6.  (C)  Dvalishvili dismissed the possibility of former PM 
Yanukovych and the Party of Regions playing an unhelpful role 
in strengthening bilateral relations.  Dvalishvili said 
although Yanukovych may have pro-Russian leanings, he is not 
anti-Georgian.  Dvalishvili cited a Georgian proverb noting 
you can pick your friends but not your neighbors.  He said 
Saakashvili's recent statements about a constructive 
relationship with Russia should be viewed in that light.  All 
political players understand that Russia cannot just be 
ignored in spite of the negative role it often plays in the 
region.  Dvalishvili said Georgia prefers an "Orange" openly 
pro-Georgian government, but said that relations with the 
previous government were cordial.  Dvalishvili expressed 
confidence that if the opposition movement in Georgia came to 
power, it would pursue the same policy toward Ukraine as the 
Saakashvili government's current policy.  He said it was 
difficult to find any politician in either county who will 
say something negative about the bilateral relationship.  The 
MFA agreed, with Pushkarskiy confirming that, across the 
political spectrum, there no disagreement regarding Ukraine's 
policy toward Georgia. 
 
MULTILATERAL REGIONAL INITIATIVES SLOW 
-------------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C)  In addition to close bilateral relations, both 
Ukraine and Georgia consider GUAM an important relationship. 
Dvalishvili noted that Georgia is working closely with 
Ukraine on their GUAM initiatives and to help make the GUAM 
secretariat a reality; however, GUAM can only move as fast as 
 
SIPDIS 
its slowest partner.  Pushkarskiy said the GOU is ready and 
willing to move forward in the GUAM framework, especially in 
the economic sphere.  He admits, however; Moldova's 
unwillingness to fully participate makes pushing GUAM 
initiatives forward difficult.  He said former FM Yatsenyuk 
was frustrated by GUAM for this reason, and preferred working 
with Georgia directly on a bilateral basis.  According to 
Pushkarskiy, current FM Ohryzhko has a similar approach, 
feeling that working bilaterally with Georgia is good policy 
in its own right and currently the best way to push GUAM 
forward. 
 
8.  (C)  Dvalishvili acknowledged that Moldova has funding 
problems, but he believes the lack of Moldovan movement on 
GUAM is not a funding issue.  Dvalishvili blamed the Soviet 
style leadership of Moldovan President Voronin for making 
progress difficult.  In his view, although facing similar 
crippling economic measures and rough political treatment 
from Russia, Voronin, unlike Yushchenko or Saakashvili, 
decided that appealing to Moscow for concessions was a better 
tactic than trying to diversify its markets and decrease 
dependency on Russia.  Dvalishvili says the GOU and GOG 
realize that GUAM irritates Russia; however, they are willing 
to more forward as fast as possible on GUAM issues. 
Dvalishvili speculated that Voronin is dragging his feet in 
order to not irritate Russia while he is negotiating for 
economic concessions and a solution to the Transnistria 
conflict. 
 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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