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March 13, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV527 2008-03-13 11:56 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv


DE RUEHKV #0527/01 0731156
P 131156Z MAR 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 000527 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2018 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
1. (C) Summary: PM Tymoshenko told the Ambassador that she 
would do "everything in her power" to get a MAP for Ukraine 
at Bucharest, during a 90-minute March 13 meeting. 
Tymoshenko said that she understood that it was important 
that her statements about wanting something positive at 
Bucharest not be misinterpreted as her being ready to settle 
for something less than a MAP -- especially as she was 
discussing this issue in meetings and phone calls with Allied 
leaders.  She thanked the USG for the work being done at the 
highest levels on Ukraine's behalf and said that she would 
welcome a call from the Secretary to discuss tactics. 
Tymoshenko noted that her office was working on setting up a 
meeting or phone conversation with German Chancellor Merkel 
and French President Sarkozy before the Bucharest Summit, and 
that she would appreciate USG support in helping to make 
these meetings happen.  Although continuing to note that she 
and her government remained under extreme pressure from 
President Yushchenko and key leaders in the Presidential 
Secretariat, who she said were trying to block her work, 
Tymoshenko reiterated that she and the President were united 
in their support of MAP and acknowledged that complaining 
about strains within the coalition to European Allies would 
not help her make the case for MAP. 
2.  (C)  Comment.  The Prime Minister was unaccompanied to 
the meeting (top foreign policy advisor Nemiryia was in 
Brussels to attend the European People's Party (EPP) 
congress).  She appeared surprised that her push for some 
kind of positive response to what NATO leaders were 
describing to her as a lack of Allied consensus on a response 
to Ukraine's request for a MAP was being interpreted as a 
sign that she was not fully committed.  Tymoshenko 
internalized the suggestion that she needed to be clear and 
convincing in upcoming talks about her commitment to nothing 
less than a MAP for Ukraine and appreciated our frank 
assessment that convincing Chancellor Merkel to support 
Ukraine's request was key.  She understands that Germany is 
nervous about Ukraine's MAP request because of concerns about 
internal unity in Kyiv and the possible Russian reaction to a 
MAP for Ukraine and pressed for specifics about what she 
could do to counter those concerns.  Tymoshenko was 
particularly eager to get advice from the Secretary about how 
best to approach Merkel.  End Summary and Comment. 
Making the Push on MAP 
3.  (C)  After the Ambassador updated the Prime Minister on 
the state of play within the Alliance as to how to respond to 
Ukraine's request for a MAP, PM Tymoshenko started out by 
expressing appreciation for all of the work that the USG is 
doing at the highest levels to support Ukraine.  She noted 
that Ukraine had been under pressure "from all sides" since 
sending the letter, but that the Ukrainian side was committed 
to do everything possible to succeed in getting a MAP.  The 
PM said that MAP was very important and if there was no 
consensus among NATO Allies, then we would need to find a way 
to show progress in Ukraine's relationship with NATO at 
4,  (C)  During her March 12 telephone conversation with NATO 
Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer, Tymoshenko said that she 
told him that she and the Government were ready to do 
everything necessary to help with this issue in order to 
succeed at Bucharest and to overcome the skeptics within the 
Alliance.  She said "I asked him to tell me what needs to be 
done in order to get a positive result at Bucharest, and I 
will do it."  Tymoshenko admitted that she had said to De 
Hoop Scheffer that she understood that there was now no 
consensus within NATO and she appreciated whatever he could 
do, but took the point that this could have been taken to 
mean that she supported something less than a MAP for Ukraine 
at Bucharest.  However, this was not correct; she did support 
a MAP for Ukraine at Bucharest and if necessary, she would 
send a letter to the Secretary General to make this point 
5.  (C)  Tymoshenko noted that her office was also working on 
setting up meetings or telephone conversations with German 
Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy before the 
Bucharest Summit, and said that she would appreciate USG 
support in helping to make these meetings happen.  Tymoshenko 
said that she had hoped to meet Merkel in Brussels at the EPP 
congress, but that President Yushchenko had decided to attend 
himself and opposed her taking part.  She said that she would 
do "everything in her power" to get MAP.  The PM wryly noted 
that Ukraine's 2008 Annual Target Plan (ATP) was still 
awaiting signature by President Yushchenko and that she would 
push him to sign the ATP at their next meeting.  However, 
there had been some positive movement in Kyiv, including the 
unblocking of the Rada, and that she and the Government would 
do everything necessary to change attitudes toward MAP inside 
and outside of the country. &#x00
Strains Inside the Coalition - But not over MAP 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
6.  (C)  Tymoshenko expressed her thanks to the USG for 
encouraging President Yushchenko to keep the democratic 
coalition intact, but said that the internal situation within 
the coalition was "becoming more critical on a daily basis." 
She bemoaned the critical public statements issued from the 
Presidential Secretariat, clearly authorized by the 
President, that had forced the Government to waste time 
fighting back.  According to the PM, the Government wanted to 
undertake difficult reforms to deal with the gas situation 
and inflation, but when she got serious about issues like 
limiting social expenditures, she was faced with serious 
criticism from President Yushchenko.  The Government's 
privatization program -- something that she is counting on to 
bring revenues for the budget -- is near collapse.  In 
Tymoshenko's view, someone had told the President that he 
could bring down the Government if he stopped the 
privatization program; by keeping in place State Property 
Commission head Semenyuk (who she described as completely in 
step with Presidential Secretariat head Baloha), Yushchenko 
had succeeded. 
7.  (C)  According to Tymoshenko, if the President continued 
in this direction and the orange coalition collapsed, then 
there was no alternative to having her Rada deputies and half 
of Our Ukraine's deputies leave the Parliament and force new 
elections.  In her view, if the President was already 
thinking about the next presidential election, then he was 
"two years too early."  Perhaps the answer was a new 
constitution and the establishment of a purely parliamentary 
system.  However, consensus would be required in order to 
adopt a new constitution.  And, thus far, the President was 
moving in the opposite direction by advocating a presidential 
form of government. 
8.  (C)  Although her internal political difficulties were 
acute, Tymoshenko admitted that complaining about them to 
NATO leaders like Merkel would be counterproductive -- and 
actually an argument against giving Ukraine a MAP at 
Bucharest.  Tymoshenko reiterated that she and Yushchenko 
were united on MAP.  Acknowledging Merkel's recent statements 
that the majority of Ukrainians were opposed to NATO 
membership, Tymoshenko agreed that Ukraine was not ready for 
membership, but "we need to get ready" and MAP would help do 
that.  She noted that a similar phenomenon had happened with 
EU membership; five years ago most Ukrainians were opposed, 
but now more than 70% supported. 
Worries about Russia's Reaction 
9.  (C)  Tymoshenko asked for more details about why some 
countries opposed MAP for Ukraine.  She acknowledged there 
were legitimate concerns about the unity of the Ukrainian 
Government, but asked whether concern about Russia's reaction 
was the real problem.  The Ambassador noted that the USG was 
trying to help keep the Russians calm about ongoing 
discussions in NATO and Ukraine's request for a MAP, and that 
Ukraine could also help on this.  Tymoshenko said that she 
would talk to East Europeans and the Balts about lobbying 
Merkel to support Ukraine's request. 
10.  (C)  Noting the proposed visit of President Bush to 
Kyiv, Tymoshenko said that she hoped there would be public 
discussions of the close relationship that had evolved 
between Russia and NATO.  In fact, in many ways, Ukraine's 
own relationship with NATO was lagging behind.  By 
highlighting specific results of Russia's good cooperation 
with NATO, President Bush would be able to prove to those 
people living in eastern Ukraine that NATO and Russia were 
not enemies and in fact, were cooperating closely. 
11. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 




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