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08KYIV1085, UKRAINE: LOW-KEY REACTION TO DUMA STATEMENT ON

June 5, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV1085 2008-06-05 13:14 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO2003
RR RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHKV #1085/01 1571314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051314Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5750
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 001085 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: MARR PGOV PREL RS UP WTO
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: LOW-KEY REACTION TO DUMA STATEMENT ON 
NATO/BLACK SEA FLEET 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 1568 
     B. 07 KYIV 3101 
 
 1. (SBU) Summary. The June 4 Russian Duma statement calling 
for termination of the 1997 Ukraine-Russia Friendship Treaty 
in response to Ukrainian NATO membership has elicited 
relatively restrained responses in Kyiv.  President 
Yushchenko, on the eve of his departure for the CIS Summit in 
St. Petersburg, noted Ukraine's respect for the Russian 
nation and people and characterized as a mistake any move to 
revise the strategic partnership as enshrined in the 
Friendship Treaty.  PM Tymoshenko characterized the Duma 
action as "inadequate" and Rada faction leader Volodymyr 
Lytvyn saw it as "an emotional statement" that should be 
addressed through an inter-parliamentary meeting.  The latest 
salvo of exchanges on NATO membership was triggered by 
President Yushchenko's May 20 decree ordering, in preparation 
for the 2017 expiration of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) 
basing agreement, a draft act on termination of the bilateral 
agreements governing the BSF basing in Crimea.  An MFA 
statement characterized the draft act as a legal requirement 
in the process leading to termination of the agreements. End 
Summary. 
 
 
Restrained Response 
------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) While the Duma statement generated a flurry of 
critical popular press, the response from government leaders 
has been relatively restrained.  President Yushchenko, 
preparing for the CIS Summit in St. Petersburg and his 
initial meeting with President Medvedev, emphasized that he 
considered the bilateral relationship with Russia to be a 
"strategic partnership that is enshrined in the Friendship 
Treaty."  He characterized as a political mistake any action 
that tried to "revise" the relationship, and stressed 
Ukraine's "high respect for the Russian nation and Russian 
people."  Yushchenko reiterated that Ukraine was a sovereign 
state that would build its foreign policy and security 
relationships based on national interest, while restating his 
guarantee (as per the Constitution) that no foreign military 
bases would be stationed on Ukraine's territory. 
 
3. (SBU) PM Tymoshenko called the Duma action "inadequate," 
noting that "every radical step simply worsens the situation 
between our countries."  She underlined that her government 
was working to maintain good cooperation with Moscow, moving 
into soccer diplomacy mode by adding that all of Ukraine had 
supported the St. Petersburg based club Zenit in its UEFA cup 
win.  Rada faction leader Voldymyr Lytvyn characterized the 
Duma statement as "emotional", calling for an 
inter-parliamentary discussion of differences and noting that 
NATO membership was not a near-term possibility in any event. 
 Statements from other political leaders have balanced 
between irritation at the Duma action and calls for calm 
dialogue.  Former PM and current opposition leader 
Yanukovych, currently in Moscow and reportedly meeting with 
President Medvedev and PM Putin, has not reacted publicly. 
 
Continued Push on BSF Removal 
----------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Yushchenko and FM Ohryzko have continued to push 
hard on the BSF basing issue, leading to delivery in 
mid-April 2008 of a memorandum to the Russian MFA outlining 
timelines and measures to insure withdrawal of the BSF by the 
May 2017 agreement deadline.  The MFA posted a statement on 
May 24 outlining the reasons for President Yushchenko's 
decree, noting in particular the legal need for an act 
terminating the respective agreements governing basing and 
emphasizing that Ukraine was not considering extension of the 
agreement.  The inclusion of language that precluded the 
possibil

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