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08KYIV1966, TYMOSHENKO CALLS YUSHCHENKO’S BLUFF

October 2, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV1966 2008-10-02 15:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #1966/01 2761510
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021510Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6440
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 001966 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR UP
SUBJECT: TYMOSHENKO CALLS YUSHCHENKO'S BLUFF 
 
REF: A. KYIV 1754 
     B. KYIV 1943 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires James Pettit for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
SUMMARY 
-------- 
 
1. (C)  On October 1, PM Tymoshenko announced that her BYuT 
faction would accept all Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense 
(OU-PSD) ultimatums and conditions in order to form a 
three-party coalition, keep orange forces together, and avoid 
early elections.  At the same time, Tymoshenko predicted 
Yushchenko would create further obstacles to a new coalition 
agreement.  Yushchenko said he wanted to see Tymoshenko's 
words matched by BYuT's actions, and OU-PSD MPs called 
Tymoshenko's announcement a stunt.  On October 2, however, 
BYuT voted with OU-PSD to annul much of the early September 
legislation that limited presidential powers.  End Summary. 
 
For the Good of Ukraine, or of Tymoshenko? 
------------------------------------------ 
 
2. (U)  PM Tymoshenko announced on October 1 that BYuT would 
accept all conditions sought by Yushchenko's OU-PSD to form a 
three-party coalition with the Lytvyn Bloc.  OU-PSD gave BYuT 
a list of "principles" required to form a coalition during 
coalition talks on September 30.  This included a repudiation 
of BYuT's September 2 votes that limited presidential power 
and a consensus on Russia and Georgia.  Tymoshenko said that 
BYuT did not support OU-PSDs positions, but would accept them 
to save the democratic coalition and the "strategic course of 
Ukraine."  Tymoshenko expressed certainty that President 
Yushchenko and OU-PSD faction head Vyacheslav Kyrylenko would 
come up with new conditions and ultimatums "every day," 
saying that BYuT would "close their eyes" and accept them to 
stop the chaos in Ukraine and avoid new elections.  This 
would demonstrate to the country who wants to save the 
democratic coalition, Tymoshenko said. 
 
3. (C) OU-PSD MP Vladislav Kaskiv was quick to dismiss 
Tymoshenko's statement, calling it a "political stunt." 
OU-PSD deputy faction head Roman Zvarych told us the 
statement could be seen as a positive step, but one made out 
of panic as BYuT runs out of options and Tymoshenko's public 
support slips. 
 
Yushchenko, Surrogates, Weigh in on Announcement 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
4. (U) Yushchenko said he wanted to see BYuT take concrete 
steps to back up Tymoshenko's words, including BYuT's support 
for his veto of legislation adopted at the beginning of 
September; Tymoshenko quickly responded to say BYuT was ready 
to do so.  Yushchenko's Rada representative Oksana 
Slyusarenko suggested that, for the good of the country, 
Tymoshenko could give up her PM position to Vladimir Lytvyn 
and focus on her presidential campaign, "which started on 
September 2."  Slyusarenko charged that Tymoshenko's 
statement was not made to stabilize the political situation, 
but to cause a split between the "national democratic 
forces." 
 
October 2: BYuT Backs Up Words with Actions 
------------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) On October 2, BYuT voted with OU-PSD to annul much of 
the September 2 legislation that limited presidential power 
(Ref. A).  BYuT MP Ostap Semarak told us that Rada Speaker 
Arseniy Yatsenyuk also proposed to lead a Rada committee to 
find a consensus position on Russia and Georgia, effectively 
taking that issue off the table.  Semarak said that it is now 
up to OU-PSD to make a move, noting that the most contentious 
issues were out of the way.  He noted that all 156 BYuT 
faction members had signed on to an orange coalition, with 
Lytvyn, along the lines of the previous coalition agreement. 
 
6. (C) After the October 2 votes, BYuT MP Shkil told us that 
BYuT, OU-PSD and Lytvyn would again hold coalition talks.  He 
was hopeful, but not confident, that OU-PSD would agree to a 
new coalition.  OU-PSD MP Kyrylo Kulikov, who supports the 
new three-party coalition, said that, for Yushchenko and the 
OU-PSD leadership, BYuT's actions today is not enough, and 
"it will never be enough" to form a new coalition. 
Yushchenko called BYuT's votes in the Rada "political 
charlatanism," saying the legislation could be re-introduced 
at any time.  He said he was ready to dissolve the Rada if a 
new coalition is not formed within the "proper timeframe." 
 
OU-PSD Negotiating in Bad Faith, BYuT Claims 
-------------------------------------------- 
7. (C) Shkil told us that earlier coalition talks on 
September 30 achieved little progress, adding that OU-PSD 
demands are "not negotiation."  Semarak told us that on 
September 20 Yushchenko ordered OU-PSD not to form a 
coalition.  In a meeting with EconOff, BYuT MP Serhiy 
Teryokhin noted that MP Zvarych told him OU-PSD would never 
sign a new agreement with BYuT.  On October 1, Zvarych told 
us that OU-PSD did not make ultimatums, but rather offered 
proposals with a view to re-establishing the pre-September 2 
status quo.  He said OU-PSD would continue to negotiate with 
BYuT. 
 
Before Tymoshenko Announcement:  Elections Most Likely 
---------------------------------------------
 --------- 
 
8. (C) Before Tymoshenko's October 1 announcement, MPs from 
BYuT, Regions and OU-PSD agreed that a new coalition was 
unlikely.  Regions MP Yuriy Miroshnychenko said elections 
were a "certainty", adding that Yanukovych had decided 
elections were Regions' best way forward.  Miroshnychenko 
said that the Rada parties would decide the election date by 
consensus.  OU-PSD deputy faction head Ruslan Knyazevych told 
us that there was "almost no chance" that OU-PSD and BYuT 
could re-align, saying that the parties would continue talks, 
but agreement was unlikely.  OU-PSD MP Kaskiv agreed, telling 
us there was only a "very slim chance" OU-PSD and BYuT could 
come together, and only then through personal agreement 
between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko.  BYuT contacts gave a 
similarly dim view, saying all parties are preparing for 
elections, and Lytvyn expressed little doubt that elections 
would be held this winter.  Knyazevych told us that "we could 
all be surprised" by a last minute BYuT/Regions coalition 
announcement.  On October 2, Regions MP Vladimir Makayenko 
intimated that such a surprise could be coming. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
9. (C) Yushchenko and OU-PSD continue to call for a new 
coalition while doing little to achieve agreement with BYuT. 
With her public agreement to their stated preconditions, and 
BYuT's votes in the Rada, Tymoshenko appears to have called 
their bluff.  MPs insist any rapprochement must be between 
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, a doubtful prospect.  Reflecting 
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko's relationship writ large, 
Tymoshenko arrived at the airport for her October 2 flight to 
Moscow to find her plane gone:  Yushchenko had taken it to 
Lviv after his plane experienced technical problems, leaving 
Tymoshenko and her entourage scrambling to find a 
replacement. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PETTIT

Wikileaks

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