Skip to content

08KYIV2440, PARTY OF REGIONS GEARS UP TO OPPOSE NEW COALITION

December 12, 2008

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08KYIV2440.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV2440 2008-12-12 17:04 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #2440/01 3471704
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121704Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6918
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 002440 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: PARTY OF REGIONS GEARS UP TO OPPOSE NEW COALITION 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Colin Cleary for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
SUMMARY 
-------- 
 
1. (C) Opposition Party of Regions appears resigned to the 
new three faction coalition led by PM Tymoshenko's bloc, 
announced December 9.  Regions contacts note that even if the 
parties are able to sign a coalition agreement, they lack a 
solid voting majority in the Rada.  Regions MPs expressed 
little remorse over the failure of their party to come to an 
agreement with BYuT.  Oligarch Dmitriy Firtash (main 
Ukrainian owner of gas intermediary RosUkrEnergo) reportedly 
prevailed on Regions leader Yanukovych to scuttle a 
prospective coalition deal with BYuT at the last minute, 
seeking an alliance with President Yushchenko instead. 
Regions MPs underline a major advantage in remaining in 
opposition: avoiding blame -- and responsibility -- for 
Ukraine's worsening economic situation.  Yanukovych has 
announced he will give the new coalition 100 days to tackle 
the economic crisis before organizing rallies against the 
government.  This conveys opposition to -- but also tacit 
acceptance of -- the new coalition.  End Summary. 
 
 
COALITION, WHAT COALITION? 
-------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Former Prime Minister and Regions head Viktor 
Yanukovych has made contradictory comments to the press about 
the new coalition announced December 9, consisting of Prime 
Minister Tymoshenko's bloc (BYuT), Our Ukraine-People's Self 
Defense (OU-PSD) and Rada Speaker Lytvyn's bloc.  Yanukovych 
at first stated that the new coalition did not yet exist 
because the required paperwork had not been filed in the 
Rada.  He later said that Regions would give the newly formed 
coalition 100 days to tackle Ukraine's economic crisis before 
calling on voters to stage mass rallies against the 
government. 
 
3. (C) Regions Deputy Faction leader Hanna Herman dismissed 
as a political stunt Rada Speaker Lytvyn's announcement on 
December 9 that BYuT, OU-PSD, and the Lytvyn Bloc had formed 
a majority coalition.  She underlined to us that the 
coalition would not be officially formed until the paperwork 
is filed in the Rada.  Herman added that she has serious 
doubts that OU-PSD will be able to overcome its own internal 
divisions to form a coalition with anyone.  She noted that 
OU-PSD's paralysis was one of the reasons Regions had renewed 
negotiations to form a coalition with BYuT, despite being 
"betrayed" by Tymoshenko in September. 
 
4. (C) Head of Regions' youth movement and MP Vitaliy 
Khomotinnik told us that Lytvyn's premature coalition 
announcement was a tactic to pressure Yushchenko into 
supporting a renewed alliance with Tymoshenko.  He said that 
Yushchenko risks losing what little support he has left by 
undermining a renewed orange coalition.  Outspoken Regions MP 
Nestor Shufrych told us that, as one of the authors of the 
current constitution, he believes BYuT, OU-PSD, and the 
Lytvyn Bloc have satisfied the legal requirements needed to 
form a coalition.  He said Regions' position as an opposition 
party forced them to attack the new coalition on any front 
possible, including the legality of its formation.  Shufrych 
predicted that Regions would soon acknowledge the coalition's 
existence and focus on offering alternatives to its economic 
recovery efforts. 
 
FIRTASH SCUTTLED DEAL WITH BYUT 
------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) Regions Deputy faction leader and MP Volodomyr 
Makiyenko told us that Regions and BYuT had finalized a 
coalition agreement December 8.  He said that opposition from 
the grouping within Regions associated with businessman 
Dmitriy Firtash (majority Ukrainian owner of natural gas 
intermediary RosUkrEnergo (RUE)) ultimately scuttled the 
deal.  Makiyenko underlined that Firtash is afraid that 
Tymoshenko will be able to remove RUE from the natural gas 
trade between Russia and Ukraine.  Makiyenko said that the 
RUE group in Regions demanded the Prime Minister's chair as 
the price for its acquiescence to the coalition, knowing that 
Tymoshenko staying as Prime Minister was a prerequisite to 
any deal with BYuT. 
 
6. (C) Shufrych agreed that Firtash was responsible for 
stopping the deal with BYuT.  He said that just before the 
deal was to be signed, Firtash convinced Yanukovych to put 
off signing the agreement for three days.  Shufrych said 
Firtash claimed to be close to a deal with Yushchenko that 
would appoint Regions MP and Firtash ally Yuriy Boyko as 
Prime Minister.  Shufrych told us that many in Regions were 
skeptical of Yushchenko's ability to deliver the support of 
the OU-PSD faction for any deal the President negotiated on 
their behalf.  In the end, according to Shufrych, Firtash's 
delay allowed OU-PSD MPs afraid of a deal between Regions and 
BYuT to gain the upper hand in their bloc and negotiate a 
deal with Tymoshenko. 
 
REGIONS WINS BY LOSING? 
----------------------- 
 
7. (C)  Regions failure to form a coalition with BYuT will 
benefit the party in the long term, according to Regions MP 
Yuriy Miroshnychenko.  He said that now it will be clear to 
the Ukrainian electorate who is respo
nsible if the economic 
situation worsens.  Khomotinnik predicted that the new 
coalition would not last through the spring and that its 
collapse would strengthen Regions as voters looked for a 
party with a proven track record on the economy.  Makiyenko 
told us that not signing a coalition with BYuT was a 
"blessing."  With the economic situation getting 
significantly worse over the next three to four months, 
Regions would now escape blame, although he admitted that 
even if Regions controlled the government there was little 
they could do in the short run to halt the crisis.  Makiyenko 
predicted that by spring, voters would "beg for a Regions led 
government." 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
8. (C) Regions deputies did not express feelings of betrayal 
toward BYuT, as they had over Regions' previous failed 
coalition negotiations with BYuT in September.  Regions MPs 
acknowledged that divisions within their party were largely 
to blame for failing to close the deal.  Yanukovych's 
announcement that he would give the new coalition a hundred 
days before organizing protests, while a statement of 
opposition, was also an implicit recognition of the new 
formation. 
PETTIT

Wikileaks

Advertisements

From → CONFIDENTIAL

Leave a Comment

Post tour comment here

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: