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September 15, 2009

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09KYIV1592 2009-09-15 16:49 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #1592/01 2581649
O 151649Z SEP 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KYIV 001592 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2019 
Classified By: Charge James Pettit.  Reasons: 1.4 (b/d). 
1.  (C) In a September 14 meeting with Charge, Deputy Foreign 
Minister Yeliseyev: 
-- urged the U.S. to agree on a format and dates for the 
Commission on Strategic Partnership; 
-- expressed the hope that there would be an encounter 
between the two Presidents on the margins of UNGA; 
-- outlined a program of bilateral engagement with Russia, 
including two FM meetings and one, perhaps two, Putin working 
visits to Ukraine; 
-- expressed dismay at Ukraine MOD's abrupt cancellation of 
visit of their CHOD to the U.S.; 
-- said MFA would have to respond publicly to the Russian 
Duma's bill on the use of force.  End Summary. 
Commission on Strategic Partnership 
2. (C) Deputy FM Kostyantyn Yeliseyev invited Charge to the 
MFA September 14 to review the bilateral agenda.  Yeliseyev 
affirmed that since acting FM Khandogiy would in all 
likelihood remain as acting FM until after the Presidential 
election, Yeliseyev had assumed responsibility for U.S. 
relations.   Yeliseyev expressed the hope that the U.S. would 
soon finalize its position on how to structure the new 
Ukraine-U.S. Commission on Strategic Partnership.   He 
underlined that Ukraine wanted to accelerate the process and 
hold the inaugural meeting of the Commission as soon as 
possible.  Yeliseyev reiterated the Ukrainian position that 
acting FM Khandogiy and Secretary Clinton formally chair the 
Commission.   However, he understood that the U.S. favored 
holding the first session of the Commission in Washington at 
the level of coordinators -- which would be A/S Gordon and 
himself.  The GOU would be agreeable to this. 
3. (C)  President Yushchenko will be in New York September 
21-24.  Yushchenko plans to attend President Obama's speech 
at the General Assembly.  Yeliseyev said that the Ukrainian 
side hopes there can be a short meeting between the two on 
the margins of the UNGA.   This would demonstrate the 
significance of Ukraine to the U.S. and would be important to 
Yushchenko politically.  Yeliseyev said that acting FM 
Khandogiy also hopes to meet with U/S Burns on the margins of 
the UNGA.  The MFA would welcome confirmation of the date and 
time for such a meeting. 
4. (C) Yeliseyev reiterated the GOU's interest in hosting a 
visit to Ukraine by Secretary Clinton.  The GOU would also 
welcome a visit by A/S Gordon.   Yeliseyev observed that A/S 
Gordon had traveled around the region, including recently to 
Moscow, but had thus far not visited Ukraine.  Some in the 
Ukrainian media, which follows such matters closely, are 
interpreting this as the U.S. ignoring Ukraine. 
5. (C) Charge replied that Vice President Biden's recent 
visit made clear the importance that the U.S. attaches to 
Ukraine.   Further, we maintain a steady stream of senior 
visits, such as that of Assistant Secretary of Defense 
Vershbow (and delegation) later this month.  Ukraine is and 
will remain an important destination for senior U.S. 
Russian Engagement 
6. (C) Yeliseyev noted that FM Lavrov and acting FM Khandogiy 
have a meeting scheduled on the margins of the UNGA.  In 
addition, they have another meeting planned in the course of 
an October 6-7 bilateral, envisioned at the level of Prime 
Ministers, to be held in Kharkiv.  Bilateral economic issues 
will be the focus; Governors from nearby areas of Russia and 
Ukraine will also participate.  Yeliseyev pointed out that 
MFA had proposed issuing a joint statement at the meeting; 
the Russian side had refused. 
7. (C) Heads of government from the CIS will also meet in 
KYIV 00001592  002 OF 003 
Crimea (probably Yalta) on November 19.  Yeliseyev said the 
MFA understood Putin probably would attend.   Russian DFM 
Denisov recently told Ukrainian Amb. Gryshchenko that Putin 
was unlikely to attend both the Crimea and the Kharkiv 
meetings.  Putin did not want to appear to be interfering in 
Ukraine's presidential election by visiting too often. 
8. (C) (In a September 15 meeting with Charge, Deputy Prime 
Minister Nemyria agreed that the optic of two Putin visits in 
such a short period would raise eyebrows in the context of 
the Presidential campaign.   He thought that the timing of 
the PM meeting in Kharkiv could be moved to be just before or 
after the CIS meeting, which would allow Putin to do both in 
one trip.) 
Abrupt Cancellation of CHOD Visit 
9. (C) Charge raised the issue of the abrupt cancellation on 
September 12 -- with less than 24 hours notice -- of the 
visit to the U.S. of Chief of the General Staff Kyrychenko. 
This was to have been a major mil-mil visit, with meetings to 
include Admiral Mullen and General Petraeus.   Charge 
ssed disappointment with acting Defense Minister 
Ivashchenko's decision to cancel -- and the eleventh hour 
10. (C) Yeliseyev expressed complete surprise over the 
cancellation.  He termed it "inexcusable, inappropriate and 
not the policy of the Foreign Ministry."  He lept from his 
chair to call Ivashchenko for an explanation, but was unable 
to reach him.  Yeliseyev said he would relay the "very 
depressing news" immediately to acting FM Khandogiy, who was 
soon to leave with Yushchenko for a visit to Turkmenistan. 
Ivashchenko was accompanying the President as well. 
(Ivashenko's travel with the President was the stated reason 
for the cancellation; he said he could not permit the CHOD to 
leave Ukraine while he too was away.) 
11. (C) Yeliseyev observed that he and Ivashchenko had been 
together late Saturday night for a Cabinet of Ministers 
meeting on the national budget.  Ivashchenko had sat near 
Yeliseyev, but had mentioned nothing about the cancellation. 
 Yeliseyev offered to get back to Charge with an explanation. 
12. (C) (In his September 15 meeting with Charge, DPM Nemyria 
also expressed surprise at the cancellation.  Nemyria said 
that the President had taken more than six Ministers with him 
to Turkmenistan leaving empty seats at the Council of 
Ministers' final budget meeting on September 14.   Nemyria 
assumed the cancellation was Ivashchenko's decision, 
presumably with the consent of the President.) 
13. (C)  Speaking of the budget, Yeliseyev termed the 
situation "very difficult" with a planned deficit of four 
percent.  He did not expect that, with the upcoming election, 
the Rada would approve the budget by the end of the year.  He 
observed that, once again, there would be no funding for a 
NATO information program in Ukraine.  Nonetheless, he noted 
that the Cabinet of Ministers was poised to approve on 
September 16 the program related to Ukraine's Annual National 
Plan (ANP) with NATO.  This would allow the 40 ministries and 
agencies involved to implement the ANP.   (DPM Nemyria 
confirmed to Charge September 15 that the Cabinet of 
Ministers was ready to approve the plan.) 
Russian Duma Bill on Use of Military 
14. (C) Yeliseyev said the MFA was pondering how to respond 
to the Russian Duma's recent passage in a first reading of 
the draft law on the use of Russian military forces.   The 
bill had generated intense media attention in Ukraine, where 
it is seen as expanding the scope for Russian military 
involvement in the area Russia considers its zone of 
privileged interests.  Yeliseyev observed that the level of 
media interest in Ukraine demands a GOU response.   He said 
the GOU would likely issue a measured statement, as 
Yushchenko had done after Medvedev's August letter. 
Yeliseyev noted that the Rada was currently reviewing drafts 
of its own statement in reaction to Medvedev's August letter. 
 Four drafts are under consideration; however, since 
disagreements in the Rada on relations with Russia are so 
broad, none might pass. 
KYIV 00001592  003 OF 003 
15. (SBU) Ukraine continues to push for the "re-reversing" of 
the Odesa-Brody pipeline, Yeliseyev said.   Ukraine would 
welcome another visit by Ambassador Morningstar. 
Ambassadors' Conference 
16. (SBU) Yeliseyev volunteered that all Ukrainian 
Ambassadors -- from 130 missions -- would be in Kyiv October 
12-14 for an MFA conference on current challenges in 
Ukrainian diplomacy.   Off the cuff, he remarked that MFA 
would welcome the chance to have Secretary Clinton address 
the Ambassadors if she wanted to time a visit to Kyiv to 
coincide with the convocation. 




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