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2006-09-08 15:57:00
Embassy Kyiv
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DE RUEHKV #3464/01 2511557
P 081557Z SEP 06
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KIEV 003464 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2016

Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) Summary: While acknowledging PM Yanukovych's
inevitable influence in shaping Ukrainian foreign policy, FM
Tarasyuk asserted to EUR A/S Fried during their September 6
dinner that President Yushchenko could still maintain his
primacy on foreign policy, as established in the
Constitution, by actively issuing policy instructions.
Tarasyuk expressed confidence that Yushchenko would engage.
Defense Minister Hrytsenko and his wife, journalist Yuliya
Mostova, separately said one idea being mooted to preserve
presidential authority was to combine the Presidential
Secretariat and the National Security and Defense Council

(NSDC) into one institution and appoint a powerful head,
since Yushchenko alone could not act as an effective
counterbalance. Tarasyuk aired his concerns regarding
declining Polish influence in Europe under the Kaczynski
brothers due in significant part to Polish quarrels with
Germany, which in turn diminished Warsaw's ability to act as
a Ukrainian advocate in European and Euro-Atlantic
institutions. Georgia's difficulties and vulnerability to
Russian pressure were also a mutual concern for Ukraine and
the U.S. In a September 7 meeting (reported separately), PM
Yanukovych said his visit to Poland had been a great success.
Tarasyuk said Ukraine would continue with its implementation
of the Ukraine-Moldova customs agreement, a decision which
had disappointed Tiraspol and Moscow. End Summary.

A Condominium Foreign Policy


2. (C) Tarasyuk frankly acknowledged the different views on
foreign policy between President Yushchenko and PM Yanukovych
and the real role Yanukovych would play, accepting A/S
Fried's point that a truly independent Ukraine and its
foreign policy depended in great part on its energy policies.
Both agreed that there was no such thing as a completely
energy independent country. There was also no 100 percent
guarantee that Yanukovych and the Cabinet would accept
Yushchenko's lead. Tarasyuk nevertheless contended that the
ultimate direction depended on Yushchenko asserting himself,
given his constitutional role for determining foreign policy;
the President needed to use his rights and more actively
issue policy instructions.

3. (C) Tarasyuk said that he had engaged Yushchenko earlier
September 6 on the need to push back on recent statements by
Yanukovych, his advisers, and others which contradicted
Yushchenko's foreign policy objectives on issues like NATO,
the EU and the WTO; such comments could not be left
unanswered. In the roundtable discussions leading up to the
Universal and the appointment of Yanukovych as PM, all

parties had agreed that EU membership was a strategic
priority and that WTO requirements should be finished by the
end of 2006. The central issue of discussion had been NATO,
but Yushchenko had convinced Yanukovych that Ukraine had no
strategic alternative but to join NATO.

4. (C) Tarasyuk stressed that the Presidential decree on the
conduct of foreign policy made clear that only the President,
PM and FM had the right to pronounce on foreign policy on
behalf of Ukraine; Yushchenko could not let other political
players infringe on his area of responsibility. Tarasyuk
expressed confidence that Yushchenko would engage. First
Deputy Defense Minister Polyakov suggested that the issue of
how best to manage and exercise Presidential powers remained
an open question. Under Kuchma, the Presidency was so strong
that the issue was moot; Yushchenko had not yet ensured
stronger Presidential coordination.

5. (C) Over lunch September 7, Defense Minister Hrytsenko and
his wife Yuliya Mostova, Ukraine's leading political
journalist, told Fried that Yushchenko alone was not a strong
enough actor; he needed a strong implementer either at the
National Security and Defense Council or in the Presidential
Secretariat. Current Acting NSDC Secretary Horbulin was

literally too old; pushing 70, he exceeded the mandatory 65
year civil servant limit, but he also was "too professional."
One idea being considered was combining the Secretariat and
NSDC as a single institution of presidential authority and
place it under the command of someone like former PM
Yekhanurov to foster a real institutional counterweight to
the Donetsk clan. Hrytsenko, who served at the NSDC under
Horbulin from 1996-98, stressed that the NSDC did serve as
just such an effective powerbase at that time.

Poland - shared concern


6. (C) FM Tarasyuk, aware that A/S Fried would travel to
Warsaw after Kyiv, raised Ukraine's concern about Poland's

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eroding standing in Europe since the end of the Kwasniewski
Presidency, particularly in Polish-Germany relations; the
Poles were making emotional mistakes which helped no one.
While he liked new Polish FM Anna Fotyga, she was
inexperienced and faced a steep learning curve. Tarasyuk
frankly acknowledged that Ukraine was affected by Poland's
declining influence, since Poland served as Ukraine's chief
advocate in European and Euro-Atlantic institutions.

7. (C) Fried shared Tarasyuk's concerns about Poland's
approach to Germany, adding that his German interlocutors in
Berlin had raised the issue as well. Kwasniewski had played
a key role in mediating Ukrainian roundtable discussions
during the Orange Revolution in November-December 2004. The
Kaczynski brothers were not as comfortable with Poland's
place in Europe and seemed driven by a 19th-century style of

8. (C) Tarasyuk revealed that President Yushchenko had hoped
to broker better German-Polish communications and relations
on the margins of the upcoming Babyn Yar commemorations, but
that neither side would send their President or a
particularly high government official; the Bundestag head
would represent Germany, and Poland remained undecided. He
also noted that President Putin would represent Russia.

9. (C) In a meeting September 7 with A/S Fried (reported
separately), Yanukovych was upbeat about the results of his
September 6 talks in Poland, which he described as useful and
necessary. PM Jaroslav Kaczynski had agreed to an official
visit in November, during which he may visit Crimea to see
the AN-70 transport aircraft project, in which Yanukovych
hoped the Poles might replace the Russians as partners.

Georgia - shared concern


10. (C) A/S Fried said that Tbilisi needed friendly advice
from natural supporters like Ukraine in order to learn to
be patient and to understand what not to do, in particular he
mentioned overreacting to provocations. Sakaashvili
needed to understand that Tbilisi's horizons needed to be
broader than merely Georgia, South Ossetia, Abhazia, and
Russia. Tarasyuk said that Georgia was Ukraine's closest
regional partner and faced much greater challenges than
Ukraine did. Both agreed GUAM had a real purpose, despite
the irritation it clearly caused to Moscow. Fried described
Europe's reluctance to advance Georgia's integration with
Euro-Atlantic structures, but if Georgia successfully stuck
to a moderate approach vis-a-vis Russia and pushed
democratization, it deserved to be taken seriously.

Moldova and Transnistria


11. (C) A/S Fried praised Ukrainian cooperation on addressing
the Transnistrian problem since Yushchenko became President
and urged the GOU to continue constructive policies,
particularly on implementing the customs regime with Moldova
which protected Moldovan sovereignty and allowed Ukraine, the
EU, and U.S. to work together. Tarasyuk stressed that Moscow
and Tiraspol had been disappointed that the GOU had not
changed its stance on the customs agreement after
Yanukovych became PM. Ukrainian interests remained
unchanged: resolve the only immediate factor of instability
and potential threat to national sovereignty on its borders
that Transnistria represented.

12. (C) Tarasyuk acknowledged that the new government had
taken action to close a railroad connection between Moldova
and Ukraine without coordinating with the MFA; the MFA had
scrambled to broker the solution which had allowed passenger
traffic to resume earlier September 6, warning others in the
government of the damage the closure action could do to
Ukraine's image and interests. However, Tarasyuk stressed
that the Moldovans were not easy partners. They had taken
advantage of Ukraine after the March self-blockade by the
Transnistrians to jack up the freight rates charged to
Ukrainian business by USD 3.50 per ton, profiting from the
situation at Ukraine's expense. Yushchenko, former PM
Yekhanurov, and Tarasyuk had made no headway on resolving the
problem since March; new DPM/Finance Minister Azarov and
Transport Minister Rudkovsky had used "their own instruments"
in taking a different tact in defending Ukrainian interests,
resulting in a resumption of freight rail along the much
shorter rail line through Transnistria used before March.

13. (U) A/S Fried has cleared this cable.

14. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website:

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