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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06KIEV477
2006-02-03 15:18:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kyiv
Cable title:  

UKRAINE: MFA OFFICIAL ON OSCE REFORM, PROJECT

Tags:   PREL  OSCE 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 000477 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2016
TAGS: PREL OSCE
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: MFA OFFICIAL ON OSCE REFORM, PROJECT
COORDINATOR IN UKRAINE

Classified By: Political Counselor Aubrey A. Carlson for reasons 1.4(b,
d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 000477

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/03/2016
TAGS: PREL OSCE
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: MFA OFFICIAL ON OSCE REFORM, PROJECT
COORDINATOR IN UKRAINE

Classified By: Political Counselor Aubrey A. Carlson for reasons 1.4(b,
d)


1. (C) Summary: MFA OSCE Department Counselor Volodymyr
Tolkach expressed to us January 18 the Ukrainian government's
support for OSCE reform. OSCE reform should include some
provision that ensures a single country cannot block an OSCE
decision. At the same time, Tolkach argued, there should be
balance among the OSCE institutions of the Secretary General,
Permanent Council, and Chairman in Office; new procedures and
agreements were also necessary to ensure better coordination
among OSCE offices and between OSCE and its member states.
There should be greater attention to the economic dimension,
and the addition of a "security dimension," focusing on
border security, law enforcement, anti-trafficking and the
like, might be desirable. Ukraine wanted to be more active
in OSCE, including by having a greater percentage of its
nationals filling OSCE positions. Tolkach appreciated
contributions from the Project Coordinator in Ukraine office
and talked as if he expected projects to continue beyond

2006. End summary.

A Positive Ukrainian Attitude
--------------


2. (C) MFA OSCE Department Counselor Volodymyr Tolkach said
the large Ukrainian delegation to the 2005 OSCE Human
Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw was
evidence of the positive change in Ukraine's view of, and
relations with, OSCE. Representatives from seven ministries
ensured, for the first time, that the Ukrainian delegation
was prepared to discuss the entire range of issues raised at
the meeting. Other evidence of Ukraine's changed attitude
was its close cooperation with OSCE to prepare for the
dispatch of 60 long-term and 600 short-term observers for the
March parliamentary (Rada) elections. Tolkach said the
Ukrainian government understood well that the elections would
be a prime indicator of Ukraine's readiness to move toward a
more European model.


3. (U) Stressing that the OSCE human dimension was important
to Ukraine, Tolkach said the Ukrainian government was
determined to conduct elections in a proper manner and, in
doing so, to meet its OSCE commitments. This was a priority

for President Yushchenko, who had personally invited the OSCE
and Council of Europe to send an election observation
mission. Foreign Minister Tarasyuk had paralleled the
invitation with his own to OSCE Office of Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Director Strohal.
Ukraine would not invite observers from the Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) as an institution, but would welcome
the participation of citizens from CIS member countries.

Frozen Conflicts
--------------


4. (C) Tolkach noted Ukraine had increased its involvement in
the resolution of the so-called "frozen conflicts,"
especially Transnistria, in further fulfillment of its OSCE
commitments. Tolkach participated in an MFA working group on
Transnistria that met regularly and included representatives
from the MFA Political Department, the Arms Control
Department and the Department of Cultural and Humanitarian
Cooperation. GOU representatives from outside MFA, e.g.,
National Security and Defense Council, Ministry of Defense,
State Border Guard Service, would also often sit in. As part
of its participation in OSCE and partly because of Ukraine's
interest in the frozen conflicts, Tolkach offered that
Ukraine would want to play a greater role in OSCE missions.
Currently, only one Ukrainian staffed OSCE missions in
Central Asia, in Bishkek, an area where Tolkach noted
Ukrainians could be particularly effective.

OSCE Reform
--------------


5. (C) Noting that the Ukrainian government would like to see
a more open, transparent, and "perhaps stronger" OSCE,
Tolkach said Ukraine would like to see OSCE reforms
implemented. Currently, some institutions under the OSCE
umbrella appeared to act without sufficient oversight and
political direction. An OSCE charter could establish basic
operating principles and allow better regulation of various
OSCE elements. For example, Ukraine had proposed a project
on local media freedom to OSCE Representative on Freedom of
the Media Miklos Haraszti but had not received a response.
In another case, Ukraine was dismayed that the Office of the
Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environment Activities had
launched its ENVSEC initiative without discussion by member
states within the OSCE framework. Tolkach said the
initiative had laudable aims and would probably enjoy wide
support, but nevertheless should have received an appropriate
review on the political level.


6. (C) Tolkach provided an example from his own experience of
the problems created by the lack of clarity in OSCE
structures and operating procedures. He said Ukraine had
proposed a cooperative project on anti-Semitism and
xenophobia to ODIHR. ODIHR, in accordance with its
regulations, asked that the MFA nominate a "national focal
point." The MFA selected an academic to develop the program,
but was then dismayed when ODIHR asked the academic to set up
high-level meetings, including with Ukrainian ministers, that
was beyond the individual's capacity.


7. (C) Tolkach said that, while Ukraine wished to adopt new
rules of procedure, Ukraine would also carefully examine all
proposals. It did not want to recreate structural problems
inherent, for example, in the UN system. The OSCE Secretary
General should not be strengthened at the expense of the
Permanent Council, Tokach warned. There should be balance
among the OSCE's primary institutions -- the Secretary
General, the Permanent Council, and the Chairman-in-Office
(CiO). Tolkach expressed a desire for a reformed OSCE that
would not allow one country to block OSCE decisions, such as
occurred with budget approval in 2005. At the same time, an
overly powerful secretary general would also not be good.

OSCE Reform -- Greater Balance
--------------


8. (C) Tolkach expressed support for greater attention to the
economic dimension, noting Ukraine's desire to obtain
progress in implementing the melange fuel project. Ukraine
would support the establishment of a new OSCE institution to
buttress the economic dimension further. Ukraine also
supported the Belgian CiO's call to hold an international
conference on energy security for Europe, and would even
consider hosting the conference. Tolkach suggested OSCE
could define a new dimension that would group its activity in
the areas of anti-terrorism, border security,
anti-trafficking, and organized crime. Ukraine had seen a
good effect from the development of the concept and approach
in the Balkans and cooperation to improve border security
among Albania, Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro.

More Ukrainians in OSCE
--------------


9. (C) Tolkach said OSCE reform should be directed toward
achieving greater gender and geographic balance among OSCE
staff and efforts to develop their professional skills. He
noted only 1.6 percent of OSCE employees were Ukrainian. In
the past, OSCE had responded positively when Ukraine urged an
increase in the level of Ukrainian participation, but no
concrete steps followed, Tolkach complained. ODIHR employed
a Ukrainian national, but she was a contract employee who
filled a technical position.

Project Coordinator in Ukraine
--------------


10. (C) Tolkach said Ukraine's relationship with the previous
head of the Project Coordinator in Ukraine (PCU) office were
excellent, but that relations with Ambassador Schumaker
(note: who arrived in Kiev in fall 2005) were amicable. He
appreciated PCU assistance, such as to the Central Election
Commission, in commercial and economic development in western
Ukraine, and in the destruction of melange rocket fuel.
Tolkach's office was engaged with PCU in development of
calendar year 2006 projects. Tolkach suggested he would like
to be able to review the projects with PCU again at the end
of the year, to determine which had been effective and which
not, so as to be able to adjust the mix of projects in the
future.

Altruism and Self-interest
--------------


11. (C) Comment: We pass on Tolkach's observations as an
indicator of Ukrainian views toward OSCE, although, to some
degree, his comments might have reflected his personal
thoughts and not fully coordinated Ukrainian government
positions. While a greater level of Ukrainian involvement in
OSCE is consistent with its broader diplomatic support for
democratic principles (e.g., Ukrainian sponsorship of the
Community of Democratic Choice), the Ukrainian government
also is pushing for a greater return on its membership in
terms of the share of OSCE positions held by Ukrainians.


12. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website:
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev.
HERBST