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06KYIV4285 2006-11-15 16:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
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DE RUEHKV #4285/01 3191604
P 151604Z NOV 06
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 004285 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2016

REF: KYIV 4251

Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(a,b,d).

1. (C) Summary. The Rada's November 15 decision not to vote
for now on dismissing Foreign Affairs Minister Tarasyuk and
Defense Minister Hrytsenko following an 8-hour marathon
meeting between President Yushchenko and Prime Minister
Yanukovych November 13 suggests the two sides are still
making a last-ditch effort to cooperate. However, the
decision by the People's Union Our Ukraine party on November
11 to move into opposition to the government and continued
comments by coalition members about the removal of the last
two remaining Ministers on the Our Ukraine quota from the
Cabinet, underscore the deteriorating relationship between
the two leaders. Remaining "orange" minister Lutsenko is
also under fire. Although Our Ukraine underscored that they
still supported the President and Yushchenko said that he
stills wants cooperation with Yanukovych, the lack of
prospects for a broad coalition make cooperation difficult.
End summary and comment.

The Key Test: Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko


2. (SBU) The most important test of where the relationship
between Yushchenko and Yanukovych stands is the status of the
two presidentially-nominated ministers, FM Tarasyuk and
DefMin Hrytsenko. Over the November 10-12 weekend,
Yanukovych had publicly called for Tarasyuk's removal and
questioned Hrytsenko's integrity, claiming publicly and
privately that there was evidence of significant corruption
in the MOD during Hrytsenko's tenure (reftel). In response,
Yushchenko said that attempts to remove Tarasyuk would "deal
a significant blow" to cooperation between the Presidential
Secretariat, Cabinet, and Rada. On November 15, the Rada was

scheduled to hear mandated performance accounts by the two
ministers, with many predicting a follow-on vote on their
removal. Instead, the Rada deputies listened to both
ministers give twenty-minute performance reviews, engaged in
more than two hours of debate, and then voted to have the
Committees on Foreign Affairs and National Security and
Defense draft a resolution on what to do with the ministers.
The resolution will be tabled in the next plenary week,
November 28-December 1.

3. (C) The postponement could be the result of a marathon
meeting between Yushchenko and Yanukovych on November 13.
Sources close to Yanukovych told us November 15 that the two
had met for eight hours to try to work through some of their
differences. Reportedly at least half of that meeting was
focused on whether they could save the five remaining
"orange" ministers (including Lutsenko). Yanukovych said
that he was happy to have them remain in the Cabinet, but
they needed to officially withdraw their resignation requests
from the Rada. Yushchenko was not sure of the political
viability of this. In the Rada debate, Regions MPs and their
coalition partners the Communists attacked Tarasyuk for
neglecting Russia in favor of the West and railed against
Hrystenko's alleged destruction of the military, but the
delay in the vote suggests that Yanukovych might still order
his faction not to vote against the Ministers if he finds
accommodation with Yushchenko.

Party Congress


4. (C) If Yushchenko is still seeking compromise, a number of
decisions made at People's Union Our Ukraine (PUOU)'s party
congress on November 11 put the presidential party at odds
with the government. They voted to go into opposition to the
Anti-Crisis Coalition and the Yanukovych Cabinet; to
authorize the Our Ukraine Rada faction to initiate a call of
no-confidence in the Yanukovych government and to form a
shadow cabinet; to amend constitutional reforms; and to start
negotiations with Tymoshenko's bloc on a unified opposition.
All of these actions tie Yushchenko's hands to some degree,
if he wants to remain head of the party and pursue
cooperation with Yanukovych.

"Orange Ministers" Still Could be Removed


5. (C) Questions about the level of cooperation remain. Many
Rada observers still believe that the last two ministers
officially appointed on the Our Ukraine quota--Health Minster
Polyachenko and Youth, Family, and Sports Minister
Pavlenko--will still be removed in the near future. In
addition, OU deputies are arguing that the Cabinet cannot
initiate the removal of the two presidential ministers
(Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko), which could turn this into a

KYIV 00004285 002 OF 002

constitutional court issue that could drag on for months.
(Note: In fact, Regions Faction Leader Bohatyreva told the
media in the Rada lobby November 15 after the
Tarasyuk/Hrytsenko session that one reason Regions is looking
for compromise is to avoid having the issue tied up in the
court for months.) And the press reported November 15 that
Deputy Prosecutor General Kuzmin has announced that
prosecutors have uncovered evidence of corruption against
Internal Affairs Minister Lutsenko.

Our Ukraine Losing Key Players


6. (C) On a side note to the broader political games, the
firm control of the "dear friends" and Bezsmertniy over PUOU
has caused at least one potential leader of the future,
Mykola Katerynchuk, to resign in frustration. While he has
left only the party, not the OU Rada faction, his resignation
could portend a growing rift in the party. Katerynchuk had
called for reform within the party and a more clearly-defined
opposition stance, but he was not even allowed to speak at
the November 11 Congress. Katerynchuk said November 13 that
the time was near for a new political force and named other
up-and-comers Yatsenyuk, Stetskiv, and Lutsenko as possible
collaborators. Lutsenko, the only other to publicly comment,
acknowledged that this was a possibility for the future.

7. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: