This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
1. (C) In the course of his February 28-March 1 visit to
Ukraine, Polish President Lech Kaczynski delivered a strong
message to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on the
January gas deal with Russia, expressing concern about the
consequences of the agreement for Ukraine's economy and its
ability to act as a sovereign state. Polish MFA Director for
Eastern Policy Wojciech Zajaczkowski told us that this
exchange took place during a one-on-one session between the
two presidents, and suggested that this may have been the
first time that Yushchenko -- who listened carefully but
offered no substantive response -- had heard these concerns
expressed in such direct terms. Zajaczkowski urged that the
United States deliver a similarly forceful message.
2. (C) Acknowledging our assurances that we have discussed
our concerns with the Ukrainian government and offered
support for renegotiating the agreement to exclude
RosUkrEnergo, Zajaczkowski suggested that Yushchenko and
others may nevertheless underestimate the depth of
international concern about this issue -- particularly
following our subsequent decision to grant Ukraine market
economy status (which they may have taken as a signal that we
are not overly concerned about the gas deal). The Poles see
no signs that the Ukrainian government is prepared to move,
either before parliamentary elections or immediately
afterwards, to renegotiate this deal. Challenging the
agreement will be much more difficult should Yanukovych
become prime minister, Zajaczkowski noted.
3. (C) Zajaczkowski recommended that Ukrainian Foreign
Minister Tarasyuk, a critic of the gas deal, hear during his
upcoming visit to Washington not only our concerns, but also
clear guidance for moving forward with American support, both
technical and political. Ultimately, we have to reach
Yushchenko, Zajaczkowski maintained, but it would be very
helpful if we could provide Tarasyuk and like-minded
ministers with arguments to use in moving the president.
4. (C) Otherwise, the meetings between the Polish and
Ukrainian presidents went very well, Zajaczkowski reported,
confirming press accounts and Kaczynski's own positive
assessment of the personal chemistry between the two leaders.
Kaczynski reaffirmed Polish support for Ukraine's NATO and
EU aspirations, and explicitly endorsed the "Orange" camp in
this month's elections (while noting that Poland will work
closely with any democratically-elected government).
Zajaczkowski acknowledged that there was little movement on
the Odessa-Brody pipeline extension, but suggested that that
was to be expected, particularly given the discussions of the
Ukraine-Russia gas deal.