07MOSCOW1552, UKRAINIAN CRISIS: “NO SHARP MOVEMENT” FROM MOSCOW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW1552 2007-04-06 16:54 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7414
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1552/01 0961654
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 061654Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9006
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001552 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/06/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV UP RS
SUBJECT: UKRAINIAN CRISIS: "NO SHARP MOVEMENT" FROM MOSCOW 
 
REF: MOSCOW 1478 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns.  Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C) The GOR continues to keep a cautious but close watch 
over the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.  In private, Russian 
leaders urge that the US and Russia advocate quietly for a 
constitutional resolution.  DFM Karasin told the Ambassador 
and DAS Kramer to expect "no sharp movement" from the Russian 
side.  Observers attribute the more hands-off Russian 
approach to lessons learned from the GOR's failed 
intervention in 2004.  End Summary. 
 
--------------- 
Quiet Diplomacy 
--------------- 
 
2.  (C) The GOR has been largely silent in public on the 
Ukrainian crisis.  Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin 
told Ambassador and visiting DAS Kramer April 6 that the 
Ukraine stand-off is the internal political problem of a 
neighboring country.  As such, Russia cannot be indifferent, 
but "there will be no sharp movement from out side." 
Ukrainian politicians must work through this crisis 
themselves, without outside interference, he said.  Russia 
hopes all Ukrainian decisions will be transparent and 
constitutionally legitimate.  "Those are the principles -- 
everything else is tactics." 
 
3.  (C) The State Duma issued a statement April 6 criticizing 
Yushchenko's decision to dissolve the Rada and calling on the 
OSCE and the European Parliament to express solidarity with 
Ukrainian parliamentarians.  Duma CIS Committee Chairman 
Kokoshin told DAS Kramer April 6 that the US and Russia 
should work quietly to calm the situation.  Former Prime 
Minister and Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov commented to 
the Ambassador April 6 that it would make no sense for Russia 
to play an overt  mediating role.  He shared Kokoshin's view 
that it was essential for the US and Russia to advocate 
quietly for a peaceful resolution. 
 
4. (C) Viktor Sorokin, Director of the MFA's Second CIS 
Department (Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova) told us April 6 
that he had nothing to add on GOR reaction, saying "we must 
wait and see."  Sorokin refused comment on press accounts 
that Yanukovich might request unspecified mediation from 
Russia or Poland. 
 
--------------- 
Lessons of 2004 
--------------- 
 
5.  (C) Ukraine watchers we spoke with agreed that the GOR is 
treading carefully this time around.  Konstantin Eggert, BBC 
Moscow bureau chief, expressed to us the widely-held view 
that the Russian government is less overtly involved in the 
current crisis because of 2004.  Aleksey Bogaturov, Dean of 
the Moscow State Institute of International Relations 
(MGIMO), agreed, noting that the GOR cannot do much in public 
"because of the 2004 experience."  Andrey Ryabov, a scholar 
at the Moscow Carnegie Center, commented to us that fear of 
the possible consequences of Russian meddling keeps the GOR 
in the background -- at least for the time being. 
 
------------ 
Russia 1993? 
------------ 
 
6.  (C) Though DFM Karasin seemed to endorse the press 
commentary that the Ukrainian situation resembled that of the 
1993 crisis in Moscow, Ryabov dismissed the comparison, 
arguing that such characterizations were for Russian 
audiences only.  Ryabov thought that Yushchenko had opted to 
"go for broke" in a bid to regain the initiative, while 
Yuliya Tymoshenko saw no alternative but her trademark 
populism.  Ryabov expressed concern that Ukraine cannot 
afford another election and the additional social commitments 
that would follow.  He cautioned that Ukrainians are fatigued 
after two years of political unrest; observers should not 
overestimate Ukrainians' desire to mobilize politically. 
 
7. (C) Fedor Lukyanov, editor of the journal "Russia in 
Global Affairs," who wrote the original article comparing the 
two crises, told DAS Kramer that the constitutional issues 
are what make them similar; the players are very different. 
He believed Yushchenko was forced to move by the defection of 
Rada deputies and the conviction that failure to act would 
result in his marginalization. 
 
MOSCOW 00001552  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
---------------------------- 
Orange Split: Root of Crisis 
---------------------------- 
 
8.  (C)  Ukraine watchers downplayed the significance of any 
foreign influence - Russian or American - in the crisis. 
Bogaturov said that the real problem was "Yuliya, who wants 
everything -- now."  Bogaturov argued the crisis stemmed less 
from the struggle between the ruling coalition and the 
opposition, and more from the struggle within the Orange 
camp.  The BBC's Eggert claimed that Tymoshenko's 
all-or-nothing tendency had caused Yushchenko to become 
"uncharacteristically" decisive; unfortunately, his 
decisiveness might have been ill-timed and poorly conceived. 
Ryabov lamented that the "Soviet, winner-take-all" tendencies 
he attributed to Yushchenko and Tymoshenko had served to 
unravel a "fragile but workable"
 political compromise. 
 
------------------------------------ 
Instability and the Business Climate 
------------------------------------ 
 
9.  (C) Ukraine watchers were also uniform in the belief that 
there was no advantage to Russia in an unstable Ukraine. 
Duma Chairman Kokoshin commented that Russia had been content 
with the status quo ante and had no interest in uncertainly. 
Ryabov expressed concern about the impact of the crisis on 
Russian companies, which have invested heavily in Ukraine. 
The protection of these commercial interests would play a 
central role in driving Kremlin policy, he said.  Kokoshin 
agreed.  He affirmed to DAS Kramer that Russian economic and 
commercial interests in Ukraine were strong influences on GOR 
policy. 
 
BURNS

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