143097 2/26/2008 16:07 08PARIS338 Embassy Paris CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN VZCZCXYZ0003 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHFR #0338 0571607 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 261607Z FEB 08 FM AMEMBASSY PARIS TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2081 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 0540 C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 000338
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2018 TAGS: NATO, MARR, PREL, UP, FR SUBJECT: SARKOZY PROMISES UKRAINE POSITIVE SIGNAL AT BUCHAREST, BUT NO MAP
Classified By: A/DCM JOSIAH ROSENBLATT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
1. (C//NF) SUMMARY: Damien Loras, President Sarkozy's Counselor for Ukraine (as well as Russia, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Americas), told us on February 25 that Sarkozy told Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko during their meeting in Paris on February 20 that he will seek a positive signal from the Alliance at Bucharest with respect to Ukraine's NATO MAP (Membership Action Plan) aspirations, but that NATO allies do not have sufficient time before the Summit to reach a consensus decision on MAP for Ukraine. Loras told us that France (as well as Germany and other NATO members) is not prepared to support MAP for Ukraine at this time, but would like to find politically acceptable language that will welcome Ukraine's request. Loras added that France attaches great importance to the Bucharest Summit's success and hopes the allies will show full unity on all issues, showcasing success and unity at the Summit. END SUMMARY.
2. (C//NF) Ukrainian President Yushchenko met with President Sarkozy on February 20 during a working visit to Paris aimed at securing French support for Ukraine's NATO MAP aspirations. Damien Loras, President Sarkozy's Counselor for Ukraine (as well as Russia, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Americas), told us on February 25, that Sarkozy told Yushchenko that France supports a positive signal from the Alliance at Bucharest with respect to Ukraine's MAP request, while also making clear that there was not sufficient time for allies to find consensus on MAP for Ukraine before the Summit. Yushchenko was reportedly satisfied with Sarkozy's response.
3. (C//NF) Loras told us that the GOF wants the Alliance to send a positive signal to Ukraine at Bucharest. The GOF is prepared to find some middle ground -- including the possibility of a Summit political declaration registering in a positive way Ukraine's aspiration for MAP and its "EuroAtlantic vocation." Loras added that the GOF is pleased to see that Ukraine's leadership has "finally" been able to reach an agreed position on something, and does not want to ignore or derail Ukrainian momentum towards Euro-Atlantic integration. The Ukrainian public has significantly increased its support for NATO, up from 17% to 33% -- meaning that a majority could support NATO in two years. At the same time Loras said that France does not believe that Ukraine is ready for MAP, adding that there is "no chance" of consensus on the issue before Bucharest. He added that the Germans, and to some extent the British, agree with the French position. Loras speculated that Ukraine's last minute request is motivated in part by domestic political gamesmanship in that country, and noted that such factors should not influence the merits of MAP for Ukraine.
4. (C//NF) President Sarkozy attaches great importance to the success of the Bucharest Summit, Loras told us, and hopes the allies will show full unity on all issues. Welcoming Croatia, Albania, and Macedonia (provided the name issue is worked out) and moving forward on Afghanistan are formidable achievements that should be touted as such. With the Bucharest Summit now only a few weeks away, Loras stressed, we should move forward with what we have, showcasing success and unity at the Summit. The allies, he suggested, should continue to examine how we can welcome Ukraine's aspirations without going as far as extending MAP. Loras wondered how U.S. policy was evolving on the issue, noting that he sensed U.S. movement towards seeking MAP for Ukraine at Bucharest.
5. (C//NF) COMMENT: Sarkozy's rejection of MAP for Ukraine at Bucharest is fully consistent with what we have heard from other French officials over the past several weeks. Though not mentioned by Loras, French resistance to accept MAP for Ukraine stems, at least in part, from concerns over the likely Russian reaction to such a move. END COMMENT
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm