Upcoming Events 2020
US-UA Security Dialogue XI
Washington, DC
March 5, 2020 
New York City
April 30, 2020
US-UA WG Yearly Summit VIII
New York City [Webcasting]
June 17-18, 2020

US-UA Energy Dialogue SE
Washington DC [Webcasting]
June 29, 2020 
UA HES Special Event:
Ukrainians in 1945/75th 
Year Retrospective 
Ukrainian Institute of America
September 26, 2020 
Washington, DC
October 22, 2020
PL-LT-UA Relations
Chicago, IL 
November 14, 2020 


CUSUR 2016 - Project I
US-UA “Working Group” Initiative

The US-Ukraine “Working Group” Initiative was launched in 2007 in order to secure an array of experts in "areas of interest” for CUSUR and its various forums/proceedings; at the same time, it was hoped that the ‘experts’ might agree to write a series of ‘occasional papers’ to identify “major issues” impacting on US-Ukrainian relations.
CUSUR 2017 - Project II
Publication Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to set up proper channels for the maximum circulation of the information/analysis CUSUR possessed or had at its disposal, the Center long focused on having ‘a publication presence’ of some form or another.
CUSUR 2019 - Project III
DC Occasional Briefings Series

CUSUR did not turn its attention to having a DC presence until summer 2012. Borrowing space when the need arose (particularly for various forum steering committees meetings) from the American Foreign Policy Council, its longest abiding partner, seemed to suffice; an Acela ride from the Center’s NY office did the rest. If there was a concern, it was to open an office in Kyiv.
NATO Requirements Met? "Shared Values" Standard I

Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable VII:
"Ukraine and NATO Membership"

Has Ukraine Met the "External Political Requirements" for NATO Membership?
The "Shared Values" Standard

Yuri Scherbak

Plenary remarks by Ambassador Yuri Scherbak, Director of the Center for Global and Area Studies at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, delivered during Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable VII: "Ukraine and NATO Membership" Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington DC, October 17, 2006.

Thank you, Kyle (ed.-Chair: Kyle Parker of the CSCE), for that warm introduction. Dear participants, today we launch a discussion on one of the most important issues of Ukrainian security and in broader context, Ukrainian national destiny in the 21st century. I mean, of course, we will speak to the issue of Ukraine’s membership in NATO, as a main pillar of the system of our national security, as well as a ticket for Ukraine into Big Europe, whole and free, a democratic and prosperous community of free nations.

I have personally taken part in numerous similar discussions since 1994. I remember very well the Ukrainian super optimists and those who promised us full membership in NATO by year 2000 or 2002. I quite clearly remember the pessimists who were always trying to persuade us that Ukraine will never join NATO. Finally, I am also aware of Ukraine’s neutrality status doctrine, popular among a number of our politicians. Incidentally, that doctrine has promoted by certain pro Russian groups of interests as well.

We had a meeting on NATO two weeks ago here in DC within the framework of the US Ukraine Policy Dialogue and I feel myself as very well trained in this topic. We concluded that the present is a very dramatic moment because Ukraine has stopped in front of NATO’s door. Today’s conference should become the forum to express our concerns and troubles about the current situation.

Right after the Orange Revolution, our society was aware that the leadership of Ukraine would try to insure Ukraine’s access to NATO. Let me interject at this point with a short note: there should be no doubt that this approach strengthens our geo political position. A refusal of NATO membership gives us the status of the “Gray Zone of Europe", a marginal country at best; it binds Ukraine to the Euro Asian space with unpredictable consequences.

Unfortunately, political disorder, failure and the weakness of the current President of Ukraine and his team has contributed to crossing out the expectations of the Ukrainian political and diplomatic elite with regard to a quick way to NATO membership. Many of you are familiar with the situation already mentioned today, the situation which happened in Ukraine after the Parliamentary elections and ultimately established the ruling coalition with Prime Minister Yanykovych as a leader. After the high hopes and even euphoria of the Orange Revolution, our society now feels itself exhausted, hopeless and distraught.

During the Orange Revolution, 61 percent felt hope and 34 percent were highly optimistic. Today, only 26 percent of Ukrainians think about the future with optimism. The psychological atmosphere of the society is characterized by dissatisfaction at 52 percent, disbelief at 41 percent, anxiety 40 at percent, indifference 26 percent. Only 6 percent of Ukrainians have full trust in matters at the current moment. This is the latest data of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Science.

Speaking of NATO prospects, I would like to draw your attention to the article that was published in February of this year by Ambassador Steven Pifer, with Steven Larrabee, Jan Neutze and Jeffrey Simon. They state in the piece: “Today’s preparing of countries for a bid to enter NATO is an extraordinarily complex business. It will require the development of consensus on a Euro Atlantic policy course among a nation's political leadership. Integration with NATO is not just the responsibility of the Foreign and Defense Minister” and “Achieving a consensus of Euro Atlantic policy course among the Ukrainian leadership may become more difficult after constitutional changes of the year 2006. These changes will grant the Prime Minister a significant degree of independence from the President.”. That is exactly what happened in Brussels one month ago, during the visit of Prime Minister Yanykovych to NATO headquarters. There now exist a series of important challenges on Ukraine's way to NATO.

First, the period or romantic expectations of the final victory of pro western model of democracy of Ukraine and quick Euro Atlantic integration is over. Despite the signing of the National Unity Universal, we can easily observe serious signs of discrepancy between the President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanykovych with regard to several key domestic issues as well as in matters of foreign policy, because the constitutional amendments have drastically changed the political management system in Ukraine.

The danger of the establishment of two centers of power in the country is increasing. There are two or even three drivers in the Ukrainian car and everybody is trying to have their own wheel. That is why during our political dialogue two weeks ago, we formulated our recommendations for the leadership of Ukraine. The President and Prime Minister should, as a matter of top priority, develop a mechanism for consultation on foreign and security policy, taking into account the president’s constitutional role with its very specific and formal powers as well as a rather more political role of the Prime Minister. The President and Prime Minister should enhance the role of the National Security and Defense Council in coordinating and building consensus on foreign and security policy. I am deeply convinced that Ukrainian foreign policy must be non partisan and should only express the deepest national interest of Ukraine itself; it should not depend on the desires of other countries or on some part of our society, be it 32% of population or 34%.

Second, we should clearly understand that the main problem of our way to NATO now is Russia, or more precisely, its new imperialistic aspirations and its attitude towards NATO as an enemy. I cannot fully agree with the sanguine nature of Deputy Minister Khandohiy’s presentation because I know very well and I have evidence that Russian political elite is against NATO; we understand it very well. The main goal of Russia in the current “Cold War” against Georgia is to punish small independent nations and at the same time to threaten Ukraine----to show us what the consequences of approaching NATO could be. While EU and the US may be strongly interested in the Russian supplies of natural gas and oil, it seems to me they too estimate the sense of possible geopolitical changes in Russia, where unfortunately aggressive nationalism and even Nazism are increasing.

Third, during the last elections in 2004 and 2006 our society was divided by several issues including NATO. Intensive anti NATO and anti American propaganda campaigns were organized and outbreaks of anti NATO protests under strong influence of foreign intelligence centers resulted. Meanwhile note the polls. If 15 to 20% of the Ukrainian population solidly supported in joining NATO, according to the Razumkov center polls, only 7-10% of the overall group responding believed that their level of awareness about NATO was high. 36 to 39% saw it as average. 40-43% considered it to be low. And 10-13% of the populations had no information at all. To my mind, the main promoter of NATO values must be, first of all, the President of Ukraine and the highest authorities of the country and leading political parties, as it has occurred in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, etcetera. It should be a very active campaign spread throughout Ukraine, from Donetsk to Uzhorod. Let me mention that President Bush can be evaluated on policy many different ways, but he is a relentless campaigner on the war against terrorism; he visits a lot of states and gives a lot of speeches on his topic.

To make the necessary changes, Ukraine needs to establish a special non government movement on joining NATO, with the participation and leadership of public prominent figures. Existing public organizations like Atlantic Council of Ukraine and others are very weak and non effective. Ukraine has to support a serious effort to have representatives of different social groups of population sent to visit, and see first hand, NATO headquarters, NATO countries and NATO military bases.

Let me give you an example when one group of young supporters of the Party of Regions visited NATO headquarters. They have dramatically changed their negative points of view after the visit. According to the recommendations of the participants of our dialogue two weeks ago, the information campaign should be organized, directed and overseen from one central point and on one methodological base. Its general characteristic should be comprehensive, involving all the components of the national media, the press, radio, TV and the Internet. It must involve a systematic openness based on dialogue and the initiation of a nation wide TV discussion with a high level of coordination.

Let me also express some thoughts on NATO development. We should note that several changes, in light of the political situation in the war on terror, have taken place in period since our last conference (ed --RT VI) a year ago. Ukraine, which is situated not far from the global Eurasian Balkans, as Dr. Brzezinski refers to it, observes instability and tension growing in the Caspian and Caucasian Region, the Middle East and Asia. The twin dangers of the global terrorist threat and nuclear proliferation as well as evidence of nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran are opening the prospects for NATO to become a global organization.

What we can see most clearly as an example is cooperation in Afghanistan. But, to be honest, this is one very sensitive issue in Ukrainian waters, that is, military operations of NATO in Afghanistan and possible involvement of Ukrainian soldiers into the war. Bitter memories of Afghanistan are still strong. Maybe it would be a productive idea for a newly formatted NATO to establish a volunteer core of NATO members and members of the PfP program, like the French Foreign Legion, for volunteers from Ukraine and other countries of post Soviet space. I would recommend opening a so called “NATO summer school" in Ukraine like the ones in the US, for preparation of peacekeeping actions overseas, with the participation of young people from NATO countries.

Dear friends, I personally have no doubts that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. This is inexorable, a long history of work that will ultimately triumph, despite personal ambitions and political orientation. It could happen in 5 or 7 years; I don’t know, but the pace of movement depends on certain conditions. It could be the magnitude of negative political developments in Russia—unfortunately—like the strengthening of the aggressive dictatorship or other negative approaches in the economic or energy arena. It could also happen because of the prosperity of Ukrainian economy and an increase of the middle class or in line with understanding the need to separate from the ancient space known as Byzantium. In fact, changes by NATO into the more wide global defense organization might come about, including the bringing in of Japan, South Korea, Georgia, Ukraine… of course, Azerbijian, Moldova, and possibly some of the Middle East democracies; here we cannot exclude even Russia---at some distant time.

Whatever the variant, NATO should be in Ukraine’s future. We have to work hard on that vital important goal. Thank you.


Past Highlight Events

RT XVII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XVII: Ukraine & Religious Freedom, held in Washington, DC on Oct. 27, 2016
UA HES SE: UA 25th B-Day
Highlights from UA HES Special Event: 'Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Modern Ukrainian State', held at the NY Princeton Club on Sept. 17, 2016
US-UA WG YS IV Highlights
Highlights from US-UA WG Yearly Summit IV: Providing Ukraine with an Annual Report Card, held at the University Club in Washington, DC on June 16, 2016
US-UA SD VII Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue VII held on February 25, 2016 in Washington DC
UA HES SE: WW2 Legacy
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: 'Contested Ground': The Legacy of WW2 in Eastern Europe, held in Edmonton on October 23-24, 2015
Holodomor SE Highlights
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: Taking Measure of the Holodomor, held at the Princeton Club of NY on November 5-6, 2013
US-UA SD III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue III held on May 19, 2012 in Chicago, IL

  • Former UA Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko's keynote
UEAF Forum VI Highlights
Highlights from UEAF Forum VI, held in Ottawa, Canada on March 7-8, 2012
RT XII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XII: PL-UA & TR-UA, held in Washington, DC on Oct 19–20, 2011
US-UA ED III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Energy Dialogue III, held in Washington DC
on April 15-16, 2008
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