Upcoming Events 2019
US-UA Security Dialogue X
Washington, DC
February 28, 2019
UA HES Special Event:
Sobornist' at 100
Ukrainian Museum
May 4, 2019   
US-UA BNS Special Event
Washington DC
May 23, 2019
US-UA WG Yearly Summit VI
Washington, DC
June 13, 2019

US-UA Energy Dialogue VI
Kyiv, Ukraine
August 29, 2019 
UA HES Special Event:
UA-AM Community at 125
Princeton Club/NY
September 21, 2019 
Washington, DC
October 10, 2019
LT-PL-UA Relations
November 9, 2019   

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 2018 - 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.
US-Ukraine Relations and the International Community

Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable II:
"Taking Measure of a US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership"

US-Ukraine Relations and the International Community

Paula Dobriansky

Keynote address by Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, delivered during the Conference “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood – Roundtable II: Taking Measure of a U.S./Ukraine Strategic Partnership”.

Thank you, Steve [Larrabee/Chair—ed.], for that very kind introduction. I also and especially want to thank the organizers of today’s conference. Equally, I wish to acknowledge the very distinguished guests who will be participating in this conference. And in my mentioning a few—I am only mentioning a few—there are many who deserve special recognition for the good efforts on behalf of US-Ukraine relations: Prime Minster Kinakh, of course, Ambassador Hryshchenko, Dep. Asst. Secretary Mira Baretta, Ambassador Pascual, who will be joining us, if he is not here already, as well as Dep. Foreign Minister Kharchenko and [UA Presidential Advisor] Mr. Fialko. I mention this because convening such an impressive roster of participants and attendees is really a tribute, I think, to the work that has gone into preparing for this event and to the importance of the subject: Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood. I think it was not easy putting this conference together. After it was postponed following the very tragic events of September 11th, I admire the conference organizers' determination and appreciate greatly the opportunity to speak. In fact, I participated in last year’s session and I could say I’m very delighted to return this year, albeit wearing a different hat this time. And more in particular, as an American of Ukrainian descent, let me say that I’m especially honored to be here this morning with all of you.

This morning I have been asked to address US-Ukraine relations in the context of international community—in the context of global affairs. The international community has, of course, been changed forever by the very terrible and tragic events of September 11th and the consequent war against terrorism led by the United States. The tragedy of September 11 was an attack, not only against Americans, but against humanity and the civilized world. The terrorism that perpetuated that day resulted in thousands dead and injured, including nationals from roughly eighty countries, including at least two from Ukraine. It represented an assault upon freedom throughout the world. Secretary Powell, I think, put it quite well when he said “this attack wasn’t an assault on America, it was an assault on civilization, it was an assault on democracy, it was an assault on the right of innocent people to live their lives”.

September 11th really, truly changed the world forever. Yet, while there are parts of US foreign policy that have changed accordingly, there are also certain benchmarks, certain constants in our policy that cannot and will not be altered.

The foundations of President Bush’s foreign policy remain unchanged, namely the promotion of international stability, international security, prosperity and democracy. The fight against terrorism has naturally assumed great importance in light of September 11th. But it doesn’t mean that we have to sacrifice our beliefs. What Thomas Jefferson said more than two centuries ago still applies today. He said “the spirit of our citizens, rising with the strength and majesty which show the loveliness of freedom, will make this government in practice what it is in principle, a model for the protection of man in a state of freedom and order”.

Just as we remain true to our beliefs and principles, we stay committed to building a strong, vibrant relationship between the United States and Ukraine. We have valued greatly Ukraine’s unwavering support in our battle against terrorism. We have worked closely with Ukraine on a whole range of issues during the two years of Ukraine’s service on the United Nation’s Security Council. Now since September 11th, its positions on the Security Council have been especially appreciated as has Ukraine’s support in other international forums. Ukraine’s desire to be an integral member of the European community and its goal to have a place in western institutions are to be commended and supported by the United States; in fact they are supported by the United States.

The success of these efforts, however, I believe depends on Ukraine’s ability to accelerate political an economic reforms. To belong to the western community of nations requires living up to certain political and economic standards, as laid out, for example, by the OSCE. The future of Ukraine depends on Ukrainians recognizing what they must do and doing it. Democratic institutions, including a respect for human rights and a market economy constitute the building blocks of European nation states and are the underpinning of Euro-Atlantic integration. They are also part of the engine, I believe, that promotes Euro-Atlantic integration. Clearly essential to any country’s political development is tolerance, even the nurturing of a constant national dialogue. This includes hard-hitting journalism that may at times be very critical of government, of its policies and of its officials.

Granted, when I think about the United States and its own experience and the trials and tribulations of our own experience, there are things to ponder; we speak from over 200 years of experience, yet we are still perfecting our own political system and our process. But one of the first things democratic leaders in democratic societies, and I know many of our own public officials certainly learn it quickly, is the need to develop a thick skin. Responsible criticism should not only be tolerated, it should be encouraged because the democratic society depends on the free exchange of ideas, by an informed and active citizen rate. Indeed, this is one of democracy’s strengths.

The recent tragic [Ukrainian] accident with the Russian airliner offers a painful learning experience; when bad news hits, maybe the best way to deal with it is to get out in front, however difficult or embarrassing the issue may be. And I think it underscores and reinforces the importance of a free, vigorous professional press. Over the past years, this is one of the areas that I think Ukraine has been challenged with and has been grappling with. The harassment of journalists and the closing of newspapers culminated as we know in the sad deaths of two journalists within the last thirteen months.

To demonstrate, I think, its commitment to freedom of the press, these issues need to be addressed comprehensively, resulting in accountability. Doing so I think will connote Ukraine’s manifesting really a full respect for all its constitutional freedoms. I mention this only merely as a friend and really to highlight what really is in Ukraine’s own interest. Citizens in any country deserve full accountability.

Elections are another way, I believe, to ensure political accountability. We look very much forward to Ukraine’s parliamentary elections next March and to a transparent and fair election campaign & lead up to election day. Further, progress on establishing rule of law and creating an independence judiciary, I offer, would be another cornerstone. Already, I think, that progress in this regard has taken place, but there needs to be more movement. Clearly, we regard a successful transition to a market economy as another indicator of Ukraine’s becoming a major player in the international community. It’s quite significant that Ukraine’s economy has enormous potential and during the last eighteen months, Ukraine’s economy has taken off and continues to surpass expectations. Ukraine tripled IMF and World Bank estimates when its economy grew by six percent in real terms in 2000 after nine straight years of decline. The pace of growth has actually accelerated during 2001. Total economic output during the first seven months of 2001 was 7.4% higher in real terms than during the same period last year. Inflation during the same period was a manageable 3.7%, well within IMF targets and vastly below the 20% for the same period in 2000.

At the same time that one looks at all these very positive developments in terms of Ukraine’s economic development, Ukraine is also grappling with issues of corruption. We face that in our society. It is an issue that is confronted in many societies. Investment in Ukraine, foreign and domestic has not been maybe what it could be, largely due to concerns over corruption and also fears that maybe the legal system may not be transparent in its procedures. Concluding the work on a new civil code and fostering transparency and accountability, I think, will really improve the overall and business environment and spur much-need divestment. One should not of course underestimate the devastating impact of seventy years of communist rule and what it had on Ukraine politically and economically. The transition from that legacy is by no means an easy one and cannot be accomplished overnight. Yet Ukraine can only benefit from an acceleration of its political, economic and social reforms.

As Ukraine determines its future course, it must take into account the effect of its decisions on regional and global security; its actions on a number of these fronts has been very positive.

For example, President Kuchma took a great step forward for Ukraine and its neighbors by closing the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant last year.

The country’s responsible handling of nuclear weapons left from the break-up of the Soviet Union, I believe, deserves very similar praise. Just yesterday, Ukraine destroyed its last nuclear missile silo, fulfilling its pledge to give up the nuclear arsenal that it had inherited.

We welcome a strong relationship between NATO and Ukraine. Such a relationship will go a long way in helping stabilize potential regional and global problems; in the long term, it also cannot but help bilateral ties between the US and Ukraine.

Ukraine’s future clearly will be influenced by the future of Ukrainian youth. The next generation matters. It matters in any society. For our part, we strongly support exchange programs for the young people of Ukraine. Our experience in the region has taught us that one of the best ways to leverage change is through exposing the younger generation to new ideas and experiences through exchanges, through training and educational programs, along with support for non-governmental organizations. Since independence, the United States has brought close to sixteen thousand Ukrainians to the United States and through the Next Generation initiative, thousands of additional Ukrainian high school, university and graduate students and other young professionals will come to the United States to study and gain practical experience through internships.

Ukraine clearly has made some very important early steps. And those steps are often the hardest. As a country that re-gained its independence a mere ten years ago, Ukraine still faces many challenges. I believe that chief among these is continuing progress in a number of areas I refer to: building a civil society and all its various parts as well as the building of a vibrant market economy. The United States is very committed to help Ukraine, but actually, really only in a supporting role, because the real responsibility does lie with the people and with the government of Ukraine. But we will be there and we want to be there because this relationship is a very valued one, a one which is vibrant and which will continue to be vibrant.

The impressive assembly of panelists and attendees here today for this conference reflects the interest in and support for Ukraine in the United States. It is important to remember that true friends help each other in times of need. And they also let each other know about shortcomings and that works both ways. This defines precisely our relations with Ukraine. In sum, Ukraine continues to be of strategic importance to us.

I’d like to thank you and also wish you a most vibrant and full exchange here during the conference; I’m delighted to have had the occasion to speak with a number of you; and I wish you very much success in your deliberations today. And 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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