Projects

2019 CUSUR CALENDAR
 
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 
 
UA QUEST RT XX
Washington, DC
October 10, 2019
 
UA HES Forum VII:
LT-PL-UA Relations
Chicago
November 9, 2019   
 

Read more...
 
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.
Read more...
 
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.
Read more...
 
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.
Read more...
 
Canada, Ukraine & Russia's 'Near Abroad'

Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable X:
"Compelling Bilateral Relations"

Canada, Ukraine & Russia's 'Near Abroad'

Derek Fraser

Featured remarks by Derek Fraser, Canadian Ambassador (retired), delivered at Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT X: Compelling Bilateral Relations, held in Washington DC on Oct 21–22, 2009.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have been asked to analyse the relations of each of our countries with Ukraine and to make recommendations for our future course of action in the light of Russia’s continuing attempts to dominate Ukraine.

To understand the importance of Ukraine to Canada, one has to bear in mind that, while Canada has a population that is one ninth the size of that in the United States, there are about the same number of Ukrainian-Canadians as there are of Ukrainian-Americans. As a result, Ukrainian-Canadians loom large in Canadian political life. They also bring a strong influence to bear on Canadian foreign policy. For this reason, since 1991, we have contributed over $370 million in technical assistance to Ukraine, making ours one of the largest national aid programs. It is likely that Ukraine will remain important to Canada in the future as well.

Russia’s relations with Ukraine just now are especially tense, not only because of Ukraine’s campaign to join NATO, but also because of Ukraine’s support for Georgia in last year’s war, and its refusal to renew the lease expiring in 2017 on the Russian naval base at Sevastopol. Prime Minister Putin, when he was president, questioned Ukraine’s separate existence as a country and threatened its territorial integrity. In what could be the beginning of Russian interference in the Ukrainian presidential election of January 2010, President Medvedev has accused President Yushchenko of anti-Russian activities. He has announced that Russian would not send a new ambassador to Ukraine.

The Ukrainians claim that the Russians are supporting a separatist movement in Transcarpathia. Acting Foreign Minister Kostenko has alleged that the Russians are issuing “tens of thousands” Russian passports to Ukrainians in order to furnish a pretext for intervention. Senior Ukrainians have begun to consider seriously the possibility of a Russian military attack on Ukraine.

The intensification of Russian pressure on Ukraine should lead us to examine our existing policies affecting Ukraine:

  • We might work more closely with the EU to offer greater support to Ukraine.
  • We might aim at bringing Russia to accept the reality of Ukrainian independence.

Working with the EU to strengthen Western Incentives for Ukrainian reforms

With the eclipse of Ukraine’s relationship with NATO, the EU has become the primary Western pole of attraction for Ukraine. The hope for eventual membership in the EU has long been a major incentive driving Ukrainian reforms. While Ukraine is clearly not capable of meeting the standards for EU for a long time to come, a clear offer of eventual EU membership if Ukraine met the conditions, could transform Ukrainian political life by creating by creating a common project of society for broad spectrum of Ukrainian public opinion. Unfortunately, because the EU tends to make its relations with the other ex-Soviet republics subject to Russian views, it has, while not totally shutting the door, been largely negative on the subject of membership for the other former Soviet republics. The EU’s position limited the attractiveness of the EU’s earlier European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), its plan for promoting political and economic reform, and stability in the neighbouring countries.

To respond to criticisms of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU unveiled on 3 December 2008, the Eastern Partnership. The Eastern Partnership appears to be an improvement on the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Eastern Partnership offers, among other things, free trade, closer energy ties, visa liberalization, and apparently better financial assistance programs to support the adoption of reforms. It still does not offer, however, membership in the EU, although it does not shut the door to the possibility. Ukraine, while welcoming the Partnership, has reiterated that EU membership remains its goal. There is a danger, therefore, that the new plan too may turn out to insufficient to mobilize Ukrainian public opinion to support serious reforms.

At the same time, the Ukrainians should realize that the EU’s offer is not that different from the EU’s initial offers of assistance to the Central European states, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. They too were promised aid, not membership. They recognized, however, that an aggressive policy of reform would likely open further doors for them.

In considering what their course of action might be in these circumstances, the two North American countries should bear in mind that calling on the EU to offer Ukraine membership in the EU is unlikely to bear results. The United States has for many years urged without effect the EU to admit Turkey into its ranks

Instead, Canada and the United States might consider working more closely with the EU in providing political and economic support to Ukraine. We might even think of offering economic concessions to make the Eastern Partnership more attractive. Canada has offered to negotiate a free trade agreement with Ukraine. Canada might co-ordinate its offer with that of the EU. The United States might follow the Canadian example.

Aim at Bringing Russia to Accept the Reality of Ukrainian Independence

The recent efforts of the United States to reset US –Russian relations have nevertheless left the issue of Russia’s claim to primacy over the former Soviet Union unresolved. We cannot accept the Russian claim to hegemony over the other former Soviet republics. What the history of the twentieth century should have taught us is that the same rules of law and conduct have to apply throughout the continent. The loss of Ukrainian independence would be an affront to our values. It would also create a shift in the balance of power in Europe that would be harmful to our interests. We have to make it clear therefore that we will oppose any efforts by Russia to impose its hegemony on Eastern Europe. We cannot therefore accept the Russian proposals for a European Security Treaty.

Instead, we might propose modernizing the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), and giving greater force to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

We should, in any case, become more active in the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

We should insist more strongly on respect for the principles of the Helsinki Accords that set up the OSCE:

  • the sovereign equality of all member states,
  • refraining from the threat or use of force,
  • the inviolability of frontiers,
  • the territorial integrity of states,
  • the peaceful settlement of disputes,
  • the non-intervention in internal affairs,
  • respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
  • equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

We should make greater use of the mechanisms of the OSCE’s first dimension, that of politico-military security:

  • To strengthen military security in sensitive areas we need to renew our efforts to promote greater openness, transparency and co-operation.
  • We must again have independent observers and peacekeeping forces monitor and manage sensitive borders.
  • We must take more seriously our obligation to facilitate lasting comprehensive political settlements for existing conflicts.

We should give a stronger impulse of energy to the OSCE’s third dimension, the human dimension:

  • We should give stronger backing to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), in its work of election observation, and support for democratic development, human rights, tolerance, non-discrimination and rule of law.

We should might repeatedly remind Russia of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 under which Russia, the UK and the USA undertook to respect Ukraine's borders, to abstain from the use or threat of force against Ukraine, to support Ukraine where an attempt is made to place pressure on it by economic coercion, and to bring any incident of aggression by a nuclear power before the UN Security Council.

If we had earlier shown greater vigour in insisting on respect for the principles and provisions of the treaties and organizations putting an end to the Cold War, we might have been able to head off the Russo-Georgian war. Should we do so now, we may be able to deter further tragedies. We must ensure that Russia does not use the invasion of Georgia as a precedent for further adventures.

If we do not accept the Russian claim to hegemony, however, we have to deal with Russia’s concern that its security is being threatened by Western expansion.

In response, we might offer a new concept of European security – the gradual integration of Russia into Western structures provided Russia proceeds with reforms intended to make it a functioning democracy and market economy, and provided it develops relations with the other former Soviet republics on the basis of genuine equality and respect for the principles of international law and the Helsinki Accords.

Admittedly, the Russians now officially show little or no interest in being accepted into existing Western political and economic institutions. Instead, they are concentrating on developing their relations with China. The relationship with China, however, appears to be accompanied by distrust and potential rivalry on both sides. In the past, the Russians have, before being rebuffed, informally indicated their desire to join Western organizations. Furthermore, the desirability of integrating with the West keeps being raised in academic articles.

For this reason, we believe that the initiative we propose is worth exploring. The success of our efforts to enable Ukraine to develop as an independent, democratic and prosperous state, anchored in Western institutions, may ultimately depend on our ability to reach some such an understanding with Russia.

 

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
 
© 2019 CUSUR—Center for US Ukrainian Relations