Projects

Upcoming Events

Washington, DC
February 14-15, 2017

Washington DC
April 27, 2017

Washington, DC
June 15, 2017

Kyiv, Ukraine
August 30, 2017
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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.
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CUSUR 2016 - 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.
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CUSUR 2016 - 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.
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CUSUR 2016 - Project IV
Kyiv Seminars for UA Officials

The several visits of young, fresh minded, reform oriented UA military commanders and national security analysts to various top flight foreign policy think tanks and institutes of higher diplomatic or military learning in DC (prompted in good part by CUSUR invitations to its Occasional Briefings) in the latter part of 2014 prompted the UA MOD to propose a slightly different arrangement for similar discussions/conversations in 2015.
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History
CUSUR—How It All Started

Amidst millennial celebrations and expectations over a decade ago, Ukraine and the United States began an exchange of increasingly strong signals intimating that their ties should be closer—that, in fact, their relationship should ultimately take on strategic coloration. In December 1999, both the executive and the legislative branches of Ukraine's government—the Presidential Administration and the Verkhovna Rada—took clear steps to indicate a serious interest in pursuing a course of 'eventual integration into the structures of the Euro-Atlantic world'. Their 'message' was answered by Secretary of State Madeline Albright during a speech delivered at Johns Hopkins University in January 2000 in which she named Ukraine as one of the four key countries with whom the US had to deepen bilateral economic and security relations. In short order, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk responded with an energetic embrace of Secretary Albright's position and proceeded to append a dimension to the envisioned links—coordinated responses to diplomatic issues of common concern. In June 2000, President Clinton, during his final visit to Kyiv, raised the 'engagement' bar significantly higher by referring to US-Ukrainian relations as a 'strategic partnership'. The Ukrainian leadership lost no time replying; it wholeheartedly endorsed the assessment. President Bush's inaugural trip to Europe in June 2001, and particularly his visit to Warsaw, yielded one more message on the subject, possessing what might be characterized as 'critical mass'. The newly elected American leader expressed a clear desire to retain the term 'strategic partnership' to describe the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, emphatically underscoring the bipartisan nature of US support for Ukraine's "Western" geopolitical aspirations. (1) (2)

The significance of the emerging exchange was not lost on the Ukrainian American community. In April 2000, the community's most prominent organizations convened to consider ways to support the 'dialogue' that was unfolding between the two nations they held in the highest regard. The deliberations gave rise to a commitment: 'to stage a conference that would bring together prominent representatives from academia and the governments of Ukraine and the United States to assess Ukraine's prospects for fuller ties to the Euro-Atlantic world in general and stronger bilateral relations with the US in particular'. To help fulfill the commitment, four key sources were tapped. The Ukrainian Congressional Caucus was asked to garner political support in the US. The Ukrainian Embassy was asked to garner political support in Ukraine. Major American universities, think tanks, and NGOs were invited to serve as sponsors—to lend their good names and supply important contacts. Major American commercial institutions were invited to serve as patrons—to provide the necessary financial wherewithal. In September 2000, the several requested efforts converged and produced a remarkable event in Washington DC entitled: Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood: A Roundtable. The Roundtable proved to be a veritable gathering of the Who's Who of the foreign policy establishments of both countries. Large portions of the conference were webcast live worldwide; the entire conference was video taped to provide a full transcript of the proceedings for purposes of publication.

Enthused by the success of their initiative, the various entities involved with organizing the Roundtable reconvened in November 2000. The rendezvous led to a second commitment: to make the conference an annual affair and to use the event to monitor further developments in US-Ukrainian relations, particularly those of a strategic character. In line with the follow up commitment, the said entities [operating as the UA Quest RT Series Steering Committee] have now reassembled fifteen times, to convene Roundtable II [Taking Measure of a US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership] in October 2001, Roundtable III [Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Community] in Oct. 2002, Roundtable IV [Ukraine's Transition to a Developed Market Economy] in Oct. 2003, Roundtable V [Ukraine's Transition to a Stable Democratic Polity] in September 2004, Roundtable VI [Ukraine's Transition to an Established National Identity] in Sept. 2005, Roundtable VII [Ukraine and NATO Membership] in Oct. 2006, Roundtable VIII [Ukraine-EU Relations] in Oct. 2007, Roundtable IX [Ukraine's Regional Commitments] in Oct. 2008, Roundtable X [Ukraine's Bilateral Relations/US-Ukraine & Canada-Ukraine] in Oct. 2009, Roundtable XI [Ukraine's Bilateral Relations/Germany-Ukraine & Russia-Ukraine] in Oct. 2010, Roundtable XII [Ukraine's Bilateral Relations/Poland-Ukraine & Turkey-Ukraine] in Oct. 2011, Quest RT Special Event I [Ukraine's 'Report Card' on the Eve of Parliamentary Elections in Oct. 2012]. in Sep. 2012, Quest RT Special Event II [Divining the Outcome of the (November 2013) EP Summit in Vilnius] in Sept. 2013, Quest RT Special Event III [Divining the Domestic and Foreign Policy/Security of Ukraine’s Next Parliament/Oct. 2014] in Sept. 2014 and Roundtable XVI in Oct. 2015. To everyone's delighted surprise, the end results have far outdistanced expectations. The conferences have managed to do the improbable; defying the accepted notion that sequels elicit disappointment, Roundtables II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, three RT Special Events 2012-2014 and Roundtable XVI have found a way to outshine Roundtable I. In addition, RT IV saw the introduction of a new ingredient to the proceedings—a series of business to business networking sessions that ran parallel to the traditional symposium. The organizers were advised to turn the B2B fora into a unified stand alone event. The advice was taken and resulted in a highly successful US-UA Business Networking Forum [II]. Launching a specialized US-Ukrainian business/investment conference series, by turns, spurred interest in the running of conferences dealing with bilateral security matters, energy issues and humanitarian concerns; the result has been the emergence of the US-UA Security Dialogue Series, US-UA Energy Dialogue Series and the highly regarded UA Historical Encounters Series.

By 2005, the organizers were rightfully proud of what had been accomplished. Without doubt, much had been done to meet the goals that had been set; in many ways, the goals had been surpassed. But, quite frankly, their pride was tempered by an important fact: the work performed remained ad hoc in nature. In the absence of a formal structure to tend to the various named series and to the publication of the said series proceedings (often well described as 'valuable caches of information and analysis pertinent to US policy formulation vis-à-vis Ukraine'), two problems loomed large with regard to sustaining the follow-up commitment. For one, there existed the likelihood, in operational terms, of having to constantly 'reinvent the wheel'—a nightmare scenario, whether dealing with human or material resources. Equally troubling, there existed the possibility of an 'analytical disconnect'—an eventual descent into the intellectually sterile realm of yearly handshake photo-ops. To forestall the appearance of such problems, the organizers agreed to a simple solution: the formation of an entity capable of systematizing and, when deemed appropriate, expanding the Roundtable format—or, in short, the creation of a 'Center for US-Ukrainian Relations'.

Footnotes:
(1) For context, please note: US, Ukrainian Foreign Ministers Press Availability Transcript [Kyiv/April 14 2000].
(2) For a recent update, kindly note: US Secretary of State Clinton's Remarks With Ukrainian Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko After Their Meeting [12/09/09] .

 
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Latest News

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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