Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs today said the United States wants to strengthen its partnership with Ukraine in a number of areas, from the economy to energy to security to democracy.
On February 2011, governments of Ukraine and the United States discussed further cooperation in the nuclear energy sector and signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of shale gas exploration in Ukraine.
United States of America and Ukrain vow to work together to prevent nuclear proliferation as both countries today signed the Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear security cooperation.
On his visit to Kyiv in Ukraine, Mr. Gordon said his visit aims to talk to counterparts about the wide range of issues that both countries are working on and also to follow up on the meeting that Secretary Clinton had with President Yanukovych the other day at the Munich Security Conference.
“In the area of energy, the Secretary expressed appreciation for Ukraine’s efforts to reform the energy sector and an American willingness to help, particularly in the area of possibly exploring for shale gas.” -Mr. Gordon
He states that Secretary Clinton expressed appreciation for Ukraine’s work with the US government in transferring the highly enriched uranium out of Ukraine that President Yanukovych promised at the Nuclear Security Summit.
He notes it’s a big priority for the United States as well.
He cites that both countries also talked about ways to increase American investment in Ukraine.
“There remain some obstacles to that investment in the form of regulations and in the areas of taxes and customs and on the question of corruption.” -Mr. Gordon
He says American exports to Ukraine are up at an all-time record high. However, he pointed out the expot is still only around $2 billion which is much less than it should be.
Statistics shows that Ukraine ranks very low on a list of countries that are ranked by how easy it is to do business in Ukraine. It was ranked 152nd out of 183 countries.
“That’s very unfortunate, because if it’s difficult to do business, then American businesses won’t come and Ukraine won’t develop.” -Mr. Gordon
Mr. Gordon also raised the issue of democracy in Ukraine. He cites that the United States stressed the importance of free and fair and transparent elections next October.
He expresses concerns about the perception of selective prosecutions, most notably in the case of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko.
“What Secretary Clinton said to the President is that this perception interferes with the full development of the relationship we would like to have with Ukraine.” -Mr. Gordon
He underlines that it’s not for the US government to prescribe how Ukraine’s judicial system works, but the perception of selective prosecution is an unfortunate one. He explains that it stands in the way of full development of US relations, as between the Ukraine and the European Union.
He emphasizes that the basic message was that the US wants to see increasingly strong U.S.-Ukraine relations.
“We think Ukraine has enormous potential and we want to see it continue down the course towards Euro-Atlantic integration, stability, prosperity and democracy.” -Mr. Gordon
The United States gives importance to its strategic relations with Ukraine. The U.S. govenrment attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine’s transition to a democratic state with a booming market economy.