Welcome to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council


U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Friday, August 29, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Raisa Bohatyryova, Secretary of  Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, discussed economic and political developments in her country during her trip to the United States on August 24-30, 2008. During this time she attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver and also had a series of meetings in Washington, D.C.

On Friday, August 29, 2008 the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) hosted Madam Secretary at a special luncheon in Washington, D.C. During the meeting Bohatyryova highlighted Ukraine's economic successes and the challenges that still need to be addressed by both the presidential administration and the government, according to Morgan Williams, SigmaBlezyer, who serves as president of USUBC. 

Bohatyryova Meeting

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Williams said, "Raisa Bohatyryova also discussed numerous problems faced by American companies operating in Ukraine. USUBC brought up one of the major concerns U.S. business has with Ukraine.  This is the fact that Ukraine has never settled a small claim the U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has with Ukraine and this OPIC is still closed for Ukraine."
Concerning the conflict in Georgia, Secretary Bohatyryova highly praised the reaction of President Yushchenko. Regarding Yuschenko, she said. "Ukraine has a leader who can take necessary decisions in order to protect his county." 

Bohatyryova stated that during the visit of Vice-President Dick Cheney in early September Ukraine will send a clear signal of support for the territorial integrity of Georgia. She noted that the views of Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych on the crisis in South Ossetia and Aphasia ( standing for their independence) differ from the views of the party as a whole (which Bohatyryova also represents). 
She expressed her hope that the EU summit on Georgia on the 1 of September will help solve the dispute over the issue of Georgian territorial integrity.

Bohatyryova and Morgan Williams
Mrs. Bohatyryova also expressed her desire that Ukraine will get a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) during the alliance's next summit in December. She said she believes that events in Georgia have caused more Ukrainians to think that their country would be more secure if it enter enters NATO. 

"We need to speak out loud not only about the importance of Ukraine entering NATO, but also that not accepting Ukraine into NATO could be very dangerous for the country", Bohatyryova said.
In her later interviews with the Ukrainian media, Mrs. Bohatyryova said she stands for Ukraine's information security.  Many experts say that Ukrainians received their information about events in Georgia from  Russian television channels.  She said that the Council of  National Security and Defense needs to work more on strengthening this security.  
Some of the American businessmen present at Bogatyryova's meeting with the USUBC expressed their concern that the war in Georgia could have negative effect on Ukraine's economy. Some American poultry firms already have experienced problems in exporting their products to Russia.
At the same time, some American businessmen have called on Ukrainian officials to work more on the energy security of the country. They believe the unstable situation in Georgia, through which the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline runs, could negatively influence world energy markets.
Speaking on the political challenges ahead, Mrs. Bohatyryova said that there may be new parliamentary elections.  The coalition doesn't have the 226 votes it needs for a majotiy, she claims, but neither does the opposition. Nevertheless,  Bohatyryova said that the country needs political consolidation and that new elections are not what the country needs. "I do hope that we won't have them", she said. The secretary added that Ukrainian president Yushchenko tries to unite politicians in order to tackle the challenges that Ukraine faces.

Bohatyryova at USUBC meeting

Companies/organizations in attendance at the USUBC luncheon included: the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Manchester Trade, The Heritage Foundation, American Councils for International Education, 3M, Ukraina Citizens International Association, United Technologies Corporation, First International Resources, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), PBN, Safeguards Technology, Northrop Grumman Congressional Research Service, U.S. Department of State, and Heller & Rosenbladt.

Also attending were Citi, Cato Institute, Kuzio & Associates, MaxWell Biocorporation, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), Embassy of Ukraine, Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine; Ukrainian Legal Group; Ukrainian American Bar Association, Adams and Reese LLP; UMBRA, TD International, Moldova Foundation, American Continental Group, Georgetown University, Sweet Analysis Services, Inc. (SASI), Vanco Energy Company, and SigmaBleyzer.

[Click here to view all photos from this meeting ]