Welcome to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council


U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) hosted the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, at a breakfast meeting in Washington attended by 100 members of USUBC and special guests on Monday, September 29.   

President Yushchenko meets with USUBC

[Click here to view all photos from this meeting ]

President Yushchenko spoke for almost an hour and addressed the main political and economic issues facing Ukraine.  He outlined his vision for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration, discussed the recent events in Georgia, spoke about Ukraine's business environment, thanked the U.S. companies for their investments in Ukraine and indicated there were many more investment projects in Ukraine that would be interest to American investors.  

Yushchenko shared his optimism regarding the economic situation in Ukraine, mentioning that it had entered the World Trade Organization this year. He positively assessed the level of international investment in the Ukrainian economy. The president also shared his hope for an increase in U.S. investment to Ukraine. 

In his opinion, high-tech projects could be of a special interest to American investors. He praised the high level of Ukrainian computer professionals and program assistants. Ukraine and the U.S. could also cooperate more in the area of space, the president stated. He also called for American businessmen to invest in the agricultural sector of the Ukrainian economy, noting that it has a great potential.

The president was introduced by Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, president of USUBC.  Williams said in his opening remarks, "Mr. President, the businesses in attendance today have billions of dollars invested in Ukraine, have created thousands of jobs and are totally committed to an independent, strong, democratic, prosperous Ukraine, driven by an private, market-driven economic system, under the rule-of-law."

Morgan Williams Discussion with President Yushchenko

"Ukrainian and international businesses are the best friend and partner the Ukraine government has to help Ukraine reach its goals and is making Euro-Atlantic integration a reality," Williams continued. "For business to continue to move Ukraine forward a stable political and governmental environment is needed.  The government also needs to view business as a partner and friend and pass the many reforms needed to bring about a much stronger, pro-business environment in Ukraine."

President Yushchenko stated the current political crisis in Ukraine is a "normal" democratic process. At the same time, he accused the "union", as he put it, comprised of the Block of Yulia Tymoshenko, the Party of Regions and the Communists of having  another partner - Moscow.
President Yushchenko called the recent events in the Ukrainian parliament  "Georgia II," the aim of which was to destabilize the situation in the country. Yushchenko also noted that he does not believe a coalition will appear among the Block of Yulia Tymoshenko, the Party of Regions and the Communists.  In his opinion the situation is moving toward elections and is not, as some have described it, a political tragedy.
Yushchenko also stated once again that Ukraine should become a member of NATO. The crisis in Georgia proved that NATO should expand to the east, he said. The president noted that a referendum would be held on NATO accession.  This would be, he said, the most democratic way of solving such a difficult issue.

No one has invited Ukraine to join NATO so far, he said, but Ukraine should use this time to work on receiving such an invitation in the form of a Membership Action Plan (MAP). In President Yushchenko's opinion, there is no other alternative for Ukraine than entering a system of collective security. He said that the Black sea region has become the area of instability.

Special guests at the breakfast from the government of Ukraine included: Volodymyr Ogryzko, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Andriy Goncharuk, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine; Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Acting Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Raisa Bohatyreva, Head of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and Dr. Oleh Shamshur, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States.

U.S. Ambassadors

Four of the six United States Ambassador's to Ukraine since independence in 1991 were at the presidential breakfast.  They were: William Green Miller, Steven Pifer, John Herbst and William B. Taylor. 

At the end of the breakfast USUBC presented President Yushchenko with a framed original copy of a poster used in the huge October 2, 1983 march on Washington, D.C. by the Ukrainian-American community to protest the Soviet occupation of Ukraine and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the genocide against the Ukrainian people in 1932-1933 when millions were starved to death. The poster was designed by Roxolana Luczakowsky Armstrong. 
(To see a copy of the poster click on http://www.artukraine.com/famineart.armstrong.htm.)

Approximately 18, 000 Ukrainians gathered in the shadow of the Washington Monument on Sunday morning, October 2, to mourn those of their kinsmen who had perished in the Great Famine of 1932-33 and to renew their pledge to always remember and to never allow the world to forget the holocaust inflicted upon the Ukrainian nation by the Soviet regime. The Ukrainians also protested the Soviet occupation of Ukraine in front of the Soviet Embassy.  

Holodomor Poster

Companies/organizations in attendance at the USUBC presidential breakfast included: 3M, AES, Aitken Berlin, American Continental Group, American Councils on International Education, Baker & McKenzie, BBC World Service/Ukrainian Service, Boeing, Bracewell & Giuliani, Bunge, Cargill, Chevron, Coca-Cola, ContourGlobal, Crumpton Group, DHL Express, DRS-Technical Services, Edelman, First International Resources, and Global Trade Development, Inc. 

Also in attendance were Halliburton, Harris Corporation, Heller & Rosenblatt, IBM, Intercontinental Commerce Corporation, Kyiv Post, Kraft Foods, Kyiv-Atlantic, Lockheed Martin, Magisters, Marathon, Marks, Sokolov, & Burd, MaxWell Biocorporation, McDonald's, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Motorola, Nationwide Equipment, Northrop Grumman, Office of the Vice President, and Pratt & Whitney/United Technologies.

Also attending were: Procter & Gamble, Reservoir Capital, Salans, SigmaBleyzer, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, SE Raelin, Standard Chartered Bank, Sweet Analysis Services Inc., (SASI); TD International, The Heritage Foundation, The PBN Company, The Ukrainian Weekly, The Washington Group (TWG); The Washington Times, TNK-BP, Ukrainian American Bar Association, Ukrainian Development Company, Ukrainian Embassy/Trade and Economic Mission; Ukrainian International Airlines, Umbra, U.S. Civilian Research Defense Foundation (CRDF), U.S. Department of State, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), Voice of America (VOA) and Westinghouse.

[Click here to view all photos from this meeting ]



Press office of President Victor Yushchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 29, 2008

KYIV - Within the framework of his working visit to the USA President Victor Yushchenko met with representatives of the US-Ukraine Business Council [USUBC]. At the meeting the President said that American investments are very important for Ukraine, and invited the investors to deeper cooperation.

According to him there are many projects that might be of interest for American investors, particularly in the field of high-tech, agriculture, energy, preparation to holding EURO 2012, etc. He assured American businessmen that Ukrainian authorities conduct a consistent policy in providing stable and beneficial working conditions to foreign investors.

Also President Yushchenko reminded that the ninth meeting of Consultative Council on Foreign Investments under the auspices of the President of Ukraine is about to take place soon. The meeting of the council, in which the American businessmen have the broadest representation, will be dedicated to problems and obstacles, foreign investors are facing in their work in Ukraine.

LINK: With photograph: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/11466.html



The White House, Washington, D.C., Monday, September 29, 2008

PRESIDENT BUSH: I was disappointed in the vote with the United States Congress on the economic rescue plan. We put forth a plan that was big because we got a big problem. I'm going to be talking to my economic advisors after my meeting here with the President, and we'll be working with members of Congress -- leaders of Congress on the way forward. Our strategy is to continue to address this economic situation head on. And we'll be working to develop a strategy that will enable us to continue to move forward.

 Mr. President, welcome. I welcome you here to the Oval Office. I admire your steadfast support for democratic values and principles. A lot of Americans have watched with amazement how your country became a democracy. We strongly support your democracy. We look forward to working with you to strengthen that democracy.

You and I just had a good discussion about a variety of issues. We discussed, you know, the NATO and Membership Application Process. We discussed energy independence. We discussed ways that we can work together to bring stability and peace to parts of the world. And I thank you for joining us here in Washington in the Oval Office. And I send my respect to the people of Ukraine.

PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO: (As translated.) First of all, Mr. President, I would like to thank you for the atmosphere that our negotiations were held in. We had our conversation in a very constructive manner.

We touched upon the range of issues, starting from our bilateral relations, and the implementation of U.S.-Ukraine action plan, and we consider this road map as being implemented in a successful way. A lot of attention was paid to the security component and security itself. And special attention was paid towards Ukraine integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

We raised the issue of energy cooperation, which is a very urgent issue for us. And we believe that we've done excellent job on the adaptation of American nuclear fuel for our nuclear power units, and we intend to continue that.

We also discussed the domestic political situation in Ukraine, which in my opinion is far away from being tragic, and not dramatic. Ukraine has enough democratic resource and tools to give sufficient response to any crisis that may occur in the Ukrainian parliament. And this is probably where the Ukrainian strength and optimism is.

I also asked Mr. President to delegate the high-ranking delegation from the United States of America to participate in the commemorating event of the great famine in Ukraine of 1932 and 1933. The commemoration day will be on November the 22nd, and this will be the commemoration of the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in our country. And we need to do everything for that issue to be included in the UNGA agenda.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT BUSH: You're welcome.

LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov:80/news/releases/2008/09/20080929-8.html


Meets with Presidents of Lithuania and Ukraine

Olivier Knox, AFP, Washington, D.C., Mon Sep 29, 2008

WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush met Monday with the leaders of Lithuania and Ukraine to discuss the fallout from Russia's war in Georgia and warned Moscow against "bullying" its democratic neighbors. 
In separate White House talks, Bush sought to reassure the former Soviet republics of US support in the face of a newly assertive Kremlin, which some analysts warn may be sizing up other neighbors after the August conflict.

Bush, meeting with Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, said they had "talked about Georgia-Russia, and the need for democracies to be able to stand on their own feet without fear of bullying."

Bush also pledged help for Lithuania, as the former Soviet republic and NATO member looks to diversify its sources of energy, and restated the US obligation under the NATO charter to come to the aid of an alliance member under attack.

"It's important for the people of Lithuania to know that when the United States makes a commitment through, for example, Article 5 of the treaty, we mean it," the US president assured his guest.

With Lithuania seeking greater energy independence, Bush pledged the United States will "try to help you as best as we can." And the US president expressed "hope" that, by mid-October, Lithuanians would be able to travel to the United States without first seeking a visa.

Adamkus thanked Bush for his support for Lithuania joining NATO, which it did in 2004, saying that would not have happened without US leadership "and the entire security question in the region would be in doubt."

The Lithuanian leader also appealed for a lasting US presence in Europe, implying such a presence might be necessary to dissuade a newly assertive Moscow from any designs on former Soviet republics. "I hope that United States will be visible ... just to show our neighbors that we're definitely not alone, and we are building the democracy together," said Adamkus.

In talks with Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko, Bush evoked US support for Kiev's accession to NATO over vehement objections from Russia, which has also denounced Washington's backing of alliance membership for Georgia.

"We discussed the NATO and membership application process. We discussed energy independence. We discussed ways that we can work together to bring stability and peace to parts of the world," said Bush.

Yushchenko sought to reassure his host about political turmoil in Ukraine, where the ruling post-Western alliance has collapsed and some officials warn that any snap elections could result in a victory for pro-Moscow forces.

The situation, "in my opinion, is far away from being tragic, and not dramatic. Ukraine has enough democratic resource and tools to give sufficient response to any crisis that may occur in the Ukrainian parliament," he said. "We raised the issue of energy cooperation, which is a very urgent issue for us," said the Ukrainian leader.

Moscow has seen relations with former Soviet republics and the West deteriorate sharply since its early August war with Georgia, after years of tensions over access to energy supplies controlled by Russia.

Russia has regularly been accused of using its control of a hefty slice of Europe's market for political ends, allegedly turning off the taps to punish governments in Moscow's communist-era stomping ground that are too critical of the Kremlin.

Lithuania, which broke free from the crumbling Soviet bloc in 1991 and joined the EU and NATO in 2004, has been sparring with Russia since August 2006, when the Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft cut supplies to the country's only refinery. And supplies to Europe were briefly disrupted in January 2006 as a consequence of a gas price dispute between Russia and Ukraine.



Yushchenko’s welcome at White House is less enthusiastic than hoped for
Analysis & Commentary: By Roman Kupchinsky, Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume 5, Issue 192, The Jamestown Foundation

Washington, D.C., Tue, Oct 7, 2008 


By Yuliya Melnik, Special to Kyiv Post, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine
Thursday, October 2, 2008