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As Putin raises the Ante the U.S. promises Cooperation with Ukraine

ATLANTA – Ukraine is facing a moment of historic challenge and historic opportunity. In the coming months, the Government of Ukraine will need to take steps to restore economic stability and to conduct free, fair, and inclusive presidential elections to allow the Ukrainian people to choose their own future.

During Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s visit to Washington today, we discussed specific steps the United States is taking to support Ukraine at this critical time, including the $1 billion loan guarantee we are working with Congress to provide, and the package of technical and other assistance we are preparing, to meet Ukraine’s priority needs. Specific U.S. assistance measures and initiatives discussed today include the following:

Reaffirming our Partnership

We intend to resume activities of the Strategic Partnership Commission at the Ministerial level with the goal of deepening the U.S.-Ukrainian Strategic Partnership in the areas of nuclear security and non-proliferation, political dialogue and rule of law, energy security, security cooperation, and science and technology.

The Department of Commerce will organize a U.S.-Ukraine Business Summit in Washington, D.C. that will bring together senior-level USG and GOU officials, U.S. companies with investments in Ukraine, and leading economic and legal experts on the Ukrainian market, to discuss how to increase economic growth in Ukraine and deepen our bilateral commercial relationship.

The Department of Commerce, working together with the State Department and USTR,will develop an Innovation Council that will focus on creating the eco-system required to accelerate entrepreneurship and develop the legal culture and infrastructure for innovation in Ukraine.

Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual will visit Kyiv this month for a meeting of the Energy Security Working Group, which will focus on efforts to boost Ukraine’s energy security, including energy efficiency and the development of alternative energy sources.

The Department of Defense will hold U.S.-Ukraine Bilateral Defense Consultations with Ukrainian counterparts in Kyiv within the next month.

A senior-level Department of Commerce delegation will travel to Kyiv to conduct relationship-building with key GOU officials, streamlining future bilateral work on market access cases, pending investments, and means for addressing systemic issues affecting our bilateral commercial relationship.

We will hold a meeting of the bilateral Trade and Investment Council through the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to address barriers to trade and investment and explore expanding commercial ties, boosting the investment climate.

Immediate Assistance

Support for the May presidential elections. The United States will double its planned assistance to support electoral law reform to improve election administration, provide election monitoring, and promote robust involvement by a strong and independent civil society and media.

Department of Defense (DoD) personnel will organize a Humanitarian Assistance Planning Conference with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. DoD will provide Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Support for asset recovery efforts. Department of Justice and FBI teams are already in Ukraine to provide strategic advice and capacity building to locate the proceeds of corruption looted by former officials. The State Department also will offer additional assistance and technical expertise for bilateral and multilateral efforts to facilitate Ukraine’s efforts to recover these assets located in overseas financial institutions.

New technical support to help Ukraine with immediate economic management challenges. The United States is providing expertise to help the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and Central Bank navigate near-term economic challenges. The Department of Treasury has already deployed an expert advisor and the United States stands ready to provide additional assistance to meet Ukraine’s near-term economic and financial management needs.

Enhancing People-to-People Contacts

The Department of State will expand funding for the inaugural year of the U.S.-Ukraine Fulbright Science and Technology Education Program (“STEP”), a pilot project that will fully fund the travel and studies of a select group of Ukrainian graduate students at U.S. universities in the 2014-2015 academic year.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program will double the number of Ukrainian students for the 2014-15 academic year.

Over 50 additional future leaders of Ukraine will be eligible for short-term exchanges and professional experiences in the United States in critically important fields.

The United States will establish an Alumni Innovation Grant Competition for Ukrainian alumni of U.S. government exchange programs to allow the best alumni to launch ideas that will benefit their country’s future.

Source: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs

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