Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko convened the third session of the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission on February 15 in Washington, DC. The Commission’s aim is to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. The mandate of the Commission is to make concrete progress toward achieving the broad goals of the U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership in the areas of nuclear security and non-proliferation, political dialogue and rule of law, energy security, trade and investment, security cooperation, and science and technology. The Ukrainian party reaffirmed that the development of this strategic partnership remains one of its key foreign policy priorities. The U.S. party reiterated its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and reaffirmed its readiness to assist with Ukraine’s political, economic, defense, and security reforms.
Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gryshchenko underlined both parties’ commitment to securing all vulnerable nuclear materials and to increasing cooperation in nuclear security and non-proliferation. They welcomed the substantial progress made toward implementation of the Joint Statement issued by the Presidents of Ukraine and the United States during the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. In December 2010, a substantial amount of Ukraine’s highly-enriched uranium was removed, with support from the United States. The Ukrainian party reconfirmed its commitment to get rid of its remaining highly-enriched uranium by the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit. The U.S. party reconfirmed its commitment to provide necessary technical and financial assistance valued at approximately $50 million by the time of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit as part of this effort, including financial and other resources necessary for the construction of a state of the art neutron source facility that will enhance civil nuclear cooperation.
The parties noted the significant progress toward the elimination of Ukraine’s SS-24 solid missile propellant and the destruction of its SCUD missiles.
Ukraine and the United States emphasized the significance of the April 19-22 High-Level Meeting “Kyiv Summit on Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy,” the Chornobyl Pledging Conference with partnership of the G8, and the International Conference “25 years of the Chornobyl Tragedy: the Security of the Future,” for promoting cooperation to enhance global nuclear safety and security. Both parties stressed the importance of a successful pledging conference for the Chornobyl Shelter Fund and Nuclear Safety Account to enable the timely completion of projects that will make the site safe.
To further the goals of the Charter on Strategic Partnership, Ukraine and the United States reiterated that their cooperation is based on shared values. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation aimed at strengthening democracy, the rule of law, developing political pluralism, and promoting judicial reform, and combating corruption.
Both parties discussed the process of approving a new criminal procedure code, electoral code, and anti-corruption laws that meet international standards through an established democratic, inclusive process. The United States confirmed its readiness to assist Ukraine in institutional and legal reforms.
Ukraine stressed that responsibility and accountability should be the basis for a viable and sustainable democracy and reconfirmed its strategic goal to implement reforms in line with European standards. In that spirit, Ukraine and the United States discussed the importance of the protection of freedoms and individual rights in a manner in which civil society and stakeholders across the political spectrum will participate.
Both parties welcomed the establishment in July of the Political Dialogue and Rule of Law Working Group. The Working Group, which held its inaugural meeting in November in Kyiv, provides a platform to exchange views on democratic, legal and political reforms and the development of civil society. The two parties welcomed the holding of a meeting of Ukraine and U.S. civil society representatives in Washington on February 14 and look forward to increased interaction between non-governmental organizations of both nations.
The Charter on Strategic Partnership notes our mutual commitment to support economic reform and liberalization and to develop a business climate supportive of trade and investment. Today’s meeting discussed the need for a fair and transparent investment climate in Ukraine for both Ukrainian and foreign firms. The parties discussed the global grain market and other agricultural matters, and expressed the hope that Ukraine’s significant production potential can contribute to global food security. The United States welcomed Ukraine’s successful implementation of its Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund and encouraged continued cooperation with the IMF.
Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gryshchenko underlined that energy security remains a key part of our strategic dialogue and expressed support for the development of Ukraine’s energy resources, including unconventional gas. The U.S. side welcomed Ukraine’s membership in the European Energy Community. Both parties expressed their support for a transparent energy market in Ukraine, and noted Ukraine’s passage of the Law on the Principles of Functioning of the Natural Gas Market and steps to bring gas tariffs into conformity with the market. The United States encouraged Ukraine to restructure the gas sector to help open possibilities for investment in its gas transit system.
The Commission noted progress under the Ukraine-U.S. Energy Security Working Group, co-chaired by Minister for Energy and Coal Industry Yurii Boyko and U.S. Special Envoy for Energy Issues in Eurasia Ambassador Richard Morningstar. They welcomed the agreement for the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct an assessment of unconventional resources that will give the Government of Ukraine and investors public information on potential resources in Ukraine. They welcomed U.S. Agency for International Development technical assistance for the legal, regulatory and environmental framework of unconventional gas development. Both parties intend to continue cooperation on energy efficiency and to discuss encouraging renewable energy technologies and oil and gas well rehabilitation. They noted the importance of attracting private investment and technology to develop Ukraine’s oil and gas resources through open, competitive procurement processes. They welcomed the positive decision of the Ukrainian Interagency Committee on preparing and implementing production sharing agreements concerning the application by Chevron.
Both parties agreed to enhance cooperation to resolve regional conflicts, to promote global stability, deal with cyber threats, climate change and pandemic diseases, and collaborate in science and technology, food safety, health, biotechnology and nuclear medicine. They reiterated support for progress in the 5+2 process to reach a settlement on Transnistria.
The United States and Ukraine confirmed their readiness to continue political dialogue and practical cooperation in the context of the Ukraine-NATO partnership. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gryshchenko welcomed the NATO Lisbon Summit decisions and the Alliance’s readiness to develop partnerships with Ukraine, as specified in the NATO Strategic Concept. The United States welcomed Ukraine-NATO interaction in strengthening international peace and security and continued Ukrainian participation in NATO-led and other international peacekeeping operations and in deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Liberia.
The United States appreciated the contribution of Ukraine to strengthening global peace and security by actively engaging in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations. The United States welcomed the recent decision of Ukraine to deploy additional military helicopters and personnel to the UN peacekeeping operation in Cote d‘Ivoire.
Ukraine and the United States underscored the continuing importance of efforts by the international community to assure the provision of well-trained and deployable military units for multilateral peacekeeping missions, including concerted efforts to address chronic gaps faced by UN peacekeepers. Ukraine and the United States intend to explore ways to enhance their cooperation on peacekeeping-related issues.
The United States reconfirmed that the 1994 Budapest Memorandum security assurances remain in effect, and agreed to hold bilateral consultations with Ukraine on security assurances.
Ukraine and the United States highlighted their intent to increase joint efforts against trafficking in persons and HIV/AIDS by signing a bilateral Cooperation Plan on Combating Human Trafficking and the Partnership Framework on cooperation in countering HIV/AIDS in 2011-15.
The Commission welcomed the creation of the Science and Technology Working Group, which held its first session in November 2010. The Working Group is striving to increase cooperation between scientific communities; its next full meeting will be held in October-November 2011.
The United States and Ukraine agreed to review progress on visa regime liberalization and enhanced people-to-people exchanges; the next consular consultations will be held in Kyiv in March 2011. The United States welcomed Ukraine’s Action Plan to improve intellectual property protection.
Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gryshchenko agreed to convene the next session of the Strategic Partnership Commission in Kyiv.