Question: What steps has the U.S. taken to help Ukraine with its European integration?
Answer: We have been working closely with our European allies and partners to help Ukraine take the steps necessary to proceed along the path to European integration. Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, we have supported the Ukrainians as they built democratic skills and institutions, and promoted civic participation and good governance - all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We have spent over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine.
In Fiscal Year 2013, we provided over $100 million of assistance to Ukraine in support of economic modernization, democratization, and other reforms to help Ukraine move down the path towards EU integration. Our programs that assist on customs, IPR enforcement, and border guards directly contribute to Ukraine meeting the level of standards required under the Association Agreement. Our support of judicial reforms, especially on Ukraine’s newly adopted Criminal Procedure Code, similarly helps prepare Ukraine for deeper integration with the EU. Our programs combating trafficking-in-persons also help Ukraine reach EU standards in this area.
We support Ukraine in its economic reform efforts and continue to urge the government of Ukraine to work in good faith with the IMF. Restoring macroeconomic stability in the context of an IMF arrangement would send a positive signal to private markets and would facilitate increased foreign direct investment that is so urgently needed in Ukraine. The longer Ukraine waits to address its vulnerabilities, the costlier it will be.