On May 26, 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ambassador Taylor as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. In honor of this anniversary, Ambassador Taylor reflects on his tenure in Ukraine thus far.
According to the US Embassy to Ukraine web site, Ambassador Taylor`s statement reads as follows:
"I`m very glad to be back speaking with Ukrainians again this month.
This month actually marks two years since I`ve been the Ambassador in Ukraine. I`m very pleased to say to you, Ukrainians, that it`s been a great two years. I`ve loved every minute of it.
I`ve had the opportunity to see a lot of people, a lot of cities in the East and West, the South and in Crimea. I look forward to having more opportunities to visit with people and meet them and talk with them and find out what`s going on in their lives.
People around the world have noticed what`s going on in Ukraine. On the economic side, Ukraine has succeeded in a fifteen year effort to join the World Trade Organization. This is a major accomplishment. Fifteen years of hard work, of changing laws, of adopting regulations so that Ukraine can live by the rules of the World Trade Organization have been worth it. Legislation has finally been passed that has allowed Ukraine to join 151 other countries who are playing by the world trade rules.
On the political side, Ukraine`s had two good elections in the time that I`ve been watching this closely. Last year, of course, was another election that was free and fair. The people of Ukraine came out and voted again to elect their leaders and decide who will run this country. There is always the possibility of spits and starts in the politics of this country. There`s a real dynamism to Ukraine`s democracy. It`s a young democracy and there are going to be surprises, but I am convinced that the democracy that Ukrainians want is the democracy that they will achieve over time.
Other people have noticed the success of Ukraine and are interested in Ukraine, and senior officials from the United States have had an opportunity to come here. Three cabinet secretaries - the Secretary of Education and Secretary of Defense, and well as the Secretary of State - have all been here. And I`m sure you remember the President of the United States was here about two months ago. They have all been charged up and impressed with the opportunity that they`ve had to see Ukrainians, meet Ukrainians , talk with people on the street, talk with people in schools, as well as talk with senior officials.
The president came here on the way to Bucharest, and he was able to talk to his colleagues about the dynamism of Ukrainian democracy.
So I look forward to another year here. I`ve been very pleased with the opportunity to serve here, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as I can and talking to you again on the podcast next month. Thank you very much."