Yushchenko meets with members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
100 members of USUBC and special guests attended the meeting
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, according to a USUBC press-release forwarded to UNIAN.
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.
BUSINESS AND EURO-ATLANTIC INTEGRATION
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."
"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.
MEMBER OF NATO
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. AMBASSADOR`S TO UKRAINE
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.
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.