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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Oct 28, 2005, 10:00 am ET

    Letter

    Organizations invited to join Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition

    www.usukraine.org

    The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's Public Policy Dialogue Program will be dedicating the months of October and November to achieving Ukraine's graduation from the United State's Jackson-Vanik Amendment trade restrictions. The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition has been formed to ensure that Congress passes the applicable House and Senate bills, before its November recess. Six bills have been introduced thus far to graduate Ukraine, all await committee consideration. Three consecutive presidential administrations have declared Ukraine to be in compliance with the Amendment's human rights requirements and deserving of graduation. Therefore, we join the Coalition in believing that the time has come for the passage of this important legislation.

    Former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine, Steven Pifer and William Miller are heading the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition

    We invite your organization to join theJackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition and participate in the campaign to have Ukraine graduated from the trade restriction by the end of the year.

    A Brief History of the Amendment: The 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment imposed trade restrictions on the Soviet Union in response to its poor human rights policies, particularly restrictions on the emigration of religious minorities. The Amendment stated that non-market economies that continued to impose emigration restrictions on their citizens would not be granted permanent normal trade relations or "most favored nation" status by the U.S. However today, more than thirty years later, Ukraine has built a strong record of allowing open emigration and has created conditions for religious minorities to pursue their beliefs freely. Ukraine is a success story for Jackson-Vanik and it now merits graduation from the Amendment's provisions.

    Ukraine's current status, still subject to, although in full compliance with Jackson-Vanik, carries both negative political and economic connotations. Ukraine's graduation from Jackson-Vanik is an important affirmation of Ukraine's successful democratization and President Yushchenko's global economic agenda.

    The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition is currently expanding its network of support and developing an action plan for working with Congress to achieve the goal of Ukraine's graduation. We urge you to join us and participate in the Coalition's efforts.

    Please contact Alana Malick at the U.S. Ukraine Foundation (202)347-4264, jvgc(a)usukraine.org, for more information or to add your name to the list of Coalition supporters.

    Nadia K. McConnell
    President, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation


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