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Mon, February 26, 16:14 EST
BRAMA News and Community Press

BRAMA, Feb 23, 2007, 1:00 am ET

Press release
UPDATE 2/25/07

Orange Revolution Leader Yulia Tymoshenko Schedules Landmark Visit to U.S.
Historic Movement to Create a Democratic Ukraine 'Lives On,' Says Former Prime Minister.

© Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko in Khmelnyts'ky, Ukraine. 20 February 2007

UPDATE Sun, February 25, 2007 6:13 pm — The Harriman Institute and the Ukrainian Studies Program at Columbia University deeply regret to inform you that the talk by Yulia Tymoshenko on Monday, Feb. 26th at the Low Memorial Library Rotunda will not take place. We have just been informed that the New York leg of her trip was cancelled suddenly.

No further details are available at this time. We share in the disappointment in receiving this news and appreciate the extreme interest that so many people have expressed in this event.

* * *

KYIV, Ukraine, Feb. 22 — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko announced today that she will visit the United States. Ms. Tymoshenko will travel to New York City and Washington, DC between February 26th - March 2nd.

"As an unwavering supporter of freedom and democracy in Ukraine, I look forward to returning to the birthplace of these historic principles," said Ms. Tymoshenko.

During her stay in the U.S., Ms. Tymoshenko will meet with government officials, lawmakers, business leaders, policy experts and scholars to discuss the important issues facing Ukraine. She will address efforts to advance the country's path to democratic reform and be honored by policy organizations that support her passion and commitment to Ukraine. She will also speak at some of the most prominent American universities and think-tanks on topics of Ukrainian / American interest.

Ms. Tymoshenko will address geopolitical issues critical to the security of Ukraine, Europe and the United States. These issues include Russia's domineering role with its neighbors and more broadly in Europe, especially as it relates to energy security. She will also speak to Ukraine's continuing path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.

She also intends to confront certain misperceptions regarding the current state of democracy in Ukraine. "My sense is some in America mistakenly believe the Orange Revolution is over, that democracy has won — and that liberty and justice have secured their place in our country's history," said Ms. Tymoshenko.

"The Orange Revolution is not over," she continued. "The movement that brought thousands of Ukrainians together to overthrow the post-Soviet regime lives on. Much progress has been made to bring democracy to Ukraine, but much more remains to be done."

Democratic reform is taking root in Ukraine. The country had its first free and fair elections just a few years ago, and rule of law is slowly beginning to take shape. However, those who oppose Ukrainian independence are actively working to undermine democratic progress within the country.

For example, pro-democratic Members of Parliament and advocates of reform in Ukraine have been beaten in the streets to silence their attempts to bring about reform, and, in turn, intimidate others from doing the same.

"We will not be intimidated by those who want to turn the clock back on Ukraine," concluded Ms. Tymoshenko. "I hope my visit to the U.S. will help our American friends better understand the current issues impacting Ukraine, and I look forward to experiencing first-hand the great example of freedom and democracy that is America."

SOURCE TD International

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