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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, July 5, 2010, 12:00 PM ET

    Press release

    Joint Statement of the Second Session of the United States-Ukraine
    Strategic Partnership Commission

    Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met July 2, 2010 in Kyiv, Ukraine and co-chaired the second session of the United States-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission. They reiterated that cooperation between our two countries is based on common interests and shared values mirrored in the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, including democracy, economic freedom and prosperity, security and territorial integrity, energy security, cooperation in the defense area, the rule of law and people-to-people contacts. To realize the full potential of our partnership, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gryshchenko decided to expand cooperation across a broad spectrum of mutual priorities. They agreed to establish three new commission groups on civil nuclear power cooperation, political dialogue and the rule of law, and science and technology, and to explore ways to expand people-to-people exchanges.

    The Strategic Partnership Commissions day-long session covered a range of issues that reflected the breadth and depth of bilateral relations: economic recovery, energy, foreign policy, defense and security, democracy and the rule of law, and nuclear security and non-proliferation.

    Ukraine and the United States exchanged views and agreed to continue dialogue on recovery from the global financial downturn and the results of the recent G8 and G20 summits. The United States expressed support for Ukraine's systemic reforms, as well as Ukraines continued engagement with the International Monetary Fund. Both sides recognized the potential for increased bilateral trade and investment and, in that regard, agreed on the need for renewed efforts to improve the business and investment climate and to tackle corruption. The crucial issue of energy was discussed, including the modernization of Ukraines gas transit sector. Ukraine recognized the importance of enhancing its energy consumption efficiency as it seeks to expand domestic production. Prospects for the development of conventional and unconventional energy sources were explored.

    Ukraine reiterated its goal of European integration and the United States welcomed progress in negotiations toward an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The two sides discussed the future of European security and ways it could be enhanced. Both agreed that security in Europe must be indivisible and should not create new divisions among partners and neighbors. The United States and Ukraine will redouble efforts to seek a negotiated settlement to the Transnistrian conflict through the 5+2 talks.

    Both sides noted with satisfaction the planned increase in defense engagement this year, specifically the joint Sea Breeze and Rapid Trident exercises. Ukraine reaffirmed that its continued partnership with NATO, including through its Annual National Program, remains among its priorities. The United States reiterated its support for Ukrainian efforts to transform and restructure its armed forces, and commended Ukraines continuing contribution to international peace and security through its deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. The United States and Ukraine agreed to further consultations on ways to strengthen regional and global security through mutual efforts.

    The United States and Ukraine discussed issues related to democratic development. The United States welcomed the fact that Ukraines presidential elections had been conducted in accordance with international standards. Both sides reiterated their commitment to shared democratic values, particularly in the areas of freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and judicial independence.

    The sides discussed the steps to implement the agreements reached by our two Presidents during the Nuclear Security Summit, namely, Ukraine's decision to get rid of all its stocks of highly-enriched uranium by the time of the next nuclear security summit, including the removal of a substantial part of those stocks this year, and the United States necessary technical and financial support to reach this goal. To promote the modernization of Ukraines nuclear power industry and diversification of its fuel supply, both sides agreed to establish a group under this Commission to look at further possibilities for cooperation in civil nuclear power. The two sides also agreed to continue working together on nuclear safety, including efforts to safeguard the Chornobyl nuclear reactor site. With the approaching 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe, Ukraine underlined the significance of the International Conference on Chornobyl to be held in Kyiv in April 2011. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of continuing international assistance, including the Shelter Fund financing to complete the project of its conversion into an ecologically safe system.

    Both sides reaffirmed their shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons and pledged to work together to prevent proliferation and to realize the Nuclear Security Summits goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials. The U.S. recognized Ukraines unique contribution to nuclear disarmament and reconfirmed that the security assurances, recorded in the Budapest Memorandum with Ukraine of December 5, 1994, remain in effect.

    The U.S. and Ukraine remain committed to the safe storage and elimination of the SS-24 solid rocket propellant stored in Pavlograd, Ukraine, and will jointly consult on how to do so in an expeditious, economically feasible and environmentally sound manner.

    Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Gryshchenko look forward to further strengthening the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine and convening the next session of the Strategic Partnership Commission in Washington, D.C.

    Kyiv, Ukraine, July 2, 2010

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