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Lethal weapons and modernized Jackson-Vanik amendment

Expert on expectations from the three-day visit of the president of Ukraine to the US
20 September, 11:00

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko started his second visit to the United States this year with a meeting with representatives of the US Ukrainian community at New York-based Ukrainian Institute of America. An official reason for Ukrainian president’s trip overseas was the scheduled for September 21 speech at the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council. Apart from that, Poroshenko will hold a number of bilateral meetings with the leaders of the key states, including the US presidential candidate from the Democratic Party Hillary Clinton. As yet, there is an agreement about Poroshenko’s meeting with the Republican Party candidate Donald Trump.

During communication with diaspora, like in his speech at the forum “Ukraine’s Battle for Freedom Continues,” at the Capitol on March 30, 2016, the president again called upon the US to give lethal weapons to Ukraine. “Over these 2.5 years we have proved to be reliable and trustful. We have showed that Ukraine has never led and is not going to lead any war of aggression. No threat has ever come from Ukraine. And it is absolutely safe to give us lethal weapons. We are going to fight for our land till the last drop of blood,” he emphasized.

Besides, the head of state underlined that today it is very important to continue and reinforce the sanctions against the RF. “Russia’s violation of human rights on the occupied territories, including the rights of the Crimean Tatars, demands to impose additional sector sanctions. The world must react to this. As an example, a good result for us could have given a modernized analogue of Jackson-Vanik amendment,” the president said, calling to develop a plan of actions and work in this direction.


Oleksandr MOTSYK, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the US:

“The session of UN General Assembly is the greatest forum gathering every year the heads of states and governments, ministers of foreign affairs from all 194 countries members of the organization. It will raise the questions of security, peace, regulation of conflicts, human rights, fight against terrorism, climate change, the world economic and social development, and fighting poverty.

“Apart from that, it should be noted that 50 years ago two very important documents were approved at the UN General Assembly: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These documents for 50 years have been defining the world standards in the sphere of human rights.

“For us these documents are important in the context of current situation in Ukraine and the fact that the attempt of Crimea’s annexation by the Russian Federation is illegal and not recognized by the world, and the war in the east of Ukraine is underway. In both cases Russia is violating the rights of Ukrainian citizens on these occupied territories and in this context the abovementioned international documents are important.

“The president started his visit with a meeting with the Ukrainian community, and such meetings are always important. Diaspora, especially in America, is playing an important role in assisting in development of Ukraine, strengthening its sovereignty and independence, and currently – in the struggle against the Russian aggressor. Of course, for us at this session the main question will be the question of security, peace, and counteraction on the side of the UN against the Russian aggression in the Donbas, and the attempt to annex Crimea.

“An important fact is that the first year of Ukraine’s membership in the UN Security Council will be over soon. Of course, it gives extra opportunities for Ukraine to present our stand and take a more active part in solving other global questions, which are now approved by the UN and in particular the UN Security Council. Taking into account everything said above, the participation of the president in the work of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council is extremely important.

“As for the bilateral meetings of Ukraine’s head of state in the US, the scheduled meeting with US President Barack Obama will be important for further development of the mutual relations between our states. I think in a conversation with the American president among many issues on the agenda will be the issue of securing the guaranties through bilateral security agreements with the allies because of non-fulfillment of the Budapest Memorandum. Since this document was simply crashed by Russia, we need to find other mechanisms of guaranteeing our security. Having given away our nuclear arsenal, we have the right for such security and guarantees, therefore we have to achieve this.

“It is important for the president of Ukraine to meet with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She has a vast experience of relations with our country, both as a senator, and a state secretary. Clinton knows Ukraine very well. And it is important to inform her as a presidential candidate about the current situation, what we want from the US, what assistance, what help, and what solidarity with us. The thing is about not only help and solidarity, but also understanding that Ukraine today is fighting not only for itself, but against the aggression and hybrid war against Europe and the entire civilized world. This meeting is important in this context.

“I think that President Poroshenko is absolutely right in his opinion that imposing extra sanctions against Russia by the US is an implementation of a modern analogue of the Jackson-Vanik amendment. For the essence of this proposal is in the fact that the aggressor today hasn’t faced the punishment equal to the crime it has committed against Ukraine. And imposing of such sanctions against Moscow with the purpose to make it respect the international law and help to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine would be very useful.

“As for the expectations of the Ukrainian delegations from the session of the General Assembly of the UN, the Ukraine’s proposal to approve the resolution on human rights violation in Crimea is absolutely correct and well-timed. I am sure that our delegation has actively worked on the preparation and now is working on getting support from as many countries of the world as possible.

“Of course, Russia has been actively working simultaneously with us to prevent this resolution from being adopted, but as for me this resolution will be approved. It should condemn the occupation, confirm the territorial integrity of Ukraine for another time, and condemn the violations of human rights by Russia on the occupied Ukrainian territories, in particular, in Crimea against the Crimean-Tatars, the Ukrainian minority, and generally against the Ukrainian citizens who suffer from this occupation.”

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