Why the U.S. needs strong and democratic Ukraine as a strategic partner
06 вересня 2019, 22:16
- Key geostrategic location and champion of democracy in the region. The largest European country by territory, Ukraine is a bastion for the Western democratic world. The Orange Revolution of 2004 and the Euromaidan of 2014 have challenged the Russian autocratic model. Ukraine today emerged as a regional promoter for democratic values, serving as a critical counterweight to Russia’s malign neo-imperialistic ambitions. A successful Ukraine ultimately leads to stronger democracies and security in the region.
- Defender against Russian efforts to crash international order. Ukraine continues to pay a high price for its freedom and democracy. Since the beginning of Russian aggression in 2014, over 14,000 Ukrainians have been killed. Russia’s attempted illegal annexation of Crimea challenged the international law and challenges the world democratic community. The U.S. has reconfirmed its leadership of the free world by embedding the non-recognition of this blatant violation as national policy in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 2018 Crimea Declaration and imposing sanctions on Russia.
- Contributor to global security and nonproliferation. For more than two decades, Ukraine has demonstrated a strong commitment to nonproliferation policy. It has given away the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and all of its highly enriched uranium stockpile. Seeking NATO membership, Ukraine participates in all NATO-led peacekeeping operations and spends over three percent of its GDP on defense Ukraine is willing to purchase weapons made in the U.S. With the help of its partners, primarily the U.S., Ukraine has built a strong, capable army from scratch, serving as a unique bearer of the 21st century combat skills necessary for defense in hybrid warfare.
- Partner in energy security and cooperation. Ukraine’s infrastructure and large domestic market offer numerous cooperation opportunities for the U.S and are key for Euro-Atlantic energy security. Ukraine has one of the largest gas transit systems in the world with a capacity of more than six trillion cubic feet per year, thousands of miles of pipelines, and Europe’s largest gas storages with 1/3 of EU-28 capacity. In order to ensure energy independence from Russia, Ukraine opts for purchasing LNG and coal from the U.S. With above average wind speeds, solar irradiation and an increasing amount of agricultural waste, as well as one of the most attractive green tariffs in the world, Ukraine’s renewables sector is poised for rapid growth. Being one of the top countries in the world for nuclear energy generation, Ukraine is developing a number of cutting-edge nuclear projects with American companies, including Westinghouse and Holtec International. With the latter, Ukraine will become a manufacturing hub for small modular reactors.
- Agribusiness hub and key to global food security. Historically known as the “breadbasket of Europe”, Ukraine is set to become the “food basket” of the world, having enormous potential for organic food production. With 33 percent of the world’s black soil concentrated in Ukraine - equal to the territory of Great Britain - and a favorable climate and proximity to key markets, Ukraine is becoming an agro-export powerhouse. Ukraine is one of the top 10 exporters of the world’s most popular crops: sunflower oil, corn, barley and wheat. Diversified transport systems provide opportunities for the efficient shipment of agriculture production to key markets, with four out of 10 European transport corridors running through Ukraine. With additional investments, Ukraine is poised to double its annual grain harvests to approximately 120 million tons per year.
- Hi-Tech, space exploration and defense joint production. Ukraine is one of the world’s few countries that have a full-scale airspace industry that partners with the United States. Ukrainian plane maker Antonov manufactures aircrafts used for transporting SpaceX rocket components that are capable of lifting up to 250 tons of cargo. Since 2008, Ukraine has produced the first phase basic structure of the Antares rocket for American Orbital ATK, now part of Northrop Grumman Corp. Ukraine has also proposed to the U.S. cooperation in NASA's Artemis program aimed at placing astronauts on the lunar surface and developing an ongoing presence there. Having developed its own production of battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, cargo planes, rockets and launchers, Ukraine has the potential for joint production with the U.S.
- Ukraine is one of the world’s most highly-skilled nations that can champion successful cooperation in IT, cyber-security and biotech. World-renowned scientists and engineers including Serhiy Korolyov, George Gamow and Igor Sikorsky hailed from Ukraine and changed the world with their pioneering innovations. Ukraine is the No. 1 software engineering force in Central and Eastern Europe and the third global IT outsourcing hub. Over one hundred Fortune 500 Companies have chosen Ukrainian IT services. Ukraine’s diverse IT industry is supporting cutting-edge work in everything from AI to machine learning and cybersecurity, to natural language processing and nanotechnologies, to highly commercial ventures in blockchain, FinTech, big data management, gaming, agribusiness and e-commerce. Ukraine is also highly capable in many basic and applied sciences like math, physics, biotechnologies, material science, etc. Nearly two million Ukrainian-Americans live and work in the U.S. contributing to the economy and helping to bridge our countries for the sake of the prosperity of both.
Автор: Embassy of Ukraine in the USA
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