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Joint Declaration With President Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine

May 06, 1992

Declaration on U.S.-Ukrainian Relations and the Building of a Democratic Partnership

Today's talks mark a historic step in the development of relations between our two great nations. For the first time, an American President has met with the freely-elected President of a sovereign Ukraine. The Ukrainian people are now building their own state, one whose independence and commitment to democracy can make a vital contribution to the creation of a new Europe truly whole and free. The United States places special importance on the consolidation of Ukraine's democracy and independence. Toward this end, we are agreed that we must work together as friends and partners for the mutual benefit of both our peoples, and in the interests of international peace and stability.

Politically, we will strive to protect and promote the values that bind us together in the democratic community of nations, including free and fair elections, freedom of emigration, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of all minorities, regardless of their nationalities and beliefs. The United States takes special note of Ukraine's commitment to establish its independence in full accordance with these principles, and its efforts to build a just and stable society where fundamental freedoms of all peoples are guaranteed.

Economically, we will work to advance the values of economic freedom without which democracy and prosperity cannot flourish. Ukraine will accelerate efforts to move toward a market economy through appropriate macroeconomic stabilization policies and structural/microeconomic reforms to promote recovery, market development, and growth. The U.S., through its technical assistance programs in areas like defense conversion and food distribution, will help Ukraine in these efforts and encourage the international community to do likewise. Together, we will take steps to promote free trade, investment, and economic cooperation between our two countries and peoples, as well as within the world economy at large. A critical feature of this cooperation will be a special effort by Ukraine to lower barriers to trade and investment in order to allow greater access for American firms. Ukraine and the United States will establish joint business development committees to achieve this objective and build a foundation for expanded commerce. We have concluded a trade agreement which will confer Most Favored Nation tariff treatment on Ukraine, and an OPIC agreement to make available investment insurance for American firms investing in Ukraine. We have also agreed to expedite negotiations on bilateral investment and tax treaties that will further promote private trade and investment, as well as on cooperation in shipping and civil aviation.

In the area of security, the United States and Ukraine will cooperate to promote a democratic peace across Europe. We are agreed that international security can no longer be achieved through the efforts of individual states to acquire ever increasing amounts of weaponry. Rather, security must be based on reduced levels of armaments among all nations, and on a multilateral commitment to uphold shared principles, especially democracy, the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes. Working together in multilateral institutions like CSCE and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council will be an important means of promoting these goals and values throughout the new Europe. Also important will be the development of a regular bilateral dialogue on questions of peace and security that would address questions of common interest. We will use bilateral military and defense contacts to provide advice and assistance in the development of civil-military institutions.

As a matter of special urgency and concern, we also will work actively to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and associated technologies. In this regard, the United States applauds Ukraine's leadership, manifested in its agreement to ratify and implement the START and CFE treaties, and its commitment to renounce nuclear weapons and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state at the earliest possible time. Consistent with these commitments, Ukraine reaffirms its decision to complete the removal of all tactical nuclear weapons from its territory by July 1, 1992, and all remaining nuclear weapons in accordance with her relevant agreements and during the seven-year period of time as provided by the START Treaty and in the context of the statement of the Verhovna Rada on the nuclear status of Ukraine. The United States will assist Ukraine in these efforts by utilizing a portion of the $400 million appropriated by the U.S. Congress. The U.S. will also allocate part of this $400 million for the establishment of an International Science and Technology Center in Ukraine. This Center will help former weapons scientists and engineers in developing long-term civilian career opportunities that will strengthen Ukraine's scientific research and development capacity. In addition, the United States will continue its support of Ukrainian and international efforts aimed at minimizing the tragic aftermath of the Chernobyl catastrophe.

By agreeing to cooperate to advance these common political, economic, and security interests, the United States and independent Ukraine have laid the foundation for a strong and special partnership. For while relations between our governments may be new, the ties that connect our peoples are deep and long standing. We will seek to broaden these contacts through expanded people-to-people exchange programs such as the Peace Corps agreement we have signed to provide Ukraine with assistance in small business development and other areas, such as education. Working together and with others who share our principles, we will expand this partnership in pursuit of an enduring, democratic peace that can fulfill the aspirations of our two nations and the entire world.

George Bush, Joint Declaration With President Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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