THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 609

 “THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR”
                                An International Newsletter
                                     The Latest, Up-To-Date
                In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis, and Commentary

                “Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
    Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World”

 
                         SOS ALERT: A CALL TO ACTION
      Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
                 US House of Rep in session only two more weeks
                            
“THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR” – Number 609
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
FROM: KYIV, UKRAINE, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2005

                        ——–INDEX OF ARTICLES——–
                “Major International News Headlines and Articles”

1.                                  A CALL TO ACTION
   Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
              US House of Rep in session only two more weeks
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005

 
2.                     WHO TO CONTACT IN US CONGRESS
       Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
             US House of Rep in session for only two more weeks
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005

3JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION CO-CHAIRMEN’S

                   LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN BILL THOMAS
                 Chairman, U.S. House Ways and Means Committee
Letter to Chairman Bill Thomas, R-CA
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005

4JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION MEMBERSHIP LIST
                                             November 2005

Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005
        Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, November 30, 2005

6U.S. SENATOR LUGAR PRAISES PASSAGE OF BILL THAT
    REPEALS APPLICATION OF JACKSON-VANIK TO UKRAINE
            Authorizes extension of permanent normal trade relations
       Similar bill now has to pass the U.S. House of Representatives
Office of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar
United States Senate, Washington, D.C.
Friday, November 18, 2005

7UKRAINE HAILS WAIVER OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT

Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov 22, 2005

9UKRAINE GRADUATED FROM JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT

         BY U.S. SENATE, NOW CONSIDERATION BY US HOUSE
The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC)
Moscow & New York, Tuesday, November 22 2005

10. REPEAL OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT FOR UKRAINE IS
ONE OF THE MAJOR TASKS OF YUSHCHENKO’S FOREIGN POLICY

         Presidential Secretariat Chief-of-Staff meets ex-ambassadors
Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 16, 2005

11.                     OCT, NOV, DEC 2005 DEDICATED TO
                  “UKRAINE’S JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION”
Ambassadors Pifer and Miller Chair Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
ANNOUNCEMENT: Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
Published by The Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 13, 2005

 
12.                        “A STEP TOWARD NORMALCY”
COMMENTARY: By Peter Savodnik
Political editor of the Hill newspaper
The Wall Street Journal Online (Europe)
New York, NY, Thursday, September 29, 2005
13.   STATEMENTS ABOUT JACKSON-VANIK AND UKRAINE
           Two high-level U. S. State Department officials speak out
E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 13, 2005
========================================================
1
                                   A CALL TO ACTION
       Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
                US House of Rep in session for only two more weeks

Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition, with over 70
member organizations and businesses, needs your support to encourage
the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to graduate Ukraine from the Jackson-
Vanik Amendment this year.

The Amendment was passed in 1974 to impose trade restrictions on the
Soviet Union in response to its poor human rights policies, particularly its
restrictions on the emigration of religious minorities.

Ukraine is a success story for Jackson-Vanik, now having a strong record
of open emigration and having created conditions for religious minorities to
practice their beliefs freely.

Recognizing Ukraine’s full compliance with the Amendment, the U.S. Senate
acted to graduate Ukraine from the trade restriction on November 18, 2005 by
passing Senate bill S. 632.  Now the House of Representatives must also pass
legislation to graduate Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

The House Ways and Means Committee is currently considering several
possible bills. However, the House of Representatives will be in session
for only two weeks, beginning on December 5, before recessing for the
holidays.

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition Co-Chairmen sent a letter on
November 30 to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas
and Ranking Minority Member Charles B. Rangel urging their action to pass
legislation to graduate Ukraine (see text below).  The Coalition urges that
you immediately call or send a letter of support for Ukraine’s graduation as
well.

Due to increased security measures in Congress, correspondence through the
postal service can be delayed for up to two weeks. We therefore recommend
that you call or send letters via fax.

You can find a list of suggested points to address in your letter of support
on the US-Ukraine Foundation Website, http://www.usukraine.org by clicking

on the link for the “Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition Information Page.”

Please email JVGC@usukraine.org for more information or to add your
organization or business to the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition.
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2.                       WHO TO CONTACT IN US CONGRESS
         Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
                 US House of Rep in session for only two more weeks

Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Please direct your calls/letters to: House Ways and Means Committee

Chairman Bill Thomas, R-CA
Phone (202) 225-2915, Fax (202) 225-8798
Attention: International Trade Aid, Mike Holland

Ranking Minority Member Charles B. Rangel, D-NY
Phone (202) 225-4365, Fax (202) 225-0816
Attention: International Trade Aid, Jon Sheiner

If your Congressman is a member of the House Ways and Means
Committee, please contact him/her with your support for Ukraine’s
graduation as well.

   U.S. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

E. Clay Shaw Jr., R-FL
Nancy L. Johnson, R-CT
Wally Herger, R-CA
Jim McCrery, R-LA
Dave Camp, R-MI
Jim Ramstad, R-MN
Jim Nussle, R-IA
Sam Johnson, R-TX
Phil English, R-PA
J.D. Hayworth, R-AZ
Jerry Weller, R-IL
Kenny C. Hulshof, R- MO
Ron Lewis, R-KY
Mark Foley, R-FL
Kevin Brady, R-TX
Thomas M. Reynolds, R-NY
Paul Ryan, R-WI
Eric Cantor, R-VA
John Linder, R-GA
Bob Beauprez, R-CO
Melissa A. Hart, R-PA
Chris Chocola, R-IN
Devin Nunes, R-CA
Fortney Pete Stark, D-CA
Sander M. Levin, D-MI
Benjamin L. Cardin, D-MD
Jim McDermott, D-WA
John Lewis, D-GA
Richard E. Neal, D-MA
Michael R. McNulty, D-NY
William J. Jefferson, D-LA
John S. Tanner, D-TN
Xavier Becerra, D-CA
Lloyd Doggett, D-TX
Earl Pomeroy, D-ND
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-OH
Mike Thompson, D-CA
John B. Larson, D-CT
Rahm Emanuel, D-IL

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3. JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION CO-CHAIRMEN’S
                   LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN BILL THOMAS
                 Chairman, U.S. House Ways and Means Committee
 
Letter to Chairman Bill Thomas, R-CA
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005
 
November 30, 2005, Washington, D.C.

Dear Chairman Thomas,

On the first anniversary of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, and with the Senate
having passed S. 632, we are writing to request your action to pass
legislation in the House of Representatives to graduate Ukraine from the
Jackson-Vanik Amendment. The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition has
united organizations from across the country in support of the immediate
graduation of Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

Ukraine has fully met the requirements of Jackson-Vanik, in particular by
its exemplary record of open emigration.  This has been recognized by
President Clinton, who found Ukraine to be in full compliance with
Jackson-Vanik in 1997, and President Bush, who called for Ukraine’s
graduation in his April 4, 2005 joint statement with President Yushchenko.

President Yushchenko received a unanimous ovation during a Joint Session
of the U.S. Congress on April 6, 2005, when he remarked “we seek a new
atmosphere of trust, frankness and partnership. I am calling upon you to
[end] the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Please tear down this wall.”

We have just returned from Ukraine, where we heard concerns from a
number of Ukrainian political leaders that lack of action by the United
States with regard to Jackson-Vanik could be seen as a failure of
Yushchenko’s pro-Western policy.

With the upcoming March 2006 parliamentary elections in Ukraine,
graduation from Jackson-Vanik would be understood by the people of
Ukraine as a compelling sign of U.S. support for the continued development
of a democratic market economy and further integration of Ukraine into
Europe.

Our broad coalition, which currently includes over 65 Ukrainian-American
and Jewish-American groups, business organizations and NGOs, urges
immediate Congressional action to accomplish Ukraine’s graduation.  We
very much hope for your support.

Sincerely,

Steven Pifer, William Green Miller, Co-Chairman
[Former U.S. Ambassador’s to Ukraine]
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4. JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION MEMBERSHIP LIST
                                              November 2005
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C. Wednesday, November 30, 2005
 
MEMBERSHIP LIST:
American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Ukrainian Medical Foundation
Association for the Democratization of Ukraine
Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent- ODUM
B’nai B’rith International
BRAMA, Inc.
Cape Point Capital Inc.
Case New Holland, Inc.
Cardinal Resources PLC
Chadbourne & Parke, LLC
International Republican Institute
Kobzar Society, Ltd.
National Conference on Soviet Jewry
Nealon and Associates, P.C.
Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine
Shevchenko Scientific Society
SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Group
Society for Fostering Jewish Ukrainian Relations
“St. Sophia” Religious Association of Ukrainian Catholics, Inc. USA
Sweet Analysis Services, Inc. (SASI)
The Bleyzer Foundation
The Washington Group
Ukraine-United States Business Council
Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the USA
Ukrainian American Coordinating Council
Ukrainian-American Environmental Association
Ukrainian American Senior Citizens Association
Ukrainian American Sports Center “Tryzub”
Ukrainian Cultural & Humanitarian Institute
Ukrainian Education & Cultural Center
Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America, Inc. Philadelphia Chapter
Ukrainian Federation of America
Ukrainian Fraternal Organization
Ukrainian Gold Cross, Inc.
Ukrainian Human Rights Committee
Ukrainian Institute of America
Ukrainian Medical Association of North America
Ukrainian National Credit Union Association
Ukrainian National Association
Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Inc.
Ukrainian National Women’s League of America,
Regional Branches: Detroit, Northern New York, Central New York,
Ohio, New Jersey, Chicago, New England, Philadelphia
Branches at Large: Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Denver, North
Port, Washington D.C., San Jose, Los Angeles, Houston, Tucson, St.
Petersburg United Ukrainian American Organizations of Greater New
York
U.S.- Ukraine Foundation
Wilton S. Tifft Photography
World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, Financial
Committee
World Federation of Ukrainian Medical Associations -30-
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5.               TIPS FOR WRITING LETTERS TO CONGRESS
        Graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this year
 
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tips for writing letters to Congress.
Why Congressional action is appropriate now:

FIRST, Ukraine has fully met the requirements of Jackson-Vanik. Congress
enacted the Jackson-Vanik Amendment in 1974 to promote human rights in

the USSR. Today, independent Ukraine has an exemplary emigration record,
acknowledged by Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Ukraine has built a long record of open emigration, and has created
conditions in which religious minorities can freely practice their faith.

SECOND, graduation would be a big political win for President Yushchenko

in the run-up to Ukraine’s March 2006 parliamentary elections.

We want to support Yushchenko, who offers Ukraine its best chance to

develop as a democratic market-economy and integrate into Europe – which
is very much in America’s national interest.

Graduation (and receipt of permanent normal-trade-relations status) will be
an important boost for Ukraine’s business and investment climate.

THIRD. graduating Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik meets one of the key U.S.
commitments from the April 4 Bush-Yushchenko Joint Statement.

FOURTH – Finally, graduating Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik is the right

thing to do.

The Senate has already passed legislation to graduate Ukraine (S. 632 on
Nov. 18th, 2005.) Now it is time for the House to act.
Ukraine’s record is every bit as good as those of Moldova, Armenia and
Kyrgyzstan when they were graduated from Jackson-Vanik.

Congressional action is supported by a broad coalition of Ukrainian-

American groups, Jewish-American groups, American business and NGOs.
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6.    U.S. SENATOR LUGAR PRAISES PASSAGE OF BILL THAT
      REPEALS APPLICATION OF JACKSON-VANIK TO UKRAINE
              Authorizes extension of permanent normal trade relations
         Similar bill now has to pass the U.S. House of Representatives

Office of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar
United States Senate, Washington, D.C.
Friday, November 18, 2005

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman Dick Lugar [R-IL] announced that his bill authorizing the
extension of permanent normal trade relations treatment to Ukraine
passed the Senate today.

Ukraine has been subject to the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, which sanctions nations for
failure to comply with freedom of emigration requirements.

This bill permanently repeals the application of Jackson-Vanik
to Ukraine. Lugar and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) had written their
Senate colleagues on October 24, 2005, pressing for action before
the Senate adjourned for the session.

“Extraordinary events have occurred in Ukraine in the last year. A free
press has revolted against government intimidation and reasserted itself.
An emerging middle class has found its political footing. A new
generation has embraced democracy and openness.

A society has rebelled against the illegal activities of its government. It
is in our interest to recognize and protect these advances in Ukraine,” said
Lugar, who served as President Bush’s personal representative during the
Ukrainian run-off election in November 2004.

Since the end of the Cold War, Ukraine has demonstrated a commitment
to meet the requirements necessary for normal trade relations and has
expressed a strong desire to abide by free market principles and good
governance.

“The United States has a long record of cooperation with Ukraine

through the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

Ukraine inherited the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world with the
fall of the Soviet Union and, through the Nunn-Lugar program, the United
States has assisted Ukraine in eliminating this deadly arsenal and joining
the Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear state,” said Lugar.

“The passage of this bill signals the commitment of the U.S. to support
freedom and prosperity in Ukraine. The U.S. should continue to work
with Ukraine to address trade issues between the two nations and ensure
trade benefits to American businesses, farmers and ranchers.”

The Jackson-Vanik amendment was included in the 1974 Trade Act to
pressure then-communist nations to permit free emigration. Since 1992,
Ukraine has been found in compliance with freedom of emigration
requirements and has been certified annually as qualifying for a waiver
of Jackson-Vanik sanctions.

In addition, the United States and Ukraine have a bilateral trade agreement
in place. This legislation will stimulate further market reforms and
encourage Ukraine to continue its commitment to safeguarding individual
liberties.

Action by the House of Representatives is required in order for the bill
to proceed toward becoming law.  -30-
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LINK: http://lugar.senate.gov/pressapp/record.cfm?id=249164
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   INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT BY SENATOR LUGAR, S. 632

By Mr. LUGAR:

   S. 632. A bill to authorize the extension of unconditional and permanent
nondiscriminatory treatment (permanent normal trade relations treatment) to
the products of Ukraine, and for other purposes; to the Committee on
Finance.

   Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, I rise today in support of a bill that I have
introduced authorizing the extension of permanent normal trade relations
treatment. Ukraine is still subject to the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, which sanctions nations for failure to
comply with freedom of emigration requirements. Our bill would repeal
permanently the application of Jackson-Vanik to Ukraine.

   In the post Cold War era, Ukraine has demonstrated a commitment to meet
these requirements, and in addition, has expressed a strong desire to abide
by free market principles and good governance. Last November, I served as
President Bush’s personal representative to the runoff election between
Prime Minister Yanukovich and Victor Yushchenko. During that visit, I
promoted free and fair election procedures that would strengthen worldwide
respect for the legitimacy of the winning candidate. Unfortunately, that was
not possible. The Government of Ukraine allowed, or aided and abetted,
wholesale fraud and abuse that changed the results of the election. It is
clear that Prime Minister Yanukovich did not win the election.

   In response, the people of Ukraine rallied in the streets and demanded
justice. After tremendous international pressure and mediation, Ukraine
repeated the runoff election on December 26. A newly named Central Election
Commission and a new set of election laws led to a much improved process.
International monitors concluded that the process was generally free and
fair. This past weekend Victor Yushchenko was inaugurated as President of
Ukraine.

   Extraordinary events have occurred in Ukraine over the last three months.

[Page: S2848]  GPO’s PDFA free press has revolted against government
intimidation and reasserted itself. An emerging middle class has found its
political footing. A new generation has embraced democracy and openness. A
society has rebelled against the illegal activities of its government. It is
in our interest to recognize and protect these advances in Ukraine.

   The United States has a long record of cooperation with Ukraine through
the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction. Ukraine inherited the third
largest nuclear arsenal in the world with the fall of the Soviet Union.
Through the Nunn-Lugar Program the United States has assisted Ukraine in
eliminating this deadly arsenal and joining the Nonproliferation Treaty as a
non-nuclear state.

   One of the areas where we can deepen U.S.-Ukrainian relations is
bilateral trade. Our trade relations between the U.S. and Ukraine are
currently governed by a bilateral trade agreement signed in 1992. There are
other economic agreements in place seeking to further facilitate economic
cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine, including a bilateral investment
treaty which was signed in 1996, and a taxation treaty signed in 2000. In
addition, Ukraine commenced negotiations to become a member of the World
Trade Organization in 1993, further demonstrating its commitment to adhere
to free market principles and fair trade. In light of its adherence to
freedom of emigration requirements, democratic principles, compliance with
threat reduction and several agreements on economic cooperation, the
products of Ukraine should not be subject to the sanctions of Jackson-Vanik.

   There are areas in which Ukraine needs to continue to improve. These
include market access, protection of intellectual property and reduction of
tariffs. The U.S. must remain committed to assisting Ukraine in pursuing
market economic reforms. The permanent waiver of Jackson Yanik and
establishment of permanent normal trade relations will be the foundation on
which further progress in a burgeoning economic partnership can be made.

   I am hopeful that my colleagues will join me in supporting this important
legislation. It is essential that we act promptly to bolster this burgeoning
democracy and promote stability and in this region.I ask unanimous consent
that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.  -30-
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7. UKRAINE HAILS WAIVER OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT

     BY THE U.S. SENATE, HOPES FOR ACTION BY U.S. HOUSE

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov 20, 2005

KYIV – The U.S. Senate’s decision recommending that the  House of
Representatives waive the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine 
highlights the United  States’ support for ongoing democratic
processes in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Fylypchuk
said on Sunday.

“It  is  a  long-awaited  step  that will help remove this problem,
which is  a relic of the Cold War and does not reflect the spirit of the
Ukrainian-American strategic partnership,” he said.

“We  hope  that  the  U.S. House of Representatives will take rapid
moves to  make  a  final decision on waiving the Jackson-Vanik
amendment for Ukraine,” the spokesman said.  -30-

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8.   UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TARASIUK THANKS US
    POLITICIANS FOR FACILITATING SENATE’S DECISION ON
ABOLITION OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT FOR UKRAINE

Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency

Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov 22, 2005

KYIV – Foreign Affairs Minister Borys Tarasiuk has thanked American
politicians for facilitating the United States Senate’s decision on
abolition of the Jackson-Vanik amendment’s provisions in relation to
Ukraine.

Vasyl Filipchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press
service, announced this to journalists. He cited a letter that Tarasiuk
wrote to American politicians.

In particular, Tarasiuk expressed gratitude to the chairman of the Senate
Committee for Foreign Relations Richard Lugar and Senate Armed Services
Committee member Carl Levin (the co-author of the bill on repealing the
amendment) for their efforts to abolish relics of the Cold War.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the United States Senate recommended

on November 18 that the US president repeal the trade restrictions against
Ukraine stipulated in the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

The Jackson-Vanik amendment was made to the United States Trade Act in

1974 to pressure the former USSR to permit free emigration following initiative
of the Jewish communities that protested against the Soviet emigration
policy with respect to the Jews. Under this amendment, goods that the former
Soviet Union exported to the United States were subject to discriminatory
taxes and tariffs.  -30-
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9. UKRAINE GRADUATED FROM JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT
          BY U.S. SENATE, NOW CONSIDERATION BY US HOUSE

The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC)
Moscow & New York, Tuesday, November 22 2005

KIEV, Ukraine – After much petitioning by political leaders of Ukraine
and support on the part of international Jewish groups, Ukraine has finally
graduated out of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, introduced in 1974 by
the U.S. Government. This dated bill imposed trade restrictions, linking
trade to the willingness of Soviet-bloc countries to permit Jews to
emigrate.

On Friday, the Senate passed the vote on a bill introduced by Senator
Richard Lugar by unanimous consent. It will now proceed to consideration
by the House of Representatives.

While successive U.S. administrations have annually waived the Jackson-
Vanik requirements since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, this latest
occurrence holds promise that Ukraine will become exempt from this
limiting amendment once and for all.

Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Azriel Chaikin noted on this occasion the great
importance of this development. “For the past 14 years, since the
unraveling of the U.S.S.R., Ukraine as a state has maintained a strong
record in allowing its Jews to pursue immigration, to wherever they
wanted and whenever they wished to go,” explained Rabbi Chaikin.

“As the Chief rabbi of Ukraine I congratulate the Ukrainian government on
this great achievement. We now hope our government will make similar
strides in the fight against anti-Semitism, xenophobia and national and
religious hatred,” added Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi.

Jewish groups, including the NCSJ Advocates on Behalf of Jews in
Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Eurasia have been very involved in
a broad-ranging coalition that has been actively pushing for U.S. law-
makers to pass a bill that would graduate Ukraine from an edict deemed
to be redundant.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine, which concentrates its
efforts on advancing the life of Jewish communities across Ukraine, also
embraces what constitutes an important step in recognizing the significant
progress that has been made with respect to Jews of Ukraine, not to mention
the existence of religious freedom and upholding other values of democratic
society.   -30-
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LINK: http://www.fjc.ru/news/newsArticle.asp?AID=328797
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10. REPEAL OF JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT FOR UKRAINE IS
ONE OF THE MAJOR TASKS OF YUSHCHENKO’S FOREIGN POLICY
         Presidential Secretariat Chief-of-Staff meets ex-ambassadors

Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 16, 2005

KYIV – The Presidential Secretariat Chief of Staff, Oleg Rybachuk, met

with Steven Pifer and William Miller, former U.S. Ambassadors to
Ukraine, and Robert McConnell, former assistant to the U.S. Attorney
General.

They discussed Ukrainian-American relations. The sides particularly spoke
about ways to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment. Mr. Pifer said his
coalition with Mr. Miller was trying to repeal it. The ex-ambassador
stressed that “the process will be more active if society and business
leaders get involved on both sides.”

In his turn, Rybachuk said “the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment for
Ukraine is one of the major tasks of Victor Yushchenko’s foreign policy.”
[Steven Pifer and William Miller serve as co-chair of the Jackson-Vanik
Graduation Coalition in Washington, D.C.] -30-
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11.                       OCT, NOV, DEC 2005 DEDICATED TO
                   “UKRAINE’S JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION”
 Ambassadors Pifer and Miller Chair Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition

ANNOUNCEMENT: Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
Published by The Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 13, 2005

WASHINGTON – Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko announced after
his January 2005 inauguration that Ukraine’s graduation from the provisions
of the U.S. Jackson-Vanik Amendment would be at the forefront of his
economic and foreign policy objectives for 2005.

Last April, following their Washington meeting, U.S. President George Bush
joined President Yushchenko in expressing support for “immediately ending
application of Jackson-Vanik to Ukraine.”

And just last month during a visit to Kyiv, U.S. Senators Richard Lugar and
Barack Obama announced that bills had been introduced in Congress to
formally graduate Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik.

Why is Ukraine’s graduation from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment on everyone’s agenda?

The 1974 Amendment, named for Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson and
Charles Vanik, imposed trade restrictions on the Soviet Union in response
to its poor human rights policies, particularly restrictions on the
emigration of religious minorities.

However today, more than thirty years later, Ukraine has built a strong
record of allowing open emigration and has created conditions for religious
minorities to pursue their beliefs freely.  Ukraine is a success story for
Jackson-Vanik and it now merits graduation from the Amendment’s
provisions.

In June of 2005, government officials, members of the Verkhovna Rada and
Congress, representatives of non-governmental organizations, the media
and business community members met in Washington D.C. for the U.S.-
Ukraine Foundation’s Policy Dialogue Working Session.

Engaged in action-oriented, focused discussion of issues and problems in
U.S.-Ukraine relations and Ukraine’s democratic reform, the working session
produced “action plans” of policy recommendations for both U.S. and
Ukrainian government officials.

The action plans repeatedly call for the U.S. Congress to graduate Ukraine
from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.  For this reason, the U.S.- Ukraine
Foundation has declared October and November “Jackson-Vanik
Graduation Months.”

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition, headed by former U.S.
Ambassadors to Ukraine Steven Pifer and William Miller, is working to
achieve Ukraine’s graduation from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment before
the December 2005 Congressional recess.

We invite the public to participate in the Coalition’s campaign to have
Ukraine graduated from Jackson-Vanik by the end of this year.

           HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ON THE AMENDMENT

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment, as contained in Title IV of the 1974 U.S.
Trade Act, was a response to the discriminatory emigration policies of the
former Soviet Union and other communist states. The communist restrictions
had the most serious impact on religious minorities, particularly on the
ability of Soviet Jews to emigrate.

From the perspective of the United States, these restrictions on the free
movement of persons were actionable human right violations that justified
harsh U.S. trade consequences.

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment stated that non-market economies that
continued to impose emigration restrictions on their citizens would not be
granted permanent normal trade relations or “most favored nation” status
by the United States.

Ukraine is still waiting to be formally graduated from Jackson-Vanik,
despite the fact that President Bill Clinton in 1997 found Ukraine to be in
full compliance with the Amendment’s freedom-of-emigration requirements.
Several former Soviet states have already been graduated, including
Georgia and Kyrgyzstan in 2000 and Armenia in 2004.

Various non-governmental groups, including the National Conference on
Soviet Jewry, the Euro-Asian Jewish Conference and the Heritage
Foundation, agree that over its thirty-year lifespan, Jackson-Vanik has
served the important purpose of securing freedom of emigration for religious
minorities.

However, they also believe that Ukraine has demonstrated its full compliance
with the Amendment’s objectives and therefore should be graduated from the
trade restrictions it imposes.

Today’s Ukraine, colored by the democratic Orange Revolution, has been
applauded by President Bush and Congress for its free-market reforms and
open-governance policies.

Ukraine’s graduation from Jackson-Vanik is therefore an important
affirmation of Ukraine’s successful democratization and President
Yushchenko’s global economic agenda.

The Heritage Foundation’s Dr. Ariel Cohen has said,

        “The U.S. has supported the triumph of democracy in Ukraine and is
        interested in a Ukraine that is stable, prosperous, and integrated
        in Euro-Atlantic structures. Washington should demonstrate
        unwavering support for Ukraine’s pursuit of its democratic
        aspirations.”

Before the House International Relations Committee in July 2005,
Ambassador Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian
Affairs, U.S. State Department, testified that,

        “Ukraine has complied with the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
        Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 for over a decade. This
        Administration strongly supports Ukraine’s immediate “graduation”
        from Jackson-Vanik.

        As the Ukrainian people look for tangible signs of our new
        relationship, they are perplexed that Ukraine remains tainted by the
        legacy of Jackson-Vanik. We urge Congressional action on this
        matter.”

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
believe that graduating Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment this
year is precisely how the U.S. should demonstrate its unwavering support of
Ukraine.

                     JACKSON-VANIK’S TRADE RESTRICTIONS

In addition to the historical human rights concerns that prompted the 1974
Amendment, it is also important to consider the current political and trade
implications of Jackson-Vanik’s continued application to Ukraine.

Since President Clinton’s 1997 finding of full compliance, which was
highlighted in a July 1998 joint statement by the U.S.-Ukraine Binational
Commission, led by U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine has received normal trade relations status under
the full compliance provision of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

However, as early as 1992, President George H.W. Bush exercised his
presidential waiver authority to extend normal trade relation treatment to
Ukraine.

Non-normal trade relations status allows the U.S. to impose higher tariffs
on imports as well as non-tariff barriers such as quotas.

However, the 1992 presidential waiver of the Amendment’s trade restrictions
and the 1997 finding of full compliance have meant that Ukraine’s import and
export sectors have  nonetheless enjoyed normal trade relations status and
have not been directly harmed by U.S. tariffs or barriers resulting from
Jackson-Vanik.

However, one important reason for desiring permanent normal trade relations
status, as would be achieved by graduation from the Jackson-Vanik
provisions, is the significance of permanent status to the global trade
community.

Economists show that permanent normal trade relations status, much like
market-economy status, improves foreign investment opportunities and the
bargaining power of domestic business in trade negotiation.

This is mainly because permanent normal trade relations and market-
economy status both indicate domestic economic stability and the fact
that the country abides by the global trade rules.

             JACKSON-VANIK’S POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS

Ukraine’s current status (in full compliance, but still subject to
Jackson-Vanik) also carries a negative political connotation.  Continued
application implies that Ukraine has not met the requirements of
Jackson-Vanik.  This is distressing to Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine
who believe – correctly – that Ukraine has fully met the Amendment’s
requirements.

This is why Jackson-Vanik graduation has figured so prominently on
President Yushchenko’s agenda with the United States.

According to Peter Savodnik’s September 29, 2005 article in the Wall Street
Journal (Europe,) “A Step Towards Normalcy,

“Delaying an end to Jackson-Vanik — for whatever reason — would hinder the
democratic transition by depriving Mr. Yushchenko of a much-needed political
win. By lifting Jackson-Vanik this year, before the parliamentary campaign
begins in earnest, Washington would let everyone know that the Ukrainian
president is not alone.”

                       THE CONGRESSIONAL RESPONSE

                            [Article written October 13, 2005]

Six bills have been introduced in the 109th Congress to graduate Ukraine
from Jackson-Vanik, including S. 410 by Senator John McCain, S.632 by
Senator Richard Lugar, H.R. 885 by Representative Henry Hyde and H.R.
1053 by Representative Jim Gerlach.

But some in Congress seem unwilling to move on the issue of Ukraine’s
graduation, apparently believing that maintaining the Amendment’s
application to Ukraine allows the U.S. to retain leverage when challenging
certain trade issues, including Ukraine’s importation of American poultry.

Another concern in the U.S. Congress has been Ukraine’s historically weak
intellectual property protection laws.  In 2001, such concerns led the U.S.
to designate Ukraine as a “Priority Foreign Country” under its Special 301
process, which placed Ukraine on a list of the biggest violators of
intellectual property standards.  The U.S. subsequently withdrew certain
trade benefits from Ukraine.

However on August 2, 2005, the Verkhovna Rada passed a Laser-Readable
Disk Law, which significantly strengthened the intellectual property regime
in Ukraine.  (The law also meets crucial WTO membership requirements by
creating enforcement mechanisms to counter the illegal production of CDs
and DVDs.)

As a result, on August 31, 2005, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman
announced that all tariff sanctions that had been placed on Ukrainian
exports to the United States were now being lifted.

Portman commended President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko
for “their personal involvement in securing passage of these amendments,
which is expected to improve Ukraine’s protection of intellectual property
 rights.”

                                    TO GET INVOLVED
                              [Article written October 13, 2005]

The U.S. Congress is currently considering bills to graduate Ukraine from
Jackson-Vanik, S.46 in the Senate, introduced January 24, 2005 by Senators
Carl Levin (D-MI), Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and

H.R. 1170 in the House, introduced March 8, 2005 by Representatives Sander
Levin (D-MI), Candice Miller (R-MI), Vic Snyder (D-AR) and Eliot Engel
(D-NY).

S. 46 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator
Charles Grassley (R-IA) and H.R. 1170 has been referred to the House Ways
and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Bill Thomas (R-CA).  Both
bills are awaiting committee consideration.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
believe that now is the appropriate time for Congress to graduate Ukraine
from Jackson-Vanik.

The Coalition is currently expanding its network of support and developing
an action plan for working with Congress to achieve the goal of Ukraine’s
graduation by the end of this year.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation urges your participation in the Jackson-Vanik
Graduation Coalition.

For more information on participating in the Coalition, please call the
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (202) 347-4264 or contact Alana Malick,
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Fellow, alina@usukraine.org.

                                  [Article from October 13, 2005]
——————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
12.                         “A STEP TOWARD NORMALCY”

COMMENTARY: By Peter Savodnik
Political editor of the Hill newspaper
The Wall Street Journal Online (Europe)
New York, NY, Thursday, September 29, 2005

WASHINGTON — In its quest to democratize the planet, Washington has
invaded countries, funded fighters, convened high-level summits and pushed
transcontinental trade pacts. Oddly, it has yet to “graduate” Ukraine from
an antiquated human-rights measure that, if left in place, could slow the
spread of freedom in the former Soviet Union.

The 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, designed primarily to restrict Soviet
exports to the U.S., remains a canker sore in U.S.-Ukrainian relations. Most
every senior Ukrainian official, from President Viktor Yushchenko to Foreign
Minister Boris Tarasyuk, both of whom traveled to the United States this
month, has called for lifting it.

This emphasis on Jackson-Vanik might seem to be misplaced; Ukraine gets
annual waivers from the provision, so Ukrainians’ access to U.S. markets is
not curtailed. But it has political and symbolic meaning for a nation still
struggling to overcome its Soviet past.

There is a widespread feeling among Ukrainians that their country cannot be
considered “normal” as long as this remnant of the old days lingers.

Lifting Jackson-Vanik would cost the U.S. nothing. President George W. Bush
has signaled support for taking action. So, too, have foreign-policy mavens,
Republicans and Democrats alike, on Capitol Hill, as well as Sovietologists
and Russia scholars at the State Department and the National Security
Council.

So what’s the holdup? Simply put, American democracy is getting in the way
of democracy overseas. Parochial congressional interests — involving
everyone from chicken farmers to movie stars — are stalling efforts,
spearheaded by Republican Sen. John McCain and Rep. Henry Hyde and
Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos, to lift Jackson-Vanik from Ukraine.

While most everyone who cares about geopolitics and democracy in the
former Soviet Union backs graduating Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik, some
members of Congress have found the provision useful when bargaining
with Kiev and other former Soviet capitals such as Moscow.

Case in point: In 2002, after Russia and Ukraine imposed quotas on U.S.
poultry imports, Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden rescinded his support for
lifting Jackson-Vanik.

Similarly, the Motion Picture Association wants authorities in Ukraine to
protect intellectual property rights. American oil and gas executives want
access to Ukraine’s energy markets. And bankers, lawyers, hotel owners,
car manufacturers, venture capitalists and other potential investors want
Ukraine’s banking, torts and law-enforcement systems cleaned up so they
meet Western standards of transparency and accountability.

All of these groups have, directly and indirectly, led lawmakers to take a
cautious stance on lifting Jackson-Vanik. Their demands are reasonable,
and Ukraine would be wise to listen to Western officials seeking to bring
the ex-Soviet republic into the liberal fold. Nor can Sen. Biden and other
lawmakers be blamed for representing the interests of their constituents.

But delaying an end to Jackson-Vanik — for whatever reason — would hinder
the democratic transition by depriving Mr. Yushchenko of a much-needed
political win and, possibly, complicating Ukraine’s efforts to be admitted
to the World Trade Organization.

This would be an ironic twist. Jackson-Vanik was never intended to be a
bargaining chip for opening markets to U.S. business. It was meant to punish
the Soviets for restricting Jewish emigration, and it did so by barring
Moscow from gaining “most favored nation” status. In other words,
Jackson-Vanik sought a human-rights end via trade-related means.

Never mind that the country Jackson-Vanik was intended for no longer exists.
(A similar argument convinced many Republicans a few years back that the
U.S. should pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.) What matters is
that Jackson-Vanik, once meant to foster progress, now runs the distinct
risk of impeding it.

Even Jewish groups concerned that Ukraine has yet to confront its past —
including support of many Ukrainians during World War II for Hitler’s
holocaust and the pogroms of the czarist and Soviet eras — want
Jackson-Vanik lifted now. Despite legitimate reservations, these groups
recognize that it’s time to take this step.

Consider the American Jewish Committee. An Aug. 2 letter from David Harris,
the AJC’s executive director, to all 535 members of Congress states: “The
Jewish community has come a long way since the end of communism in 1991
and the re-establishment of Ukrainian independence….To be sure, some
difficult issues remain.

First, there is still work to be done by the government in the matter of
restitution of Jewish communal property. And second, manifestations of
anti-Semitism, though condemned by the government and by no means
unique to Ukraine in today’s world, remain a matter of concern. Even so,
the current vitality of the Jewish community is a remarkable sight to
behold.”

Referring to a recent trip taken by AJC representatives to Ukraine, Mr.
Harris concludes: “One issue in particular on the minds of those officials
with whom we met is the hope for graduation from the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment, a goal we fully share.”

Graduating Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik does not mean anti-Semitism is no
longer a problem in Ukraine. It means helping an embattled leader continue
doing what must be done — razing the old regime and constructing a new
economic order.

In a little more than five months, voters will decide whether they want this
new order in important parliamentary elections. At stake is Ukraine’s
nascent democracy and, less obviously, reform movements in Russia,
Belarus, Moldova and Central Asia; efforts to curb arms and drug
trafficking; and the international struggle pitting the civilized world
against terrorists and the criminal states propping them up.

“Lifting this amendment would send a positive signal to the Ukrainian
people,” said Sergiy Korsunsky, charge d’affaires at Ukraine’s embassy
in Washington. It would show, Mr. Korsunsky explained, that President
Yushchenko is accomplishing something.

Mr. Yushchenko might be a flawed leader, but his aspirations overlap with
the West’s aspirations for Ukraine. That is what matters. By lifting
Jackson-Vanik this year, before the parliamentary campaign begins in
earnest, Washington would let everyone know that the Ukrainian president
is not alone. -30-  [The Action Ukraine Report Monitoring Service]
—————————————————————————————————-
Mr. Savodnik is political editor of the Hill newspaper, Washington.

——————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
                Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
13.      STATEMENTS ABOUT JACKSON-VANIK AND UKRAINE
              Two high-level U. S. State Department officials speak out

E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 13, 2005

WASHINGTON – Two high level officials of the Bush Administration at
the U.S. Department of State have recently made very strong statements
in favor of the U.S. Congress lifting the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 in the case of Ukraine and
establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations between Ukraine and
the United States.

The recent statements were by E. Anthony Wayne, U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs and by David
Kramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia.

The two statements:

(1)  STATEMENT: By E. Anthony Wayne, U.S. Assistant Secretary of
State for Economic and Business Affairs as part of his presentation at
Kiev International University, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 6, 2005

                                      JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT
“The Ukrainian government has urged the U.S. Congress to lift provisions of
the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the Trade Act of 1974.  For over a decade,
we know Ukraine has had free emigration policies and practices, the original
basis for Jackson-Vanik.

This Administration strongly supports ending the use of Jackson-Vanik in
the case of Ukraine and establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations
between our two countries.”

(2) STATEMENT: By David Kramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Europe and Eurasia as part of his presentation at the Ukraine’s Quest
for Mature Nation Statehood: Roundtable VI, held in Washington, D.C.
on September 27-28, 2005.

                       JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT PROVISIONS
“On Jackson-Vanik. As you know, for more than a decade, Ukraine has
complied with Jackson Vanik Amendment provisions and the United States,
the Bush Administration, strongly supports Ukraine’s graduation from
Jackson-Vanik to the extension of permanent normal trade relations to
Ukraine.”  -30-            

——————————————————————————————-
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