Daily Archives: March 9, 2006

AUR#671 Great Victory For Ukraine & The United States, House Passes Legislation To Allow Pres Bush To Graduate Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik

THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR
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In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

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GREAT VICTORY FOR UKRAINE AND THE UNITED STATES
Historic moment in the history of United States-Ukraine relations
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES LEGISLATION
WHICH ALLOWS PRESIDENT BUSH TO GRADUATE UKRAINE
FROM THE RESTRICTIONS OF THE JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT
AND GRANT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS TREATMENT
TO THE PRODUCTS OF UKRAINE
Senator Rick Santorum writes to Majority Leader Bill Frist
Hold House bill at desk and pass expeditiously by the Senate
Pres Bush to sign bill with Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk on Friday?

THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 671
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Washington, D.C., Kyiv, Ukraine, THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2006

——–INDEX OF ARTICLES——–
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES LEGISLATION
WEDNESDAY TO GRADUATE UKRAINE FROM
THE JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT ENACTED IN 1974
Great day for Ukraine and the United States
Senator Rick Santorum writes to Majority Leader Bill Frist

Hold House bill at desk and pass expeditiously by the Senate
President Bush to sign bill with Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk on Friday?

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #671, Article One
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 9, 2006

2. CONGRESSMAN GERLACH’S FLOOR STATEMENT: H.R. 1053
Bill lifts the Jackson-Vanik restrictions and authorizes President
Bush to extend normal trade relations treatment to Ukraine.
Office of Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

3. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AGREES TO GERLACH BILL
H.R. 1053 THAT GRANTS NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS
TO UKRAINE
CONGRESSMAN JIM GERLACH (R-PA)
Pennsylvania’s Sixth District
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

4. LIFTING OF UKRAINE FROM SOVIET-ERA TRADE RESTRICTION
HAILED BY CONGRESSMAN CURT WELDON
Office of Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

5. CONGRESSMAN JOSEPH CROWLEY HAILS PASSAGE OF UKRAINE
TRADE LEGISLATION BY US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Office of Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

6. NCSJ SUPPORTED GRADUATION FOR UKRAINE SINCE SEPT
2005, PLEASED TO JOIN WITH US HOUSE AND JACKSON-VANIK
COALITION TODAY IN THIS MOMENTOUS DECISION
STATEMENT: By Dr. Robert Meth, Chairman NCSJ: Advocates
on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition Press Conference
U.S. House Longworth Office Building
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Published by The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #671, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 9, 2006

7. JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION STATEMENT ON
THE GRADUATION OF UKRAINE FROM JACKSON-VANIK
STATEMENT: Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

8. JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT PASSES OVERWHELMINGLY
IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

9. HOUSE APPROVES PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS
March 8 bill repeals Jackson-Vanik requirements for Ukraine
USINFO.COM, U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

10. AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE SALUTES HOUSE VOTE TO
‘GRADUATE’ UKRAINE FROM JACKSON-VANIK
American Jewish Committee, New York, NY, Wed, March 8, 2006
========================================================
1
. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES LEGISLATION
WEDNESDAY TO GRADUATE UKRAINE FROM
THE JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT ENACTED IN 1974
Great day for Ukraine and the United States

Senator Rick Santorum writes to Majority Leader Bill Frist
Hold House bill at desk and pass expeditiously by the Senate
President Bush to sign bill with Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk on Friday?

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #671, Article One
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – The United States House of Representatives
Wednesday passed legislation which allows President George Bush to
graduate Ukraine from the restrictions of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment,
passed in 1974, and grant normal trade relations treatment to the products
of Ukraine.

It was great to have the opportunity to be on Capitol Hill while all this
historic action was taking place. A delegation of members of the
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition visited with many of the members
of the House as they walked from their offices to the House chamber
in the Capitol to vote on the Jackson-Vanik legislation.

The House vote was 417 in favor, 2 against, 3 abstentions (answered
present but did not vote) and 10 members were not present to vote.

The Representatives who voted no were: Virgil H. Goode (R-VA)
and Gene Taylor (D-MS).

The Representatives who answered present but did not vote were:
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Dennis Kucinich
(D-OH). A complete record of the voting may be found at:
(http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll024.xml).

Many Ukrainian-Americans, businesses and friends of Ukraine have
worked hard in support of this legislation and have waited years for
this historic moment, this day finally to arrive.

There have been efforts by various Ukrainian organizations now for
almost 15 years to get the U.S. Congress to enact the legislation
necessary for Ukraine’s graduation. The efforts started after Ukrainian
independence in August of 1991.

Representative Jim Gerlach’s bill (R-PA), H.R. 1053, passed the
House. The Gerlach bill had 60 co-sponsors.

Representative Gerlach worked closely for several months with the
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition and other groups who have been
strongly urging the Senate and House to pass the graduation legislation
and send it to the President for enactment.

The President called for Congress to act last April when Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko made his first official visit to Washington.
The Administration has been supporting the legislative effort aggressively
in recent weeks.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill, introduced by Senator Dick Lugar of
Indiana, in the fall of 2005, which is very similar to the Gerlach bill.

Senator Lugar, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, has been
very active on matters related to Ukraine and was supported in the Senate
by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee
on Finance, the committee that has jurisdiction over trade matters, and the
Jackson-Vanik law.

In addition to Representative Gerlach, Representatives Marcy Kaptur
(D-OH), Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Sander Levin (D-MI) have been
especially involved in working to get the House to move on the Jackson-
Vanik graduation legislation for several years.

Levin and Henry Hyde (R-IL), Chairman of the House Committee on
International Relations, also introduced bills to graduate Ukraine from
the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Both put passage of the needed
legislation as their priority and not pride of authorship and have been
pushing the Gerlach bill actively.

Senator Santorum writes to Majority Leader Frist

Reports indicate there is a strong possibility the Gerlach bill, H.R. 1053,
now that it has passed the House, may be accepted quickly by the Senate
avoiding a conference between the two chambers and expediting its track
to the White House for the President’s signature.
There are some indications in Washington today it might be possible that
the bill could be sent to the White House in time for President Bush to sign
the bill while Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk is still in Washington
on Friday.
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) in a letter to Senator Majority Leader Frist
on Wednesday stated, “In the event that H.R. 1053, as amended and passed
by the House, is similar in substance and scope to S. 632, as amended and
passed by the Senate in November, I ask that you work with Chairman
Charles Grassley to see that this House passed bill is held at the desk and
passed expeditiously by the Senate.”

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition, co-chaired by Ambassador
William Miller and Ambassador Steven Pifer, both former U.S.
Ambassador’s to Ukraine, held a press conference on Capitol Hill
at 2:30 p.m Wednesday to thank the House of Representatives and to
celebrate this historic day in the history of Ukraine, which I attended
as a member of the Coalition. Congressmen Jim Gerlach, Curt Weldon
and Maurice Hinchey all spoke at the Coalition press conference (check
article seven below.)

Congressman Curt Weldon came out of the House Chamber after the
successful vote and joined those of us who were standing outside
the House side of the Capitol representing the Jackson-Vanik Graduation
Coalition. The Congressman spoke briefing and everyone joined in
celebrating this very unique moment in Ukrainian history. (For article
about press conference and Cong Weldon after the vote click on this link:
http://www.brama.com/news/press/2006/03/060308jackson-vanik-coalition.html)

The Coalition is a broadly based, grass-roots organization that represents
over 250 organizations across the country who joined together in the fall
of last year. The Coalition believed it was very critical for Ukraine to
graduate from the Jackson-Vanik amendment before Ukraine’s upcoming
parliamentary election on Sunday, March 26.

Michael Bleyzer, a member of the Coalition who is President and CEO
of SigmaBleyzer, the largest emerging market private equity investor in
Ukraine, when he learned of the great news from Washington late Tuesday
afternoon, said, “Today is an important day for relations between Ukraine
and the United States. I congratulate members of the House of
Representatives on passing the legislation necessary to graduate Ukraine
from the Jackson-Vanik amendment. The normalization of trade relations
between these two great countries will bring us all closer.”

Bleyzer continued, “Many businesses, Ukrainian-Americans, and friends
of Ukraine have worked hard in support of this graduation and have waited
years for this day finally to arrive. I encourage the Congress to rapidly move
the legislation to President Bush so he can sign the bill and thus punctuate
the hard work of many with this important, tangible evidence of support
for a post-Orange Revolution democratic Ukraine.”

Some of the individuals in the core leadership of the Jackson-Vanik
Graduation Coalition who have been very active, in addition to
Ambassador Miller and Ambassador Pifer include: Nadia McConnell,
President of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, whose idea it was to create the
Coalition; Vera Andrushkiw, Vera Andryczyk, Markian Bilynskyj; Ken
Bossong, Zenia Chernyk, Charles Dougherty, Cliff Downen, Natalia
Gawdiak, Ihor Gawdiak, Carla Jones, Bryan Kendro, John Kun, Mark
Levin, Susanne Lotarski, Alana Malick, Marta Matselioukh, Robert
McConnell, Ulyana Panchishin, Matthew Popadiuk and Morgan
Williams.

The Coalition extended a special thanks to Robert McConnell, Mark
Levin and the two Ambassadors who did much of the ‘heavy lifting’
with the Bush Administration and the Congress on behalf of the
Coalition.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) and its network
of affiliated organizations around the country has also been active for
many years regarding Ukraine’s graduation from the Jackson-Vanik
legislation. UCCA organized another strong drive during the past few
months. Michael Sawkiw is president of the UCCA (check article eight
below) -30-
———————————————————————————————
WEDNESDAY`S FORECAST
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business.
Suspensions (7 bills):

1) H.R. 2383 – To redesignate the facility of the Bureau of Reclamation
located at 19550 Kelso Road in Byron, California, as the “C.W. `Bill` Jones
Pumping Plant” (Sponsored by Rep. Nunes / Resources Committee)

2) H.R. 1190 – San Diego Water Storage and Efficiency Act of 2005
(Sponsored by Rep. Hunter / Resources Committee)

3) H.R. 4192 – To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to designate the
President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home in Hope, Arkansas, as
a National Historic Site and unit of the National Park System, and for other
purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Ross / Resources Committee)

4) H.R. 4472 – Children`s Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2005
(Sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner / Judiciary Committee)

5) H.R. 3505 – Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2005 (Sponsored
by Rep. Hensarling / Financial Services Committee)

6) H.R. 1053 – To authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment
(normal trade relations treatment) to the products of Ukraine (Sponsored

by Rep. Gerlach / Ways and Means Committee)

7) H.Res. 673 – Expressing support for the efforts of the people of the
Republic of Belarus to establish a full democracy, the rule of law, and
respect for human rights and urging the Government of Belarus to conduct
a free and fair presidential election on March 19, 2006 (Sponsored by Rep.
Shimkus / International Relations Committee)

H.R. 4167 – National Uniformity for Food Act of 2005 (Subject to a Rule,
Complete Consideration) (Sponsored by Rep. Rogers (MI) / Energy and
Commerce Committee)

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[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2. CONGRESSMAN GERLACH’S FLOOR STATEMENT: H.R. 1053
Bill lifts the Jackson-Vanik restrictions and authorizes President
Bush to extend normal trade relations treatment to Ukraine.

Office of Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from California, Chairman
Thomas, and his staff for their cooperation in bringing H.R. 1053 to the
floor today.

I would also like to thank my colleague from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon, and
the other Co-chairs of the Ukrainian Caucus, Mr. Bartlett, Ms. Kaptur, and
Mr. Levin, for all of their hard work in helping to generate such a broad,
bipartisan coalition of support for H.R. 1053.

Most importantly, I would like to thank all of the leaders of the
Ukrainian – American Community in Southeastern Pennsylvania and through-

out the country for their tireless efforts in support of my legislation and
commend them on the tremendous job they have done promoting the

progress Ukraine has made over the last few years.

During the Orange Revolution of 2004, the whole world watched as the people
of Ukraine protested allegations of massive corruption, voter intimidation
and direct electoral fraud. And they sent a clear message that regardless
of these obstacles, they wanted and supported with their votes a
pro-democracy, pro-reform candidate for president, Viktor Yushchenko.

This election highlighted the commitment of the Ukrainian people to a free
and prosperous democracy and the country, overnight, became a role model
for an entire region. Since the election, the government has remained
committed to broad – based reform and economic liberalization.

This commitment was evident most recently on Monday, March 6, when the
United States and Ukraine signed a bilateral WTO Agreement on Market
Access, a major step towards Ukraine ultimately joining the WTO.

My bill, H.R. 1053, is another important step for Ukraine as it becomes a
partner in the global economy. The bill lifts the Jackson-Vanik restrictions
and authorizes President Bush to permanently extend normal trade relations
treatment to Ukraine.

The U.S. Congress adopted the Jackson-Vanik legislation in 1974 to halt
normal trade relations between the U.S. and countries that restricted free
emigration, especially for persons of the Jewish faith. Over 30 years
later, virtually everyone agrees that Ukraine’s record on freedom of
emigration and religious freedom and tolerance is good.

These restrictions have long been outdated, a fact recognized by the
Administration in its granting of normal trade relations status to Ukraine
on a waiver on a yearly waiver basis by the President. Because of this,
my legislation will not affect our current trade relationship with Ukraine in
terms of dollars and cents.

However, the message we are sending by making this relationship permanent
is priceless to the people of Ukraine. It strongly reaffirms our long-term
partnership and support as Ukraine continues down the path of reform and
democracy.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues, the cosponsors
of the bill and the Chairman and members of the Committee on Ways and
Means, for their work in bringing H.R. 1053 to the floor today. -30-
———————————————————————————————
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AGREES TO GERLACH BILL
H.R. 1053 THAT GRANTS NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS
TO UKRAINE

CONGRESSMAN JIM GERLACH
Pennsylvania’s Sixth District (R-PA)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – Today, by a 417 to 2 margin, the U.S. House of
Representatives agreed to H.R. 1053. Rep. Jim Gerlach was the lead
sponsor of this legislation that graduates Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment, allowing for permanent normal trade relations, or “most
favored nation” status.

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment, enacted in 1974, countered the emigration
policies of the Soviet Union that impacted ethnic minorities, most notably
Soviet Jews. Jackson-Vanik ensured that non-market economies imposing
these emigration restrictions on their citizens would not be granted permanent
normal trade relations or “most favored nation” status by the U.S.

Gerlach stated, “Under the leadership of President Victor Yushchenko,
Ukraine has been committed to meeting the requirements of Jackson-Vanik
and now, before the March 26 parliamentary elections in Ukraine, it is vital for
us to take action and graduate Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.”

Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair of the Ukrainian Federation of America, an
organization based in Pennsylvania, noted, “We are deeply grateful to Rep.
Gerlach for his leadership in introducing and securing passage of H.R. 1053.
It’s enactment is critical to the Democratic movement in Ukraine and in
helps Ukraine’s integration into the European Community and NATO.”

On President Yushchenko and the “Orange Revolution,” Gerlach added,
“President Yushchenko should be a model for how other former Soviet
states should be governed. He is someone those of us who understand the
Ukrainian community admire greatly.” President Yushchenko and his
government views graduation from Jackson-Vanik as a top priority.

In a statement before a Joint Session of Congress On April 6, 2005,
Yushchenko said, “I’m calling upon you to waive the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment. Make this step. Please make this step toward Ukraine. Please
tear down this wall.”

The Senate has already passed a similar bill introduced by Sen. Richard
Lugar and today’s action clears the way for the bill to be signed into law
in the coming days.

Since taking office in January 2003, this will be the fourth measure Gerlach
has introduced to be signed into law. Others include a law requiring the
creation of a new veterans cemetery in southeastern Pennsylvania, a
reauthorization of the National Estuary Program and a law authorizing
federal support for the rehabilitation of the Franklin Institute in
Philadelphia. -30-
——————————————————————————————-
CONTACT: William Tighe, Legislative Director
Office of Representative Jim Gerlach (PA-06)
308 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C., 202/225-4315
——————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
4. LIFTING OF UKRAINE FROM SOVIET-ERA TRADE RESTRICTION
HAILED BY CONGRESSMAN CURT WELDON

Office of Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), co-chair of the
Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and founder of the Rada-Congress Study
Group, praised the passage of H.R. 1053, which officially lifted Jackson-
Vanik restriction from Ukraine.

A Soviet-era trade barrier that has hampered U.S.-Ukraine relations since
Ukraine’s independence in 1991, Jackson-Vanik was finally removed clearing
the way for Ukraine’s normal trade relations with the United States.

Just this past November, standing beside Ukraine Prime Minister Yuriy
Yekhanurov and members of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, Weldon
called on Congress to lift Jackson-Vanik immediately. “It is time to remove this
Cold War dinosaur from the halls of Congress,” said Weldon. Days later, the
Senate passed a measure elevating Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik and moved the
matter to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Weldon congratulated Ukrainians and the Ukrainian-American
community on their hard work during a press conference hosted by Ukrainian
diaspora shortly before today’s vote.

“Today, the leadership of the current Ukrainian government and the
persistence of the Ukrainian-American community should be commended for
their role in helping Ukraine shed the last remnant of its Cold War past,”
said Weldon. “You have made today’s vote very easy, and should stand proud
behind this monumental accomplishment.”

Throughout his time in Congress, Weldon has worked with Ukrainian officials
from all levels of government and countless Ukrainian diaspora to lift
Jackson-Vanik restrictions from Ukraine. “Today’s vote closes a shameful
chapter in U.S.-Ukraine relations,” said Weldon. “Now we can truly say that
Ukraine is a full and equal partner of the United States.”

Several members of the Ukrainian American community thanked Weldon for
his work on this issue. “The Pennsylvania Ukrainian diaspora will never forget
Congressman Weldon’s friendship and many years of support,” said Zenia
Chernyk of Montgomery County, Pa., one of the most active members and

former Chairman of the Ukrainian Federation of America.

Michael Sawkiw, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America,
thanked Weldon “for his passionate advocacy and staunch support of Ukraine.”

Weldon was also keen to point out the impact this vote would have on other
countries throughout the world. “This is not just about Ukraine, but about
all nations that desire a more free and transparent society,” said Weldon.
“From Tbilisi to Baghdad, today’s vote is a message to the world that other
countries can follow the way of the “Orange Revolution”. Slava Ukraine!”
—————————————————————————————————
NOTE: Congressman Curt Weldon serves Pennsylvania’s seventh
congressional district including parts of Chester, Delaware and Montgomery
counties. For more information about Congressman Weldon, please visit
his website: http://curtweldon.house.gov/. Contact: John Tomaszewski,
Communications Director, 2466 Rayburn Building, Washington, D.C.,
Tel: (202) 225-2011, E-mail: John.Tomaszewski@mail.house.gov.
——————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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========================================================
5. CONGRESSMAN JOSEPH CROWLEY HAILS PASSAGE OF UKRAINE
TRADE LEGISLATION BY US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Office of Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC – US Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) today
announced legislation granting Ukraine permanent normal trade relations
status passed in the House.

“The people of Ukraine acted courageously and passionately when they took
charge of their nation’s destiny and risked all to do so. This trade
legislation rewards the Ukrainian citizens who stood up against tyranny, and
will herald a new age for this fledgling democracy,” said Crowley, a member
of the Financial Services and International Relations committees. “I am very
pleased with my colleagues in the House for lifting these trade
restrictions.”

The legislation (HR 1053) authorizes President Bush to make permanent
normal trade relations with Ukraine, by lifting the restrictions imposed by the
Jackson-Vanick amendment to the 1974 Trade Act (PL 93-618).

The Jackson-Vanik amendment was put in place in 1974 to punish countries
(mainly Eastern Bloc nations) with non-market economies that also restricted
emigration rights for Jews.

On Monday, the United States and Ukraine signed a bilateral trade agreement
that would be the first step in allowing the former Soviet Republic to join
the WTO. Without the lifting of Jackson-Vanick, the U.S.-Ukraine treaty
would not go into affect.

Ukraine held Presidential elections in November of 2004, which were deemed
fraudulent not only by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, but also by the Ukrainian courts.

In response, the people of Ukraine took to the streets in a major peaceful
uprising known as the Orange Revolution to show support for democratic
candidate Viktor Yushchenko. In December, after the official re-election of
the two candidates, President Viktor Yushchenko emerged victorious.

By reforming intellectual property rights, condemning anti-Semitism, and
reforming other economic factors, President Yushchenko has brought the
Ukraine into Market Economy Status.

Congressman Crowley is also a member of the Congressional Human Rights
Caucus. -30-
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[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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6. NCSJ SUPPORTED GRADUATION FOR UKRAINE SINCE SEPTEMBER
2005, PLEASED TO JOIN WITH US HOUSE AND JACKSON-VANIK
COALITION TODAY IN THIS MOMENTOUS DECISION

STATEMENT: By Dr. Robert Meth, Chairman NCSJ: Advocates
on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition Press Conference
U.S. House Longworth Office Building
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Published by The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #671, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 9, 2006

WASHINGTON – Good afternoon, my name is Doctor Robert Meth, and
I’m Chairman of NCSJ, formerly the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.
As an organization that supported the passage of the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment in 1974 we have always believed that, while it addresses
emigration specifically, it has also served as an important human rights
instrument.

On behalf of NCSJ, whose responsibilities include coordinating the position
of the organized American Jewish community with regard to the Soviet
successor states and the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, we’re pleased to join
Members of Congress and our fellow coalition members in this momentous
decision on the part of the House of Representatives.

NCSJ has supported graduation for Ukraine since September of 2005, when
our Board of Governors unanimously approved a motion of support, in light
of the significant progress Ukraine has made in fulfilling both the letter and the
spirit of the Amendment. Jackson-Vanik recognizes degrees of compliance,

and Ukraine has met these requirements.

NCSJ’s support for Ukraine’s graduation is based on the right to emigrate
freely, Ukraine’s democratic gains, and the growth and development of
Ukraine’s Jewish community. Other areas of concern remain, however. At
NCSJ’s last meeting with President Yushchenko, he and other officials
reiterated their commitment to fight against anti-Semitism.

NCSJ will continue to work with the government of Ukraine to address
ongoing anti-Semitism.

We especially appreciate the support shown by the members of the Jackson-
Vanik Graduation Coalition, particularly our friends in the Ukrainian-American
community, in speaking out against the outrageous activities of the leadership

of MAUP, Ukraine’s largest private university, which promotes an agenda of
anti-Semitic hatred, in publications and speeches.

Ukraine’s government and the “Our Ukraine” party have condemned these
activities in the strongest possible terms and are looking into legal
action.

President Yushchenko has also shown his commitment to the welfare of
Ukrainian Jews in his pledge to standardize a process for returning Jewish
communal property, ensuring that property restitution does not become
subject to political whim.

The removal of Ukraine from the scope of Jackson-Vanik is a testament to
the “continued dedication of the United States to fundamental human rights,”
as Jackson-Vanik states in its opening line, and we’re pleased to support it.
————————————————————————————————-
NCSJ is part of the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition, which represents
over 250 businesses, and Ukrainian-American, Jewish-American and other
non-governmental organizations. NCSJ is the mandated central coordinating
agency of the organized Jewish community for policy and activities on behalf
of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in the former Soviet Union, including the
estimated 500,000 Jews in Ukraine. NCSJ Executive Director, Mark Levin,
was very active in the work of the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition and
the Coalition is especially grateful for his outstanding support. EDITOR
News Release: http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=62055
————————————————————————————————-
CONTACT: David S. Shulman, Program Assistant. NCSJ: Advocates
on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia, (202)
898.2500 (202) 898.0822 fax, dshulman@ncsj.org, http://www.ncsj.org/
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[ return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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7. JACKSON-VANIK GRADUATION COALITION STATEMENT ON
THE GRADUATION OF UKRAINE FROM JACKSON-VANIK

STATEMENT: Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today passed legislation to
graduate Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. The legislation, H.R.
1053, offered by Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA), grants Ukraine normal
trade relations status with the United States.

The final vote results were 417 votes cast in favor of the bill, 2 against,
and 3 abstentions ( http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll024.xml). The Senate
is expected to quickly act on this legislation.

Prior to the vote, the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition held a press
conference on Capitol Hill. Speakers included Representative Jim Gerlach
(R-PA), Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), Representative Maurice
Hinchey (D-NY), as well as coalition co-chairmen Ambassador Steven Pifer
and Ambassador William Green Miller, as well as NCSJ Chairman Dr.
Robert Meth (check article six above).

Among other things, the speakers noted that the impending passage of H.R.
1053 would recognize the progress that Ukraine has made along its reforms
path.

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition expresses its great appreciation to
the House of Representatives for its passage of H.R. 1053. The Coalition in
particular expresses its gratitude for the bipartisan leadership of
Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA),

and Representative Sander Levin (D-MI).

The Coalition further notes the strong support of the House leadership and
the White House in achieving passage of H.R. 1053. Finally, the Coalition
expresses its appreciation for the leadership in the Senate of Senator
Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) in graduating
Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik.

Passage of legislation to graduate Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik recognizes the
progress that Ukraine has made in building a modern democracy and market
economy. The House of Representatives’ action today confirms the United
States’ commitment to democracy and reform in Ukraine and to a robust
bilateral relationship.

In particular, it complements the Senate’s passage of legislation by
unanimous consent in November 2005 to graduate Ukraine from the
Jackson-Vanik Amendment, the United States granting Ukraine market
economy status in February, and the United States and Ukraine concluding
a WTO bilateral protocol on Monday.

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment was enacted in 1974 in reaction to the severe
restrictions the Soviet Union had placed on emigration of its citizens, most
notably those of Jewish descent. Since regaining its independence in 1991,
Ukraine has built a strong record of open emigration and has fully met
Jackson-Vanik’s freedom of emigration requirements, a fact recognized by
both Presidents Clinton and Bush.

The Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition, co-chaired by Ambassador Steven
Pifer and Ambassador William Miller, represents more than 250 businesses
and Ukrainian-American, Jewish-American and other non-governmental
organizations.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation initiated this Coalition as a result of the
U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue. Several Task Forces within U.S.-Ukraine
Policy Dialogue identified the graduation of Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment as one of the priorities for strengthening U.S.-Ukraine relations.
———————————————————————————————–
NOTE: For more information about the U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue
click on the following link: http://www.usukraine.org/dialogue.shtml.
—————————— ——————————————————————
NOTE: For more information about the Jackson-Vanik Graduation Coalition,
please click on the following link: http://www.usukraine.org/jvgc.shtml
or email Marta Matselioukh at martam@usukraine.org.
——————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
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8 . JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT PASSES OVERWHELMINGLY
IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – After years of continued advocacy, in the late-morning on
Wednesday, March 8, 2006, the House of Representatives took up the
Jackson-Vanik amendment bill for Ukraine. The House floor discussion came
after months and years of constant encouragement from the Ukrainian American
community, as well as individual Members of Congress.

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA), sponsor of HR1053, speaking on the House floor
on Wednesday morning thanked “the Ukrainian American community for their
massive support” in bringing this bill to its fruition. The bill had wide
bi-partisan support and had 61 co-sponsors. A recorded vote was requested
for the measure, and the bill passed overwhelmingly with 411 votes in favor
and only 2 votes against House Resolution 1053.

While on the House floor, the bill was introduced by the Chairman of the
Ways and Means Committee, Rep. William Thomas (R-CA). “Ukraine is
integrating itself into the world economy,” stated the Chairman of the
Committee as he requested unanimous consent to admit documents signed
by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and Ukrainian officials
regarding the recent bilateral trade agreement signed on Monday, March 6th.

The Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Ben Cardin
(D-MD) spoke of his recent trip to Ukraine as part of a Helsinki Commission
delegation following the “Orange Revolution,” where he visited and laid
wreaths at the Ukrainian Genocide Memorial of 1932-1933 [Holodomor-
Death by Famine-Terror] and the Babyn Yar Memorial. Rep. Cardin
emphatically stated that “Congress should demonstrate support for Ukraine
and permanent normal trade relations (PNTR)” with that country.

The ranking member introduced Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) who raised the
issue of the Interregional Personnel Management Academy (MAUP) and
Ukraine’s commitment to defending the rights of all national minorities in
Ukraine.

Though at times critical of the situation in Ukraine, the congressman did
express his appreciation that “a number of positive steps have been taken.
The Ukrainian officials are acting in good faith.and that is why I am
supporting the lifting of the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine.”

Other Members of Congress who spoke on behalf of HR1053 included the
sponsor of the bill Reps. Jim Gerlach; Phil English (R-PA); Candice Miller
(R-MI); Lincoln Diaz Balart (R-FL); Clay Shaw (R-FL), Ways and Means
Trade Subcommittee Chairman; and two co-chairs of the Congressional
Ukrainian Caucus, Sander Levin (D-MI) and Curt Weldon (R-PA).

Rep. Miller acknowledged the large Ukrainian population in the United States
and the community’s valiant efforts to defend democracy for Ukraine during
its period of subjugation by the Soviet Union.

A special mention must be made to Congressional Ukrainian Caucus co-chairs
Reps. Levin and Weldon. In their remarks, the co-chairs mentioned what a
“positive achievement PNTR is not just for Ukraine, but for the world”, as
mentioned by Rep. Levin.

“We [the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and the Ukrainian community] have
been working on this legislation for years.This bill will spark further
reforms in Ukraine,” commented Rep. Levin. Equally, Rep. Weldon mentioned
that the Jackson-Vanik amendment has been “the number one priority for the
U.S. Congress-Ukrainian Parliament [Rada] exchange program for years.”

The congressman recalled his earlier days as a local government official in
Pennsylvania when Ukrainians gathered on January 22nd to remember
Ukrainian Independence Day. “Now Ukraine has achieved independence
and full respect of the world,” stated Rep. Weldon.

The Congressional Ukrainian Caucus was instrumental in advocating this issue
with their colleagues in the House of Representatives. Dating back to early
November 2005 in a press conference with the Prime Minister of Ukraine,
Members of Congress expressed their staunch support for “graduating”
Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

Later that month, the co-chairs of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus wrote
to their House colleagues: “The year is now 2005, but the Jackson Vanik
restriction is still enforced against Ukraine. Presidents Clinton and Bush
have both favored exempting Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik, which severely
restricts our trade with this country. Simply put, the very condition
necessary for enforcing Jackson-Vanik is no longer in effect.” Their
advocacy and constant monitoring of the situation helped to bring this
motion to a finale in the House of Representatives.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), and its Washington,
DC bureau – the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS), also actively
advocated the repeal of this measure for several years.

With letters written from various organizations, UCCA branches, and the
entire Ukrainian American community to the Chairman of the Ways and
Means Committee and respective Members of Congress, additional co-
sponsors for HR1053 were obtained.

Michael Sawkiw, Jr., President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of
America, commented on the bill’s passage: “With the United States granting
Ukraine market economy status, signing a bilateral trade agreement with
Ukraine on March 6th, which paves the way for eventual WTO accession,

and now, with the eventual final passage of HR1053 to “graduate” Ukraine
from the Jackson-Vanik amendment shows the unique relationship that is
continuously developing between Ukraine and the United States.

This is a proud day – a proud day for Ukraine, and an exceptionally proud
day for the Ukrainian American community. I thank the community for its
advocacy and am grateful to Members of Congress for their adamant
support of this bill!” -30-
——————————————————————————————–
CONTACT: Serhiy Zhykharev, Director, Congress Relations, Ukrainian
National Information Service (UNIS, 311 Massachusetts Ave NE,
Washington, D.C. 20002, Phone: (202) 547-0018; Fax: (202) 543-5502;
E-mail: unis.zhykharev@comcast.com.
——————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9. HOUSE APPROVES PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS
March 8 bill repeals Jackson-Vanik requirements for Ukraine

USINFO.COM, U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 417-2 in favor
of extending permanent normal trade relations to Ukraine, and U.S. Trade
Representative Rob Portman expressed appreciation March 8 for “this rapid
and bipartisan effort.”

The bill frees Ukraine from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to
the Trade Act of 1974, which links U.S. trade relations with many former
communist countries to the rights of their citizens to emigrate freely.

Under Jackson-Vanik, if a country is found to be restricting emigration
rights, the U.S. president must issue an annual waiver for normal trade
relations to continue.

Portman noted that on March 6 he and Ukrainian Minister of Economy
Arseniy Yatsenyuk formally signed a bilateral agreement on market access
issues, which constitutes a major step towards Ukraine’s accession to the
World Trade Organization (WTO).

In 2005, the Senate passed a bill approving permanent normal trade relations
treatment for Ukraine, but it must now vote on the House version (H.R. 1053)
because congressional rules require that legislation affecting tariffs must
begin in the House.

Following is a press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative:

Office of the United States Trade Representative
Executive Office of the President
Washington, D.C., March 8, 2006

USTR PORTMAN APPLAUDS SWIFT PASSAGE OF UKRAINE BILL

WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman today thanked
the House of Representatives for its swift passage of H.R. 1053 — to
authorize the extension of normal trade relations treatment to the products
of Ukraine.

“Just two days ago, Ukrainian Minister Yatensyuk and I formally signed a
bilateral agreement between our two countries. Today, the House acted
swiftly and decisively to terminate Jackson-Vanik for Ukraine,” said
Ambassador Portman.

“I appreciate this rapid and bipartisan effort. It sends a positive and
strong signal to our Ukrainian partners who have instituted reforms that
increase transparency, provide greater intellectual property protections and
stronger enforcement of the rule of law,” Portman added.

BACKGROUND
On March 6, 2006, USTR Portman and Ukrainian Minister of Economy
Arseniy Yatsenyuk formally signed a bilateral agreement on market access
issues as part of Ukraine’s WTO accession. This agreement is a major step
toward Ukraine’s completion of its accession negotiations.

Ukraine has been negotiating its terms of accession to the General Agreement
on Tariff and Trade (GATT), and then to the WTO, since 1994. Ukraine is
still negotiating bilateral market access agreements with a few remaining
countries.

To complete its accession bid, Ukraine must complete those bilateral market
access negotiations and also the multilateral negotiations on a Working
Party Report and Protocol of Accession. Ukraine is also still in the
process of enacting legislation that will enable it to apply WTO provisions
after its accession.

Congressional action is necessary to terminate application of Jackson-Vanik
to Ukraine. This step clears the way for the two countries to apply the WTO
Agreement between them when Ukraine becomes a WTO member. Since
revenue measures must originate in the House of Representatives, the Senate
will need to take action on H.R. 1053. The Senate approved S. 632 — a
similar measure — on November 18, 2005. -30-
————————————————————————————————
http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2006/Mar/08-435995.html?chanlid=eur
———————————————————————————————–
[ return to index] [The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10. AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE SALUTES HOUSE VOTE TO
‘GRADUATE’ UKRAINE FROM JACKSON-VANIK

American Jewish Committee, New York, NY, Wed, March 8, 2006

NEW YORK – The American Jewish Committee (AJC) welcomes today’s
overwhelming vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to lift trade
restrictions against Ukraine that were imposed on the Soviet Union in 1974
when Congress adopted the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to press for freedom
of emigration.

“This landmark measure is a sound U.S. endorsement of democratic trends
in Ukraine,” said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. “We look forward
to President Bush signing the bill, for which he already has indicated his
support.” The U.S. Senate endorsed the measure last November.

AJC, a leading advocate for strengthening democracy in the former communist
countries of Central and Eastern Europe, sent a letter to all members of
Congress in August urging the “graduation” of Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanik
Amendment.

“Our hope is that the United States Congress will seize the appropriate
legislative and other opportunities to help foster closer bilateral ties
between Kiev and Washington and to recognize and encourage the deep
yearning for a modern, Western-oriented society,” wrote Harris after
returning from a visit to Kiev last July.

The AJC delegation met with senior government officials, leaders of civic
institutions and representatives of the Jewish community. “Graduation from
the Jackson-Vanik Amendment is a goal we fully share,” Harris wrote.

The Bill adopted by the Congress affirms that since its establishment in
1991 an independent Ukraine has made substantial progress toward the
creation of democratic institutions and a free-market economy. Ukraine
allows its citizens the right and opportunity to emigrate, has built a broad
and durable relationship with the United States, and has been an unwavering
ally in the struggle against international terrorism. -30-
———————————————————————————————
Contact: Kenneth Bandler, 212-891-6771 or bandlerk@ajc.org, or Joan
Goodman,212-891-1385 or goodmanj@ajc.org, both of the American
Jewish Committee, Web: http://www.ajc.org
———————————————————————————————
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