Fort Russ – 10th February, 2016
AMBASSADOR PYATT: Thank you very much Prime Minister, Ministers, colleagues. It’s an enormous honor for me to speak today. I want to start by addressing the question which Khatia raised in her comments, which was the question of whether Ukraine and Ukraine’s reformers will be left alone. And I want to offer the strongest possible assurance of the United States regarding our commitment to continue to stand with the Ukrainian people so long as Ukraine — the Ukrainian Government, the Ukrainian Rada, and the President — continue to stick to the difficult path of reform and make emphatically clear that the policies and practices that did so much to hold this country back in the past will no longer be tolerated.
From that standpoint, I particularly welcome the Prime Minister’s statement of his commitment to make the reforms of the past year now irreversible. In that regard, I am extremely proud of what the United States has accomplished. As Khatia and Eka know, we have committed over $20 million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to help support the new patrol police. My Washington colleagues will argue that this is perhaps the best money in foreign assistance that the United States has ever spent anywhere in terms of return on investment and the practical impact for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.
We are committed also to continuing our strong partnership with the National Guard, building on what we’ve accomplished at Yavoriv through Fearless Guardian, and to continuing our longstanding partnership with the Border Guard. In this regard, I expect that we will be committing at least $25 million dollars in additional U.S. Government resources to police, border guard, and other related reforms in the year ahead. So I want you to understand how proud we are of the partnership that we’ve established, but also our commitment to continue moving forward.
Through the U.S. Agency for International Development, we also continue to work with the Ministry of Justice. We’re very proud of the role that we’ve been able to have working with the Minister on our Free Legal Aid project.
Finally, I simply want to note the importance of addressing also the third pillar of justice and rule of law reform, which is the prosecutorial area. In this regard, the United States is going to continue to offer maximum support to the anti-corruption reformers of the NABU, of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, and to those within the office of the Prosecutor General who have demonstrated a true commitment to reform.
But the sine qua non — the number one requirement in this area as well — is to demonstrate absolutely clearly that there will be a new system. That this is not about perpetuating the poisonous practices of the past, or tolerating the kind of corruption that characterized previous Ukrainian governments.
To the extent that is the case, we will continue to devote significant U.S. Government resources, including the experts who we are bringing from the FBI, from our Department of Justice, from our Internal Revenue Service, and other branches of the U.S. law enforcement system who are prepared to work with those in the prosecutorial domain who demonstrate the commitment to operating under new rules.
So, Prime Minister, thank you for giving me this opportunity. Let me underline again our pride as the U.S. Government to be supporting those who are committed to building a new Ukraine.