The U.S.-Ukrainian Consultative Committee, which includes Zbigniew Brzezinski, George Soros, and top Ukrainian officials, convened on October 11 in Kiev to review the development of Ukraine’s internal reforms and its relations with the West. The Committee made a number of recommendations. They included an intensification of Ukrainian economic reforms and of Western support for those reforms, more active Ukrainian participation in the processes connected with NATO’s enlargement, the urgent opening of a NATO information center in Kiev, practical steps by both sides to turn the concept of "special relationship" with NATO into a reality, and support for Ukraine’s effort to become, in effect, a part of Central Europe. Participants observed that an independent and secure Ukraine offers Russia an opportunity to become a "normal, non-imperial state," and thus the chance to achieve prosperity for the first time in its history. A group of retired U.S. officers accompanied the U.S. delegation and discussed military issues with Defense Minister Aleksandr Kuzmuk. It was noted in that discussion that Ukraine’s non-bloc status leaves Kiev free to develop bilateral ties with any country it chooses. (Interfax-Ukraine, October 11 through 14 )
The Committee is a non-governmental organization, although its Ukrainian participants include cabinet ministers, presidential aides, senior diplomats, as well as former president Leonid Kravchuk and former prime minister Yevhen Marchuk. Founded in 1994, the Committee meets twice annually and works out policy recommendations that carry weight with both governments. Last month the U.S. and Ukraine set up an intergovernmental commission, co-chaired by Vice President Al Gore and President Leonid Kuchma, to intensify bilateral relations.
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