Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 57

The leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish organizations appealed yesterday to the U.S. Congress and to Jewish-American organizations to "urgently endorse" U.S. economic and political support for Ukraine. Observing that Ukraine "must pay a high, sometimes prohibitive price for its aspiration to be an independent country," the appeal listed Ukraine’s main vulnerabilities, such as: immaturity of democratic institutions, political obstacles to economic reforms, official corruption and other sequels of the Soviet system. The Jewish leaders also recalled independent Ukraine’s achievements, including its renunciation of nuclear weapons, cooperation with the neighboring countries, interethnic accord and support for U.S. foreign policy on Iran and other issues. On the eve of Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, the Jewish leaders reminded Washington that "the crucial question at this juncture is, who will lend Ukraine a helping hand: the West or the East ? the future or the past?" (Ukrainian agencies, March 23)

Ukraine has recently absorbed cuts and deferrals in international lending and in U.S. aid. Kyiv is now being told publicly that it faces additional cuts next month, contingent on a State Department report to Congress. In addition, G-7 and international lending institutions put off on various pretexts the delivery of long-promised aid for the safe decommissioning of Chornobyl and for completing compensatory power-generating capacities. Although aid cuts and lending deferrals may have their justification, the timing of such steps — during Ukraine’s parliamentary election campaign — seems counterproductive to the stated goal of helping promote reforms in the country.

Moldovan Parliamentary Elections Inconclusive.