UCPBF Meeting with Manley Staff

PRESS ADVISORY: March 20, 2001

Dear Friends,

On March 7, 2001, Borys Gengalo and I represented the UCPBF Executive at a meeting with Minister Manley's senior policy adviser [name?] and the Deputy Director of the Ukraine program at Foreign Affairs and International Trade [name?]. The purpose was to discuss the findings of the UCPBF Roundtable on Canada/Ukraine Relations.

Here are the key points.

UCPBF position:

  • we do not endorse any stepping away from Ukraine by Canada despite the Presidential crisis. We separate Mr. Kuchma's personal situation from that of the Office of the President and urge the President to exonerate himself as soon as possible but NOT as the expense of human rights and the rule of law as appears to be the tactic being taken in Ukraine at the present time;
  • we urge Canada to take a lead among the Western powers in partnership with Ukraine to mount a dialogue on peace and security including the role of Ukraine as a strategic linchpin; the undermining influence to peace and security by criminal elements via prostitution, drugs or money laundering by launching an international conference
  • we invite Canada to consider launching a world class policy and research centre to provide independent policy considerations on Ukraine; and
  • consider establishing a Secretary of State position for Ukraine and Eastern Europe to ensure enhanced Ministerial attention.

    We will pursue a "GET LOUD" strategy to ensure consideration of key issues. UCPBF will be in touch with CIDA in the near term to pursue the technical assistance considerations.

    Their position:

  • Canada is following the events in Ukraine very closely and is keen to see the situation resolved within the rule of law
  • two Ministerial visits from Ukraine in the near-term are proposed: Foreign Affairs Minister Zlenko and Trade Minister Hladij with Minister Manley. Both will provide opportunities to focus on Canada Ukraine issues. UCPBF is invited to submit comments for the Ministers' meetings
  • new initiatives are assessed in terms of funding

    The meeting lasted for over an hour. UCC National President had been invited to attend.