The United States and Ukraine have signed a charter on strategic partnership and security. "We have long believed," said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "that Ukraine's independence, its democracy, is essential to a Europe whole and free and at peace."
To that end, the charter outlines enhanced cooperation in the areas of defense, security, economics and trade, energy security, democracy, and cultural exchanges.
Ukraine has shown a commitment to international security and peacekeeping. It is the only non-NATO country participating in all NATO operations. The NATO summit declaration in Bucharest affirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO when it meets certain requirements.
"The United States," said Secretary Rice, "supports Ukraine's integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures." The Charter expresses the United States' continued commitment to help Ukraine meet the requirements for NATO membership. The United States plans to help Ukraine increase its interoperability with NATO forces, including via training and equipment for Ukrainian armed forces.
The U.S. and Ukraine intend to expand economic growth through reform and liberalization, developing a business climate that supports trade and investment. It is also critical to improve market access for goods and services. The U.S. will help Ukraine in efforts to protect intellectual property and investor rights.
Recognizing the importance of an efficient energy sector, the U.S. plans to work with Ukraine to rehabilitate and modernize the capacity of Ukraine's gas transit infrastructure and secure Ukraine's sources of nuclear fuel.
Under the Charter on Strategic Partnership, the U.S. plans to help Ukraine increase the professionalism, transparency, and independence of its judiciary. Both countries will address common criminal threats including terrorism, organized crime, and trafficking in persons.
In an effort to further promote democratic values, the United States and Ukraine intend to encourage cultural and social exchanges through initiatives including the Fulbright program and Future Leaders Exchange Program.
The U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership lays the foundation for Ukraine's long-term democratic development and security needs.