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Secreatry Clinton Visits Ukraine

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a press conference in Kiev, 02 Jul 2010.

U.S. Secretary of State urged her audience not to lose sight of the values and core freedoms that protect and promote democracy and reform.

During her recent visit to Ukraine, her first representing the Obama Administration as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said that now is "an important moment in Ukraine’s history."

"As Ukraine moves forward, the country will face questions about its place in the region and the world," said Secretary Clinton.

In Ukraine, Secretary Clinton participated in the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission. Through the Commission, the U.S. and Ukraine work together in the areas of democracy, economic freedom and prosperity, security and territorial integrity, energy security, cooperation in the defense area, the rule of law and people-to-people contacts.

Secretary of State Clinton and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych discussed ways that Ukraine and the U.S. can build on their strategic partnership. The Secretary emphasized the importance of protecting Ukraine’s democracy by supporting a strong civil society, independent media, and public sector transparency.

In a speech at Kyiv Polytechnic University, Secretary of State Clinton urged her audience not to lose sight of the values and core freedoms that protect and promote democracy and reform. She also encouraged them to hold their elected officials accountable:

"I know that having been elected to office and having run for President, that when it comes to motivating democratically elected officials, there is no force more powerful than citizens who refuse to accept the status quo, who insist that measurable progress be made," said Secretary of State Clinton.

Secretary Clinton also raised economic issues during her visit to Kyiv. She and President Yanukovych spent some time considering reforms of the energy and economic sectors, the possibility of turning Ukraine into an energy producer, and how to make Ukraine appealing to investors. Secretary of State Clinton emphasized that foreign investment in the energy or other sector requires an improved investment climate. Such investment should help lessen Ukraine’s foreign energy dependence.

"We want to see a strong, democratic Ukraine that is able to produce economic prosperity and opportunity for the Ukrainian people and to play a significant role regionally and globally. Ukraine is an independent nation," said Secretary of State Clinton, "and we hope Ukraine will have good relations with its neighbors – including Russia – and that Ukraine will pursue close, constructive relationships with the United States and countries of the European Union."