Gilman resolution supports Ukraine's independence

by Volodymyr Chornodolsky
Ukrainian National Information Service

WASHINGTON - Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, re-introduced Concurrent Resolution 120 "Supporting the Independence and Sovereignty of Ukraine and its Political and Economic Reforms" at a committee meeting on August 1.

This is the first time in history that such a resolution was introduced in Congress. The resolution was initially proposed in December 1995, but did not gain enough support at that time. Rep. Gilman now feels that with the fifth anniversary of Ukraine's independence proclamation nearing, there should be enough support to pass the resolution.

The chairman opened the meeting by saying, "Let me state, first of all, that events in Ukraine will inevitably have consequences for all of Europe - both East and West. Too often, unfortunately, we here in the United States have focused our attention on Russia and the tremendous changes taking place in that important country. In the process, we have overlooked the important role that Ukraine will play in Europe."

Rep. Gilman went on to congratulate Ukraine for the recent adoption of its new Constitution, the fulfillment of its commitment to become nuclear-free, and its attempt to implement political and economic reforms, and continue to oppose the emergence of any collective military bloc on the territory of the former Soviet Union.

The Gilman resolution urges the government of Ukraine to: continue efforts to ensure the rights of all citizens; accelerate efforts to transform its economy; proceed expeditiously with the privatization of state-owned enterprises; place high priority on adopting laws to encourage economic growth based on market mechanisms, private enterprise and the right to own property; and continue efforts to reach agreement with the G-7 states to shut down the nuclear plant at Chornobyl.

It calls on the president of the United States to: support continued U.S. assistance to Ukraine for specified purposes, including political and economic reforms; insist that the government of the Russian Federation recognize Ukraine's sovereignty; express support for Ukraine's insistence that it be provided with appropriate compensation for use of facilities on its territory; ensure that Ukraine's national security interests are fully considered in any revision of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe and that its interests as an integral part of Central and Eastern Europe are fully considered in any review of European security arrangements; and support continued U.S. security assistance for Ukraine.

The resolution also calls on the United States to continue to support the Ukrainian people in their struggle to bring peace, prosperity and democracy to Ukraine and to the other independent states of the former Soviet Union.

The list of co-sponsors now includes: William Goodling (R-Pa.); Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.); Martin Hoke (R-Ohio), who sponsored it as it was introduced; David McIntosh (R-Ind.); Sander Levin (D-Mich.); Barney Frank (D-Mass.); William Lipinski (D-Ill.); Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.); Christopher Smith (R-N.J.); Herbert Bateman (R-Va.); Thomas Foglietta (D-Pa.); Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.); and Richard Baker (R-La.).

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 18, 1996, No. 33, Vol. LXIV

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