Turning the pages back...
January 12, 1994
Three years ago, on January 12, 1994, President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit independent Ukraine. Following are excerpts of The Weekly's news reports, filed by Roman Woronowycz, covering that historic first.
* * *
KYIV - The first United States president to visit an independent Ukraine stayed for less than three hours. It was a historic visit nonetheless, done with all the ceremony and aplomb this country could muster.
U.S. President Bill Clinton was on his way to a summit involving the leaders of Ukraine, Russia and the U.S. The leaders were scheduled to sign an accord in which Ukraine will give up its nuclear missiles.
George Bush was the last U.S. president to visit Kyiv, where on August 1, 1991, he gave his infamous "Chicken Kiev" speech cautioning Ukraine, which at that time was still under the Soviet regime, against "suicidal nationalism." Ukraine declared independence just over three weeks later on August 24, 1991.
Mr. Clinton was greeted at Boryspil Airport on the outskirts of Kyiv by Ukraine's President Leonid Kravchuk, Prime Minister Yukhym Zviahilsky, Deputy Prime Minister Valerii Shmarov and Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko.
President Clinton and his entourage, which included Secretary of State Warren Christopher, newly nominated Assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, National Security Adviser Andrew Lake, Department of Defense Undersecretary for Foreign Policy Fran Wisner and 200 associated aides and specialists, separated into meetings with the Ukrainian delegation.
An hour and a half later, consultation completed, President Clinton emerged with his host. Mr. Clinton announced a three-part plan intended to give Ukraine economic relief and help the United States rid itself of the threat of nuclear warheads.
"On Friday we are ready to sign an agreement committing Ukraine to eliminate 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles and some 1,500 nuclear warheads targeted at the United States," said Mr. Clinton. He called Ukraine's decision "of utmost significance to this region and the world."
In return for Ukraine's denuclearization, President Clinton outlined a three-pronged proposal aimed at bolstering Ukraine's economy and enhancing the country's sense of security: a personal invitation to Ukraine to participate in the Partnership for Peace program; establishment of an enterprise fund that will stimulate small business investment and accelerate privatization; and development of closer economic ties between Ukraine, the United States an the West in general.
Source: The Ukrainian Weekly, January 16, 1994 (Vol. LXII, No. 3).
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, January 12, 1997, No. 2, Vol. LXV
| Home Page |