Government ousts Naftogaz chief, undermining corporate governance standards

KYIV – Ukraine’s government appointed Yuriy Vitrenko as the new CEO of state-owned giant Naftogaz on April 28, replacing Andriy Kobolyev, who had led the enterprise since 2014. The move, which occurred the day after the national oil and gas company reported a loss in 2020 of $684 million, was taken by Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers, which used a legal loophole to rid themselves of Mr. Kobolyev.

One-on-one with Putin: a reckless adventure for Zelenskyy

“We should not let Mr. Zelenskyy and his team off the hook, but let them twist [wriggle, squirm] there,” Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov recently told reporters (RIA Novosti, April 28). This is Mr. Lavrov’s own style of signaling to Ukraine that Russia holds the commanding position to set the agenda of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ardently sought meeting with his Kremlin counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.

White House advisor briefs Ukrainian American representatives on U.S.-Ukraine relations

WASHINGTON – The Steering Committee of Ukrainian Americans for Biden and representatives of Ukrainian American organizations received a briefing on April 26 from Chris Smith, director for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and the Caucasus at the National Security Council. The briefing, held via Zoom, was a comprehensive 75-minute overview of topics that included plans to battle Russian disinformation, sanctions against Russia, Nord Stream 2, Russia’s increasingly threatening activity in the Black Sea, human rights violations in occupied Ukrainian territory, visa and travel restrictions and a recent $50 million allocation to Ukraine for COVID relief.

UCCA pens letter to Secretary of State Blinken calling on U.S. to reaffirm support for Ukraine

WASHINGTON – With the announcement of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Ukraine in early May, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) penned a letter to the secretary of state requesting that the United States reaffirm its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. The letter accentuated the strategic partnership which exists between the two countries, while also highlighting key issues of continued support for Ukraine as Kyiv fends off Russian aggression and malign influence.

OSCE PA holds meeting on Ukraine

WASHINGTON – In response to increased Russian aggression against Ukraine, Helsinki Commission Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.) and Commissioner Rep. Richard Hudson (N.C.) initiated an exceptional bilateral meeting with members of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) on April 30.

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken travelled to Kyiv on May 6, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It marked the first visit to Ukraine by a senior official in the administration of President Joe Biden, and Mr. Blinken reaffirmed the position that the United States believes Ukraine is a key ally in the fight against Russian aggression.