Kudos to Adrian Karatnycky, his entourage, and the newly formed Orange Circle for putting on an outstanding event at the venerable Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza in NY for President Yushchenko in honor of his first social appearance in the city that claims to be the center of the financial universe.

The event appears to have been a spectacular commercial success although the political, economic, and social outcome may turn out to be somewhat questionable.

So what if some guests never got seating at tables for which they paid "political event" prices, but instead were left out in the lobby to drink their sorrows away or to leave under embarrassing conditions.

In the case of this writer it would not have been so bad (after all I have over 30 years of experience in underdeveloped countries), but what of the Wall Street portfolio manager with over $1.5 billion to invest in Eastern Europe who was snubbed due to this error.

How does this look for Ukraine and why does this begin to look dubiously unprofessional?

So what if President Yushchenko's speech failed to re-ignite the fires of the Orange Revolution and sounded very much like an accountant's report to his board of directors. Given the stress that this hero has been going through with the September turmoil in Ukraine's politics, it is certainly

So what if many of the guests acted like rock star groupies when trying to get their moment with the President but completely ignoring yesterday's hero - Vitaliy Klitchko,- who stood just inches away and seemed to be completely unrecognized and forgotten by the guests. (So much for fame and fortune in the land of the diaspora).

So what if the event exemplified the lack of seriousness on the part of our Ukrainian society to take current events in Ukraine under full consideration and to recognize the severity of the political crisis that could undo much of what Ukraine's citizens stood in the cold and harsh wintry days of Kyiv to achieve.

We may have waived our orange flags during those solemn days in support of the Yushchenko and Tymoshenko team, but now we seem to have forgotten what they were fighting for or against.

For the most part however, we did have a great social event. The vodka and liquor flowed with exemplary East European hospitality. The mood was euphoric (with the previously stated exceptions), and the food (I'm told) was worthy of New York's cuisine artistry.

It's certainly easy to criticize and to find flaws in any situation. But professionalism is within the reach of everyone if we should strive to attain it.

Let's hope that future events don't leave things to chance and make sure that potential investors are not ignored or left out in the cold. This would serve Ukraine far better than any gala event could ever do.

Ukraine desperately needs investments. The best PR will be when Ukraine takes its place among the European countries as an equal and not as an enigma.
COMMENTARY: By Walter Prochorenko PhD Paramus, New Jersey
Source: The Action Ukraine Report

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