At a press conference after their meeting, the Head of State noted that he was glad to receive Bill Clinton, “one of the world’s most brilliant politicians and a great fan and advocate of Ukraine.” Yushchenko reminded those present of Clinton’s contribution to the development of strategic relations between our countries.
“The two countries have been fruitfully and successfully cooperating with each other in this political status,” he said, the President's press office reported.
During the meeting, the sides discussed ways to support and develop national programs to fight HIV/AIDS in Ukraine. The President said he appreciated Mr. Clinton for his initiative to sign a memorandum with the Ukrainian government.
Yushchenko stressed that this document would give Ukraine a chance to get a priority status in all projects started by the Clinton Foundation in all parts of the world. Today, he said, HIV/AIDS treatment costs almost USD 2.500-5.000, and most of the patients cannot afford it. The signed memorandum might help improve the situation. He believes this project is a “colossal contribution” to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The President reiterated that the problem of HIV/AIDS was closely related with the spread of tuberculosis.
“So I would like the Clinton Foundation, the Health Ministry, the government, non-governmental and commercial organizations to jointly and seriously respond to this challenge,” he said.
“I believe in this project and I believe in its great efficiency,” he stressed, thanking Mr. Clinton and his foundation for supporting Ukraine’s national programs to fight HIV/AIDS and for his efforts to “organize our bilateral interstate relations.”
The Head of State informed all that they had also discussed ways to further develop cooperation between Ukraine and the United States in various fields. They particularly spoke about joint projects in the energy sector and trade.
“These are extremely important issues for Ukraine,” he stressed.
In his turn, Bill Clinton said the major goal of the signed memorandum was to render high quality aid to Ukraine to train our doctors and to provide our country with cheap medications and equipment to test HIV/AIDS patients.
The former President also said he had told the Ukrainian side his foundation might consult them to develop state management.
Clinton noted that in the past few months he had been “curiously watching” all events in Ukraine. He said he saw “viable democracy, freedom of speech, and free political competition.”
“The press is becoming more aggressive and free,” he added.
The ex-President also said there was great progress in developing the economy and the political system.
“This year, Ukraine managed to considerably develop its investment climate,” he said, adding that the United States had positively assessed the Kryvorizhstal auction.
Clinton opined that this “spirit of freedom” would encourage investors from all over the world to come to our market.
Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, Secretariat Chief of Staff Oleh Rybachuk, and Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko took part in the meeting.
Following the press conference Victor Yushchenko and Bill Clinton went to Kyiv’s Michael Square to commemorate victims of genocide famines. The Head of State told his American guest about our new tradition to honor victims of genocide famines and political repressions by lighting candles. He also thanked the U.S. Congress for acknowledging that tragedy as genocide against the Ukrainian nation in 1988.
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