By Morgan Williams
Action Ukraine Report (AUR)
Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, according to several reports in Kyiv and in Washington, will visit the United States in early December.
PM Yanukovych is reported to be visiting in Washington, D.C. on Monday, December 4 and Tuesday, December 5 and then be in New York City on Wednesday, December 6th. This will be Yanukovych's first visit to the U.S. since becoming Prime Minister for the second time in August of this year.
The Prime Minister will be making the usual rounds in Washington visiting with officials in the U.S. government, some legislative leaders on the Hill, leaders of U.S. businesses active in Ukraine, and a variety of other private officials with strong connections to Ukraine.
Reports indicate there is a strong possibility Yanukovych will meet with Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and President/CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Robert Mosbacher, Jr.
President George Bush normally does not meet with Prime Minister's unless they are a head of state. In Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko is considered the head of state.
Issues likely to be discussed with the Prime Minister include Ukraine's accession to the WTO; the Cabinet of Minister's severe restrictions on grain exports; business and governmental corruption; VAT tax refunds; NATO; Euro-Atlantic integration; energy pricing, transportation and conservation; alternative sources of nuclear fuel, relations with Russia; OPIC's outstanding insurance claim; regional issues with Moldova, Georgia, Poland, Belarus and Romania and the recent approval by the U.S. Congress for the Government of Ukraine to build a monument to the Holodomor in 1932-1933 (induced starvation, death for millions, genocide) on federal land in Washington, D.C.
Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, former Ukrainian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United States, was reported to have been in Washington this week working on the arrangements for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's upcoming visit.
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