Ahead of public testimony, Bill Taylor reaffirms US support for Ukraine
Posted November 12, 2019 12:14 p.m. EST
CNN — Ahead of his public appearance before the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump, Ambassador Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, penned an op-ed in a Ukrainian news magazine this week emphasizing the United States' "committed partnership and support" to the country.
The op-ed appeared in "Novoye Vremya" Sunday, according to a post from the embassy -- just days before Taylor's expected appearance on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Taylor, according to a transcript from his private testimony to the House committees, was a fierce and persistent critic of withholding security aid to Ukraine, particularly because of Russia's illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory.
In his opinion piece, Taylor who serves as charges d'affaires in Kiev, reaffirmed that the US "is firmly committed to Ukraine's success -- your success is our success."
"We will not allow Russia to dismantle the international order that was painstakingly built after World War II. The concepts of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes benefit all nations. And Russia's war against Ukraine shreds the international norms that kept peace and enabled prosperity for decades," he wrote.
"The United States continues to provide weapons, training, and equipment to Ukraine's armed forces. And we continue to impose sanctions on Russia for its illegal actions in Ukraine. As Secretary Pompeo has said, the United States will maintain sanctions against Russia until the Russian government returns control of Crimea to Ukraine and leaves Donbas," Taylor continued.
Taylor wrote that it appeared "that Ukrainians want a new Ukraine — a prosperous, democratic Ukraine," and that progress has been made toward those goals under the administration of recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"But as everyone who promotes democracy knows, strengthening and protecting democratic values is a constant process, requiring persistence and steady work by both officials and ordinary citizens. As in all democracies, including the United States, work remains in Ukraine, especially to strengthen rule of law and to hold accountable those who try to subvert Ukraine's structures to serve their personal aims, rather than the nation's interests," he wrote.
"I'm optimistic about Ukraine's strength, dynamism, and progress. The Ukrainians I have met are aware of the challenges and are working to tackle them. And these Ukrainians -- working to build a better future for the children of Ukraine from Sumy to Sevastopol and from to Lviv to Luhansk -- can count on the United States' committed partnership and support," Taylor concluded.