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You're reading: Phil Gordon: Political trials create ‘stumbling block’ in Ukraine-US relations

Thank you, Herman [Pirchner] for your opening remarks,
and Ambassador [Oleksandr] Motsyk for that kind introduction. I am delighted to
join you this evening to help launch what I’m sure will be a productive two
days of discussions that address the full range of issues with Ukraine — from
the state of its democracy and economy to questions of energy security and
national identity. It is good to see so many friends here tonight from
government, think tanks, embassies and the diaspora community.

In the 21 years since the collapse of the Soviet
Union, the United States has worked with its European partners to build a
Europe that is whole, free, democratic, and at peace. Today, this aspiration
has been achieved across much of the continent as Central European countries
have become valued members of NATO and the European Union while significant
progress has been made in furthering Euro-Atlantic aspirations in the Western
Balkans.

Indeed, the United States looks to Europe as our
partner of first resort in confronting global challenges because of what these
countries bring to the table: shared values of democracy and human rights,
strong market economies, and valuable military capabilities.

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