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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Goals and Expectations for the Ukraine Reform Conference in Denmark

Jorgan Andrews,Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
June 26, 2018




FOREIGN PRESS CENTER ROUNDTABLE WITH JORGAN ANDREWS, ACTING DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN AFFAIRS

TOPIC: ROUNDTABLE WITH UKRAINIAN JOURNALISTSDate: 06/26/2018 Description: JORGAN ANDREWS, ACTING DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN AFFAIRS - State Dept Image

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2018, 1:00 P.M. EDT

THE WASHINGTON FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.

MODERATOR: So welcome, everyone, to the Washington Foreign Press Center. I am Liz Veale. I am pleased to have you and our special guest here to discuss tomorrow’s Ukraine Reform Conference in Copenhagen.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the U.S. delegation to Copenhagen to participate in the “Ukraine Reform Conference: A Driver for Change,” hosted by the governments of Denmark and Ukraine. There the deputy secretary will affirm the United States support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity while reiterating our conviction that Ukraine’s future and democratic development depend on the implementation of serious structural reforms.

Just to remind everyone, this is an on-the-record, on-camera roundtable, and please mute your cell phones.

I’d like to introduce our briefer, Jorgan K. Andrews. He is the director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State. He is currently the acting deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for U.S. relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, and Armenia.

MR ANDREWS: And Azerbaijan.

MODERATOR: Sorry. And we have handed out his complete bio at the check-in. If someone did not get that, I can get that to you. Okay, it’s all yours.

MR ANDREWS: Great, thanks. It’s good to see you all this afternoon. Thanks for this opportunity to talk about the reform conference going on in Denmark. I think I’ll just start with a couple minutes of just general remarks, but then I’m really interested to take questions and to hear what’s on your mind. And greetings to our friend up in New York. Hello. Sorry we didn’t say hello. Thank you.

Okay. So again, thank you for the opportunity to speak on the eve of the second annual Ukraine Reform Conference. The British were good enough to host last year, and we’re very appreciative that the Danes are hosting this year. As was mentioned, the U.S. delegation is headed by our Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and we think that illustrates our continued commitment to a stable, prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine, and we’re very eager for him to interact with other foreign ministers at that event.

The United States remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, which we see as the greatest threat to European security at this time. But Ukraine’s long-term success and resilience against Russia depends on rooting out corruption and implementing deep and comprehensive reforms. Ukraine must win its internal struggle to implement a broad range of economic, anti-corruption, judicial, and governance reforms.

Since 2014, Ukraine has made significant strides to address its corruption challenges. We’ve stood with Ukrainian people throughout this process, supporting their strong desire for a better, less corrupt governance. We’re committed to the success of an independent and whole Ukraine, but the government needs to fulfill the promises of the Revolution of Dignity.

We’ve seen some welcome developments recently. For example, we commend Ukraine for adopting a law to establish an independent anti-corruption court. With this move, Ukraine took an important step toward achieving the European future its people demanded during the Revolution of Dignity. Amending that new law to ensure that the proposed court will be able to hear all cases under its jurisdiction, including appeals of existing corruption cases, will ensure the court is able to help roll back the corruption that threatens Ukraine’s international – internal national security, prosperity, and democratic development.

I’d also like to point out that Ukraine’s June 21st adoption of a law on national security is another important reform step. While we’re still reviewing the final text, I would note that the Ukrainian Government worked with the United States, NATO, and EU representatives in Kyiv to ensure that this new law allows – aligns Ukraine’s national security architecture with its Euro-Atlantic principles.

This includes democratic civilian control and oversight of the defense and security sectors, and this would constitute a major step forward toward Ukraine’s goal of achieving NATO interoperability by 2020. The United States remains committed to assisting Ukraine with the continued implementation of its defense reforms, which will help Ukraine continue to develop more professional, sustainable armed forces capable of operating with Western forces and providing for the safety and security of all Ukrainian citizens.

Despite these significant steps forward on reform, there is still much more to be done. It’s more urgent than ever for Ukraine’s government to do more to consolidate progress and press onward with reform. Meeting the requirements to receive its next tranche of IMF funding would be the single most important signal that Ukraine could send that it remains committed to reform. Additionally, we encourage Ukraine to take steps to break up the oligarchic system in which immense economic power is concentrated in the hands of very few individuals who use their power to distort the political system in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s losses on the Maydan and in the Donbas must not have been in vain. We call on the Government of Ukraine to implement deep, comprehensive, and timely reforms, to realize the promise of the Revolution of Dignity, and to build a better future for all Ukrainians. And we look forward to discussions on all of these issues in Copenhagen with our Ukrainian and European colleagues.

So with that, I’ll leave it there, and I’d be glad to take your questions.

MODERATOR: If we can just – Liz, if you just want to ask them – before you ask a question, please state your name and outlet each time for the transcript.

QUESTION: Iaroslav Dovgopol, Ukrinform News Agency. So you mentioned that the first conference hosted in London last year. Could you please evaluate what progress Ukraine had during this period, and how does the conference help Ukraine to implement reforms?

MR ANDREWS: Right. So Ukraine’s current reform efforts, starting in 2014 shortly after the Revolution of Dignity, have had several intense kind of phases. And so for instance, in the most recent phase last fall, we saw a burst of activity in the Rada, and there were several important reform bills that were passed. Pension reform was one of them; healthcare reform; judicial reform; and I’m forgetting the fourth one. There was a fourth bill in there.

So we are very cognizant that reforms are difficult and that the deeper Ukraine gets into its reform cycle the more difficult the reforms get, because the more significant, the more structural they get. So we’re very aware that the reforms that were comparatively or relatively easier to achieve in 2015 and 2016 are different than the more difficult reforms that Ukraine faces now.

I think for us, the IMF program – and for the international community – I think I speak for my European colleagues when I say that the IMF program really is the bellwether for Ukraine’s reform progress. And so if Ukraine is able to continue to meet the reform accomplishments that it negotiated with the IMF, that Ukraine itself agreed to, and if that IMF program is able to continue, I think that is perhaps the best signal that Ukraine could send to the international community that it is continuing to tackle these serious reforms, that it’s continuing to try to make economic and political and social conditions better for Ukrainian citizens.

So I think part of the – the purpose of these conferences as they were originally conceived was to bring together the international community that cares deeply about Ukraine and its future, which happens to include a number of countries that contribute to Ukraine in various ways in its reform efforts, and for the Ukrainian Government and civil society to kind of present what it is doing on reforms and what it plans to do and to have a conversation with that interested international community about those goals and about Ukraine’s priorities and how the international community sees those priorities, supports those priorities, might be able to help actually implement some of those.

So it’s a conversation. It’s not – it’s intended to be a – I think an annual – a marker that takes stock of what happened in the previous year and looks forward to the next year. And so I hope that gets at some of your question.

QUESTION: Could you elaborate more – Voice of America, Iryna Matviichuk.

MR ANDREWS: Yes, yes.

QUESTION: Could you elaborate more on how do you see U.S. role on this conference, and what’s exactly on Mr. Sullivan agenda in Copenhagen?

MR ANDREWS: Sure. So I know that the deputy secretary will have a chance to confer with a lot of his peers and colleagues at this conference, and it’s a good chance to compare notes and to take stock, as I’ve said, and to hear from Ukrainian counterparts. I know Prime Minister Groysman and Foreign Minister Klimkin and others will be there for Ukraine, so he will have all of those conversations about Ukraine and he may have opportunities to have side conversations on other important matters with European colleagues on the margins of this conference.

I think the challenge for Ukraine and for those of us who support Ukraine and care about Ukraine’s future is to help Ukraine find a way to continue implementing the reforms even as the reforms get more challenging and as the politics around the reforms get more challenging. Everybody is very aware that Ukraine is headed into its electoral cycle, with both presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019, and based on our experience in many other countries, we’re very aware that elections don’t always provide the easiest environment to implement bold reforms. And so I think that will probably be on the minds of the participants in this conference, is how can we keep this reform momentum and not let the near-term kind of politics overshadow the need to keep going on reforms.

I think the gentleman in New York had a question, yes.

QUESTION: Oh, yeah. Thank you very much for this opportunity, Foreign Press Center colleagues for this – uh-huh. Okay, overdid it.

Mr. Andrews, thank you for this opportunity to speak to you directly. Thank you, Foreign Press Center colleagues, for organizing this.

Sir, I got a couple of questions about the situation with the amendment to the law so the proposed court will be able to hear all the cases under the jurisdiction. You mentioned it; the U.S. Department of State made a special statement about it. So firstly, on which level and which talks you got with the Ukrainian side right now? So I know the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament is visiting today and tomorrow; I know that Mr. Sullivan will meet with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Groysman. So what are the channels of the communication on this issue? Do you have the dialogue on the highest level? Do you have the dialogue on the level of the ambassador there in Kyiv? So what are – what dialogue do you have with Ukraine right now about this amendment, which definitely needed?

MR ANDREWS: Sure. So because the anticorruption court is a primary – oh, sorry. Can you hear me now?

MODERATOR: Sorry. No, he can hear you.

MR ANDREWS: Oh, okay. Because the anticorruption court is one of the major items that was negotiated with the IMF that is related to the issuance of the current tranche, which is about $1.9 billion, the negotiations about fulfilling those three items with the IMF are really between Ukraine and the IMF. And so in our diplomatic engagements – in the Secretary’s call with President Poroshenko about a week and a half ago to our engagements on the ground with Ambassador Yovanovitch and members of the Ukrainian Government – we have endeavored to be very consistent in saying the negotiation’s with the IMF, it’s not with the United States. This is something that Ukraine and the IMF agreed to. If the IMF is satisfied, we will be satisfied. So continue to negotiate with the IMF; we fully support the IMF and its position in determining what type of law and what amendments are needed to satisfy this agreement.

A follow-up?

QUESTION: Oh, if I may follow --

MR ANDREWS: Yes.

QUESTION: Okay. If I may follow, what is your vision, what is your opinion – what will happen if not, if the Ukrainian parliament will not adopt this amendment? So what are the risks, what is your understanding about the risks and about the – the risks to – not only to IMF tranche but the relationship between Washington and Kyiv?

MR ANDREWS: Well, without speculating on the hypothetical of how the relationship goes, I mean, I think that the anti-corruption field is one area of reform that is very illustrious of where Ukraine is right now. With the burst of activity in 2014, 2015, and even into 2016, Ukraine went quite a distance in many areas – on energy reform, on anti-corruption reform, economic reforms, and others – banking reform. But what happened is it didn’t fully tip the balance, right. And so Ukraine moved significantly, but it didn’t reach that tipping point beyond which all of the reforms start acting together in virtuous cycles to reinforce each other and to kind of squeeze out the space for corruption and other negative behaviors.

And so corruption is a great example. Ukraine, with some support from the United States, was able to stand up very capable, promising new institutions: the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, NABU, and the special anti-corruption prosecutors have been stood up and have demonstrated some degree of capability. Granted, these are institutions that are in their formative stage. They’re still new, and they’re still growing and learning. But without a court for those entities to send their cases to, the efforts for anti-corruption were still subjected to the old court system, which frankly has not yet benefited from a lot of these reforms and remains rather notoriously corrupt.

And so what we say is Ukraine has gone part of the way, but it needs to finish the job, and to reach that tipping point. And so once you have a court in place that is truly independent and that can hear the cases that the special investigators and prosecutors have teed up, then you have a system that is capable of making a difference and of establishing a new pattern for anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine. And I think we see this – a similar tipping point challenge in other areas of reform.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) Yes, Iaroslav Dovgopol, Ukrinform news agency. You said about the United States efforts to Ukraine to help struggle with corruption, to implement reform. Are you planning visits of the U.S. officials like the Secretary of State, deputy secretaries, or somebody from White House to Ukraine next period?

MR ANDREWS: So I have no specific travel to announce today, but what I would say is if you look back to U.S.-Ukrainian engagement since 2014, you will see a steady drumbeat of fairly – very senior-level and fairly senior-level engagements. And so this relationship is deep, and it’s broad, and it’s very active and busy. And that requires a certain level of contact at the political levels and all the way down through the very technical levels. And so while I don’t have anything to announce today, I would be surprised if we don’t have some major meetings at any point on the horizon.

We’re always – September in New York at the UN General Assembly is always a very common meeting point, because everybody is kind of in one place at the same time. But no, I just – I think our relationship is so robust that it requires kind of a regular pace of meetings. And so whether that’s Ambassador Volker or our Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell from the European and Eurasian Bureau, or Deputy Secretary Sullivan meeting his Ukrainian counterparts in Denmark, there’s always – there are always visits on the horizons.

QUESTION: Iryna Matviichuk, Voice of America. What are three priorities that Ukraine should focus on right now to stay on the path of reform?

MR ANDREWS: Hm. That’s a very interesting question. So there – it depends – there are any number of reforms that are badly needed. But in terms of kind of the process of managing reforms, there are reforms that require legislative action, and the Rada is a very robust, active legislature that – in which outcomes are – can be difficult. It’s a healthy debate. And so sometimes passing laws isn’t always the most foreseeable path. Then there are reforms that require some sort of regulatory change or bureaucratic decision-making that are within the government’s control, and those can sometimes be a little bit easier to undertake. I think a lot of those have been done. But I – I’m trying to figure out, are you asking about like specifically which reforms?

QUESTION: Specifically what would you name that’s most important?

MR ANDREWS: So – right. So if we turn our attention to energy reform and Naftogaz, I think Naftogaz is another area in which considerable progress was made. Naftogaz went from being a great drain on Ukraine’s economy every year to now it contributes – I think it contributed $4 billion, U.S. dollars equivalent, to the Ukraine treasury in 2017. That’s a major, fundamental shift, and that indicates a serious impact on corruption. But again, the job is half done, and one of the current IMF requirements is that Ukraine harmonize its gas tariffs with import parity prices. And while everyone is very sensitive to the potential political implications, we think there’s a good story to tell there to the Ukrainian people, which is that this is – this remains one of the major corruption loopholes in Ukraine society. And even as Naftogaz turned from being a net drain on the economy to a net – to the largest provider to the Ukrainian treasury, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t – there aren’t millions and millions of dollars being stolen in the energy business in Ukraine.

And so we are focusing our Ukrainian counterparts/ We have conversations with Mr. Kobolyev, with the ministry of energy and others. And we are trying to not only get them to complete their negotiations with the IMF on the gas tariffs, but also to think about some of the other structural issues within the energy sector and the gas sector, particularly this – I’m trying to think of what it’s called – this public service requirement that requires that Naftogaz pay or that Naftogaz must provide gas to these intermediaries, most of which are owned by Mr. Firtash, and not necessarily get paid back. I mean, that’s just a major structural issue in the system. So I’d definitely say that’s one of the top priorities.

Eventually, I think resolving the land sales issue could unlock the vast potential of Ukraine’s economy. Ukraine has – is one of the great agricultural nations of the world, has a significant proportion of the world’s most arable land, most productive agricultural land. And yet, so much of that land sits idle or is not used to its maximum potential because of the inability to sell or transact land, to group it in a way that can make it economically viable.

QUESTION: But to solve issue, you mean lift the ban?

MR ANDREWS: Right. Yes, so creating some way for land to be sold, and recognizing that there need to be – it needs to be done thoughtfully and carefully so that vested interests can’t take advantage of individual farmers or small land holders. But there should be a way to do it that unleashes that potential and all of that economic pent-up energy, because I think if land sales were permissible, Ukraine’s potential GDP could soar. I mean, you could see a serious increase. And that increase in agricultural activity could help also the Ukrainian national budget, which helps provide services and health care and education and roads and everything else. So it’s a net – I think it’s – there’s real opportunity there.

QUESTION: And the third one?

MR ANDREWS: I would say corruption. And these are not in any particular order, but I would say the continuing battle against corruption is the battle for the heart and soul of Ukraine, that if Ukraine wins the battle against corruption, all other reforms are possible, and if Ukraine loses the battle against corruption, no other reforms will ultimately succeed. And I don’t say that lightly. As someone who has worked in justice sector reform in a number of countries, we see this – we see these kinds of issues over and over again. And as important as Ukraine’s security challenges are in the east, I would say that the internal battle, the internal struggle against corruption, is the most important enemy, the most important battle Ukraine faces.

We have a New York question. Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Dmytro Anopchenko from New York one more time, sir. I definitely don’t want to speculate, I just want to ask you about the risks. So I’ve got my viewers, and the concern of them that because of the future elections in Ukraine, both the presidential or maybe parliamentary elections, they’ll (inaudible) the government, the Rada, will try to break a little bit, will try not to adopt the unpopular reforms. Okay, obviously they need the votes. They need favor – favorable public opinion. So do you share this opinion that we are at risk a little bit right now? Do you feel that we got this risk that Ukraine will break because of the situation with the elections?

MR ANDREWS: Well, I’m not sure I know what you mean by Ukraine might break, but what I would say is electoral periods are times of opportunity. And when a country goes through an election cycle, it’s an opportunity for its leadership and its public to come together.

So to the extent that Ukrainian politicians are talking to ordinary Ukrainians and hearing the issues that ordinary Ukrainians face and considering ways in which they could address the needs of those citizens and trying to earn their votes, then this can be a tremendously helpful and strengthening experience.

If Ukrainian political elites, on the other hand, are not focused on winning the votes of the voters, but instead in engineering an election result based on alliances with oligarchs or political alliances with politicians or parties that can deliver votes, then yes, that puts stress on the system.

I don’t think either way it affects – there’s no way necessarily it affects U.S.-Ukrainian relations. The United States is always prepared to engage with whatever government the good people of any country elect. The questions is: What is the quality of that election? And so if an election is held in which there are major irregularities and suppression of votes or exclusion of viable candidates, then we have issues. Then we have concerns. But if the election is relatively free and fair within the bounds of the international commitments Ukraine has made, we will engage with whatever government comes out of those elections, and our strategic interests remain. We see it in U.S. interest that Ukraine be stable, democratic, prosperous, and free, and able to make its own choices about who it wants to align with either economically or in the security sphere or in political and social spheres. So those strategic interests will remain regardless of the outcome of the election.

QUESTION: Iryna Matviichuk, Voice of America. Ukrainian delegation from defense department visited D.C. recently. Do you think Ukraine is doing enough to reform its defense sector?

MR ANDREWS: I’m glad you asked that. So it’s useful every once in a while to look back to the first days in March 2014 when the Russians first invaded and occupied Crimea and then fomented this conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian armed services has come a long way since that day. They were – and on that day, the Ukrainian armed services were unprepared to defend Ukrainian soil. And one of the most heartening things about the – Russia’s aggression in Eastern Ukraine, the heartening thing about the Ukrainian side of that was that Ukrainian society came together and recognizing that more would be needed to try to mount a defense. You saw this kind of confluence of civilians, some showing up with food and clothing and other things, and groups that were organized to help support the military in its defense.

Now, over time, as we and Canada and Poland and Lithuania and Great Britain and other partners have helped the Ukrainian military improve its capabilities, some of those informal arrangements, quite appropriately, fell away or needed to fall away. And now, I think the Ukrainian military is in a much better position. But on the side of Ukraine’s military industry, much remains to be done. Ukroboronprom remains very much an umbrella group that provides many of the opportunities for corruption in the military security sphere in Ukraine, and we and our friends in the Department of Defense are working closely with Ukrainian counterparts to recommend serious, profound reforms to the defense industrial sector. So --

QUESTION: Do you feel they hear you?

MR ANDREWS: Yes. I think that there are Ukrainian officials who very much understand the need to reform the defense industrial sector. It’s a daunting task. It’s a very large, well-organized sector of Ukraine’s economy. It’s one of the great legacies of the Soviet Union, frankly, and it’s not an easy thing to break up. But let’s recall Ukroboronprom was created. It didn’t exist before. This umbrella organization was created to provide kind of this overarching cover for all of the other defense industrial enterprises. And so that middleman doesn’t need to exist, and that middleman provides opportunities for corruption.

And so we have General Abizaid, a retired four-star general, who is part of the Defense Review Advisory Board, and working with some other international partners we have provided significant advice to our Ukrainian friends about ways in which they could make their defense industry more competitive internationally so that that can become another contributing sector to Ukraine’s economy. But to be competitive internationally, you have to make it more efficient; and to be efficient, you have to reduce corruption. So it’s – these challenges are all interlinked.

MODERATOR: I think we have time for one final question, if anyone has another one.

QUESTION: Yes.

MODERATOR: We might have time for two.

MR ANDREWS: We’ll squeeze in two. Yeah.

QUESTION: Okay, if I may?

MR ANDREWS: Yes, sir. Yes.

QUESTION: Okay, thank you. Sir, speaking about the communique which was adopted last year in London after the – last year for Ukrainian Reform Conference. Okay, there are two pages, eleven tasks. Definitely it’s not a whole work, but it’s like a road plan. So speaking about this road plan which was adopted a year ago, what is your understanding, what is your opinion, which part of this way Ukraine made already? Do we speak about half of the way, so the half of the reforms was adopted? Do we speak about that generally the full way was made, so mostly all these reforms mentioned in this communique was adopted already? So on which part of the way are we right now?

MR ANDREWS: So, unfortunately, I don’t have that communique in front of me. I apologize for that. I should have actually had that with me now. But I’m sorry, I –

MODERATOR: Oh, you need to unmute.

MR ANDREWS: Oh, okay. Oops.

MODERATOR: Oh, sorry.

MR ANDREWS: Sorry, sorry. Unfortunately, I don’t have that communique language in front of me right now. I don’t recall what those 11 things were. I guess what I would say is the purpose of the reform conference – when Ukraine sets out its goals for reforms and the international friends of Ukraine provide their thoughts, perhaps even advice on those goals, I think there’s a general understanding that that is not so much a to-do list as it is the guidelines, the aspirational kind of goals that Ukraine has set. And so there may be things on that list that Ukraine didn’t achieve during this year, but there may be other things that Ukraine did do that weren’t on the list.

And so I think our goal is to highlight international support for Ukraine, our ongoing steadfast support for Ukraine; to recognize and acknowledge Ukraine’s progress; and to analyze and to examine and share kind of Ukraine’s goals for the coming year.

And so I don’t think it’s the kind of a rigid thing in which we look at this as a checklist and say, oh, you didn’t check three of these boxes, shame on you. It’s not really that kind of an exercise. I mean, Ukraine is a complex political environment, and we know that it’s tough, but we do look back and we say, hey, why aren’t some of these things being done? Our Ukrainian counterparts said they wanted to do X, Y, and Z. What were the barriers that prevented that? And I do think this issue of helping Ukraine find ways to break the link between oligarchic interests and power and the political system – I think that could be key to unlocking some of these reforms that are proving too difficult to do.

And I think we are thinking about this problem. We’ve certainly seen this problem in many other countries and we’ve seen different models for how to go after it. We ourselves had an experience at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century in which we had oligarchs that were essentially outside the political system and influencing our political system and distorting our politics and our economics, and that was a very tough situation that we as a nation had to go through. So we have every sympathy for the challenges that this poses to Ukraine, but I do think that the reforms that are tough to do are increasingly difficult because vested interests within Ukraine are feeling threatened. And we have to find a way to make sure that – to help the Government of Ukraine make decisions that benefit all Ukrainians and not just the rich and powerful few.

So it’s not so much a checklist as it is a signpost that shows the direction in which Ukraine is headed, and I think for our part, it’s – as long as Ukraine is making good, steady progress, it’s more about the direction that Ukraine is headed in and not whether it is checking specific boxes along the way, if that answers your question.

QUESTION: Voice of America, Iryna Matviichuk. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that he will call special meeting in Copenhagen to talk about possible Russian involvement in the Ukrainian election and about cyber threat. Do you think there is space, opportunities for Ukrainian and American governments to work, to cooperate in this direction additionally?

MR ANDREWS: Right. So we – last fall we had a senior U.S. delegation go to Ukraine to initiate some high-level cyber defense talks, cyber security talks, and it was a very successful meeting. During that trip – I think it was in September of last year – we announced that we were increasing our assistance funding to Ukraine by $5 million, focused specifically on cyber security. And then when Assistant Secretary Mitchell traveled to Ukraine this spring, he announced an additional $5 million in U.S. cyber security assistance to Ukraine.

So we are – we are certainly very cognizant of Russia’s malicious cyber activities here in the United States, and we are particularly aware of the degree to which Ukraine is the epicenter of Russia’s cyber attacks. We’ve seen the attacks, from NotPetya to the attacks on Ukraine’s electricity grid and any number of other malicious attacks. And so we see our Ukrainian counterparts taking cyber security very seriously and looking for help from international partners to tackle these problems, and we are right there with them. We agree this is a – very much a significant threat and we’re hoping to help try to find some solutions.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR ANDREWS: Yeah. Thank you all.

MODERATOR: All right. Well, with that, the briefing is concluded.

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