IRI Eurasia Director Testifies on Developments in Ukraine Following the Orange Revolution

Washington, DC – Stephen B. Nix, regional director of Eurasia programs at IRI, testified today before the House Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats chaired by Representative Elton Gallegly (CA-24).  Nix testified on the developments in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution and the challenges still facing the country.

During his testimony, Nix highlighted the progress Ukraine has made in strengthening democracy.  Nix noted that respect for civil liberties has improved and that religious freedom is flourishing.  Nix also highlighted that journalists are now able to freely report news and events.  Third, Nix recognized Ukraine’s commitment to support democracy worldwide referring to President Viktor Yushchenko’s pledge “to back reform, democracy, tolerance and respect for all communities, and peaceful resolution of conflicts in Georgia and Moldova, and to support the advance of freedom in countries such as Belarus and Cuba.”

Nix called on the U.S. to continue its support of Ukraine’s newly-elected democratic government stating, “In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Viktor Yushchenko and his team face an equally daunting challenge: to achieve full political and economic transformation and integration into Euro-Atlantic structures…It should be the policy of the United States to continue to assist in the democratic and economic development and integration of Ukraine, because of its vitally important geopolitical location, and for its commitment to freedom and democracy as evidenced by the Orange Revolution.”

Since 1994, IRI actively supported democracy in Ukraine.  By working with political parties, candidates, newly-elected officials, women, youth and civil society, IRI is helping the Ukrainian people learn skills needed to build a strong, stable democracy.

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