Fw: VPotus Pool Report #5

From: Baker, Peter [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2015 09:52 PM
To: Goodman, Meghan K. EOP/OVP
Subject: VPotus Pool Report #5

VPotus Pool Report #5

Kyiv, Ukraine

Dec. 7, 2015

VPotus left the building at 9:30 p.m. and arrived back at the hotel shortly afterward. We have a lid for the evening.

During statements with PM Yatsenyuk, VPotus hammered home again his message about fighting corruption and previewed his speech to the Rada tomorrow by saying this was a second chance to make good on the promise of the Orange Revolution that went unfulfilled.

He noted that “the whole world was excited” by the Orange Revolution and expectations were raised. “They were dashed and they were consumed by the cancer of corruption and weak leadership and institutions,” he said. Now he added, “Once again the hopes of the Ukrainian people have been raised.”

“Ultimately,” he added, “the success will depend on whether or not Ukrainian leadership meets the obligation not to this generation but to the next generation, future generations. Future generations of Ukrainians will look back at this moment – I don’t mean where we’re standing now but this point in time – and say, ‘Did they deliver? Did they deliver for us? Did they fundamentally the nature of my country or did they not?’ History will be a very, very harsh judge.”

In a barely veiled nudge to Yatsenyuk to put aside differences with Poroshenko, VPotus added: “They have to work together to seize this historic opportunity.” He acknowledged that it was “extremely difficult to do and “it means a lot of hard lot and central to this second chance for democracy is to end the cancer of corruption the culture of immunity that’s hobbled Ukraine for decades.”

He stressed again that the United States stands with Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. “The Russians have not kept, have not kept their part of the bargain. But you cannot – and the prime minister knows it – you cannot fail to keep your part because otherwise people in Europe will say, ‘Well, they’re both the same.’ You’ve got to do more. I said earlier it’s almost like that old expression – I don’t how it translates into Ukrainian. You have to be more chaste than Ceaser’s wife because people are looking for excuses not to stay committed. We are determined to keep the world committed behind this new experiment.”

Yatsenyuk responded with promises to reform society, citing specifically privatizing state enterprises, tax changes and fighting corruption customs. He noted the move to put Naftogaz under control of independent directors.

“We understand very well Mr. Vice President that we can get assistance only when we will assist ourselves and when we make democratic progress,” he said.

“We understand our responsibilities, our obligations,” he added a few moments later. “We rely on your assistance.”

Peter Baker

NY Times

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