Remarks by Ambassador Yovanovitch at IT Handover Ceremony to Ukrainian Armed Forces

March 12, 2019

This is really a great day, and I think it’s a great symbol of our wonderful partnership.

Since Ukraine declared independence in 1991, and throughout the recent challenges caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine, the U.S. has steadfastly supported Ukraine as Ukraine defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

And since 2014, the U.S. has provided approximately $1.1 billion of security assistance.  U.S., Ukrainian, and Allied forces are working side by side, building a comprehensive training program.

As you said, General Muzhenko, this assistance helps lay the groundwork for Ukraine’s transformation to a NATO-interoperable force, while also helping to ensure Ukrainian troops are better trained to face the challenges in the east of Ukraine.

And today marks a really important milestone in our cooperation – the completion not only of the Command and Control Center, but also the Cyber Security Center, and other key infrastructure upgrades, including a baseline information system solution for military medical and logistics needs.

This project goes a long way toward modernizing and strengthening the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ ability to oversee and control its core functions, and it enhances Ukraine’s defense communications.

The accomplishments that we are marking today would not have been possible without a lot of hard work and really good collaboration across numerous ministries and agencies, not to mention our two countries.

And Lieutenant General Bessarab demonstrated unwavering dedication in ensuring the successful completion of this phase of the program. And I think his leadership is an example of what our partnership can accomplish with top-level involvement, oversight, and commitment!

I’d also like to thank Dan Hawkins and his team of professionals for their tireless efforts.

I know the work you are doing is both technically demanding and legally complex.  Based on the results that we are going to see today, I am confident we will have many future successes together.

We are proud of our work together.  And we look forward to a day when Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty are restored, and Ukraine is a part of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

Thank you.