Remarks by Secretary Perry at the Diplomatic Academy

Remarks by Secretary Perry
Diplomatic Academy
Kyiv, Ukraine
Monday, November 12, 2018

I’m greatly appreciative of your introduction and your friendship. As we noted, we had the opportunity to meet earlier in Brussels and start a good working relationship, and it’s my honor to meet with you today, with all of you, our friends here. Ambassador, it’s a privilege to be with you.

Just yesterday, the Ambassador and I had the opportunity to — as we do every year, on the 11th of November — to honor Americans who served our country. It was our Veterans Day. And it was a very solemn privilege to pay our respects at the National Memorial and to learn more about the Heavenly Hundred heroes. It is a powerful place.

It was a moving experience and a sobering reminder that freedom always comes at a cost.

Freedom is the product of sacrifice — often of those willing to fight, lay down their lives in the security it brings for others.

Without those historic individuals, those heroic individuals, there would be no United States of America. Without those heroic souls, there would be no free world. There would be no free Ukraine.

Your country has suffered. It suffered enormously at the hands of freedom’s foes.

And in the last century, you bore the full brunt of tyranny as few nations ever have.

When the twin evils of the 20th century, Fascism and Communism, converged on Ukraine, they inflicted untold destruction on the human spirit through famine and degradation.

Today, we must remember. We must remember and honor those men and women with vigilance in defense of liberty and dignity.

Today’s threats may differ from those in the past, but the danger and the threat to real freedom still remains.

And as you face that danger, know that you are not alone.

The United States was one of the first countries to recognize your independence nearly 27 years ago.

And on behalf of President Trump, let me reiterate our strongest support for a sovereign Ukraine, including all of its rightful territories.

We and our allies will continue to insist on implementation of the Minsk Accords and will work to ensure that the Russian Federation abides by its commitments to those accords.

I am here to reaffirm that promise today.

I am here to reaffirm our commitment to liberty and to free and open markets.

We oppose the actions of any nation that would violate these principles by using energy as a weapon of coercion. Our legislative and executive actions are designed to support your national and energy security.

For nations that insist on misusing energy for their own political agendas … I would remind them that America today is the number-one producer of both oil and gas in the world.

We have the biggest arsenal of all.

And we intend to use it as a tool of liberation, not subjugation.

And so to the citizens of Ukraine: my message today is that you can count on the United States as a faithful energy partner and as a friend committed to your energy security and to our shared prosperity.

To the people of Europe, including Ukraine, I am here to reaffirm our support for actions that will advance energy security by increasing energy diversity, thus reducing dependence on Russian energy supplies, especially their gas.

We believe no nation should dominate the supply of natural gas to Europe as a whole, or to any country.

And we certainly believe that no one nation should use domination to coerce or pressure others, as Russia has been trying to do to Ukraine.

So, I am also here to reaffirm my country’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and to its TurkStream counterpart.

Those pipelines would transport a single source of energy, from a single country, using a single route to deliver that supply.

They would cut off countries from each other, while further exploiting energy-dependent nations.

And finally, I am here to reaffirm the continued support of the U.S. Department of Energy for initiatives with Ukraine.

We continue to work with our Ukrainian counterparts on improving energy resiliency and cyber security.

DOE has already been helping Ukraine develop emergency protocols for their winter heating season.

We want to help you optimize energy use; address safety and security issues in the event of electrical outages; maximize fuel switching capacities among other planning tools.

And DOE is now helping Ukraine develop a National Energy Resiliency Plan.

DOE has also worked to help Ukraine diversify the sourcing of its nuclear fuel and spent fuel services.

We stand ready to support Ukraine’s increased cooperation with Westinghouse on fresh nuclear fuel and plant modernization and for Ukraine’s cooperation with Holtec on creating a domestic spent fuel storage facility.

Going forward, DOE will be providing technical assistance to Ukraine’s policymakers so they can ensure that safety at the nuclear power plants is not compromised in any way.

To this point, I am here to pledge our continued support for your right to determine your own destiny.

I’m here to encourage the government of Ukraine to keep pursuing the goal on every front.

This requires quick, nimble, calculated action for government and the private sector working together. This is no time to stand idly by. Now is the time to think big. Now is the time to take action. Not by some self-driven interest on the part of a few and at the expense of the many. It is no longer the time for continued debate. It is the time for action. Ukraine must establish reasonable milestones and hold one another accountable. Ukraine has the tools to realize its energy and economic potential. Your destiny is in your own hands.

Just like my home state of Texas, Ukraine has the potential to undergo a miracle in its energy sector. … And so I would encourage you, the elected leaders of this proud and independent nation, to pursue policies of transparency and free markets that will increase the investment and growth. Now is the time to act on policies that will allow you to move out from under the shadow of Moscow.

Such policies must support the rule of law.

They must help root out economic corruption.

They must promote healthy competition and vibrant gas and electricity markets.

They will advance information sharing, such as the geological data that was just made public here within the last few days, and that transparency that goes with making that information available, giving that information to companies that want to come and invest in Ukraine.

You have got to have open and transparent tenders. The implementation of production sharing agreements. I cannot tell you how important that is to the future of this country. So that these companies know that when they come here that it’s an agreement that’s not vague. It’s agreements that surely and clearly say: this is what we’re going to do, this is what what you’re going to do, here’s the benefit. Those production-sharing agreements are so important to the future development of the resources of this country. They will encourage that private sector firm to come, to invest, bring in advanced technology and know-how to help Ukraine develop its own resources.

I see a future in this country that’s incredibly bright with partners who are ready to come and stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Those types of approaches will encourage the U.S. to share our energy, our energy know-how, so that together we both can prosper.

Since becoming Secretary of Energy, I’ve been incredibly impressed with what I’ve seen in Ukraine. I come from Texas, which is a state that’s pretty well known for its energy abundance, but it hadn’t always been that way. A decade or so ago, there was a mindset that we’d found all the energy, and if we found any more, it was going to be incredibly expensive to produce – that we were at ‘peak oil.’

Well, because of innovators – because of people with a can-do spirit, people who understand what independence and freedom is really all about — they didn’t buy that. And just like the people of Ukraine who faced their challenges before, as you look into the future, there are those who tell you, ‘Sorry, this is where you are. Get comfortable with that, Ukraine.’ And there are men and women in this room that say, ‘No, never again will we be held hostage, whether it’s with energy or any other resource.’

Let’s work together. Let’s work together to unleash economic prosperity like this country has never seen. Let’s work together so that you can have the energy security you deserve, the national security that you deserve, so that Ukraine may continue to stand proud and free and pass on this priceless legacy to future generations.

God bless you, and our friendship, and this extraordinary country of Ukraine. Slava Ukraini.