Manor College Holds 11th Ukraine Dialogue
Focused on Hope, Freedom and Western Partners for a Reformed Ukraine
The future of Ukraine has its best hope in partnership with western powers who love freedom. This was one of the main themes of our esteemed guests during the latest Ukraine Dialogue meeting.
The panelists included: Ambassador Oksana Markarova, appointed the First Minister of Finance of Ukraine; Minister Natalie Jaresko, was Minister of Finance of Ukraine 2014-16; and Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Hoeffel; an American author and politician. The program was moderated by Michael Sawkiw, Jr., is Director of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s Washington, DC bureau, the Ukrainian National Information Services (UNIS).
A discussion of the future for Ukraine includes the role of the church to promote tolerance. “When prayer services form for all faiths, everyone feels included,” Minister Jaresko says. “It is that type of interfaith approach that serves best.” Ambassador Markarova agreed, adding “If you look back many faiths were suppressed under Russia. Ukraine did not have its independence for so many years it now has a church that is active. These churches are truly members of the community. All diff faiths can come together. Other faiths do not have rights in other countries.”
Other issues discussed were the corruption reported in Ukraine. Minister Jaresko says, “Corruption is everywhere, but to what extent does it destroy confidence? In the end, it is a cultural problem. Once judicial reform is complete, everyone can get equal treatment. Once that perception is changed, confidence will build.”
Ambassador Markarova says, “Political reform will take time, and the system is strong. Ukraine is one of the countries where you can see where all the money is spent. We are more public with information and details than ever. We are more open than many other countries, including in the US. Transparency is important, but the most important is accountability. How do we bring violators to justice? We are better than where we were eight years ago. We simply need to stay the course.”
Congressman Hoeffel added, “The more personal the connection you can, make the better. But you must be persistent. Tell your story. As an advocate for Ukraine, tell the truth. Be honest and talk about steps that can be taken. Stay on mark, keep on task, and be resilient.”
Minister Jaresko says to be careful, saying, “If you are not prepared to invest in stock in the US then you’re not ready to invest in Ukr. You don’t invest in what you don’t know. But you can always invest in the people…to develop the economy and business. Choose the tool that best suits you.” Dr. Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College, added that he would welcome an investment in Ukrainian students to study at the college.
Congressman Hoeffel says Ukraine is fortunate to have such an opponent that is not well liked. “This is a time to help a country who is essential to help the US,” he adds. Michael Sawkiw agreed, saying, “It is important for the US to have Ukraine as a stable democracy in the region. Ukrainians are defending their family, their country to make sure Ukraine is sovereign and free.”
To watch a recording of this dialogue, click here.