Minister Oda concludes visit to Ukraine

April 18, 2012 - Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, concluded a weeklong visit to Ukraine. Minister Oda reviewed progress on Canada's development work, which supports sustainable economic growth and job creation and aims to improve the lives of Ukrainians through a strengthened democracy.

Minister Oda hosted a series of roundtable forums on sustainable economic growth with key Canadian and Ukrainian partners. A Canadian delegation accompanied the Minister on her visit. The delegation included representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the League of Ukrainian Canadians, and the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.

"Canada remains committed to supporting programming in Ukraine, focusing on improved economic opportunities for Ukrainians in a strengthened democracy," said Minister Oda.

Minister Oda met with the Prime Minister of Ukraine and several Ukrainian Cabinet Ministers. In these discussions, the Ukrainian government confirmed an invitation for Canadian election observers to observe the Ukrainian elections in October. Minister Oda also met with members of the opposition parties to discuss Canada's long-term commitment to the people of Ukraine. In each case, Minister Oda raised concerns about what appear to be a number of politically motivated prosecutions.

Canada remains concerned by the apparently arbitrary and politically biased nature of judicial proceedings against Ms. Tymoshenko, and other individuals, which undermine the rule of law.

"I was pleased to see such a strong commitment among both Canadian and Ukrainian partners to work together for sustainable long-term economic growth and job creation," said Minister Oda. "It was particularly evident in the roundtable sessions that beyond ensuring democratic progress and stability, improving the business environment for economic growth remains high among Ukraine's development priorities."

In Dnipropetrovsk, Minister Oda announced the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) new initiative, the Ukrainian Grain Storage and Marketing Cooperative. This project will support grain farmers in Dnipropetrovsk and Crimea in their efforts to form viable cooperatives. The Minister also paid her respects at Holodomor, a memorial dedicated to the many Ukrainians who suffered during the tragic famine.

Canada will continue to support effective development initiatives in Ukraine, building on the close personal and historical ties between the two countries.

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For more information, media should contact:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
E-mail: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
E-mail: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca
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