THE WHITE HOUSE
the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT SIGNING CEREMONY
5:20 P.M. (L)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you very much. Mr. President, Mr. Prime
Minister, leaders of the government, leaders and members of the Rada, leaders
of the Court, distinguished citizens. I am delighted to be back in Ukraine, and
delighted to be again with President Kuchma to work on our strategic
partnership, because the success of Ukraine as a free and prosperous nation is
very important to the United States.
Of course, succeeding in the
future requires learning from the past. I am very proud and moved to be here
today -- this is World Environment Day -- for this historic announcement by
President Kuchma that the final reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant
will be shut down and the entire plant closed forever on December 15th. This is
a hopeful moment. It is also a moment when we remember those who suffered as a
result of the accident there.
The President and I agreed that we can
grow our economies and protect the environment and public health at the same
time, and so we must. I am pleased to announce that the United States will
pledge $78 million for the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, to contain radiation from
the destroyed reactor; and another $2 million to expand efforts to improve
safety at Ukraine's other nuclear power plants.
The President and I
also discussed his plan for economic reform. He and his team have an economic
plan that can put Ukraine on a path towards sustainable growth and much higher
living standards. President Kuchma has moved to give his people their own land,
to reduce government bureaucracy, to promote entrepreneurship. He has taken
recent steps to enhance Ukraine's protection of intellectual property rights
and the rule of law. And these things improve the climate for investment in
Ukraine and will attract more investment dollars from the United States and
other places across the world.
In that spirit, I am pleased to announce
a new five-year, $25-million business development program for small- and
medium-sized businesses in Ukraine to help them participate in the growing
Finally, I want to take another important step today. Because
of Ukraine's strong efforts to prevent missile proliferation, I am announcing
our decision to eliminate commercial space quotas and open the door to expanded
U.S. cooperation with Ukraine's space program. This decision will have a
positive, long-term impact on Ukraine's economic prospects, creating more
high-tech jobs and positioning Ukraine to be a leader in a cutting-edge area of
21st century commerce. It will also enhance the ability of American companies
to compete in space.
This represents the kind of high-level partnership
our countries can look forward to as we enter the new century together.
Thank you very much, Mr. President. It's been a good day. Thank you.
END 5:27 P.M. (L)
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only