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05/30/2003 | Prosector
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www.ArtUkraine.com

ENTIRE TEXT OF THE LETTER TO PRESIDENT KUCHMA
FROM UKRAINIAN CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS LEADERS
MARCY KAPTUR AND KURT WELDON

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
Washington, D.C. 20515

May 29, 2003

President Leonid Kuchma
Kyiv, Ukraine

Dear President Kuchma:

We are writing to express our growing concern that our joint efforts to encourage agricultural transformation and reform may be facing new
challenges that threaten progress made over the past decade. As you once stated during a visit to our Capitol, to achieve agricultural reform in Ukraine is an enormous undertaking, one that "we much begin and then finish." We appreciate your leadership in this regard.

Without question, in the past few years Ukraine has made considerable
progress in privatizing and restructuring its agricultural sector as a
necessary step in NATO accession and WTO inclusion. We applaud
the Rada's passage of important legislation to created private land
ownership. Open markets are beginning to take root. Nevertheless, in
the wake of higher grain prices following a harsh winter and a difficult spring, we have seen some in Ukraine question the benefit of an open agricultural market governed by a transparent legal system, and we hear some calls for greater government intervention in grain markets. We very much would like to continue working with you to stay the course in the development of a market-oriented agricultural sector and to assist you in dealing with the voices of doubt. We applaud the Cabinet of Ministers in its voiced commitment to free markets with the agricultural sector.

Perhaps the greatest progress in the past few years have been the
privatization of State controlled elevators, accompanied by an expanding base of domestic and international private grain traders, as well as, the privatization of agriculture land. These reforms are substantial steps forward. You and your government are to be congratulated for these major accomplishments.

Recent events, such as the detention of Mr. Leonid Kozachenko,
have caused us to become concerned that these achievements, as well
as future progress in agricultural reform may be endangered. The
Government of Ukraine obviously must uphold and prosecute the law,
but the continued detention of a leading advocate of reform has had
a chilling impact on market sentiment. As well as, raise concerns about continued discussion among some government officials regarding the need to re-establish regional grain reserves and about the recent
appointment of Khlib Ukrainiy as the State Agent for intervention
grain purchases.

These actions have created considerable doubt and uncertainly
among private Ukrainian and international investors and business
leaders.

We are confident that the efficient functioning of Ukraine's grain market will continue to develop and should ensure the availability of sufficient, high-quality grain at reasonable prices even in the face of low domestic production. In that light, we urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to put an end to the uncertainly that these actions have caused.
We also respectfully request that your government ensure that Mr.
Kozachenko , who is widely respected in Ukraine, the United States
and internationally, be treated fairly, and afforded his freedom if no
evidence exists of wrongdoing. Mr. Kozachenko has worked tirelessly
for many years in building Ukrainian agriculture for the direct benefit of the rural people of Ukraine.

An early resolution of these matters will keep agricultural reform and
growth on track and ensure that it remains a vital part of Ukraine's
growing private economy.

Sincerely,


MARCY KAPTUR CURT WELDON
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Co-Chairs, Congressional Ukrainian Caucus


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