In a recent interview, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discusses democracy, human rights, and the current situation in Ukraine, which has experienced months of protests over the government's rejection of an EU accord in November.
"There is a climate of fear, which is bad for investment, it's terrible for democracy, and it will tear Ukraine apart if it's not stopped."
In response to increased pressure on Ukraine's civil society, Ambassador Pyatt said that assistance from the U.S. has been transparent, and has been provided "in a way that is intended not to favor one group or another, but to develop the fabric of Ukrainian society."
"In fact, groups like the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute have worked with all of Ukraine's polticial parties...so it's simply incorrect to suggest that there is somethign nefarious about this kind of cooperation."
"To suggest somehow that these civil society groups, which are part of the fabric of Ukrainian society, that these groups are somehow foreign agents acting on behalf of some foreign government simply misunderstands both the nature of our partnership with the Ukrainian people, but also the essential function that these groups provide as a transmission belt between society, between the population and the government and the political parties as part of the fucntioning of Ukrainian democracy. It is in that spirit that our assistance has been provided and hopefully our assitance will continue.
Watch the full interview here.»