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U.S. Rep. Cardin 'Optimistic' About Ukraine's Future


Ukraine is "a country that has tremendous resources and the most valuable are her people," said the congressman

Washington, D.C., August 24, 2005 - U.S. Representative Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) told the Voice of America today he was "very optimistic about Ukraine. I think it's going to be one of the great powers of the region."

The congressman, who spoke on Ukraine's 14th anniversary of independence, said Ukraine has "a proud history." "It's a country that has tremendous resources, and the most valuable are her people," he told VOA's Ukrainian television program Chas-Time.

Rep. Cardin said he found Ukrainians optimistic and excited about the new chapter in their history when he traveled to Ukraine after the Orange Revolution. He told VOA that many challenges remain in building an economy that will provide the Ukrainian people with a good standard of living.

He also pledged that the U.S. Congress would continue to provide assistance to Ukraine. "We wanted to see these countries let their people elect their own government, fulfill self-determination, to really have free, open and transparent elections," he explained. Cardin, a long-time member of the Helsinki Commission, says Ukraine has made more progress in human rights, democracy building, and fighting corruption than anyone could have anticipated 14 years ago.

Chas-Time first aired in December 2004. VOA's Ukrainian Service also airs a weekly half-hour TV magazine program, along with 90 minutes daily of radio programming through affiliates and via shortwave. More VOA coverage of Ukraine can be found at www.VOANews.com/Ukrainian.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000, or E-Mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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