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Date: 2007
Document Type: Country overview
Pages: 12
Content Level: (Level 4)

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Page 2039



Compiled from the August 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:



Area: 233,000 sq. mi., the largest country wholly in Europe.

Cities: Capital—Kiev (often transliterated as Kyiv from Ukrainian, pop. 2.8 million). Other cities—Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odesa, Lviv.

Terrain: A vast plain mostly bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South.

Climate: Continental temperate, except in southern Crimea, which has a sub-tropical climate.


Population: (est.) 46.9 million.

Nationality: Noun—Ukrainian(s); adjective—Ukrainian.

Ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Jews, Poles, Crimean Tatars, and other groups.

Religions: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, others.

Languages: Ukrainian (official), Russian, others.

Education: Literacy—98%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—22/1,000; life expectancy—61.6 yrs. males, 72.8 yrs. females.

Work force: 23 million. Industry and construction—32%; agriculture and forestry—24%; health, education, and culture—17%; transport and communication—7%.


Type: Parliamentary-presidential.

Independence: August 24, 1991.

Constitution: First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996, amended January 1, 2006.

Government branches: Executive—president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—450-member unicameral parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to 4-year terms). Judicial—Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, local courts, and Constitutional Court.

Political parties: Wide range of active political parties and blocs, from leftist to center and center-right to ultra-nationalist.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Political subdivisions: 24 provinces (oblasts), Crimean autonomous republic, and two cities with special status—Kiev and Sevastopol.


Nominal GDP:(2005 est.) $82.9 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2005 gov. est.) 2.6%.

Nominal per capita GDP: (2005 est.) $1739.

Natural resources: Vast fertile lands, coal, ironstone, complex ore, various large mineral deposits, timber.

Agriculture: Products—Grain, sugar, sunflower seeds.

Industry: Types—Ferrous metals and products, oil and gas transport, coke, fertilizer, airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.

Trade:(2005) Exports of goods and services—$40.4 billion: Ferrous and nonferrous metals, mineral products, chemicals, energy transport services, machinery, transport equipment, grain, and textiles. Imports—$39.05 billion: Energy, mineral fuel and oil, machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals, textiles, and paper.


The population of Ukraine is about 46.9 million. Ethnic Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%, ethnic Belarusians number about 5%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the urban population makes up about 67% of the population. Page 2040  |  Top of ArticleUkrainian and Russian are the principal languages. Although Russian is very widely spoken, in the 1989 census (the latest official figures) 88% of the population identified Ukrainian as their native language. There are also small Tatar and Hellenic minorities centered mainly on Crimea. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (which practices Orthodox rites but recognizes the Roman Catholic Pope as head of the Church). The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is divided between a Moscow Patriarchy and a separate Kiev Patriarchy, which was established after Ukrainian independence and which declared independence from Moscow. In addition to these, there are also the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The birth rate of Ukraine is declining. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv. There are about 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes.


The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These peoples were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts that eventually became city-states. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the establishment of Kiev. Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity in 988. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev quickly prospered as the center of the powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in the 12th century. Mongol raiders razed Kiev in the 13th century.

Most of the territory of what is modern Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century, but during that time, Ukrainians began to conceive of themselves as a distinct people, a feeling that survived subsequent partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, when Poland was partitioned, much of modern-day Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire.

The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the extreme west and the Russian Empire elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions and reestablish a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), national hero of Ukraine, presented the intellectual maturity of the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on attempts to elevate Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.

When World War I and the Russian revolution shattered the Habsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy and in 1918, following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. After three years of conflict and civil war, however, the western part of Ukrainian territory was incorporated into Poland, while the larger, central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the twenties, but with Stalin’s rise to power and the campaign for collectivization, the Soviet leadership imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian) as part of his forced collectivization policies, which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine alone range from 3 million to 7 million.

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, some Ukrainians, particularly in the west, welcomed what they saw as liberation from Communist rule, but this did not last as they quickly came to understand the nature of Nazi rule. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine’s Jews (of whom an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kiev was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others. Kiev and other parts of the country were heavily damaged.

After the Nazi and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Armed resistance against Soviet authority continued as late as the 1950s. During periods of relative liberalization—as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964 and during the period of “perestroika” under Mikhail Gorbachev—Ukrainian communists pursued nationalist objectives. The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR, and the Soviet Government’s initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world, was a water-shed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. Ukraine became an independent

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state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although it has not officially joined the organization.


Ukraine has a parliamentary-presidential system of government with separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president nominates the defense and foreign ministers, and the Prosecutor General and Chief of the State Security Service (SBU), each of whom must be confirmed by the parliament. Beginning in 2006, the 450-member unicameral parliament (Supreme Rada) names the prime minister, who in turn will nominate other ministers. The Supreme Rada initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements, and approves the budget. Its members are elected to five-year terms. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M. Kravchuk, former chairman of the Ukrainian Rada, was elected for a five-year term, and became Ukraine’s first president. At the same time, a referendum on independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters. Political groupings in Ukraine include former communists, socialists, agrarians, liberals, nationalists, and various centrist and independent forces.

Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system, and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June 28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection of basic human rights and liberties. Amendments that took effect January 1, 2006, shifted significant powers from the president to the prime minister and Supreme Rada.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious organizations are required to register with local authorities and with the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting personal business. According to the constitution, Page 2042  |  Top of ArticleUkrainian is the only official state language. In Crimea and some parts of eastern Ukraine—areas with substantial ethnic Russian minorities—local and regional governments permit Russian as a language for local official correspondence.

Freedom of speech and press are guaranteed by law and by the constitution, and authorities generally respect these rights. Prior to the “Orange Revolution,” however, authorities sometimes interfered with the news media through intimidation and other forms of pressure. In particular, the failure of the previous government to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation into the 2000 disappearance and murder of independent journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, in which then-government officials have been credibly implicated, negatively affected Ukraine’s international image. Freedom of the media and respect for citizens’ rights have increased markedly since the government of President Yushchenko took office in January 2005.

Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation to Russia. (Crimea was ceded by the RFSSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954, in recognition of historic links and for economic convenience, to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s union with Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining significant cultural and economic autonomy.

Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, among them the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine, have formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands are prohibited.

In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine’s second president in free and fair elections. Kuchma was reelected in November 1999 to another five-year term, with 56% of the vote. International observers criticized aspects of the election, especially slanted media coverage; however, the outcome of the vote was not called into question. Ukraine’s March 2002 parliamentary elections were characterized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as flawed, but an improvement over the 1998 elections. The pro-presidential For a United Ukraine bloc won the largest number of seats, followed by the reformist Our Ukraine bloc of former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, and the Communist Party. There are 450 seats in parliament, all chosen from party lists by proportional vote.

The campaign leading to the October 31, 2004 presidential election was characterized by widespread violations of democratic norms, including government intimidation of the opposition and of independent media, abuse of state administrative resources, highly skewed media coverage, and numerous provocations. The two major candidates—Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader (and former Prime Minister) Viktor Yushchenko—each garnered between 39% and 40% of the vote and proceeded to a winner-take-all second round. The November 21 runoff election was marred by credible reports of widespread and significant violations, including illegal expulsion of opposition representatives from election commissions, multiple voting by busloads of people, abuse of absentee ballots, reports of coercion of votes in schools and prisons, and an abnormally high number of (easily manipulated) mobile ballot box votes. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Kiev and other cities to protest electoral fraud and express support for Yushchenko, and conducted ongoing peaceful demonstrations during what came to be known as the “Orange Revolution.”

The OSCE International Election Observation Mission found that the November 21, 2004 run-off presidential election “did not meet a considerable number of OSCE commitments and Council of Europe and other European standards for democratic electionS… Overall, State executive authorities and the Central Election Commission (CEC) displayed a lack of will to conduct a genuine democratic election process.” Other independent observers were similarly critical. On November 24, 2004, the CEC declared Prime Minister Yanukovych the winner with 49.46% compared to 46.61% for Yushchenko. The U.S. and Europe refused to accept the result as legitimate due to the numerous, uninvestigated reports of fraud. European leaders traveled to Kiev to mediate a political solution between the parties. On November 27, Ukraine’s Supreme Rada passed a resolution declaring that the election results as announced did not represent the will of the people. On December 1, the Rada passed a vote of “no confidence” in the government. On December 3, Ukraine’s Supreme Court invalidated the CEC’s announced results and mandated a repeat of the second round vote to take place on December 26. An agreement mediated by the European leaders resulted in new legislation being passed by the Rada and signed by the President December 8. The electoral law was reformed to close loopholes that had permitted pervasive electoral fraud. The Constitution was amended, effective not earlier than September 2005, to transfer power, especially with respect to appointment of Ministers, from the President to the Cabinet. Yet another law was passed, in first reading, to devolve some powers of the central government to regional councils. In addition, Prime Minister Yanukovych requested and was granted a leave of absence, and Prosecutor General Hennadiy Vasilyev submitted his resignation.

The December 26 re-vote took place in an atmosphere of calm. While irregularities were noted, observers found no systemic or massive fraud. The OSCE Mission noted that “campaign conditions were markedly more equal, observers received fewer reports of pressure on voters, the election administration was more transparent and the media more balanced than in previous rounds… in Page 2043  |  Top of Articleour collective view Ukraine’s elections have moved substantially closer to meeting OSCE and other European standards.” On January 10, 2005, after the CEC and the Supreme Court had considered and rejected numerous complaints and appeals filed by the Yanukovych campaign, the CEC certified the results. Yushchenko won 51.99% of the votes, with 44.20% for Yanukovych. 2.34% voted against both, and 1.45% of ballots were invalidated. The Yanukovych campaign filed one last appeal with the Supreme Court, which rejected it on January 20 and authorized the publication of the results in “Government Courier” and “Voice of Ukraine,” rendering them official and final. President Yushchenko was inaugurated January 23, 2005.

Ukraine held parliamentary and local elections on March 26, 2006. International observers noted that conduct of the Rada election was in line with international standards for democratic elections, making this the most free and fair in Ukraine’s history. Unlike the first rounds of the 2004 presidential election, candidates and parties were able to express themselves freely in a lively press and assembled without hindrance. There was no systemic abuse of administrative resources as there had been under the previous regime. The Party of Regions and the bloc of former Prime Minster Tymoshenko, whose government the President dismissed in September 2005, finished ahead of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc. Other parties passing the 3% threshold to enter parliament were the Socialist Party of Ukraine and the Communist Party of Ukraine. No party held the majority of Rada seats needed to form a government. Following four months of difficult negotiations, a government led by Prime Minister Yanukovych and including representatives from the Party of Regions, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party took office on August 4, 2006.

Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission. Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security. After independence, Ukraine established its own military forces of about 780,000 from the troops and equipment inherited from the Soviet Union. Under defense reform legislation passed in 2004, Ukraine is strengthening civilian control of the military, professionalizing its non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps, modernizing force structure to improve interoperability with NATO, and reducing troop numbers, all with an eye toward achieving NATO standards. Current force levels are approximately 225,000 (plus 90,000 civilian workers in the Ministry of Defense). The Ministry of Defense plans to continue force reductions by approximately 20,000 personnel per year to reach a final end state of 143,000 by 2011. Ukraine’s stated national policy is Euro-Atlantic integration, including with both NATO and the European Union. NATO offered Ukraine an “Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues” in April 2005. Ukraine had previously signed an agreement with NATO on using Ukraine’s strategic airlift capabilities and has been an active participant in Partnership for Peace exercises, in Balkans peace-keeping, and Coalition operations in Iraq. Ukrainian units have been serving in the U.S. sector in Kosovo, and served in the Polish-led division in Iraq. Currently, Ukraine participates in 10 peacekeeping missions in 8 countries and has up to 50 troops serving in supporting roles in Iraq.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 12/15/2006

President: Viktor YUSHCHENKO

Prime Minister: Viktor YANUKOVYCH

First Dep. Prime Min.: Mykola AZAROV

Dep. Prime Min.: Andriy KLYUYEV

Dep. Prime Min.: Volodymyr RYBAK

Dep. Prime Min.: Dmytro TABACHNYK

Min. of the Cabinet of Ministers: Anatoliy TOLSTOUKHOV

Min. for Liaison with Parliament & Other State Institutions: Ivan TKALENKO

Min. of Agriculture: Yuriy MELNYK

Min. of Architecture & Construction: Volodymyr RYBAK

Min. of the Coal Industry: Serhiy TULUB

Min. of Culture & Tourism: Yuriy BOHUTSKYY

Min. of Defense: Anatoliy HRYTSENKO

Min. of Economics: Volodymyr MAKUKHA

Min. of Emergencies: Nestor SHUFRYCH

Min. of Environmental Protection: Vasyl DZHARTY

Min. of Family, Children, & Sports: Viktor KORZH

Min. of Finance: Mykola AZAROV

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Borys TARASYUK

Min. of Fuel & Energy: Yuriy BOYKO

Min. of Health: Yuriy POLYACHENKO

Min. of Industrial Policy: Anatoliy HOLOVKO

Min. of Internal Affairs: Vasyl TSUSHKO

Min. of Justice: Oleksandr LAVRYNOVYCH

Min. of Labor & Social Policy: Mykhaylo PAPIYEV

Min. of Science & Education: Stanislav NIKOLAYENKO

Min. of Transport & Communications: Mykola RUDKOVSKYY

State Sec. of the President: Viktor BALOHA

Sec., National Security & Defense Council: Vitaliy HAYDUK

Chmn., Security Services:

Prosecutor General: Oleksandr MEDVEDKO

Chmn., State Property Fund: Valentyna SEMENYUK

Chmn., National Bank: Volodymyr STELMAKH

Ambassador to the US: Oleh SHAMSHUR

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Valeriy KUCHYNSKYY

Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-349-2920).


With rich farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a good education system, Ukraine has the potential to become a major European economy. After eight straight years of sharp economic decline from the early to late 1990s, the standard of living for most citizens declined more than 50%, leading to widespread poverty. Beginning in 2000 economic growth has Page 2044  |  Top of Articleaveraged 7.4% per year, reaching 12.1% in 2004, but falling to 2.6% in 2005. Personal incomes are rising. The macro economy is stable, with the hyperinflation of the early post-Soviet period now reduced to just over 10%. Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996 and has remained stable despite a small nominal appreciation in April 2005. While economic growth continues, Ukraine’s long-term economic prospects depend on acceleration of market reforms. The economy remains burdened by excessive government regulation, corruption, and lack of law enforcement, and while the Yushchenko government has taken steps against corruption and small and medium enterprises have been largely privatized, much remains to be done to restructure and privatize key sectors such as energy and telecommunications.

Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Manufactured goods include airplanes, turbines, metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors. It also is a major producer of grain, sunflower seeds, and sugar and has a broad industrial base, including much of the former USSR’s space and rocket industry. Although oil and natural gas reserves are small, it has important energy sources, such as coal, and large mineral deposits, and is one of the world’s leading energy transit countries, providing transportation of Russian and Caspian oil and gas across its territory.

Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The foreign investment law allows Westerners to purchase businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to receive compensation in the event that property were to be nationalized by a future government. However, complex laws and regulations, poor corporate governance, weak enforcement of contract law by courts and corruption have discouraged broad foreign direct investment in Ukraine. While there is a functioning stock market, the lack of protection for minority shareholder rights severely restricts portfolio investment activities. Total foreign direct investment in Ukraine was approximately $16.375 billion as of January 1, 2006. At $349 per capita, this was one of the lowest figures in the region.

While countries of the former Soviet Union remain important trading partners, especially Russia and Turkmenistan for energy imports, Ukraine’s trade is becoming more diversified. Europe is now the destination of over one third of Ukraine’s exports, while around one quarter of Ukraine’s exports go to Russia and the CIS. Exports of machinery and machine tools are on the rise relative to steel, which constitutes over 30% of exports. Ukraine imports over 80% of its oil and 73% of its natural gas. Russia ranks as Ukraine’s principal supplier of oil and Russian firms now own and/or operate the majority of Ukraine’s refining capacity. Natural gas imports come from Russia and Turkmenistan, which deliver the gas through a pipeline system owned and controlled by Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly. In 2005 and 2006, Ukraine switched from barter to cash payments for gas imports. Ukraine controls the gas pipelines on its territory that are also used to transit Russian gas to Western Europe. The complex relationship between supplier, transporter, and consumer has led to some tensions, including Russia’s decision to cut off gas supplies for three days in January 2006.

The Government of Ukraine’s 12-month $605 million precautionary standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expired in March 2005. In Article IV Consultations, the IMF recommends fiscal discipline and structural reforms, particularly of Ukraine’s pension system. In July 2005, the World Bank approved a $250 million Development Policy Loan (formerly a Pro-grammatic Adjustment Loan) to support reforms to improve the investment climate, public administration and financial management, and social inclusion. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) project outlays more than doubled in 2005 to 530 million Euros, bringing its portfolio to 2.2 billion Euros.

In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is a member of the EBRD but not a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ukraine applied for membership in the WTO in 1995. Progress on its application has been slow but picked up momentum in 2004 and 2005. The government has made accession to the WTO a priority.

Environmental Issues

Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues. Conservation of natural resources is a stated high priority, although implementation suffers from a lack of financial resources. Ukraine established its first nature preserve, Askania-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed endangered species.

Ukraine has significant environmental problems, especially those resulting from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from industrial pollution. In accordance with its agreement with the G7 and European Commission in 1995, Ukraine permanently closed the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in December of 2000. Urgent measures for radiation and worker safety as well as structural improvements to the “sarcophagus” erected by the Soviet Union are largely complete, and the contract for construction of the new shelter to be built around the sarcophagus is expected to be awarded late-2006.

Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has introduced a pollution fee system, which levies taxes on air and water emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this pollution fee system is lax. Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol in April 2004.

Construction of a shipping canal through a UN-protected core biosphere Page 2045  |  Top of Articlereserve in the Danube Delta, which began in May 2004, is an environmental issue of international interest.


The Yushchenko government has declared Euro-Atlantic integration to be its primary foreign policy objective and has sought to maintain good relations with Russia. The European Union’s Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Ukraine went into force on March 1, 1998. After the 2004 round of EU expansion, the EU did not signal a willingness to consider Ukraine for an association agreement, as Ukraine had hoped for, but instead included it in a new “neighbor” policy, disappointing many Ukrainians. On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe—OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine signed a Charter Agreement with NATO in 1997, sent troops to Kosovo in close cooperation with NATO countries, signed an agreement for NATO use of Ukrainian strategic airlift assets, and has declared interest in eventual membership. It is the most active member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In April 2005, NATO offered an “Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues” to Ukraine.

Ukraine maintains peaceful and constructive relations with all its neighbors, though there are some unresolved maritime issues along the Danube and in the Black Sea with Romania; it has especially close ties with Poland and Russia. Relations with Russia are complicated by differing foreign policy priorities in the region, energy dependence, payment arrears, disagreement over compliance with the 1997 agreement on the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, and a dispute over bilateral boundaries in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. Ukraine co-founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8, 1991, but in January 1993 it refused to endorse a draft charter strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members. Ukraine was a founding member of GUAM (Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova) and has taken the lead with Georgia to promote cooperation among emerging democracies in the Community for Democratic Choice, which held its first summit meeting December 1-2, 2005 in Kiev.

In 1999-2001, Ukraine served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original members following a Western compromise with the Soviet Union, which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine has consistently supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes. It has participated in the five-sided (now “5+2”) talks on the conflict in Moldova and under President Yushchenko has actively boosted efforts to seek a resolution. Ukraine has also promoted a peaceful resolution to conflict in the post-Soviet state of Georgia. Ukraine has also made a substantial contribution to UN peace-keeping operations since 1992.


The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to the Cold War and created an opportunity to build bilateral relations with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kiev, to embassy status on January 21, 1992. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is William B. Taylor, the sixth U.S. ambassador since Ukrainian independence.

The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine’s transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy. Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian Government began taking steps in the fall of 1999 to reinvigorate economic reform that had been stalled for years due to a lack of a reform majority in the Ukrainian parliament. The Ukrainian Government’s stated determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for Ukraine as it continues on this difficult path. Bilateral relations suffered a setback in September 2002 when the U.S. Government announced it had authenticated a recording of President Kuchma’s July 2000 decision to transfer a Kolchuga early warning system to Iraq. The Government of Ukraine denied that the transfer had occurred. Ukraine’s democratic “Orange Revolution” has led to closer cooperation and more open dialogue between Ukraine and the United States. U.S. policy remains centered on realizing and strengthening a democratic, prosperous, and secure Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures.

U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act (FSA), enacted in October 1992. Ukraine has been a primary recipient of FSA assistance. Total U.S. assistance since independence has been more than $3 billion. U.S. assistance to Ukraine is targeted to promote political and economic reform and to address urgent humanitarian needs. The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine’s transition to a democratic society with a prosperous market-based economy. For more detailed information on these programs, please see the “Annual Report to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia,” which is available on the State Department’s website at the following address: . Page 2046  |  Top of ArticleInformation is also available on USAID’s website at the address: .

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KYIV (E) Address: 4 Hlybochtska; Phone: +(380) (44) 490-4000; Fax: + (380) (44) 490-4085; Workweek: M-F 0900-1800; Website: .

AMB:William Taylor
AMB OMS:Deborah Woodfin
DCM:Sheila Gwaltney
DCM OMS:Frank Roach
POL:Kent Logsdon
MGT:Margaret Uyehara
AGR:Garth Thorburn
AID:Earl Gast
CUS:Robert Tine
DAO:James Molloy
ECO:Douglas Kramer
GSO:Russell Baum
IMO:Rob Jennings
IPO:Eqbal Hakim
ISO:Laura Leinow
ISSO:Alexander Miller
LEGATT:Bryan Paarmann
MLO:Robert Timm
PAO:Michelle Logsdon
RSO:George Nutwell

Last Updated: 8/22/2006


Consular Information Sheet : December 15, 2006

Country Description: Ukraine is undergoing profound political and economic change as it moves from its Soviet past toward a market economy and multi-party democracy and integration into Euro-Atlantic and other international institutions. In recent years, the availability of goods and services has increased along with increased rates of growth in Ukraine’s economy, and facilities for travelers have improved somewhat. Nonetheless, the availability of travel and tourist services remains uneven throughout the country, and Ukraine still lacks the abundance of many of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required. According to Ukrainian Presidential Decree #1008 dated June 30, 2005, U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine on short-term tourist, business, or private travel do not need a visa to enter Ukraine. (Visas are still required of other categories of travelers including those who intend to study, reside, or work in Ukraine.) Any requests for extension of stay due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Registration (formerly known as OVIR). Extensions are not automatic, however, and are valid only for continued presence in the country. It is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on the extension, nor can an adjustment to visa status be made from within Ukraine.

Visas may be obtained from the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. or from Ukrainian Consulates General in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. For additional information about Ukrainian visas and related policy, please contact the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.

Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 333-0606
Fax: (202) 333-0817
Web site: or .

Consulate General of Ukraine
in New York
240 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 371-5690
Fax: (212) 371-5547
Web site:

Consulate General of Ukraine
in San Francisco
530 Bush Street, suite 402
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 398-0240
Fax: (415) 398-5039
Web site:

Consulate General of Ukraine
in Chicago
10 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
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Fax: (312) 642 4385
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The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at the point of entry into Ukraine. Travelers whose purpose of travel puts them in a category that requires a visa must obtain the correct Ukrainian visa prior to arrival, otherwise they will be turned back to the United States or will have to travel to another European country to obtain a visa.

Please check your visa carefully upon receipt and pay careful attention to validity dates. Each traveler is responsible for understanding the type of visa issued and the provisions of the visa. Frequently, American citizens are refused entry to Ukraine because they thought they possessed a multiple entry visa, but in fact their visa was valid for only a single entry.

Alternatively, Americans try to reenter Ukraine after using their single entry visa, believing they have unlimited travel for six months. In some cases, Americans attempt to enter Ukraine before their visa becomes valid. This is a common mistake since in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year, not month-day-year. Thus, a visa issued on 01/05/05 is valid from May 1, 2005 and NOT from January 5, 2005. These travelers have been detained at the airport, refused entry and placed on the next available flight. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is unable to assist travelers in these situations.

Ukrainian law requires that foreign residents of Ukraine register with local authorities. American travelers entering Ukraine under the visa-free regime may remain in Ukraine up to 90 days and do not have to register any stays of 90 days or less. Travelers entering Ukraine on a visa must register after six months’stay in Ukraine. Registration is done at the local offices of the Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Registration. Travelers who intend to visit Page 2047  |  Top of ArticleRussia from Ukraine must also have a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 284-6816, fax 284-7936, e-mail:, .

Visitors to Ukraine should also note that Ukrainian law requires them to obtain mandatory health insurance. For more information see the section on Medical Insurance below.

Visit the Embassy of Ukraine website at for the most current visa information. Also see Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official web portal at .

Safety and Security: Ukraine has been largely free of significant civil unrest or disorders. However, demonstrations intermittently occur in cities such as Kyiv. While the majority of these protests are small and peaceful, it is best to avoid such gatherings.

There also have been recurrent incidents of groups of skinheads targeting people of Asian, African or other non-European descent in downtown Kyiv.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet website where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Ukraine is undergoing a significant economic, political and social transformation, and income disparities have grown sharply. As a result, visitors perceived to be wealthier are targets for criminals. Americans often stand out in Ukraine, and are therefore more likely to be targeted than in Western European countries where incomes are higher and Americans may blend in better. Most street crime is relatively low level, but crimes involving small caliber firearms have been reported. Street crime ranges from wallet scams, simple pick pocketing and purse snatching, to muggings, armed robbery, or drugging unsuspecting victims at nightspots and bars (where they are then robbed). Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors and stairwells, and armed break-ins have also been reported.

While most travelers do not encounter problems with crime in Ukraine, there has been an increase in the number of racially-motivated attacks conducted by “skinheads” in Kyiv. These incidents, in which non-Caucasian foreigners are specifically targeted for violence, have occurred without provocation in prominent areas of downtown Kyiv that are commonly frequented by tourists. While the majority of people targeted have been of Asian, African or other non-European descent, all travelers should exercise caution. In addition to incidents of assault, persons of African or Asian heritage may be subject to various types of harassment, such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and law enforcement officials.

Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Ukraine operates as a cash economy, and money scams are widespread. Although credit card and ATM use among Ukrainians is increasingly common, it is nevertheless strongly recommended that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Burglaries of apartments and vehicles represent the most significant threat to long-term residents. Although few cars are actually stolen, primarily because of increased use of alarm systems and security wheel locks, vehicular break-ins and vehicular vandalism are becoming more common.

Ukraine lacks tourist and travel services for foreign victims of crime. Transferring funds from the United States, replacing stolen traveler’s checks or airline tickets, or canceling credit cards can be difficult and time consuming. There are few safe, low cost lodgings such as youth hostels. Public facilities in Ukraine are generally not equipped to accommodate persons with physical disabilities.

Over the past several years, the Embassy has received a number of reports of harassment and intimidation directed against foreign businesspersons and interests. While these reports have become considerably less frequent in recent years, they have not ended entirely. Reported incidents range from physical threats (possibly motivated by rival commercial interests tied to organized crime), to local government entities engaging in such practices as arbitrary termination or amendment of business licenses, dilution of corporate stock to diminish U.S. investor interest, delays of payment or delivery of goods, and arbitrary “inspections” by tax, safety or other officials that appear designed to harm the business rather than a genuine attempt at good governance.

Computer fraud is becoming common in Ukraine. Internet scam reports are increasing. The Embassy suggests refraining from wiring money unless the recipient is well-known and the purpose of business is clear. American citizens have reported transferring money to Ukraine to pay for goods purchased from residents of Ukraine via on-line auction sites, but never receiving the goods in return. The Embassy regularly receives complaints from Americans regarding scams involving marriage and dating services. Numerous Americans have lost money to agencies and individuals that claimed they could arrange for student or fiancée visas to the U.S. Additional information is available on our website in a document titled “Marriage Brokers” at and the Department of State’s information on Ukraine’s Internet and other Fraud Schemes.

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Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: In December 2005, Ukraine reported the first cases of H5N1 (“avian influenza,” “avian flu,” “bird flu,” “chicken flu”) among birds in Crimea. Further outbreaks followed in 2006. There are no registered human cases of H5N1 in Ukraine. For detailed information on H5N1, please review the Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of hospitals and clinics with some English-speaking staff. Many facilities have only limited English speakers. There are no hospitals in Ukraine that provide a level of medical care equal to that found in American hospitals, or which accept American health insurance plans for payment. Some facilities are adequate for basic services. Basic medical supplies are available; however, travelers requiring prescription medicine should bring their own. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. When a patient is hospitalized, the patient, relative, or acquaintance must supply bandages, medication, and food. The Embassy recommends that ill or infirm persons not travel to Ukraine. The Embassy also recommends that travelers obtain private medical evacuation insurance prior to traveling to Ukraine.

Medical evacuation remains the best way to secure western medical care. This option, however, is very expensive and could take at least several hours to arrange. Travelers may wish to purchase medical evacuation insurance prior to travel, or have access to substantial lines of credit to cover the cost of medical evacuation. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy has information on various air ambulance companies that perform medical evacuations to Europe or to the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to other European countries can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, and to the U.S. as much as $70,000 or more. More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s website in a separate document “Medical Services in Kyiv” at .

Please note that while the Embassy can help American travelers and their families make contact with a medevac service, the U.S. Government cannot pay for medical evacuation. Travelers should make sure they have medical evacuation insurance, which is available from many private companies, or have funds available for evacuation, before the need arises.

Radiation and Nuclear Safety: In 1986, the Chernobyl incident resulted in the largest short-term unintentional accidental release of radioactive materials to the atmosphere ever recorded. The highest areas of radioactive ground contamination occurred within thirty kilometers of the Chernobyl station. The city of Kyiv was not badly affected because of the wind direction, but it was not completely spared. The Chernobyl nuclear power station closed officially on 15 December 2000.

The Ukrainian government has an effective program of monitoring fresh foods and meats sold in local markets. Street purchase of produce should be avoided. Wild berries, mushrooms, and wild fowl and game should be avoided, as these have been found to retain higher than average levels of radiation. Background levels of radiation are monitored regularly by the Embassy and are within the allowable limits set by the Ukrainian nuclear regulator, which are consistent with the Western countries.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at . For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at . Further health information for travelers is available at .

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 whereby all visitors to Ukraine are required to obtain mandatory health insurance. According to information from the Ukrainian authorities the cost of this medical insurance depends on the anticipated length of a foreigner’s stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is approximately 25 cents per day (more for short stays). This required insurance can be obtained from the Ukrainian Department of Immigration, Citizenship and Registration and covers only the costs of basic medical care inside Ukraine and does not cover medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

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Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lit. Visitors should drive defensively at all times, since drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained or drive without a valid driver’s license. Drivers can also be very aggressive, and they normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars do not meet the safety standards common in America.

Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving their private vehicles after dark outside of major cities. However, major roads are drivable during daylight hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, particularly on the main national and regional overland highways and in large and mid-size cities.

Nonetheless, such services are far from American standards, and travelers should plan accordingly. There have been isolated reports of carjacking of western-made or foreign-registered cars. There has also been an increase in the number of documented reports of criminal acts occurring on trains.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Ukraine’s air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet website at .

Special Circumstances: Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality. American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This may include being required to perform mandatory military service. Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. without obtaining the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and will be required to obtain an exit visa before returning to the U.S.

Ukraine is a cash economy. Travelers’ checks and credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Even in Kyiv, however, acceptance of credit cards is not nearly as widespread as in the U.S. or in Western European countries. Expect credit card use to be limited to some hotels, upscale restaurants, international airlines and the rapidly growing, but still select number of up-market stores.

Exchanging U.S. dollars into the national Ukrainian currency hryvnya is simple and unproblematic, as licensed exchange booths are widespread, and exchange rates are normally clearly advertised. Exchanging U.S. dollars into Ukrainian currency or other currencies is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels, and licensed exchange booths; anyone caught dealing on the black market can expect to be detained by the local militia.

There are many banks and licensed currency exchange booths located in major cities. ATMs (a.k.a. Banko-mats) are becoming available throughout Ukraine, particularly in Kyiv and in other larger cities. In smaller cities and towns ATMs are still virtually non-existent. Most ATMs disperse cash only in the local currency hryvnya. The difficulties of a currency shortage can be avoided by coming to Ukraine with a sufficient supply of hard currency to cover necessary obligations during travel. Funds may be transferred by wire, advances may be drawn on credit cards and travelers checks may be cashed at many locations.

Again, the Embassy emphasizes that the incidence of credit card and ATM bankcard fraud is high and we strongly recommend that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from using credit cards or ATM cards.

Customs regulations prohibit sending cash, travelers’ checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly confiscate these items as contraband. Ukrainian customs authorities may also enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Ukraine of items such as firearms, antiquities, currency, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. As in many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $10,000 in cash or up to $50,000 in travelers’ checks into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the cash or checks. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country has undeclared cash on him or her, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, foreign travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $3,000 in cash or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $3,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.

Travelers desiring to bring more than $10,000 into Ukraine must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country. Details for obtaining this license are available on the Embassy’s website in a separate document “Ukrainian Customs Procedures for Transporting Currencies, Monetary Instruments, or Precious Metals” at . Page 2050  |  Top of ArticleUkraine has strict limitations for the export of antiques and other goods and artifacts deemed to be of particularly important historical or cultural value. This includes any items produced before 1950. Ukrainian Postal laws prohibit mailing of passports or other IDs across Ukrainian borders via regular mail as well as via courier mail (FedEx, DHL, etc.) It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington or one of Ukraine’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ukraine’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ukraine are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at .

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Ukraine are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ukraine. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at #6 Mykola Pymonenko St., 01901 Kyiv, Ukraine. Telephone: (38-044) 490-4422, fax 486-3393. The Embassy is located at #10 Yuriy Kotsyubynsky St. 01901 Kyiv, Ukraine. Tel.: (38-044) 490-4000.

International Adoption : April 19, 2004

Beginning April 19, 2004, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv will start processing immigrant visas for orphans adopted by U.S. citizens in Ukraine (immediate relative visas – IR-3 and IR-4). Previously, upon completion of the Ukrainian adoption, all American families had to travel to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, for issuance of the immigrant visa to their child(ren). The opening of adoption immigrant visa processing in Kyiv should represent a significant savings in terms of time and resources for American families.

This change does not alter the nature of the immigrant visa process for adopted orphans, which is initiated by an American citizen filing a petition I-600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv will be among the first U.S. Embassies worldwide to obtain the most recent immigrant visa technology – machine-readable immigrant visas. Although the documentary requirements for the orphan immigrant visa will remain virtually unchanged, the actual immigrant visa will be put in the child’s passport. Accompanying documents will be hand-carried in a separate packet for presentation to immigration inspectors at U.S. ports of entry. The only change for parents will be that a frontal facial photo of the child will now be required in addition to the three-quarter photo.

Prospective adoptive parents who plan to complete an adoption in Ukraine after April 19 should contact the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to confirm that the I-600A approval notice (a Visas 37 cable) has been transferred from Warsaw to Kyiv. Telephone numbers: (38-044) 490-4422; (38-044) 490-4079; fax: (38-044) 236-4892; email:

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, will continue to process immigrant visas for children adopted in Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Additional information on U.S. immigrant visa processing for adopted children is available at

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|CX2895900201