Ukraine is coping with multiple challenges. It must deal with the impact of the global financial crisis at a time of pronounced political differences within its executive and legislative branches. Kyiv must manage a difficult agenda with Russia, and its relations with Europe are undergoing a period of some uncertainty. All this plays out in the run-up to a presidential election.
On April 22, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria for a discussion of the current political and economic developments in Ukraine. Hryhoriy Nemyria became deputy prime minister in December 2007. He previously served as a deputy in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), vice rector of the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, chair of the board of the International Renaissance Foundation, and director of the Center for European and International Studies of the Institute of International Relations at the Taras Shevchenko National University.
Brookings Visiting Fellow Steven Pifer introduced the deputy prime minister and moderated the discussion. After the program, Deputy Prime Minister Nemyria took audience questions.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.