Friends of Ukraine Network

 

The Friends of Ukraine Network (FOUN) is a non-partisan coalition of former ambassadors, leading policy and international security professionals. It also includes other experts who have dealt with key aspects of Ukraine’s relations with the United States and the international community. Included in FOUN’s overall efforts is the Retired Members Ukraine Caucus, composed of former Members of Congress. As an informal coalition FOUN is able to respond to current issue priorities by engaging experts with relevant expertise as needed.

FOUN is an outgrowth of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s (USUF) U.S. Department of State sponsored U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue programs of 2005 and 2011, that brought together government officials and non-government policy experts from both countries to discuss and make recommendations on numerous issues of mutual concern.

Since 2014, the Foundation regularly convened FOUN and organized designated Task Forces to address U.S.-Ukraine Relations, including such issues as sanctions, national security and assistance in all sectors in support of Ukraine.

FOUN advances policy recommendations through expert testimony, Congressionally sponsored forums and briefings, meetings with key officials in the Administration and Congress, press conferences, media interviews and op-ed pieces.

The 2017 Recommendations were submitted to Congress and to the Executive Branch and many of the recommendations were acted upon favorably.

Throughout 2019, FOUN was organized into three Task Forces to produce a new set of recommendations to respond to the realities Ukrainians face five years after Russia added to its other destabilizing efforts directed at Ukraine, its military aggression seizing Crimea, and carrying out an on-going war in Donbas. The National Security Task Force, the Democracy and Civil Society Task Force and the Economic Security Task Force proposals are actionable policy recommendations designed to support Ukrainian civil society’s fight for a stronger democracy, energize Ukraine’s economic growth and help Ukraine defend itself and care for the victims of Putin’s war.

FOUN is unique in that it brings together individuals from different organizations with many different political views but united in support of Ukraine in advancing United States’ national interests.

As FOUN proceeded with its presentation of the Priority Recommendations for U.S. Assistance to Ukraine 2020 it began with in-person meetings on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch. However, because of the unique coronavirus situation those in-person meetings were replaced by a series of over 50 conference call briefings with congressional offices, both personal Member office and key committee staff. And then, finally, as Congress moved forward with its preparation of authorization and appropriation legislation for Fiscal Year 2021 FOUN sought to make sure its views were available on the Hill as broadly as possible. As a result each Task Force prepared testimony discussing its recommendations and attaching the actual Recommendations delivered this testimony to the relevant Congressional Committees, House Committee on Appropriations, House Committee on Armed Services, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Armed Services and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the individual offices of every Member of each of these Committees, the Congressional Leadership and numerous Congressional offices of Members not on these selected Committees, as well as to certain officials in the Executive Branch, a distribution totaling 421 which included about a dozen officials in the Administration.

Further, since then FOUN has remained in touch with Congressional offices sharing views and ideas in support of Ukraine and U.S. interests in Ukraine and the region.

 

 

National Security Task Force

 

 

Economy & Energy Task Force

 

 

Democracy & Civil Society Task Force